During the pandemic, real estate and social media have become inseparable bedfellows, with many REALTORS® taking to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote their listings. However, another platform with a young and diverse base of users, TikTok, is creating value for its adopters in the real estate industry.
Brad McCallum, a Realtor with RE/MAX First, turned to TikTok last year. At the time, he already had a large following on other social media channels, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Initially, he was dismissive of TikTok, thinking it was mainly for kids, “but I realized that I was wrong, and I waited longer than I should have to join,” he said.
For McCallum, who posts on TikTok as @brad.mccallum.realtor, establishing a presence on the app was an absolute necessity.
“It has people’s attention,” he said, noting that these days, all demographics use the site. “Most people find themselves migrating to the ‘new thing,’ meaning buyers and sellers are on there today.”
“The carefree nature of the app promotes genuine, fun connections, where the audience can see who you really are.” – Brad McCallum, RE/MAX First
Now, McCallum films and edits his own videos and uses the TikTok platform to drive viewers to his other social media channels – particularly, YouTube, where he can integrate longer-form content.
“I only try to post things that educate or entertain, or best that do both,” he said. “People work with Realtors who they know they like and trust. The carefree nature of the app promotes genuine, fun connections, where the audience can see who you really are.”
However, TikTok is also proving to be a powerful standalone tool for McCallum. He recently posted a 15-second video previewing a $3.5-million listing. It went viral, garnering nearly 120,000 views in 36 hours. This pushed potential buyers to McCallum’s YouTube page, where he had published a 12-minute tour of the home. The house sold three days later to a couple who had been introduced to the video by their 30-year-old son.
Similarly, 21-year-old Nathaniel Terryberry, a Realtor with CIR Realty in Calgary and @nterryberry on TikTok, posted his first video last summer when he realized the platform’s potential in the real estate sphere.
“I was scrolling through the feed and kept seeing other Realtors’ posts,” he said. “They were getting tons of views and likes and I realized that there was an opportunity to do the same thing within Calgary.”
His initial post exploded, accumulating 300,000 views and nearly 24,000 likes. Terryberry is active on several other social media channels, but he says the organic reach of TikTok is supercharged.
“If I post a photo on Instagram, it reaches a few hundred followers, but on TikTok, it reaches tens of thousands of people that aren’t even following me,” he said.
Although he hasn’t sold anything directly from TikTok, Terryberry has received text and direct messages from people who have seen his videos.
“It’s a great place to show off a listing,” he said. “At the end of the day, it is about being in front of as many people as possible and as consistently as possible. If you are looking to reach a ton of people for free, it is definitely a great option.”