When we look for apartment listings, we typically find ourselves scrolling through countless online marketplaces. Some real estate agents, however, have discovered a new way to showcase their listings — TikTok, the popular video-sharing app.

Gone are the days of TikTok used purely for dancing, food, and comedy videos. TikTok more than doubled its number of users in 2020. The combination of more users with more pandemic time on their hands and the need for ever more content created an opportunity for real estate agents paying attention to marketplace trends. With the increased vacancy of properties in big cities, property management companies have realized that the platform is an effective way to market units to young professionals.

Read on to find out how TikTok has helped Gen Z’ers on the move find their dream apartment!

Declining Rent Rates

In reaction to the pandemic, whether for economic reasons or simply in search of more space, thousands of people migrated out of big cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. A slow job market in 2020 also depressed the demand for apartments. The effect has been astounding for anyone familiar with prices two short years ago — rent has become a steal by pre-pandemic standards.

Moving to a new apartment typically comes with burdensome fees, but many building owners are now providing incentives to attract new tenants. Some are even offering free rent for a month or two to get occupants through the door.
Before the pandemic, we witnessed how rent rates in highly urbanized areas increased year on year. Now, this trend has slowed and even reversed in some areas. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New York is now only $2,475, a 17% decrease in comparison to the previous year. Similarly, rent for a two-bedroom flat has fallen 22% to $2,600.

This sudden drop in rent has attracted the younger crowd looking to move in, move back or move up as pandemic conditions lessen and the economic outlook improves. TikTok presented the perfect opportunity to advertise available listings.

The TikTok Advantage

Eighty million Americans (and more added every day) are now on TikTok, an incredibly popular video-sharing app. Almost thirty percent of these users — a whopping twenty-four million Americans — are in their twenties. Real estate agents have innovatively used the platform to appeal to this generation.

TikTok uses an algorithm to provide valuable content in a user’s “For You” page, which could mean affordable apartments in New York or Chicago to some users. The more we watch real estate videos, the more TikTok will show us listings from relevant accounts.

These features allow real estate agents to create communities and discussions around their listings. Additionally, TikTok enables agents to develop dynamic videos for clients. These videos are more captivating, memorable, and persuasive than a bunch of stagnant photos. Seeing videos of an apartment makes potential tenants feel more comfortable and excited about moving.

With people still stuck at home and spending more time on social media, TikTok videos created an audience that may only have been dreaming about ‘the big city’ in the past. Like so much else on digital platforms, TikTok has expanded the universe of possibilities, new ideas, new ways of working and doing. Now, if you already have the app, you can use it to search for an ideal space in big cities…in the US and beyond.

Leasing Your Dream Apartment

TikTok may have provided dialed-in agents with a key platform for reaching interested and motivated renters. That’s good. Capturing the customer’s attention is half the battle. But for any potential renter, the follow-up details and the support are as important as the medium used. TikTok – and other social platforms – set the stage with great visuals and ease of use, but what first-time or novice renters need is reliable information from experts who can navigate the market, explain the difference between a scam and a legitimate incentive, and make sense of complicated leasing terms. 30 seconds (the average length of a TikTok video) isn’t quite long enough to cover everything.

So, by all means, let’s use the best tools to reach the most motivated customers. And be sure to back up the video with the details that make the dream deal come true. Activity is already picking up, so the best message right now may be “act as quickly as a Tik Tok video, if you want in on some great apartments in great neighborhoods.”