Keep smiling through and time for TikTok
A little after 8pm last night my co-director Zara, looked at me rolled her eyes, then rolled over several times on the carpet and started barking at the TV. Boris was in full flow, and although Zara is a three-and a half-year-old cockapoo she knows when to take notice of things, and how to make the best of them.
So agency is about to enter lockdown lite – yes, the government website says we are all good for trading on, ‘Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings. Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.’
But it also says the general public although they can view and move, should also effectively nail themselves into their homes until mid-February 2021 at the earliest.
Zara sensing the need for reassurance that lockdown 3.0 is not going to dampen my spirits reminds me that it was less than a year ago we popped up to see Uncle Chris Watkin on his sofa, to do some filming in deepest darkest Grantham, see photo, and that good times like this jaunt are just around the corner.
Now I am as positive as they come, after all to be in agency you need to be an extrovert, rhino skinned and impervious to most things, but as I see it and my little four-legged friend see it, we have two choices, keep smiling through or dwell on the negatives. My message to all of you is definitely keep that smile going.
Things have moved on, unlike a year ago there are now vaccines, and it may have slipped most people’s attention but yesterday was the first true week day of trading in a post Brexit UK. The sky did not fall in, and probably 95% of the UK realised that harsher restrictions were imminent, so nothing too drastic there either.
If you are forced to stay at home, use that time, wisely, take up things that you never had time for, and maybe you could do worse than exploring the delights of TikTok if you are in agency and you want to build brand and attract new clients.
The big appeal of TikTok – is you can be a genuine person when you use it; Linkedin can be a straight-jacket of business convention, Facebook, and YouTube etc are also very much a professionally coded arena when used by agents. And property portals like Rightmove are just boring digital billboards filled with identical squares filled with property, zero space for the personality of the extrovert agent.
Luckily in contrast, TikTok is hardwired for fun, and the agent’s audience can connect with the person on that level. Throw in an adorable co-director like Zara, and bust out a few dance moves – really that is all there is to it.
But what really is going on is TikTok is a multi-billion potential influencer platform, it is not really a listing site for inventory being listed and sold or rented by estate agents, it is humanising the agent. When you see agents home life, dancing, lip-syncing and being just plain goofy that makes a real connection. And in America it is already getting realtors serious traction and audiences/clients.
Influencer marketing was a 10BN $ industry last year, it is likely to double in 2021 to 20BN $, Covid-19 has made people turn ever more to their mobile for a quick fix of something good and wholesome, outside of the grim reality of the here and now.
18-months ago I was saying that estate agents need to get to know all social media including TikTok, many said the demographic meant it was a marginal gain to be in this space, as children do not buy homes. Well the demographic is changing just take a look there are plenty of ‘older’ people dancing or posting content.
And if in five years the people who want to do property are glued to TikTok as it and they mature, and you are an agent relying on digital run of the mill advertising, you will have missed an awful lot of potential clients, and also missed out on having some fun producing the content.
Depending on content and luck, agents utilising TikTok can generate 100,000’s of viewers very quickly, and this builds both individual and estate agency brands. In a digital age where Google loves to charge whenever it can, TikTok is definitely a large digital Tick in the low-cost way to grow your business and keep the lockdown lite blues at bay until mid-February or beyond.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.