Getting socially smart

Four innovative ways NYC real estate pros have used social media

Mar.March 01, 2014 07:00 AM

As firms get more fluent in using social media, some are getting creative, moving beyond simple posts of listings and self-promotion. Here are four examples of New York City real estate firms making innovative use of social media.

Look up New York: Town Residential

A photograph of 173-175 East Broadway in Town's "Look Up New York" campaign

A photograph of 173-175 East Broadway in Town’s “Look Up New York” campaign

For three months last year, Town released a daily photo of an iconic New York City building, such as the Dakota at 1 West 72nd Street, with some trivia about it. The firm hired a professional photographer who took more than 90 photographs of well-known buildings, including shots of the architectural detail.

Town’s followers contributed by submitting photos through Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LookUpNY. The photos were then tagged on an interactive map and entered into a contest, and the winning amateur photo was featured in a New York Magazine advertisement.

Nicole Oge, Town’s senior vice president of marketing and the creator of the campaign, said the firm wanted to teach New Yorkers “something new about their city.”

Overall, the firm said the campaign collected over 4,000 photos from more than 3,000 people and generated 3 million impressions across Instagram and Twitter. It also increased traffic to Town’s website by 26 percent over the course of the campaign.

Insta-selling: Eklund & 11 North Moore

The penthouse at Tribeca's 11 North Moore Street and Fredrik Eklund

The penthouse at Tribeca’s 11 North Moore Street and Fredrik Eklund

Douglas Elliman broker and “Million Dollar Listing” star Fredrik Eklund launched sales for the luxury condos at 11 North Moore in October not with a press release, but with a single photo on Instagram. “HERE WE GO!” read the caption below the rendering of the 18-unit building. “The most iconic new building in Tribeca and sales start … NOW!” He said 50 percent of the building sold in less than a week “directly from it.”

Eklund took a similar approach with the VE Equities’ 24-unit condo project at 250 Bowery. And he said he sold the penthouse at 101 Warren from a Facebook post before it actually was listed.

The Elliman broker has over 75,000 Instagram followers, who he described as “high-net-worth-bicoastal viewers of the show,” making them the perfect target demographic.

Eklund does not shy away from mixing personal and professional posts on Instagram. He often posts photos of himself traveling with his husband, alongside photos of projects he’s selling. “Social media is sharing experiences,” he said. “If it’s not truthful, it’s just a mess.”

The industry elder blog: Frederick Peters

Frederik Peters

Frederick Peters

Four years ago, Peters started writing a weekly blog on Warburg’s website in which he opines on New York’s real estate industry. Peters often discusses recent books he’s read or personal experiences and ties them to real estate lessons. “I just saw that there was an opportunity in the marketplace to try to provide some kind of consistent, non-self-promotional insight,” he said.

The blog now racks up about 1 million page views per year. And apart from the respect and credibility it gives Peters and Warburg, it has business benefits. “It has absolutely led to business for my agents. They all send it out,” he said. “It also keeps us fairly high up there with Google.”

Guide for New Yorkers: Bond New York

In advance of Valentine’s Day, Bond posted an entry on its Bond Magazine blog titled “How to date like a New Yorker.” Bond agent Sara Kyle interviewed experts from online dating websites Match.com and PlentyofFish.com to come up with some best practices on how to approach online dating in the city.

The brokerage has also tackled topics like “How to Feng Shui your home like a New Yorker,” part of a series of posts with tips on various topics. Kelly Kreth, who handles PR and social media for Bond, said “we try to gear what we’re saying on social media to what’s trending” on Twitter.

The firm tries not to push its listings on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, Kreth said. Its “how to” series accounted for the most page views since its blog was launched six months ago.


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