Real estate agents turn to influencers to help sell a lifestyle — and apartments

Instagram and TikTok have become increasingly important to real estate

It takes a bit more work to move residential units in New York City these days and agents are upping their marketing game on social media.

Some prospective buyers could be hesitant to see units in person unless it jumps out at them amid the pandemic, according to Bloomberg News. Agents are looking to get eyeballs on units where potential buyers spend a lot of their time.

Enter the social media influencer.

“We’re seeing that social media has played quite a big role in home-shopping, said StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu. The platform recently launched a TikTok account featuring home tours.

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“[Buyers] trust these influencers, that’s what it comes down to,” said Compass sales director Christine Blackburn.

Blackburn partnered with three Instagram influencers to decorate units at 111 Montgomery, a Crown Heights condo developed by CIM Group and LIVWRK. Those partners shared photos of those decorated units with their hundreds of thousands of followers.

The marketing team at AvalonBay’s Park Loggia condo partnered with influencers Hunter Vought and Adam Gonon, the co-founders of the menswear website Gentleman’s Creative (which has nearly 300,000 Instagram followers) to advertise units at the Upper West Side building. They posted photos of themselves playing pool in a common area and overlooking the city from a balcony.

The phenomenon is more prevalent in New York than some other cities, partly because the city has a higher share of first-time homebuyers — i.e. ones that are younger and more digital-savvy — than other cities. Los Angeles agent Ari Shafar said “the audience is not the same” in his city, and that local buyers still rely primarily on traditional shopping methods. [Bloomberg News] — Dennis Lynch