Douglas Elliman turns to 20-somethings to figure out the internet, rent apartments

Couple from Ohio was hired to lead social media marketing campaign at Herald Towers

Herald Towers' Instagram page
Herald Towers' Instagram page

Douglas Elliman New Development Marketing wasn’t having the easiest time leasing apartments at the Herald Towers.

After all, the city is awash in rental product and landlord concessions are up to record levels. But instead of going the traditional route, the brokerage agreed to hire a savvy 20-something couple from Ohio to lead marketing efforts for the building on social media.

The strategy undertaken by Austin Rogers, 24, and his girlfriend Kirsten Baumberger, a 20-year-old model, is already paying off in the form of clicks and leads, according to the New York Times. One lease signed in May is directly linked to the couple’s postings, Elliman said.

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The couple — which arrived in New York last year and moved into a studio apartment at Herald Towers — mostly post pictures of their neighborhood and the city to attract prospective renters from out of state.

“We want people to be like, ‘I want to move to New York,’” Baumberger told the Times. “It’s supposed to be inspirational, to show them what it’s like to be here.”

Although the gig doesn’t cover the $2,650 monthly rent for their studio apartment, it helps “justify” the costs, Rogers told the Times.

Elliman is not the only firm that’s hired young, non-real estate people to market projects. Earlier this year, Two Trees Management formed a partnership with fashion blogger and actress Tavi Gevinson for sponsored content at 300 Ashland, which drew the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. [NYT]Miriam Hall