Brown Harris Stevens adding TikTok training to its arsenal

Recent hire Madison Sutton, A.K.A @nycagent, bringing app prowess to brokerage

BHS CEO Bess Freedman and BHS agent Madison Sutton (BHS, iStock)
BHS CEO Bess Freedman and BHS agent Madison Sutton (BHS, iStock)

Who said you can’t teach an old brokerage new tricks?

Brown Harris Stevens announced last week that the 25-year-old real estate agent turned TikTok star Madison Sutton is joining its flagship office with her five-person team.

Sutton will develop training materials for BHS agents to develop content and cultivate business on the app, where she posts under the name @thenycagent for almost 99,000 followers.

“I was initially a little bit surprised myself, but when I went to meetings everyone was so excited to learn about it,” Sutton told Curbed.

Sutton added that there may be a learning curve for many agents at the brokerage when it comes to using TikTok to sell apartments.

“It’s intimidating. There is a level of vulnerability to putting yourself in front of millions of people,” Sutton told the publication. “If you’re already successful, there can be hesitation to adopt a platform like this.”

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Sutton told The Real Deal in April she began posting on the app when she wasn’t sure how to show apartments and connect with clients during pandemic restrictions. After putting up a few videos each week, Sutton said, her business had grown to almost four times what it was the year before.

“Madison has been able to differentiate herself in the very crowded real estate space, not only in NYC, but nationwide,” said CEO Bess Freedman. “I am excited that she will share her insights to help all of our Brown Harris Stevens agents grow new business opportunities as she is an incredibly talented agent and content creator.”

Though the app’s membership skews young and attracts viewers from all over the world, agents previously told The Real Deal that racking up views translated into dollar signs.

Alexander Zakharin, a broker at Manhattan’s GZB Realty, went viral last year with a video of a one-bedroom loft listed for $1.25 million. The unit was likely far outside most of his viewer’s budgets, but within six months of joining the app, Zakharin rented three apartments to recent college grads who found him from their “For You” pages.

[Curbed] — Holden Walter-Warner