Since it was introduced about a year ago, the newly launched Snapchat account Snaplistings has been effectively selling and renting properties through social media. As you may know, Snapchat is the mobile app du jour, popular with millennials who send photos and videos that self-destruct after 24 hours. Snaplistings’s first official lease was a $3,000 apartment rented by a young investment banker back in February after he was referred to the account by a friend. The lease came with splashy coverage in the New York Post and CNBC. This is a prime example of how the next generation is ushering in new tools to navigate and disrupt the somewhat archaic real estate industry.
How it works
Four under-30 social media-savvy agents from some of the city’s leading brokerages show off rental and sales listings every Monday through Friday. Each day one of them takes over the profile, bringing Snapchatters on “virtual viewings” of their properties, with a personal touch that borders on reality TV. Each host has their own personality, clearly displayed in their introduction, their tour, and, of course, their call-to-action: how to reach them to set up a meeting and make a purchase. Which in this case is instant — because of the ability to message them directly on Snapchat. The account now even allows guest brokers to come in once a week from other markets to show off their cities. So far, the account has featured Washington D.C., Boston and Los Angeles among others.
Who’s Behind It
This Snapchat account was created by social media marketers Dolly Meckler and Michael Hoffman, who launched the project as a next-generation real estate tool to help streamline the process of apartment hunting. It is the first of its kind to combine real estate and effective social media marketing. The account lives primarily on Snapchat, but also posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so it reaches a wider audience.
Unlike other real estate social media accounts and reality TV shows, which feature deals closed months ago, Snaplistings allows people to purchase, make bids and view apartments in real time. The account’s snaps range from luxury apartments to tips on how to find and rent an East Village apartment for under $4,000. In contrast to traditional marketing being used by brokers today, the content is not choreographed, directed or produced; rather it uses the language of Snapchat and capitalizes on the authenticity that works on the platform. Going to an open house wastes half of your Sunday, following Snaplistings on Snapchat takes less than 10 seconds and allows you to transport to major NYC listings at a time convenient for you.
The fashion industry is experiencing a similar move in the digital landscape, as major brands, such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren, are allowing clients to buy clothes directly off the runway. For an industry as time sensitive as real estate, and a generation of buyers and renters who like to manage their lives from an iPhone screen, this may be the next step in the millennial evolution of the industry.