Written by Stefan Kostarelis
Snapchat is one of the most popular social networks and continues to grow fast.
According to Social Media News, Snapchat currently has around 4 million daily active users in Australia, with extremely high engagement amongst millennials.
Deloitte’s Australian Media Consumer Survey for 2016 found that 47% of “Trailing Millennials” (aged 14-26) and 23% of “Leading Millennials” (aged 27-32) use the social network. On the other hand, just 5% of Generation Xers (aged 33-49) and Boomers (aged 50-68) were on the platform.
Snapchat is essentially a messaging service built around photos and videos that are shared between users.
What makes it special is the ephemeral nature of the sharing, as users can set content to “disappear” after recipients have viewed them.
So why should realtors be looking to jump onboard Snapchat? Here are four good reasons.
#1 It’s popular with Millennials
In a previous post, we looked at the rise of millennials and their importance to the real estate market.
In late 2015, Domain predicted that 43% of property buyers within the next three years would be in 18-35 age range. However, since then prices have risen sharply, putting the housing market on the precipice of popping.
But that doesn’t mean that millennials aren’t investing in real estate. They are, just in non-traditional ways. For example, they may continue living at home and have their parents help them out or they may try their hand at “rentvesting”, the practice of buying an investment property while continuing to rent.
Millennials are often called “digital natives” due to their relationship with technology. They are the most tech-savvy generation, highly educated and totally immersed in digital technology.
Realtors need to approach millennials as future lifelong clients who may buy several investment properties on their way up the ladder. Since they are potentially so valuable, it’s in a realtor’s best interest to reach them any way possible.
With data suggesting that millennials are all over Snapchat and becoming an incredibly mobile audience, Snapchat has emerged as a powerful tool to tap into this key demographic.
#2 It’s fast
Compared with professional listing videos and photographs, which can take hours, days or even weeks to produce, Snapchat content can be posted online within seconds. This means people who are ready to buy or rent can gain faster access to new listings and properties can turn over faster.
An example comes from a New York-based Snapchat account called “Snaplistings” that launched earlier this year. It features real estate agents who post content about their current listings.
“We both have friends who lost apartments in minutes just because their applications came in two minutes after somebody else’s,” Dolly Meckler, the founder of the account, said. “So the beauty of Snaplistings is that you can DM agents in real time saying ‘I want to come and see this place, where are you? I will come and meet you’.”
#3 It’s fresh
Although Snapchat is currently popular with millennials,, it will skew much older in the future, as Facebook has. In other words, the millennials will grow up and many of them are likely to stay with the platform. There’s a lot to be said for getting in while Snapchat is still fresh so agents should be looking to establish themselves now.
In sales, it is important to speak to your target audience in their language. One simple way to do this on Snapchat is to purchase an on-demand geofilter.
This is a custom filter that temporarily overlays data about a users’ location on top of photos or video. Realtors can take advantage of this feature by snapping some pictures of a property or neighborhood and adding some creative copy. Doing this will show you have a good understanding of how to use Millennials’ preferred social network.
#4 It’s easy
One of the best things about Snapchat is that creating content can be very easy. Due to the ephemeral nature of the platform, expectations for the amount of “polish” in photos and videos are much lower. Content for Snapchat is less formal than YouTube or Facebook Live and should be approached more casually.
As discussed in the post about social selling, it’s about being real and authentic. Realtors can walk around a neighbourhood and snap some quick video about what there is to offer and even do quick reviews of nearby restaurants and facilities. It’s a one-person show that doesn’t require a production company, budget or script.
In a future post, we’ll look in more detail at ways to gain followers and create content for Snapchat.