Oh the times that we live in. The days of constant innovation and technology evolving at faster and faster rates. How do you keep up? It’s a constant battle of innovating to stay relevant while enhancing and streamlining your processes, but also not innovating so much that you lose sight of the basics that have defined successful apartment leasing and management for decades. 

With so much constant change, it’s important to stay in the know, form your own opinions about what could work best for you, your team, and your multifamily community, then make educated decisions from there. So what is one of the latest and greatest things that have people abuzz? TikTok! If you haven’t heard of it, that’s alright. It is to teens now what Facebook was to teens in the 2000s.

Let’s take a look at what TikTok is, why it’s all the rage with youth around the world, and take a look at whether or not it’s worth your time investigating for potential apartment marketing purposes.

What is TikTok?

Remember Musical.ly?

Not many people do. It was a 15 second video streaming and sharing app that got acquired by a Chinese company ByteDance. Once acquired, it was rebranded as TikTok, which has absolutely surged in popularity.  Musical.ly focused on lip syncing to music, whereas TikTok consists of 15 second videos ranging from dancing, to lip-synching, to gymnastics, instructional videos, comedy and everything in between — the creative flexibility is up to the user. Musical.ly becoming TikTok was a transformation into a massive video-sharing social network that makes it easy to create, edit, share, and engage. 

Who is using it? 

Just how popular is TikTok?

In 2019, TikTok downloads surpassed Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and most other apps in the App Store. That’s volume! With a total audience of 1.5 billion users, TikTok is now in the ranks of Facebook, Youtube, and WhatsApp. Predominantly Gen Z, 60% of monthly active users in the US are between the age of 16 and 24. One important consideration with TikTok is that nearly 45% of the 1.5 billion users are based in India. The power of the platform though? The top 50 TikTok creators have more followers than the populations of Mexico, Canada, the U.K, Australia, and the U.S. combined.

Haven’t we seen this before? 

Have you heard of Meerkat? Or Periscope? How about Vine?

Other video sharing apps, like Vine, were a smash hit in their own time, but all have since faded. At one point in time, each of those platforms were thought to be the next big thing in marketing. And while they had potential to truly make an impact and establish brand awareness for your multifamily community, they all ended up as being nothing more than distractions. Why? Meerkat came out of nowhere in 2015 and stole the show at SXSW. A year later? Gone. Periscope had an even more meteoric rise and got acquired by Twitter, but three years later and it is now a shell of its former self. And finally, Vine. In 2013, Vine grew from 77,000 visitors to over 3.6 million unique visitors in less than five months. Fast forward to 2016 and Vine officially went into an “archived state.” 

What should you do?

Are we saying TikTok will fade away?

That’s not at all what we’re saying. We do however strongly support looking at historical information when evaluating where to place your time, money, and energy for apartment leasing and marketing. While it’s becoming more and more important to target the right audience online and deliver the type of content that they are searching for and engaging with; it’s also more important than ever make sure that your team is being efficient and effective with their efforts. 

Is there an opportunity to target #multifamily, #apartments #apts4sale, and other key tags on TikTok and find an audience that could engage with your community and team? Perhaps. Will it convert into leads that convert into leases? The jury is very much still out on that. Assuming that at least 1/3 of the audience is still living at home with their parents, that limits the conversion potential for a multifamily property looking for qualified residents. And there is very little historical data to evaluate whether TikTok is effective when it comes to actual lead generation, or even what type of ad or sponsored content will convert best. 

So, does TikTok have a place in multifamily marketing or leasing? The short answer is that it’s too soon to tell. As the younger Gen Z audience continues to age and evolve into the renter audience, there could very well be a prime audience that is used to engaging with and consuming short-form video in large capacities.

Twitter has already proven that video is the best communication tool on social media with 90% of a video’s message being retained by a viewer versus just 10% when that message is conveyed via text. So, whether you are already using video for multifamily marketing and apartment leasing or not, there’s an opportunity to start there. Simply start with do-it-yourself (Fair Housing compliant) video to post on social, share directly with prospective residents, and use to communicate with residents. 

If you’re looking to learn more about the impact multifamily videos can have for your community and just how easy it can be to get started, reach out to us! Realync is multifamily’s leading video leasing & engagement solution, and we’re always here to help. 

Until next time…keep it real!