How to Utilize Apartment Marketing’s Newest Weapon: TikTok

August 23, 2021 |

Updated August 23, 2021

4 minute read

Three ideas for bringing TikTok into your social media marketing mix.

“Weapon” might sound a little medieval for multifamily, but when you look at the power of TikTok and the impact it can have on lead generation, it feels like an appropriate descriptor.

Before we jump in, if your target renter is above the age of 40, then you likely don’t need to worry about learning and using TikTok for your apartment marketing. Sixty percent of TikTok users are between the ages 16 and 24 and 26% are ages 25 through 44.

So, if your target renter is a Gen Z or a Millennial on the younger side, then your apartment needs to be on TikTok (even more so if your direct competitors aren’t yet).

The platform is video only, so it definitely takes some time and effort to make content for your apartment, but it’s well worth it. As the current most popular app, many young adults are using TikTok to find apartments. Plus, unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, TikTok users watch videos with the sound ON. This means your message will actually be heard and you don’t only have to rely on visuals.

Here are three ways to utilize TikTok for your apartment marketing:

1. Make original content in bulk.

Publishing consistent original content seems much less daunting when you create it in bulk. Try to set aside a few hours one day each week to create multiple videos.

The great thing about TikTok is it’s all about trends. There’s nothing wrong with starting out your TikTok journey by simply recreating videos that have been turned into trends. To start, simply create an account for your apartment and begin scrolling through videos to get ideas. Over time, the algorithm will learn what kind of content you’re looking for and then you won’t have to scroll for long. I recommend also following real estate and lifestyle accounts that catch your eye.

As you get more used to the app, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable with executing your own ideas.

Here are a few that are easy ones you can do without much outside help:

  • Video tour highlighting apartment features
  • Video tour of each amenity
  • Recap of a resident event
  • Putting together a resident giveaway
  • Answer the top 10 FAQs about your community
  • Friday Fluff: Record a video of the dog of the week

If you can, try to get your whole staff involved with generating ideas. It’s likely a few use TikTok in their personal time and are familiar with the platform and what’s popular. Some may even jump at the opportunity to be creative and make TikTok videos for the property (an offer you should definitely take them up on).

2. Do a resident takeover.

A resident takeover is when you give a trusted resident the login to your property’s TikTok and allow them to create/post videos for a day or even a week! This is a great way to add personality and authenticity to your account.

It’s likely you don’t know which residents use TikTok or their accounts. An easy way to initiate a resident takeover is to send out a simple email and/or social post explaining the goal and offering some sort of prize such as a gift card or gift basket. If you really want to stir up interest and have the budget to do so, offering something like a percentage off the following month’s rent can really draw your residents in; you may even get multiple interested parties and you can do a different resident takeover each month.

Make sure to confirm that the chosen resident has some knowledge of TikTok and can put together a high-quality video. If you’re offering a high-value prize, it is more than understandable for you to ask them to submit a video example.

3. Sponsor an influencer.

This idea is more geared toward properties that have bigger budgets or have extra room in their current one. That being said, if your current paid media and other marketing efforts aren’t pulling in leads, you might want to put a few months into giving this strategy a shot!

The difference between doing a resident takeover and sponsoring an influencer is direct creative control. Since this is just like a job, you can tell the influencer exactly what kind of videos you want them to make, what you want them to say, what you want them to do and so on. This won’t create the same “down-to-Earth” feel as a resident takeover but it will allow you to showcase your property in the best light possible.

While it’d be incredible if you had a TikTok user living at your apartment, it’s not necessary to engage in sponsorships. Once you find one that is local or close enough to drive, you can host them for a day or even for a few hours. The great thing about sponsorships is that they’re incredibly flexible and all based on what you and the influencer agree on.

Get Leads Out of TikTok

However you decide to use TikTok, make sure that from your profile a user can easily access your apartment website and book a tour. As fun and creative as TikTok is, the main goal is to drive leads.

That said, never underestimate how many new leads a silly, funny video of a cat watching chicken spin around in the microwave can generate for your property. If one video generates just one lead, it’s worth it.

Ashley Tyndall is Chief Relationship Officer at Criterion.B