Over the past year, real estate agents have been delving into the wonderful world of Snapchat — a social media platform that has tons of potential for agents who’d especially like to reach the millennial crowd, with features like fun personalized filters, live photos and videos and a kind of instant access unseen in any other app.

  • Snaplistings is a Snapchat account that features apartments for rent and for sale in New York City.
  • Snaplistings has a rotation of four agents who take over the account on Mondays through Thursdays, and they post live videos of listings, answer renter and buyer questions on-the-spot, and schedule offline viewings.
  • The founders, Dolly Meckler and Michael Hoffman, are working on expanding the brand to feature more agents in more areas across the nation and the globe.

Over the past year, real estate agents have been delving into the wonderful world of Snapchat — a social media platform that has tons of potential for agents who’d especially like to reach the millennial crowd, with features like fun personalized filters, live photos and videos, and a kind of instant access unseen in any other app.

But it seems that agents still struggle with unlocking the power the platform holds to consistently rake in the leads and listings.

Maybe those agents could take notes from Dolly Meckler, a digital and social media expert who unwittingly may have found the key to turning Snapchat into a multimillion dollar asset for agents in the uber-competitive New York City market.

The start of Snaplistings

Last year, Meckler visited her friend’s luxurious NYC apartment and was so enamored by the space that she began snapping photos and live videos of it.

Almost instantly, Meckler’s followers began asking her who the real estate broker was and if there were any available listings that were similar to her friend’s eye-catching apartment.

After that Meckler had an “a-ha” moment and asked her friend Michael Hoffman to join her in launching Snaplistings, an account where agents could provide real-time access into some of the area’s most coveted apartments for sale or rent.

Throughout the day, potential renters and buyers can ask questions, request viewings or task the agent with finding a listing that fits that buyer’s specific wants and needs.

“We both have friends who lost apartments in minutes just because their applications came in two minutes after somebody else’s,” she said in an interview with CNBC.com. “So the beauty of Snaplistings is that you can [direct message] agents in real time saying ‘I want to come and see this place, where are you? I will come and meet you.'”

Right now, Meckler and Hoffman have four agents — from brokerages such as Keller Williams, Corcoran Group and Douglas Elliman — who regularly take over the account Monday through Thursday; on Fridays, guest agents from around the globe are able to show off their listings.

Sharing is caring

Only one agent is featured per day, and they have free reign on what listings to show, how to engage with viewers and how they’d like to follow-up offline.

“We encourage them to share their personal contact information throughout the story so fans and potential clients know where to find them: Twitter, Instagram and over email. The agents are then able to turn their leads into something more,” she said.

Meckler says the number of direct messages an agent receives varies by the day and the quality of the listing, but on average, agents get 10 to 30 messages on a single listing and a “handful turn into hard leads.”

Meckler and Hoffman said the feedback from their agents has been positive — the agents are able to showcase their personalities, create engaging content and build personal brand recognition that bolsters their day-to-day business.

The Snaplistings team has received positive feedback from buyers and sellers, too, and they’re working on having a better balance between showcasing “a glam listing that they can dream about living in” and more affordable listings — something the audience has been asking for.

Meckler and Hoffman are still working their magic for a TV network with their video storytelling and brand-building skills, but they’re planning how they can “snap” up more agents and build partnerships that will help them achieve their mission of making renting and buying less scary for millennials.

“The fun part about Snapchat is that it’s whimsical; it’s not super scary, and when people meet real estate agents for the first time it’s a really scary feeling, you never know what they’re going to look like, you don’t know how they’re going to act, they’re usually in suits,” said Hoffman while speaking with CNBC.

“This is the opposite. They have emojis floating on their heads, they have text written across the screen, it’s super safe because you’re watching it from your phone but you can also feel comfortable and engaged right after they’ve shown you their listing.”

Email Marian McPherson

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