I didn’t sleep at all last night. My mind was going crazy. I was blowing up my my marketing team with texts and recording waves on Anchor (such a cool app, you have to check it out) about the new Snapchat geofilters. I think this is going to be a game-changer!

  • Snapchat's new custom geofilters represent a significant marketing opportunity for real estate agents and brokers -- they can add a branded geofilter for anyone to use.

I didn’t sleep at all last night. My mind was going crazy. I was blowing up my my marketing team with texts and recording waves on Anchor (such a cool app, you have to check it out) about the new Snapchat geofilters. I think this is going to be a game-changer!

In case you’ve been under a rock, Snapchat is the social media app that allows users to share a picture or video with their friends. However, unlike Facebook or Instagram, the photo or video is available for no more than 10 seconds before it disappears into the dark depths of the Internet, never to be seen again (or so we hope).

From a marketing standpoint, it’s brilliant. In a culture that has so much FOMO (fear of missing out), people can’t help but pay attention!

I know what you are thinking: “The sexting app!? I will NEVER use Snapchat!?”

Although Snapchat got a bad rap in its infancy, it is quickly gaining some serious footing in the social media world. More than 60 percent of 13-to-34-year-olds are using Snapchat. And I can understand why; it’s super fun! Honestly, it’s one of my favorite apps!

Earlier this week, Snapchat launched custom geofilters. Geofilters allow users to add specific art and labels to their snaps.

For example, if you’re Snapchatting at Disneyland, you can swipe right and add images related to the amusement park; if you’re passing through a particular ​neighborhood of New York City such as Brooklyn, you can add an overlay label to your picture based on that ​borough​.

With custom geofilters, now anyone (businesses, private events, advertisers, you!) can design and publish their own Snapchat filter for a small fee. When I say a small fee, I mean less than $10 for a 24-hour period, in an area of at least 20,000 square feet.

Geofilters are going to be fantastic tool for ​marketers and of course, I can’t help but think of all the ways ​the ​real estate industry​​ will be able to benefit from this new feature. I’ve been a fan of Snapchat for some time, but geofilters gives this app some serious credibility (especially for all the haters out there).

What’s better than simply telling you about geofilters? Showing you! I created three visual examples of real estate-related geofilters so you can see what they look like in action. Here are just a few of my ideas…go ahead, steal them!

1. Real-estate-specific events

Brokers can sponsor local associations events — or even larger events, like Inman Connect and the Realtors conference — with a branded Snapchat filter. Just like brokers put their name on name-tag lanyards or signage,​ brokers can​ ​create a​ ​filter​ ​with their branding and have it be available for use during the duration of the event.

Of course, the conference organizers or presenters would have to make mention of the filter, but once the word gets out, everyone will be snapping!


2. Community events

​Agents with established farms can capitalize on large community events (concert​s​ in the ​park​, beer festivals, farmers market, fun runs)​.

​Let me be clear: I don’t believe that this is a tool to get deals, instead, this is just a great way to get your name out into the community. Think about it! Users apply the filter​, snap their friends, and ​your name will be on it!


3. Housewarming parties​/luxury listings/developments/grand openings

​Any well-attended event that a Realtor is responsible for is the perfect opportunity for a geofilter. Let people know that if they use your filter, they will be entered in a chance to win a gift certificate to a local restaurant, hardware store or other retailer.  If you throw housewarming parties for your clients (which you should), this is a no-brainer.


I probably wouldn’t set up a geofilter at a typical open house. I would go for bigger events — but you could certainly try it. And if you do, let me know how it works!

How is this relevant​?​

​Realtors should ​care about​ ​this​ because​ ​​​​it’s an unique and untapped avenue for marketing, especially to millennials. Snapchat is by no means brand new, but you are getting on a piece of technology early. It’s already made its way into real estate (proven here, here and here).

As an early adopter, you are leading the way and setting the trend. When Snapchat becomes a household application (which it will), you will be considered the industry pro.

A special note for the haters

Remember when you said that you would never put your credit card on the Internet? Or post your breakfast to Instagram? I remember saying that I was never going to be on Facebook! At some point we gave in, and now we are seeing the benefits that social media has to offer.

In other words, don’t be a dinosaur.

If you are worried that Snapchat is only for millennials, make no mistake, Snapchat will grow beyond the millennial demographic. Check out these companies that are actively using Snapchat:

  • ESPN
  • National Geographic
  • Vice
  • Cosmo
  • Comedy Central
  • The Food Network
  • MTV
  • People
  • Yahoo News
  • The Daily Mail

Yes, some of them are millennial-related outfits, but  companies like CNN, the Food Network and National Geographic reach a much wider age demographic.

I’m not a Snapchat investor, but I think you are crazy to ignore this outlet. I challenge you to download the app and give it a whirl. You can’t mess this up.

And even if you do … your photo will disappear into the abyss of the deep dark Internet, never to be seen again!

What do you think? Tell me: What other ideas do you have for geofilters?

Tyler Smith is founder and CEO of SkySlope. You can follow him on Twitter or on his blog.

Email Tyler Smith.

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