For a short period of time, in the midst of the pandemic, Clubhouse was the talk of the town.
The app sparked hundreds of thousands of real-time conversations with people around the world, all while we stayed inside due to pandemic-related restrictions.
But as summer 2021 approached, the hype around Clubhouse started to dwindle.
Earlier this year, the app made headlines for things like hitting 8 million global downloads. But today, it’s not even one of the top 10 apps in the social media section of Apple’s App Store.
The reality is, with life back to some-what normal, people aren’t showing an interest in the app like they once did.
But is Clubhouse still a good marketing tool for real estate professionals? Inman asked agents around the country and beyond if they’re still using the social network to market their brands and find business opportunities. The answers were mixed.
For some, the app is old news
“Clubhouse was yesterday’s daily special, and last week’s app of the week. No, I no longer use Clubhouse and I no longer hear about it,” Michael Shapot, a New York-based Realtor with Keller Williams, wrote to Inman.
And while Shapot felt the app had its moment in the spotlight, Andrew Ragusa, a broker and the CEO of REMI Realty in New York, never took it seriously.
“Personally I did not find Clubhouse appealing because every time I was joining a discussion it was everyone talking about how great they are and all the great things they can do. It was essentially one big gloating session for everyone who has a chance to speak. No one focused on giving value, no one focused on sharing wisdom, it was one big pony show in every room I joined,” he said over email.
With the country open again, some real estate professionals feel that time spent on Clubhouse is time lost out in the field.
“Coming from a business perspective, I did not find Clubhouse to be useful nor productive (probably one of the few). There are tons of Realtors on it and just as many rooms to be in hours upon hours of the day which inevitably sacrifices the agent’s productivity. Yes, I believe it is important to network and build a relationship with other agents but it should not take your major focus away from your business of selling homes,” Waylon Chavez, a real estate coach in New Mexico, told Inman.
In Chavez’s email, he suggests agents shift their focus to platforms like Facebook because it has more users than Clubhouse.
“According to influencer marketing hub, only about 2 million users per week are on Clubhouse. So if we are looking at an audience point of view we need to be where the potential buyers and sellers are which is Facebook. Facebook, according to Statista has 1.9 billion daily users which benefits Realtors much more as they can connect with people in their local markets, people relocating, and other agents,” he explained.
On the other hand, some still find the app useful
Not every agent is over Clubhouse.
Jason Simrad, a Realtor and the owner of Sims Real Estate Group in Canada, told Inman over email that while agents aren’t going to find themselves securing buyers and sellers on the app, it is a great way to build a referral network.
“You see, Clubhouse is more of a B2B social network, really cool with a distinction from Instagram, Facebook or other social media with more professionalism. The unavailability to reach out to your client has made the app in the disinterest of recent time as for what you are doing is just putting some more of your time and effort outside business, at least to me,” he wrote. “But using it is a great advantage with a good value and yes, I still use it now to be referred by business professionals growing my referral network and learning new ideas to implement. In short, this platform is not for direct customer accretion media for you but will help you marvelously to grow your real estate business.”
“As a frequent Clubhouse participant, it thrust me into a new opportunity to ‘meet’ local and global real estate agents to talk about real estate practices, develop ideas, and deepen these friendships. I’ve met successful people and social influencers that I unlikely would have ever met unless I was attending real estate conventions, which was not possible due to COVID-19,” she wrote.
While Ryan explained that she uses other social media platforms, Clubhouse’s ability to let her talk in real time is what keeps her going back.
“Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram are other social platforms I use to reach my clients but I like the intimacy of ‘talking’ and ‘moderating’ on CH. I have definitely given and received real estate referrals through the app. I believe CH will continue to innovate. An example of this is the official TED clubhouse rooms which will host TED Talks exclusive to CH users,” she explained.
In addition to joining talks, agents also have the ability to host them.
Sabrina Bier, a realtor and director of digital media + education for Proper Title LLC, told Inman that every Tuesday she hosts a room from 8 a.m. CT to 10 a.m. CT. The room is called “How real estate professionals are using Clubhouse.”
The amount of attendees varies, but Bier said the room averages about 85 to 100 people a day.
“Attendance has gone down over past few weeks, but we think it is because of summer vacations, increases in in-person events (including the one our group did in Chicago) and kids going back to school. We think it will go back up this Fall,” Bier wrote. “There are still a lot of deals and collaboration happening on the app weekly. I have seen many agents forming relationships for investment opportunities.”
Bier told Inman that she’s heard about a ton of referrals that have happened because of relationships made through the app.
“I have also seen a lot of out-of-state referrals, which is a great way to make money as a licensed agent. For example, if I meet someone looking to move to Atlanta, I can refer that buyer to an agent in Atlanta that I met on Clubhouse and receive a referral fee. And vice versa: an agent that knows of someone moving to Chicago can refer that buyer to me.”
Thanks to Clubhouse, Bier even ended up going in on a fix-and-flip investment with another Realtor she met during a discussion.
“Clubhouse is still alive and well in the real estate world,” she explained. “It’s an app to be on if you are in the real estate world and it’s a great way to market your brand, learn about other markets, and gather a ton of information.”