When New Yorker Dolly Meckler was visiting a friend’s swanky apartment, she was so impressed with it she decided to film and broadcast it to her followers on Snapchat. She was surprised to be inundated with direct messages asking who the real estate broker was and how they could rent similar properties.
So she and friend Michael Hoffman set about starting the Snaplistings account, where four real estate agents show followers inside apartments for sale or rent across the city. Those looking to rent can send agents messages arranging viewings or challenge them to find apartments to suit their budget, location and size needs.
“We both have friends who lost apartments in minutes just because their applications came in two minutes after somebody else’s,” Meckler told CNBC.com’s James Wright. “So the beauty of Snaplistings is that you can DM agents in real time saying ‘I want to come and see this place, where are you? I will come and meet you’.”
Part property porn, part sales tool, Snaplistings shows people cheaper rentals, as well as homes selling for upwards of $6 million.
“Most of the leads are coming from lower-priced rentals and apartment listings due to the younger Snapchat audience. With that said, we also are featuring listings upwards of $6 million+ which are proving great entertainment value for our real estate interested followers,” the founders told CNBC.com via email.
Unsurprisingly, it is the cheaper rental properties that are proving more popular. “We are creating a range of content, but have found that the affordable rentals perform best with our audience demographic because they can take immediate action on them,” they added.
But while the two are creating a stir in the city with the new Snapchat account, Meckler and Hoffman still have their day jobs in digital marketing for a TV network. However, they are hoping that Snaplistings has the potential to make money. “We are definitely thinking about the future of the brand and are excited to explore potential partnerships to help build on our mission,” they told CNBC.com via email.
Hoffman explains that Snapchat lets agents show their personalities to younger people, who might be intimidated by the typical suited-and-booted broker.
“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,” he told Wright.
“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.”
In one video, 26 year-old Corcoran Group broker Adam Eli is shown jumping off a kitchen unit as he attempts to demonstrate the high ceiling of an apartment as R. Kelly’s “I believe I can fly” plays in the background.