Getting Ready

Should you ask your broker to Instagram your for-sale apartment?

By Beth Stebner  | July 21, 2015 - 2:30PM

In the not-too-distant past, the only way you could find a new home in New York City was by checking newspaper classifieds or schlepping to your local real estate brokerage office.

But the times have, you know, a-changed, meaning the continued evolution of the online listing and promoting properties through Twitter and Instagram.

Social media and technology can be tricky fields to navigate (just ask Anthony Weiner), but they can also be hugely useful in listing and finding an apartment in New York.

But is posting on Twitter (and, in general, other social media platforms) the best way to make a sale (or rental)?  “It depends on the delivery,” Lindsay Listanski, senior manager of media engagement for Coldwell Banker, says.

Translation? It's all about how you do it. “We’re moving away from posting the financials and steering more towards pitching emotional appeals and how people want to make a house their home," says Listanski.

A pic of an inviting back yard likely gets a summer buyer salivating.

Agents simply posting automated listings without any sort of emotional draw (or photos!) are doing it wrong, Listanski says. “Twitter is a great place to disseminate listings, but the creative aspect is what’s going to move properties.”

In short, if you post it, they will come, but what you post better be worth it. Paul Zweben of Douglas Elliman, who tweets and Instagrams at @hungrydomaine, says he tries to go beyond just listing the price and posting a picture when he tweets.

Instead, he posts info about open houses, and points out the best features of an apartment. If a listing has a particularly beautiful kitchen, for instance, he'll talk about that. He explains that it's best not to over-exaggerate to the point of ridiculousness or hyperbolic tropes. "It's important to be straightforward."

Elliman agent Paul Zweben alerts followers about an open house.

So should you ask your broker to start Instagramming and Tweeting if they aren't already? (And is Snapchat next? Ten seconds to see your next apartment, stat!) Why not? "Yeah, they need to be in this century," says Zweben. "This is what people are looking at. It is important."

And the price still has to be right. “Every market is different and technology can only take you so far,” says Listanski. Adds Zweben: "If it's overpriced, it's going to sit there."


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