Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, recently floated on the US market with a valuation in excess of $20 billion. Despite the fact the company has never made a profit it has the potential to monetise a customer base which boasts more than 150 million active daily users. While the company continues to work on new income streams a number of innovative real estate agents are now using Snapchat to promote properties for sale and rent. Step forward SnapListings!
SnapListings is a relatively new service which utilises Snapchat’s 10 second video capabilities to the max. At this moment in time the service is free and while based in New York it also takes in property markets covering Baltimore, Washington, New Orleans, Los Angeles with Chicago to follow very soon. The service was created by Dolly Meckler and Michael Hoffman and features four licensed real estate brokers from Monday to Thursday with a guest broker on Friday. The idea is to keep the service “fresh” by bringing in different opinions, different properties and different styles.
Creating a story
While the maximum 10 second video capabilities of Snapchat might be seen as a drawback by some people, they have been fully utilised by this innovative service. A number of 10 second videos of a particular property highlight different areas and are presented in a sequence which allows users to see the full story. For those who have not yet used Snapchat, this is simply a picture/video app on your smartphone which allows you to record a 10 second video and share with other users. So, you can imagine the simplicity of holding your mobile phone while you walk around a property. Ingenious!
Targeting the 18 to 24-year-olds
SnapListings is reportedly already reaching 35% of Americans and the fact that 70% of Snapchat’s user base is between 18 and 24 years of age means the service can focus suitable properties on this age range. At this moment in time the service is focusing upon low-priced listings although this can be adapted to take into account luxury listings in due course. When you bear in mind the simplicity and the speed at which SnapListings can reach an audience, which already has an appetite for property, this seems like a masterstroke.
At this moment in time the founders of SnapListings are reluctant to release sales figures although they have confirmed that each real estate agent featured on the service has sold at least one property. It is also interesting to learn that the founders are not necessarily focusing on monetising this service as soon as possible but more on widening its exposure. This will in due course lead to new advertising opportunities and exciting income streams.
The Internet has impacted many areas of everyday life but the real estate sector has been impacted more than most. The use of Snapchat to launch services such as SnapListings, is innovative and forwardthinking and could go viral simply because it is so flexible and accessible. The real estate sector we know today is very different to that of a decade ago when the Internet was still in its relative infancy as far as the business community was concerned. How things have changed so quickly……