How agents can participate in the real estate as entertainment trend

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A trend has emerged in luxury real estate: Long before potential buyers buy properties, they’re consuming cutting-edge home and lifestyle content as entertainment — and top agents are taking notice.

Shelton Wilder

“Social media is my social proof,” says Shelton Wilder, real estate associate at Sotheby’s International Realty – Brentwood Brokerage. “The driving force behind my business is referrals, and it’s imperative that I show an online presence as a real estate professional.”

Roh Habibi, Global Real Estate Portfolio Manager at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, has also stayed ahead of this trend as it evolves. “I adopted social media as a business strategy in 2012 after watching Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and Million Dollar Listing New York. I quickly realized that real estate agents are the new rock stars and that this will definitely be a central pillar of my “content in commerce” strategy.

As Habibi says, the reasoning is simple: “As agents, our main goal is to be known by as many people as possible on the face of the planet. If they don’t know me, they’ll never do business with me.”

So how can agents raise their game when it comes to real estate as entertainment? Here are six insights.

1. Create and curate the right content for your audience

Hayden Moran-Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

Roh Habibi

Habibi recommends starting by strategically focusing on the demands and wants of the audience segments you aspire to work with. By sharing luxury and real estate content—top travel destinations, haute cuisine, and tips for negotiating high-stakes luxury deals—he shows an appreciation and understanding of his clients’ lifestyles. “Being authentic is the most important thing,” he says.

But once you establish your brand, it’s essential to flesh it out in interesting and inspiring ways. “I’m a very creative person, so I always like to engage with current trends but add my own personal twist on them,” says Wilder. “I’ve shot what I call a ‘Wilder Wednesday’ video every week of 2017. Whether I’m offering designer advice from a kitchen and bath store or eating chocolate crickets for a silly reel, it’s important that my followers -see my personality time. and again.”

2. Instagram keeps delivering

Shelton Wilder-Sotheby’s International Realty-Brentwood Brokerage

For many audiences, Instagram remains the ultimate entertainment — and for agents like Wilder and Habibi, it remains a way to connect with like-minded people and businesses. “A young successful YouTuber found me on Instagram and within weeks bought a house with me,” says Wilder. “I had a previous client’s daughter contact me after seeing my social media posts and hired me to prepare and advertise her home. I’ve even helped sell other agents’ homes in LA by posting them on my feed and watching clients rush in with offers as soon as they hit the market.”

It speaks volumes about the value of maintaining a presence on this platform. “I just closed a $5.5 million deal directly from Instagram, and then the seller messaged me about a $12 million house he owns and plans to sell next year,” says Habibi . “I asked him how he found me and what inspired him to contact me rather than the other 6,000 agents in the city. He said he felt he already knew me and based on my experience based on my previous posts.”

3. The short form holds huge promise

Antonia Bagoje-Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

If you think TikTok is for kids, think again. Short-form video is taking the world by storm, and while TikTok might be the most prominent example—many real estate professionals are adopting the platform—it’s competing with other social networks like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.

Habibi and Wilder both have their eyes on YouTube Shorts, in particular, as it allows agents to post likeable and shareable TikTok-style videos, while also connecting viewers to the channels’ substantial, long-form content their personal

4. Podcasts uplift and entertain

Shelton Wilder-Sotheby’s International Realty-Brentwood Brokerage

Everyone has a favorite podcast these days. If agents have the time and resources to produce one or be a guest on an established podcast, it could be a great way to get in front of new audiences and showcase your expertise in the market.

5. Always welcome the wow factor

Luxury properties are exceptional, so the best real estate entertainment showcases them in the most spectacular ways. Invest in high-quality video and production values, with things like drone tours to take viewers’ breath away.

6. Look for influence(s) to inspire

Hayden Moran-Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

Learn from the leaders. Take a look at other professionals in real estate and related industries who are producing truly top-notch social content and borrow from their playbook. “I really like the time and effort Ryan Serhant puts into his media division – it’s well produced and executed,” says Habibi.

“Kelly Wearstler is an inspiring designer here in LA who has worked on several luxury residential homes,” adds Wilder. “I also think it’s important to follow all my friends and clients on social media. Having the chance to see what goes on in their work and daily lives keeps me motivated and never fails to make me smile.”

But never forget that you are, always will be, your greatest asset. “Be authentic, talk about what you know, and have a lot of fun with it,” says Habibi. “Help people understand that the life they want can be theirs and that anything is possible.”

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