Apr 13, 2024 - Real Estate

What going viral means for D.C.-area real estate

luxury kitchen with white cabinets

One of Daniel Heider's most viral listings (750K+ views) is of 635 Maryland Ave. NE, a Capitol Hill home with a historic facade, and ethereal contemporary interior. Photo: Studio Trejo, courtesy of Daniel Heider

Videos of sexy real estate listings have brought 3.7 million followers and 61 millions views to D.C. agent Daniel Heider's TikTok account.

Why it matters: "Screen appeal is the new curb appeal," Zillow senior economist Orphe Divounguy tells Axios.

What they're saying: "Real estate is definitely a popularity contest where the listings with the most amount of attention usually win," Daniel Heider, of HEIDER Real Estate, tells Axios.

  • One of Heider's earlier viral videos was of a Potomac listing on River Road. It drew so much attention that the broker's open blocked traffic. It sold shortly after for a whopping $7.4 million, a record at the time.

Follow the money: "Zillow Gone Wild" creator Samir Mezrahi parlayed his popularity into a new HGTV show that cashes in on viewers' nosiness about other people's homes.

  • "When I'm bored on my phone, I like to look at houses everywhere. And I think other people do that, but there wasn't a space for people to talk about that," Mezrahi said at a South by Southwest panel.
  • He posts what he calls "the most interesting homes across America," from castles to brightly colored mansions.

The big picture: Some real estate agents say punchy social media videos are helping them find new buyers, particularly first-timers.

  • TikTok saw a 40% increase in posts tagged #RealEstate during the first two months of 2024 compared with the same period in 2023, Bloomberg reports.

Between the lines: Generating leads is top of mind for many agents. Home sales fizzled last year, and a big settlement could curtail the commissions real estate professionals get paid.

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