Is Real Estate TikTok the Secret to Finding an Apartment in This Market?

In March 2022, Ashley Kim, a virtual reality product designer, was living in Providence, Rhode Island while completing her joint master’s degree at Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. “I’m a big planner, so I was starting to put things in motion for my post-grad life, and moving to New York was always a goal of mine,” she recalls. Knowing how competitive real estate in the city can be, she began reaching out to friends who could offer tips and strategies for finding an apartment in one of the most hectic and fast-moving markets in the country.

Around the same time, Casey Han was going through a housing change of her own: Her best friend and roommate was planning to move from their Brooklyn apartment to San Francisco, and Casey needed someone to fill the room ASAP. Although she knew several mutual friends who might be interested in the space, she decided to list the apartment online—only instead of posting on StreetEasy,, or Facebook Marketplace, she made a TikTok video.

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Call it luck, fate, or just a really advanced algorithm, but the video soon found its way onto Ashley’s feed and the two creators connected. After a brief Instagram DM chat, they FaceTimed each other and soon decided to live together. “I think what enveloped me in a certain form of confidence was that we were the same age, shared South Korean roots, obviously enjoyed the art of cooking and holistic living, and liked to be creative in our content creation,” says Ashley. Casey shared similar sentiments, and both agree that living together was almost perfect.

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Although it may not seem like it, stories like this are not that uncommon. As Gen Z’s unofficial search engine of choice, TikTok has become a valuable tool for anything you’d once type into Google — including finding an apartment. The hashtags #nycrentals, #brooklynrentals, and #nycrealestate were viewed 42.5 million, 1.5 million, and 376.1 million times, respectively. Although a more general hashtag, #nycapartment has garnered 2.1 billion views worldwide. Similar hashtags can be found for other cities, as real estate agents, renters, and people like Casey and Ashley flock to the app as a one-stop resource for finding a place to live.

Like the app itself, 2020 changed the course of real-estate TikTok. “When the pandemic started, we weren’t sure what our responsibilities as agents were and what we were allowed to do,” explains Madison Sutton, a real estate agent at Serhant. Madison posts lifestyle and real estate videos on her TikTok page under the username @thenycagent to her audience of over 100,000 followers. During the height of the pandemic, sharing video tours of available units became one of the safest ways to conduct real estate transactions, according to Madison. “It’s been interesting to see how the industry has adapted; When I first started doing it, everyone thought it was kind of ridiculous.” Apparently not: Madison estimates she’s done about 150 rental deals in the past 18 months through TikTok alone, adding that she hasn’t posted those units on StreetEasy or other platforms. It’s not just a benefit to Madison; it’s also the 150 tenants who have found their home on the app.

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