Snapchat likes a emerging star of social media these days, especially it went public on the stock market a few weeks ago and performed quite well. Recently, Snapchat had a new move. It launched a new service called SnapListings, which post new houses and apartments for rent. It shows as an account, and Snapchat users can add it as a friend.
Currently, SnapListings is run by four licensed real estate brokers and a random guest broker. The brokers post video “stories” concentrating on new apartments and houses on the market. The advantages are obvious for people who are hunting for a living place: they don’t have to search for a qualified broker; also, they don’t have to spend extra time on visiting different places; and they can direct message agents about certain parameters of the listings through the account. Now, all the preliminary work can be done without stepping out of home. Tenants only need to sign the leases in person.
This is so good since it saves a lot of time for people. When I looked for a new apartment in New York last summer, I was so exhausted and despaired. Because I was doing a internship at that time, I didn’t have much leisure time hunting for a new place. In order to find a well-pleasing apartment, I emailed with different brokers back and forth to get the newest listings. When there were several nice apartments coming out, I had to asked my boss for one day off to see the places in person. So when I finally signed the lease of the apartment I’m living now, I really took a deep relief. God knows it was so hard to scramble for a satisfying apartment in New York!
Another point I appreciate of SnapListings is that they consider Snapchat’s user base and the listings they post meet the dominant users’ life requirements and economic capabilities. According to one report, 70 percent of Snapchat’s users are between 18 and 24 years old. At first, I concerned if Snapchat’s users can afford renting an apartment or buying a house, after all they are too young. Fortunately, the account smartly focus on low-priced listings and spotlights assorted entertainment utilities to attract its users.
Currently, SnapListings bases it main market in New York, as well as has developed featured agents in Baltimore, Washington, New Orleans and Los Angeles. As far as I know, the rental of a very common studio in Manhattan is at least $2,000 a month, which is not a small number of money for a young student; and if rent a two-bedroom apartment, the rental goes up to $3500 a month, but it’s cheaper for each person if two people live together. In the same way, if more people share one apartment, the rental of each person needs to afford will be less. Therefore, I have a suggestion for SnapListings: if landlords allow, brokers can divide big apartments/houses which have more than 3 bedrooms into small parts, and rent individual rooms to different people separately.
So far, SnapListings adopts the way of cooperating with featured real estate agents. However, other agents also want to take advantage of this chance to expend their business. Actually, they don’t have to join the SnapListings team. They can have their own accounts on Snapchat and post “stories” of listings like SnapListing does. Thus, SnapListings needs to think about cultivating its exclusive advantages that others are not easy to copy. Otherwise, tens of thousands of its competitors will learn from it and adopt the same way in a very short time.
All in all, I’m still very optimistic about SnapListings’ future. I wish I can have a try when I need to rent a new apartment next time!