SANTA MONICA, Calif. — It’s 11 a.m. and Darren Kriz is getting ready to shoot one of his popular real estate TikTok videos, giving his followers a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous.
A budding real estate agent, Kriz began TikToking as a way to promote his listings. But then, one of his videos went viral. A year later, he’s got half a million followers who can’t seem to get enough of his videos.
“I knew that LA is a super competitive real estate market, and especially being young with not too many years under my belt, you’re going to have to differentiate yourself in some specific way,” Kriz said.
On this particular morning, Kriz has been invited to film an inside tour of a luxury mansion in Santa Monica that’s recently gone through a major makeover specifically aimed to appeal to TikTok creators.
“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” Kriz said. “They get free marketing for their house. I get to shoot a reality nice house, which is great exposure for myself.”
As the economy starts to rebound, real estate agents are turning to TikTok to sell their listings — and they’re going all in.
The Santa Monica mansion valued at $5.3 million is a TikToker’s dream, with a two-floor pool slide and its own recording studio. It’s even been dubbed “Hype House West” after the original Hype House in the Hollywood Hills, where top influencers work and live together as they film content for their millions of followers.
Unlike other TikTok houses, influencers won’t be living at Hype House West. But like Kriz, they can apply to use it for two hours as a free backdrop for their videos. All they have to do in return is hashtag the real estate owner and the property.
“In this day and age you definitely have to adopt to the times and I think social media marketing is everything,” Kriz said.
Nourmand & Associates real estate agent Rochelle Maize explained that making the house TikTok-friendly was her way to get influencers to promote it.
“I thought, ‘You know what? This is the perfect outlet for me to try this. It’s going to get more exposure,’” she said. “TikTok is going to be more of a thing for real estate agents, and I wanted to try and be in the beginning part of that.”
Maize's plan seems to be working. The hashtag #HypeHouseWest has already clocked 400,000 views and counting. Her creative approach also garnered a ton of press in major publications.
“It only takes one person to buy a house and you never know who that’s going to be,” Maize said.
For Kriz, it’s a way to create more content, while at the same time growing his own brand.
“Eventually, I’ll get millions of followers on TikTok, millions of subscribers on YouTube, and we’re just going to keep the ball rolling,” Kriz said.
All that’s left now is to upload his real estate TikTok video and watch his views go through the roof.