James Pratt: When did you first start using social media as a form of business advertising and marketing?
Ari Kaklamaris: I started the milliondollarlistingsydney Instagram page in 2014, when I was 17.
JP: What platforms do you use and what do you do on them?
AK: The social media platform I prioritise is Instagram. It has such a simple user interface, and I think it is the best platform to communicate to an audience through images. I have a milliondollarlistingsydney Facebook account which I created to complement the Instagram page, but I definitely focus my attention on Instagram.
Each post requires significant preparation and thought. I receive hundreds of emails per day, but I’m always very selective about the properties and the content I post.
JP: Who is your targeted audience for the MDLS social posts?
AK: My target audience is very broad, as real estate is something that interests everyone. More specifically, milliondollarlistingsydney gives the general public and purchasers in the market a guide of real-time property prices. It’s also a useful platform for mortgage brokers and lenders to showcase their product and increase brand awareness. Furthermore, it allows agents to share their sales success and advertise current listings.
JP: Can you describe the benefits you've seen as a direct result of using social media compared to more traditional forms of advertising?
AK: I believe there are two main benefits of social media: reach and cost.
Social media enables content to transcend geographic boundaries in an instant. Its capacity to distribute information on a national and global scale with ease is unparalleled. In this sense, it enables marketers to reach wide social and geographical audiences – something that is difficult to achieve through traditional marketing mediums. For example, my page receives engagement from individuals and celebrities from all over the world, namely those on the Million Dollar Listing TV show in LA and New York. This is something that could not be realised through traditional platforms.
Another benefit is the cost-efficiency of social media advertising, especially compared to traditional marketing mediums. Paying for an influencer to post content or for sponsored Instagram advertisement[s] is typically cheaper, and even more effective in terms of reach, compared to TV or radio advertising.
JP: Why do you believe the pages have gained such a successful following?
AK: The success of the page is attributed to what I call the “Two C’s”: Controversial and Cool content.
It is important that these elements are included in my posts, because they often elicit a reaction from followers and also prompt people to engage more with my page.
I like to create controversy by posting a house in Bondi with one car space on 398sqm of land that sells for $7.5 million and following it up by posting a ‘Hollywood’ style mansion in Lilli Pilli with a five-car garage on 1486sqm of land that sells for $3.5 million. This contrast in posts really sparks a reaction, which I love. It gets people interacting with the page.
The cool aspect is very simple – posting a beautiful house with an amazing view. A place where people dream of living. This sort of content also elicits an emotional response, which further attracts people to the page.
To achieve the above two elements, I must be very selective about what I post.
JP: What advice would you give agents utilising social media for their businesses?
AK: Agents using social media must have a profile that is personal as well as professional. There must be a blend of these two elements. Followers want to see you as a person, your lifestyle and social activity. At the same time, they want an insight into your professional life. This content builds their personal brand, which is crucial in order to stay relevant and competitive in today’s market.
JP: What do you think is next in social media?
AK: With ever-increasing workloads and social commitments, buyers are finding it difficult to physically inspect properties. So I think the opportunity for real-rime real estate will rise. By this I mean the process of buying and selling will become live streamed on social media. For example, live-streamed inspections or open homes.
In terms of the evolution of social media in general, I believe it will develop into a more interactive experience, especially with the advent of virtual reality and AI technology. Additionally, social media advertising will continue to grow and eventually become a primary means of advertising for all individuals and enterprises.
About Ari Kaklamaris
Kaklamanis's online brand is leading the pack in online real estate marketing. His MDLS Instagram account has over 23k followers, including top ranked Australian real estate professionals, sporting stars such as Tim Cahill, and TV personalities including Karl Stefanovic, Sonia Kruger and USA’s Million Dollar Listing star, Tracy Tutor Maltas.