The rise of the landlord influencer

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When the pandemic swept the world, it was hard to find any benefits. One small compensation was gloat witnessed the demise of many unsympathetic, ignorant homeowners. On Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and InstagramYou may have watched full-time landlords, Airbnb hosts, and corporate property owners panic over their falling passive income as the demand for short-term rentals all but disappeared. You may have watched property owners – some of whom received all of their rental income – lose court for attempting to evict tenants on multiple occasions while the tight isolation restrictions were still in place, and then inexplicably write about the unfairness of it on the Internet.

But the damage that homeowners suffered – often in favor of low-income tenants – was short-lived. The rental market leveled off as the world reopened and the housing market was catching up. Housing prices in the UK grew by almost 11% in the year to August 2021which, in turn, drove rental prices up and more than offset any blows to the market in 2020.

Now with the pandemic has made home ownership even less affordable than it used to beLand tenure is not only a major source of income, but also a new vertical of content for online platforms. This is most noticeable in #PropertyTok: A hashtag on TikTok mainly dedicated to explaining how easy it is for homeowners to lower prices for their tenants. The posts cover everything from investment advice – “how I bought my first townhouse in a 19-story building” – to instructions on how to turn abandoned buildings into luxury apartments. Most video In it, homeowners discuss how much they bought the house for, the cost of renovations (if any), and the high rents they now charge tenants compared to a monthly mortgage loan – sometimes increase in monthly rent for real estate by 400%… Some tenant consulting organizations have tried to make a name for themselves in this space, but their videos far outnumber those of property owners.

While one-off real estate investing videos may work well with this hashtag, this trend is mostly dominated by landlord influencers. Accounts, for example from Samuel Leeds, James Real Estate, and CO Estates have tens of thousands of followers and millions of views on TikTok and Instagram.

These influencers tend to be young – usually in their 20s and 30s – and reach out to other young people through memes and explanatory videos. They post guided tours of abandoned, sometimes abandoned houses full of dampness and mildew, and show “before and after” clips of cheap renovations by converting living rooms into bedrooms or breaking small houses into duplexes so they can charge more for rent.

These influencers not only extol the virtues of overpricing homes and insist that their audiences can get rich, too, but also to attract clients or “wards” who pay them for more personalized advice. Some have “clubs” where their clients can communicate with each other.

Why has the maintenance of homeowners increased so much? Apart from the pandemic boom in rental real estate, there are a number of reasons. Undoubtedly Take off TikTok as early 2020 is a pivotal moment, offering a new way to reach audiences with an algorithm more generous than Instagram, which is comparatively tough. However, on both TikTok and Instagram, homeowner bragging offers a hybrid of inspirational and informative content – a particularly popular mix after the rise in popularity of infographics and video explanations last year.

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But landlord content that instructs others to do home renovations and invest in real estate has a particular appeal. As with personal accounts of influencers in home renovationsthese users encourage jealousy-driven escapism, especially among young, low-paid viewers. For those without assets and trying to find stable jobs in the midst of a recession, the appeal of a fantasy in which they have the disposable income, time and energy to eviscerate and renovate an abandoned building, while paying for their own home, is obvious.

These viewers are the culmination of the #PropertyTok joke. Not only are they currently losing out in this economy and are probably paying rent, but by viewing such content, they are inadvertently helping those people, exacerbating their problems.

It’s hard to ignore the rise in social media rentals along with boom of wealthy young people quitting their jobs after burnout and growing Financially independent early retirement (layoff) movementwhere people in well-paid jobs work tirelessly in their youth to retire before they reach their 40s. Proponents of such trends say that their lifestyle choices are available to everyone, when in fact, like real estate investments, they are a way for the already rich to become richer or happier, often at the expense of those who are unlucky.

Since the Covid-19 infection, social media has allowed landlords to position themselves as victims and saviors. While many of them were ridiculed for their hollow cries after losing money early on, homeowners on #PropertyTok now often present themselves as “helpful advocates.” Here they sit on their huge piles of money, benevolently giving free advice to ordinary people and showing that if you worked harder and smarter, you could be in the same position.

With soaring house prices – and the unforgiving nature of TikTok’s algorithm – homeowners will only continue to gain traction on the internet as these videos prove just how profitable it can be. This style of content will inevitably make powerful homeowners even richer as they create new sources of income by selling this often useless piece of advice. And distressed viewers will keep watching, hoping that one day this road to riches will open up for them too.



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