Some think an influencer’s wide reach may be a disadvantage. Widecasting about a house for sale “will be seen by a lot of people who can’t afford or don’t want to live in that neighborhood,” said Gil Eyal, the C.E.O. of Hypr, a company that does social media influencer analytics.
Lately, he has been getting more inquiries from developers asking how they can harness the various platforms to brand and sell real estate. “I still don’t know if it’s going to get an enormously positive return on investment,” he said.
Microcelebrities with small but highly localized followings — a popular neighborhood chef, for example — may be more effective at selling homes than influencers with wider followings.
Mr. Kelman said Redfin’s research has shown the best tactic is using data analysis to track potential buyer searches online. “What works is making sure everybody who is a serious buyer knows about the open house, and using much more targeted marketing techniques,” he said. (Other agencies and developers do this as well, using targeted Facebook or Instagram ads.)
Social media, however, could be a good way for real estate agents to stand out from one another in a competitive market and turn themselves into influencers. Andrew Jevin, a Santa Monica-based real estate agent who attended the #EnchantedWoodsLA party, uses Snapchat and Instagram stories to show off new listings and open houses to his 8,000 followers and said that it has helped him connect with new clients.
“I think social media has been untapped,” said Mr. Jevin, whose Snapchat handle is @thesnappingrealtor. “You’re going out cold-calling people and knocking on doors, why aren’t you on Instagram?”
Another real estate agent, Brittney Hinds, agreed. “Our clients are on Instagram showcasing their lifestyle so you have to meet them where they’re at,” she said. (Her posts from the evening included a shot of her sipping champagne in the pillow-fight room with the caption “the after party is at your house if you live at #EnchantedWoods LA … contact me for details.”)
The low barrier to entry for social media campaigns can help agents and developers build buzz basically for free. Justin Barth, a Los Angeles-based developer, hired five local artists to create a selfie-friendly mural that included an Instagram handle for a new building for Vica, a new 31-condo development in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, scheduled to be completed in 2019.
The building is next to the frequently Instagrammed Micheltorena Staircase. “It’s a subtle way to promote the project that’s not so in your face,” Mr. Barth said.
George Jordan and Agustin Rodriguez, of ANR Signature Collection, the sellers of the $15.895 million Los Angeles property, declined to say what they spent on the social media open house but said the cost was offset by several sponsors, including the weed purveyor (Bloom) and Vesta, the staging company that furnished the home.
The listing agent also paid a portion. “I wasn’t sure about the pillow fight at first, but it’s amazing,” said Mr. Rodriguez, standing near the home’s infinity pool as the party picked up momentum behind him. “It’s different, it’s young, it’s fun.”
Ms. Woodruff, the professional influencer who attended, said she has been making a full-time living off Instagram posts for about six months but that she hadn’t been paid to attend the open house. She was there with other influencers that the developer had invited and thought the intrigue of the evening would be worth it. Her parents, Diana and Brian Woodruff, happened to be in town so they tagged along, dutifully snapping and saving photos to her iPhone that she would later post in her Instagram stories.
Toward the end of the evening she made her way up to the roof deck dance floor but had lost track of her parents. They emerged from around a corner near the master suite. “We’re very impressed with the laundry room,” Diana Woodruff shouted to her daughter. “There are two washers! Two dryers!”
“Mom! Jeez, come on!” Ayla Woodruff said, corralling them upstairs to take more photos.