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TikTok Ban Explained (How to NOT Lose Your Real Estate Leads)

After a year-long investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, a bill that will effectively see TikTok banned in the U.S. has received support across political parties.

As a countermeasure, TikTok has tabled a plan called Project Texas to relocate all data belonging to American users to U.S. soil to meet privacy and security concerns.

As questions circulate about whether TikTok will be banned, a realistic scenario is that users based in the U.S. will lose access to the social network in 2024.

If so, realtors must be prepared to lose their TikTok audience and all the real estate leads they’ve been generating.

A TikTok with a female realtor with short blonde hair dressed in black.

Why Is the U.S. Banning TikTok?

The TikTok ban is a matter of national security. U.S. lawmakers are concerned that ByteDance, the company that owns and developed TikTok, could be forced to leak U.S. user data to the Chinese government. A more prevalent fear is that the Chinese government could use TikTok to spy on U.S. citizens or weaponize it to spread misinformation.

Other issues being used to support the TikTok ban include children’s safety, mental health and the platform’s addictiveness.

Montana already passed legislation regarding a TikTok ban. The law was slated to go into effect in early 2024. However, a judge temporarily imposed a block, citing a First Amendment violation.

This law would have stopped TikTok from being available within Montana and imposed a daily fine for app stores that carried TikTok within state lines of up to $10,000. A judgement will be made sometime this year.

A young woman in a visor poses for a selfie in a room lit by pink neon lights. Behind her are another young woman and two men dancing surrounded by smoke

What Does a TikTok Ban Mean for Real Estate Agents?

If a TikTok ban happens, real estate agents using the social network to brand their business and generate leads will lose access—and their audience—overnight.

If the ban happens, you need to focus on an exit strategy. The first step is to create a series of TikToks urging your audience to follow you on other platforms like X and Facebook. However, there’s no guarantee they’ll follow you.

This development would devastate any real estate agent who relies on TikTok to connect with leads. If this is you, you will need a new lead generation system to ensure your pipeline doesn’t dwindle.

Alternatives for Lead Generation for Real Estate Agents

If a TikTok ban forces you to suddenly lose the platform as a lead generator, Google Ads are your best bet to replace it.  

Google Ads are pay-per-click ads that let you buy the most valuable part of a Google search engine results page just above the organic search. You choose a budget, create text ads, select keywords and are charged only when a user clicks on your ad.



The Benefits of Google Ads for Real Estate Agents

  • Over 90% of online search traffic worldwide happens on Google. Millions of people use Google daily to find listings, agents and real estate information.
  • You can choose a budget. A higher budget will generate more real estate leads but you have control over how much you spend every month.
  • Your ads can appear based on search intent. For instance, if you set up your ads correctly, it can appear for someone searching for “houses for sale” or “top real estate agent” in your market. Your leads should be far more qualified than with other marketing tactics.
  • You can scale a campaign to increase the number of leads or pause it if you want to focus on converting some leads into clients.
  • Campaigns are trackable, so you can see what’s working and optimize where needed.
  • You need to be engaged and on top of your Google Ad campaigns but it requires less time and effort than creating video content for YouTube and TikTok.
  • You don’t need a lot of ramp-up time. You can launch a Google Ad campaign right away, so your real estate lead generation doesn’t miss a beat.

If you anticipate the U.S. banning TikTok, then start figuring out your Google Ads budget, keywords and if you will capture leads through your website, a landing page or an online form.

Also, spend some time improving your website. This will ensure it’s more conversion-ready for when leads start visiting and make it more visible to Google, which will rank it higher in its organic search and drive traffic. This is called SEO and read this article on generating real estate leads organically with Google to learn how it's done.


How Real Estate Agents Can Prepare for the U.S. Banning TikTok

In addition to learning about Google Ads and doing the preliminary work, you should wind down your TikTok presence.

Communicate to your audience that when the TikTok ban happens, you will be available to connect in other ways. Next, include the various methods, such as your website URL and links to your other social media accounts.

Don’t forget to thank your followers for their support.




Why does the U.S. Want to Ban TikTok?

Some U.S. lawmakers believe that TikTok is a threat to national security, is rife with privacy concerns, harmful to mental health and poses a danger to children.

Will the U.S. Ban TikTok?

As of now, a TikTok ban is possible but unconfirmed. The law might be passed later in 2024. If it doesn't pass, certain states could attempt to pass a state-specific bill as Montana did in 2023.

What Should I Do if TikTok is My Primary Real Estate Lead Generator?

Replace TikTok right away to not lose any real estate leads. The best and most efficient way is to invest in Google Ads. These ad campaigns can connect you with targeted leads, lets you set your budget and are scalable and trackable. There is no method as likely to produce more leads in a short time.