Let me start by saying that Instagram is not for everyone. If social media marketing isn't exactly your favorite way to promote your real estate business—if you get more pleasure out of clipping your toe nails than you do live-streaming an open house or posting pretty listing photos—you should keep things simple and just stick to Facebook (the most widely-used social network after YouTube).
But if you love using technology to connect with people and already have an engaged following on Facebook, why not give the next most popular social network a try?
Instagram: The Basics
Here is a quick rundown of what you need to know about Instagram:
- Instagram is photo and video-sharing social network.
- Everything is done through the app on your phone (although there is a "lite" desktop-friendly website for viewing posts).
- Tons of editing options make it easy to create polished and professional-looking images and videos.
- It's an ideal platform for targeting a Millennial audience—60% of users are ages 18-34.
Now, if I still have your attention, let's get to the good part—the tactics! Read on to learn 5 ways you can use Instagram to grow your real estate business and strengthen your relationships.
1) Promote listings.
On Instagram, you can get really creative about how you promote your listings.
You can share an eye-catching photo of your listing—like @seatownrealestate does so well—or even a series of photos.
You might also try a video, like @thejaworskyteam's.
🎈COMING SOON in KEMPSVILLE LAKE!🎈 If you know anyone looking to buy in Kempsville Lake let them know. This listing goes live soon and they've been selling very quickly. 🔥757-575-6719🔥 #TheJaworskyTeam #remax #remaxalliancevb #757realestate #virginiabeachrealestate #kempsvillelake #comingsoon #newlistingalert #remaxhustle
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2) Post a virtual tour.
In addition to regular posts that show up in the feed, you can also create a Story—a collection of your videos and photos that has a shelf life of just 24 hours—that will appear at the top of a user's screen.
This is a cool way to do a virtual tour of a property—you can include a mix of short video clips, images, commentary, and captions. And because a Story doesn't live (publicly) online for all eternity, there's less pressure to make sure it's perfect. Your followers will be expecting something more off-the-cuff than a typical social media post.
HubSpot explains more about Instagram Stories in this video:
Another interesting way to do a virtual tour is to go live during an open house (and later, you can share a replay of your live video to your Story)!
3) Share glimpses into your personal life.
Don't just post about listings—allow your followers to learn more about you. Share photos of your life...your dog, your vacation, the sunrise at the end of your morning jog. Just remember to keep a healthy balance—even the most dashing #dogsofinstagram pics aren't gonna sell houses.
Anne Jones (@tacomajones) is an Instagram superstar. In her profile, she says she shares “glimpses of my work as a Realtor and mother of boys." It's perfect.
This year marks my 10th in real estate. I got licensed right before this guy’s second birthday, so he’s never known anything but the crazy grind of a workaholic mom. He’s been spending a lot of time with us at the office since we opened @windermereabode, but I think he likes it and feels some shared pride which of course makes me 😍 (he took home one of our stickers tonight which made me feel cool). I love him beyond words, and watching him grow into a young man is amazing, even if middle school is totally still the hell we all remember 😂😜😭🤓 #momlife #realtorlife #worklife #motherofboys #firstborn #deepthoughts
A post shared by Anne Jones (@tacomajones) on
4) Promote your brand
How have you differentiated yourself from other real estate agents in your area? However you've branded yourself, you can use Instagram to increase your brand awareness.
Ines Hegedus-Garcia is a REALTOR with Miamism, which specializes in architechturally significant properties in Miami. Her posts feature unique architecture throughout Miami, as well as lifestyle shots with hashtags like #miamilife.
Miami Beach Art Deco District never disappoints! #artdeco #sobe
A post shared by Ines Hegedus-Garcia (@miamism) on
That “warm and fuzzy” you get, when boating season is almost here #miamisaltlife
A post shared by Ines Hegedus-Garcia (@miamism) on
5) Provide useful [visual] information
A great way to attract followers on social media is to provide valuable information—something educational or useful. But on Instagram, you can't exactly post a link to an article—no one is here to read, and besides, URLs aren't clickable within an Instagram post.
What you can do is share visual information. Design inspiration is a popular topic on Instagram, and a great one for attracting potential future clients. Check out searches like #interiordesign, #homedecor, #farmhousedecor, and #dreamkitchen to see what types of photos people find most interesting. For this type of post, you could even repost other people's compelling content.
Live Urban Real Estate (@liveurbandenver) shares tons of droolworthy #homeinspiration posts.
Blue and yellow - a classic combination. #Denverhomesforsale #Denverhome #Denverlife #coloradolife #realestate #denverrealestate #coloradorealestate #houses #propertiesforsale #homesweethome #homes #properties #homeinspiration #livingroom #interior #interiordesign #livingroomdecor #remodeledhome #homeremodel #homedesign #beautifulhome #charminghome #charminghomes #dreamhome #livingroomstyle #livingroomideas #livingroomgoals
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Another great way to provide value on Instagram is with a video—share a few tips or a quick market update. Taariq Sheares (@taariq_sheares) is a natural on camera:
Real Estate with Taariq We are in a “sellers market.” Here are a few factors that help to determine that. 11.1% increase in average sales price. Absorption rate of 3.6%. More details in the video. #RealEstateWithTaariq #SellersMarket #RealEstateTips #RealtorLife #Duval #Jacksonville #Florida
A post shared by Taariq Sheares (@taariq_sheares) on
If you were on the fence about using Instagram for your real estate business, I hope this post clarified some things for you! It can be a great addition to your digital marketing efforts, and by linking it with your Facebook and Twitter accounts (so that your Instagram posts also appear on those sites), you can easily extend your reach to a larger audience.
Feel free to share your Instagram username below and let us know how it has been valuable for growing your real estate business! And you can follow us at @realvolve.
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