The Ultimate Instagram Guide For Real Estate Agents 2.0 Instagram Facebook Linkedin
Everybody is on Instagram. Travel bloggers, fitness coaches, avocado toast enthusiasts — even that German Shepherd you just passed on the street (and yes, that dog probably has 10,000 more followers than you.) With 800 million active monthly users on Instagram, it’s one of the top social media platforms, and you can’t afford to miss out on what it can do for your real estate business.
Last year, we posted this guide to show you why Instagram is a must have for your business. In the spirit of spring cleaning, we are revamping and renewing it for 2019! Check it out.
How to Build Your Real Estate Business on Instagram
Last year, we talked about changes to Facebook’s algorithm that made it harder for business to reach potential customers. Instead of a chronological order, posts began to be loaded in a way the algorithm thought you’d want to see them.
Instagram has done the same thing – kind of. The algorithm has changed to prioritize posts based on what users interact with the most. So if you are constantly liking or commenting on pictures of your cute baby niece, those pictures will show up first. This means that engagement is king, and beating the algorithm means getting your followers to engage with your content on a regular basis.
So let’s get into it – let’s talk Instagram 2k19 and brush up on those skills for an interface that is constantly updating and changing.
Reasons to Use Instagram for Real Estate
Engagement is still higher on Instagram than on other social media platforms, especially for brands and companies. 80% of Instagram’s users follow a brand on Instagram – so it’s more important than ever to make sure you are standing out from the 25 million other brands on the platform.
This still rings true, even with all of the new features introduced over the past year – Instagram boasts a clean, easy to navigate layout, unlike Facebook’s feed filled with multiple columns, sections, and ads that fight for attention.
A relatively clutter-free interface means your content is more likely to occupy prime ‘real estate’ — so use that to your advantage! With visually-driven customers flocking to this platform, Instagram provides the perfect canvas for real estate sales.
Instagram as a Branding Tool
As a real estate professional, you’re armed with a camera at all times and are constantly snapping photos — which means you’re already halfway to building a picturesque feed.
However, the game has changed. Instagram isn’t just about sharing photos anymore. It’s about sharing multiple photos in one post, creating an IGTV channel, engaging your followers with raw, intimate content on your stories. As the attention span of generations lowers, the more short snippet content gains popularity – use that to your advantage!
How to Grow Your Real Estate Presence on Instagram
Instagram success in the past was all about creativity and strategy. Well-used hashtags, perfectly timed posts, and beautifully edited photos were the most important parts of a branding strategy. This is all still important, but as the platform changes for a new age, experimentation is key. Infuse all of your content with humor and personality, but try new things! You don’t know what works until you do.
As always, agents can generate leads, sales, and referrals from Instagram through building trust, rapport, and establishing their brand and knowledge base through their content.
Let’s break down the basics of what you need to know to start growing your following:
1. Open an account or rebrand an existing account
If your Instagram has a bunch of followers, try a revamp! If not, consider creating a new profile exclusive to your business. Check out our article on revamping for more tips – make sure your profile has that instant “curb appeal” you want all your listings to have.
2. Research competition and get inspiration
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Don’t be afraid to see what other successful realtors are posting and how they engage with their followers. Did someone post a giveaway or partnership that inspires you? Run with that, and see what kind of brainstorming session that creates!
3. Create an interesting Bio
Infuse your bio with personality, but still keep it relevant to business. Have a short description of your specialty (luxury real estate, single family homes, high-rise downtown condos, etc.) and the area or neighborhood you service. Keep it short, punchy, and relatable, and don’t forget a link to your website, blog, or listings page.
4. Select a professional but casual profile picture
It might sound obvious, but make sure you have one! This can be a picture of you or your business logo, but it should be clear, simple, and professional.
5. Learn how to utilize the tools both inside and outside of the app
There are so many helpful tools for Instagram, it would be impossible to list them all. Here are some of our favorites – check out this article for more details! *Articles coming soon for each of these!
- On Instagram:
- Instagram Stories and Highlights
- Instagram Analytics
- Instagram Video
- Instagram Live
- Outside Instagram:
- Scheduling & Publishing: Hootsuite, Buffer
- Photo & Video Editing: Boomerang (a separate app), Snapseed, VSCO
- Marketing: Later, Combin
- Insights and Metrics: SocialBakers
6. Generate your content strategy
The fact remains unchanged: Content is king, and Instagram’s got a royal court of content you can create for your followers — Boomerangs, GIFs, live stories, images, video, IGTV, multiple image sets, and more.
Even with all the different types of content you can post on the app, it’s about quality over quantity. Experiment, but post relevant content that includes a mix of real estate and related content, as well as personal posts that make you human. Remember, Instagram is ultimately a social network: potential followers aren’t interested in following an account without personality. Here are some examples of types of content you could post:
- Feature happy buyers as client testimonials. Get creative about your testimonials, too. Just closed a sale? That’s a perfect time to post a looping Boomerang video of you popping champagne with your client in their new open-concept kitchen!
- Capture the lifestyle of the local community. Show art fairs, festivals and other family activities happening around the neighborhood to get potential clients thinking about where they want to settle down.
- Geotag neighborhood locations. Tag cool local spots like farmers’ markets, hip coffee shops, or other interesting locations in the area. This is a great way to show your followers that you are their local expert and increase your profile SEO and increase engagement.
- Show the best in the neighborhood. Showcase businesses you know and trust: the best schools, supermarkets, parks, gyms and entertainment venues. Visually show the intangible value of the area and the fact that you know the area better than anyone else.
- Vary your content with videos of different lengths. From Stories, to videos on your feed, to Instagram Live and IGTV, use the different types of video for different things.
- Use Instagram Stories for imperfect content. Chat with your followers as you zip from one listing to the next. Highlight a cool property feature. Share moments from your day. Instagram stories don’t have to be perfect — they exist for you to develop intimacy with your followers and keep them engaged.
- Behind the scenes content. For example, share your experiences while preparing one of your listings before it goes live. Build anticipation and suspense to keep your clients interested. Remember, you’re telling a story with all of your content.
- Balance your content. If you are posting videos in your page, be selective and mix them with a variety of high quality images. This matters also when it comes to a mix of personal posts and business posts, because people want to know the person they are working with.
- Market your open house the right way. Use hashtags and geotags to get your open house on the social media map.
- Highlight your best stories on your profile. Give potential followers an idea about the types of engaging content you produce. This way, they’ll know what to expect when they follow you.