Social media has changed real estate marketing- there’s no use in arguing about that. However, what one could argue about is how real estate agents should actually use social media. Should they simply share listing details? Or is there more to it than that?
One specific social media channel that a lot of real estate agents have yet to take advantage of is Instagram. So, how should agents use Instagram to find leads and close more deals?
Here are 6 ways:
Use an Instagram Business Profile
You may enjoy posting your vacation photos and morning lattes on your personal Instagram profile and you may even have a decent following on there. However, avoid combining personal and professional life on social media. This is a common real estate marketing tip for sure, but it’s an important one that many agents don’t think twice about. When leads are looking for real estate agents to work with or houses for sale to buy, it’s best they stumble across a professional profile on Instagram that is the best representation of yourself and your real estate business- plain and simple.
There’s another advantage to using an Instagram Business Profile and that’s the access to in-depth statistics. While you may closely track likes and followers on your personal profile, there is a lot more to track when it comes to social media marketing. For instance, Instagram Insights will provide you with demographic data to help you identify real estate lead groups. You can also learn which posts get the most engagement from leads beyond just likes. This will help you figure out what posts are best for your real estate marketing strategy on Instagram.
Don’t Avoid Instagram Stories
At the end of the day, leads want to know who you are as a real estate agent (especially buyer leads). They want someone they can trust who has a personality that fits theirs. While sharing listings or property images on your Instagram story is a good idea, put yourself in front of the camera once in a while, too. Do a house tour, announce an upcoming open house, and provide a few real estate tips once a week to encourage followers to watch out for your stories. You can even do an AMA (ask me anything) when you have a few followers. The questions they ask will take only moments to answer and you may even qualify a few leads right then and there!
Use Aesthetically Pleasing Images
By now, you probably know how important a good photo is for a property listing. However, there is a difference between a “good quality photo” and an “aesthetically pleasing photo.” One makes you look professional, while the other does that in addition to garnering interest on Instagram. Take a look at this example. It’s the same beautiful home and both images below are of high quality. But a simple shift of angle that shows the Instagram-worthy landscape is sure to grab attention as people scroll by.
Don’t Forget to Add Your Real Estate Branding
Photos are shared around on Instagram all the time. Unfortunately, owners are not always credited especially when it comes to #Dreamhome. Meaning, you may be taking the time to beautifully photograph your properties and others may be taking the images and repurposing them for their own profiles. Be sure to get your name out there by branding your images. Whether it’s a watermark or an obvious logo, if your photos do end up making the rounds, real estate leads will find their way back to you. Just make sure whatever you add to the image, it doesn’t take focus away from the property for sale in the photo.
You Can Add a “Personal Touch”
While it’s advised to keep your personal photos off your Instagram real estate business profile, there are other ways to get personal. Leads don’t just want to see property photos; they’d like to know the area as well. You can follow up a listing with a few pretty photos of a local shop or two of your favorite spots in the neighborhood. This not only lets you share the things you love, showing off some of your personality, but it also provides meaningful purpose to your real estate leads. When they know an antique shop or vintage bookstore is two blocks away from your most recent listing (don’t forget to link to it!), they’re sure to convert.
You can share text posts as well. Inspiring quotes or house hunting tips for homebuyers and real estate investors can sometimes be effective even when posted on Instagram in plain text. This will keep your audience engaged even when you don’t have a listing to share at the moment. Think of this as a form of lead nurturing. It’s simple and easy, but can have an impact.
Don’t Randomly Use Hashtags
You might think all you need to do is add #houseforsale or #realestate. But since marketing experts discovered Instagram’s potential, real estate hashtags have been dragged into the SEO game. Do a little research on which hashtags work best for which posts. Which ones will help ensure your posts are seen by more Instagram users?
A few important real estate hashtags include:
Also, be sure to incorporate hashtags that are important for local (something specific about the neighborhood or area) as well as global (more broad, like the city or state) audiences. A few minutes of research can really up this aspect of your Instagram marketing.
There are a few rights and wrongs when it comes to Instagram marketing for real estate agents and it’s best to learn them early on. You don’t want to set up a profile with your image and name and end up making a bad first impression even on a handful of leads.