We’re huge proponents of Instagram for real estate marketing, here at Community Influencer®. In this post, I’ll show you how to explode your Real Estate Instagram!
With over one billion active monthly users and 500 million daily users, Instagram is one of the best places to get your listings and real estate business noticed. Instagram is both fun and beautiful, which makes it the perfect social media platform for real estate agents! Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of having an Instagram for Real Estate…
…Which means that you can generate real estate leads organically, without paying the big boys. Yes, please!
…And pretty pictures sell homes!
…And your leads are already using it!
…And direct message your most active leads!
…So you have 10 times the opportunities to get seen and discovered!
…Which means that they have money to spend!
…And it’s easier to learn than traditional SEO.
…Because it’s easy to stay in touch and stay top of mind
…Which makes you look like a pro!
…Making it the easiest way to have your own Reality TV show!
Before you think about your feed, your photos, or friends to add on Instagram, you need to set an intention. Never post without a plan.
I teach all of the agents I work with to have a solid sales funnel behind every single piece of their marketing – including the ‘Gram. And one of the best ways to ensure this is to set an intention for who you want to reach on the platform.
When you convert your account from a personal profile to a business profile, you’ll have access to all of the juicy data.
This includes your traffic, clicks, charts, and graphs! It even includes your demographic data, which is essential to getting a better understanding of your current client’s avatar and narrowing your future marketing efforts better.
Second, Facebook owns Instagram… And it’s against Facebook terms of service to use your business page as a personal profile.
So based on prior history, it’s pretty safe to say that Facebook may institute this policy on Instagram in the future as well. If you convert now, you’ll weather that storm with ease.
There’s one more amazing benefit of converting your personal real estate Instagram over to a business Instagram profile. And this one is BIG: You can start running retargeting ads in some pretty cool ways.
When you have a business account, and someone visits or engages with your Instagram, you can start running ads to all of these people on both Facebook and Instagram! You can also train the Facebook Pixel to start finding more of your ideal clients and running ads to these new audiences as well!
Lots of people are hesitant to switch because of all the rumors that they’re going to lose organic reach.
But let’s face it, even with the best content, you still have to pay to play. This is why everyone should be running Instagram ads by now, so organic reach shouldn’t even be a factor in your decision.
Where are you located?
What is your real estate niche?
What are you best known for?
Add 1-2 keywords after your name on Instagram in order to make your profile more searchable – Remember Instagram is a social media platform, but it’s also a search engine.
So make sure that people can find you when they search.
Write a brief bio that says how you help people and how to contact you. Don’t make your profile all about you.
Deep down, we as humans, are always secretly asking ourselves, “what’s in it for me?” That’s why, I teach agents to focus on the value that they can provide for their communities, not themselves.
Most agents will create a profile that says something like, “I’m a Realtor®, mother, and dog lover. Call me to list your home.”
But this doesn’t share anything about who you serve or what you have to offer your potential followers. Instead, craft a profile that looks like this…
“I help buyers find their dream home & homeowners sell for more. Thinking of buying or selling in Houston, TX? Call or text me anytime! 555-555-555”
No one is going to feel a deep personal connection to an old listing photo or business logo. And personal connections are everything when marketing on social media.
People want to work with those that they know, like, trust and remember.
So post a current headshot that’s modern, stylish, and friendly to give people a glimpse of who you really are as a person.
And for the love of God, please don’t upload one of those old school studio headshots. Find a modern, lifestyle photographer who can catch you in your best (natural) light.
This may sound crazy, but my traffic and opt-ins tripled (across all of my social platforms) when I finally picked a color palette and stuck to it.
The reason is that people started seeing my photos all over the internet and recognizing my brand.
I regularly have people who tell me that they clicked on my Instagram photo ONLY because they saw similar photos constantly in their news feed and wondered who I was.
So likewise, pick your colors, fonts, photos, and camera filters – then stick to it. Use the same branding over and over again.
Eventually, people will start to recognize you in their newsfeeds as they scroll.
Remember, Instagram is all about the story. Some of the top accounts only post certain colors in certain orders. There are blogs dedicated solely to Instagram filters and styling.
You don’t have to go that far, but you do have to be cognizant of your feed. Remember, when people find you on Instagram, your feed is the first thing they’ll see, so you’re going to want to make sure that it accurately represents and compliments your brand.
Luckily, you’re a Realtor®, so you have access to some of the most beautiful photos on Earth – Literally. Use professional photography whenever possible.
But for photos around town, when you’re out and about, you can use your phone – Just be sure to use your filters and make sure that all fo your photos are stunners.
So upload beautiful images – Ideally, square images that are branded with your colors, fonts, and filters – which is super simple to do on Instagram.
To save time, I also recommend scheduling out all of your Instagram content in advance. The best way to do this is to use a tool like Later. You can load everything up at once and it will message you when it’s time to post.
Showcase your team vibe. This includes meetings, parties, open houses, dinners, outings. and successes. And don’t forget to tell a cohesive story during the process.
If your team is the best in the area because you guys are serious about your craft, post competitive photos that show you’re all about business!
Likewise, if your team is amazing because you’re caring and kind, post heart-warming photos that showcase what you do for your clients and how much they love you guys!
You should also snap behind the scenes footage of your team photoshoots too, so people can see the personalities of the agents behind the headshots.
When Instagram viewers see all this, they’ll resonate with your brand instantly and want to work with the best of the best.
People love seeing real estate sales in action. That’s why there are so many real estate shows on TV.
If you want to build a following fast, give the people what they want! Post behind the scenes footage showing how to stage a home, the challenges & obstacles you’re dealing with, the process of setting up for an open house, and buyers getting keys to their dream homes.
If HGTV can make millions doing it, so can you!
This gives people a sneak peek in anticipation of listings to come.
People are nosey by nature and feel special when they are the first to know a juicy piece of information!
So snap pictures of the photographers shooting pictures, drones taking aerial shots of the backyard, and stagers adding final touches in preparation for your upcoming listing.
It only takes one person to see the post and share it with a friend who’s looking to buy in the area.
Give people a reason to know, like, trust, and remember you. It humanizes you and shows people how multi-faceted and interesting you are.
You can do this easily by taking a few quick photos of your life as it happens. Your favorite photos of hobbies, dinners, adventures, and furry friends should definitely be in your photo queue!
And don’t forget to geo-tag the locations, so you show up when people search.
The best way to promote a new listing on a real estate Instagram is to post a series of photos that invoke a strong theme. Why? Because stories sell!
If your new listing is located in the lap of luxury, post photos that feature the most luxurious aspects of the home – The crystal chandelier, the Maseratis in the driveway, the master bathroom that puts most spas to shame should all be in the mix.
Likewise, if your listings is an equestrian lover’s dream, show the oversized jumping arena, patented brass horse water faucets, and vaulted cypress ceilings with cupolas for extra ventilation.
If people can envision themselves living in the home (or if they can envision someone they know), they’ll begin to engage and share your listings organically.
Instagram Stories is perfect for real estate agents because it allows you to link all of your listing photos together and show it as one cohesive stream to promote your listings and events.
It even lets you draw on the photos or place markers so that you can highlight all your favorite features of the home. And best of all, it shows up at the top of the news feed of everyone who’s following you!
Always, always, always tag the location of your listings. Always.
Recent studies have proven that tagging a location can increase engagement by up to 79%! Remember, Instagram isn’t just a social media platform, it’s a search engine too!
People can also search by their current location or landmark, so its important for you to include all appropriate cities, zip codes, schools, districts, and addresses! Always.
Do a video walk-through of the home before the open house and point out its key features.
Start outside and work your way through the home – just like a buyer would. And at the end of the video, invite people to come out and meet you at the open house.
To do this, send them to a landing page where people can opt-in to get more details, so you can collect leads on every open house – even if they never come inside!
Neighborhood videos can be done easily by walking or driving around the neighborhood.
In the video, talk about the features of the neighborhood like the schools, parks, and shops.
Basically, cover everything that you know, because this is a chance to show off your local knowledge and demonstrate that you actually are the local expert.
Think of your real estate Instagram content as you would your blog content. Your blog probably has a list of categories — things that you write about on a regular basis, which are all tied to your overarching niche.
If you sell homes in Los Angeles, would you post about Minneapolis? Probably not.
If your niche is horse properties, would you have a category for condos? Definitely not.
If you sell luxury homes, would you offer your readers a credit repair guide? I hope not.
Stay on brand. You’ve probably chosen a specific geo-farm area or niche because you know it will attract your ideal audience. Well, now it’s time to apply this same principle to your real estate Instagram account.
So all of your photos should be something that your ideal client would be interested in and searching for.
By doing this, you’re going to attract your ideal client to your Instagram profile and give them plenty of content to keep them around (and eventually contacting you to buy or sell a home!).
Remember when I told you to convert your personal account over to a business account? This is why.
Once you make the switch, Instagram will give you tons of demographic data about your followers, including when they are most active on the platform. Take note.
The Instagram feed moves a mile a minute, so unlike YouTube or Pinterest, the lifetime of an Instagram post is relatively short. This is why standing out is so important.
Although, Instagram now shows photos in order of relevance, not chronology – it still helps to be active on the platform posting pictures and stories when people are engaged.
This is because the more people who see your posts initially and engage with it, the more free reach you’ll get down the road.
Use bold colors, fonts, filters, and photos, so your posts will be magnetic to your followers.
The first step to getting noticed is having people stop mid-scroll to pause on your photo. The second step is when they click over to your account, and the third step is when they like your photo feed enough to follow you.
This is how you can get in front of past clients, referring agents, and potential clients every single day without fail. But your photos have to be memorable, otherwise, they’ll forget you exist – or worse, unfollow you altogether.
When it comes to real estate hashtags on Instagram, use geo-tags and profile tags to get discovered.
Instagram users know to search for things by using hashtags, so one of the best ways to get found is to include the popular real estate Instagram hashtags that people are already searching for.
Here are some of the best real estate Instagram hashtags to get discovered by local residents (just be sure to swap out “YourCity” with your actual city):
Finally, don’t forget the profile tags. Always remember to tag the businesses, locations, or people that are in the post.
This is for two reasons: 1) People search this way, so it’s easy to get discovered and 2) When people do discover you, they will see all of your photos that you took at that location or with that person. If they happen to like your photos and find them interesting, they may choose to follow you and engage with you further.
So who should you be connecting with on Instagram? After all, the entire point of this whole venture is to get leads, right?
These are the people that you should be posting for:
Unlike other social platforms, it’s totally normal to follow random people on Instagram if their account is public. People won’t think it’s weird at all, after all, they made their accounts public, so the public can see their posts.
And this is just one more reason that makes Instagram a prospecting gold mine for real estate agents.
One of the biggest benefits of Instagram real estate marketing is that it replaces most of the old school real estate marketing that you’ve been doing… For a fraction of the cost. Take a look at some of these use cases below.
Billboards vs. Instagram
In the past, real estate agents used billboards and bus stops to create an effervescent presence in their communities. But the cost of these billboards was highly prohibitive, which meant that the average agent was immediately priced out of the market.
Now, real estate agents who use Instagram can overcome these barriers with ease, because the platform allows you to edit and post photos like a pro with almost the same amount of visibility… for free. This makes real estate branding simple and easy.
In fact, there’s no better way to humanize your business than by doing it on Instagram – Because that’s literally what the platform was created to do. It’s not just a billboard, it’s also the reality TV show, newspaper ad, and press release of the 21st Century. A picture is worth a thousand words – And a real estate Instagram allows agents to tell an impactful, visual story about who they really are and what they can do for their clients.
Cold Calling & Door Knocking vs. Instagram
In the past, real estate agents had to cold call or door knock in order to reach people in their communities. But with caller ID, do-not-call lists, spam-blockers, and smart doorbells, all of that has changed. The reality is that no one wants you calling their phone or knocking on their doors. That’s why they put up all of these barriers in the first place. And we need to respect the communication preferences of our people, if we want them to become our leads.
Enter Instagram. Instagram is the new cold calling and door knocking. And like these traditional lead generation methods, it costs nothing more than your time. However, unlike cold calling and door knocking, Instagram also happens to be faster, easier, and infinitely scalable for your real estate business.
To prospect on Instagram, all you have to do is search by location. When you do, a list of local residents will appear – which means that you can engage with these people and build relationships. Set a goal to build relationships with at least 25 people per day. Just be sure to stay authentic, otherwise, it will come across as spammy, and people generally go to the ‘Gram to avoid the SPAM.
Testimonials vs. Instagram
Social proof is one of the best factors to solidify you as the go-to agent in the minds of your real estate leads. In the past, real estate agents have used testimonials to show social proof. But now, all that has changed. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
This year, I went to more than 20 conferences all over the world. Every time I met someone new at one of these conferences, they almost always asked me for my Instagram. They didn’t ask for a phone number, email address, or physical address (gasp!). They asked me for my IG, because they wanted social proof. And when they saw that I had thousands of followers, a beautifully curated feed, and millions of comments, they were satisfied. It’s amazing how many conversations opened up after they visited my profile.
Real Estate Instagram Marketing is a way to show your farm that you are their local expert, instantly. The more social proof that you have on your feed, the more people will begin to trust you. Furthermore, when you post about topics pertaining to your community, you’ll get discovered and gain trust with new leads, because you’ve already demonstrated that you know the area better than anyone else. This is powerful social proof that could be a deal-breaker or among sellers, buyers, and referring agents who decide to work with you.
Flyers vs. Instagram
In the past, people have used real estate farming to build relationships with their local communities.
It’s an effective way to generate leads, but it often required cold calling and door knocking to meet your farm – which isn’t scalable.
Instagram changes that. It allows us to farm virtually and build relationships online.
To farm on Instagram, post constantly about your local community. Feature and tag local businesses, meetups, events, activities, and more!
This is what people want to know and these are the types of posts that will make you the “digital mayor” of your town – and of course, the go-to agent.
Word of Mouth Marketing vs. Instagram
Instagram is a place for real estate agents to get referrals. This usually comes in two ways: First, if your past clients are following you, this is a great way to stay top of mind. So when your past clients have friends with real estate needs, you’ll be the first one that they recall.
Second, if you make genuine connections with other real estate agents on Instagram, this is a great way to get out of referrals. Just be sure that your Instagram brand comes across as friendly, professional, and memorable. Nail this, and you’ll be the go-to agent for out of town agents as well!
Postcards vs. Instagram
Since Instagram is visual, it’s a great avenue for event marketing. If you host weekly happy hours, networking events, or any other gatherings on a consistent basis, promote them on Instagram! Have a photographer and videographer capture your best moments, then break this footage up into several photos and film clips. Finally, add a caption and a call to action that invites everyone out to your next event!
These real estate agents are doing real estate Instagram posts right. They’re using it as a way to connect deeply with their audiences and provide unparalleled insight into their brands.
They’ve built a massive following, and their audience hangs onto their every word. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are the real estate Instagram accounts that you should definitely be following!
Breathtaking photography paired with amazing local finds from around town. We also love his creative, and often whimsical, use of quotes.
The cutest Instagram posts paired with the friendliest photos on social. We also love how open, personable, and warm she comes across online – which is an art form in and of itself.
Beautiful photos of homes paired with even more beautiful photos of people. We also love the amazing photography she takes of buyers in front of their new homes – So frame-worthy!
Modern layouts paired with powerful photographic branding. We also love how she tells the most interesting stories behind each of her listing and how she partners with brands for giveaways.
Stunning listing photos paired with interesting finds from around town. We also love the way that he tags local businesses for reciprocal exposure.
Gorgeous photos of local homes paired with the most lively sense of adventure. We also love how her adoration, admiration, and authentic love for real estate always shines through.
Katie is a light in the real estate industry. Her positive attitude and hard work immediately shine through. Her Instagram feed features the best places to live, eat, and play in Oklahoma City.
Skateboarder turned Realtor®, Keven Sturdivant is as authentic as they come. He’s not afraid to show his life, his family, his ups, and his downs. I got to spend the day with him (and his camera crew) last year and I was amazed by the way he documents his life, all while weaving real estate into every photo to stay top of mind with his followers.
Warm, organic photos paired with tons of fun events around town. We also love all of the amazing team photos they feature – The love for each other really shines through.
Big, bright, bold photos paired with stunning design and architecture. We also love the behind the scenes photos of the team in action.
Luxury listings paired with happiness and inspiration. We also love how he perfectly emulates his work/life balance on social – It’s open, fun, and real.
Modern luxury paired with simple, yet sophisticated elegance. We also love how they showcase the lifestyle, not just the real estate.
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