If you're a real estate agent who hasn't yet taken advantage of Instagram as a platform to market yourself — Why not? And, if you have, are you sure you're making the most of what this platform has to offer?
Instagram is one of the top social media marketing platforms in 2021, and top real estate agents all around the world are using it to reach potential buyers and sellers.
To put it simply, if you haven't gotten into the Instagram game as a real estate agent, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage to other real estate agents who already have an Instagram presence.
However, Instagram is a very different beast than traditional marketing platforms. There is a lot you need to know to get the most from your Instagram profile.
This guide will walk you through some tips for using Instagram for your real estate business. It will help you go from having no followers to reaching thousands of eager viewers and potential clients.
Why Instagram is important for your real estate business
Instagram is in the top 5 largest social networks in the world
The first and most important thing to know is that Instagram is one of the largest and most popular social media sites in the world. Advertisers on Instagram are able to reach over 1.3 billion users, and millions more are signing up every week.
Young people love it
The millennial generation that grew up with Instagram—and who makes up the largest segment of the site's traffic—is now coming of age and starting to buy real estate. If you hope to target these younger homebuyers, Instagram should absolutely be on your radar.
Easy for anyone to get started
You start marketing yourself on Instagram with very little cost and effort. Anyone can log on and create an account, run promoted posts, and start viewing performance statistics.
Your own digital portfolio
Instagram can also serve as a convenient digital portfolio of your sales, listings, and personal brand.
Like other social networks, Instagram combines social media and marketing into one platform, allowing you to manage your brand, connect with clients, and view your marketing statistics all in one app.
Tips for a real estate agent wanting a killer Instagram strategy
1. Setting up your Instagram page to make the most of Instagram's features
Use correct and up to date info
It is important that you set your account up correctly and accurately. Make sure to give Instagram your real name and location, as well as any relevant links on your profile. This information will help people find and get in touch with you more easily. It will also help tailor your Instagram ads if you choose to run them.
Be sure to use Instagram's business account feature
Also, be sure to activate your account as a business profile. You can choose option this when making a new account or convert your existing real estate account in your Instagram account settings. It doesn't cost you anything, and it gives you access to much more powerful tools when it comes time to assess how your strategy is working.
2. Familiarize yourself with all of the communication options available
10 years ago, Instagram posts were limited to only photos and captions. But, over the years, it has expanded its features to both innovate and compete with other platforms. You should not think that your presence on Instagram begins and ends with posting photos.
Instagram has numerous different communication options
There are numerous other avenues available to connect with Instagram users. You can use Instagram stories, live streams, chat messages, comments, IGTV, as well as the new Reels feature. Each of these features will have different benefits and limitations, and each one will appeal to different types of potential leads.
For example, if you only post photos on Instagram, you will never appear in the Instagram feed of people who mostly watch Instagram stories.
3. Keep it personal, even on your real estate Instagram accounts
You should always keep in mind that Instagram is a social network—and that means you need to be social. People do not see your real estate Instagram account as a website for a real estate company—but rather as an extension of who you are. This means if you want to be successful, you need to put yourself front and centre in a professional but approachable way.
For example, professional photography will make you look good, but too often it comes off as cold and artificial. For the display picture on your Instagram profile, go for a more casual photo that makes you look friendly and professional.
When writing your account bio and post captions, write in a conversational first-person voice and create opportunities for audience engagement. This can be as simple as including a call to action like "What are your thoughts?" at the end of your posts.
4. Quality and Consistency
A huge part of building your following on Instagram relies on presenting yourself as a person that people want to follow and engage with. In addition, Instagram—like most other social media platforms—relies on a proprietary algorithm to decide what people see and when.
The most important thing you can do to please both your audience and the algorithm is to 1) post with regularity and 2) be posting quality content that drives engagement.
Consistency isn't just about timing
Consistency isn't just about the timing of your Instagram post but also the content. Make sure your posts are consistently appealing to look at and use the highest-quality images available.
Or, consider having something like a regular feature such as a Q&A that you do on the same day every week. Instagram can help you schedule future posts so your content will always go out at the same time.
Also, try to keep consistency in your posts’ filters and visual design to make your account really pop!
5. Visuals are crucial, but pretty pictures aren't everything!
Remember that Instagram isn't a purely visual platform. While stunning photos are crucial to lock in your audience's attention, a well-written caption can make all the difference in your post's success.
Often, pictures can say things that captions can't and vice versa.
6. Don't just sell – be interesting!
While you may be on Instagram for marketing purposes, don't think of it as only a platform to send out sales pitches en masse. Users who create posts that are informative and interesting have a much easier time gaining a strong following. Building your credibility is important, and if people see you as an expert on your topic, they will be more likely to come to you as a client.
People don't go to Instagram to be advertised to, so being too direct or sales-y can actually turn people off. Things like the occasional post about your personal life or live videos where you address your followers directly will make you feel like a real person to your audience.
On the flip side, don't post too many overly personal photos because this will dilute your brand awareness. If need be, create a separate professional and personal profile.
7. Engage with your audience as much as possible
Instagram has one of the highest engagement rates online, so don't let that go to waste. Make sure you encourage engagement and respond to comments and messages in a timely manner. For example, if a potential client direct messages you and you never respond, you are throwing away an opportunity to start a conversation.
Another form of engagement goes beyond your own page. You can engage with other accounts on real estate Instagram or in your local community. You should shout out upcoming events and local businesses. Not only will you look good as a community member, but the businesses may even link back to you, boosting your traffic. This sort of goodwill can also earn you huge points with potential clients in your local market.
8. Pay attention to your account insights
If you set up a business account, you will have access to Instagram insights. This special page is accessible in your account settings. You can get detailed information about your account performance on the insights page, including impressions, engagement, and demographics.
Use insights to find what works and fix what doesn't
Insights can also show you specific stats for each post you have made. This feature is crucial in making sure you are getting the most from your efforts on Instagram as it can help you figure out exactly what is working, and what is not.
Working with an agency to take your Instagram to another level
The world of digital marketing is growing incredibly fast, and it is constantly changing. If you want to build a following as efficiently a possible (or take your basic account to the next level of performance), you may want to consult the help of a digital marketing agency such as Merged Real Estate Marketing.
An agency is up to date on the most recent strategies and can take a lot of the guesswork out of your social media marketing campaign. They can help you create and schedule posts to save you time and energy. They can also work to create a cohesive campaign across multiple platforms to maximize your results.
Our partner Merged Real Estate Marketing has experience working with clients in the real estate industry across North America to help create strong campaigns that grow your buyer and seller lead list. Book a call with them today to learn more about their offers and how they can work to get you the results you deserve.