How to use Instagram as a Realtor?
Instagram is the 21st Century’s lead generating tool for Realtors, beating Facebook (as covered in our most famous post).
With over 1 billion users, the app has not only become a sensational photo sharing application, but also a digital marketing sell out toping Facebook. Instagram is one of the best places to get your real estate listing shown and to bag your leads. Millennials are at the center of the real estate target clientele with, as said in our previous article, with over 31% of the market being composed of them. And if you haven’t been marketing to them seriously, now is the time.
PSA before using Instagram:
Instagram is solely a mobile friendly app. You can access it via a desktop but options to guide your way through it are extremely limited. So you have to get the hang of using your phone more often if you plan on installing the app. Or you can save time hiring social media marketers, like our friends at WebCreative, to take care of all that.
- Instagram is purely a photo sharing website and hence is more vibrant and attractive to content creators.
- Compared to Facebook and Twitter, Instagram has more high profile and affluent users.
- Instagram outperform Facebook in terms of engagement rate by an average of 10%.
- Hashtags on Instagram have higher reach than SEO tactics used for websites
- It provides a platform to message people directly.
How to Instagram?
A. Creating an account
- First and foremost, you will have to download the Instagram app. You can find it on the AppStore, Google Play or the Windows store.
- In order to create an Instagram account, you will either be asked to sign up through Facebook or through your email address.
- Once you’ve created your account you can move onto the fun bits. Choose a catchy username. Keep it short and simple but make sure to associate it with your real estate business. Add a keyword — perhaps the neighborhood you specialize in—to make you more findable. Remember Instagram is a social media platform but also a search engine.
- Now you need to update your bio. You’ve got 150 characters to fill that space up. Makesure you project your professional persona through the bio by entering your realty niche, the neighborhood you specialize in (if you have one) and a link to your websiteor blog. Here’s a good example from Amy Dewaele, a Vancouver based Realtor.
- Then move onto uploading a photo of yourself.This is the perfect opportunity to use a professional headshot. However, some people might want use a picture that appears more personal. The choice is up to you, as long as it is consistent with the brand that you are going for.
B. Posting stuff
Post images of listings, post who you sell them to, post the “behind the scenes”, the “before” and “after”. Make sure your users feel involved in the things you do to cultivate a sense of trust. This can be done by posting testimonials and feedback from your clients. Take a look at Kimberley Bakaluk’s post for example:
Now for some technicalities
- Carousel photos, Instagram’s new feature allows you to show multiple photos of a listing to display the property’s characteristics and its amenities.
- Photo quality. Make sure that the content you post is of high resolution. No ugly pixelized photo you’ve screenshotted from elsewhere. Ideally, have your pictures taken professionally in a beautiful environment. Here’s our own account @RealtorsofVancouver for inspiration 😉
- Colour pallet. Choose a colour scheme to show consistency and for your brand to be easily identifiable. Take Gina Bourne for example. She uses light pink pastels and white for most of her pictures, and her images certainly catch your eye and make her recognisable.
- Instagram stories. Showcase your brand by posting regular updates that display for a short 24hours. Take your audience on virtual tours of properties, open house promotions, and let them into the behind the scenes action of your sales.
- Hashtags. Did you know that posts that include at least one hashtag have seen up to 12.6% increased engagement? This is because hashtags allow searchability and for you to be easily discovered. Always hashtag the location of the property you’re selling or have sold. For example, if you’ve listed a house in Vancouver then #Vancouver would be good but not specific enough. Instead, accompany it with a specific location such as #YaleTown or #Kitsilano to attract specific attention from those particularly looking in the area.
“Niche hashtags are where we get most of our tractions. Our teams also makes sure we tag and credit the people whom we work with on our posts. Most importantly, Instagram allows us to target specific neighbourhoods for our clients’ ads.”
Daanyaal Sobani, CTO of WebCreative
In the end everything is about trial and error. You’ll get 30 likes for one picture and 100 like for another. This is your clients telling you what they like and dislike. Use your clients opinions as a baseline to decide what to post next. If all this seems like a lot of effort, and you feel better off focusing on real life people, leave it to startups like WebCreative to build your brand on the Internet. You’ll quickly realize the Real Estate market belongs to those who leverage social media.
Overall, Instagram does not have a one-size fits all solution and there are no perfect set of rules for using it. As a realtor, your Instagram strategy should be based on the audience you are trying to impress. Since customers these days are so visually driven, the platform is the perfect low cost, high yield marketing alternative for realtors.