Did you know that agents can generate leads, sales, and referrals from Instagram? In this post, I’ll show you how to master Instagram for real estate.
We’re huge proponents of Instagram here at Honey Bar Media. And for good reason…
With over 500 million users and 4.2 billion “likes” per month, 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!
Instagram is totally different from Facebook or Twitter — The engagement is ten times higher than Facebook and the demographic is much more affluent. So there’s no wonder why all of the top producing agents are using Instagram to promote their real estate business. Getting the hang of Instagram can take some practice, but we’re here to lower the learning curve, and help you see the light!
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Why Should You Be Using Instagram For Real Estate?
Instagram is ridiculously mobile. Until recently, you weren’t even allowed to use it on a computer. With its slick interface and user-friendly layout, it’s no wonder that the engagement level on Instagram is sky high. People are literally on it all day long — Making it an abundant source of real estate leads… right in your purse or pocket.
Here are the top ten reasons why Instagram is one of the best platforms for real estate lead generation:
- You don’t have to compete with Zillow
- You can rank quicker with a hashtag than with traditional methods of online SEO
- Your recent posts can get to the top of user’s search results easily
- Instagram has 10x more engagement than Facebook
- On average, Instagram users are a more affluent demographic
- You can message anyone on Instagram directly, including prospects
- You can edit your photography right on the app and post stunning photos in seconds
- Instagram Stories – the best way to showcase your brand – is the press release of the 21st Century
- An image is worth a thousand words
- A video is worth even more!
Numbers Don’t Lie
Let’s talk about the Instagram data, shall we? Prepare yourself…
- 500 Million users monthly
- 300 Million users daily
- 4.2 Billion likes per day
- 216,000 photos posted every minute
- 30% Of the total US population uses Instagram
- More than half of all millennials are on Instagram every day
The Types Of Real Estate Leads That Agents Are Getting From Instagram
- Local homeowners looking to sell
- Local Buyers looking for homes in your area
- Out of town Realtors looking for referral agents in your area
- Out of town buyers looking for homes in your area
- Past clients who keep up with you online
- New clients who discover your Instagram profile
- Referral clients who were tagged on Instagram by a mutual connection
The Benefits Of Instagram Marketing For Real Estate
Benefit #1: Real Estate Branding
There’s no better way to humanize your business than Instagram. Think of it as the press release of the 21st Century. A picture is worth a thousand words – And Instagram allows you to tell an impactful, visual story about who you really are and what you really do.
Benefit #2: Real Estate Prospecting
Think of Instagram as the new door-knocking, cold-calling, and mailing. It’s all 3 wrapped up into one and costs nothing more than your time. Yes, you can prospect for leads on Instagram and when you do, you’ll be presenting all the information about your brand that a lead needs to know in a stunning way.
To prospect on Instagram, all you have to do is search by location. When you do, a list of local residents will appear. These accounts are public, so you are welcome to like, comment, or tag people on their posts. Make it a goal to comment on at least 25 local posts a day – More if you have the time. Just be sure to write genuine comments, because anything else will seem inauthentic and spammy.
Benefit #3: Social Proof
Instagram Marketing is a way to show your farm that you are their local expert. You can get discovered on Instagram and visually show the fact 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.
Benefit #4: Real Estate Farming
Farming on Instagram looks a little different than farming with postcard mailers – In this case, the heroes in your Instagram stories should be the locals, not your listings. To farm on Instagram, feature and tag local businesses, hangouts, 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.
Benefit #5: Real Estate Referrals
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!
Benefit #6: Event Marketing
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!
How To Optimize Your Instagram Account
Step #1: Convert Your Account
When you convert your account over 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.
Step #2: Add Keywords To Your Name
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.
Step #3: Build Your Bio
Write a brief bio that says how you help people and how to contact you. Deep down, we as humans, are always secretly asking ourselves, “what’s in it for me?”
Most agents will create a profile that says something like, “I live in California. I’m a Realtor, mother, and dog lover. Call me to list your home.” But this doesn’t share anything about what you have to offer to your potential Pinterest followers. Instead, craft a profile that focuses on them – your audience.
Here’s an easy example for you:
“I help home buyers find their dream home & homeowners sell for more. Thinking of buying or selling? Call or text me anytime! 555-555-555”
Step #4: Upload An On-Brand, friendly photo of your face.
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 professional, but also vibrant, stylish, and friendly. It will give people a glimpse of who you really are as a person.
Step #5: Pick Your Colors, Fonts, And Content
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.
Step #6: Delete All Of Your Photos And Videos That Are Off-Brand
Yes, go through your Instagram account and delete any of the posts that aren’t attracting the right people. Remember, by focusing your photos on relevant topics, you’ll be attracting lots more of the right people (i.e. potential clients)!
Step #7: Always Include Post Stunning Images
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.
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 ar stunners.
Also remember that you can’t just upload any old photo. Remember that you’re running a business, and if you upload anything less than the best, it won’t compliment your brand.
So create beautiful images – Ideally, square images that are branded with your colors, fonts, and filters. To do this on a computer, you can use a tool like Canva. It comes with tons of professionally designed Instagram templates already installed. All you have to do is swap out the photos, fonts, and colors. It’s super simple.
And I also recommend scheduling out all of your pillar 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. (Currently, Instagram doesn’t allow you to use a 3rd party app to post directly on your behalf. *sadness*). This way, you only have to post randomly when you feel like it!
How To Attract The Right People To Your Instagram Account
Think of your 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 your farm is located in Los Angeles, would you blog about Minneapolis? Probably not. Likewise, if your blog’s niche is “horse properties,” would you have a category for “condos”? Definitely not. Or if your business is selling luxury homes, would you give the homeowner a credit repair guide? I hope not.
Instead, 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 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!).
The Best Instagram Post Types For Real Estate Agents
#1 Business Branding
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 photo shoots 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.
#2 Behind The Scenes Of Your Transaction
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!
#3 Behind The Scenes Of Your Listings
This gives people a sneak peak 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.
#4 Personal Branding
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.
#5 Sneak Peeks Of Your New Listings
The best way to promote a new listing on 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!
#6 Your Current Location
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.
#7 Open House Video Posts
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. Don’t forget the address!
#8 Neighborhood Video Posts
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.
How To Stand Out In The Instagram Feed
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.
Post When People Are Watching
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.
Use bold colors, fonts, filters, and photos
You want your posts to be magnetic. The first step to getting noticed is having people stop mid-scroll to pause on your photo. (This is why I chose yellow for my own brand.) 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.
Real Estate Hashtags On Instagram: Geo-Tags and Profile Tags To Get Discovered
Users on Instagram search by hashtags, so one of the best ways to get found is to include the popular hashtags that people are already searching for.
Here are some of the best hashtags for real estate agents to get discovered by local residents (just be sure to swap out “YourCity” with your actual city):
Finally, don’t forget 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.
Making Connections On Instagram
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 following:
- Past clients
- Current clients
- Potential clients
- Local business owners
- Local community influencers
- Local residents
Yes, I did say local residents. Unlike Facebook, it’s totally normal to follow total randos on Instagram account. People won’t think it’s weird at all – which makes Instagram a prospecting gold mine.
The Best Real Estate Instgram Accounts
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 artform 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.
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.
Beautiful luxury listings paired with alluring twilight photography. We also love the way that he gives information about all of the new construction coming on the market in Miami.
An amazing collection of Southern California photos paired with the most stunning aerial shots we’ve seen. We also love how he shows a behind-the-scenes look at his life, love, and family.
Local Southern California flair paired with creative marketing. We also love her ingenious use of her custom hashtag, #keepingitrealestate.
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.
Pacific Union Real Estate
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.
Zachary and Cody Vichinsky
Modern luxury paired with simple, yet sophisticated elegance. We also love how they showcase the lifestyle, not just the real estate.
LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR REAL ESTATE?
Check out our other posts about blogging and social media for real estate agents:
- Facebook For Real Estate
- Using Pinterest For Real Estate Business
- Using Twitter For Real Estate
- YouTube Real Estate Marketing
- How To Write A Real Estate Blog
- Real Estate Blog Ideas
What did you learn today? What changes are you going to make to your Instagram profile? How are you using Instagram to drive traffic back to your website? What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration? We’re listening!