Like most real estate agents, you probably have a Facebook Business Page. However, reaching people on Facebook without ads or advertising is super tricky.
However, Facebook has a younger sibling. Instagram.
Our Marketing Team thinks that real estate and Instagram are a match made in heaven.
Instagram is a more visual medium than Facebook: while on Facebook, your text comes first, and the picture/video comes after, on Instagram, your picture/video comes first. This makes Instagram an ideal platform for showcasing the properties you helped sell or buy.
Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide, out of which more than 500 million are active on a daily basis. Yes, this means that half a billion people check their Instagram every day.
Managing social media can be quite a time-consuming task for real estate agents. This is why we put together this short guide to help you set your priorities for Instagram in 2022.
In this part of our Instagram Guide, we’ll just cover some of the basics of social media - what kind of posts there are and where they appear.
On Instagram, you have two main ways of engaging with your followers. You can post pictures and videos on your Instagram Feed, or you can post Instagram Stories. There’s also Instagram Live.
If you post onto your feed, you can post pictures, videos and Reels (the new bite-sized video format introduced last year to mimic TikTok). Reels are vertical videos that are up to a minute long, while Instagram Videos can be up to an hour long and are usually posted in the more standard, horizontal format. Both formats have their own tabs on your Instagram profile, so anyone coming to your Instagram profile can browse your videos and Reels separately.
Whether your post is in the form of a picture, Reel or video, the best practice is to use hashtags within your post description. These hashtags help you land on the Instagram Explore Tab. Around half of Instagram users go to the Explore Tab to find new content, so a combination of a relevant post with relevant hashtags can help you get in front of new audiences. Since TikTok boomed as a social media platform, Instagram really began to push Reels, giving them more space in the app and also featuring them heavily in the Explore Tab. This heavy push means that it’s more likely that you’ll be featured in the Explore Tab if you start creating Reels. Also, users seem to like the Reels format: the engagement rate is 22%. A regular post usually has an engagement rate between 1% and 2%.
Your stories can be in the form of pictures and videos (up to 15 seconds) as well. However, you can also share content from your feed with your stories. You can tag other accounts in your Stories; you can include stickers, hashtags, and, since recently, also links in them. Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours. However, you can keep them pinned on your Instagram profile in the form of Story Highlights. Story Highlights appear just underneath your description/bio. You can have several themed highlights with multiple stories in each of them. Stories are still one of the most important ways to communicate with your audience on Instagram, as every of the 500 million daily active users is checking their Instagram Story daily.
The Best Way to Leverage Instagram as a Real Estate Agent
To help real estate agents gain more visibility on Instagram, here is a compilation of tips for maximum impact:
#1 Don’t forget about Instagram Stories
Being on Instagram without posting stories is like skipping the dessert after lunch.
You’re missing out on the best part.
People know that Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours. So they check them first. If you aren’t posting Instagram Stories but only feed posts, you are not leveraging Instagram’s full potential. Better engagement rates on Stories will make them appear sooner in your followers’ queues. It also influences how your Instagram posts are shown in your followers’ feeds.
We put together three ideas for content for Instagram Stories that you can use to create more engagement with your followers. Check them out below and feel free to create your own based on these ??
#2 Use Story Highlights to showcase sold and purchased properties
Story Highlights take only a few minutes to create, but few people use them. They are fantastic for several reasons. However, the most important one is that you can showcase your sold and purchased properties in one place at the top of your Instagram profile, so your followers don’t have to scroll infinitely to get familiar with the work you’ve done.
Another idea is that you can separate your sold and purchased properties based on the different areas your work in, making it even easier for your followers to find exactly what they’re interested in.
Besides, don’t forget to feature your testimonials in your Instagram Stories and have them as a separate Story Highlight as well.
While we have already mentioned that you can share your feed posts on your Instagram Stories, it’s best to have specific visuals and design for native Stories.
#3 Getting optimal exposure in your local community
We’ve mentioned above that combining your posts, especially in the now popular Reels format, with hashtags can give you additional exposure in the Explore Tab. However, here are two simple hacks that can help you get your posts in front of the right audience.
Make sure all your posts, especially those featuring sold and purchased listings, have a location tag on the post. Also, be very careful with the hashtags you use. Although the maximum number of hashtags to use is 30, the best practice is to use up to five hashtags, super-relevant to your real estate business. Generally, avoid using too broad hashtags like #realestate, as the competition is far bigger than for more local hashtags, like, for example, #OntarioRealEstate or #OshawaRealEstate.
Social media, especially Instagram real estate marketing, is essential to generate leads, increase traffic and attract customers. Many active property investing generations are on there, so it is a perfect way to incorporate it into your brand development strategy.
#4 Use Instagram Live for your open house events
You can leverage Instagram Live to do online open houses. There are two awesome things about Instagram Live. Firstly, your audience can engage with comments and questions right away, and you can also answer them immediately during the live. The second awesome thing about Instagram Live is that your Live Broadcast will appear first in the Stories section of your follower’s feed, giving you more exposure than standard stories.
Instagram Lives can be done together with other Instagram accounts as well. One way you can use them during your open house is to give a tour of the place, while the other person in the Live could be answering questions from the audience. These could be the owners, an interior designer, architect, builder, or another colleague from your office. The owners could, for example, talk about the work they’ve done on the house, while an interior designer or architect can comment on the style of the property.
Beyond open houses, you can also leverage Instagram Live to create Q&A sessions with professionals like lenders, interior designers, stagers, and builders. You can go over some of the most common questions people have and answer questions coming directly from the audience.
#5 Post regularly
Our suggestion is to make sure you post Instagram Stories every day. They can be a mix of professional content and some personal moments so that the audience can connect with you easier.
When it comes to Feed posts, make sure that you post at least three days a week or more. Try to include the Reels format as much as you can. Many real estate agents find it more challenging to produce video content. Still, Reels are gaining so much more exposure on Instagram at the moment that it will surely pay off if you invest in creating video content.
The best way to make sure you post regularly is to have a content calendar in place. A content calendar is simply a calendar you can create in Google Sheets or Excel, in which you plan what to post on your social media accounts. Depending on your workload, you can schedule a week or a month ahead.
Instagram is an important social medium for real estate agents. Just the vast number of Instagram users means that real estate agents in almost every local community have a solid audience to tap into. We hope these tips will help you grow your audience on Instagram.