A Real Estate Agent’s Guide To Instagram
Da'Vonne Duncan14 minute-read
November 29, 2021
Instagram is more than a platform for influencers. Business owners and professionals in the real estate industry can make a profit on the application, too. But don’t expect to make money instantly by posting pictures – it takes a lot of work to build a community.
Think of Instagram as your user-friendly real estate portfolio. While you’re marketing your business, take the time to display your culture and values. By doing this you’ll notice you can reach prospective leads who haven’t been able to engage with you online yet. And you can implement marketing efforts that won’t cost you a dime.
We’ll discuss how you can improve your real estate marketing strategy and increase your following. But first, let’s reveal why you should bring your business to Instagram if you haven’t already.
Why Is Instagram Important For Real Estate Agents?
As a professional in real estate, you know that staying in touch with clients and building your network is one of the most important things you can do. Instagram can make engaging with past and prospective clients a little easier and can potentially grow your business.
Even people outside of your network have a chance of running across your profile. Instagram is currently ranked #4 of the most-used social media platforms, with 1.386 billion users. Out of those users, 80% follow at least one business, making Instagram a great platform for businesses and consumers to build a personal connection through creative visual storytelling. Here’s how you can achieve this.
How To Set Up An Instagram Account For Your Real Estate Business
Make A Business Account
Put side by side, a personal and business account on Instagram may seem similar, but the business account offers features for business growth that isn’t accessible on a standard account. An Instagram business profile enables entrepreneurs to follow their engagement and interactions on the insights page. As a real estate agent, these tools can help you better understand your followers and how to improve your business outreach, which is great for explaining your clientele. Most importantly, insights are the foundation of any digital marketing strategy and they’re one of the main perks of having a business account, compared to a personal one.
Pick Your Handle Carefully
One of the first things you’ll have to do when setting up your real estate account is pick an Instagram handle, which will be your username. It’s one of the ways people will be able to identify you on the platform. Your username will appear at the top of your profile, in the caption of your photos and above your post on your followers’ feed.
Be clear when choosing your handle. It should be simple to spell and unique – this will prevent confusion and make it easier for prospective clients to find your profile. Consider being straightforward with your username by using your name or the name of your business. To help you stand out, you may want to add your middle initial, title or location you’ll be servicing. For example, if @KimJones is taken, try @KimDJones, @KimJonesRealty or @KimJonesNJRealty.
Use A Professional Headshot
Think of your profile picture as a first impression. You can make it a good one by assuring it’s a high-quality professional photo that best reflects you as a real estate agent. If you’re camera-shy or prefer to draw attention to your brand instead, use your business logo.
Create A Concise Bio
In 150 characters or less, your Instagram bio needs to express who you are and the objective of your brand. A suitable bio should include the following:
- Introduction of yourself and your real estate business
- Briefly explain how your services will benefit them
- Provide a call to action
- Provide a link to your website
You can also incorporate hashtags and emojis in your bio, so you may want to consider using them to grab the attention of your visitors to stand out from other brands. You should use these features cautiously to prevent your bio from looking unprofessional and only if they relate to your brand.
Best Practices For Instagram
Nowadays it’s not enough to create an Instagram profile and begin posting content. As a real estate agent, your presence should serve a purpose and offer some sort of business value on the platform. To make Instagram work for your business, consider following these best practices to stay ahead of the game.
Know Your Audience
Targeting your audience based on location isn’t the only method you should focus on when building your community. Based on the types of properties you're listing, your real estate business probably already has a particular demographic. Think about it – if you’re selling high-end luxury homes in Los Angeles, you wouldn’t want to market to potentially lower-income young adults.
Demographics can help you narrow down your audience by defining their age, gender and linguistics. Instagram makes it painless to target the appropriate audience that you’re looking for.
Let Insights Inform Your Content
To make your Instagram profile worthwhile, you should understand that your content strategy should be based on your insights. You can access this data on your insights page, which is only available for business profiles.
On your analytics page, you’ll be able to view metrics such as your reach, profile visits, number of new followers you gained and impressions, which is the number of times your profile has been seen. In the interaction subsection, you can see the number of clicks your profile had in one week.
Staying up to date on your insights can help you measure the success of your posts, stories and marketing campaigns.
Vary Your Approach
Having a range of content that speaks to your brand and your audience is crucial. When you post content remember to not be sales-focused. People want a real estate agent who’s committed to understanding their needs in the home buying or home selling process, not someone who comes off as money-hungry.
Don’t just focus on your profile, engage with other accounts in your local area, especially small businesses. When you try to support other businesses, they may return the favor by sharing your content with their audience.
There’s plenty of ways you can share content, but videos can help bring your listings to life. When you don't limit your feed to still frames, you can reel in clients that a regular picture might not be able to reach. The National Association of REALTORS® shared that 38% of people use video as an informative source during a home search. When used effectively, video content can combine images, text, music and other visual aspects in a way that eliminates industry jargon, making it easier for users to understand. And 93% of marketers discovered that they gain a new customer when posting a video. Marketers are investing more time into video because it increases content shareability drastically. So, think about including videos into your marketing strategy to enhance your lead generation attempts.
Post Multiple Times A Week
Although you don’t have to post every day, you should aim to post the same amount of content per week on specified days. Showing consistency will give the impression that you’re reliable –home buyers and sellers look for reliability in an agent.
Instagram insights allow users with a business profile to see what times their audience is the most active on their account. According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Instagram are Tuesday 1 – 5 p.m., Wednesday 11 a.m. and Thursday 8 – 9 a.m. The worst day to post is Sunday. Posting during peak engagement can increase the amount of traffic your business account receives since you’re posting during a convenient time for your audience. However, you should select a day and time that works best for you. Just keep in mind to not oversaturate your audience.
Use Hashtags Strategically
In today’s world, social media posts can be quickly shadowed with information overload. Adding hashtags in your caption can make it easier for your post to stand out from the digital clutter, by allowing users to concentrate on the content they want to see. Think of hashtags as a label for your social media post, they make it easier for users to find information with a recurring theme.
A hashtag can be created with the “#” symbol placed in front of a word or words that lack spacing. So, as a realtor, you can make a unique hashtag for your business, which can become for users wanting to access your information.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in your caption, but keeping it to 9 – 11 is recommended so your post won't look like spam. Consider placing hashtags in the first sentence of your caption, or a few lines below. Users even put hashtags in the first comment of their post. Even though, hashtags can be great tools for visibility, be careful of the kind you use.
You may think #sold, #realestate or #newlisting will be great hashtags to use, but since millions already use these keywords, your post will get hidden in hundreds of other posts with that generic hashtag. Most importantly, your post has the potential to be viewed by users around the globe, not local followers, who are more valuable to your business. Keep in mind it takes time for your hashtag to gain traction since people will not be searching for it initially. Once you build brand awareness, the hashtags you created will be more common.
For this reason, think about using location-based hashtags that have fewer posts. For example, hashtags like #DallasTexas and #Dallas will reach a local audience better. You can even combine popular hashtags with niche hashtags.
3 Content Ideas For Real Estate Agents
The goal of your real estate account is to keep people coming back. You can achieve this if you provide followers with meaningful content that’s visually pleasing and attention-grabbing.
Understand as a real estate agent, it’s important that you post facts and listings but don’t forget that potential clients want to see who you are as a person. Especially since buying a home is stressful, people want an agent who’s easy to work with and can offer them advice throughout the process. Make sure you let your audience know that agent is you.
Let’s take a look at some content ideas you can use on your page:
Listing Walk-Through Videos
Listing videos are the head honcho of real estate videos. Displaying the properties, you represent tastefully can be an effective way to attract leads. Consider posting videos on your feed, story or Instagram TV (IGTV for short). IGTV allows you to post full-screen videos in a vertical layout, that can have a duration of 10 minutes. It's your TV channel for Instagram.
Don’t worry if your phone doesn’t have the best quality for recording purposes. Apps like Spark Camera & Video Editor have a simplistic interface that’s capable of improving the appearance of your videos.
Educational Real Estate Videos
Let’s admit it. People who want to buy or sell a home prefer a real estate agent with expertise. After all, it’s going to be difficult to attract clients if you aren’t knowledgeable about the latest trends in the real estate industry. That’s why posting educational content is one of the best ways to attract leads.
Videos allow users to see that you’re capable of translating difficult subjects. Here are some educational real estate video ideas:
- The purpose of HOA and what’s included in fees
- Closing cost vs. a down payment
- Explaining the buying and selling process
The start of November represents the time of year where people start to talk about how they’re going to decorate their homes for the season and who they’re going to invite over for dinner. On top of fall festivities and winter celebrations, the holidays are a great chance to engage with your followers and possibly gain more.
During the holidays, people gain a stronger emotional connection to their home or the idea of having a home. Think about sharing a tour of your seasonal home decor or posting a DIY holiday project, to help give your followers some insight on how you celebrate the holidays.
Home buyers are also more serious about an offer during the holidays, so be sure to take advantage of all engagement opportunities.
The Bottom Line
When creating your business profile on Instagram remember to always be authentic. Keep in mind that you don’t want to appear as a completely different individual when you meet your clients in person or virtually. Even though building your social media presence can be time-consuming, there are other ways to make your real estate profile discoverable without investing in ads. Learn more on how to leverage social media without breaking the bank at Rocket ProSM Insight Learning Center.
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