How to Use Instagram for Real Estate

Renae Virata | September 25, 2015 | Marketing

You’ve already started to master Facebook, LinkedIn and even Twitter for your real estate business…and, now, Instagram? You bet! Your business is built a good portion on visuals, and no other platform is more dedicated to telling a story through pictures than Instagram. Check out our top tips to make it work for every real estate agent.

Getting Started

Instagram is a relatively easy social media platform, and getting started is a breeze, too. First, starting with your name, choose something that expresses what you do. Your name may be great, but it won’t be as searchable and telling about you than “AustinRealtor” or “JacksonRealEstate”.

Next, make sure your description is short and informative. You don’t have to have a sentence. Different ways to describe who you are or a couple different phrases will work best. For example, “Real Estate Rockstar | Mother of Twins | Boston Marathoner”.

What to Post

Of course, first and foremost, you should post photos of your properties. But don’t go overboard! The 80/20 rule works fine on Instagram, maybe even a 60/40 rule. That means, out of ten posts for the week, post four direct real estate promotions and the rest personal or other. Remember, while you want to use it as a marketing tool, part of the balance is in building relationships and letting people get to know you.

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What’s the other 80 or 60 percent to post? People loooove day-in-the-life moments, so post a selfie of you with your morning cup of joe (or just your cup of Joe if it’s got a unique saying or image on it). Ask new clients or clients who are closing of you can take a photo of them. Make them interesting, like handing them the keys (if they don’t want to be in the photo, a simple photo of just hands and the keys is visually interesting). You can also post photos of your team, desk or meetings.

So, What to Say?

With all those cool pics you probably have now running through your mind, you’ll need to put some interesting text to them. Pictures may say a thousand words, but a few more in your Instagram description will set the tone for what you are conveying. For a pic with closing clients: “Another happy new homeowner!” For a team meeting: “Lots of great energy at today’s team powwow!”

Then…Hashtag It!

The hashtag is the pound sign you’ve seen celebs like Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon making fun of because of their overuse. However, when used correctly, hashtags will bring potential followers (and clients!) to an Instagram post that’s tagged with something they are searching. Go ahead, try it. Search for a certain hashtag that you’ve recently seen. You’ll notice anything tagged with that hashtag shows up in your search results.

With the millions of hashtags out there, which ones should you use? Definitely start with #realestate #newhomes #[nameofneighborhood] #[styleofhomesyousell] #[yourcity]

Notice they all start with the hashtag and have no spaces between words. Place these (no more than seven!) after your message.

When to Post

At first, you won’t have too many followers, and that’s ok! Post when you think your target market will be accessing their account. Without accounting for professionals schedules, Instagrammers check their accounts, on average, once per hour. Pay attention as you post consistently to when your growing follower base responds. Posting once a day gets you started, but as you get better, you’ll find more opportunities to post that you just can’t pass up.

Be sure to follow those who follow you that you would want as clients or even fellow realtors and your support team (mortgage lenders, inspectors, etc.). The more you share and interact, the more attention you’ll get for your Instagram feed and your business!

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Renae Virata