Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms for real estate agents, in large part because of its popularity amongst buyers and sellers. Agents move where their audience of clients and potential clients are, and right now, they’re on Instagram.
If you’re just getting started or are looking to improve your Instagram account, these 10 Instagram tips for real estate agents are essential to your digital success.
1. Set up an Instagram Business Account
We’re starting here because it’s the first thing you should do when you set up an Instagram account as a real estate agent. If you have an Instagram account and haven’t done this already, now’s the time to make the switch to an Instagram Business Account.
It’s an extremely easy process. Follow the steps provided here and you’ll have an Instagram Business Account in under two minutes.
There are a lot of reasons to make the switch from a personal account to a business account, but here are the key advantages:
-More contact options, including links to your website, email, phone number, and directions to your office.
-Profile insights so you can learn more about your followers, including access to website clicks, profile visits, and requests for directions.
-Post and Stories insights that provide data on how many people have seen or interacted with your content.
-Metrics for specific dates so you can analyze and post at optimal times.
2. Have a specific strategy
It’s all too tempting to only post on Instagram when you feel like it, but this is a quick path to sporadic posting and limited growth. Layout a strategy that defines both what and when you’ll post.
To find out when to post take a look at your profile insights and make note of the days and times that work best for you. You’ll want to post at times when you get the most engagement. In terms of what you should be posting, try to define a few themes that come naturally to you, and make sure your messaging is always on-brand. For example, if you decided that education was a theme that fits your voice, you could create a mix of educational videos, market updates, behind the scenes photos with insights, and live Q&A sessions as part of your strategy. You should know your strengths and weaknesses and create your content around the former.
3. Shoot video in all its formats
Instagram allows for many kinds of video content, including long-form, short-form, Stories, and live video. We’d recommend testing out all the above and seeing what gets the most engagement from your audience.
For many agents, live or unscripted video is a good way to go. If you’re a confident speaker and know the subject matter, it’s sometimes easier to be likable in an unscripted or live video since there’s no acting involved. On top of that, you’ll likely save yourself a ton of time. If live video is intimidating to you, reading a script and posting a pre-recorded video is a perfectly acceptable option. Either way, Instagram is a great place to use video and stay connected with your clients.
4. Answer common questions
Anytime you get a question asked to you more than once by multiple clients, pull out your phone or notebook and write it down. Then, when you’re back at the office, take the time to record a video or create a post for Instagram that answers the question. Creating a content bank of frequently asked questions is a great way to use Instagram successfully. You’ll be on your way to showing your audience why you’re the real estate expert they can trust.
5. Use your hashtags appropriately
Hashtags are an excellent way to reach a larger audience than your immediate following, so use them wisely as a growth strategy on Instagram. Start by running your service areas through a hashtag generator and write down two or three that you’d like your content to appear on when searched by Instagram users. Then try terms that combine locations and industry terms, like “#realestateYVR” or “#vancouverrealestate”. Lastly, go take a look at the hashtags that top agents on Instagram are using and see if there’s anything you can learn from their successes. You might find a hidden gem without much competition.
6. Publish stories
Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, but don’t let their short lifespan fool you - they’re one of the best ways to grow your follower count. Post behind the scenes content, locations you’re working at when you’re away from the office, your favourite corners and hidden gems in different communities, trivia questions, polls, and highlight new listings or sales. Basically, you’re going to want to post early and often to take full advantage of Instagram Stories.
Be sure to use both hashtags and location tags in as many of your stories as possible, even if it means hiding them in the corner or making them very small. They’re the two best tags on Instagram if you’re looking to grow your following.
7. Do not buy followers
This one is worth stating twice: do not buy followers. Many agents purchase followers when starting out on Instagram, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. While it may look good to people visiting your profile, those fake followers do not interact with your posts. This sends a signal to Instagram’s algorithm that your followers aren’t interested in your content, which leads them to believe your page isn’t worth displaying on popular hashtags, location tags, or on the discover page. Fake followers, in short, make it even harder to get real followers, and a fake follower has never bought or sold a property. It’s simply not worth the tradeoff.
8. Promote your posts
There’s a big difference between buying fake followers and promoting your page, and if you’re looking for quick growth promotions can really help. Once you set up an Instagram Business Account, you’ll be able to enter your credit card information and run ads right from their mobile platform. You can set a detailed target audience including geo-targeting and direct people to your website or profile page with relative ease. It’s also a fantastic way to get more eyeballs on your listings.
9. Cross-promote your content
Set a reminder in your calendar at least once per quarter to promote your Instagram page on your other social media and marketing channels. You could announce a giveaway campaign on Facebook and state that you’re picking a winner from your Instagram followers, announce your latest Instagram video in your newsletter, or drive traffic to your account directly from a blog or your website’s homepage. There are plenty of opportunities once you start looking for them.
10. Set targets for yourself
Lastly, it’s important to have a few goals or targets that you’d like to strive for when using Instagram for your business. Whether it be a monthly follower increase, a number of direct messages sent or received on the platform, or a total number of posts to create per week, having targets will help keep you on track on social media.
If you’re trying to expand your presence on Instagram, bookmark this page and review these 10 tips for real estate agents every few months. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can carve out an online following for yourself if you follow these steps.