BE THE NEXT REAL ESTATE GAME CHANGER BY FOLLOWING THESE INSTAGRAM PRO TIPS
It’s time to level up your real estate marketing strategies by tapping into the potential of Instagram!
Let’s face it, real estate marketing is a very challenging field: competition is stiff and it is difficult to build trust among potential clients. As cutthroat as it may seem, returns on investment are paramount if done well.
Instagram boasts its 1 billion monthly active users, and as a realtor, why not be where people are? With its highly visual nature, your real estate Instagram account can be your home listing portfolio and a lead generator all in one! This social media platform can help your followers (and potential clients) take a virtual tour of your listings whenever and wherever they are.
The best thing about Instagram is that it is still an emerging platform for real estate professionals, which is actually a bit ironic given the platform’s huge network base and potential for such marketing purposes. If you choose to use Instagram to boost your network visibility and potential closed sale, here are several tips that you can do to maximize this social media’s features that will make you one step ahead of the competition.
I. INSTAGRAM FEATURES THAT ARE PERFECT FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE ACCOUNT
1. Instagram TV (IGTV)
Launched last 2018, Instagram TV (IGTV) has been a breakthrough feature for this social media platform known to use photos as its main content. This new app is designed specifically for people who would like to create video content with longer duration up to one hour.
Instagram TV is another tool that realtors can use to build their Instagram presence, which can make them grow their follower base that will increase their exposure to prospective clients. This is yet an additional platform to share your real estate videos, if ever you are already creating it for your business. What made it more unique is its vertical video format, meaning it is designed to create videos using your smartphone. (Although you have to carefully choose the quality of the videos you will take using your phone. You don’t want poorly taken and low-quality videos to be presented to your potential clients, do you?)
Use your phone when shooting. Make sure that you use portrait mode in taking videos to optimize your IGTV.
Take time to edit your videos. Unlike Instagram stories that lasts only for 24 hours, your IGTV content will be there indefinitely until you decide to remove it. This means your videos should be of higher quality and is not impromptu like your stories.
Thumbnails are very important. This summarizes your whole video, so it is necessary that your thumbnail is well-edited and catchy enough for viewers to click on your videos.
Now you may be thinking, “What video contents should I create for my real estate IGTV account?”. To start off, you can create listing walk-through tour videos for your followers. This way, you don’t have to do a personal tour for every client who would like to take a look on your listing, and people will have the flexibility to check it at their own convenience. You can also create a neighborhood tour for every property, since people are also curious as to how convenient it is for them to be living in that area. Lastly, you can film yourself answering Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the listings that you usually get from inquiring clients.
2. Multiple-photo posts
The multiple photo feature of Instagram allows users to include up to 10 photos every single post. This can be utilized to include photos of different rooms of the house, including the exterior, frontyard, backyard, and other unique features. With well-taken photos of each area of the house, this will highly complement the videos you have posted. Use these photos as a tool to give your followers a virtual tour of the house, and make sure that you arrange the photos in a logical order. Start with a shot of the front of the house and then move in to the downstairs, upstairs and then the backyard. Move your potential customers through your property. You can even ask them questions in your captions like “What’s your favorite room in the house?”
3. Account highlights
You may think that some of your IG stories are for keeps. Don’t worry, as you can save them for as long as you want using Instagram highlights. This is the section where you can introduce yourself and have your personal branding. It is very important that you establish this in your account, as people are looking for a realtor that they can easily connect with. Showing your other side outside your profession is one way to connect with your potential clients.
It is important to include your location on every Instagram post, as this feature boosts your discoverability. Users can search by places or current location to find places or business near them. When they tap a location, they can see posts from this location. So if you are located in a specific area or neighborhood you should be tagging that location in your posts.
5. Run ads and boost post
In order to run ads and boost posts you will need to make sure your account is a business account. If you have a personal Instagram account you should create an account for your real estate business. Separate the two so that you can keep one professional.
On your real estate Instagram, you will be able to track analytics and insights from these ads to improve future ad campaigns. Sponsored ads on Instagram originate on Facebook so you will need to have a Facebook account for your real estate business as well.
If you don’t think you need to be on multiple social media platforms, think again. If you want to reach as many potential clients as possible it’s wise to run ads on both Facebook and Instagram. The more people that see your ad, the more likely they will take action – whether it’s following you, recommending you to a friend or converting themselves.
You should also keep in mind that different people prefer different forms of social media. Some potential clients may check Instagram a lot more than they check Facebook and vice versa.
II. THINGS TO SHOW YOUR CLIENTS ON YOUR REAL ESTATE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
1. Property listing photos
This is obviously the most important thing that needs to be present in your professional Instagram account. You need to make your photos as professional-looking as possible by having high-quality photos. If possible, you can hire a professional photographer to do this for you. It may cost you some money, but having good quality photos of your properties can go a long way. If your properties have been renovated, you can show the before and after photos to show people how much it has improved. This will make them more interested in checking the house.
2. User generated content
The main purpose of social media is for users to be engaged online. When users create content that features your company or properties, they are telling other people that they trust your brand. For example, if your client posted a photo of the house you sold them, you can use their content to be posted on your real estate Instagram account (with their permission, of course). This shows other users that real people have benefited from the service of your company. Referrals from other people is one of the most effective ways to build your personal branding as a realtor and generate more potential leads.
People tend to trust content that comes from friends and family members more than they trust content that comes directly from businesses. The more content you use from your followers the more they will create! Just make sure that you are still posting your own content and that any user generated content you post is high quality.
3. Photos of you with your clients
Nothing beats an all-smile photo of you and your clients when showing people how good your service is as a realtor. After selling the home to a client, get a photo with them and ask if you can post it to your Instagram account as part of your personal brand building. This shows other people that you have former clients to back-up your credibility as a real estate agent, and they might be interested in looking at your listings.
4. Client testimonials
It is very important to showcase client testimonials on every platform. For Instagram, you can be a bit creative when showing people testimonials that you got from other people. As an example, you may post a “Thank You” note you received from a recent client. This may be a small gesture of appreciation on their part, but this can go a long way when it comes to building your credibility on social media.
5. Share useful posts to your followers
While it’s true that the main purpose of your Instagram is to feature your property listing, your account’s content should not be 100% about selling! Believe it or not, bombarding your followers with all your properties for sale will do no good in your business. In fact, it may even turn them off and completely ignore your account.
Every once in a while, create and post content outside of your work that will generate more engagement with your followers. For example, you can post design inspirations and you can ask them what design they like the most. This will surely drive engagement to your real estate Instagram account.
6. Use hashtags
Hashtag research should be taken into more consideration if you like to get a wider reach with your posts. Instagram algorithm is very data driven, and the use of proper hashtags play an important role in getting more traffic and engagement on your account. With Instagram’s algorithm changing every now and then due to their updates, it is important to equip yourself with up-to-date knowledge in this area for your posts to be on top of the search ranking.
III. REAL ESTATE INSTAGRAM DO’S AND DON'TS
Use of logo. This is a mark of professionalism on your part. If you use a logo on your business, it shows people that you are credible enough and you have expertise on what you are doing. Your logo does not have to be complex; it can be as simple as using your name or initials in a very cool font!
Show local neighborhood of your listing’s location. The location where a house is situated is a major factor for buyers who are scouting for a property. Make sure to include photos or videos of the neighborhood of your properties so that people will be more informed about the vicinity of the house you are selling. Post pictures of local restaurants, local streets or parks that will stir interest to your potential clients.
Show teasers of listings. If you have a property that is under construction or renovation, you can post it to your account to show progress photos of it. This will give excitement to potential customers. You can even create engaging post out of it by asking them, “What do you think this house will look like?”.
Professional profile picture. This is a must! You always have to make every detail of your account as professional as possible. With this, you are telling your potential customers that you are an experienced professional in this field of expertise and this will build trust with them. Have a high-quality photo of you taken wearing formal clothes, this will surely build your credibility as a realtor.
Using stock photos. This will definitely ruin your professional image as a realtor! If people know that you just grabbed the photo you posted from another source, they will be suspicious of your account’s authenticity and might even brand it as a poser or fake. Make sure everything you post in your Instagram account is 100% originally yours, and make use of the filters and other editing tools to improve the aesthetics of your photos.
Selling too much. Overselling on your real estate Instagram account will do you more harm than good. This will make your account too boring to even follow by people. Create a diverse portfolio of images and posts on your account to make it lively and very interesting to look into. After all, some of your followers may not even be looking for a house to buy at the moment and are just looking for design inspiration, real estate tips or local advice.
Buying followers. Again, this will affect your image as a real estate agent. People are very well aware of this scheme, and they have ways to check if your followers are real or not. First, people will notice that your followers are not real if they notice that your average amount of follower engagement per post over total number of followers’ ratio is too low. This will give them a red flag about the authenticity of your account, and they may even think that your account is a fake. There are various ways to grow your followers’ base organically. Always go for the “slowly but surely” path!
We are now living in the digital era where marketing to millions (or even a billion, for Instagram) of people is just one click away. As a real estate professional, it is your choice to leverage on these opportunities to maximize your marketing campaigns.
With these kinds of access to reaching out to people, marketing has never been so easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because you have the social media platforms to utilize, but equally difficult since competition is at its peak. By applying every features Instagram can offer, you can be one step ahead of the competition and reap your rewards as a successful realtor.