If you’re reading this you’ve likely thought to yourself, “everybody seems be on Instagram, how can I use it for my real estate business??” … or something to that effect.
Before jumping into Instagram, we recommend mastering Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn first.
Assuming you have mastered these social platforms, then you are more likely ready to use Instagram for real estate.
After all, as of December 2016, Instagram has garnered an average of 600 million monthly active users.
Yes, you read that right.
600 million users are actively snapping pics, posting them onto their Instagram account, or just creeping through other user’s accounts on a monthly basis.
So, how can you build your own Instagram success story?
We’re happy to guide you through it, but before we do, you should consider the following:
- What’s the age demographic you’re trying to reach with your Instagram account?
Over 80% of Instagram users are under the age of 34. If you’re planning on selling homes to baby boomers, Facebook may be a more suitable social media platform.
- Are you most comfortable with conducting your social media marketing via desktop or mobile?
Instagram is a photo sharing app. While there is a desktop version of the app, the functionalities are limited. To garner real Instagram success, you’ll need to trade in your desktop for your smartphone.
- Are you ready to get a little more personal?
What makes Instagram great is the ability closest way for your followers to get a “behind the scenes” inside look into your real estate business.
If you’ve determined that your target age group falls within the reach of Instagram and you’re comfortable with using your smartphone to use Instagram, you’re ready to take the steps to do it!
After reading this article you’ll be able to:
- set-up your real estate Instagram account
- know what type of content to post (and features to use to post said content)
- identify proper hashtag use
Let’s get started!
Setting up your Instagram account for real estate
First thing’s first, you’ll need to download the Instagram app.
Depending on your device, you can download the app from either Apple’s ‘App Store’, ‘Google Play’ or the ‘Windows Store’.
Next, you’ll need to open up the app to sign up.
Things to consider when signing up:
- You can either sign up using your Facebook account or use an email address that is accessible to you and will not change (It’s okay to sign up with your Facebook account so long as you’re using a professional Facebook account for your real estate business)
- Select a username that is original, not too long and uses the name of your real estate business so that users can associate your account with your business. Using a username such as myrealestatebusiness1234567 is a poor choice!
- Choose a password you’ll remember!
Once you’ve signed up, don’t forget to activate your account by clicking the activation link that was sent to the email you used to sign up.
Next comes the fun part - updating your page.
Select a profile pic that’s personable or of your real estate business’ logo.
Update your bio with a short description of your specialty (luxury real estate, single family homes, high-rise downtown condos etc.), the area or neighborhood you service and a link to your website, blog or listings page.
2. Posting content
When it comes to Instagram it’s all about quality over quantity. Sure, you could snap a pic of just about anything, add a snazzy filter and push it onto Instagram for the masses to see but that doesn’t mean that you should.
What you should do is post relevant content, including a mix of real estate and your everyday life. Remember, Instagram is ultimately a social network. Potential followers aren’t interested in following an account that isn’t visually appealing and human.
Instagram has a great help center to help users navigate through the app.
Below is a screenshot taken from Instagram's help centre which explains how to post content:
Looking for some inspiration?
Have a look at the below real estate Instagram accounts that are telling a story and entertaining their followers:
With a nice blend of video and stunning images of their real estate listings, it’s no wonder that The Boutique RE won RESAAS’ 2016 Real Estate Rockstars for best social media.
Chock-full of interior design inspiration, RESAAS’ Instagram account offers visually stunning homes and interior design concepts.
Using Instagram’s ‘Photo Album’ feature
Instagram now lets its users post up to 10 photos or videos as one single post using a carousel.
For a real estate agent, Instagram’s ‘Photo Album’ feature is perfect to post a mix of both photos and videos of a real estate listing, which showcases the property’s features, neighborhood, and landscape.
Here’s a snazzy video Facebook created on how it can be done:
*Video courtesy of Facebook
Posting Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories echoes much of the benefits that Snapchat’s app brought to the table - creating content with a 24 hour shelf-life.
While not every piece of content posted should be posted as a ‘story’ especially if you’d like it to last longer than a single-day, there are many great ways that the feature can be used.
The best way - creating and sharing virtual open houses using Instagram Stories.
You’ll have the ability to walk your followers through your listing, showcasing interior and exterior, including clever short descriptions of each room and setting.
3. Including hashtags
In a previous post, we answered the question what are hashtags. Quite simply, hashtags are the life force of Instagram. It’s how your potential leads will be able to find you amidst the millions of real estate Instagram accounts.
Knowing which hashtags to use
Not every hashtag needs to be original. In fact, they shouldn’t.
A great, easy way to drive leads to your Instagram account is to jump on a trending hashtag bandwagon.
Of course, whichever bandwagon you decide to jump on, try to make it relevant to your real estate business or expertise. You can do this in various outside-of-the-box ways.
Remember when this little girl broke the internet, Instagram in particular, during a BBC interview?
Instagram was imploding with trending hashtags related to the little whipper-snapper strolling into the room while her father tried to conduct an interview with the BBC.
How could an agent take advantage of this trend?
Why not customize your own gif with something clever that's related to real estate like the post like the one to the right--->
Creating your own hashtags
Just as important as it is to jump in on an already trending hashtag, creating your own specific hashtag will aid to not only help your clients and leads find your content and account, but it’ll also help you keep track of specific event posts and marketing campaigns.
Here are a few things to consider when coming up with your own unique hashtag:
- Keep it simple (short and sweet)
- Do some research before you start using a hashtag (you wouldn’t want to associate your content with a negative or damming hashtag that’s already floating around Instagram)
- Include your business name or expertise (neighborhood, city, etc.) within the hashtag
Of course, there’s so much more to Instagram than this article can stand.
Just like any social media platform, there are always new updates and features being released.
Hopefully this article helped you to:
- know how to set-up your real estate Instagram account
- identify which types of content to post (and features to use to post said content)
- navigate the in's and out's of proper hashtag use
Once you get started you’ll start to realize just how easy it can be to use Instagram to bring in a whole new set of real estate leads.
Rachelle Brempong is the Digital Content Coordinator at RESAAS. She likes things. Most things. But not everything, that's just greedy. Check out her RESAAS profile ›