From freshly-baked gourmet cookies to fridge-worthy postcards, hours of determined door-knocking to nonstop cold-calling, it seems like there’s a never-ending list of marketing strategies realtors are willing to try in order to get a leg up on the competition. Unfortunately, some of these efforts are far less fruitful than others, causing agents to waste precious time and money on unsuccessful marketing campaigns.
But what if there was a way to tap into 45 million Americans who will reach the typical homebuying age within the next 10 years by doing what you already do—minimal labor involved? You might currently view social media as just a way to decompress while scrolling through posts in your downtime, but Instagram actually provides a platform to generate solid real estate leads that you can build into lasting client relationships.
If you’re not sure how you can apply the power of hashtags and likes to your real estate business, we’re here to break it down. Rather than mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, spend your time on social media to gain new leads, complete more transactions, and earn a larger income! Jump to a step below to learn how.
Develop Your Brand Voice
Before you start marketing real estate on Instagram, you need to carefully craft a plan of execution and make your end-goal clear from the beginning. Ultimately, you’ll be tasked with creating an aesthetically-pleasing feed that people will want to spend their time scrolling through. That said, you’ll have to make choices on how you want your feed to look and feel. Ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down your scope:
- What types of content will you be posting?
- How often will you be posting this content?
- How does each post directly relate to your brand?
- Will you watermark each image? Stick to a uniform filter throughout your feed? Write captions according to your brand voice?
- What kind of audience is your content aimed toward?
- Are you targeting luxurious real estate? Urban apartments? Millennial homebuyers?
We live in a visually-saturated culture that’s dripping in status symbols everywhere you look. When Instagram users make their way to your feed, they should instantly be able to pick up on what type of real estate you specialize in after just a few scrolls.
If your brand caters toward multi-million dollar homes, your feed should be rich in ornate lighting fixtures, panoramic views, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Family-focused brands should feature images of new, happy homeowners and their children, big backyards, and plenty of client testimonials giving their vote of confidence.
Set Your Account to a Business Account
Now that you know which types of leads you’d like to attract with your Instagram marketing strategy, it’s time to switch from a personal account to a business account. Follow these steps:
- Go to your profile and tap the Menu icon with three horizontal bars
- Tap the circle to access Settings
- Select the option that says “Switch to Business Account”
- Connect your account to a Facebook Page associated with your business
- Add supplementary details to your profile, such as contact information so that people can easily reach you
- Tap Done
When you switch to an Instagram business account, you’ll have access to business features and Instagram Insights, which provide data on the impressions and reach of every post. These tools help you better understand who is engaging with your content so you can better capture and convert leads. You also have the option of using Instagram Ads to promote your posts.
Make Use of Hashtags
When an Instagram user taps on a hashtag, they can see a page that displays all the photos and videos people have uploaded under the same category. Research some that are geared toward your target niche; proper usage helps your feed rank much higher within an Instagram search, giving you more impressions, more traffic, and ultimately, more leads. Not sure which hashtags you should use? Here are some top suggestions for real estate:
Pro tip: For the best results, aim to use 5-10 relevant hashtags on every post which helps ensure maximum visibility. To preserve the aesthetic quality of your post, we recommend separating the caption from the hashtag text using several line breaks or placing the code within a comment.
Plan Out Your Content
If you’ve already done this in step one, then you’re off to a great start. Keep in mind that consistency is key to successful marketing on Instagram. Put simply, the more you post, the more traffic you’ll receive, and the more leads you’ll generate. If you’re too busy with your real estate business to post frequently, there are a number of planning tools that can help you create a content schedule:
Use Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, and Instagram TV Features
As you contemplate which types of content to post, make sure you take advantage of these features unique to the Instagram platform:
- Instagram Stories: Capture a video walk-through of new listings, a panoramic sweep of a backyard view, a close-up of the decadent spread at your open house, and more personal content that wouldn’t typically go on your feed. If your clients want to download Instagram stories there are numerous online tools for that.
- Instagram Live: This feature allows you to engage with your audience in a live setting, which is a wonderful tool to use during open houses, for example, as you’re able to answer questions of those who were not able to attend in real-time.
- Instagram TV: With this feature, you’re able to post longer videos (such as a Q&A or extended tutorial) than what would appear on your feed.
Engage With Your Audience
The more people who engage with your account, the more they will remember you, and the more you’ll train the Instagram algorithm that you have great content and deserve to appear within organic search results. Here are the best tips on how to engage with Instagram users to generate more real estate leads:
- Use Instagram Stories to apply the poll or Q&A sticker
- Ask questions, use GIFs, and make content easy to read or react to
- Reply to comments
- Follow accounts back
- Run contests or giveaways
Say what you will about millennials, but they’ve held the highest share of home buying activity for the fifth year in a row. If you want a cut of that business, Instagram provides a fantastic platform to engage with young users who are already exploring hashtags relevant to your account. This means that these leads are better qualified than the impressions you might glean from a park bench, so the resources you put into marketing on Instagram should deliver a much better ROI.