Whether you are an experienced Instagram user or new to the platform, you should know that Instagram is one of the most used and fastest growing social media platforms in the world. Using Instagram for real estate is a great way to market properties, introduce promotions, engage with current and potential clients, and much more. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 39% of Realtors® are on Instagram. Yet 59% of millennials – the largest group of first-time home buyers – are active on the platform. This creates a huge opportunity for you to reach a massive and coveted demographic where they are spending much of their time. Here are five Instagram tips every real estate professional needs to know:
1. Make sure your account is set to public. One of the biggest mistakes a realtor can make on Instagram is setting their account to private rather than public. Why does this matter? Well, privatizing your account makes it more difficult for potential leads to find you. Your account is effectively invisible to the outside world. The perceived barrier of a private account will lose the interest of potential leads as most users will want to see your content immediately upon arriving to your Instagram profile. On top of that, your hashtags and geotags will not appear in searches. With a huge majority of Instagram users that search the site via hashtags and geotags, this puts you at a huge disadvantage of being discovered by potential leads.
2. Convert your profile into a business account. If you have not done so, converting your public Instagram account into a business account is the way to go if you are using your account for business purposes. Converting your public Instagram account into a business account is completely free, easy to set up, and full of useful tools and insights that you can use to expand and grow your business. If you already have an existing account with on-brand content and an established following, the best option for you is to simply convert your account into a business account. However, if your existing account is for personal use, or don’t have an Instagram at all, your best option is to create a new business account and start fresh. Business accounts on Instagram provide key insights and analytics that will give you the tools you need to target the right people. For example, Instagram provides its business account users with demographic information such as your audience’s age range, gender, and the top cities they live. In addition, Instagram also provides other insights such as the total impressions, reach, profile views, and website clicks you’ve received in the past 7 days, and much more.
3. Utilize Story Highlights. Almost every Instagram user knows how to create a “story”, but not every professional is utilizing the story highlight feature to their advantage. Think of story highlights as a way for you to group old stories together in a new section that sits below your Instagram bio. You can make a story highlight out of anything you’ve shared on your story in the past. Story highlights can also be used to eliminate visual clutter on your page, so you only make posts for the important things and save everything else for your stories. Some examples of how real estate professionals can use story highlights:
- Spotlighting Homes for Sale – “Homes for Sale” could be the name of this story highlight and you would have control to add or delete stories when new homes go on sale and when homes are sold.
- Recap of Events –This could be used to showcase any recent trade shows or conferences you attended, or events you sponsored. Just like you can add or delete individual stories in your story highlight, you are always able to delete an entire story highlight when you no longer want to display it on your profile.
- Trends and Market News –You could also have a story highlight where you post pictures of themes, products, layouts, and features that you’ve noticed are trending each season. Additionally, you can make a story highlight for relevant market news that features new mortgage rules, monthly market stats and any other relevant topics in your real estate market.
- Be creative – Other story highlights real estate professionals could benefit from using could be “About Me”, “Buying Tips”, “Selling Tips”, and or “Client Love”. Get creative and think of story highlights that would be beneficial for your users to look at.
4. Hashtags & Geotags Hashtags and Geotags can be a great tool for you to use in order to drive in local leads who are more likely to reach out to you for your services. As previously stated, it is important that your account is public so that everyone who is interested in your content can also discover you through the hashtags and geotags you use. In addition to the broad hashtags you may include, such as #Realtor, #RealEstate, or similar terms, try to be creative and incorporate hashtags that are unique to the location you are in. For example, if you are realtor in El Paso, Texas, you can still include #Realtor and #RealEstate hashtags, but also include #ElPaso #Texas and even #TexasRealEstate. Potential clients who are searching #ElPaso, #Texas, and or #TexasRealEstate could be a more qualified lead than someone who is just looking at #Realtor or #RealEstate.
Much like hashtags, geotags can be used to reach a wider audience that would have not otherwise found your profile. Tag every relevant post and story you can with a geotag to promote discovery. If you are on a quest to be known as the neighborhood expert in your city, you should be tagging your city or neighborhood. Doing this will allow your story or post to show up in that geolocation’s feed, meaning it will be easier to attract qualified potential real estate leads.
5. Consistency One of the biggest factors when it comes to being successful at anything is consistency. Being consistent on your Instagram account is very important as a business, because it adds an extra touch of professionalism. When it comes to the timing of your posts, the nature of your content, or the overall voice you use when posting, all factors of your page should be consistent. Each post you make should be well thought-out and organized. Try to avoid using too many filters across posts as this will make your profile look disorganized and full of clutter. Your page aesthetic should be consistent. Staying consistent with your posts and stories is key to keeping your followers interested and engaged.