Instagram got its start as a simple photo sharing website back in 2010, but since then, it has become one of the leading methods for online marketing. The app’s blend of photo sharing, commenting, and messaging allows brands to easily display their products and communicate with customers. This valuable tool can be very useful for real estate agents.
Why is Instagram Important?
Before we get deeper into how you can benefit from using Instagram, you should learn a little more about how Instagram works. This photo sharing program is available as both a website and an app, and it allows users to share a carefully curated blend of images with their followers. When you see the data for Instagram, it is easy to see why more and more real estate agents are starting to market themselves through this form of social media.
The app and website together have 500 million users each month, and 300 million people use it per day. Every minute, there are 216,000 photos posted. Roughly 30 percent of the United States population uses Instagram, and half of all millennials are on Instagram each day. As you can see, Instagram users are a huge market just waiting to be tapped. Through Instagram, you can share photos filled with advertising material, message clients, and appeal to local businesses.
What Can Instagram Do for Your Real Estate Business?
It is easy to say that real estate agents need Instagram because it lets them connect with potential clients, but that description is a little vague. There are several practical and concrete ways that Instagram can help to boost a real estate business. Posting creative, relevant, local content allows viewers, and potential clients, to know that you actively engaged in the community. This helps boost your credibility with the clients; you are proving that you know how to handle their concerns by having shown that you have helped others with similar frets. You show that you know the local hot-spots and attractions that clients would be looking for, and are genuinely interested in helping clients. Instagram allows you to show those tiny, heart-warming moments that made you fall in love with being a real estate agent in the first place.
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Help Potential Clients Find You
As most realtors know, standing out in a crowded market is quite difficult. It can be tricky to get clients if you are not showing up when a customer searches for local real estate through Google or other search engines. Unfortunately, a more established competitor will almost always be ahead of you in online searches because search engines prioritize high amounts of content and frequent website visits. Instagram makes it a lot easier because climbing to the top of the Instagram trending list is just a matter of having a currently popular post. Many new realtors prefer to use Instagram over a website because you can climb through the ranks of Instagram hashtags far quicker than traditional SEO.
Connect with Facebook Clients
The same company owns Facebook and Instagram, and this can be a good thing for real estate agents. Changes to Facebook’s news feed means that they now prioritize posts from trusted sources when using algorithms to calculate what will appear on any person’s home page. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it is considered very reputable. This means your Instagram posts can connect with all the people following you on Facebook instead of being dismissed as sketchy ads.
Attract People with “Behind the Scenes” Glimpses
Social media is such a good form of advertising because it lets clients see the personal side of a business. People love looking behind the scenes and getting a realistic view of the way an industry works. Since Instagram is less formal than a business website or a print ad, it is an excellent opportunity to put a human face on your business. Showing things like your process of preparing a listing or your emotions after a closing help to build a personal connection and make clients feel like they can really trust you.
Get Customers to View Videos
When you are interested in online advertising, videos are an essential part of your marketing. A good video ad can increase a person’s purchase probability by up to 97 percent. Videos are so effective because they capture the brain’s attention with movement and noise. When showing a house, its yard and other things, make sure it is creative and gives your followers an in-depth look at work being done to make the house presentable. However, people who are just browsing from their phone typically do not like to open videos online because they feel like they are time consuming and noisy. Instagram’s ability to let you upload quick 15 second videos that play automatically increases the chance that a user will actually bother to check out your video.
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Create a Real Estate Brand
When you are a realtor, the homes are not the only products you sell. You also market yourself as a unique brand. In the modern world, social media is one of the most important ways to build your brand. Many younger clients pay more attention to social media accounts than traditional marketing methods like print and television ads. Since people can glance at multiple Instagram posts for one account at once, an Instagram is an easy way to give clients an idea of what your brand is. You can cultivate an image of luxury, trendiness, expertise, quaintness, or professionalism to attract the type of clients that will appreciate your listings.
Emphasize Your Knowledge About a Community
The photo maps on Instagram are a great opportunity if you want to build a reputation for being an expert in a specific location. This Instagram feature lets you create a map with geotagged posts, so people can see that you are taking pictures all over certain desirable neighborhoods. If you take the time to tag local hangouts, festivals, and businesses in your post, you can attract clients who are interested in these community features. Instagram users will frequently look at tags for their favorite things and check out accounts that post in these tags.
Reach Out to Clients
Most people select a real estate agent based on the agent’s personality and character. Clients want someone who they think will be caring and attentive. Social media is an easy way to build valuable connections. Instagram lets you casually like posts, which is an easy way to let a client know you are thinking of them without seeming too invasive. You can also use commenting and messaging to further interact with people. Do keep in mind that if you open up communication, be sure to follow up or respond to replies and questions in a timely manner. According to Podium, “one in three consumers will refuse to patronize a local business if they have been unresponsive for 24 hours and one in five consumers expects a response within five minutes.” That means that you have to be rather proactive about all of your online interactions with others.
Create an Online Catalog
Keep in mind that homes are products too, so having an online catalog can be very handy. Instagram has been successfully used by clothing retailers as a secondary shopping platform, so it only makes sense to put your available listings there too. This lets customers get a quick idea of the types of listings you have before they even get in touch with you. Many agents who begin posting listings find that there is a boost in customer interest for those listings. People often see the listings online and then contact agents to set up a showing. Since Instagram is so easy to view from a computer or phone, customers quickly have access to details about potential homes to buy in the area. Just remember to have the homeowner complete any repairs before posting any photos to your catalog. Potential buyers will use these photos to make early decisions and problems with the roof, walls, or other areas of the house can cause them to pass on the home.
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How Do You Use Instagram for Real Estate?
Now that you know a little bit about the benefits of Instagram, it is time to learn more about how you can get all the advantages for your own business. Follow these tips to use Instagram to connect with customers.
- Use a business account—If you have not done this yet, be sure to convert your Instagram account to a business account. This lets you access helpful data about how often other users view and interact with your content.
- Set a recognizable photo style—Avoid a scattered amount of unrelated content. Instead, try to take pictures that use the same lighting, color schemes, and themes. This lets you create shots that customers can instantly recognize as being part of your brand.
- Include personal pictures—Most of your photos should be real estate related, but it is a good idea to include a few headshots of yourself, some snaps of cute pets, and photos of your hobbies. Clients want to know who they will be working with, and it makes you more memorable.
- Tag locations—Tagging the location for your listings can boost engagement by almost 80 percent. It makes it easy for people to search for real estate in their desired location.
- Use the right keywords—Keywords and hashtags are how people will find you. Do some research to find the most commonly used tags for real estate in your area, and always include them in your posts.
- Invite people to events—Post behind the scenes sneak-peaks as you prepare for an open house and use the post to encourage other people to show up to the event.
The key thing to keep in mind when you are using Instagram for real estate is that each post needs to be carefully selected and tagged to fit your overarching goal. With the right marketing strategies, this form of media can be a helpful way of advertising your listings and promoting your services. Instagram’s ability to directly speak with clients allows you to build strong relationships that will further grow your business.
Instagram is a great way to get quick photos out to the public. Sometimes, though, those photos need a little help to give your potential buyers a view of what they could do with a house. Contact us to see how we can help you and your photos spread visions and make dreams come true!