How To Make Instagram Work For Your Real Estate Business

There is no doubt that Instagram is hot. It has proven its ability to stay relevant with its release of Instagram stories last August. It is definitely where millennials are with 59% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 active on the social platform and 54% of those aged 25-34 using the photo sharing platform on a regular basis. It is the only platform that’s acceptable to post personal and business content. In this post, I share a few tips to optimize your profile and some of my favorite ways to use Instagram as a real estate agent.

YOUR PROFILE

This is your opportunity to showcase yourself. When people click on your name, they want to learn more about you. Do not underestimate this chance to shine! As a real estate agent, you should have your phone number, email, website and service area(s) listed. Get creative with emojis and hashtags, list what you’re passionate about. Stand out! Why do you sell real estate? What makes you tick? How are you different? TRULY DIFFERENT. People should FEEL something when they read your bio. Are there any causes near and dear to your heart that you are able to support because you have a flexible schedule or supplemental income as a realtor? Take a look at my profile below for some inspiration.

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HASHTAGS

If you’re new to Instagram or want to grow your audience, hashtags are crucial. Hashtags are clickable links which become searchable. For example, by using the hashtag #tamparealestate, people that search for that hashtag will likely find you. The more popular the hashtag, the less likely you will be found, so you want to be as creative as possible. The maximum number of hashtags you can use in one post is 30. I know, that’s a lot. I like to stick to 15. So how do you come up with 15? I came up with the 5/5/5 formula to help trigger some ideas. Here’s how it works: Use 5 location based hashtags based on where you are when you post (i.e. #newyorkcity, #vegas #houston #houstontx #grandcanyon), then use 5 activity based hashtags to describe what you are doing when you post (i.e. #familytrip #realestateconference #teammeeting #businesstrip #settlement) and lastly, 5 fun/expressive hashtags to further describe what you are doing and reinforce your branding: (i.e. #bestclientsever #realtorintraining, #hustlehard #springmarket #workinghardforyou #lovemyjob). This last one is where your tagline or a custom hashtag would go. I use #CloseWithPruitt on almost every post related to a settlement.

If you are really struggling with coming up with hashtags on your own, there are plenty of free apps that will generate hashtags based on other hashtags. My favorite is HASHME.

BORROW AN AUDIENCE

This is probably my favorite thing to do on social media. It can be done on Twitter and Facebook, too, but it works best on Instagram. The trick is to tie in your real estate activities to a local business and/or local people by mentions (Instagram’s word for “tagging”). Whenever you mention another account, Instagram sends that account a notification. I don’t know about you but when someone tags or mentions me, I usually go to that post and like it or comment on it (unless it’s a spammer). Likes and comments equal engagement and engagement equals brand visibility. If you are strategic and consistent with this method, you will see a spike in your local followers which means more local visibility in the are(s) you sell real estate. DING DING DING!!!

Here is one scenario:

After a long morning of showings, you take your clients, Joe and Rachel, to Duck Donuts in Arlington for some coffee and a snack.

Picture: If Joe & Rachel are cool with it, snap a selfie of the three of you enjoying your sweet treats and upload it to Instagram.

What To Type: Joe & Rachel found “THE HOUSE” this morning. Celebrating at Duck Donuts in Arlington then off to write their offer. Wish us luck!!

What Hashtags To Use: #ArlingtonVA #ArlingtonCounty #DuckDonuts #NorthArlington #NorthernVA #HouseHunting #ArlingtonRealEstate #CelebrationTime #ForeverHome #SaturdayShowings #BuyWithKara #ABCRealEstate #KaraCanHelp #IloveMyClients #FingersCrossed←← #SweetTreats

How To Properly MENTION or TAG Duck Donuts. Type the “@” symbol and begin typing a name or a business name and Instagram will provide you with a list of possible matches. Choose the right one (remember not everyone/every business is on Instagram so you may not see what you are looking for) and you’re done. See two pictures below. In the first one, I typed “@Duck “ and Duck Donuts appeared. In the second picture, you can see the finished post. Notice @duckdonutsnova is in light blue. That means I tagged them properly.

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SHOW YOU CARE!

Be sure you are checking your notifications regularly and responding when someone mentions YOU. I recommend checking your notifications twice a day (minimum) and ALWAYS responding in some way even if it’s just a “LIKE”. It shows you care about your audience.

Scroll through your feed a couple of times a day and comment on other people’s posts. Offer advice if someone asks, give recommendations when appropriate and comment often. The more peopleyou’re your name in the comments, the better.
Send a personal message to your new followers, ESPECIALLY local ones. No one does this on Instagram and I think it is a huge opportunity missed. Whenever you have a chance to be different, you have a chance of being remembered when your services are needed.

About The Author

Kara Macdonald is the Owner of Your Favorite Title Lady, LLC and the Vice President of Pruitt Title, LLC. Her mission is to inspire real estate agents by teaching them how to market themselves better online and offline through blogs, vlogs, webinars and in person consultations. She can be reached by email at kara@yourfavoritetitlelady and on her cellphone: 571-432-9382.

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