Why you must use Instagram for your real estate business in 2017 (and how to actually use it)

If you really want to make a big impact in 2017, you’re going to have to start using Instagram. It doesn’t matter if you barely know the difference between Facetime and Facebook. Smart marketing is going to Instagram.

Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to cost much, if anything, to run an effective Instagram marketing campaign. And you don’t have to be super tech-savvy. That’s kind of the point of Instagram. Anyone can use it. Today we offer some basic ways realtors are already using Instagram to successfully market their listings and themselves.

One note: do keep in mind that when we’re talking about video, we mean short – 60 seconds is the maximum length for a video. Videos must be either shot live on the phone or uploaded from the phone – you can’t upload a video directly from your computer.

Use Instagram Stories to Generate Word of Mouth. Instagram Stories are like little slideshows of images and videos that play in the order that you add them. Viewers can’t comment on them, but you can see who’s watched each part of your story and you can send them direct messages. Stories vanish after 24 hours. Use Instagram Stories to promote a coming soon or an open house by offering a sneak peek to your team, your office, and your sphere.

Show off your capabilities to sellers. Offer to showcase their neighborhood by holding a “Where in XX?” contest with a few tantalizing lifestyle photos from around the area. Or, if your market is multicultural, offer short videos tours in more than one language.

Give buyers a reason to choose you. Get video testimonials from your buyers telling their stories. What was their goal and how did you help them reach it? Were there obstacles along the way that you helped clear? Humanize the process. Post some tips along the way, too. Partner with a lender to shoot a video on how to read a credit report or why it’s important not to make large purchases or change jobs while under contract to buy a home.

Emphasize the lifestyle elements of your farm area. One of the big considerations people make when deciding to relocate to North Texas is lifestyle choices. Take a bunch of photos and short videos highlighting all of the things that make your farm area a great place to call home. Highlight local restaurants, businesses, events and favorite hangouts. Show those new in town that you know where to find what they’re looking for, and build an audience of local fans, too.

Be useful to homeowners. Create a series of mini how-to videos for home maintenance or design tips. These can be short reminders like changing batteries on daylight savings time days or money-saving tips on your electric bill. Make a bunch of short videos in an afternoon and then release them one at a time over weeks (like on every Tuesday, for example).

Show off your market savvy. Post local market housing market data and put it in context. If you’re not sure where to start or want to use our monthly reports, go right ahead. We don’t mind! Watch our social posts for things like, “Did you know that in January, home sales in your city were up X% compared to last year. That’s a five-year high!” If you need help getting those numbers, just ask. We’re happy to get them to you.

Promote your human side. Don’t forget to highlight the charitable things you do for your community. If you volunteer, run a fundraising campaign, collect toys at the holidays, or anything of the sort, take pictures, take video, and tell people about it. People want to be able to connect with those they follow on social media. Give them a reason to care.