Instagram for real estate is a proven content marketing platform. It has one billion active monthly users!
The platform, which is owned by Facebook, has become a mainstream social media giant with a focus on visual content — from fashion and food to scenery and even real estate.
So it’s understandable if, as a real estate agent, you’re considering joining the fray.
(You can check out their Instagram account over here)
They don’t run any ads on the platform but they regularly post content. And not only has that content garnered them more than 5,000 followers… but they also regularly generate leads through Instagram.
Pretty cool, huh?
But if you’re a total beginner and know next to nothing about Instagram, don’t worry.
We’re going to teach you everything a real estate agent needs to know about creating and optimizing their Instagram account.
So let’s get started.
Do Real Estate Agents Need an Instagram Account?
This is probably your first question.
Do you really need an Instagram account?
The simple answer is no, you don’t.
Instagram is not an absolutely necessary part of your marketing strategy.
Having said that, Instagram can be effective for building brand awareness and generating leads. Just because it’s not absolutely necessary doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
Especially if you enjoy engaging with people on social media… then Instagram is almost certainly a good idea for your business.
I mean… most of us spend several hours scrolling through social media every day, anyways.
Why not use that time to create content and grow your real estate Instagram business page instead?
Instagram Stats For Real Estate
Okay — so I’ve claimed that Instagram can help you grow your real estate business and I’ve even provided you with an example (The Farr Group) of real estate agents who are doing just that.
But here’s some more statistical evidence…
- 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business.
- Only 14% of realtors are on Instagram but 83% of all homebuyers reported wanting to see more pictures of properties online.
- One-third of the most-viewed Instagram stories are from businesses.
- Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 850 million users.
In other words… not only is Instagram a great marketing platform for businesses… it’s great for real estate agents.
More specifically, it’s ideal for posting pictures of homes that you’ve listed for sale and it’s great for sharing your own buying and selling expertise with your audience.
If you’re still not convinced, that’s okay.
The only real way to figure out if Instagram can help you grow your real estate business is to give it a try and see what happens.
So let’s talk about that.
How to Create Your Instagram for Real Estate Account
The first step is to create a Instagram real estate account for your business.
As with most social media platforms, this is pretty easy.
Just go here and enter your information to sign up (you can just login with Facebook if that’s easier).
It’s worth noting, however, that Instagram is far easier to use on mobile devices than it is on laptop or desktop.
You’ll definitely want to get the app on your phone. That’s where you’ll share content, engage with comments, and even update your account.
Here’s a link to the iPhone Instagram app.
Also, you’ll want to transform your Instagram account into a business account.
Here’s instructions on how to do that straight from Facebook itself…
- “Go to your profile and tap the menu icon on the top right corner.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Account.
- Tap Switch to Business Account.
- We recommend that you connect your business account to a Facebook Page that is associated with your business. This will make it easier to use all of the features available for businesses. Only one Facebook Page can be connected to your Instagram account.
- Add details, like your business category and contact information.
- Tap Done.”
There are a few advantages to switching from a personal account to a business account.
With a business acount, you get access to analytics about your followers and their engagement with your content.
You also gain the ability to promote your Instagram posts as advertisements and add links to your Instagram stories.
Additionally, when I asked Krista Farr about whether real estate agents should have a personal account or a business account on Instagram, she said “Only have a business account.”
She explained that this provides you with more flexibility and people who love your content won’t have the choice between following your personal account or your business account — in which case they would almost always opt to follow your personal account.
Instead, your audience is forced to follow your business account, which… is good for business.
Once you’ve created your account, you’ll need to add a profile picture and a bio (which should include a link to your website).
This doesn’t need be super fancy — prioritize clarity over cleverness.
Your profile picture can just be your company’s logo and your bio should offer a description of what it is that you do and where you do it.
If you can create a little bit of credibility here, then do it!
(In The Farr Group’s bio, it mentions that they’re in the top 1% of Spokane realtors, for example)
Add your website link — you can shorten it over here — and viola!
You’re up and running.
Turning Your Instagram Account Into a Lead-Generation Machine
Having an Instagram account is one thing.
And if that were the end goal, then this would be a short article.
But it’s not.
The real goal of marketing your business on Instagram is to build authority and generate leads.
So how do you make that happen?
Well, the obvious way is to create great content, create it consistently, and grow your Instagram following.
And we’re going to talk about all of that here shortly.
But that is not the starting place.
Because let me ask you this.
What happens when someone loves your content on Instagram so much that they want to learn more about your business and maybe even hire you as a real estate agent?
(That’s the goal, after all)
Where do they go?
What do they do?
Most importantly, how easy is it for them to become a lead?
The easier it is, the more leads you’re going to generate.
Take The Farr Group as an example. When you click on the link in their Instagram account, it takes you to their current, most desirable house listing.
Because that’s exactly where they want you!
For those people who are motivated enough to click on that link in their profile, they want to help them dream about what it’d be like to purchase a new home with them.
And what better way to do that than by sending them to your most popular house listing?
Even more brilliantly, the “Call Us” CTA sits right at the top of the page and the Property Search section on the right allow people to easily browse listings.
No wonder that The Farr Group generates so many leads through Instagram!
The best part is, all of those features are baked right into our AgentCarrot websites, which are built to convert visitors into leads right out of the box.
(In fact, The Farr Group uses our service for exactly that reason)
You can get your own high-converting realtor website risk-free for 30 days by clicking here!
Because one thing’s for sure…
Even if your Instagram account is driving traffic to your website… that won’t do any good if your website isn’t set up to generate leads.
Now we can talk about the specific of growing your Instagram following.
How Often Should Real Estate Agents Post On Instagram?
This is one of the first questions that people ask when they’re starting to market on a new social media platform.
How often do you need to create content on Instagram in order to be effective?
The honest answer to that question is the same as it is for every site: the more content you create, the better.
It’s very, very hard (ifou not impossible) to create too much content.
The algorithims on social media platforms that decide which content to show users is built to not overwhelm your audience with your content… so there’s almost no chance of annoying your followers.
But if you create too little content, there’s a very real risk of your followers not even seeing the content that you do create.
So rule of thumb: more is better.
Still, I know that you don’t want to spend all of your free time creating content for Instagram. So what’s the minimum amount of content that you should post to be effective?
Well, major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day on Instagram.
So one to three times per day is a good goal to aim for.
If you can do more, do more.
If that sounds like too much, start smaller and build.
Now, you’re probably wondering what the heck you should actually post about… that’s what we’re talking about next.
What Type of Content to Post on Instagram for Real Estate
Not sure what to share on your Instagram account?
Or maybe you’ve run out of ideas?
Here are 10 content ideas for real estate agents to share on Instagram.
1. House Listings
When it comes to creating content on Instagram, this is probably your lowest hanging fruit.
Sharing your new house listings with your followers is quick and easy… and it’s probably one of the best ways to actually generate leads.
2. Expert Advice
You know more about real estate than the vast majority of your followers.
So why not share some of your expertise with them?
They’ll appreciate it and it’ll help establish you as an expert in your field (and thus the person to go to when someone needs to buy or sell a home!).
P.S. Don’t be afraid to make your expert advice fun and personable like the example above.
3. “Sold!” Updates
Maybe it sounds counterintuitive — why would you want to tell people about a home that’s already sold?
Isn’t the goal, after all, to promote homes that haven’t sold yet?
And as we talked about in the first point, you should definitely do that.
But you also should share about when you’ve sold a house — don’t pass up the opportunity to prove to people that you’re an effective real estate agent that knows how to sell people’s homes for top-dollar.
That goes a long way toward building trust and authority for your business in the eyes of your followers.
4. Event Announcements
Announcing and promoting local events is another great content idea for real estate agents.
You can promote local meetups, upcoming events in your city, or even your open houses.
There’s always something going on, which means there’s always something to talk about… and something to post about.
And you’ll get bonus points if you’re going to actually attend the event that you’re promoting… that way, you followers can meet you in person!
5. Creative Pictures
There’s no two ways about it — Instagram users love creative pictures.
Sometimes, this will mean posting stylish photos of a home you’ve listed or even sharing photos of your recent family vacation.
If it’s a unique and cool photo, your audience is going to love it.
6. Behind-The-Scenes Content
People don’t just want to see the external results that your business is producing, they also want to see how you do it.
Sharing behind-the-scenes content — posts of you and your team actually working on buying and selling homes — is a great way to show your audience how hardworking you are for your clients.
It’s also a great way to humanize you and make you more approachable, which is helpful for getting the phone ringing.
7. Local Business Promotions
As a realtor, you’re deeply connected to the inner workings of local markets. It’s appropriate — even expected — then, for you to show support for other local businesses.
Aaron and Krista do this by giving away $100 gift cards to their favorite local restaurants.
That way, they’re helping local business and their audience at the same time.
8. Testimonials/Case Studies
When you use your customer testimonials on Instagram they can provide a social proof boost and give your visitors and followers a solid reason to trust your real estate business.
9. Real Life Stuff
Your Instagram audience doesn’t just want to see things about your work… they want to get to know you as a person.
Fortunately, that’s also good for business — most people choose a real estate agent based on who they feel connected with.
So post some pictures of your recent vacation, or when you were in engaging in a hobby like hiking or golf, or after you just came out of the movie theater.
It’s not immediately obvious, but if you share your life with your audience, they’ll be more likely to work with you in the future… because they feel connected to you.
10. Market Data
You’re an expert at real estate.
Most people aren’t.
So why not share some of your knowledge of the current market with your audience and break it down in a way that they can understand.
At the very least, it’ll build your own authority. And at best, good market conditions might convince people to sell their home with you!
How’s your real estate agent website performing?
Our Demo Will Guide You Through How Carrot
Outperforms the Competition…
Do Real Estate Agents Need To Pay For Ads On Instagram?
This is a really important question.
On Facebook, only posting organic content to a business is a sure-fire way to never grow your following. That’s because Facbook’s algorithim makes it mind blowingly difficult to reach your audience (even the people who are following you) unless you pay for it.
Is the same true for Instagram?
Even though Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same people, their algorithims are vastly different.
Where it’s difficult to reach your audience on Facebook, it’s seamless on Instagram.
In fact, one study found that brands “see a median engagement rate of 0.09% per Facebook post, in comparison to a 1.60% median engagement rate per post on Instagram.”
Instagram is much kinder to businesses than Facebook is.
So do you need to pay for Instagram ads?
Well, the answer is definitely no. Even Aaron and Krista who get hundreds of likes and comments on their content don’t run any ads at all.
But they swear that Instagram is generating tons of leads for their business — that’s why they keep doing it.
Having said that, there’s certainly nothing wrong with running ads on Instagram.
It might be worth at least a test or two.
You create and manage your Instagram ads right inside of Facebook’s ad manager. Here’s a guide on how to do it.
4 Best Practices For Creating Real Estate Content On Instagram
In order to get as much out of engagement as possible out of the content you post on Instagram, here are some simple best practices to keep in mind.
1. Real Estate Hashtags for Instagram
Real estate hashtags are the not-so-secret sauce to growing your Instagram following.
Users can (and do) search hashtags that they’re interested in. Instagram then shows them the content with that hashtag.
So hashtags serve two purposes.
First, they organize your content so that Instagram knows when and where to show your posts. Second, and more importantly, they catch the eyes of people who are looking for that specific hashtag.
You’ll notice that at the bottom of every Instagram post, Shemeika Fox put quite a few relevant hashtags.
This makes content more searchable.
The max amount of hashtags that you can put on a post is 30 (and 10 for Instagram stories) and we recommend using all of those slots.
However, you shouldn’t copy and paste the same hashtags into your post every time as that signals to Instagram that you’re being a bit spammy.
This can be a little tedious, but the results are definitely worth it. If you need help, here’s an Instagram hashtag generator that could definitely help.
2. Be Consistent
As with all social media platforms, consistency is critical on Instagram.
If you post a lot of content one week but none for the next month, your audience is quickly going to forget about you.
So you’ve not only got to be consistent, but you’ve got to be consistent for the long-term.
The longer that you’re consistent about posting content, the bigger following you’re going to build — in some ways, it really is that simple.
Create a schedule that has you posting at least a few times a week (ideally once per day) and then stick to it for years rather than weeks or months.
3. Create Visual Consistency
Instagram is a highly visual platform. That is, people do a lot more looking than reading.
And one of the keys to growing on Instagram is to become quickly recognizable. Without people even looking at your profile picture, they should, be able to identify your content becaus of the style, the colors, and other elements.
In fact, if you browse around top Instagram accounts, you’ll notice that all of their posts have similar styles — it’s almost like they’re all using the same filter.
Doing so helps create a sense of consistency for your audiencse so that they know what to expect.
And people like when they feel like they know what to expect from you — they like it even more when you fulfill those expectations day-in and day-out.
So use the same logos, the same colors, the same fonts, and the same filters on your posts.
4. Focus On Your Specific Market
As a realtor, it’s not all that important to generate leads from all over the U.S. Really, you just want to attract people who are in your market.
That gives you an advantage — it gives you an angle that nation-wide Instagram pages can’t play off of.
By posting about things specific to your market, local businesses, state parks, even the weather, you can appeal to people in a different and meaningful way.
Plus, people want to hire someone who’s an expert on the area, anyways… so why not show them that you are?
Are You Ready To Generate Real Estate Leads On Instagram?
Hopefully by now you feel that you can approach Instagram with confidence.
It’s a relatively simple platform to get the hang of, but a difficult one to master. And this beginner guide has given you everything you need to get started, grow your following, and even turn those followers into leads for your real estate business.
But enough from us.
What has your experience with Instagram been?
Are you using it to grow your real estate business?
Or do you have additional questions about how to make that happen?
Let us know in the comments!
How’s your real estate agent website performing?
Our Demo Will Guide You Through How Carrot
Outperforms the Competition…