Social media isn’t just for high-schoolers, celebrities, or big businesses. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all free, easy-to-use tools that, when managed correctly, can be a powerful way to build your brand and create a reliable source of new rental leads. Social media is especially important for the “digital natives” — all the Millennials entering the housing market— but 69% of all US adult have a social media account. A lot of agents probably are already using social media, so we all probably recognize its potential, but don’t know what to post, when to post, and what tools are at their disposal. Don’t worry. Rental Beast is here to help. We’ve developed a guide to Instagram tips for real estate agents.
Instagram is a social media platform that revolves around the sharing and liking of photos. Although it might not be as well-trafficked as Facebook, it’s an indispensable tool for real estate agents— Instagram boasts 10x more engagement that Facebook, a 500 million strong community of users, and is easy-to-use, bright, and highly visual.
But, don’t be posting blind. Learn how to farm the digital landscape with these helpful instagram tips for real estate agents from your friends at Rental Beast and Rental Beast University.
Get the right username and Bio
Make sure that your followers know exactly what you do and who you are with readable and clear bios and username. For username, try this formula: <yourname>_realestate<StateInitals>. It’ll look something like this JohnSmith_realestateTX. It’ll get across your name, what you do, and where you work. Make a succinct bio that says what areas your work in, and add any specialities you have. Gain inspiration by going through the bios of real estate gurus that you respect. See what gets an immediate response from you. It’s likely a client will feel the same way! Remember: always get someone to read over a bio before you share it. Ask them for initial reactions and spell-check.
Post Often (but Not Too Often)
Make sure your posts are a reliable fixture in your followers’ feed. You, the services you provide, and the listings you’re representing, will never be completely out of mind if a potential client is seeing your posts when they check Instagram. However, you don’t want to post too often. If you flood someone’s feed, you’ll be considered an annoyance not a resource, and you’re likely to be unfollowed. What’s the right balance? It’s recommended to post to Instagram no more than once a day, and, at minimum three times a week. Add social media posting to your daily schedule, or, if you’re likely to forget, applications like these can post on automatically to your social media for you.
Post at the Right Time
It’s not just how much you post, but also when you post. Instagram’s traffic fluctuates throughout the day, meaning that the timing of your posts. Lunchtimes during the weekday are pretty reliable times of high-traffic, as well as weekday nights. Join Rental Beast University and take My First Deal Boot Camp to find out the exact hours we’ve identified as best to post to social media!
Vary Your Feed
Post lots of pictures of the rentals you’re listing, yes, but make sure that you’re intersperse them with some other content to make your page scrollable. Think about posting that picture you took of the park that’s walking distance from a few or your properties, or a cup of coffee from the neighborhood cafe. Maybe offer your expertise on a subject that you feel qualified to talk about in a quick informational video. Ask if you can take a photo of your clients when they’ve first moved into their homes. Or, post some inspirational words that you live by. Remember, nothing too personal and nothing political!
Curate Your Following List and Leave Comment and Like Photos
Follow influencers— users with a large following base and lots of posts— in your area. Start with real estate agent in your area that are mainstays, and real estate companies (Zillow, Trulia, RentalBeast) and be sure to like and comment on their photos. Here’s some more people and companies you can follow. Not only will you gain some inspiration from their posts (and be able to gauge what the public reacts favorably to), but you’ll be able to tap into their larger following. Don’t make the rookie mistake of expecting influencers to be engaged with your photos. They likely won’t. So, instead, follow fellow real estate agents in your neighborhood and like and comment on their photos. In return, they’ll do the same.
Don’t Forget About The “Story” and “Instagram Live” feature
“Stories” are 15 second videos or photos that stay active on your page for 24 hours. Give potential clients a closer look at the homes that they want to purchase with live-tour videos, or maybe do a little series of what homes you are listing. Stories tend to be a little bit more informal than your regular posts, and have great engagement and generate lots of Direct Messages (and maybe lots of leads, too!)
Get to know Hashtags (Use 9 of them!)
Every post that you make should have some hashtags. When you’re constructing a caption type a # symbol before any word, or any couple of words with no spaces between them, to turn them into a hashtag (like #realestate #austinrealestate #apartmentsforrent) These let the reader know what you post is about, and, because Instagram allows its users to search via hashtag, find your post easily.
Here’s two ground-rules: keep them relevant and tag each post with 9 hashtags (according to this statistic, this generates the most engagement)
Monitor Your Activity— Find Out What Works for You
All the studies, and these Instagram Tips For Real Estate Agents are great when you’re just starting, but, if you’re not getting the results you want, try branching out. Post at different times, experiment with posting frequency, and the type of post you put out. Find out what’s working for you by tracking activity. How many people are liking your posts and commenting on them? Maybe you get a lot of activity in the early morning. Maybe posts in which you ask questions of your followers are getting more traction than others, or maybe your listings of apartments in one area are blowing up. Be ready to build the results of your searches into your model and evolve your social media presence into something tailor-made for your clients’ wants and desires.
Want to learn more or see more Instagram Tips for Real Estate Agents? Rental Beast University’s My First Deal Bootcamp includes units on social media, and can give you new techniques to help sharpen your skills, get you confident using digital tools, and get you leads. If you want to take a deeper dive into social media, Rental Beast University also offers a course designed with social media in mind— “Boot Camp: Social Media Beginner.” If you’re ready to take advantage of social media to generate leads, Rental Beast can help. With a Rental Beast subscription, you can easily share listings to your Facebook page, your Twitter and Craigslist to mime your current sphere of influence. To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.