After years of experience in working in + for the real estate industry, we’ve learned a thing or to about how to handle social media in this space. On Tuesday we went online with a few thoughts re: how to you can handle Instagram with strategy and class, specifically as Realtors. Because we get a lot of questions:
What works best and what doesn’t? What do we recommend in terms of content? How can you be relatable without being meme-post-driven, overly casual, or (god forbid) tacky?
For those who may have missed Tuesday’s Story (are you following us on IG?), then read on for a recap of the tip that got everybody talking.
“This is so helpful, because I’ve been struggling to define a more genuine approach to my IG.”
“SERIOUS food for thought! And I’ve been an agent on Instagram for over three years. Sheesh.”
“Thanks for helping me get a better vision for connecting with my audience. This tip feels actionable.”
… those were just a few of the DM’s we received in response to our Story. Instagram is a huge topic and certainly not one we plan to tackle in one sitting, so we’ll be sharing more and more as we go along. #staytuned
Here are our top 5 “quick tips” for Realtors looking to shift their social media mindsets for the better and do Instagram well:
Look at your profile proactively, rather than complacently.
We may be in a current iteration of this platform that feels frustrating. No one quite “gets” the algorithim. Amidst the ebb and flow, it’s easy to default to the mindset that Instagram is doing all the work for you (“Photo posted? Done.”), or conversely, that the algorithim is one big, hairy, unbeatable creature out to get you (“Working on IG really isn’t worth my effort”). Neither view is correct.
We need a more proactive, and relatable, approach to being Realtors on Instagram. If you see someone who has built a following and has real engagement (no matter how small their follower count may be), then that person has put in some work. Instagram is a serious tool and we need to start seeing it as a serious marketing strategy.
Stop treating IG like your work portfolio. Start treating IG like an invitation through the door.
Most Realtors we see and work with treat their Instagram accounts like their work portfolios. It starts to look like this:
new listing post. open house post. closings post. (random coffee post.) new listing post. market stats post. (random cute dog post.) open house post. another market stats screenshot post. etc.
You love what you do and it’s great to show that to the world.
But treating your IG as a portfolio of new listings, open houses, and market statistics is so overdone, it’s the furthest thing from compelling. And the fact is? Your audience just doesn’t care about all that as much as you do.
Not if those types of posts comprise 70% or more of your content. Remember that Instagram is a highly personal platform. You gotta know your platform.
Think about where your clients are hanging out and what they are looking to see on IG, which is “personality over portfolio.”
Once people start following you because they love your content so much, THEN they become aware of the services you actually offer. This is huge.
(Remember, most new followers aren’t ripe-n-ready buyers and sellers looking to hire you for some big real estate transaction. Most are just regular social media Joes seeking interesting, helpful, or beautiful content worth following. You have to capture them as people first, not as clients. And when they are ready to make that sale or purchase? That’s when you can swoop in.
Because you are the first Realtor they thought of. Because they like your lifestyle content. Your home interiors content. Your “where to experience the best local nightlife” and “the best his and her holiday gift guide” content. They liked it so much, they remembered you when a need arose in their lives…and they thought of you MUCH faster than the agent who has tried to earn their Instagram engagement through random low-light home showing photos (guys, IMAGE QUALITY MATTERS!), National Donut Day memes and dense-looking market stat graphs.
Your Instagram needs to shift from a portfolio to an open door. Let it be an invitation for your audience to:
- learn about interior design trends
- get in the know about community events and hot spots
- be inspired by your thoughts on/passion for travel, food, faith, family
- see your FACE often and feel a connection to your PERSONALITY, not just your persona.
Stop touting your services first, and commit to asking yourself the right relational questions every time you go to post.
So your latest open house photo, for instance. It may be relevant, but does it spark conversation and is it memorable? Not really. Market stat graphs have a place now and again (only if they are very local and relevant to your base, in our humble opinion), but are they, well…interesting? Not really.
Hear us out: these kind of posts do have value and a place, but not if they comprise the majority of content or are leaned on over and over again as “fillers.”
Let’s shift our mindset. How about a high-quality local photo that shows you know more about your area than most people (historical info is superb)?
Now that’s interesting.
How about your post about your personal laundry room reorganization or the affordable Father’s Day gift list you compiled to share?
Now that’s helpful and memorable. Maybe even share-worthy.
See the difference? Which account would YOU follow?
Always try to improve, but don’t get discouraged.
It takes consistent energy to make this mentality and content strategy a success. Aside from hiring an Instagram Manager to curate, write copy, schedule, and post for you (we do all that for Realtors in our studio, by the way), there isn’t a hack that gets you out of investing time into this platform.
If you want to do it all yourself? We do have more tips for you there. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.
Onward and upward!
BLUEPRINT is a boutique creative studio serving the real estate industry. Visit our website for information about our services and to learn how our team can support your real estate branding, social media and editorial needs.