SOCIAL MEDIA: The easiest gateway to eyes and ears. Already social media platforms have greatly changed from the stone age of LiveJournal and MySpace to the bronze age of Facebook and Twitter to the current iron age of Instagram and Snapchat.
Love it or hate it, social media is entrenched in our global society. We are more connected than ever—and it’s only going to evolve.
So how do you, O Wise and Savvy Realtor, turn this evolution/revolution into something both fun and profitable?
Let’s start by focusing on one of the fastest growing social media platforms around: Instagram.
Instagram Stories: What are they and why they’re your new best friends
According to WhatIs.com, Instagram Stories is a feature within the Instagram (IG) app that allows users to capture and post related images and videos in a slideshow format. Stories can be modified using other popular features of the IG app such as filters.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram allows you to connect with your audience in two ways simultaneously.
One: You can present a short series of polished images and videos that truly showcase your listings.
Two: You can inject a little of your personality in those same stories as well as give some behind-the-scenes peeks to what you and your team are like behind those pro headshots.
Not sure if it’s worth it? According to Hootsuite, Instagram has over 1 billion active users every month. Every. Month.
And because Instagram is primarily a mobile app, your reach is nearly every person’s pocket or handbag. That may be one of the easiest, most accessible source of leads ever. You can increase your engagement, develop social proof, and perfect your branding while showing off new listings and giving virtual tours. Be sure to read this killer list from JumperMedia on why IG is great for real estate agents and methods on using IG stories to bring in sales.
OK, you’ve got my attention. How to we start?
So JumperMedia leads us off with another helpful primer on Instagram story basics including how to view, create, and edit stories—and some must-read reasons on why you should maximize your IG usage to enhance your business.
The name of the game with Instagram stories is authentic yet trusted.
What I mean by that is your audience sees you and your brand as both professional but down-to-earth. This minimizes the distance between audience perception and the reality: While you are knowledgeable in the realm of real estate, you’re still a human being who still lives a very human life. What you may think of as incompatible to business or silly to share may actually turn out to be your strongest, most human draw.
DO: Show some of your personal life and human side.
DON’T: Show your audience too much of your outside life. If your personal posts outnumber your real estate posts, start cutting back.
DO: Upload a friendly yet professional headshot. It’ll make you seem more approachable.
DON’T: Use the same listing photo that you’ve used for the last 10 years. Stale photos with stale smiles do not win people over.
DO: Use photos and videos you or your staff actually shot.
DON’T: Use and/or alter stock photos in lieu of showing actual listing photos. Exception to this rule: If you’re using an IG graphic to bring traffic to a blog post.
DO: Show off some sneak peek previews of new listings.
DON’T: Show off new listings or potential listings without telling a story or at least giving a teaser tag. Evoke curiosity while remaining warm and professional.
DO: Use your hashtags! Focus on specifics such as your office, your name, your city, house style, and applicable locations, businesses, and people.
DON’T: Randomly tag people in a bid to attract people. A move like this reeks of insecurity and potentially-purchased followers. (As noted below: don’t do that either.)
DO: Have past clients provide you with video testimonials.
DON’T: Purchase followers or beg people to follow your account. Desperation does not instill confidence.
DO: Respond to post comments and reply to your followers’ posts.
DON’T: Comment on every single post your followers publish. Be genuine and authentic in what you comment on and why.
If you’re feeling short on ideas, take a look here for 5 IG hacks to get your audience engaged with your posts.
Can you show me how it’s done?
Since you now have a handy list of DON’Ts to look at, let’s keep things positive by focusing on the examples of DO.
Judy Goldick shows a fun human side with this aftershot of the 2019 Realtor Hooky motorcycle ride. Her Instagram also shows a great way of using stories to keep things engaged. Personal stories such as “My babies” or “Riding Again” are in between real estate wins in her numerous “Highlights” stories.
Gayla Bustos adds a bit of sweetness with her bear, who points out the listing and her phone number. She also proudly lists herself as “Mom|Realtor|Military Spouse” and co-owner of Property Mommies in her profile.
Christina Khosrowabadi mixes being a real estate broker and interior designer to show off well-staged listing photos, sold or sale pending photos, and provide killer (and hilarious) IG stories. She uses her personality and flair for fashion to demonstrate her knowledge of her industries while giving a personal touch.
Paola Calamia not only presents a gorgeous action shot of her city, she uses the power of a single but popular hashtag (#love) to drive extra traffic her way. Her profile also has some smart story categories listed such as “Selling Tips”, “Buying Tips”, “Real Estate”, and “Contact Me”.
Karen Hall delivers a laugh with her what-did-she-do post along with her tag an emoji. It’s a human side of the real estate business—nothing is perfect, accidents happen, and sometimes a #homeinspection goes awry. She maintains a fantastic mix of personal, breathtaking listing shots, inspirational quotes, and on-the-job silliness.
How does this help me sell luxury homes?
Great question. Using what you’ve learned above, here’s a list of ideas:
You can craft a room by room walkthrough with IG’s slideshow style video using photos you took.
If the home has a banister, release your inner child and pose with it, pretend to slide down it, pretend to get your head stuck between the bars.
Add some of your own personality and flair when interacting with the decor.
Does this house have a history? Talk about the age of the home in a quick video. Or overlay an interesting factoid about the year the house was built over a stellar photo.
Frame the house as a dating contestant with likes, dislikes, and personality. Sixty-five-year-old Victorian seeks homeowner with experience in lawn care. Has original hardwood; dislikes carpeting but loves a fresh buff and wax.
Treat your IG stories as if you’re taking your very best friend on a tour of their absolute perfect dream home. Be excited, knowledgeable, and show off fun or innovate assets inside and outside the home.
Take curbside shots throughout the day and present a “this house in this light” montage. Sometimes, helping people imagine what their future house looks like in morning sun or early evening can be the most effective technique of all.
Turn our global society into your gain.
Don’t be afraid to give audience a peek into who you are aside from being a kick-butt realtor.
Grow with the times and have a bit of fun involving your business...by inviting people to have a digital look around.
People buy from people—not a business.
There are TONS of people using Instagram every single day which means an even larger pool of potential clients.
Considering selling your home? We love staying up-to-date with the latest in marketing trends to help you get your Jacksonville luxury home sold faster!
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Anastasia MorganA SoCal cat living in Iowa, Anastasia Morgan is a copywriter, content writer, and editor specializing in blogging, email marketing, content creation/management, and social media strategy. She helps clients by slinging (digital) ink to make their brands iconic and their voices unmistakable. She writes blog articles for MissionMarketing.Today, a real estate digital marketing agency, regularly.