How You Can Build an Engaged Real Estate Instagram Account
Are you looking for a way to grow an engaged audience on your real estate Instagram account? Real estate is one of the most popular industries on Instagram. By following the social media guidelines for Realtors below, agents can grow their accounts and start generating more leads right from their phones.
It’s Time to Evolve Your Real Estate Instagram Strategy
Recently, Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, announced that Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app.
For the longest time, the social media app was focused on being a visual platform and was favored by creative businesses that had beautiful, eye-catching images to share. However, those who didn’t have beautiful imagery often felt like they struggled to grow on the platform.
Mosseri’s announcement earlier this year revealed that Instagram’s primary goal is to entertain and will focus on four key areas to accomplish this goal - creators, video, shopping, and messaging.
Why is this important to real estate agents?
Instagram rules for Realtors are changing. Knowing what’s important to the app allows real estate agents to adjust their Instagram content strategy to support those priorities.
While there are 11 different types of posts that Instagram supports, there are 10 that real estate agents should focus on. It’s crucial to a real estate agent’s success to use as many of these types of posts as possible to reach a wider range of users.
By incorporating as many of these posts as possible into your social media real estate marketing strategy, you’re going to get in front of more consumers because everyone likes to consume content in different ways.
Instagram Feed Posts
When Instagram debuted in 2010, the feed was a chronological list of square pictures. The oldest and most identifiable aspect of Instagram is the grid posts that appear in the feed.
How Often Should You Post to the Feed: As you’re creating your Instagram strategy, you should aim to post 3-5 pieces of content in the feed.
Type of Content to Share: The content should be a mix of single images or graphics, videos under 60 seconds, and carousel posts. Carousel posts allow you to add up to 10 images and typically perform better than a single image.
Real Estate Content Ideas: Your feed is a great spot to share a collection of images for your new listings, before-and-afters of remodels or home staging, testimonials, and real estate tips and tricks.
Best Practices to Remember:
- When posting a carousel, don’t forget to include a call to action on the last image.
- Instagram doesn’t care about a perfect grid anymore. Focus more on quality content and not how your profile grid appears.
- Don’t forget to include real estate hashtags in your captions.
Instagram Stories is one of the most popular Instagram posts, and often users will see your stories more than the content you post directly to your feed. Stories are 15 seconds long and disappear after 24 hours. Every time you post a new story, your account gets bumped back to the front of the line. Since stories appear above the feed, the more you post to your story, the more you’ll appear in front of your followers.
How Often Should You Post to Your Story: Real estate agents should be posting content to their stories multiple times per day. Instagram recommends having 8-10 active stories at once. Be sure to spread out your posting times, so your stories don’t all disappear at once.
Type of Content to Share: While you can share a single image or graphic in your story, it’s best for real estate agents to focus on videos. The stories that perform the best include a way for users to engage, such as polls, questions, quizzes, and sliders. To generate leads from your stories, include a call to action like asking people to send you a DM.
Real Estate Content Ideas: Stories are the perfect place to tease new listings, go behind the scenes of your day, or announce another post you just shared. Don’t be afraid to send content from your feed, reels, or IGTV to your stories as a sneak peek.
Best Practices for Instagram Stories:
- You can now schedule stories ahead of time using the Facebook Creator Studio. Take advantage of this by scheduling out a few stories each day.
- Stories should encourage engagement and keep people entertained. Do a mixture of video and still graphics, and don’t forget to mix in the polls, questions, and quiz stickers.
- Stories are the perfect way to connect with your biggest fans and for starting new conversations, encourage your followers to send you a DM.
- If you have a story that performs well, be sure to save it to your highlights on your main profile.
Instagram Story Highlights
Instagram story highlights aren’t just a way to extend the shelf life of your stories that are performing well; they’re a great way to tell your audience who you are and what you do. Think of them as a menu tab on your website.
How Often Should You Add to Highlights: You’ll want to add to your story highlights as you see fit. Focus on stories that perform well or fall within evergreen content.
Type of Content to Share: Each highlight reel should focus on a different content pillar. A great way to break up the highlights would be about you, selling, buying, community, and testimonials.
Adding a Story to Highlight: There are two ways to add a story to your highlight reel. The first is by selecting the + New button on your profile which will bring up past stories for you to add.
The second is by clicking the highlight button from a current story.
- Focus on only having 5 - 7 highlight reels and give each of them their name and cover.
- Created branded highlight covers in Canva to give your profile a cohesive look.
- Clear out outdated every few months to ensure the most accurate information is available.
Have you ever come across a profile that had a lot of great tips, but you hated scrolling to find all of them? Now with Instagram guides, you can group similarly themed posts. Think of guides as your posts highlights.
How Often Should You Post: You’ll want to add new posts as you see fit for the guide, but at minimum, a guide should have three pieces of content.
Type of Content to Share: What’s great about guides is you don’t have to just focus on your content; you can collaborate with other profiles. When you collaborate with others, you increase your chance of the other account returning the favor by sharing your content with their followers.
Real Estate Content Ideas: Focus on sharing buyer and seller guides, home maintenance tips, community information, FAQs, and mortgage information.
How to Create an Instagram Guide:
- Click the + button in the upper-right corner and select Guide from the menu.
- Choose the type of guide you want to create.
- Select the content from feed posts to include in the guide. If IGTV or Reels have been added to your feed’s grid, you may select those as well.
- Give each piece of content a title
- Format your Instagram guide by adding a title, description, cover image, and any additional details you wish to include.
- Once your guide has been formated, click the next button to publish the guide.
- Use your guides to attract your ideal audience by focusing on their pain points and promoting your content that helps to solve their problems.
- Add and remove content as you see fit. You never want to have outdated information within the guide.
- When adding a cover image to your guide, the image size should be a 3:4 ratio.
Instagram Reels debuted in the summer of 2020 as a way to compete with TikTok. Reels has played an intricate part in how the Instagram platform is changing to take on its competitors. When it comes to creating Reels, the focus should be on entertaining.
How Often Should You Post to Reels: There’s a lot of information out there about how often you should be posting to reels. You’ll want to find a posting strategy that works for you, but the more you can post to reels, the better. Try starting with one a day and see how it works. If that’s too often, cut back to 3-5 per week.
Type of Content to Share: When you’re planning your reels content, you’ll want to do a mixture of videos that include trending sounds, challenges, and you speaking.
Real Estate Content to Share: Use reels as a way to connect and attract your ideals audience. Focus on content that is going to capture their attention, so focus on relatable content.
- You have 2-3 seconds to capture the viewer’s attention, have a great hook.
- Don’t forget to include hashtags in the caption.
- Add a call to action at the end of your video.
IGTV Video Content
If you already have a YouTube channel, IGTV is the perfect place to repurpose that content onto Instagram. IGTV allows you to share videos up to 60 minutes long.
How Often Should You Post: Recording and producing videos that are longer than a minute can take time. Instagram recommends posting to your IGTV 1-3 times per week.
Type of Content To Share: Creating longer videos can be intimidating; that’s why IGTV is the perfect spot for series and hosting discussions with others within the industry.
Real Estate Content to Share: Since IGTV is the perfect spot for collaborating with others, use it as an opportunity to interview past clients, local business owners, and other industry professionals, or go more in-depth with how to stage a home, how to prepare for a move, home maintenance tips, and remodels.
- If you’re not good on camera, write a script first and let the script double as a blog on your website. You can include external links in the caption of your IGTV, and it’s a great way to push viewers back to your website.
- Videos over 15 minutes long needed to be uploaded from your desktop.
- Don’t forget to include captions on your videos. Videos with captions tend to get higher views.
- Repurpose your video into micro-content and share it to your feed.
Instagram Live is a great way to connect with your audience in real-time. Real estate professionals can use Instagram Live as a way to answer questions and give behind-the-scenes tours of new listings, open houses, or host rooms with up to four other people.
How Often Should You Go Live: Going live comes down to testing when your audience is active on the app. Start with 1-2 times per week and then adjust. You’ll also want to play with different times to see when more users are on the app. To see how many users are on the app, set the app to live, and you’ll see the number across the top.
Type of Content To Share: Live rooms are the way to go with Instagram Live right now. What’s great about live rooms is followers from all accounts are notified, allowing you to get in front of other audiences.
Real Estate Content to Share: Focus on engaging your audience when you’re live by hosting ask me anythings, doing live demonstrations of home stagings or home maintenance, or by giving neighborhood tours.
- Once you determine the best day and time for your audience, stick with it. Your audience will start to anticipate your live shows.
- Turn on auto-generated captions.
- Share your lives to IGTV to repurpose the content.
The best way to grow your real estate Instagram account is organically. When you grow organically, the accounts you’re connecting with are warmer and feel more of a connection with you. However, sometimes you have to be willing to pay to play to allow your profile to reach more people. There are two types of ads you can run on Instagram - promoting an existing post or creating an ad in Facebook ads manager.
How Often Should You Run Ads: This will depend on your budget and your overall goal. There isn’t a right or wrong answer here.
Promoted Posts vs. Ads: A promoted post is similar to boosting a post on Facebook. The goal is to get more engagement and more eyes on your content, but you’re limited on who you can target. With an ad, it’s more of an advertisement. You’re able to zero in on who you want to target, and you have a specific goal you’re trying to accomplish.
Real Estate Content Ideas: If you’re going to promote a post, throw money behind a post that’s already performing well. For ads, focus on a real estate lead magnet that provides your ideal client with a quick win.
- When creating your marketing budget, be sure to include social media ad spend.
- Before running ads, make sure you have a sales funnel in place to start nurturing the leads.
- If you’re unsure how to get the most out of your ads budget, hire an ads expert.
While it can sometimes feel spammy to slide into a follower’s direct messages, this is the perfect way to connect with someone 1:1. DMs are where you can start building and nurturing relationships with your followers and encourage them to get onto our emails list.
How to Generate Leads Using DM: When you share a post, don’t be afraid to use the “send me a DM” as your call to action. When someone messages you, they’ve now moved from a follower to a cold lead. Now it’s up to you to turn them into a warm lead.
Another way to generate leads using direct messages is by having a message ready to go any time you get a new follower. Send a quick hello message and find something on their profile that you can make a connection with to show you have a shared interest.
- Respond to all messages as soon as possible. No one wants to be ignored.
- Make your followers feel special by sending a voice note instead of a typed message.
If you want to build an engaged audience on Instagram, you have to be willing to engage with your audience. The more you engage with the content your audience is sharing, the more willing they will be to engage with yours. You wouldn’t walk up to someone in person, tell them about yourself, walk off and then expect them to call you, so don’t treat your social media real estate strategy that way.
How Often Should You Be Commenting: You should be spending time every day engaging with your audience and responding to comments on your posts. Start with 10-15 minutes per day and then adjust as needed.
How to Get More Comments: If you want people to take action, then tell them. Ask questions in the caption and tell your followers to respond in the comments. The more comments and engagement you get, the more Instagram will share your content.
- Focus on leaving comments that are about your follower, not you.
- Call to actions make all the difference when it comes to comments and other types of engagement, don’t forget to include one in every post.
- When you’re responding to comments, focus on the comments where you can add value and continue the conversation.
Get Started Using Instagram for Real Estate
Over the years, Instagram for real estate agents has continued to change and evolve, but social media guidelines for Realtors have stayed the same - focus on building long-term relationships with your followers.
As you continue to embrace these new Instagram rules for Realtors, remember you don’t have to incorporate everything at once. Figure out what works for your social media real estate strategy and make adjustments as needed.
Amanda Webb is a real estate marketing strategist and the owner of Gravity Real Estate Marketing. She's helped agents start closing over $1 million in transactions and go on to build successful businesses, one property listing at a time.
Her background in real estate marketing has given her the knowledge she needs to help agents become more successful online. At Gravity Real Estate Marketing she provides done-for-you customizable marketing resources that allow agents to show up consistently online and convert followers into leads.