What do you think of when you think of Instagram? Hipster foodie photographs with vintage filters? Teenagers goofing off? Bite-sized reflections of fun family holidays? Whatever it is, it probably isn’t real estate. However, this flexible social-media photo-sharing platform is actually a great opportunity for realtors to promote, market, showcase and ultimately sell properties, connecting with a whole new diverse range of clients and tapping into emotional impulses like never before. Let’s look at just a few of the ways how realtors can use Instagram to generate buzz and make big sales.
Build Intrigue and Weave Narrative with Enticing Previews
Instagram isn’t just about photos; it’s also about timing. Unlike Flickr or Deviant Art, users are expected to take and upload photos when they’re first captured, spontaneously sharing key moments. The same should be true for realtors; if your content is too pre-meditated (and when it is, it shows) it will come off as stale and disingenuous. Instead, use Instagram’s “instant” philosophy to your advantage. Take a couple snapshots of the most appealing parts of a property when you first secure the deal, with the words ‘coming soon’ or something else that hints at its pending entry into the market. Do this before any staging or open houses, and it will help build intrigue; if people like what they see, they’re more likely to subscribe to your account and consequently see more properties on offer before the ‘grand reveal’ of the one that initially caught their attention. This also creates a kind of narrative; viewers will become more emotionally attached the property as they come to know it over time. The sense of having an ‘exclusive first look’ will also increase the likelihood that they’ll respond positively with a kind of nervous, competitive excitement for the privileged opportunity to buy before too many others see it.
The Deepest Pockets are Sewn to the Pants of the Busiest People
Wealthy people are very often, by and large, busy people. They don’t have time to browse realtor websites or page through printed listings, especially for potential vacation properties in faraway regions. But they do have time to check Instagram when they have a spare moment in an elevator or the back of a taxi. By posting all your listings on Instagram – but strategically and sparingly without overwhelming your audience – you have a potential to reach this select multi-tasking crowd. Busy business people are used to having to make big decisions quickly; we’ve all heard stories of million-dollar real estate transactions completed upon – or even before – the first viewing of a property. Instagram promotes valuable impulse buys, which can help you tap into this lucrative market.
Short Videos Tell Important Stories
Instagram also supports short videos, with the aesthetic beauty of classic Super-16 film of times gone-by. It’s a great opportunity to tell short, important stories about properties for sale. Don’t try and sum up an entire property in one 15-second clip; instead, focus on the single most compelling aspect. For example, show all the ways that a convenient luxury condo offers creative storage solutions that belie its small size, or film the gorgeous neighboring houses and tree-lined streets of an old house to show off the beauty of its surroundings. Videos shouldn’t be the same as photos; they should be moving, fun and creative, but not rushed or overwhelming. The simple, important stories that Instagram videos can tell will also make prospective buyers feel more connected to – and informed about – your offerings.
Instagram isn’t just a gimmicky social platform for young adults – it’s also a powerful marketing tool. Instagram feeds embedded in real estate websites offer an even more powerful punch. You might be surprised how much traction you gain with a clever array of simple photos and short videos.