Inman.com recently posted Dusty Baker’s take on utilizing Instagram as a part of your real estate marketing strategy. You may not see immediate results, but the ability to engage and interact with your potential clients in real estate on Instagram at such a scale is a massive advantage in today’s market.
This is a story about my personal quest into the world of Instagram.
The push to grow my business via Instagram started one year ago — and, I’ll be honest, it was out of pure, competitive jealousy. I was hanging out at a friend’s house when I found out that his wife had 5,000 Instagram followers. I thought, “I can beat that.”
My only hope to grow my Instagram following was to simply get in front of people — a lot of people.
The best I am able to do is get people to look at my profile, but at that point they still have the choice to follow me (or not). I wanted people to think, “I have to follow this guy and see what he is about.”
As a Realtor, I understand the importance of a home’s curb appeal. The first look at a home stirs a mixture of emotions for a buyer and solidifies 90 percent of how they will feel about a property. That is why I wanted my profile to look perfect. On Instagram, you get only a picture, a name, 150 characters for a bio and a website link. I wanted every detail to be perfect because you get only one first impression.
Then I hit an unforeseen breaking point. About a month into this process, I began to become a little drained. Sure, it was only about an hour a day, and what else was I going to do while waiting for my doctor’s appointment? But still, was my work really going to pay off? What was I really accomplishing by having thousands of people follow me on Instagram? Is my ego that big? I was seriously considering calling it quits until I hit an unforeseen twist; I began creating real relationships.
What I had forgotten amidst this game is that each number represents a real person, and these real people began really engaging me. I began collaborating with agents across the nation about our marketing, answering questions from aspiring Realtors, and joking with people who commented on my pictures. It was at this point that I began to understand the power of social media.
Followers are only half of the equation; I had to post cool pictures to keep people interested. The best news? My job as a Realtor made it easy to post good content. As is evidenced by the increasing number of HGTV and Bravo home shows, people love seeing properties. I found that specifically kitchen shots get the most attention. Also, pictures of unique aspects to homes, like modern shower fixtures and architectural details, get great feedback. Ironically, traditional shots of the front of a home have proven very unpopular for me.
However, I didn’t forget the “social” in social media. It isn’t called “business media,” so I made sure to include pictures of my life with pictures of my listings. I get the best feedback on pictures with my wife just living our lives together. People tend to want to see the real you, not the professional salesman version of you next to an “open house” sign.
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