Instagram is a fantastic social media channel for real estate agents. It’s simple photo + story format make it very easy to operate and manage and the photo focus is perfect for showcasing houses. Using hashtags can easily get your content in front of more eyeballs. And the feed isn’t cluttered with fake news links and obnoxious ads like Facebook.
If you are new to Instagram, or if you just need some ideas to spice up your feed, here are 5 ideas to get you going.
- A Little Bit About Yourself (and your team!)
Like all social media, Instagram is a personal platform. What differentiates your feed from the feed of all other real estate agents? YOU! So don’t be afraid to post photos of the things that make you, you. Do you collect bird houses? Do you play in an adult soccer league? Going to your 15 year college reunion? Post it! You never know when someone will see it, relate to it, and decide that because of it, you are the one they want to sell your home! 3.
PROTIP: If you are part of a team, share photos of them too!
2. Places of Interest in the Community
Local restaurants. Your favorite walking spot. A popular park. A hidden gem in downtown. As you are out and about in your community, take pictures of various places of interest and post them with captions about why you love those spots and/or why your followers should go visit!
PROTIP: Ask local business if they’d like to partner with you by offering exclusive discounts to your followers. Start with something simple like 10% off lunch when someone shows the restaurant your Instagram post.
3. Home Decor Inspiration
You know how important staging is. Give your followers some tips and inspiration by posting photos of great interior design. Use your own work, but don’t be afraid to repost the work of others as well! Just be sure you give them credit.
PROTIP: Apps like RepostApp make reposting other people’s content, and giving them credit, really easy!
They are one of the most powerful marketing tools and you should be posting them EVERYWHERE! For Instagram, the photo would ideally be a photo of the people giving you the testimonial. But if you don’t have that, you can create a visual with one specific part of their testimonial. If the testimonial giver is also on Instagram, tag them so they can see the post and possible share it with their followers!
PROTIP: Using an online app like Canva to turn words into visuals.
You were worried I was going to go an entire post without talking about listings, weren’t you? Never fear! You absolutely should post your listings and open houses to Instagram. But don’t make it just another MLS listings (they can find that just about anywhere). Instead of posting a ton of pictures at once with a generic description, focus on unique aspects of the house. Does it come with a cool chandelier? Post that with some explanation. Does the backyard look like a resort? Write a post about that. Its better to do multiple posts focused on different features than one post with a ton of pics.
PROTIP: Make sure you’re using those high quality professional photographs you paid for!
We can help you create a content calendar and create the actual posts. Give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for ideas of things to post to social media, put in your email newsletter, put on direct mail postcards or post to your blog? Look no further. Here are 25 Ideas to get you through the summer. And if you need help converting any of these into direct mail postcards, just let us know! 01
- Midterm Elections voter guide. No need to be divisive or state a specific political belief. Simply let people know when the elections are, share a voting guide or instruct them on how they can register to vote.
- Schedule for concerts and movies in the park. Almost every city offers free summer concerts. Share the schedule for your city.
- Kids activities. Parents will appreciate a handy resource that gives information on different camps, classes and activities to keep their kids busy this summer.
- Small business promotion. Do you have a Sunday Brunch spot? Is there a store downtown you always go to for gifts? Promoting small business in your community benefits everyone. Talk to the business owners and they may be willing to offer your recipients and followers an exclusive discount.
- 4th of July celebrations. Residents want to know when and where the parades, fireworks, and festivals are happening.
- Current events update. Is there a new shopping center being built? Is road construction set to begin? Let the people know!
- Beach Guide. Which is the best beach for kayaking? Bonfire? Where can people camp? Don’t assume this is just for coastal agents, in fact, those that do business in the Inland Empire may have more success with this as their recipients aren’t as familiar with beaches as coastal residents.
- Summer Bucket List. Make a list of the must do things in your community and share with your audience.
- Pool safety tips. So Cal families are in the pool all summer. They’ll appreciate a reminder on how to stay safe and prevent drownings.
- Energy saving tips. Give homeowners some innovative ways to keep their electric bill as low as possible during the summer months.
- Home security tips. Remind people of the best ways to secure their home before going on vacation.
- Warm weather home improvements. People don’t think about it much, but summer is actually the perfect time to seal windows, repair roofs, clean gutters, etc. Give homeowners a guide of improvements best done in the summer.
- Summer design trends. What paint colors are trendiest? What’s the best way to design a deck? Give your residents some summer makeover inspiration.
Real Estate Info
- Testimonials. Share testimonials from past clients.
- Market update. Share information about the specific neighborhood you specialize in. The more specific the better.
- Home Valuation. Invite owners to your website to find out how much their home is worth
- Recent solds. Share photos, prices and days on the market for your recent solds.
- Seller mistakes. Share the most common mistakes sellers make and how to avoid them.
- Why use an agent? Educate your audience on the benefit of using a real estate agent as opposed to selling themselves.
- Downsizing. After the kids graduate, many people start thinking about downsizing. Let them know that you’d love to help them get into a better home.
By far, the most helpful thing I’ve done in social media marketing is give certain days of the week a theme. Every Monday is a motivational quote, every Tuesday is sharing a helpful marketing tip, etc. Giving days a theme makes it so much easier to come up with content. At the beginning of each month, I create my themed posts all at once and schedule them through Hootsuite. I schedule 2-3 posts a week, leaving “freestyle days” when I can post organic content.
Another benefit of themed days is that I use hashtags that are popular on social media and, therefore, increase my visibility. #MotivationalMonday and #TipTuesday are frequently searched hashtags so using them opens up my post to more people than just my followers. Lastly, when I consistently post on themed days gives your followers something to look forward to. I recently started a new themed post called #WhatsItWednesday and I notice that a lot of the same followers are commenting and liking those particular posts. They seem to make it a point to check One Step’s Instagram on that day and engage with the post.
Below are some themes and hashtag ideas. The internet and I love alliteration, so all of the themes start with the same letter as its corresponding day of the week. That’s not a hard and fast rule, you can give each day whatever theme you want. Just keep it consistent!
#MondayMotivation – Share an inspirational quote or story
#MakeoverMonday – Share a makeover story! Could be the way you made over a house, a wardrobe, a room, a recipe, your face. Get creative!
#ManCrushMonday (#MCM) – This isn’t just used for romantic or physical attraction. Take advantage of this hashtag to highlight a male coworker, client, partner or community member who is doing something outstanding.
#TipTuesday – Share your expertise with a short tip for your followers related to your industry.
#TransformationTuesday– This one is particularly popular with health and exercise businesses showing body transformations, as well as real estate agents and interior designers showing home transformations.
#TuneTuesday Share your favorite playlists or song with your followers. Even if you aren’t in the music industry, everyone loves a good song recommendation!
#WomanCrushWednesday (#WCW) – Again, this doesn’t have to be a romantic or sexual thing. Highlight a lady coworker, partner, vendor, client or community member who is doing rad things in your industry.
#WhatsItWednesday – Take a picture of something obscure, or take an obscure picture of something mundane, and have your followers guess what it is. Don’t forget to post the answer!
#WorkItWednesday – A great opportunity to show how your business operates day to day.
#ThankfulThursday One of our partner companies does this. Every Thursday someone in the company holds up a white board sign with their thankfulness written out. It’s a great way to spread positivity and introduce your followers to people in your company.
#ThrowbackThursday – This was one of the original day of the week hashtags! Post a picture of your company in its beginning, or a childhood photo of an employee, or anything else that’s a blast from the past.
#ThoughtfulThursday – Share an inspiring quote, random thought or helpful tip.
#FollowFriday – Highlight some of your favorite social accounts by tagging them in a post! Who knows, they may return the favor next week and you can help each other grow in followers.
#FunFriday – The perfect time share photos of everyone at the company potluck, team building activity or getting an after hours drink. Keep it light hearted and let your followers see a more fun, personable side of your business.
#FreebieFriday – Everyone loves free stuff! Share a free digital download or merchandise, or give a special discount. Or just offer some free advice!
Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t forget to keep the work hustle going. There are only 16 days left in 2017, and here are five things you can easily do in the next two weeks to ensure 2018 starts strong!
Create a marketing budget and strategy. Marketing should be something you do throughout the year, not just when you get a listing. Check out our detailed post on how to create a successful marketing strategy.
Clean your contact lists. Every direct mail piece, every email, every phone call, every door knock costs time and money. Stop wasting money on emails sent to bad addresses, postcards sent to people who no longer live at that address, or cold calling people who are not part of your target audience. Now is a great time to go through your lists and get rid of bad contacts, as well as add new ones you’ve made over the years.
Ask for testimonials. Ideally, you should be asking for testimonials after every closing. But if you’ve fallen behind, no worries, now is a great time to catch up. Reach out to everyone you helped sell or buy a house for in 2017. Consider a video testimonial in addition to a written one.
Consider your brand. Take at a look at your visual brand and your messaging. Does it still reflect your values and uniqueness? Is it still appealing to your target audience? Does it convey the message you strive to live out in every transaction? If not, now is a great time to tweak it, or revamp it altogether.
Schedule your January marketing pieces. Order your direct mail postcards, write your email newsletter, schedule your social media posts and get that newspaper ad submitted. When everyone else is scrambling to get their stuff out that first week of January, you’ll already be done and strategizing for the next month.
I’ve never been particularly fond of moccasins, and I’ve always thought baby shoes were a waste of money. But I’m currently obsessed with Freshly Picked baby moccasins. This, dear reader, is a story about storytelling and how one shoe company has used it to to build an incredibly successful business.
I was introduced to Freshly Picked at a friend’s baby shower, when my son was two and my daughter was simply a twinkle in my eye. While I wasn’t super impressed with the look of moccasins, the idea of soft soled shoes appealed to me. I quickly followed them on Instagram while I munched on cake. When I got home, I looked at the website and saw that the cost averaged $60. Sixty bucks for baby shoes? No thanks.
But I never unfollowed them. I watched as they released new designs and I started to actually like the look of the shoes. I saw pictures of chunky legged babies and energetic toddlers living fantastic lives, so it seemed, because of the moccs. I read testimonials from other moms claiming these were the best shoes ever. And now, as we approach my daughter’s first birthday, I am saving up to give her a pair of Freshly Picked moccs. I’ve caught the bug, and I’m not even sorry about it.
Surely, a company hasn’t turned me into a believer simply through their Instagram feed? They have. Honestly, it’s the only interaction I have had with them. Here’s how they did it:
Powerful visual storytelling
They’ve dubbed their shoes “memory keepers.” After a while, the baby’s footprint will appear at the bottom of the shoe. Their instagram feed is full of mom’s sharing old pairs of moccs that they hang onto because they love the footprint. It reminds them of park days, birthdays, first steps, first vacations, games of tag with siblings. Other FP posts show pictures of these events, smiling babies on a swing, sleeping newborns, big kids walking off to kindergarten. Scrolling through their feed is like looking at photo albums of a million happy, healthy, mocc wearing babies. Who doesn’t want that story for their kids? And while I know my kids can be perfectly happy without these shoes, cute shoes certainly don’t hurt.
About 90% of Freshly Picked posts are about their moccasins. Whether it’s introducing a new design or showcasing a babe wearing their shoes, it’s mocc talk most of the time. When they do sway from the messaging, they still remain in the same sphere of family and baby products. This is important because it builds brand consistency, reinforces the message, and reduces risk of conflict or offense. As the old adage goes, do one thing and do it well. They do moccs and they don’t pretend to do anything else.
Lots of engagement
I think they average one contest a week. And generally they are the same…in order to enter, you have to like their post and tag a friend. My friend and I tagged each other in every contest for a year before one of us won (she did, not me. Sad day) And we could tag multiple friends for multiple entries, so I introduced a few friends to the brand through tagging. Those are simple actions for followers with a big impact for the brand. They have 724,000 followers. If even just 10% of those followers tagged one friend every contest, that’s exposure to 72,400 new followers every contest.
Freshly Picked not only encourages engagement from their followers, they do their part to engage as well. They respond to comments and questions on their posts, they like comments, and they repost photos of their customers sporting the moccs.
Through this engagement, they have created a community. While their Instagram feed is definitely a place where they introduce new product, advertise sales and encourage people to buy, it doesn’t FEEL like one big advertisement. It feels like a community, like a series of small stories. That’s why I keep following.
As someone who works in marketing, I like to consider myself immune to the “tricks of the trade.” But the truth is, the tricks work. Which is why baby girl will be getting a pair of ridiculously priced moccs on her first birthday. Sometimes, you just gotta give into the emotional marketing, even if you know better.
As a real estate marketing agency, we are dedicated to providing real estate agents with a variety of tools to make marketing easier. In addition to graphic design, print and mailing services, we also provide content for marketing materials. Every month we write a generic real estate information pieces that agents can send on their direct mailing postcards.
We’ve decided to take our content services a step further and provide agents with informative real estate articles that they can easily retweet to their audience. Unlike most articles we share over social media, which are written to give advice to real estate agents, these articles are written for homeowners, investors and renters. We tweet them every morning at 6:00am so they are ready for when you start your work day. After quickly reading the article, simply hit the retweet button, or put the article link in a new tweet with your own commentary. If you miss any of our real estate retweetables, simply check the blog every Monday and we’ll have the previous week’s retweetables ready and waiting for you.
Tips for using One Step’s Real Estate Retweetables
- Read before you publish. We read all the articles before we publish them to make sure there isn’t anything glaringly wrong with the article, i.e. inappropriate content, cursing, incoherent writing, or obvious lies. However, we are marketing experts, not real estate experts. So we highly recommend that you read the articles before publishing to ensure your publishing content that is true to your knowledge.
- Keep your audience in mind. We tweet a variety of different articles and not every article is going to be of interest to everyone. You know your followers and what they’re interests are, so only retweet the articles you think they’ll find useful.
- Add your own commentary. When you’re in a rush, it’s tempting to simply hit the retweet button. This is perfectly acceptable for some tweets, but whenever possible, you should try and add your own commentary to the tweet. You can ask a question, share additional information or share an example from your own business that illustrates what the article is talking about. Adding your own commentary will increase the value of your tweets as your no longer simply sharing a link but also sharing your own expertise.
- Spread the word. We’d love to provide valuable content for hundreds, even thousands, of real estate agents. So the next time you’re on Twitter, maybe you could encourage your colleagues to follow us and/or read our blog? We’d be eternally grateful 🙂
And now, without further ado, this week’s Real Estate Retweetables
3. Homeowners Face Soaring Homeowners Insurance Costs via Realtor Mag
4. Huntington Beach June Calendar of Events via HuntingtonBeachEvents.com
Marketing is all about consistency. If you’re going to use direct mail marketing, you must mail 2-4 times a month. If you’re going to use email marketing, you best be ready to send out a minimum of one email a week. And if you’re going to use social media, you should be able to post to your sites daily.
The thought of generating enough content to keep up with all of these marketing strategies is overwhelming, to say the least. Let me put your mind at ease with this one helpful hint: you don’t have to create all of your own content. Not every blog post has to be based on personal experience or knowledge, not every Twitter post has to link to your blog and not every Facebook post has to be a question or fact you pull out of your own brain. Yes, you need to create a lot of your own content but it’s perfectly okay to supplement it with content you curate from other sources. Didn’t have a chance to write a blog this week? Share some links to interesting articles from other blogs. Don’t know what to say on your Twitter? Retweet something one of your followers posted.
Just like content creation, content curation should benefit your readers and followers. Pay attention to the needs and questions of your audience, as well as topics they are already discussing, and share information that they will find helpful and relevant.
To show you how content curation works, I’ve curated a list of various blogs and websites that provide viral information. All of these are geared towards real estate agents and real estate marketers, since that is our primary audience, but non real estate agents can use this list to get an idea of what types of sites they should be looking for. I recommend adding these sites to your RSS feed, subscribing to daily emails or following them on Twitter, whatever makes it easy for you to frequently visit these sites and share their content.
Real Estate News–
- The KCM Blog– This blog has lots of good information for agents, buyers and sellers. It’s presented in a way that’s easy to understand, which means it’s easy for you to share with your readers.
- The Bigger Pockets Blog– This extensive online magazine covers a variety of topics including general real estate, real estate news, real estate investing, retirement, and business management. You’ll find a lot of information that will help you run a better business as well as great info to share with your clients.
- Newspaper- Despite technological advances and an overwhelming amount of information sources, the local newspaper remains an excellent source of real estate information. And since they are all online, it’s easy to share articles with your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers. Check out the OC Register, LA Times, and UT San Diego.
- HousingWire– A regularly updated online magazine covering a variety of real estate and financial topics. Includes housing information from around the nation.
- Visually– This site is dedicated to providing you with infographs, which are visual representations of data. Go to the site and search “real estate” and you’ll find lots of interesting infographs to share.
- City websites- Regularly visit the websites of cities where you do business for information on upcoming events, local politics, land developments, city services, etc. I also recommend following cities on Twitter for up to date information on things like road closures.
- Community Organizations- Organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, Rotary Club and public library often host community events that you’re clients would probably love to know about. Visit their sites regularly and sign up for their newsletters to stay up to date.
- Tourism sites- Sometimes residents are oblivious to the amenities in their own home town. Tourism websites give great ideas for exploring the local community, something you’re readers and followers are sure to appreciate.
- Special interest sites- Is there a particular club or organization that is unique to your city? Perhaps a theme park, museum, or knitting club? Stay connected with those and share thier info. They’ll appreciate the free promotion your followers will appreciate the information.
- This Old House– Great tips for renovation and restoration of everything from furniture to entire houses.
- Houselogic– In addition to home improvement articles, this blog gives great info about homeowners insurance, taxes, financing, emergency preparedness and green living. Plus it’s published by the National Association of Realtors, so you know the info is reliable.
- Young House Love– This super fun, personable blog is a DIY diary written by a young couple renovating an older house in Virginia. Your followers will love all of the inexpensive, DIY projects you share from this blog.