(Part 3) Instagram Essentials for Realtors: Building Brand and Standing Out in The Crowd

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Thanks to its emphasis on beautiful images, there’s no social media platform that’s better suited for realtors. There’s more to using Instagram than just creating a pretty photo, however. This series of blog posts will help you understand how to make Instagram work for your business.

adamInstagram added more than 100 million users during 2014 alone. It can be assumed that more than one realtor has jumped onboard as part of the rush, and are looking to maximize their own sales.

Obviously, well-placed advertisements and sharp hashtag techniques will put realtors well on their way to beating the next guy in line. But at some point, the content has to speak for your company as well. And no, we’re still not talking about professional-quality photography and videos.

Instagram has more potential than any other outlet for generating brand. This means going beyond “we’re a real estate company and we sell homes” to “we’re a real estate company, we sell homes, and we have a great personality that we think you’ll love.”

There’s one simple way to get this done. It may sound like the moral of a kids movie, but it rings true on Instagram and other social media platforms: Be yourself.

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Consider your approach to making captions for your photos. Obviously, your goal at the end of the day is to sell a home. But the people who head to Instagram to look at real estate aren’t just interested in all of the regular specs. Sure, you can list all the bedrooms, bathrooms and additional features…even slap a price on at the end…straight to business. And that approach may hurt you in the end because you look like just another realtor. A robot without a personality among a sea of contenders.

Instead, list the number of beds, baths and a pool, then add “Right now I’m imagining reading a good book, drinking a tall ice tea while my kids enjoy a swim.”

What’s the difference? All of the sudden you’ve gone from being a heartless realtor to someone with a family, someone who has similar interests as their clients, someone who understands what their clients want. A friendly, sympathetic character is tough to pass up.

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This wise realtor relates well to the reader by describing his long day, while using the listed home as a relaxation point.

You can build upon this reputation further by posting personal photos (not too many, of course) of yourself enjoying local landmarks. Enjoying a great sandwich or a round of golf? Don’t just mention what restaurant or course you’re at…also mention the neighborhood where they can be found. This method works to both highlight attractions in the area around the homes you sell, as well as establishing yourself as an expert on the local lifestyle.

Another important element when establishing a brand is figuring out how to differentiate yourself from the competition. Every realtor is posting photos of homes. But even the most beautiful images of the same content can run together.

Instead, consider what you can do that others aren’t in the form of a niche audience. Do you find yourself selling plenty of homes that have nice gardens? Consider running a #GardenofTheMonth or even #GardenofTheWeek campaign. This will attract attention from more gardeners than homebuyers, but when word gets around you’ll be the go-to for buyers looking for flowers. This is just one example—you can develop any niche, from boat docks to swing sets. If you need help figuring out what content appeals most to your audience, go back and check out our blog post regarding utilizing the demographics of your viewers.

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Eventually, yes: Your content can make all the difference. You can stand out from the crowd by finding creative angles for your photos, both in the home or by using a drone to capture aerial shots. You can use Instagram’s video capabilities to post themed clips, such as your staff recreating classic movie clips within available homes (Instagram only allows for 15-second content clips…but this can make the projects all the more fun).

Let your personality lead the way on social media and leads will follow.