You already know that marketing is essential for any business, but did you know that Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for real estate professionals? This growing social media giant is highly visual and thrives on engagement, so it’s the perfect place to meet your audience. 

We make it easy for you to have a growing and connected client base with all the marketing tools you need, synced to the tools you’re already using.

In this article, you’ll learn the importance of having a real estate Instagram account, what it can do for your business, and how to best use real estate Instagram posts. 

Why you need a real estate Instagram account

According to the National Association of Realtors, social media is the best source for generating high-quality leads. If you haven’t jumped on the Instagram bandwagon yet, you should — Instagram’s stats show that the platform has over one billion active users and over 25 million business profiles. Over 200 million users visit at least one business profile per day, and one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. 

The content that users and their followers engage with tends to determine what they see. Because Instagram doesn’t prioritize personal accounts over business accounts (like Facebook does), your business has a better chance of connecting with users. Instagram is also the most popular social media platform for young adults, making it a prime place to appeal to first-time home buyers.

Instagram posts typically center around photos and videos, and text is optional. This is especially helpful for businesses because people tend to remember more of what they see than what they read or hear. 

With an official business account, you’ll be able to include a call to action button, promote your posts with ads, and access more account insights. But having a real estate Instagram account does little good if you don’t know how to use it. 

How real estate marketing on Instagram works

Every real estate Instagram account is different, but successful accounts function both as portfolios and as lead generators.

To get started on Instagram, you’ll need to set up a business account. Select a professional, appealing profile photo, a short username, and a bio with your contact info, the area you serve, your niche and target audience, and any links. You should also make sure that your page’s aesthetic matches your branding

Have your goals in mind and be ready to create a content calendar based on the best practices in this article. Make sure you have a way to take high-resolution photos, and keep a learning mindset as you familiarize yourself with the platform. 

examples of real estate Instagram posts
Real estate Instagram posts should focus on three primary goals as illustrated in the above graphic from our real estate marketing guide — Awareness, engagement, and driving actions.

Real estate Instagram posts should focus on three primary goals as illustrated in the above graphic from our real estate marketing guide — Awareness, engagement, and driving actions.

Instagram best practices

Being successful on Instagram is about more than posting pretty pictures. Engagement is key to building an audience and trust in your services and knowledge. Here are some basic things to remember when marketing your real estate business:

  • Limit the self-promotion
  • Reply to comments and mentions
  • Track your results
  • Post daily
  • Only post engaging, attractive photos and videos
  • Be generous with your knowledge
  • Stay away from stock photos

What real estate posts work best

Knowing what to post can improve your traction with users. You can’t only post listings or house photos — engagement is key. There are plenty of other real estate agent Instagram accounts you can follow to learn how it’s done. 

Mixing the personal and professional is what @dustyjbaker and @acolerealty do best. Follow @tomferry for motivation and inspiration in the business or @thebrokeagent for some laughs, or see how @gogorealestate can help you improve your social presence. 

If you’re looking for general advice on what works well for posting, this list of tips can help:

Instagram tips and ideas for real estate

  • Creatively feature a current listing instead of just posting the flyer
  • Get viewers excited with ‘coming soon’ listings
  • Tap into curiosity and ‘what-ifs’ with pictures of dream properties
  • Build trust in your abilities by posting success stories
  • Showcase buyer confidence with testimonials in photo form
  • Promote specials, open houses, and community events.
  • Let buyers get to know you through a well-composed selfie or portrait and a personal bio
  • Show how your business works behind the scenes
  • Share useful, user-focused information that your followers can benefit from
  • Inspire users to take action using motivational posts and quotes.
  • Share design tips or home decor related content
  • Inject humor when appropriate 
  • Give virtual tours

How to work with different content format

With Instagram, you’re not limited to just one photo. There are slideshows, stories, and videos, all of which can highlight your real estate content

IGTV: Instagram TV allows you to shoot and upload videos of up to one hour to Instagram. Your IGTV uploads will appear on a channel at the top of your profile. These will get posted to your followers’ suggested videos on their profile. This format is great for virtual tours.

Instagram Stories: Stories are like IGTV, but solely within the platform. They last only 24 hours unless you highlight them on your profile, but they’re a great way to share your best, urgent, or personalized content. 

Account highlights: With highlights, you can save a story on your profile. Using a highlight to introduce yourself is a great way to let users get to know you. You can also sort your highlights by theme to help users find information.

Multi-photo feature: You can include up to 10 photos per post, which can be helpful when showcasing a property with lots of rooms or features. 

The difference between posts and ads 

Ads and posts function similarly, but ads are paid and reach a larger and more targeted audience. Many people use ads to increase brand awareness and generate new leads in real estate. Just like posts, ads on Instagram should be photo-centric.

Leads and sales are also trackable through Instagram ads, allowing you to see your return on investment. With ads, you can choose your objectives, such as reach or engagement. You’ll have different formats to choose from, just like for posts. Listings with video content report a 403% increase in inquiries. You also can  — and should — target your location and customer demographics.

TIP: You can more easily create Instagram ads with Constant Contact’s built-in Instagram Ads tool.

The value of hashtags and how to use them

Realtor hashtags add value to your posts because they let users know what topics your posts cover, making it easy for interested users to find your content. 

When a user clicks on or searches for a hashtag, Instagram takes them to a list of all the posts that used that hashtag. You are limited to 30 hashtags per caption, but you don’t need a ton of tags to be seen. Using hashtags in your posts increases user engagement, but you shouldn’t include more than 11.

An Instagram search of the words “real estate” returns over 17 million posts, so knowing which hashtags to use is important. You want to use tags that are appropriate, specific, and easily identifiable. They usually go at the end of your caption, sometimes with a few lines separating them from the rest of your caption for a cleaner aesthetic. Hashtags can also be added to the comments section. 

You can research which hashtags relate to your topic, but some basic ones to start with are #forsale, #justlisted, #newlisting, #dreamhome, #curbappeal, #[yourcity]realtor, etc. 

To see what hashtags are popular, use the search box and type in the full hashtag (# sign included). A drop-down list will show your hashtag, related hashtags, and the number of posts already using that tag. You can also check out the competition and your audience to see what hashtags they’re using.

Constant Contact can help you market your real estate business

If marketing your business using Instagram feels overwhelming, Constant Contact can help. As the smarter choice for online marketing, you’ll find that Constant Contact has all the tools you need for your business, including our real estate marketing guide, The Download. Use this guide to get expert real estate marketing advice, learn how to find qualified leads, how to market your real estate through emails, and sell properties faster, all in one place. Reach out to one of our marketing advisors today to learn more.