• Set up a business page to get access to analytics and advertising options, and present the unique aspects of your listings.

Fueled by its Stories, Instagram has doubled its user base to 700 million monthly active users, and despite heated competition in the mobile-social space, it appears to be taking the lead.

Although many of its features are simply clones of Snapchat, users don’t seem to mind, meaning it’s the place where your prospective clients are probably hanging out online right now.

If you want to reach this engaged audience, you need to invest some time into learning the platform. These six tips are a good place to start.

1. Tag locations in Stories

Instagram Stories are already getting more use than Snapchat’s, and Stories hasn’t even been live for a year. Their usage has grown at an extremely fast pace, and tagging locations in your Stories is a great way to get noticed by a local audience.

You might even get featured on your city’s story, which can result in a ton of views. Be sure you tag your location at your next open house.

2. Make sure your Instagram page is a business page

Making a business page allows you to take full advantage of Instagram’s tools. If you have a business page, users will be able to call or text you right from their page; they’ll also be able to open maps and navigate themselves right to your office.

A business page also gives you access to analytics and advertising options that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

3. Engage in the comments section

Add hashtags to the comments section of your photos to reach a wider audience. We recommend tagging your location and neighborhood in every post.

4. Change up your posts

One of the best things about Instagram is the variety it offers. Carousel posts, Boomerangs, videos and photos should all make appearances on your page to keep people interested.

You can even add a collage of multiple photos using the Instagram-owned Layout app. This is an excellent way to show off a property.

5. Don’t get lazy with captions

Add value and context with your captions. Let people know exactly how many steps your home is from the beach or how long the bike ride will take for the kids to get to school.

Take note of the things that impress you when you first see your listing, and highlight those features in your captions.

We often recommend agents highlight the coolest part of their listing that didn’t make the fact sheet.

6. Take advantage of going live

Facebook’s news feed update has a lot of agents on alert. One way to keep reaching your audience on the platform is to go live, something you can do on Instagram as well.

It works great at open houses; walk room to room, show your listing to your audience, and you’ll be the first story your followers see in their feeds.

If you haven’t started a business Instagram account, you’re not too late. The real estate industry lends itself perfectly to the platform, with images and locations playing such a dominant role on the social network.

Don’t wait any longer to get started — follow these six tips and open a business account today.

Justin Kerby is the founder of Cave Social. You can follow him on Twitter @CaveJustin or connect with him on Facebook

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