TV shows on HGTV, like Flip or Flop and House Hunters, have become extremely popular. And though it’s unlikely that most agents will get their own TV show on HGTV, a new Instagram update gets them the next best thing.
Switch out the ‘H’ in HGTV for the next letter in the alphabet, and you get IGTV.
IGTV is Instagram’s new long-form video social networking app that allows people to create videos that are up to 10-minutes long. Users can access it through Instagram, but it is its own separate app.
Users will scroll through these videos like they do feeds on other social networks. The platform allows agents the unique opportunity to create TV-style content that users can spend hours scrolling through to find their perfect home.
Why agents should use IGTV
It’s a great way to engage with millennials who are twice as likely to turn to social media to communicate with a brand as they are to turn to phone or email, according to the Sprout Social Index. More so, 70 percent of Gen Xers are more likely to purchase from a brand they already follow.
The key is to create content that not only markets the homes you currently have listed to buyers, but also provides entertainment value for people who may not be looking for a home yet.
That way, your brand will be fresh in the mind of potential clients. You never know when one of your followers will begin actively seeking a home. You want to be on their feed at least within the same week. Therefore, posting weekly is the minimum amount you should use the platform. You also want to ensure that you’re posting high-quality videos consistently (at least once a week).
That’s not to say that you cannot post less frequently. Using the platform sometimes is better than never at all. Nonetheless, you’ll have better results if you do use it frequently.
This strategy will grow a follower base for your brand and, thus, when your followers are looking to purchase a home, they’ll turn to you first.
A key downfall to the platform is that you cannot search for content by topic just yet. Therefore, unless you get a user to follow you, have a relevant, highly searchable channel or your videos start trending, users won’t just stumble upon your channel.
Nonetheless, your IGTV channel connects to your Instagram profile. So, if you’ve already got followers on Instagram, they’ll be able to see your stuff on IGTV.
Earning a lot of views this way could cause your channel to be popular enough for users to find it organically. Also, be sure to share your channel name across your current platforms for more engagement.
How some real estate pros are already using IGTV
Agents are already using IGTV to post video walkthroughs of their listings. Below are a few examples.
We’ll go over what each channel did successfully on the video and what can use some work. It’s worth noting that all of these channels are already doing a great job in that they’re on the platform — a huge first step considering how new it is.
It’s easy for a user to lose themself in this relaxing video. Users can endlessly scroll through videos like these and fall in love with the homes they see.
It’s the kind of content that makes users want to follow your page, which is not only convenient for scoring them as future clients but also for getting referrals from them.
There’s no call to action. If a user has fallen in love with this home, they’ll know the location of the home, but they have nothing to describe it based on the video. A user can direct message the video to the poster and ask for more information — if they’re determined.
However, a successful video would include a link to more information in the caption or contact information at the end. A call to action can be the difference between a user liking a video and continuing to scroll through the feed or stopping to write down information and — better yet — reach out.
Welcome to Narrow Lane Farm. Designed, built, and restored to an impeccable standard of craftsmanship and style by local architect Val Florio and McGrath Builders, Narrow Lane Farm is a 10 building luxury farm compound featuring a brand new 7,304 sq. ft., 4-bedroom main house, a lifted and fully renovated 2,611 sq. ft., 2-bedroom 1920s farmhouse, two-car barn style garage with an apartment and sunken terrace with hot tub below, and five beautifully restored, original barns spread across 3+/- bucolic acres in the heart of Sagaponack. #TrotHome Video by: @Lifestyle_Production_Group
The video does a great job of showcasing the possible experiences you can have in this home. The bikes out front indicate a family atmosphere. The outdoor clips showcase the connection those who live here can have to nature
This video was clearly created for a different platform. The makers of IGTV make a big deal about vertical videos users aren’t supposed to have to turn their phones to go back to scrolling.
It’s important that real estate agents who want to target users on IGTV create content specifically for the platform. Otherwise, your video may irritate the user and cause them to keep scrolling, missing out on the quality home you’ve tried to showcase.
The agent filmed this video in the same style that HGTV films its shows. It’s the perfect way to draw in users.
The entertainment-style video is a good way to entice users to want to live in the home; especially, after hearing from the current owners. It’s filmed in the correct dimension, and the agent includes the home’s address so that users can look up more information.
There’s no call to action at the end of the video, which is its only weakness. However, it does provide the agency website at the end. Coupled with the address, users have all they need to take the next steps.
Sotheby’s is showcasing a new home on its channel each week. While this may not be a great strategy to sell a lot of homes, it is a good strategy to consistently post quality videos that establish your agency/brand as a content creator worth following.
You might be inclined to start posting all of your homes on IGTV to encourage sales, but remember quality is better than quantity.
Starting with a few great videos can lead to a lot of actual purchases. And it’s working for Sotheby’s. This video has almost 1,000 views in just one week on a new platform.
Once you get the hang of it, of course, you can include all of the homes you have listed. Just pay attention to the details to ensure that they’re all of great quality.
A big aspect of social media marketing is turning engagements into action. As mentioned, this video got almost a thousand views; however, there’s no call to action at the end of the video to encourage users to reach out and purchase this home or homes like it.
The downside to making the video yourself is the sound. You can hear the wind in this video and the agents walking.
Tip: To make a more professional video without hiring someone to do it, download Premiere Pro, iMovie or some other video editing software and delete the audio. That, itself, is a huge step up. If you can add in relaxing music, even better!
This is amateur video does a great job of providing the user with all of the information they need to take action: her contact information, when the property will become available, etc.
She does a good job of showing off all the rooms within the home and the exterior of the home. She describes the home during the video to ensure that users know exactly what they’re looking at.
She’s also in a quiet environment — there isn’t a lot of noise muffling her message. It’s also worth noting that she follows IGTV formatting by videotaping the home vertically.
For an amateur video, she did a very good job. The improvements she could have made would have been staging the unit with furniture and focusing on steadier camera work.
However, for the price she paid to do it herself, it’s a quality video. She can feel confident putting it up on her IGTV page to attract clients.
If you want to make a name for yourself on Instagram’s new IGTV, take a page from these pros. But remember to pay attention to the details, focus on quality over quantity and don’t forget to include a compelling call to action.