August is Listings Tech theme month at Inman. All month, we’re digging into listing technology, a conversation which spans portals to single-listing sites, landing pages, 3-D tours, photography, videos, promotion and more.
If you want to become a lead magnet and create compelling content that convinces sellers to list with you, below, Instagram expert Michelle Berman-Mikel outlines exactly what you need to do.
Why you need an Instagram business account
If you don’t already have an Instagram business account, sign up for one immediately. Like Facebook, Instagram prohibits business posts on your personal Instagram account.
The business account also has numerous advantages over your personal account. These include a free marketing plan, data analytics on account performance, plus ad tools and other resources to help you grow your audience and your business.
Instagram does the work of multiple platforms
Berman-Mikel explained how Instagram allows you to do the work of multiple platforms (YouTube, LinkedIn Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok) all in one place.
To illustrate how Instagram works as a primary listing tool that also allows you to integrate other types of listing technology, consider the following ways to repurpose a 10-minute drone video of your new listing.
- Post the original 10-minute video on IGTV, Instagram’s area for long-form videos.
- Take a two-minute clip from the long-form drone video and share it on your Instagram feed. (Users viewing posts on your feed normally tune out after two minutes.)
- Shoot a behind-the-scenes video about making the drone video. Unlike the first two videos that are direct advertising for your listing, this behind-the-scenes look at the personal side of your life can be posted to your Instagram Stories.
- You can also use up to one minute of the drone footage and post it to Reels. A smart way to do this is to focus on a unique feature of the listing.
- Reels can also be used like TikTok to create short-form videos, especially if you share something funny or unusual backed up with music or dancing.
- Combine short videos of your current listings to create a long-form video that serves as a virtual showing or open house.
- Like Facebook, Instagram can also be used for direct messaging, sharing links and “going live” to reach your followers.
The biggest obstacle most agents face: their mindset
Berman-Mikel said many agents become overwhelmed by all the different options available on Instagram. To overcome this mindset issue, choose an option, and get busy creating content. It makes no difference where you begin.
Many agents also struggle with how they look and sound. The result is they try to be perfect. Instagram users want authenticity, especially on personal posts. Be who you are, share what really interests you, as well as funny or interesting events from your daily life.
If you’re still feeling reluctant about posting, keep in mind that everyone hates how they look and sound on video. Start posting anyway.
But do they want to spend the day in the car with you?
While most agents recognize the importance of demonstrating their business expertise, Berman-Mikel said it’s equally important to share what personalizes you. Potential clients are drawn to agents who share similar interests and values as well as those who are fun or entertaining.
Your lifestyle posts are the foundation for building the connection that results in leads contacting you. When you create a post, always ask yourself the following questions:
- If you’re working with a buyer, would they be willing to spend a whole day in the car with you based upon your posts?
- If you’re working with a seller, would your posts lead them to trust you enough to allow total access to their home, including many of the details about how they live?
- Based on this post, would this motivate potential clients to contact you and trust you enough to handle the listing or purchase of their most important asset?
These decisions are based on how you use Instagram to build and maintain your connections.
4 types of content to include in your 30-day Instagram posting plan
In addition to the lifestyle posts that personalize you to potential clients, Berman-Mikel recommends that you post these three other types of content:
1. Value series
This is informational content designed to show your expertise and to help you command respect in your chosen niche.
2. Listing content
These posts show what happens as clients move through the sale or purchase process. For example, you may showcase a listing or feature a video of your clients when you give them the keys to their new home.
Other types of posts include videos featuring something unique about your listing, highlights of your upcoming Sunday open house, or something crazy that happened during a showing. Your goal is to show that you are an active agent who is consistently moving listings and sales through the pipeline.
3. Testimonials and engaging short-form content
These two types of content often teeter back and forth. For example, you might post photos of the kitchen from two or three of your listings. You could then ask your followers: Which kitchen do you prefer?
These quick questions that ask your followers’ opinion about food preferences, the best dog park or a host of other topics drive engagement. Here’s an example that illustrates how to integrate these different types of content into your posting schedule:
- Day 1: Lifestyle post of you behind the scenes. Did you bake a birthday cake for one of your children? Did you discover a new restaurant where they had the best lasagna ever? Did you finally get around to cleaning your garage and you post the before and after videos?
- Day 2: A listing post showcasing a new or “coming soon” listing.
- Day 3: Lifestyle post asking your followers which photo you should use for your Instagram profile.
- Day 4: A listing post with a video of your sellers placing a sold rider on their for-sale sign.
Use the headline to attract niche viewers
For example, Berman-Mikel’s husband is a meat eater who owns a Traeger smoker, a Green Egg and a traditional barbecue. Her headline for a post on this topic could be, “Are you a Traeger smoker or Green Egg fan — which one do you like better?”
This would attract the meat eaters who also share a passion for smoking meat. The shared interest becomes the basis for building connection.
Greg McDaniel also likes to post funny or self-deprecating events that happen to him. The first of these two posts drove over 1,400 visitors to his Instagram feed, while the second post with both Greg and his dog bandaged up drew lots of comments about “poor dog” (but nothing about poor Greg!)
Incorporate Instagram into your listing appointment
Berman-Mikel emphasized creating content that speaks directly to the needs of the seller with whom you are meeting.
For example, if you’re meeting with a couple where the husband is active-duty military, his wife is pregnant, and he is about to be deployed in a different state, showing them how you helped another couple in a similar situation sell quickly and purchase in their new location will clinch the listing for you.
You can also use your Instagram presence to separate your marketing efforts from those of other agents. Berman-Mikel recommended that you share previous Instagram posts such as a fun Reels you made for a previous listing.
Be sure to also show them your analytics, including the number of views and actual contacts inquiring about that specific property.
Don’t go half-throttle
Berman-Mikel advised that to succeed using Instagram, commit to doing at least one post a day on your Instagram business account. Regularly alternate between personal and business content.
Track results, and when you’re on your next listing appointment, show the sellers how you use Instagram to help them achieve the maximum exposure that results in the highest possible price.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.