Social media isn’t just for kids anymore; it’s how your brand builds a digital footprint. Just like every legitimate business needs a website, every business needs a strong presence on social media.

In real estate, the popular choices seem to be Facebook and Twitter. This isn’t surprising, given the ease of use and popularity these social networks have. The social media outlet statistically used the least by businesses in the United States, however, might be the one that holds the most potential for real estate professionals.

Instagram is a social media network owned by Facebook that allows users to create a profile and do nothing else besides post photos, “like” photos and comment on other people’s photos. Why is this network so valuable for the real estate industry? For a few reasons: 90 percent of Instagram users are under the age of 35; it’s free; and not many Realtors have adopted it yet. This means that not only do you get a free marketing platform for posting beautifully touched-up photos of your properties, but you’ll also be reaching the next generation of homebuyers and standing out in the process. Let’s look at how these three agents are using Instagram to grow their real estate business:

InstaKatieCrain

katie_crain

Posts: 634

Followers: 612

Katie Crain is a Realtor in Los Angeles who works for Nourmand & Associates. She has been in the industry for seven years, starting out as an assistant and working her way up. For her, using Instagram for her business was a no-brainer. She uses third-party photo editing apps like VSCO Cam to edit her pictures before submitting them to her Instagram, which also cross-posts all of her photos on Facebook. She says she has “absolutely gotten clients from Instagram.” Although she isn’t reaching out to thousands of users, she says that the effort put into creating her photos captures an artistic element that attracts homebuyers in the neighborhoods around Los Angeles that she serves. Her photos go viral locally through her personal network of clients and friends, creating a buzz way more effective than a bus bench or billboard.

InstaOptimus

optimumproperties

Posts: 551

Followers: 19,700

Moh Noori of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury Property Collection is the agent behind the massive following of optimumproperties Instagram page. Noori started another profile with his brother called black_list that was all about showcasing beautiful cars and motorcycles. The black_list quickly grew and now has 1.6 million followers, which is nothing short of amazing. The reason for the quick growth was twofold: the efficient use of hashtags and posting amazing photos. Noori says that he is starting to use the same methodology to grow optimumproperties, and the page has been growing by about 1,000 followers a week. He has found a number of interested buyers and sellers from his branded page, and all for free.

IMG_1474

sarahschep

Posts: 679

Followers: 15,700

Sarah Scheper is an up-and-coming agent in Orange County, California, who uses her Instagram 60 percent for business and 40 percent for her personal use. She says, “It’s a balance that I use to promote my listings and also my personal brand.” She uses third-party photo editing apps to not only make her images look a little better, but to also add text to her photos to make them stick out. Sarah uses hashtags like #realtor, #OCrealestate and #realestate for SEO so potential clients in her area can find her by searching all of Instagram. Does she get more business because of her Instagram? “Of course I do,” she says. “I’ve closed several buyers from my Instagram!”

Not bad for a completely free social media page!

Kevin Hopp is the vice president of customer success at Dizzle.

Email Kevin Hopp.

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