Instagram for Real Estate: 20 of the Best-Run Agent Accounts
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Though you may not earn your next big home buyer or seller lead by posting a filtered shot or short video of your latest listing on the social network, using Instagram for marketing your company, its culture, and your value proposition can improve your business reputation and help you reach parts of your audience (and prospective leads) who have yet to engage with you online.
So, learn how to use Instagram for marketing — and continue to build and appeal to your digital audience — by checking out 20 phenomenal accounts run by agents, brokers, and firms from all over the globe below (listed in no particular ranking or order).
First up is a premier visual real estate social media page from Down Under. The Jellis Craig team from Melbourne, Australia, showcases everything from lavish living rooms and aerial listing videos to company outings and private showings, offering a full picture of what it’s like to both work with and for the esteemed agency. What’s more is the Aussie firm makes great use of its stylish logo, implementing it in the occasional photo and video, which helps its real estate branding.
When one works in markets with diverse demographics who speak multiple languages, it’s ideal to cater to all audiences and provide multilingual content for them. For Piquet Realty, which has offices in New York, Miami, Colorado, and some other locales nationwide, providing both English and Portuguese copy in its real estate Instagram posts bodes well for connecting with two of its primary buyer personas. Oh, and stunning pictures and videos of the buildings for which it represents numerous units for sale and lease doesn’t hurt either.
Storytelling is a key component to any real estate social media marketing plan — something Orlando Realtor Nicole Mickle seems to understand, as evidenced by her well-operated Instagram account. Take the image above as an example: Instead of showing off just listings she represents, Mickle shares the tale of a recent client whom she helped close on this lovely home for sale. In other words, she humanizes the property purchase and the work she put in to find the perfect residence for her buyer. The icing on the cake was the excellent use of hashtags to spread word about her latest deal.
Top-producer, expert coach, go-getter — these are just a few ways to describe Kase Real Estate’s Keven Stirdivant. While that would be enough adjectives to satisfy many other agents and brokers, he’s gone a step further and added “adept social media marketer” to his resume. Aside from showing off the occasional intermittent personal life photos of him and his growing family, Stirdivant highlights his company’s latest listings in unique fashion (such as drone footage), spotlights his career training sessions he hosts for his team, and accentuates the beautiful Southern California market in which he and his agents operate. In other words, Stirdivant uses Instagram for real estate near-perfectly.
Ask agents and brokers — particularly those located on the West Coast — which firm does it “right” in terms of real estate marketing and many will point to The Agency. Based in Beverly Hills, this high-end real estate sales company is known for its cutting-edge promotional tactics, including an exhaustive email newsletter highlighting the brand’s latest business updates, the latest listings to hit the market, and comprehensive content featuring the face of the franchise, CEO Mauricio Umansky. Social media for real estate is something The Agency has also mastered, as this Instagram account shows. Announcing new team members (like the image above), giving well wishes around the holidays, and exhibiting attractive homes for sale make up most of its posts on the social network.
Though Watson’s other job as a notable sports radio host for the San Diego area certainly doesn’t hurt his career aspirations, having a well-executed real estate Instagram account also bolsters awareness of his personal brand and other ventures, like his home sales business. Watson uses the account as both a professional and personal medium, but there’s one commonality to both his work and home-life images and photos: They show what it’s like to reside in sunny SoCal. This factor can get prospective clients more interested in his services, given his knowledge of the best places to eat, businesses to use, and places to hang out.
Professional real estate listings photos can do wonders for your promotional activities, but don’t forget to show off your surrounding market also. The Hopper Group team abides by this Instagram marketing philosophy, as it shares equal parts homes for sale and shots of its community — like new shops that open and local events — that paint a picture of what life is like in the metro Seattle area. Moreover, the agency maximized its appearance on an HGTV show by highlighting on Instagram the behind-the-scenes moments and smiles from their satisfied clients.
If you decide to go with strictly real estate photos for your agent Instagram account, Smash Properties is an agency you should follow on the social network, as it displays some of the ritziest and most gorgeous homes for sale in Chicago. Luxury condos, sprawling mansions, and ultra-modern estates are just a small portion of the niche property types shown off via this Windy City–based agency’s account. Stunning pics from around town, including ones of the city’s high-rises, parks, farmer’s markets, and other community locales and events are also shared.
There is certainly no shortage of unique ways to share photos and videos on Instagram. For instance, by using an app like Layout, which is run by the social network, you can display multiple pictures in a single post — the perfect way to promote listings for sale and lease in your market, particularly those you represent. BOND New York posts these kinds of shares with its attractive account, along with local housing market data (like its quarterly market report) and striking images from other Instagram accounts around town that show off historic properties, fun events, and other happenings across the Big Apple.
YouTube has traditionally been the chief real estate video marketing platform for agents and brokers. Then, in 2013, Instagram revealed its new video-recording feature, and, later on, its Hyperlapse app, which turns footage into time-lapse videos. These new video tools appealed instantly to marketers worldwide … including the real estate community. The Buying PDX team at Windermere Stellar is one firm to take advantage of this functionality. The agency condenses its real estate listing videos into 15-second clips (which some prospective buyers undoubtedly prefer as opposed to five-minute listing clips often found on YouTube). What’s more, the firm provides ample proof of its efficacy as top producers by showing off the latest homes it helps clients purchase and lease.
Some brands and professionals who try to use Instagram as a marketing tool fail to realize one commonality between the social network and all other promotional tactics and outlets: the necessity to be human with any and all marketing. Consumers — including home buyers and sellers — want to know the people behind the company, not just what the company offers. Over at Usaj Realty in Downtown Denver, Instagram users can get a glimpse of what goes on at the agency’s office, take part in fun giveaways, and even check out the firm’s charitable endeavors — all of which helps the company’s aim to relate to its audience and show they’re people, too.
Some agents and brokers share random luxury homes with no relation to their business (a.k.a. “real estate porn”) simply to get eyeballs on their Instagram accounts. This isn’t an entirely bad strategy, if that’s all you want for your account. But Joyce Rey actually represents a number of the high-end properties she spotlights on her addictive page. Though linking in Instagram posts isn’t allowed, Rey still provides the microsite URLs for each notable listing, which is a terrific way to garner even more traffic (though we suspect her online real estate marketing plan seems to be going just fine even sans her Instagram account).
As mentioned, “real estate porn,” even in the form of others’ listings and homes not even on the market, can drive awareness to Instagram accounts — if done well. This account from Pope Real Estate in Toronto accomplishes this feat, as it presents a myriad of residences across the world to gain attention and followers for its page. Having said that, there are certainly a fair number of Toronto-based properties showcased here as well. All in all, this is one of the more finely curated Instagram accounts you’ll find from agents and firms on the social media platform.
Consistent use of branding in Instagram photos through the addition of the company name? Check. Inclusion of “contact me” call to action (CTA) in practically every post on the social network? Check. Excellent use of real estate photography to promote various types of homes for sale in his market? Check. There’s really not much missing from Mason’s page. The icing on the cake comes in the form of short videos showing Mason working one-on-one with his clients to help educate them and get them that much closer to buying their dream homes — a phenomenal form of social proof.
When you have a “Million Dollar Listing” star on staff, things are likely going well for your business. However, a comprehensive digital real estate marketing strategy — including a presence on social networks like Instagram — is needed even for the biggest and most successful agencies. Rodeo Realty’s account on the social media channel is chock full of stunning listing photos, working-at-the-office shots, and even well wishes for its followers around the holidays. The latter type of content may not seem like a pivotal one to share on Instagram, but it shows the firm goes the extra mile to show its online audience it cares about them.
Look closely at the visual branding of the most recognizable companies on Earth and you’ll notice one thing they all have in common: simplicity. Apple’s logo is … well … an apple. The McDonald’s yellow arches have become iconic. You get the point. But even smaller, more niche brands can still gain this level of recognition for their logos and branding visuals, through things like image style, typeface, and color scheme. In the real estate field, few have accomplished this superb design plan better than Compass. Examine its Instagram account and you’ll see every single post is uniformly stylish and includes carefully crafted real estate branding elements.
This isn’t exactly your average agent’s account, as this duo of industry veterans uses humor to relate to its fellow agent audience and point out the ludicrous aspects of working in real estate sales. For instance, the guys behind the account, Wes Pinkston and Eric Simon, posted this suggestion for agents who feel it’s necessary to scream and shout at their audiences digitally via all-caps copy (chances are you’ve seen this unusual strategy employed by other agents once or twice … or dozens of times). Funny observations and banter like this make this account therapeutic in a way for all industry pros.
Short-and-sweet copy accompanying each photo, listings explained in detail, and custom links leading back to the agency’s site: That sums up pretty much every post on the Pacific Union Instagram page. The agency gets right to the point with its listing shots to succinctly relay what the properties entail, where they’re located, and how viewers of the listings can learn more about them.
Though lots of copy over your Instagram images won’t work all the time, Vancouver Real Estate Experts do an expert job explaining core details about each listing by adding in some exhaustive copy for the homes for sale. The addition of asking price, photos of the team, and contact details is what really ties together these particular types of shares on the social network. On top of overtly promotional photos, the Canadian agency also shares a bevy of landscape shots, showing off lakes, skylines, and greenery from all over the Vancouver area. The advice posts for home sellers are an especially nice touch.
The U.S. is home to many cities known for astounding architectural achievements, and Miami definitely falls into this category — the Art Deco District in the city alone has inspired residential and commercial building designs worldwide. The Iglesias Realty Group makes sure to take advantage of the countless unique properties in the Miami Beach area by sharing them routinely on its Instagram account. From the astonishing skyscraper at One City Point to the glass-encased Bentley Edgewater Hotel & Residences, the agency spotlights innumerable interesting developments, condos, and other buildings throughout the metro area.
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Published on January 7, 2016
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.