Sharing photos of your property listings is essential in real estate, and when it comes to photo sharing online, Instagram is perhaps the most talked about and exciting social media platform available. Instagram is a great way to connect with your real estate clients and to network with other REALTORS®, and with over 80 million users, Instagram has quickly become the platform of choice when it comes to simple edits like cropping and filtering.
If you have an iPhone or iPad you can download the Instagram application in the iTunes store, or for Android phone or tablet, download Instagram in Google Play. Once Instagram is installed, stand out from the crowd with this 5-step guide to Instagram photos for REALTORS®.
1. Start sharing photos
Snap photos of your listings, and experiment with different angles and lighting. Part of the value of Instagram is that it’s an on-the-spot photo service that even amateur photographers can use. It’s okay if your photos aren’t perfect, as long as you’ve taken the time to get your best shots. If you’re not confident in your photography skills, make up for it with clever captions and creative uses of filters.
2. Add a filter that suits the house
Instagram filters add character to photos. Whether it’s a unique light, giving it an old Polaroid look or adding a haze, Instagram filters can change the dynamic of a photo. The Sierra filter, for example, is high-exposure, low-contrast filter that adds a cloudy quality to a photo. The Lo-Fi filter’s high saturation on the other hand adds vibrant colors and warmth to the photo. When shooting your properties, choose a filter that accentuates the best features, and that builds on the story that you’re trying to tell about the house.
3. Take close-up shots of key features
Consider using Instagram for unique shots of the home. A photo of the entire house is great, but don’t forget to focus on the details as well. Did the previous owners happen to have a large flower garden? Take a picture of the hydrangeas, filter the photo, and add a caption like, “Every house deserves a flower garden like this.” Clever, pointed details are likely to capture the attention of your followers, and might entice them to take a closer look at the property.
4. Be active on Instagram
Follow other REALTORS® and real estate professionals. If you’re already active on Facebook, you can port your connections over to Instagram to build a foundation of people to follow. If you need to expand your network, follow real estate hashtags to find Instagram users who are active in the market, or follow hashtags from your local area to connect with potential customers. Within your Instagram feed, be sure to LIKE and comment on other users’ photos. If you make the initial connection people will be more likely to reciprocate on your photos, thus putting more eyes on your property. As with most social platforms, the general rule of thumb is to be active and courteous.
5. Connect Instagram to your other social profiles
Part of the value of Instagram is that it can build on the photo functionality of your other social networks. If you’re an active Twitter user in the real estate community, connect your Twitter and Instagram accounts and push your photos through Twitter to gain even more exposure. The same goes for Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr – the more eyes you can get on your property listings the better.
If you take a particularly good shot, don’t hesitate to add the photo to your MLS and online listing. The level of engagement you put into Instagram is likely to reflect on the level of engagement you’ll apply toward a home sale. Let your customers know that you’re making the extra creative effort.
Are you using Instagram to share photos of real estate listings? Let us know what works and share your user name in the comments to connect with other REALTORS®.