How Instagram Has Changed Real Estate Marketing
Social media platforms, Instagram in particular, are changing the way people buy everything from fashion to furniture, and now real estate is too. While shoppers used to visit the MLS or sites like Trulia, use apps like Redfin, or simply browse a single broker’s website to view deals, that information is now provided directly through social media feeds. The stakes have increased and real estate marketers are taking content creation to the next level. That way, they can attract the attention of entirely new demographic customers, including those who weren’t looking.
The rise of the real estate influencer
Douglas Elliman’s agent Melissa Vale not only sells real estate, she is also a blogger and lifestyle influencer with over 145,000 followers on Instagram. While her feed is mostly about beautifully shot and edited lifestyle images, unlike certain listings, she says the platform helped her grow her real estate business. “I initially expanded my social media channel out of the desire to advertise my offers and my real estate business in general. All real estate companies encourage it. My fashion and beauty branding work happened as an extension of that. “There’s no denying that social media marketing has a much bigger impact than traditional marketing. In addition, data and statistics are provided that print media cannot. “50,000 unique accounts often see a post from me. So when I post an apartment or an interior I have the advantage of providing a mass exposure (the equivalent of mass magazine circulation).” explains Vale.“And since we know that someone has to be exposed to something multiple times before a conversion can take place, you want to have as many eyeballs as possible on something at any given time. “
Like many influencers, Vale has found that connecting with followers and creating a community has had a positive impact on their business. Their approach is to sell a lifestyle that real estate happens to be a part of. “[People often ask me] Everything from my favorite areas in New York to the areas where I can best invest right now, what the market is like etc. And it’s usually really fun to answer these and connect with people all over the world that way to kick! That’s the best part about social media in my opinion. “
Create video content
Another major trend in real estate marketing on social media is video. Vale likes to share property tours with their stories. But she’s not the only one. In fact, Warburg Realty’s Allison Chiaramonte almost sold an apartment in New York via an Instagram video. “I took a video tour on Instagram of a Tribeca listing that featured unique interiors, arches, and original factory details. A friend of a friend reached out to see the apartment through an Instagram direct message. She didn’t buy the apartment but she made a real offer” explains Chiaramonte. “Despite all of the real real estate marketing we did in this listing, I would never have reached her without my Instagram video as she wasn’t technically on the market for an apartment.”
agent Warburg Realty’s Tania Isacoff Friedland also believes that videos are a better way to get involved than using standard images. “As Instagram becomes more popular, bloggers, realtors, and interior designers are primarily posting professionally captured images. Although the photos are beautiful, they are similar to leafing through a magazine and often don’t convey a sense of space or flow. “
With photography dominating social media, Friedland places greater emphasis on video to stand out from the contents of a seemingly endless scroll. “There are plenty of these pretty pictures on Instagram. So the audience can be a bit deaf to them. While videos, whether professionally shot or an impromptu home tour, grab people’s attention in other ways. First of all, there is a real-time element that is engaging because people always want it. In addition, as agents, we have the opportunity to become taste makers and to inform our followers about what we appreciate and notice about a property. “
Boosting social media to increase sales
But the work is not just left to the agents themselves. Brokers pay for tools like Adfenix to improve their Instagram posts. Adfenix is interesting in that it is not based on demographic data, but uses behavioral and website visitor data. Lisa Larson from Warburg Realty has seen real results.
“In the case of 5 Riverside Drive, 10% of my ads were targeted to buyers who saw the listing on Instagram and Facebook. Additionally, the data I received from Adfenix about potential buyers who viewed and edited my listings has been an invaluable insight into how to continue marketing these properties for a successful sale, ”she says.
A photographer’s point of view
Sera Alper is a Los Angeles based photographer and founder and CEO of Localite Productions. She works with real estate agents to create content for her websites and social media. “Real estate agencies whose marketing game doesn’t work are many notches higher when it comes to closing deals than those who are not present on social networks,” explains Alper. “It is not enough to have your listing active on real estate websites. If you’re not on Instagram, you basically don’t exist. You are missing out on opportunities and losing your business to your competition. “
Instagram has also changed expectations for buyers and sellers alike. A standard photoshoot with a few minor tweaks won’t cut it anymore. “Instagram has so many filters and it can make the photos even better. People are so used to higher quality photos on social media that they expect to list them frequently tooSays Hope Khouri, an agent at Halstead in New York. However, she notes that while social media is helpful, traditional word of mouth is still the source of most of her business.
And while quality images help, Alper says that’s just one level of marketing. “How you distribute these images to attract your potential customers is just as important as the way they are captured.”
She recommends her clients use advertising agencies that specialize in property marketing so they can create content to tell the property’s story. “Whether it’s a video format, or it’s live open house sessions on Instagram that involve influencers or real estate images are transferred to other massive accounts. The goal is in engaging your customers to stay up to date. “