Realtor Instagram Accounts

I’m watching you guys.

I’m watching and I’d love to know — what are you doing with your Instagram accounts?

There’s the “motivational meme re-poster” guy:
Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar already posted it; all of your peers already follow those two guys; and none of your prospective clients really care if you’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. I mean, maybe they’re happy for you, but that certainly doesn’t make you noteworthy as the next person to help them buy or sell a house. Plus, all the other agents I’m talking to are posting the same thing.

There’s the “I don’t own this Lambo or Rolex” guy, “but Ima post pictures of it everywhere!”:
Perhaps these folks are gunning for high-end clientelle? Or maybe it’s a testosterone thing — ladies aren’t posting this nonsense, in my findings (however, see the next section, girls). I can’t say it with certainty, but I’m pretty sure the people driving those cars are probably not screening their agents by the number of gold-plated supercar pictures on their Instagram accounts. Odds are, your account is going to attract followers who either sell supercars/watches, or other agents having similar phony online pissing contests.

That brings us to “Gym Selfies Guy” and “Duckface Selfies Girl”:
For the love of the internet, please cut this out.
OK, gym guy, I’ll admit I’m nitpicking with you, but seriously — unless you’re The Rock, your gym selfies are probably off-putting, eye roll inspiring, or possibly worst of all .. average and not getting noticed. If you’re on a major transformative journey, where you used to weigh 400 lbs, and now you’re rockin’ a 32 waist, then yes — let’s see those selfies! You’ve got a story. People can journey with you, and share the emotions. You’re opening up, and that has value. If, on the other hand, you’ve always had a 32 waist, and you’re trying to impress clients with your 35 lb dumbbell curls…[rolling eyes].

I didn’t forget about you, Duckface Selfies Girl. Why are you doing that? Even the Mona Lisa can’t pull it off. I’m trying to be Devil’s advocate, and in my most indignant, Beverly Hillsiest, high school cheerleader voice, I’m hearing “O-M-Geeee, I’m just being myselllllf.” No-you’re-not. You’re doing some forced face that someone made up, and now you look like a zillion other selfies.

I’m all for being yourself, and that’s one of my biggest take aways from this — just be you. Tell your story. Post pictures that tell a story, and add great captions below. And it’s not about being salesy on Instagram. You’re [almost] literally giving people a window into your world. Realtors, unlike Rolex watches and Lamborghinis, are not drooled over. People need one when they need one, and the best thing you can do on Instagram is be relevant and interesting for when that time comes.

“Hm, I need to sell my house .. let me peruse my Instagram feed…” — said no one, ever.

People are on Instagram to delight at the pictures, and eye-catchers win, not look-alikes. Great job if you’ve got an eye-catcher, but better still if you can hold their interest with a relevant story once they get there. Can you relate a passion other than real estate to your real estate business? You know who’s great at this? Fredrik Eklund, from the Million Dollar Listing show. Love him or hate him (how could you hate him, he’s awesome), check out his Instagram profile. He has tremendous passion for photography, style and architecture, and it shows in his profile. His posts share something about himself while entertaining or captivating his followers. They are relevant in that the photos are taken in New York, and showcase the city he clearly loves, or they are taken on his travels, revealing he’s not just a 24/7 sales machine (though he’s close).

Who else can you turn to for Instagram tutelage? Gary Vaynerchuk. Anyone even close to running a business, running a portion of someone else’s business, or calling themselves an entrepreneur should check him out. As best I can tell, he’s the pioneer of being authentic on social media (and business), and his epic success with this approach is something to take note of. Go onto a social media platform and try NOT to find Gary. He’s got books, podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs — pick your preferred “Medium” (yep, he’s here too), and study from this guy. He’s rarely selling anything on these platforms, and when he does, he’s not sneaky about it — he’s open. “Hey, buy this please, I think you’ll really enjoy it and learn from it”. Plus, after all the value he’s provided, you want to buy something from him, whether to learn from it, or simply to thank him! Yes, I said “providing value”. So few real estate Insta’s are doing that. Is yours?

So how does one provide value on Instagram as a real estate agent? If you start tossing up mortgage rate screenshots, you’re going to bore the crap out of people. Fast. Do you have a niche? Something like first-time buyers? Showcase things in the communities where you do business.. places YOU also go to; a story for each of those places. How about a selfie with your favorite electrician? I swear if you Duckface it, I’m Insta-unfollowing you.

How am I accomplishing this in my business? My Instagram account was originally set up to market my real estate app, until I realized how unfitting that was for Instagram. I had a couple clever memes, but really, it wasn’t conducive to the platform, or perhaps more importantly, it didn’t feel natural. I switched gears to combine my real estate business with one of things I’m most passionate about: mountain biking. I run a program where house sales result in donations to the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA). The wilderness doesn’t just preserve itself, you know. I love doing this program, and my posts are geared toward mountain bikers, particularly those in Massachusetts. It’s so niche, but it’s real. I feature things like the closest houses to the trailhead, winners of the latest downhill races, pictures of my own rides, and special offerings at local bike shops. Suddenly we’re getting whole communities involved. I’m not buying followers, but the ones who are there, are there because they want to be.

“Don’t try to make a product for everybody — because that is a product for nobody.” — Seth Godin

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