Instagram Stories, or Snapchat, For Your Real Estate Business?

We’re in a new age of online marketing. When you get a new listing, you’re doing a disservice to your seller by not having a strong online presence. Targeted Facebook ads to generate buyer leads and a strong LinkedIn network are a given at this point, but what about smaller sites/apps like Instagram and Snapchat? Is there a use for these apps in your real estate business? Of course! Here’s how:


Believe it or not, Snapchat is the number 2 app in the Apple App store (as of 6/14/17). It’s a photo sharing platform where users get to watch your photos or videos for up to 10 seconds, and then it disappears forever.

Brands have begun to realize the advertising potential of Snapchat and started curating stories and ads specifically for the platform.

As of Jan 2017, the majority of Snapchat’s demographic was 18–34 years old, with the 25–34 range as one of its fastest growing segments. 25–34 is your millennial home buyer target, so you should be active on Snapchat.

An example of a Snapchat GeoFilter, used over San Diego OysterFest

The play with snapchat is two-fold. Snapchat offers a fantastic way to give your followers a new level of transparency, something that our industry lacks. If you can be consistent with your behind the scenes snaps, your followers will get to know you faster than they would’ve otherwise. Like it your not, real estate agents also get a wrap for “not doing anything all day” as well. Snapchat is a great way to take followers along on your home inspections, appraisals, showings, etc.

The other play with Snapchat in real estate is through the use of GeoFilters. With GeoFilters, you can create a filter for a specific event and anyone using Snapchat in the designated area will see your GeoFilter. I like to create filters and lay them over big social events in my local area for branding awareness. I also create them for new listings and lay them over the surrounding neighborhood for the weeks leading up to the listing.

Instagram / Instagram Stories

Instagram was recently bought by Facebook, is the #3 app in the Apple App Store, and trending to become the number 1 most used mobile app in the world. So to say that you need to have a presence on Instagram is an understatement.

The best users on Instagram thrive by showcasing amazing photos, and were in quite possibly the best industry for beautiful photos. Everyday, you can post another amazing view, or beautiful kitchen.

Instagram Stories is basically Instagram’s answer Snapchat. It offers users the chance to showcase 10 second photos and videos that disappear each day. What both of these platforms offer is the chance to showcase you, and your business, in a more raw format rather than the level of polish that is required for an Instagram post, which stays up forever.

If you have a big enough following, Instagram Stories will generally get more views than a Snapchat Story. You now also have the ability to add locations and hashtags to your Instagram Story.

So Which One Is Better For My Real Estate Business

Quite simply, the answer is both.

Personally, I post on both daily. I generally post a little bit more business related content on my Instagram Stories, as I have more business contacts following me there.

Instagram also allows the opportunity to pay for ads to be seen in other members “stories” as well, giving you a HUGE opportunity to grow your brand within the app.

Instagram still cannot compete with Snapchats “GeoFilter” ability, which for it’s money, it the best pure BRANDING play to the 18–34 demographic out there.

I wrote this original article for Day 13 of my #30DaysOfRealEstate campaign. If you’ve enjoyed my articles this month, please shoot me a vote in the San Diego Union Tribune BEST OF contest, underway now. Link: -Jason