#KeepingCRESocial by Sarah Malcolm: Instagram Hacks for the Photo-Challenged Agent
BLOG POST BY SARAH MALCOLM, CHIEF DIGITAL STRATEGIST AT THE NEWS FUNNEL
Instagram photos can be total eye candy. How many times have you been scrolling through your feed and thought “I wish my Instagram photos were on that level” or “If only my business were as glamorous as it looks on Instagram”?
With Instagram, you can share unique photos and videos featuring listings, record testimonials, and share homeowner tips all in one platform. Instagram can be difficult for real estate professionals because it’s more of a service-oriented product. And there are already so many photos out there of a house paired with a lame caption. If you’re trying to post one to two times per week, the task could tie up your productivity on a weekly basis.
And um, what if you suck at taking photos? Then Instagram already is your worst nightmare. Luckily there a few ways overlook that minor little shortcoming and keep your Insta-game strong.
Option 1: Stock Photos
So you’re not good at images, that’s whatever. You can find images of everything on affordable stock image websites. There are millions of images that go for around $1 a pop so there is no reason to go broke or be at a loss for options, at least as long as you have a good wifi connection for hours the house of browsing ahead of you.
Disclaimer about stock photos: there are detailed restrictions, rights, usage options, and license for every single image you download from these services. Read your rights carefully and understand that while you have the full right to use them in your marketing efforts, they are not to be used in unlawful efforts to spread hate, discrimination, and defamation.
P.S. You must resist stealing, borrowing, or improperly using images. Even if it’s easy, and the chances of getting caught are less than slim, it’s totally illegal. And if you can get them for as little as a dollar, so there is no excuse.
Option 2: Skill Swap
Maybe your strength isn’t photography, but you’re sure to possess another set of valuable skills. Real estate is all about innovation and teamwork--find a friend on your team who needs your writing or communication expertise and do a skill swap. Or, if you have time to learn something new, host a skillshare! Both of you will benefit as individual agents, and the more professional marketing materials will boost the overall image of the company.
Option 3: Get Creative
There are plenty of other things you can do to spice up the feed without magazine-quality photos. Ever heard of Hyperlapse? It’s a super cool Instagram tool that makes it easy to take cinematic time-lapse videos at different speeds. In conjunction with a listing, you can use it to give a virtual “day-in-the-life” experience to highlight neighborhood features and amenities.
Agents know the value of a testimony. Why hoard them for your website? Host videos of client testimonials to post in your feed or story. They are a thousand times more personal than a stale stock photo. These are sure to get some positive attention that will send potential clients to your profile. Don’t forget that many of your clients will take incredible photos of their own. Don’t be shy--repost those firecrackers! It brings some texture into your account, proves you’re an agent who does make dreams come true, and shows your client some virtual appreciation. After all, everyone loves a little shoutout!
Also, it’s totally okay to show off your fun side--actually, people respond to that really well! Take a selfie at the agency, pair it with a clever caption, and bam, you’ve just added some personality to your account.
Option 4: Practice!
Every real estate agent should know their way around a camera. Whether you’re good at it or not, you should put some effort into improving your skills. Just start at square one (maybe you’ll get some pointers from that skillshare) and remember there is a world beyond filters to help juice up the images--think Photoshop. Practice makes perfect, and it’s worth your time to carve some time out of your day to until you perfect this essential skill.
No matter your strategy, amazing content and beautiful photos for your Instagram will have every listing go from #justlisted to #justsold in the time it takes to double tap.
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Need help with your social media strategy? Contact Jen@thenewsfunnel.com to learn more. We manage some of the BIGGEST brand’s social media in CRE and more importantly WE GET RESULTS. Can I get an AMEN!?
If you are interested in booking Sarah Malcolm as a speaker feel free to reach out directly at email@example.com.