Instagram has become an important part of social media. It seems everybody is now using Instagram stories, with many using them to promote their businesses. Maybe you are only using Instagram Stories on your personal account, or maybe you are using stories to promote your real estate business but have no idea how to create the attention-grabbing stories you have seen others share. Many people can be familiar with features but have no idea how they can make the best of them. In this article, we will share some of the best Instagram stories hacks for real estate.
Why Use Instagram Stories For Real Estate?
Instagram stories were introduced a few years back in August 2016. The feature was inspired by Snapchat and as expected caught on; close to 500 million people share content on Stories daily. Through stories, people can share diverse content including; images, polls, quizzes, questions, etc.
The best thing about Instagram stories is that they are automatically displayed on top of the news feed. Real estate agents can benefit from Instagram stories by promoting their business as other businesses do. The rewards are undeniable with 15-25% of people following the stories of branded accounts.
Furthermore, a third of most viewed Instagram stories are posted by businesses. This seems like a significant avenue to generate leads for real estate. Instagram posts are effective but stories are the new game changer.
Instagram Story Hacks for Real Estate
Now using the Stories feature is one thing, making the most out of it is another. Using these Instagram Stories hacks for real estate plays an important role in how your marketing will turn out. We have compiled a list of hacks realtors can put to use in their real estate business marketing:
1. Locations of The Property
When you are promoting a property on Instagram Stories in any way (open house, images, short videos, etc.) make sure you use the “Location” feature of stories to mention the location of the property. Adding a location to the stories increases their exposure.
2. Add Location Hashtags
This one is similar to the point above but it is different in the way it is implemented. Here instead of using the location feature, you should type the location using a hashtag. Adding a hashtag to your Story makes it discoverable to a wider audience. For example:
You can use the location by typing a city name, neighborhood, or even street name (for well-known ones only). It is also advisable to combine the location with the type of promotion you are targeting. For example:
Such hashtags are popular and get a decent load of searches on Instagram.
- Use the location sticker by clicking on the sticker icon on top of the screen
2. Hashtag the location by adding the pound sign (# ) followed by your desired text.
In both ways, Instagram will suggest hashtags based on the letters you type. The only difference is how they look, and the graphics added to stickers.
Remember not to use spaces or punctuation in creating hashtags.
Pro Tip: To tidy the screen up, you can use another sticker and drag the hashtags behind that sticker to hide. This will make the story look better especially when you are using multiple tags.
3. Mention Your Business Partners
What if you could get others to share your stories without having to ask them to do so? Well, it is possible but first, you need to motivate them. The trick here is to tag (mention) other people who are somehow related to the story. They can be:
- Your real estate photographer
- Your real estate company
- The construction company
- The home stager
By tagging people like this, there is a chance they will share the story on their own account, increasing the post’s reach and exposure. It is a win-win method. You scratch their back and they scratch yours.
4. Use Gifs
Emojis were introduced to social media and messaging apps to allow users to express emotions in a more tangible way. Gifs were originally designed to show animated images on webpages but now they also serve a completely different purpose.
Gifs are the new emojis and can express emotions, moods, and many more concepts easily. They are fun and used in many messaging platforms. However, not many people use gifs on Instagram stories.
In real estate, while posting content on Instagram through stories, realtors can search and use a related gif to increase the hype and improve the message they are trying to convey. While posting about a listing, how about using an “excited” gif on the image to get the audience excited? With a little creativity, you can add spice to your stories and develop your own style.
5. Create Highlights
Instagram stories are popular in no small part because they disappear after 24 hours. Therefore, people are less picky about what they post than permanent posts. This is the draw for many and it sounds great but what if you do not want your story to disappear?
There was no way to keep the stories on your page when they were first introduced back in 2016. But people voiced their need and Instagram took notice and added the “highlights” feature a year later.
The Highlight feature of Instagram is a neat way of categorizing and also saving your stories on in your profile. Once you post a story you have the option to add it to highlights.
6. Create Branded Highlight Covers
You may happen to have seen accounts using cool covers for their story highlight like this:
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to do this and you have to use third-party apps like Canva to create such covers. Branded highlight covers play an important role in the overall appearance of your Instagram profile. We have gone through a step-by-step guide in this article.
7. Promote Your Post as a Story
To increase your post’s chance of being seen by others you can promote in your stories. After all, it is another space that has its own audience on the platform. To share your post just scroll onto it and then tap on the airplane icon used to directly send posts to others. Here select “Add post to your story” this can be used to share others’ posts as stories as well.
8. Stay in The Lines
The top and the bottom sections of the Instagram stories are mainly used for user names and ways to interact with the story. That means when you are designing your story you need to pay attention not to frame the image so that important subjects are not covered by these elements. Furthermore, while adding items to the story like stickers and text, make sure you stay away from the top and bottom sections.
Fortunately, Instagram has made this easier. Once you start to move an item around, lines will appear to show the areas you should avoid using. Unfortunately, this only works for items you can and you still have to frame the important subjects of the image yourself so that they are not blocked by the top and bottom interactive fields and text.
9. Use Your Brand’s Style and Font
To increase your content’s recognizability, it is advisable to keep a consistent design for your content. Using the same fonts and colors and designs will help your audience recognize your content easily.
To do so it is best to use the fonts and color themes your brand is using on other platforms, like your website and other social media accounts. There are two ways to achieve such consistency in design:
- In the first method, you need to design your videos and images on other software and use your brands’ style and design. You then import the images and videos to the Instagram stories. If done properly, this achieves a great stylish design and consistency.
- Another way is to use other 3rd party apps on your phone to import fonts and use them in your stories:
You can use apps like Over and import your custom fonts in them. Over is a graphic design app that allows you to use custom fonts.
10. Access More Colors With Instagram Stories
Instagram’s quick-access colors are quite limited offering 3 sets of 9 colors. To get more colors you have two options
- Click on the color picker and drag over the image you have used in the story to pick a color.
- Tap and hold on a default color to bring up a more comprehensive color pallet.
This feature is useful when looking for colors to match your brand and style.
11. Use Story Templates
If you are not feeling creative or don’t have the time do design your real estate stories, you can always try paid services that offer beautiful templates for Instagram stories. They provide a pretty simple way of creating stories and allow you to keep the same style for all designs. To learn how to use a ready-made template click here.
12. Run Polls
Polls might seem like just a fun thing to do when you have your own personal account. But on your business account polls are a great way to encourage audience engagement and at the same time provide them with a chance to give feedback:
- If you want to know what your audience thinks about a property you have just promoted
- You want to know what kinds of posts and/or stories they would rather see
- You want to know what time they prefer for your stories to be posted on
- Any other question you have in mind that your audience can answer
Polls can act as a free survey for your audience and give you some deep insights on how to run your online marketing in the future. Also, they can provide you with feedback on how you have performed so far.
13. Shoot Vertically
It is usually considered wrong to shoot pictures on your phone holding it vertically and you might have received advice to tilt the phone down to a horizontal position and take pictures. That’s because vertical photos won’t look great on horizontal screens like that of a computer.
However, this may not be the case with stories. To fit hands, cellphones have been designed vertically and the above issue does not matter on cellphones. That’s why many people take photos vertically. Instagram stories use the full width and height of the screen vertically so horizontal shots will be either cropped out or have some solid color surroundings.
To make great looking stories, forget about shooting horizontally like a digital camera, hold your phone upright, and shoot some beautiful images.
14. Sound Off Stories
Cellphones are used everywhere: sometimes people mute their phones in public places and don’t have the sound on Instagram stories and posts. As a result, while you are making a story, think about how it will look without a sound. If you are holding the camera toward a house and talking over it where you are not seen, on mute, the story will not say much and will lose its value. Always consider the sound off scenario.
15. Create Awesome Video Collage
You probably have seen some realtors or other business accounts use cool stories featuring a collage of videos like this:
Such videos can be made with video editing software on a computer or right on your phone with apps like PhotoGrid. This is an app available on Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play. It allows you to use multiple videos and create a video collage, add music and text, and many other features.
- Run the app and select “Grid” from the main menu
- Click on the Video Tab
- Select up to 4 videos
- Click on the “Ratio” and select “Story”
- Add music and text. Play around with options and when you are done click save.
Instagram stories provide realtors with an avenue to promote their business but not all cool features of stores are that clear and easy to use. Learning all these Instagram stories hacks for real estate will allow you to become an expert who can create stories that stand out and get attention. And attention brings in the leads you need to nurture and turn into clients.