Using Instagram to Survive and Thrive in a Shifting Market
Most markets in our country are beginning to see a slight downturn in DOM and price reductions. In the Baton Rouge area, we saw it sooner. We were number 7 or so in the country for home flippers and potential profits to be made after our Great Flood of August 2016 which was caused by a torrential downpour of rain. I, along with so many others, was a victim of the flooding. After the flood, we saw a tremendous influx of flooded and gutted properties going for as little as 25-50% of the value that the home once was. More importantly we were in a super competitive seller’s market. That lasted through most of 2017 and then we began seeing the change. This year, we have noticed in areas that homes that would have sold in hours are taking weeks, and months or they are simply not selling at all and the owners are deciding to stay put or rent.
So, what did I do to combat that and still be able to produce at a similar level as 2015, 2016 and 2017?
- Stay in tune with the market, know your DOM, CDOM
- Know your competition, in a shifting market your listings need to be slightly underpriced and better than the competition
- When others stop paying for lead sources, you ramp up and dive in
- Start looking for bargains on investment properties of your own
- Grab your unfair advantage of the market. Now is the time that other part-time agents will begin leaving the market or joining teams, be the person that helps them stay in this great, fun and challenging career
- Learn more, be innovative, continue to automate and start truly tracking where your closings are coming from
How and where to innovate, if you attended LCA Live 2018 and heard Scott Hack’s speech you heard him speak over and over about the power of Instagram and video marketing. After doing farther research into Instagram and watching and following those with successful feeds, you’ll learn it’s more than just a cute picture and a few hashtags. Lab Coat Agents explores the science of real estate and as an avid student of Lab Coat Agents, I explore the science of technology and utilize it to enhance my consumer experience. As a side bar, I’ve been able to gain traction via exposure to my brand through authenticity. Ultimately, this means that my listings are also getting more exposure.
Here are a few things to know from my studies on Instagram
- 8-11 hashtags are key. When using hashtags, use ones that do not have a million tags, you’re looking for a smaller amount so that you don’t get lost in the proverbial crowd, aka when everyone else is turning right, it’s okay to go straight or make a left
- Videos. The average consumer is viewing your ad (whether Facebook or Instagram) from a mobile device, make sure your ad is mobile friendly
- Movement in your ad or feed in general is key
- 7 out of 10 Instagram hashtags are branded (via Sprout Social)
- As of March 2017 at least 30% of Instagram users purchased a product they first discovered online (now if you compare that to the billion users, that’s a LOT of potential revenue)
- 85% if Facebook video is watched in silence (make sure you add captions to your ads) (via Sprout Social)
- Posts with a location get 79% more engagement (via Sprout Social)
- Photos with faces get 38% more likes (via Sprout Social)
Here are some low cost to free apps that will help you create videos
(Courtesy of Scott Hack)
- Adobe photoshop
- Adobe spark post
- Instagram stories
I am working on a more curated site where I focus on who I am as an individual. The question that you should ask yourself before you dive into the world of Instagram is, what is it that you’d like to accomplish, who do you want to be seen as? I challenge you to be authentic and a human who sells real estate versus all business and no play. I am by no means an Instagram guru but am working on creating a more cohesive brand, starting with my bio and filtering who I am all the way through my posts. In the shifting market, authenticity wins. I changed my Instagram page to a business account where I can push directly to my Facebook business account. Here are my analytics over the past week or so.
There are a few things to notice:
- Since making subtle changes and being more purposeful my content has gone up dramatically (I began making changes on Saturday)
- A large portion of my local market is my audience and they are paying attention
- My historic clientele base is definitely paying attention. At the time of this article, I am 38 and I’m getting the highest interaction from those that are in my age group (AKA WINNING)
In the short time that I have started becoming more purposeful using Instagram, I have noticed a few things.
- Instagram should be a highlight reel
- Edit your pictures and make sure that they are clear, clean, and crisp
- Clarendon is the number one filter used on Instagram (Sprout Social)
- Use quotes to define the things you are thinking of and you as a person
- Be sure to use videos on your Instagram feed to boost engagement
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It is all trial and error and a good friend of mine said a quote that has stuck with me this year, “Good is good enough.” (Coach Misti Bruton of Clubwealth)
- Remember to block your time during the day for your Instagram posts. Most of my engagement happens between 9 am and 9 pm.
- Lastly, have fun with it. Instagram is an amazing platform that less than 10% of real estate agents are utilizing.
- Research ways to edit your photos, focus on brilliance, saturation, light, shadows etc. There are tons of tutorials online that will show you how to fix your photos to make them “gram-worthy”
- Feel free to follow me. My Instagram is a work in progress, but I have fun and am authentic @yourgeauxtoagent
Here are other tutorials and tools that will also help you in standing out from the crowd (Courtesy of Scott Hack)