Episode 371: Leveraging Instagram Reels and Content Ideas for Real Estate Agents

Episode Timeline

Everybody is getting into Reels! For the 371st episode of Mail Right Show, Jonathan Denwood and Robert Newnan invites Nick Niehaus to discuss how realtors can leverage Instagram reels for marketing and showcasing their property. Nick Niehaus, a trainer and co-founder of Business Video School, and have worked with thousands of real estate agents over the past three years, teaching them how to use video. Robert Newman, the CEO of Inbound REM, an inbound marketing firm, has spent the last decade in the real estate SEO business. Meanwhile, Jonathan Denwood is the joint founder and CEO of Mail Right, a platform that builds beautiful websites on WordPress and combines digital marketing tools in a streamlined, user-friendly package.

Starting with Reels as Realtor

If you are a realtor, Reels should not be the first place you start with video, especially if you are just beginning with reels. The reel features on social media platforms are what many people get wrong, as they jump straight into creating short-form content without any prior video experience. As a beginner, gaining proficiency elsewhere in video creation is advisable before delving into reels. Get some reps in, and get comfortable, which will help you convey concise messages effectively, which are the first thing you must remember with reels.

If you want to go in this direction of short-form videos, it’s less about the relationship you already have. Unlike platforms like Facebook or Instagram, where individuals typically connect with people they already know, short-form videos require a different approach. And the truth for real estate agents is that establishing a smaller, dedicated audience of a few hundred or a couple of thousand individuals within their locality is crucial. These people desire a personal connection with the agent, and the agent would want to maintain that relationship. On the other hand, short-form videos excel at generating viral content. They are designed to captivate viewers through engaging and amusing content. Metrics like the number of replays hold significance on these platforms because they indicate content that intrigues viewers, even prompting them to watch repeatedly.

Leveraging Instagram Reels and Research Approach to Find What Kind of  Reels You Want to Do

When it comes to video creation and social media, the underlying principles remain grounded in marketing fundamentals. It is crucial for many individuals to devote more attention to these core principles and consider the essential questions one should ask before starting any marketing effort. How can you get into those smaller niches that people are searching for? So if you combine understanding your ideal client with the kinds of search terms they look for, which is fundamental SEO stuff, that’s where you’ll find the gold moving forward.

For real agents who want to leverage reels, first, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Short-form content (reels), differs from other content formats because it is not solely focused on building a follower base. Instead, it revolves around catering to individuals who follow specific topics of interest. Consequently, when approaching reels, you must consider whom you aim to attract and what they genuinely care about. So as a realtor who wants to utilize reels, focus on your community by showcasing noteworthy aspects of the town or city you serve, you will draw the attention of residents in that area—individuals who are significant for real estate agents.

Take a step and explore ways to narrow down your target audience. Who are they specifically? Are they young families or sports enthusiasts? What do I know about my ideal customer? Next, focus on developing three to five content pillars, recurring topics you can return to like clockwork. Limiting the range of subjects can create a more focused and cohesive content. It is important to note that, in most cases, less is better. Considering the time limit of reels, where content must be under 20 seconds, you must identify topics that can be effectively communicated within that time frame. But when you’re first getting started, anything you think is going to take 20 is probably going to take 40 or 50, so it is recommended to aim for extremely short clips to ensure they fall within the allotted time. Then, if your reel was well-targeted with 500 views, that 500 people could hire you, and that’s what you should be looking for, not about going viral at that point.

While having a large following of a million people may seem appealing, most of those followers are likely to be located outside your area. Consequently, these individuals cannot engage in transactions with you. On the other hand, there are cases where specific agents based in popular cities, like Las Vegas, accumulate hundreds of thousands of followers due to the city’s vibrant and unique offerings. These agents create community highlight videos discussing topics specific to their location, which may not apply to most other cities. Conversely, agents based in less renowned areas, such as St. Louis, Missouri, has fewer influencers promoting their locality. The idea there is, it is crucial to consider one’s geographical location and tailor content accordingly. Agents can develop a strategy that caters to their specific region by adopting this approach. For many agents, having a modest following of a few thousand followers, all within their local area, holds more value than having several hundred thousand followers, most of whom cannot hire their services. The emphasis here is on engagement; even if a video receives 200 comments, it is necessary to analyze how many individuals could become clients. A smaller but more targeted audience consists of individuals worth engaging with.

Example Of Creating Engaging Reels

There are several examples of people who have mastered creating engaging reels. One notable example is Zach Faust, who has 1.5 million followers on TikTok. Known for his lively and animated persona, Zach captivates his audience by fully embracing the platform’s unique features. In his videos, he employs techniques such as zooming in and out on his face while telling a story, often sitting in a car yelling, telling the story. What sets Zach apart is his ability to transform ordinary stories into captivating experiences through his storytelling prowess. His videos have a magnetic pull that compels viewers to tune in. And if most other people said the same story, you probably wouldn’t watch that video. Because sometimes they’re excellent stories, and sometimes they’re just average. But it’s about how he tells it.

In real estate, if you’ve got a Pacific property and want to promote it quickly to get it out there, leveraging reel is an excellent option, especially if you’ve built up a tight-knit social media with a following of approximately 1000 to 2000 individuals on platforms like Instagram. However, it is essential to have more than just those short videos that highlight properties. Incorporating other forms of engaging content is highly recommended. Nonetheless, having an established audience and being able to present captivating content is an advantage realtors have—the inherent curiosity people hold regarding the interiors of others’ homes. Realtors can expect positive responses from their audience by utilizing this curiosity and delivering the desired content.

Moreover, when multiple agents provide the same reel content, some may not receive any calls or inquiries due to the presence of a more proficient individual. The latter might be a better performer, more compelling on camera, understand lighting and audio, and make a better video easier to watch, thereby gaining a competitive advantage. Numerous agents observe the success of this individual and decide to take a similar approach by creating similar videos. However, these agents experience varying outcomes. So, the key lies in finding a niche. There’s this theory that the more of an expert you become, the simpler it becomes in your mind, making the process seem simpler. Realtors who have YouTube channels primarily target individuals relocating to their respective cities. The intention behind this strategy is to capture the attention of potential newcomers seeking information about their new place of residence. It is unlikely that someone already residing in a particular city would actively search for videos such as “top ten things” or “traffic conditions” of that city. They are already familiar with such aspects. Instead, individuals in this situation will likely be interested in discovering their current locality’s specific demographics or business opportunities. Consequently, they are less inclined to search for this type of content, as platforms like YouTube and TikTok primarily function as search engines. Notably, the younger demographic, those under 25 years of age, often resort to TikTok as their preferred search engine, surpassing even Google in some cases.