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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Social Media: Agent sells home off-market via Instagram teaser images

An estate agent has sold a home off-market by posting teaser photographs on Instagram. 

The buyer - who was in the French Alps on holiday when she saw the social media posts for the property in the Warwickshire village of Lapworth - was attracted by a series of teaser photographs.

These were not of the property itself, nor even a general view of its interior, but were instead so-called ‘teaser shots’ - in this case, the first images were of goldfish in an antique watering can sitting on wooden decking. The caption said the photos were from a property going on sale soon in Lapworth.

The buyer has told local media that it was these posts that triggered her interest; she has now completed on the property.

“I liked their pictures and I follow hashtags like #victorianterrace and #darkdecor. I’d also started following the #Lapworth hashtag too as I knew that was the village we wanted to be in. I wasn’t desperate to move but it felt too good an opportunity to miss. The post on Instagram for me was the deciding factor” she says.

The agency behind the Instagram posts is Mr and Mrs Clarke - a hybrid with the business model of using self-employed or freelance agents operating under the same brand. It’s six years old and has featured frequently on Estate Agent Today, most recently here.

Paul Clarke, the agency’s founder, says 50 per cent of the houses which are pictured on Instagram attract enquires.

He’s told Birmingham  Live: “Agents have done this sort of off-market selling for ages but through databases and email lists. With Instagram, you can make it more aesthetically pleasing and interesting.

"There was a picture we put on Instagram that featured a cockapoo running through a living room. Within hours, a lady in her early seventies had sent a message. She viewed it and offered the asking price before the house hit the market.”

Amongst the tips he has suggested for publicising homes for sale via Instagram is to use hashtags.

“People follow hashtags and you can create a buzz around a picture by using relevant and popular hashtags. It might be a roaring fire in the winter, some flowers popping out of the ground in spring or it could be an architectural feature of the home. For these images use useful, descriptive hashtags like #springgarden #featurefireplace #interiordesign.”

And he urges the photographs to be taken and selected with a view to making prospective buyers smile. He suggests: “Homes are places to be enjoyed and Instagram is a great place to share light hearted moments. If something about your home brings a smile to your face then it’s likely to do the same for your viewer, so have fun with it. You’re more likely to get engagement with something that draws a smile.”

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    This is a hard one to be honest, I don't want to say 'it can't be done' because anything is possible. However, I feel like people on Instagram are only on there to be entertained. So yes, luxury and inspirational properties will work for those that want to dream to own it one day but real buyers... I feel you have your chances if you have followers within the millions in X location.

    A good indication of this is to look at the top portals: RM, Z, OTMP they are spending little time on IG its because they have tested the waters.

    You would really need to have the sexiest properties to pull this off, we are talking sothebys or keller wiliams type of agent. Just my opinion though, I hope you prove me wrong :)

  • Phil Priest

    I'm not at all suprised at this and it has proved already that 23% of all agent enquiries come outside of the portals for properties.
    What I like most, and this is where agents get it SO wrong, is that they added humour and value to the images alongside #hashtags.

    I see too many agents post images of the recent property that have listed. They offer me no value, no information, no knowledge.

    The angle is really simple.
    1. SEO - make sure you are at the top of page 1.
    2. Make sure your google ratings are good, and lots of them - its free!!
    3. Post 3-4 times per week, mixed between
    - a property, but one thats different, or as above, interesting photos
    - some information for the future clients, why you 'should buy in the area' etc NOT why am I so great, thats arrogant and guaranteed to do your image more harm.
    - some personality, office birthday, charity day, birthday etc

    The issue is that most agents get their youngest member of staff to take on social media, because they are young and have an Insta account. Its like giving Coca Cola marketing to someone from school just because they drink Coke every day.

    Tips, use a good SEO company that shouldnt cost you more than £500pm
    Use a Social media company to perform the above tasks in partnership with so called GenZ person in the office £500pm max
    Use someone to create content for you, this could be combined in the above SM costs if done correctly.

  • Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Strategist - Journalist and Influencer Proptech-PR

    Phil Priest on the money - I am using Tik Tok - why - well if the younger generation uses it as they grow, and when they are 25 it is a firm favourite then agents need to be in that space. Instagram - pretty photos - well for those who have not been there recently an awful lot is happening, and also the imbalance between the type of viewer age and gender gets things across to different audiences. As Phil says you can build brand by being yourself. I do some hardcore statistical analysis - so much I am almost blind, and I post it - but from time to time I throw in my co-director Zara, my dog - it shows I have a little humanity and fun, maybe the sort of clever guy with a cute dog you would do business with? Or you could post 77 sold boards or a video nasty of that peach of a property that well even Zara could sell. What makes you different, is a brand thing. Social media vendors and landlords are influenced here, property portals, buyers and tenants do business here. Two focuses two approaches.

    Phil Priest

    TikTok, a massively overlooked platform that is all about videos.
    A fantastic platform to use to show walk through, humour, strange properties, this will be as big as. Facebook in a few years time

     
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