IGTV for Real Estate Professionals: Worth the Fuss?

Earlier this summer, Instagram announced it was ready to go head-to-head with YouTube in the longform video ring with the launch of IGTV – the social platform’s latest ‘sub-app’ that allows users to upload videos up to one hour in length. No stranger to the world of video after successfully launching its ‘Stories’ feature in 2016, Instagram’s new standalone video app, tailored specifically for long-form content, speaks to how quickly the mobile video space is growing. With more people moving away from their TV sets and toward their mobile devices, it’s by no surprise that key players in the social media arena are looking to supply users with a one-stop shop for all things digital video.

While Instagram’s short-form “Stories” feature was really the first to put the social platform on the digital video map, IGTV offers users a different kind of video experience entirely. Much like YouTube, IGTV content can be displayed full-screen and mimics the kind of content that would typically be seen on traditional TV. It not only allows users to delve deeper into some of the content they already share on Instagram, it also establishes a new channel entirely for brands, businesses and professionals to seamlessly share their video content with the world.

With that said, IGTV has gotten off to a slow, albeit steady, start. Instagram was quick to announce its 100 million users just a few short months after successfully launching the “Stories” feature, yet things have remained seemingly quiet about the kind of traction its new longform app has gained since launching this past June. Still, many would argue IGTV has more of an uphill climb than its “Stories” counterpart, having to not only go up against YouTube’s decade-long reign as the king of long-form video, but also somehow selling users on its vertical-only format.

So, is it worth jumping on the IGTV train? For businesses, professionals and brands, the answer is resounding yes. Despite the new sub-app’s measured start, Instagram is still undoubtedly one of the biggest and most widely used social platforms there is, particularly among younger demographics. This new addition of IGTV means providing businesses with yet another channel through which they can access Instagram’s surplus of users, followers and built-in consumer base. That can’t be bad for business, right?

For those who already rely on the platform to showcase their business ventures visually, like real estate agents and brokers, Instagram’s introduction of IGTV means taking visual-first business to the next level. Now real estate agents can provide potential new clients with not only beautifully staged photos of a listing, but a walking tour of the space, luxury property videos showcasing the neighborhood and surrounding areas, staged home tour uploads, personal introduction videos and much more.

If the key to great real estate is great exposure, then where’s the harm in adding another video platform to the mix? What’s more, with so many people relying on visual assets and video to start the homebuying process before even considering seeing a place in person, having everything in one place means a more seamless experience not only for users, buyers and renters, but for agents, sellers and brokers, as well.

Marketing Tips

With summer slowly winding down and the promise of cooler temperatures just around the corner, New York City prepares for another change of season, which means city dwellers and real estate professionals alike should begin making preparations of their own. The fall real estate market in New York City is arguably one of the busiest and most competitive, and not just for buyers and renters, but for sellers and agents, as well. By no surprise, New York real estate is a crowded space, but there are simple ways that agents can easily cut through the crowd and stand out among renters. Here are five marketing tips for real estate agents heading into the upcoming fall market.

Create A Bio Video

Buying or renting a home can be a very personal experience. People who enlist the help of professionals for their home search often want more than just someone who has all the facts and figures – they want someone who they trust to have their best interest at heart, too. Step one to establishing that trust? A simple introduction. Creating a bio video as an agent is one of the easiest ways for a buyer to see and get to know the person they’ll be working so closely with on this home-buying journey. Better yet? It gives the agent the opportunity to showcase their expertise of the NYC market, proving why the seller should enlist their help above anyone else.

Create Marketing Assets

Imagining yourself in your future home is one of the most important and critical steps in the home-buying experience. But before a buyer commits to seeing a listing in person, they need something that captures their imagination right off the bat. That’s why as an agent, having professional marketing assets, such as professional property videos or photos of a fully staged space, is essential. Because New York City is so competitive, scams unfortunately happen pretty often. For a buyer or renter, having those legitimate marketing assets to reference, like videos and photos, demonstrates the legitimacy, professionalism and commitment of the agent. It’s also step number one in the imagination phase of searching for a potential new home. 

Finally, providing printed marketing assets, such as show sheets, is equally important once it’s time to meet the buyer in person. Having something to reference while doing a walk-through is helpful for the buyer and it demonstrates the agent’s organization and commitment to making the home-buying experience as seamless as possible. 

Use Social Media

As we know, great marketing tools, like professional photos and videos, are the key to driving eyes to a property page or listing. But the goal of investing so much into your marketing assets isn’t to just boost eye traffic or to let the photos sit static on a listing website. If the goal really is about getting buyers to the door, or at the very least to seek more information about the listing, leveraging social media platforms is one of the most promising ways to do so. Optimizing your presence on photo-centric platforms like Instagram or Facebook is an easy way to grab the attention of potential buyers by showcasing your listings visually. Using other platforms more specific to text and content, like Twitter, is a great way to share neighborhood facts and how-to’s to boost your credibility, promote some of your new properties or to interact with users and potential buyers. Variety and consistency are key here, so mixing up the messaging across platforms and practicing regular posting habits will deliver the best results.

Advertise

Imagine showing the perfect listing to everyone in New York City seeking a studio apartment in Midtown within a certain budget. Seems unlikely, right? Well Facebook can get you pretty close. Using Facebook ads to target your audience by demographic, job titles and location down to the zip code is one of the reasons why more and more realtors are using Facebook strictly for professional use. Facebook’s audience insights can also tell you what’s working and what’s not, such as what posts generate the most traffic and which lead to the most negative feedback from users.

While it can sometimes feel like the unsung hero of mainstream social media, as far as professional networking is concerned, LinkedIn is another great place to be. It not only includes features like private messaging for possible listing inquiries and blogging spaces to showcase your expertise, but with LinkedIn’s sponsored content, users can promote their posts, measure campaign performance with engagement metrics and target audiences based on their LinkedIn profile data.

Listing Exposure

Even with all that social media and other digital advertising can provide for real estate agents today, properly and diversely showcasing your listing online and across listing sites is vital. With that said, sometimes finding the right website to list your property on can feel a bit overwhelming. Knowing who the big players are for the real estate market in general, such as Realtor.com, Trulia or Zillow, is a good place to start. Some other popular listing sites more local to the New York City market include StreetEasy, RentHop, NakedApartments and more. Ensuring that your listing is visible across several of these popular listing sites is the first step, but it’s equally important that your listings look cohesive across the board and maintain their professionalism in regard to photos, videos and listing information as discussed above.