5 real ways to generate real estate leads on Instagram

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A great Instagram presence is about more than the occasional market update or ‘just sold’ announcement. 

For top-producing teams, it’s about refusing to waste time on the same social media tactics everyone else is using and doubling down on the things that actually generate leads.

It’s about transforming your posts, carousels, and Reels into an immersive experience with your brand and a high-quality lead machine for your business. And it isn’t easy, but with the right approach, it is possible.

Today we’re diving into five practical tips from real team leaders to help you win more leads on Instagram.

Table of contents

  • Get clear on your audience
  • Leverage Instagram Reels
  • Nail the hook
  • Optimize your caption
  • Align your retargeting ads

1. Get clear on your audience

For team leaders like Shannon Mangin, Broker Associate at the Mangin Team, the day she dropped the pet photos and started posting content her ideal customer actually wanted to see, was the day she elevated her Instagram game from good to great.

When real estate coach Tom Ferry challenged Shannon to get crystal clear on her audience, she welcomed the chance to take inspiration from somewhere that wasn’t just other real estate agents.

Shannon knew she wanted to focus specifically on existing homeowners looking to upsize or downsize.

“Everything I create or post is made with that person in mind. What do they need to hear about?”

In her recent conversation with coach Jason Pantana on the Tom Ferry Show podcast, she confirms what most agents know in their gut, but somehow still ignore:

If you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one. 

In a competitive market, you need to stand out. Shannon narrowed down each detail of her ideal customer and began structuring her real estatement marketing to speak directly to this person’s needs.

“Because of that, I can honestly say we’ve attracted more people that are our ideal client. We’ve gotten into a little bit higher price points which has also helped our business and I’m doing less running around all over Austin and staying more focused in our niche area.”

Here are some simple ways to narrow down your niche:

  • Geographic area - metropolitan vs. suburban, specific school districts, towns
  • Property type - family homes, vacation properties, investment properties
  • Prospect type - first-time buyers, first-time sellers, relocations

In Shannon’s experience, it’s common to see resistance from newer agents when attempting to narrow down a niche. Why narrow the market when they don’t have many clients to begin with?

But getting clear on your ideal client is also a great way to overcome any fears about promoting your business, and unleash your creativity in a way that makes the process fun for both you and your clients.

“When Reels came out in 2020, that’s when I kind of found my groove. They were more my style and I could have fun with it. Once I started doing short-form video, that's when I really began to see a change in my business.”

2. Leverage Instagram Reels

If you’re active on Instagram and not taking advantage of Reels, you're leaving money on the table. 

Chastin J. Miles, Team Leader & REALTOR® at eXp Realty Metrotex has scaled his team nationwide on the back of great content. And he’s a huge believer in video marketing.

The way he sees it, agents don’t even need to get in front of the camera to get started.

“Reels and shorts are done all kinds of ways that don’t require you to step out of your comfort zone if you don’t want to,” he explains in his video on Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents.

Chastin teaches his agents and coaching clients to use a 180-capture method to start telling their story.

The 180-capture method includes three simple questions:

  1. Where you were before - What challenges were you facing before you got into real estate? What was life like?
  2. What did you do to fix that? - What did you do to make a change? When did the transformation happen?
  3. How can your followers do that too? - Help your viewers solve their problems.

The goal is to get your audience to: 1.) know who you are and 2.) want more content from you.

But Chastin is quick to point out that more content doesn’t just mean open houses and property tours. “When a lot of people start with video, they automatically think, ‘House tours! Property tours! Property tours!’” he says. 

“There is more than one type of video that you can create outside of a property tour. And you know as well as I know, most people who watch those property tours don’t end up buying that house that you’re sharing…”

Rather than playing the same Instagram game every other agent is playing, Chastin recommends mixing up your video formats.

Here are some of the top types of videos to experiment with:

  • Newsworthy videos - What’s going on in real estate right now? Is the market up or down? Summarize a trending topic or recent article, plus practical advice that goes beyond the headlines.
  • Day in the life videos - Show them who you really are beyond the glossy real estate headshot with a behind-the-scenes view of everything you do to deliver value for clients.
  • How-to videos - Got a tip to help someone sell faster? Get their credit in order? Make sure an offer goes through? Share it!

And don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

“Maybe do one that is, ‘How to sell your home without a REALTOR?’ You never would have thought to do that, but guess what? I did one of those videos, it brought me so many leads because people just didn’t know what all we did…Once I made a video they were like, ‘I don’t want to do it, you do it.”

3. Nail the hook

There’s a big difference between value-driven content and just another status update.

To win more real estate leads on Instagram, it’s all about the strength of your hook — that first three to five seconds where you capture (and hopefully keep!) your viewer’s attention.

Delaware-based REALTOR Zach Foust, Team Leader at Loft Realty, sat down with Tristan Ahumada for a deep dive Bosses In Action episode on all things social media. He credits his social media strategy to the classic Gary V. book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

“Information, value. Information, value. Give value to the person and then boom — the ask. That’s what’s been working really well for us and we systematize that via retargeting.”

Zach and his team are smashing it on social media with 1.5 million followers on TikTok, 50k on Instagram. They also happen to be the #1 Google reviewed team in Delaware.

Zach is known for leveraging the power of storytelling to make his followers feel like they’re having a one-to-one conversation. For him, social media marketing is all about “getting that one-to-one connection through scaled mass connection.”

But there are no rose-colored glasses here. Zach knows he’s always one notification away from potentially losing a viewer. His top tip? 

Pretend like you’re talking to just one person

And make it interesting. With every post, Zach asks: 

“How can I break the monotony? How can I break into conscious viewership?”

Every 1.5 to two seconds, he adjusts the frame, changes his tone, tells a joke, asks a question, or shifts the energy in some other way to hold the viewer’s attention.

Zach and his agents regularly share a variety of Instagram content — everything from market updates, listing videos, market education videos, or just entertainment. After delivering a healthy dose of value in every post, Zach will retarget and ask followers to sign up to a list

From there, it’s all about planning the right follow up, whether that be phone calls, data mining, door knocking, gifting, or any other personal, offline connection.

“We really focus on taking them offline, which has always been the goal. And I think now more than ever those relationships are super vital.”

4. Optimize your caption

“Hashtags are dead, keywords are in.”

In his recent episode of the Massive Agent podcast, Dustin Brohm sums up the latest changes in Instagram’s algorithm, plus his own experience as an real estate influencer with over 17k Instagram followers.

Dustin is also the Founder of Search Salt Lake — so needless to say, he’s busy. When he has time to focus on creating Instagram content, he doesn’t waste it with hashtags. He’s seen firsthand that the game on Instagram is much more about keyword optimization.

“Social media algorithms are so advanced now that they don’t need a hashtag to know what your content is about,” says Dustin. His advice?

Focus on optimizing your captions instead.

“When you use the captions within Instagram, that’s a great way of letting the platform know what you’re saying. Even if you shrink the captions all the way down so no one can see them on your video, it’s still extra SEO juice for your post.”

Dustin and his team just rewrite the transcripted content into a quick paragraph caption (one to six paragraphs max!). It doesn’t have to be perfectly polished prose, but it does need to be easy and digestible.

“Make it readable. You want people to actually read your caption because when you do, you’re actually increasing the time on post,” advises Dustin.

The more reach you can get with every post, the less Instagram hamster wheeling required. It’s easy to get burnt out on posting multiple times per day. Instead, focus on one well-optimized post per day.

5. Align your retargeting ads

Josue Soto is Founder and Broker at Orlando-based Soto Legacy Group. He currently gets up to 20% of his leads directly from Instagram and Facebook using lead ads and retargeting. And it’s been working pretty well.

In a recent Bosses In Action episode on creating a lead management playbook that scales, Josue explains how he grew his business two-fold from $15 to $30 million in a span of one year. 

With a steady stream of incoming leads from these two sources, plus consistent follow ups with past clients, Josue reached a point where it became clear he needed to focus on optimization. 

He needed a scalable ad strategy that would maximize the experience for incoming leads. “If we put an ad out there, we want to make sure it’s aligned with our other retargeting ads,” he explains.

“With us it works more efficiently, because we understand exactly what the lead is doing. Create your system correctly from the beginning. Once you’ve got it dialed in, it flows a lot easier.”

Josue’s Chief Marketing Office and CRM manager are all aligned on which ads are driving which leads, and how to provide the best experience from capture to closing.

If Josue does a video on Instagram about what homebuyers need to know when applying for a mortgage, he’ll follow it up with another video that includes his lender as a guest expert sharing details on a new cash buyer program.

The first ad captures their interest, the second retargeting ad delivers even more value.

“The collaboration between my marketing platform and Follow Up Boss together with my CRM Manager, it’s been out of this world.” Now that Josue’s current lead sources are well-optimized, he’s adding Google Local Services ads and other new channels into his lead gen mix.

Follow up on every last Instagram lead with Follow Up Boss

The difference between a basic and high-performing Instagram presence could equal millions in missed revenue opportunities. But agents shouldn’t have to hunt through an avalanche of DMs to find the info they need. 

What if there were an easier, automatic way to connect with incoming Instagram leads? Follow Up Boss is the best-in-class real estate CRM that centralizes your leads and aligns your team.

With our direct integration to Facebook Lead Ads, you can connect your Facebook or Instagram leads directly to Follow Up Boss. Use our Zapier integration to route leads just the way you want and make sure each and every one of your Instagram leads gets the attention they deserve.


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