Reels: What are they and how can you use them?
Reels are Instagram’s answer to Tik Tok. Short, fun videos that you can scroll through for hours.
They are an effective form of marketing as the short form, snappy content tends to promote higher engagement.
In this episode you’ll learn how to use them to your advantage, and stay ahead of your competition.
Welcome to your podcast for all things real estate marketing. I’m Craig Deveson and this is The Properti Pod.
So what is an Instagram reel, and what does it mean for a real estate agent? Look, one thing that Facebook does really well is it copies other businesses that are doing well, all right? When Instagram released stories, that was just a straight rip-off from what they were seeing that was doing really well with Snapchat. Reels? Reels is Instagram really copying what’s working well on TikTok. And so look, you got to hand it to Facebook. When it comes to being a monopoly and defending that position, when they see a competitor, they copy it.
Okay. So, what is an Instagram reel and what are we going to do with it with real estate? Instagram reels allow us to create engaging, fun, short videos, possibly even with a catalog of music that we can then promote to a target audience. So, it’s pretty much like you see on TikTok. 15 seconds, multi-clip videos that got some sound, some effects, it’s TikTok. It’s also why, when you’re looking at reels, you’ll see that TikTok watermark in the bottom corner of a lot of reels, because people are literally taking their TikToks and uploading them to Instagram as a reel. It’s the same thing. So when you’re thinking about what reels you’re going to produce, think, “I can also use this on TikTok,” so you don’t have to produce the same content twice.
Now, reels aren’t going to be for every agent. You’re going to see reels used by up and coming agents, agents who want to break into a market. You’ll see the younger real estate agents, just by nature, be much more comfortable in front of a camera, recording a video spontaneously, and uploading that to their reels account. That’s not to say you can’t make it work for every agency, but you can see there’s a really clear divide between the different generations of real estate agents and how they’re using technology. And Instagram reels is a classic way, just like TikTok, dividing new real estate agents willing to do something different to appeal to a new market to capture a little bit of share.
Reels can be really hit and miss. Sometimes, your post a reel, it won’t get any views. Other times, it will completely take off. You need to see reels as an experiment, a constant experiment of what is and isn’t going to work. Your goal isn’t necessarily to reach your same target market over and over. A lot of the time, a reel is about uncovering a new market or keeping your brand aware to a local market. I don’t see reels being a primary path to market for real estate agents in the next year, but it’s something to keep an eye on, particularly watching what competitors are doing. If you do produce them, make sure they’re fun, make sure they’re engaging, and keep an eye on those video views to make sure you’re getting some kind of traction. Also, pay attention to who you’re reaching. If you’re reaching the complete wrong audience in the wrong country organically, then it’s not really going to work for you.
That being said, I think we’re going to see the challenger agents more and more using these platforms. So even if you don’t think reels are right for you right now, following the young competition, seeing what they’re doing, and starting to think how you can start to incorporate that might be a good defensive strategy. These things tend to take off and before you know it, the world’s moved on. Go back a few decades, there was no such thing as digital brand profile building for real estate agents. And now, it’s almost everything that we care about. So have some fun, experiment. If nothing else, just start looking at a few reels with a business eye in starting to think how you could incorporate storytelling and fun into a video that’s going to reach the right audience. Best of luck.
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