6 ways to use Instagram to fill vacancies and boost branding
Thanks to its visual medium, Instagram has evolved into a powerful marketing tool that multifamily property owners can use to raise brand awareness and reach more potential renters.
GLB Properties: An Instagram success story
Ivana Rose Bramson is a designer, creative director, and brand manager/ambassador at GLB Properties, a property development, family investment office, and management group in Los Angeles that maintains a portfolio of architecturally significant, high-end, curated, luxury vintage apartments. Bramson launched the GLB Properties Instagram account a decade ago, steadily growing its following to 7,000 by 2020.
When the pandemic hit and people were stuck at home and glued to their phones, Bramson took the opportunity to maximize GLB’s Instagram reach by refining her photography style and posting strategy.
Fast-forward to today: The account has more than 18,800 followers and Bramson estimates 90% of the inquiries that GLB receives come from Instagram. Thanks to her work on the platform, GLB has been able to fill vacancies within hours of posting about them.
Here, Bramson shares six tips that have helped her generate buzz, engage followers and find tenants on Instagram.
1. Capture units at their best
If your goal is to stand out in users’ newsfeeds, you need to take the best pictures possible. Bramson only takes photos of clean spaces, making sure there’s no clutter or dust in any of her images.
She also recommends paying careful attention to natural light.
“For example, if an apartment only has west-facing windows, I wouldn’t photograph it at the beginning of the day,” Bramson says. “You want to wait until the apartment is filled with natural light to give your audience a better idea of what the space looks like during its peak moment.”
2. Post images that feature detail
Think about the property and unit elements you’d highlight on a tour, and how you can showcase those in photos for Instagram.
“People emotionally respond to color and details; the more details in the initial photo, the better,” Bramson says. “Let the properties speak for themselves.”
Along with standout amenities or modern appliances, if your properties have unique architecture features — like archways, interesting angles or uncommon building materials — be sure to highlight them.
3. Provide critical information
Because Instagram posts can act as property listings, use the captions to communicate all the details potential renters need.
“Include as much information as possible to save everyone’s time,” Bramson says. By doing so, you can ensure that someone looking for a three-bedroom apartment doesn’t ask for information about a one-bedroom unit, for example.
Here are some of the details Bramson posts in captions for images of available units:
- Whether they have original art deco bathrooms
- Whether they feature a fireplace
- What the parking situation is like
- How many bedrooms they have
4. Test different posting times
In Bramson’s experience, posting in the morning gets her account the most engagement. She’s also found success with publishing Instagram Stories on the weekends.
That said, every real estate market is different. That’s why Bramson recommends posting at different times of the day, reviewing analytics in the platform to see which posts are getting the most traction, and informing your strategy based on the data you see.
5. Engage with your followers
When your audience is engaging with your content, it’s important to reciprocate the behavior. Not only will your followers feel heard; responding to comments and messages also keeps your brand top of mind and shows you have personality.
“I monitor our account heavily,” Bramson says. “I’ll always take the time to respond and engage with my audience.”
6. Never stop posting
Even when GLB Properties doesn’t have any vacancies, Bramson still posts on Instagram regularly.
“You have to keep up with posting and stay fresh in people’s heads,” Bramson says.
“People engage in these stories and details, even if they are not looking specifically at that time for an apartment,” she adds. “Even if they have no intention of moving, they are interested in the brand/product.”