Realtors® Should Really Care About Instagram Stories

Key takeaways:

  • Instagram Stories are engaging and interactive
  • Streamline specific pictures and video directly to your followers
  • Pairing with a Facebook ad lets you target the viewers
  • The catch…Stories are live for 24 hours. So make them count!

I know what you’re thinking. “What the heck are Instagram Stories and why should I care?”

Great question. First, I’ll tell you what I know about them, and then I’ll explain why I think Instagram Stories can be a great tool for agents who are listing houses.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are collections of photos and videos that you share throughout the day. They appear in a slideshow format that you can edit with text and drawing tools as you like.

When you post a new story, your followers are notified. This allows you to streamline specific content directly to your followers…all they have to do is click.

Let’s say you have a new listing you want to feature. Create a story using pictures and a few video clips touring the house and property. Use the text tool to add the address, and boom…an interactive slideshow you can use to entice prospects to either drive by the property or contact you for a showing.

Now, Instagram Stories don’t take the place of a listing. They are just another way to market your properties to potential buyers.

Do People Pay Attention to Instagram Stories?

Ohhh yes. Of the 1 billion monthly active users (June 2018), some 400 million are using Instagram Stories (June 2018). With those kind of numbers, the odds are in your favor to reach your target audience.

In fact, one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Instagram is considered a ‘follower’ social media platform. In other words, most people who use it follow businesses or their favorite celebrities, unlike Snapchat, in which most users only connect with friends. Right now, about 80% of Instagram users follow a business, and one in five Instagram Stories gets a direct message from a viewer. More importantly, nearly 72% of users have purchased a product they saw on the platform.

So, How Can Real Estate Agents Use Instagram Stories?

This step-by-step guide helps you build your story if you’ve never done it before. Need some inspiration? Consider these ideas for your next story!

Available Homes

We already mentioned the most obvious – show off a listing. This is a simple, easy way to grab the attention of some of your more social media-savvy prospects. But don’t forget the call-to-action at the end! Use the text tool for either the address or your phone number.

Unless you’re paying for a sponsored post, you can’t make your story clickable. In other words, your viewer won’t be able to click on your story and immediately open the listing on your website. A quick pro tip would be to add the link in your Instagram profile copy, and then have the call-to-action read, “Click the link in our profile to learn more.”

Behind-the-Scenes Prep for an Open House

Planning an open house for the weekend? Want to call attention to a few key features, or maybe you just want to show off the plate of freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies you have for your guests? Do it all with a story post.


This is a really cool way to engage your prospects and showcase your expertise. Promote a specific day and time that you will be available on Instagram to answer questions. Encourage your followers to send you questions in a private message, which you then respond to with short videos that you immediately post to your story.

Promote Your Network

Do you keep company with some great vendors (maybe a really awesome and insightful mortgage lender)? Give them a shout out and take a selfie with them (and maybe a client) to promote a recent deal.

Show Some Personality

Do you take a million pictures of your cats daily? Can you eat a personal pan pizza in under a minute? Is your stamp collection ultra rad? Give your followers a taste of your personality to help build a human connection.


It’s true! Instagram Business profiles can sponsor posts that link viewers back to your site. And Instagram recently rolled out its Instagram Stories Ads, which you build out through Facebook and enjoy all of the targeting and measurement tools of a regular Facebook ad.

Use the Ads Manager in your Facebook Business profile to upload a photo or a video (up to 15 seconds) that will appear between different Instagram Stories. Click here for a handy how-to guide to get started.

Final Thought

The only drawback is that Instagram Stories are gone after 24 hours. So make sure your story is attention-grabbing and has that all-important call-to-action.

Smith, Craig. “250 Amazing Instagram Statistics.” DMR, DMR, 23 Dec. 2018,