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How Should Real Estate Photographers Be Promoting Their Services on Social Media

Published: 24/03/2017

Dave in NJ asks:

What are some tips for real estate photographers promoting their services via Facebook and Instagram? What information should the photographer include when posting property photos or videos? I like to include the agent's name, contact info, property address, MLS#, and then link to the listing. I like to show that I can help advertise an agent and the property. Anything I am missing? Anything that should not be included?

We've talked about this subject about a year ago. As you see from the comments, some readers report success marketing real estate photography services via social media and some have difficulties and complaints about it.

Here are my suggestions for using social media:

  1. If you enjoy using social media, I think having a presence on all the major venues and seeking out listing agents can be very effective. You have to like it because it is a time investment.
  2. Some real estate photographers with a large following charge their clients to promote their listings. Be careful not to post photos before the listing becomes active on the MLS.
  3. I think Instagram is evolving as a photographers portfolio. For more detail on this see the Peter McKinnon video above.
  4. I think it is useful to look at what successful interiors photographers post on social media. What I've noticed is typically they don't post everything they shoot. They post only their very best work.
  5. Promoting a clients listing is very different than promoting the quality of your work. I think you need to be clear on what the purpose of the post is.

Does anyone else have advice about how real estate photographers should use social media?

Larry Lohrman

12 comments on “How Should Real Estate Photographers Be Promoting Their Services on Social Media”

  1. I notice Instagram is much more geared toward keeping its users on Instagram. If you want to drive traffic to your website I feel Facebook is better for this, but you'd need a following and that takes time. I've just stared using them in this past year so I obviously have no idea what I'm doing anyway. I don't like social media marketing is the truth but I like cold calling and showing up at brokerages even less. The thing is if you feel like you're going to be doing this for a long time, the followings you develop on social media can help you a lot it seems. So I'd say it's more of a long term invsestment like Larry may have been getting at.

  2. May have to re-look at my dormant Instagram account, but I am kind of hot and cold on Facebook. While I have had the business page for a while, began paying to promote last month and was amazed how inexpensive it was. For the minimum $3 able to target Realtor population in a 25 mile radius only and most recent ad clicked by 455 with 66 engaged past initial click. Vary my ads between recent shoot, "Hall of Fame" (pending contract within 20 days), unique photo problem/technique. While the page has a link to my website, with FB limit of 5 photos, narrative includes link to tour for 'more'. I have received a couple of inquiries, which is good, what I discovered about FB is disconcerting. I went to a browser that didn't have me signed in so no link to my page, and search by the exact name and it returned everything but my page. Since the page is based off my personal account, wondering if the restrictive privacy setting are limiting the search.

  3. My business is where it is today because of Facebook. As Larry mentioned in the previous post for a mere few dollars you can boost a post and get your work in front of a lot of agents (you need a few to like your page first). I've landed some big repeat clients because of FB. I just started Instagram a few weeks ago, and am not really sure what I'm doing there, but it's just another avenue I figure. On FB I don't like to post a ton of info about the property. I'll tag the agent if I can and put the city, but that's about it. If the agent wants they can also share my post and put more info on it, or most of the time they are doing their own FB marketing with the photos.

  4. I use Facebook, Houzz, and my own web site. I'd say 90% of my business comes directly from my web site. But I worked as a web designer for many years and SEO was one of my specialties, so I know how to get high in the search engines.

    I get a fair number of gigs from Houzz, but mainly for designers and architects. Not sure if I've ever gotten a shoot from Facebook. May have to give in and try Instagram one of these days.

  5. Social media is a great tool for anyone with a real estate photography business. But like any tool, unless you use it correctly, you will not reap the full benefits. With social media you should create a schedule of postings that follow across all your platforms (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). Something to the effect of: Mondays - Talk about your real estate agent of the week - highlight them and add a little story. Tuesdays - Talk about real estate photography and a reason why a professional should be used, Wednesdays - talk about the homes you shot over the last week, what they had in common and what you did special for them - post a carousel of images if possible and then boost this post. Thursdays, - talk about the local MLS group and what they have been doing to help the community and Fridays - take a break from Realestate and post about neighborhood restaurants - and take a picture! When you have a consistent schedule - are not just posting images of houses you shot, but reasons for using you and connecting with you - your agents and other agents will feel good about following you on social media. Another way to use it is to form a closed group where you are giving a hint or discussion question once a week. In our courses, we teach real estate photographers how to use social media effectively and how to target the right agents for the type of photography you do - i.e. fast/inexpensive or architectural or commercial, etc. If you have some really great information or content you want to promote, then boost the post or target an ad to your zip codes you service. A great way to get more followers and more clients.

  6. Bringing in new clients from FaceBook is as easy as identifying real estate agents, sending them an instant message introducing yourself and offering your services. (obviously including a link to your website)

    Another thing that helps bring in new clients is posting a "thank you" to a clients you are friends with on FB. (Including a few of your best shots along with the address of the listing)
    Real estate agents have a pile of other agents as friends, and "tagging your friends name" means every friend they have will not only see your work, but will see that you follow up with a kind thank you note while helping to promote their listing.
    Agents love other people to promote them.

  7. I break all your rules above. I am more successful than ever now, I post links to my shoots on Facebook immediately after I get them edited. I do this as a matter of course and my clients know it. If they have something they do not want on social media, they tell me in advance. Many listings I post sell before they hit the MLS - my clients love it. I get tons of traffic on my website and I cannot keep up with demand for photos. Go figure.

    Last year I made more net than I ever made in the corporate sector as an IT manager. I am already up 10% (projected) this year. As long as the market holds out this should be a banner year.

    I have never used Instagram because of their photography use agreement. I don't know if they still claim rights to everything you post there, but I don't have time for that anyway.

  8. @Reed - How is Facebook photo terms of service any different than Instagram? I haven't researched the subject but I've heard of many photographers that will not post their photos to Facebook because they claim a license to resell your photos to other sites.

  9. This is what FB has to say about photos in their agreement:

    You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.

    In addition:
    For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

    I didn't see anything that gives them the right to resell my photos.

    Not sure about Instagram.

  10. @Reed - "you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free....." What do you think transferable and sub-licensable means?

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