When you’re a new agent, learning agent tactics can swallow up your day. There’s so much to take in, and you can’t afford to waste time on things that don’t grow your business. 

It’s easy to leave agent marketing behind—but it’s the very thing that catches the eye of people in your market who need help buying or selling a home. How and where you market yourself greatly impacts your ability to attract clients, even for those just starting out in the business. 

Building a relentlessly helpful brand on Instagram can actually save you time and make it easier to learn, practice, and improve your core agent skills. 

To get you started, I’m breaking down seven steps to growing your business on Instagram as a new agent. (Plus, a cost breakdown of everything!)

Step 1: Create a brand kit on Canva

You can use Canva for free or sign up for Canva Pro to get premium templates and features, which is what I recommend to anyone serious about their branding. Coffee & Contracts members find brand kits tailored to agents in the Branding section. 

Start by creating a brand kit with logo variations, colors, and fonts for your marketing materials and templates. If you’re still not sure about the colors to use for your brand palette, Canva’s article on “How to choose your brand colors” is a good place to start. 

Cost breakdown: Use the free version of Canva or sign up for Canva Pro for premium templates and features at $13/month or $120/year. Coffee & Contracts is $54 a month, and you’re free to cancel at any time. Sign up annually for $540, and get two months free.

Step 2: Hire a local brand photographer

How much you invest in this will depend on your current budget. The best option is to hire a local brand photographer who can provide high-quality images for you to use in your marketing materials and templates. 

Prices vary, but if you have the budget for it, this is an investment worth considering. For a skilled professional, expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000. 

If your current budget doesn’t allow for this yet, you can also DIY photos with your phone, a $30 tripod, and good lighting. I recommend getting some feedback on your photos from someone who knows the difference between photos that look professional and those that don’t. 

Step 3: Choose a niche that aligns with your experience

When it comes to content, choose a niche that aligns with your experiences. For example, since I recently bought my first home, I would probably focus on first-time buyers. I’d create content speaking to that person wanting to buy their first home in my city. 

Content creation tip: Brainstorm 3-7 content pillars—like first-time buyer education, things to do in [City], or money management tips—and assign each to a day of the week. Setting this up will help you stay consistent and organized, saving you time and energy. 

Step 4: Interact with popular accounts on social media and grow your network

Start getting your name out there by interacting with popular local accounts, popular real estate accounts, and other real estate agents across the globe. Build your network by engaging with other creators’ content. 

Networking tip: Turn on post notifications for popular local or real estate pages, so you can be one of the first to comment on their posts. 

Step 5: Preview listings perfect for your niche & use Stories to tie them to your business

Preview new listings that are perfect for your niche (i.e., first-time home buyers) and share some videos of the listing on your Stories with a question sticker. 

In connection with that, use Stories to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look into how you’re working to build your real estate business to get them involved (and invested) in the journey. 

Pro Tip: Talk to the listing agent about your plan to share their listing. Come up with a text template you can fire off, letting them know you’re a new agent trying to drum up business on Instagram, and ask if you can feature their listing on your Instagram Stories. Most agents have no problem with this because it gets more eyes on their business. It also helps you build relationships with local agents!

Step 6: Build your email list by creating valuable resources for your audience

To build your email list, which is critical to your business, create some valuable resources like “A Local’s Guide to [Your City]” or “90 Days to Homeowner Guide” and use these as subscriber incentives on a landing page. 

Constantly promote these free downloadable resources to gather emails and build your email list

Cost breakdown: ConvertKit has a free version, a $9/month option, and a $25/month option; Mailchimp also has a free version, a $13/month option, and a $20/month option; FloDesk is $420 a year or $35 a month.

Step 7: Customize C&C templates to make them your own

Take your Coffee & Contracts templates and customize them with your branding photos and kit. For the text, use ChatGPT to rewrite the captions in your preferred style or tone of voice. 

You can also record storytelling-style Reels.

Cost breakdown: You can get a nice Sony ZV-1 camera for $750, a nice microphone for $100, and CapCut is a free video editing app (or you can get the Pro version for $75). You can also use your phone for free in the meantime.

Total marketing expenses (all of them tax-deductible)

Here’s the full list of investments mentioned in the seven steps:

  • C&C Membership (Annual): $540
  • Canva Pro (Annual): $120
  • FloDesk (Annual): $420
  • Branding Photos (Average): $2,500
  • Sony ZV-1 camera: $750
  • Microphone: $100
  • Tripod: $30
  • CapCut Pro (Annual): $75

If you opt for all these, your total investment is $4,535. For subsequent years, you would only pay for services and memberships that renew on an annual basis: 

  • C&C Membership: $540
  • Canva Pro: $120
  • FloDesk: $420
  • CapCut Pro: $75
  • Total: $1,155 per year

Which steps will you take this week?

Even one step taken gets you closer to an attention-grabbing and unforgettable real estate brand. And if your budget doesn’t have quite enough room for the larger expenses, do what you can with what you’ve got. I promise you it’s 1000 times better than doing nothing. 

You can take the DIY approach to photography (with some professional tips), create a high-value resource to offer as a free download on a landing page, and start building your email list using the free Mailchimp or ConvertKit package. 

Use the steps in this post to get started and to do everything you can. When you’re ready for some branding magic, give us a look at Coffee & Contracts, and we’ll show you what we can do to help you level up your business and get more clients.