The year was 2019. Words like “social distancing” and “lockdown” weren’t even part of our vocabulary. Remember those days? Ah, blissful ignorance!

I was just starting my real estate career, and my brokerages (yes, plural—I was a brokerage hopper) were adamant about the tried-and-tested methods of cold calling and door knocking

For me, though, knocking on strangers’ doors just felt unnatural. So, that made for a rough start. And that got me thinking about a different approach. 

Here’s the thing: I grew up in the era of social media. I’ve been rocking Instagram since my high school days. So, when faced with the traditional methods of prospecting, I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Why not use this powerful platform to build my network?

I began sharing tips and showcasing listings on Instagram, all with my ideal client in mind: a young first-time home buyer. Slowly but surely, people began sliding into my DMs, eager to learn more, ask for advice, and even explore potential opportunities. 

I ended up selling four houses—thanks to the power of social media—which honestly is a miracle because, while I may have been good at marketing and Canva, my skills as an agent were questionable. 

I was in the beginning stages, but I was starting to build a solid real estate business using Instagram. At the time, other agents started asking for help, and I absolutely loved social media marketing, so I started managing social media accounts one on one. In perfect timing, I met a personal trainer who had scaled her business using a subscription model, and that’s when the idea to create Coffee & Contracts clicked.

Okay, now let’s get to the good stuff: I want to share the top three lessons I learned from marketing my real estate business on Instagram. 

Lesson #1— For me, investing in social media marketing had a far better return than any paid leads did.

I gave things like Zillow leads a shot. The team I was on supplied them, and I went after them the way I’d been taught. I hate to admit this, but I didn’t manage to close a single home from any of those leads. Not saying it isn’t possible (clearly, it works for some), but I was getting nowhere.

The leads from social media, though, were a whole different story. The clients I met on Instagram already knew me, liked me, and trusted me—I didn’t have to work hard to convince them. Plus, they were all set and ready to make moves, not just casually browsing. 

It took a bit more patience and a bit more faith, but the business I got from real connections on social media was way better than what I got from the random leads I could buy. 

Lesson #2—It takes time, so learn to enjoy it.

It takes time to build an engaged following based on your social media content, so it’s important that you enjoy the content you’re creating. I absolutely loved designing graphics in Canva, so I was very consistent (despite not seeing results right away). 

Figure out what type of content you enjoy creating the most and choose a platform that’s the best fit for you; it does not have to be Instagram. If you love creating long-form videos, YouTube is your place. If you have a corporate background and love to share your professional insights, maybe LinkedIn is your place. 

Eventually, you can repurpose content for other platforms. Or you can hire someone who specializes in other platforms to do that for you. Don’t be afraid to delegate.

Lesson #3—Adopt a test-and-change mindset.

The world of social media is ever-changing, so it’s important to develop a mindset of continual learning and adaptation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of content, methods, or platforms. After all, some of the best discoveries come from trial and error. 

Remember, not every approach will work perfectly right out of the gate, and that’s completely okay. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. 

Listen to your audience’s feedback and watch the engagement metrics. What content resonates most with your followers? What doesn’t seem to connect as well? Take these insights, learn from them, and use them to tweak your strategies.

That said, don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you’re spinning your wheels. We’ve all been there with something. 

If you’re struggling with what to post or how to design your social media content, click here to see how Coffee & Contracts can help.