Facebook & Instagram Stories - How To Use Them in Real Estate


Abstract image of networking heads and the "stories" symbol on a orange and pink gradient background

Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are two emerging opportunities for real estate pros and brokers want to know how they can use them  effectively to connect with their sphere. 

Those little bubbles up at the top on your news feed? Those are “Stories” and they’re prime real estate. They’re a great opportunity to showcase or highlight a something special happening. Think of it as a story above and beyond your regular story. Brokers who are making the most out of Instagram and Facebook are not just posting in the feed periodically. Even if they’re posting consistently, utilizing this feature can help obtain more traction overall within their Facebook and Instagram sphere. Here are a few key tips and mistakes to avoid.

Tips for Facebook and Instagram Stories

First of all, be creative. Have fun with the text, with the fonts, with the colors. Being creative is really key but I’d also say if you’re using Instagram for business, stay consistent with the colors on your website. For me we use a lot of reds, we use a lot of blues because that’s the colors that you’ll see on our website.

Think about the story behind the story. So maybe you’re posting to your Facebook and/or Instagram account a few times a week, maybe even once or twice a day but what’s that back story? I love to share things on my Stories account like things with my kids, I love to drink a great glass of wine. I love to share my garden, but I also share the back story of doing things for our business.

Look at your life as content. It doesn’t mean you have to capture every moment of your life, but as you’re out and about, look at your life as content, as you are in between appointments, you’re just leaving a listing appointment, or you just left your home inspection, or you’re out on broker’s tour, use that as an opportunity to kind of showcase you’re out and about. Don’t miss out on that opportunity. This idea of storytelling is so powerful. We first saw it with Snapchat. Now we see it with Instagram Stories. It’s now on Facebook. Keep in mind, when someone clicks on your story, they’re not just passively looking at your content through the news feed. They’ve intentionally clicked on your story, which is entirely a whole different experience.

Geo-tag and hashtags are key! If you want to get more traction with Instagram Stories, the biggest tip I can give you is, as you’re out and about, in your community, whatever it might be, put in the geo-location of the city that you’re in. The reason for that is, when you’re out and about and you put in the geo-location of your city, your Instagram Story is more likely to be seen by more people who happen to be viewing what’s happening in Seattle, or what’s happening in your local area, because when you geo-tag your Instagram Story, you can actually click on that, and you can open up the larger story that’s happening for your local area.

This is especially cool not just for cities, but if you happen to check in at an event, or you check in somewhere, some sort of small business, you can see what else is happening in your local area, so geo-tag your Instagram Stories and use hashtags when appropriate. Now, don’t go too hashtag-crazy. Use one or two hashtags as needed. Now, one thing you can do on your Instagram Stories is shrink down those geo-locations and the Instagram hashtags, and that way they don’t take up your entire story within Instagram Stories.

Don’t have it be all about business. Make sure you interject a little bit about who you are personally, whether it’s your family, your passions, your hobbies, your interests. People really appreciate that. That’s how they really get to know the real you. As I always say, people connect with you and refer business to you because of your experience and your expertise, but they really connect with you and refer business to you over and over again, because they relate to you.

Ready to get started? Here are a few simple ideas for stories:

  • Showcase a sneak-peek behind the scenes
  • Showcase and highlight your local area —thereby helping to establish yourself as the local expert
  • Connect in real time with potential buyers and sellers and build the ‘know, like and trust’ factor

Also remember—these Stories last 24 hours. You can download them to your device to repurpose the content if you’d like. And, if you have a personal Instagram account you can post your Instagram Stories right to Facebook too! Lastly—Stories are viewable on mobile and desktop—even more reason to incorporate it into your strategy.

Remember - the more you create Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories, the better you get. The first time you go create a you will be a little nervous and maybe even anxious, but just like anything, the more you do it, the better you get.

Looking for more Instagram and Facebook tips? I’d love to connect with you – I’m sharing daily tips on my Instagram Stories at http://instagram.com/katielance. Make sure to message me over there and let me know you read this article – would love to hear from you!

Katie Lance is the author of #GetSocialSmart and founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting, a social media strategy firm. She's been recognized by Inman News as one of the 100 most influential people in real estate and is a featured keynote speaker at many industry events. Her #GetSocialSmart Academy features on-demand social media education to help real estate professionals take their social media strategy to the next level. For more information, please go to http://getsocialsmart.com and use the promo code WAREALTOR to save $30 off your monthly membership in to the academy.


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