Let’s be honest … the only thing that matters in real estate (and in life) is the engagement you get on Instagram. Jokes aside, how people interact with your content certainly affects the reach and cachet of your real estate brand. I built my Instagram to almost 500,000 followers by focusing on engagement and evolving with Instagram’s constantly changing algorithm. 

To help you crush it on Instagram this year, I’m sharing 14 Instagram hacks I used to build my account, The Broke Agent, and the account of our media company, BAM

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1. Switch Up Your Location Tags

Most agents know that one of the easiest Instagram (IG) tricks is geotagging every post when relevant. After all, you are trying to get business from clients in a specific area, right? One Instagram hack many agents don’t know is that switching up location tags can help get you in front of more people and is a great way to boost engagement.

Instagram post of a just listed apartment on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, New York.
Instagram post with geotag (Source: Joan Kagan, The Agency)

So try tagging different neighborhoods, small towns, businesses, country clubs, and coffee shops (aka places your current and future clients might be) alongside broader locations like cities or states. Mix it up and see which locations get you the most reach. 

All you have to do when adding a new Instagram post is click the “Add Location” button and choose the location you want to appear on your post when published. Plus, you don’t have to physically be in an area to tag it as long as the location is relevant to the post or caption.

Backend of Instagram when posting an image with arrow pointing to add location.
Adding a geotag to an Instagram post

2. Juice the Algorithm

Direct messaging is an excellent strategy for getting more engagement on your posts. How, you ask? Well, any interaction with other users notifies Instagram that your accounts are connected. The more you DM someone, the more they will show up in your feed, and vice versa, as IG views DMs as the most powerful form of communication.

The strategy is simple. Spend 15 minutes before and after you post responding to people’s stories and responding to your own DM’s. 

Another of the best Instagram hacks is returning to your previous posts and liking some old comments. Engaging with these accounts will increase the likelihood that your next post will appear in their feed.

3. Go Live

This trick is a secret of the pros. The second you post something, go live on Instagram. This will put you at the top of people’s feeds and get people interacting with your account if they join. 

IG also likes it when you use all of its features, so the more lives you do, the more they will push your content. Even if you go live for one second and sign off immediately, it will still probably push your recent post in people’s feeds since they see your name pop up on the LIVE where stories are.

You can also plan to host a live event for your followers through Instagram. Some ideas include educating your clients about the market, doing a walk-through of a new listing, introducing yourself to a new farm area, or inviting a guest, like a mortgage broker, to answer client’s burning questions.

Instagram post of live event featuring two men discussing "How to Success in Real Estate."
Example of a live Instagram event (Source: Jerome Maldonado)

4. Start an IG Story With Engagement

Starting your story with a reshare or a link will hurt your story views. Instead, start your story with something engaging that gets DMs: the more DMs and story responses, the more story views. So, ask a question, do a poll, post a sticker that gets reactions, or post something organic. You can also take a front-facing selfie that gets people to react.

Instagram post with black background the white text asking for engagement from audience.
Ask for engagement from the audience (Source: The Broke Agent)

5. Work With a Content Creation Platform Like BAMx

Going at content creation alone can take a lot of work. The algorithms are constantly shifting, and we are pulled in many directions by so many different “coaches” and “gurus.” That’s why we created BAMx, our membership platform where you get the content, the training, and the community. 

Every week in BAMx, our members get three social media templates, two video scripts, and one email script to send to your database, all with relevant, up-to-the-week data for you to customize, brand, and post. Every month, you get a new course from BAM Creators, who actually show you how to use these platforms, get engagement, and convert them into clients.

Premade video script and social media content from BAMx.
Premade content (Source: BAMx)

We also have a biweekly mastermind and private member group, so every question you have gets answered. Join one of the fastest-growing communities in real estate, grow your brand, and sell more homes.

6. Reset the Story Algorithm

Wait for your story to expire after 24 hours before posting your next story. This pause resets the algorithm and feeds your new story to more people. The science behind this is that Instagram tests your latest post and does not tie it to the views and engagement of yesterday’s story. Timing your posts is the simplest of the Instagram tricks.

7. Post Links on the Last Story of the Day

If you post a link and want to get a lot of clicks, ensure it is the LAST story you post of the day. If you have another story following the one with a link, people will naturally go to the next one to see what it is. 

So, end your story with a link if you plan on plugging one that day. And the fewer links, the better … they kill engagement on stories because it drives people off-platform. 

Instagram post featuring man speaking about addictions of successful people, and arrows pointing to links on post.
Example of adding multiple links (Source: BAM)

8. Use Your Story to Tease Your Reel

Go to “Create Mode” in your IG Story with an all-black or white background and use your story to tease the Reel you just posted. Think of it like a cover photo call to action to watch. You can say something simple like “New Reel” with an arrow pointing right, followed by your Reel. Or you can tease it with something more click-baity like “Want to see my new listing under $800,000 with an incredible kitchen?” Then, story your Reel.

Instagram post with purple background and white text stating "Just posted a new listing video that I think you're going to like."
Teasing your reel (Source: BAM)

Once you share your Reel, expand it to fill up the entire story. This will make it look like a continuation of the story and will most likely get more views since it’s not a smaller image, directing people toward your Feed.

9. Write Engaging Captions With CTAs

Use Engaging Captions
Example caption (Source: The Broke Agent)

Calls to action (CTAs) in captions are another Instagram hack you can use to boost engagement. Now, you can physically tell people to like, comment, and share your post, but that’s always been cringe in my opinion. They will share it if they want to.

If you’re having trouble creating engaging captions, ask yourself: “What statement or question can I post to trigger more comments and engage my audience?”

Here are some examples:

  • Which view do you like better? 1 or 2?
  • Scale of 1-10: How important is the backyard when considering a house?
  • Would you rather live in a house without air conditioning or heat?
  • Tag someone who needs a bidet in their bathroom!

Extra hack: Use the poll feature in your caption to get data on your audience and, of course, increase engagement.

10. Take Advantage of Long Captions

Extended captions force people to read longer, which signals to Instagram that they are spending more time on your post. This means that your content should be pushed to more people. So try using your caption to tell a story about a house, a deal, or a client. 

Instagram post showing a just sold listing with a long caption describing the sales process.
Example post with a lengthy caption (Source: @tayadicarlo)

Also, use keywords in your captions to attract your target audience. Include words like real estate, the location, and what the post is about to make your content more searchable. For example, “luxury real estate,” “apartment hunting,” and “Las Vegas home search.” 

11. Post Attention-grabbing Comments on Your Photos

Yes, you read that correctly. Comment on your photo and think of it as a secondary caption. This Instagram hack invites more comments and catches the attention of people who may not read the entire caption but instead head straight to the comments. Sometimes, I’ll give one call to action in the caption and then another in the comments!

Here is an example from my feed that got 481 comments. I posted an engaging caption and TWO comments on my post, like an absolute SAVAGE! One of the best Instagram hacks.

Instgram post with snake around lockbox.
Captioning your own post (Source: The Broke Agent)

Look. At. That. Engagement. I had people captioning the photo and replying to my comment about showing the house with the snake around the lockbox. I also shared this post to my Story and used the “vote” feature to see if they would show it or not. It was a masterclass in engagement. My phone almost exploded with notifications.

Pro tip: Pin your own comment and another comment that you think will encourage more engagement.

12. Reply to All Comments on Your Posts

Another Instagram hack to try is commenting back to everyone who comments on your posts. This tip is especially crucial for the first hour of the post. If people see a post with many comments, they are likely to stop scrolling, look at what all the fuss is about, and comment themselves.

Instagram post of a house and comment section with Instagram owner responding to follower comments.
Adding comments to readers (Source: @matt.lionetti)

Also, when people see an account commenting back, they get excited at the opportunity to interact with that person directly. Gary Vee responded to my comment once, and now I comment on every photo, hoping to relive the best moment of my life.

Most importantly, commenting back doubles the number of comments on your post.

If you want to TRIPLE your comments, ask the people who commented a question. This hack will solicit another response and continue the conversation. 

13. Include Relevant Hashtags

Instagram is about to limit the number of hashtags to five. This cutback is good because 30 was ridiculous and unhelpful. If you use captions, include them in the caption as intended, not in the comment section. 

Instagram post promoting Docusign with supporting hashtags.
Hashtags that correlate to content (Source: The Broke Agent)

Also, make sure the hashtags are relevant to your actual post. For example, if you are doing an open house in Santa Monica, use a range of specific hashtags that vary in size, like #santa monica, #santamonicaopenhouse, #santamonicarealestate, #openhouse, and #larealestate. You never want to include something super broad that has nothing to do with the post, like #hustle or #grinding.

Want more hashtag ideas? Check out The Close article 107+ Top Real Estate Hashtags: Instagram, Twitter & More.

14. Use Instagram’s Newest Features

Whenever Instagram comes out with a new feature, jump on it immediately. They always push accounts and content that try out their latest gadgets. So, whether it’s polls in captions, collabs, Notes, Reels, Story templates, or whatever … give it a try and watch your content fly.

Not only is it important to stay up to date with Instagram tips and tricks, but you also need to be aware of the updates Instagram is giving to their platform. Here are a few:

AI Features

Instagram is testing artificial intelligence (AI) chat features in the US for group and individual chats. This feature will act as an assistant to help you create AI-generated images, provide recommendations, and connect with the right audience. 

Three phone images showing AI capabilities on Instagram.
AI chats on Instagram (Source: Preview App)


Your DMs are getting an upgrade with read receipts, theme personalization, and editing capabilities. You’ll also be able to pin important conversations to the top of your message box to ensure no leads fall through the cracks.

Three phone images showing the process of how to pin a message on Instagram.
How to pin an Instagram chat (Source: Instagram)


Instagram is working to secure accounts from scams and impersonations. They will send warnings if deceptive messages are sent to your account or if scam follow-up requests are received. Also, they will alert you of suspicious links to prevent you from clicking on them.

Three phone images showing the security alerts from Instagram.
Security features (Source: Instagram)

Over to You

What are your Instagram hacks? How are you boosting engagement on Instagram? Let us know in the comments!