Shaquille O’Neal may typically fill his Instagram feed with photos of basketball highlights and the occasional party shot (Shaq’s Fun House, anyone?), but one of his recent Instagram posts might seem out of place: a listing for his Los Angeles house—which he’s trying to unload for $2.5 million.
“I’m selling my home in Bell Canyon, CA,” the former NBA star wrote in a recent post highlighting a four-minute video of his gorgeous 5,200-square-foot mansion, which has five bedrooms, four and half bathrooms, a family room, wine closet, wet bar, and media room. The post also includes an email address (email@example.com) that “serious buyers” can use to request more information.
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I’M SELLING MY HOME IN BELL CANYON CA. 5 bedroom 4.5 bath 5,217 SQFT (APX) 1 ACRE LOT It’s in a premier cul-da-sac offering privacy. It’s an open floor plan with a two story foyer leading to a formal living room with vaulted beam ceilings off a formal living room with porcelain flooring and chef’s kitchen. The kitchen has marble countertops, custom cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. The first floor has a family room, dinning room, wine closet, wet bar, media room, laundry room, office and a bedroom. Upstairs has a the master bedroom and three additional bedrooms. The house is walking distance from the community center, state of the art gym and tennis courts. It can be all yours for $2.5M. For SERIOUS buyers please send an email to Sellingbellcanyon@gmail.com for more information.
Can Instagram help Shaquille O’Neal sell his home?
O’Neal’s house has actually been on the market for about three months so far, with no buyers. So drumming up more eyeballs among his 15.4 million Instagram followers could make a lot of sense.
Within days of the Instagram post, O’Neal’s promotional efforts garnered more than 3 million views on Instagram, as well as a wave of emails, which are being reviewed by the home’s listing agent, Emil Hartoonian, managing partner at the Agency in Beverly Hills.
“There’s been a fair response from fans, but also quite a bit of potentially serious buyers that we are in the processing of vetting,” Hartoonian told realtor.com® by email. The Agency took over the listing from the real estate brokerage firm Compass earlier this month.
O’Neal isn’t the only celebrity using social media platforms to push real estate listings. In October, the pop star Justin Bieber also put out feelers about selling his home on Instagram, writing, “Home vibes, but I wanna sell it I think anyone interested?”
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How Instagram can help all home sellers
Social media is regularly used to promote real estate listings in all price ranges. Sellers often share listings on their personal sites to enhance exposure. Having millions of followers obviously helps.
“I do believe that a seller of O’Neal’s profile and following, of course, is more instrumental to awareness and engagement than that of a standard seller,” Hartoonian says.
Instagram could work for any home seller, though, says La Toya Dennis, a real estate agent with Century 21.
“Whether you have a 15 million followers or 15 followers, if you feel comfortable with advertising a home on Instagram, do it,” she says. “Those 15 followers may know 15 more followers, and the word will get out to an interested buyer.”
Wendy Flynn, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in College Station, TX, says she always encourages sellers to share their listings on social media.
“The goal is to get the listing in front of as many people as possible,” she notes. “So I would love a client like Shaq to share his listing on every marketing channel available.”
How to promote your home on Instagram
Instagram is a visual platform, which means that it’s crucial to post high-quality, professional photos or videos to attract attention.
“Homes that have beautiful images, carefully created by meticulous staging and professional photographers, are the perfect type of thing to share on Instagram,” Flynn says.
Another requirement? Hashtags, like #realestate and #homeforsale, with the location, which will help you reach the right Instagram users in your area.
“In real estate, they say, ‘Location, location, location,’” Dennis says. “On Instagram, it’s hashtag, hashtag, hashtag.”
Running a target ad campaign on social media will get the listing in front of the right people, based the criteria you set, says Lukasz Kukwa, a real estate adviser with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Westfield, NJ.
Kukwa cautions that such techniques can by no means guarantee the sale of a home, but he adds, “Understanding and knowing how to use modern techniques such as social media does create another avenue for exposure in this day and age.”
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