Instagram Marketing Hacks For Estate Agents

People go to Instagram to see beautiful things. You know this. That’s why you’re already advertising your beautiful property listings there. 

According to research by, a staggering 50% of marketing teams spend half of their marketing budgets on social ads. But not everyone can afford to spend the big-bucks on Insta marketing. So, how can you navigate through the social media minefield and generate actual leads, on a bootstrapped budget?

We’ve put together a list of Six Sizzling Hacks that will level-up your Instagram marketing, at no extra cost.

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Zillow’s $300m House-Flip Flop

Picture this. It’s 2020. It’s the height the lockdown. You’re stuck at home in the small hours of the night. You’re longing to escape the boredom. There’s only one thing for it. Flip open your laptop and indulge in a guilty pleasure: Property Porn. The habit of obsessively scrolling through property listings.

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The Worst Real Estate Dad Jokes

Everyone loves to secretly chuckle at some old-fashioned, cringe-worthy Dad jokes. 

Just to clarify – if you want to hear the punchline, but you’re simultaneously cringing with embarrassment at the person telling them, then congratulations, you’re in the presence of a Dad joke.

Let’s enjoy a little light-hearted real estate humour with some of our worst real estate dad jokes…

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Buying Property with Bitcoin: Would you? Should you?

For years now, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been a hot topic in finance. But they’ve recently hit the headlines within the real estate industry.

The first property to be bought with Bitcoin in the UK was back in 2017. A trickle of transactions took place afterwards in pioneering markets like Dubai. However, since the COVID crisis, Crypto-commoditised property transactions have begun increasing sharply, on a global scale. 

Job redundancies triggered by the pandemic, saw many people turn to crypto trading as a source of income. Now we’re seeing these investors shift their profits into one of the world’s safest assets; real estate.

The escalating value of cryptocurrencies has also created a greater willingness by property vendors to accept Bitcoin and its ilk as a form of transaction currency. This in turn has unlocked the opportunity for crypto-investors to crystallise their profits, trading out of the volatile asset class, and into stable property assets.

Young Guns

It’s not just sophisticated traders that’ve got in on the action. Real Estate Agents have reported rapid recent growth in young property buyers. Those early adopters who, marginalised by the global economic shocks of recent years, have profited from coin trading, are now diversifying their holdings.

This group of young crypto-slinging millionaires are emerging as a new wealthy class, breaking the conventional real estate order.

The allure of this new swathe of property buyers has in turn attracted a new breed of seller. Those who want to keep their options open and get in on the action, are increasingly using the “Accepting bitcoin” USP, and broadening their investment appeal.

So, as crypto-buying property becomes more common, let’s dive into some buyer pros and cons…

The Pros…


Trading out of cryptos and into real estate gives investors the opportunity to quit while they’re ahead. Cryptos are a notoriously volatile asset class, not for the feint-hearted. Investing in real estate allows crypto-traders to lock in their profits, and inflation-hedge their wealth, safe in the knowledge that property, unlike Cryptos, will never fully depreciate in capital value.


Smart investors know to never put their eggs in one basket, and many of those who have profited from cryptocurrency are considering real estate purchases to diversify their portfolio. Why real estate? Because it’s an asset generally considered one of the safest in the world.


Property gives crypto-traders the chance to shift their wealth into an asset that has greater practical application. They can either live (or work) in their property, or lease it out and derive income from it. Real estate delivers universal utility in a way that cryptos simply don’t.

…and The Cons

The Opportunity Cost of FOMO

When they rise, coin values rise much faster than real estate. By cashing in their crypto coins for real estate, buyers could miss out on future coin value appreciation.


Granted…crypto transactions are on the rise. But the number of sellers accepting crypto is still relatively small. The coin-purchasable property options available to would-be buyers are limited, a fact they simply have to live with, for now.


Because it is unregulated, dealing in cryptocurrency can be a tax headache. To avoid running into trouble with the law, those looking to exchange crypto for real estate should consult an experienced certified accountant who understands the ins and outs of cryptocurrency trading in the specific subject property’s jurisdiction.

Let The Music Play 🎵

It’s safe to say that the cryptos are becoming mainstream, with more and more people joining the conversation about their suitability and appeal. This potentially giant disruptor in the real estate industry is, for many, an exciting development. But let’s not forget how famously volatile they are.

We’ve all seen their values skyrocket from an Elon Musk tweet, and similarly plummet from a central banker’s statement. They are not underwritten by any fundamental asset, and for this reason they could just as easily be worth triple today’s value in a year from now, or worth nothing at all.

There is little wonder that there are many sceptics, and rightly so. In addition to regulatory challenges like China’s recent blanket ban, tax issues and price volatility, there is the notorious affiliation that cryptos have with with criminal activity, in particular money laundering.

In the end, it comes down to each individual’s knowledge and risk-appetite. For my part, I’m long enough in the tooth to know that opportunities always come around. I’m not phased by FOMO. I’m happy to wait and watch until cryptos are more mainstream, and I have more information to base my decisions on. Until then, let the music play.

Ayman Alashkar is the Founder and CEO of, with 20 years’ experience working in real estate, banking and artificial intelligence. An AI Implementation Strategist accredited by the prestigious MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ayman also has a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from the world-renowned Queen Mary College, University of London, and a Masters in Real Estate Investment and Development from the University of Reading (UK). is a world first, user-friendly marketing solution that allows estate agents to instantly autowrite unique, search-optimised property marketing content, taking the boring out of the daily grind. 

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog.

2021’s Top Reads for Aspiring Estate Agents

The post-covid property boom has seen a tidal wave of new estate agents joining the industry, looking for a slice of the pie. But for those who are new to the game, learning the ropes can be a minefield.

A mentor is great. A supportive agency with a sound training scheme is even better. Getting a grip, early on, of real estate principles, finance and law will undoubtedly create a solid foundation for success. Nevertheless, investing time in learning the practical aspects of being a “real life” estate agent, can mean the difference between success and failure.

You’ll be surprised at just how many simple “tips and tricks” will have you saving time, avoiding tyre kickers, winning bidding wars, or knowing when to spot a deal breaker.

And this week, we’ve done what we do best at HQ – the leg work, so that you don’t have to.

We’re bringing you the top 5 books for aspiring real estate agents, all of which provide an insider’s perspective on becoming a successful real estate agent.

#1 The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents

There’s something to be said about starting every day on the right foot and Hal Elrod is all about this. The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents will talk you through the exact morning routines of the industry’s top players. Certain habits may seem trivial, but carried out consistency over time will reap rewards.

#2 The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

Gary Keller’s The Millionaire Real Estate Agent is about taking your real estate career to the next level. But it’s an important read early in your real estate career because it forces you to see the big picture and think long-term.

This book will give you a millionaire agent mindset. First you’ll learn how to think like a millionaire. Then you’ll learn how to become one through real estate sales.

#3 The Book of Yes

No one likes to cold call. But if you’ve ever had to make these, you’ll probably know that it helps to have a script in mind. Author and multi-million dollar real estate agent, Kevin Ward swears by the belief that real estate sales is largely about scripts. He’s spent his career perfecting them.

The Book of YES: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide will teach you exactly what to say in order to nail that ice-cold sales call.

#4 The Honest Real Estate Agent

Mario Jannatpour’s The Honest Real Estate Agent is a perfect introduction to the real estate industry. From topics like networking, negotiations, time management, basic marketing and professional integrity, this title covers a lot of ground in attempting to explain what the real estate profession is all about.

The Honest Real Estate Agent explains what’s required to be successful in the industry. And you can use that information to confirm that real estate is the right career move for you.

#5 The Million Dollar Listing Social Media

Many of today’s new agents are surprised at just how much business is done online via social media. Whilst you needn’t be a “social media expert” it is fast becoming part of the job description for real estate agents. Buyers and sellers are online. So you need an online presence that will engage them.

Check out Sebastian Acosta’s The Million Dollar Listing Social Media: The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide for Real Estate Professionals. It’s probably the most comprehensive book on the topic but there’s no harm in getting comfortable with this minefield, even before you’re officially licensed.

More To Life…

Let’s be honest, this is merely the tip of the literary iceberg. There’s hundreds of best-selling books that can help estate agents hone their skills.

And you’ll be surprised – many of these habits, designed to make agents better at their jobs, will actually set you up for success in every area of your life. Because even for agents, life is about more than just real estate. is a world first, user-friendly marketing solution that allows estate agents to instantly autowrite unique, search-optimised property descriptions, taking the boring out of the daily grind. 

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog.

The Evolution of the Social Media Influencer

Love them or hate them, social media influencers are very much part of today’s mainstream marketing mix. When Facebook suffered their hours long outage last week, it was widely reported to have cost the social network upwards of $100 million dollars in lost revenue. The service disruption impacted the company’s stock price, which fell by 4.9 percent last Monday – that’s a whopping $47.3 billion in lost market cap.

The pain didn’t end at Mark Zuckerberg. As a result of what has been named the “Great Social Outage of 2021”, the business of thousands of others haemorrhaged at the hands of Mark’s monumental technical “glitch”. Social media influencers worldwide were rendered helpless for the entire time that FB’s universe was offline, their hands literally tied at the mercy of the technical boffins at Facebook HQ.

So how do influencers, brands and marketers future proof their sales strategy? And what’s next for Influencer Marketing?

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The Ten Most Common and Cringe-worthy Real Estate Typos 😖

Everyone makes typos. Even the best writers can do it. And plenty of us suffer dyslexia. But when real estate agents are entrusted to sell properties worth millions of dollars, there really is no excuse for not paying attention to the smallest detail. Especially with the range of technologies out there that can help.

Some blunders you simply can’t ignore. The ones that cause clients to doubt an agent’s professionalism, and reflect poorly on the agency they represent. These typos are very awkward because they are so very public.

One place where these awkward misprints are usually found is in a property’s public listing description.

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What’s in store for Techies at Expo 2020?

Dubai Expo 2020 has begun. And with over 190 countries represented, there’s something for everyone.

We’re proud that is a Dubai born start-up. A point we like to make as often as possible. That pride was reinforced with the opening of an event that promises to be a portal through which we can experience humanity’s future.

If you’re a tech geek like us, you’ll be pleased to hear about the incredible technologies that will be showcased at Expo 2020 for the next six months!

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How to pick the best real estate name for your website or social media page – now that’s one real estate brand name that packs a punch, but no prizes for guessing that the domain name is already taken. In fact, it was registered over 30 years ago. You’re probably looking at the cost of a small house to buy it. If it is ever released for sale.

So where do you start when it comes to picking a name? Whether you’re a realtor setting up a personal brand, or establishing a new estate agency, it’s undeniably one of the trickiest things to get right.

For anyone who’s tried, you’ll agree the struggle is real. Very often you’ll think you’ve hit the jackpot. You’ve come up with the most perfect name ever, only to find that all worthy domain names associated with it, are taken.

So to make things a little easier, we’ve listed some tips and tricks to help you navigate your branding journey towards finding a name, and domain, that’s engaging and rolls-off-the-tongue.

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Twitter’s ‘racist’ algorithm bias under fresh fire

The social network faces more accusations of favouring images based on certain races, genders, religions and ages. Are these machine learning biases intentional, or an accidental bi-product of skewed training data?

Serious flaws found in Twitter’s automated image-cropping programme, which favoured white people over those with darker skin colour, sent ripples across the internet last year.

Further evidence reveals that its algorithm is not only “racist”. It also apparently favours younger people, non-Muslims, and the able-bodied.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Artificial intelligence is there to augment human capabilities. Intelligent automation speeds up functionalities and improves efficiency. But in many instances, such as Twitter’s photo-editing system, there can be a wider social impact.

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Dress Code Rules for Real Estate Agents

We’ve all done it. We see a person and in seconds we immediately start to profile them based on what they’re wearing. Wrinkled shirt. Bound to be sloppy. Open toe shoe. Unprofessional.

Of course appearance isn’t everything. But first impressions most certainly count. In fact, your dress code can speak volumes before you even introduce yourself as a real estate agent

In the highly competitive estate agency industry, agents should use every possible opportunity to attract potential leads. A real estate agent’s dress code is one of the most effective tools available to make the right first impression.

To save you from hassle, we’ve put together some basic tips on what to wear to be professional and make sure you look the part.

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The Four-Day Working Week – Does it work for you?

We’ve all heard of it by now. The merits of the Four-Day work week. Promising results are emerging from trials and studies conducted by progressive companies and governments around the world. From morale boosting to enhancing loyalty, you just have to Google the benefits of a Four-Day working week and you’ll be swamped by articles playing up the overwhelming benefits, quoting the need for employers to adapt to the challenges of modern-day society.

There are those business managers who love the idea. Some have even embraced it. Others dread it, wishing it would go away before their employees clamour for it or labour laws mandate it. I like to think of as a progressive employer…That’s why I find myself asking, is it for us?

The Woods from The Trees

Let’s keep in mind one thing. Underlying the very concept of the Four-Day work week is a singular objective. Productivity.

Having spent nearly the past 20 years in the UAE, I remember a time when the weekends were Thursday and Friday. Then, I think sometime back in 2004, the UAE’s leaders adopted a Friday/Saturday weekend format, to better align with the rest of the world. Now there are even rumours that policy makers will shift yet again to a hybrid Friday/Saturday/Sunday format, to further align with global markets and peers.

Be under no illusion that the only reason businesses and governments anywhere in the world, are looking at adopting a four day week, is to optimise productivity.

It’s not altruism. It’s about increasing efficiency. Employee happiness is a means to that end, rather than the ultimate goal. One that’s mutually beneficial to all parties in the equation. I’m not a cynic. I just like to cut through the noise and say it how I see it.

Needs Must

When the pandemic obliterated conventional 9-to-6 office work, the debate about employee wellbeing and the work-life balance shifted into high-gear. As economies now emerge from the trauma of 2020, many, like that of the UAE, are roaring. But nobody wants to return to pre-pandemic working models as we knew them. That’s old-school. Done. Dusted. Covid-19 has forced us not just to think, but finally to act, differently.

So it’s out with the old, and in with the new. But what is the new working model?

Novelty Knows No Bounds

US based streaming giant Netflix, has taken a novel approach to holiday protocol. It’s called “No Rules Netflix,” where staff get unlimited holidays. No doubt T&C’s apply.

One of my personal favourite unicorn stories, Australian online graphic design platform, last week told employees they only need to come to the office 8 times a year. 

Elsewhere, Four-Day working week pilot schemes have actually revealed some inspiring results. In some trials, by reducing working hours, without a reduction in salary, businesses can actually drive greater long-term profitability.  Microsoft Japan tried the schedule out with positive results. Staff noted an increase in the pace of their day and were able to get more done in the same timeframe. The governments of Spain and Scotland are planning trials that would give workers an additional day off.

All these progressive employee initiatives are great, especially when you’re a multi-billion dollar tech giant or a nation state. But as I said before, let’s not forget that it’s all about achieving greater productivity.

To those touting the Four-Day working week, cases such as these would seem a vindication. But does one size fit us all?

Cindarella’s Slippers

For many industries such as healthcare, hospitality and retail, profit margins are already squeezed tight. Paying staff the same for less working hours in the hope that it yields greater long-term productivity is a risk many would rather not take. Likewise for the millions of small and medium businesses that struggle with survival as it is. The shoe simply may not fit.

Even those businesses that can financially afford to trial a Four-Day work week, how successful can its roll-out really be? It’s one thing for Microsoft Japan, where cultural nuances are understood by all, and everyone’s time-zone is the same. It’s a completely different story getting Microsoft’s 200,000 global employees to achieve greater productivity with so many practical differences getting in the way.

What about those businesses that already offer a flat corporate structure? Where flexible working hours, even days, are the norm. Does the Four-Day week make sense?

Concordia res parvae crescent

Work together to accomplish more

That’s our space.’s never been a conventional 9-to-6 workplace. We’ve never had an office.

On any given Monday morning members of our team are just as likely to be behind their proverbial desk as they are to be at their local supermarket.

We’ve grown our team and our business with remote-working baked into the very dough of our company DNA. I like to joke that we were remote-working way back before the pandemic, when it wasn’t cool.

When the ability to adopt technologies that genuinely increase efficiency is so widely available to us, why would we not?

Everyone in our team knows what they have to do. We trust each other, as professionals, to get the job done in the time required, and to the best of our abilities. A core pillar of that trust is clear and respectful communication. We know who’s working on what, or who’s off where, because we communicate clearly to each other, respecting the fact that we are a team, and our overall success depends on every member in it, pulling their weight. Concordia res parvae crescent.

Hold My Stake

If the end goal is to optimise productivity, then how we get there isn’t going to hinge on a buzzword or whatever’s trending.

It’s easy to understand how the Four-Day working week carries such popular appeal. So many people are living under the pressure of so much to do with so little time. Finding those that are against the idea of a 3-day weekend would be harder than keeping ice from melting in the mid-summer sun.

As a business owner, I appreciate the argument that productivity isn’t dependent on the number of hours worked.  The view that there’s a direct, positive correlation between hours worked and output quality, or quantity, is ludicrous to me.

I know exactly how busy our 21st century lives are, and I respect that nobody is more or less busy than anybody else. We all have the balancing act of our professional and personal lives, and the myriad (often chaotic) curveballs that are thrown at us. That’s why I don’t expect our people to be 9-to-6er’s. That’s not how to get the best out of them.

“People don’t perform to the best of their ability because they’re told or paid to. I’ve seen too many slave-drivers who think that way. They were all doomed.”

I like to think I’ve an open-minded view on many aspects of our business. I encourage constructive criticism and open communication. I get excited when even the newest or most junior member of our team shares feedback and ideas.

People perform, even outperform, when they are empowered with a sense of ownership in their work. When they’re allowed to infuse their work with their personality, stamp their unique fingerprint on it, people take pride in their output. They’ll never rest on their laurels. They will constantly aim to be the best version of themselves, better than they were yesterday. They achieve optimal productivity in a much more powerful, sustainable way. Their accomplishments and contribution to the business become exponentially valuable. And the business becomes truly, organically dynamic.

What’s Your Flava?

We’re witnessing a moment in history where the future of work is being decided. It’s a process. An exciting one. And you rarely find in life that “one size” really “fits all”.

One thing is for sure. will never be a cookie-cut business. Vanilla’s not our flavour. The day we stop wanting to be better, I’ll resign.

An AI Implementation Strategist accredited by the prestigious MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ayman also has a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from the world-renowned Queen Mary College, University of London, and a Masters in Real Estate Investment and Development from the University of Reading (UK). With 20 years’ experience working in real estate, banking and artificial intelligence, Ayman is the founder and CEO of PropTech platform is a world first, user-friendly marketing solution that allows estate agents to instantly autowrite unique, search-optimised property descriptions, taking the boring out of the daily grind.

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on  Instagram and LinkedIn, and be one of the first to read our weekly NewsBites blog.

Agents Real Estate Video Goes Viral

Two agents have released a hilarious video and it’s gone viral.

The rap about their current “seller’s market” has struck a chord with realtors all over the world.

Dressed to mimic the stereotypical realtor, complete with aviators, mullet and moustache, the agents spin out lyrics to the rap entitled “Escrow” in an open house set up.

Brought to you from inside their “latest listing”, real estate agents Nathan Mills and Travis Metzen from Minnesota, rap about the “fall out” of the massive boom in the property market, whilst theatrically showing viewers around the lavish property, in true bling-rap style.

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Pressing the Start Button on 3D-Printed Homes

Imagine living in a house that was built in a matter of hours, at the click of a button, involving a single, computer-operated machine. Add to the mix, affordability, sustainability and cutting-edge design, and you’ve got yourself a brand new, 3D printed home.

15 years years ago, a house made by a giant concrete-spitting printer was a left field concept, limited to the domain of the imagination. Even now, most people won’t have seen inside these pretty incredible digital constructions.

But with growing worldwide housing shortages, and a post-pandemic housing boom that’s left many first-time buyers priced out of the housing market, 3D printed homes are no longer just an idea on paper.

They’re being printed, they’re being lived in and they’re shaking up the structure of traditional house building.

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Portals War Over Lead Quality

What’s more important, lead quality or lead quantity? It’s an age old question that I’m sure you’ve asked yourself many times. And it’s one that’s got some of the UK’s property portals trading hammer blows with each other.

Is your portal sending you cold leads, or leads so warm they could slice through butter?

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