How one REALTOR® became Insta-famous

Imagine reaching thousands of potential clients with just a few taps and swipes.

That’s the reality when you share a photo on Instagram. You aren’t just getting likes; you’re generating leads, building connections and creating a virtual community.

In 2015, Sarah Johnston, a real estate professional with MaxWell Capital Realty in Calgary and current President of the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®), launched her business Instagram account, @AdventuresInTealEstate. It started off as many other real estate accounts do, sharing listings and reposting memes. However, she felt like her account was getting lost. She didn’t know how to differentiate herself from other REALTORS® on the platform.

It took suffering one of her worst days in business to create some Instagram magic.

“I just had two deals fall through. I came home from work that day just so discouraged,” Johnston said. “I decided if I didn’t shake it off immediately nothing was going to get better.”

She put on some music and started dancing. Then she posted a video of her dance to Instagram.

“Five minutes after posting it I thought, ‘Oh no, this isn’t professional,’” she said. “But then the post started to gain a bit of traction.”

Within minutes, her fellow REALTORS® were offering words of encouragement and commenting on how relatable the situation was.

“I just struck a nerve,” she said.

Johnston has continued to grow her social media presence, with more than 17,100 Instagram followers. She shares posts about her business as well as her lifestyle, from book recommendations to do-it-yourself projects.

“I’ve created a network,” Johnston said, noting not only has the account helped her reach clients, she has also made valuable connections with REALTORS® across the country.

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Sarah Doktor brings her experience as a small-town journalist and national online editor to the Canadian Real Estate Association as a Communications Advisor. Sarah helps facilitate conversations between CREA and our members, boards, associations and the public via our online communities. She also helps coordinate the content presented to you here on the CREA Café. In her spare time, Sarah can be found at the gym, running on a trail or watching Netflix with her cat, Libby.


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