A few years back, I had a traveler asked me how she could know I was who I said I was. What proof could I give her that I wasn’t running a hustle?

I ended up doing a Facetime video tour for her from inside one of my furnished rentals. That did the trick.

She booked the place and lived happily ever after but I didn’t…

I knew I had a big problem on my hands.

The Problem

What I did, this Facetime property tour thing, was not sustainable.  It worked this time because my rental was vacant and I had time to do the tour, but the process was time consuming.

I don’t like time consuming repetitive things. That’s why I was a terrible employee.

I have a non-negotiable, zero vacancy policy.

I insist that my units never go vacant AND that I don’t intrude on my tenants either.

So, yes I got the direct booking, I didn’t have to pay a sales commission, but the way I got it was a failure.

As I drove home, I swore I was never going to do this again.

 I needed a way to increase my credibility without eating up my time. I needed to figure something out.

The Plan

So, here’s what happened, I started experimenting with Instagram.

At the time, Instagram was considered the Internet’s version of a business brochure. It’s now evolved; it can serve as your business’s online catalog too.

 And, what’s really cool is that you can link your Facebook and Twitter accounts to it and update them all in one swoop.  That’s a huge time-saver!

Anyhow, I don’t want to say it was pretty, but I did it.

I started by posting an awkward-looking selfie in front of one of my rentals.  

It wasn’t polished or artistic, but that didn’t matter.  

You see the date stamp that’s generated with your post, even an amateur-looking post, is perfect.

It tells a skeptic that I’m a real person and this is what I’ve got at this point in time.

The Surprise

Today as I look back, I’m pretty happy that I fumbled forward.

As it turns out that by showing my progress over time… that’s the thing that created credibility.

Who knew?!

And it gets better because super-credibility helps me lease up faster. Now days, the in-bound travelers I talk to have already researched and decided to do business with me.

I didn’t see that coming. This Instagram thing that I thought was a waste of time, turns out to be a powerful asset.

Your Move

Instagram is important for both traditional and furnished rentals. It only takes a couple minutes to set up an account and then a few seconds to take a selfie.

Post a picture from time to time. Document your journey.

Your future self will love you.

Tell me about you experience with Instagram? Please leave a comment below.