and why it matters for retail leasing…

by Carrie Bobb

Many of the demographics we rely on in retail leasing is available to landlords through their own social media accounts. There is so much consumer data available to property owners that they already have access to in their property Instagram account.

Through practicing social listening, retailers actively analyze their social media insights and listen to their audience.  From there, they adapt their messages and content creation to give their audience more of what they want. The same applies for commercial real estate.

This is a quick crash course into how you can easily access your property’s demos, validate your audience, and express their desired preferences to prospective tenants.


An Instagram business or public account comes with insights into the accounts and audience trends. In the upper right corner of the profile is the menu. Click on that and then select Insights.


To learn about the demographics of your audience, select the followers link and it will take you to your follower breakdown. This will tell you how many followers you have gained and lost this week, where they are located, age, gender and even the most active time of day to post.

This is a screen shot of our company followers. We know our audience is 68% female with 72% of them being between the ages of 25-44. (If you tap on men or women next to the Age Range, it will tell you what percentage are in the different age ranges.)

There are a lot more insights to learn about by exploring through the different sections in Insights. Some insights Instagram only keeps for a week, so it is important to be using software or an app that tracks the analytics so we can turn them into leasing tools month over month.


Some of the post powerful data is discovered by reading through each post and understanding what is registering and what is not with our audiences. We can read the insights from a single post and understand what is trending and what is falling flat. With each set of insights, we get to understand our audience a little more.

This is extremely valuable when it comes to defining our actual consumers to prospective tenants.

This is an example of a recent post of ours. If you click on View Insights, and then swipe up, the full screen becomes various data points for this one post.

There is a subtle difference between reach and impressions. A
single reach is counted once per account no matter how many times they view it.
An impression is every single time the post is seen. If a user scrolls through
their feed 5 times, each time they scroll by it counts as an impression.


Each time a user likes, comments, shares or saves a post, it counts
as engagement. The algorithm rewards posts that have a strong engagement rate.
For posts that lack engagement, they are hidden.

Instagram only shows each post to about 10% of your followers. They more they engage, the more the post gets pushed to other users feeds. Posts that don’t get engagement, don’t get pushed to feeds.

The average account has an engagement rate of 4%. To have a high engagement rate means we are listening to our audience and giving them content and information they find valuable.

This resonates with retailers and is meaningful to how they are growing their businesses both digitally and through brick and mortar.


Retailers understand these insights far better than most in commercial real estate. If we can show prospective tenants we are engaged with the community and the community is made up of their actual consumer, it matters.

It matters to retailers who may lease space because they are leaning heavy on this for their own business. When we can speak their language and provide engagement reports that meet them in the same space where they meet their customer, it matters…a lot.

Carrie is the founder and CEO of Carrie Bobb & Co. She is a consumer behavior analytics nerd and an expert at driving revenue for retail properties through digital and brick and mortar leasing strategies.

Carrie has closed over $2 billion in total consideration throughout her career. She has completed transactions with brands such as Sephora, SoulCycle, Drybar, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Restoration Hardware and many others. She has implemented leasing strategies through social media and online influencer programming on several projects. She was named one of San Diego’s Power Women in Real Estate and received her MBA from the University of San Diego. Carrie lives in San Diego with her husband, Matt, their three inquisitively adventurous kids and one joyful golden doodle.