In real estate, agents focus on telling stories—and what better way to do that than by leveraging today’s visually-driven market?
Marki Lemons-Ryhal shared her tips and best practices to help your business boom with Instagram in the recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, “Increase Your Presence and Leads Quickly With Instagram & IGTV.”
Lemons-Ryhal is listed in the top 10 percent of REALTORS® in the Chicago area. She speaks at conventions and other classes to teach agents the best ways to use social media in their business. As a REALTOR®, Lemons-Ryhal has earned the REALTOR® Achievement Award and The President’s Award from the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. In this webinar, Lemons-Ryhal shared some of the best ways to use Instagram to instantly increase an agent’s real estate sales.
Setting Up Your Profile
According to Lemons-Ryhal, “nothing is growing at the rate of Instagram and IGTV”—but before you can capitalize on that growth, you have to build your profile. Lemons-Ryhal suggests setting up your Instagram as a business account rather than a personal account, as it gives you more control over your content. She also recommends changing your name, not your username, to something that describes what you do. For example, Lemons-Ryhal changed her name to “Real Estate Keynote Speaker.” This way, whenever someone searches for real estate, she’ll appear somewhere in the results.
3 Ways to Post
Lemons-Ryhal also shared the three different ways to post on Instagram. Currently, users are able to post in their feed, stories or IGTV (Instagram television). When posting in the feed, she recommends using carousel posts to showcase listings. The best way to do so is by leading with the strongest picture, and then post the detailed pictures. This way, you’ll be able to get more people swiping to see all of your photos or videos. Stories are also a great way to connect with users since they’re always located at the top of the home page. However, Lemons-Ryhal notes that you must post a story at least once every 24 hours in order to be seen, since they disappear after that period of time. Finally, IGTV allows users to connect with viewers for longer. Videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes in length.
Your Language Matters
One of Lemons-Ryhal’s key points in the webinar was that it’s important to talk to people the way they will search for you; otherwise, they won’t be able to find you. She suggested that listeners think about what and who they want to attract through their account, and then tailor their profile and posts to match. In a similar way, she points out that agents should not use the same type of language they use in MLS listings. Instagram users are not searching for “magnificent” bedrooms or “meticulous” bathrooms. She warns that users will not be able to find agents who use that kind of lingo.
Leverage Your Location
According to Lemons-Ryhal, 67 percent of all real estate-related searches start with location. She suggests utilizing the business around you to connect with users in your area. For example, if you’re at a restaurant, she suggests taking a quality picture of your meal, posting it on your Instagram feed, and checking in at that location. This will allow anyone who searches that location to see your picture, click on your picture, go to your profile, like your content, and then follow you.
Hashtags are a great way to make your content more available to users. While you are able to add up to 30 hashtags to an Instagram post, Lemons-Ryhal tells listeners to cap theirs at nine. She also recommends creating a document for each kind of post in which you would use a hashtag. Lemons-Ryhal mentions that she has her hashtags divided by location, type of post, etc. This way, whenever she posts something, she already has her hashtags ready.
Utilize Outside Resources
Lemons-Ryhal shared a number of outside apps and websites that can support a growing Instagram presence. Some of those were Linktr.ee, Canva and Repost. She recommends using Linktr.ee to replace the website listed in any agent’s Instagram profile, as it allows users to showcase multiple webpages. Additionally, Canva allows users to create graphics for publication on Instagram. Canva can also be used to overlay text onto any real estate headshots you may have, which will allow you to share your photos on your page. Finally, Repost allows users to use pictures from other users and publish it to their account. Lemons-Ryhal encouraged listeners to follow Homes.com, their personal company and their state and local NAR pages, and to share their content while making sure to give them credit.
To learn the rest of Lemons-Ryhal’s Instagram marketing tips, you can join the Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group here. For more free real estate education, including best practices, visit Secrets of Top Selling Agents.
By Patty McNease, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Homes.com
Patty McNease is vice president of Brand Marketing for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.