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Real estate is more visually-driven than ever before and to be a successful real estate agent, these days you need to know how to utilize all the tools. That is exactly what Marki Lemons-Ryhal explained when she shared her tips and best practices to help your Instagram business boom during her recent appearance on the 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 and has earned the REALTOR® Achievement Award and The President’s Award from the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. She shares her expertise by speaking at conventions and other classes to teach agents to use social media to benefit their business.

Creating a Profile

“Nothing is growing at the rate of Instagram and IGTV,” said Lemons-Ryhal. The first thing you have to do to capitalize on the growth of the platform is build your profile as a business account rather than a personal account. Creating your account as a business account gives you more control over your content. Additionally, she suggests changing your name to something that is tailored to what you do as a real estate agent. For instance, Lemons-Ryhal uses the name “Real Estate Keynote Speaker.” She does this to appear in more search results.

Three Ways to Post

Lemons-Ryhal then explained the Instagram platform and how you can post on it. There are currently three ways to post on Instagram: posting on the Instagram feed, as an Instagram Story, and on IGTV (Instagram Television).

When posting into the feed, Lemons-Ryhal suggests using the carousel feature so you can post more than one image per post. When using the carousel feature, start with the strongest photo to capture your followers’ attention. When you post a story on Instagram, you can share a highlight to your homepage. The third option is to post to IGTV with longer videos that are between 15 seconds and 10 minutes in length. Lemons-Ryhal suggests posting at least once every 24 hours so that you can continue building your brand exposure.

Think About What You Will Say

Another key point from Lemons-Ryhal’s webinar was that it is very important to talk to people the way they will search for you. Otherwise, they won’t be able to find you. She suggested that you think about what and who you want to attract through your account and then tailor your profile and posts to match. She also 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.

Use Your Location to Your Advantage

According to Lemons-Ryhal, 67 percent of all real estate searches start with location. One thing that Lemons-Ryhal suggests is using the local businesses in your area to connect with Instagram users in your area. When you visit the local business, take a picture and tag the location on the photo. Doing this will allow potential followers to see you, click your profile, and it is all uphill from there.

Use Those Hashtags

Hashtags are incredibly important on Instagram – they make your content more available and easier to find. Lemons-Ryhal suggests using no more than nine hashtags per post, even though Instagram allows up to 30. You should create a document with hashtags that are good for different types of posts so that you are always ready for your next post.

There Are Resources for Your Instagram

Lemons-Ryhal shared many different apps and websites that can help you grow your Instagram presence. She suggests Linktr.ee as a place to hold links for new listings, blog articles, or special articles that you would like to share with your followers. Canva is an easy program to create graphics for Instagram. Repost is also a good program to reshare content that you find on other users’ accounts. Lemons-Ryhal also 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.