A Realtor’s Guide to IGTV, Reels, and Instagram Stories

According to the National Association of REALTORS, in 2018, 77% of real estate agents used social media. Facebook was by far the most popular platform, followed by LinkedIn and Instagram. It’s been two years since that study came out, and the number of real estate agents using social media has likely risen. Each social media platform has changed drastically since NAR wrote that study. Algorithms change, new features are released, and even new social media platforms have entered the market. In a Pew Research report, most people under 30 say they use Instagram (73%) every day. As younger homebuyers enter the market, it’ll be more important to reach out to them on platforms they frequently use. 

Social media on every platform (Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.) is becoming more video-centric; Instagram is no exception. The platform has proved itself with IGTV, Stories, and Reels. But what’s the purpose of each, and how can they help realtors improve their social media marketing?

What’s the difference?

The first feature of the three Instagram launched was Instagram Stories in 2016. It’s a feature that allows users to take photos or videos, add effects, text, etc. and add them to their Instagram Story. Anything added to a user’s Story is temporary and expires after 24 hours.

Next, Instagram released IGTV in June 2018. It’s not only a feature within the Instagram app, but it’s also a stand-alone app. This feature allows for longer video uploads (up to 1 hour when uploaded via desktop).

Instagram debuted its Reels tool in August 2020 in the United States. Reels are short, entertaining videos on Instagram. This feature is used to record and edit 15-30 second clips with audio, effects, etc. 

Simply put, each Instagram feature reflects another platform already out there. Reels is essentially a copycat of TikTok, IGTV is the YouTube of Instagram, and Stories are Instagram’s response to Snapchat.

3 Ways to use IGTV for realtors

Q&A Sessions

A Question and Answer session with your followers can be a great way to answer any questions they might have about real estate. Make a post on your Instagram feed and Story to promote the Q&A session beforehand to gauge your audience for questions. 

Q&As can prove to be an excellent opportunity to showcase your leadership and knowledge in the industry. If future clients have questions, they know they can come to you for answers and guidance.

Upload Your Virtual Tour Videos

Most virtual tour videos are typically longer than 1 minute. This type of long-form video works perfectly on IGTV and can be a great way to show your listing easily to your audience. Daniela Pagani (@daniela.pagani.chicago) uses IGTV to upload her listings’ drone tours.


Indoor Drone Tours gives clients a branded and unbranded video file of their drone tour. Realtors can upload these tours anywhere (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) As long as the drone tour is longer than a minute, you can easily upload it to IGTV via mobile or web.

Create a Video Series

If you have many different ideas for creating content on IGTV, separating videos into series is a great way to keep things organized and easy to find for your viewers. You could create a series showcasing different listings or a series on Open Houses. Like one of the above examples, you could create a series specifically for Q&A sessions. The possibilities are endless!

Indoor Drone Tours posts their virtual tours on IGTV and separates them into different series depending on the tour’s content. If you’re looking for Luxury Drone Tours but don’t want to sift through dozens of videos, you can select the “Luxury Drone Tours” Series at the top to filter those videos. 

3 Ways to use Stories for Realtors

A lot has changed since Instagram Stories was first released on the platform. Nowadays, you can add music, polls, stickers, and more directly within the app! Instagram Stories attracts more than 500 million users daily, so jumping in on the action is a great way to build your community. Even though Stories are temporary when posted, you can later add them to your Instagram Stories Highlights and have them live permanently on your profile. Highlights are great for showing the ‘best of’ your Stories.

Provide Market Updates

Many home buyers or sellers might not know the right time to buy or sell real estate. Use your expertise! This can be an opportunity to fill in the education gap. Use your Instagram Stories to provide valuable market information. You can talk through articles, show infographics, etc. This Instagram Story doesn’t have to be a well-designed template or curated video. You can simply record the video in-app and upload it directly to Instagram Stories.


Stories can be great for making quick, short announcements that you might not want to post directly within the feed. You could announce a new member joining your team, a listing that just closed, a new listing, and general updates.


Instagram encourages users to use their in-app features within Instagram Stories; You can use the location sticker, polls, questions, quiz, hashtag, countdown, etc., to create Stories that directly ask for engagement. The more users interact with your Instagram content (Whether it’s on the Instagram Feed or Stories), the more likely they’ll see your future content.

One prominent example you could use within Stories is Polls. It’s a great way to engage your viewers while also giving a sneak peek from your current listings. You could ask your followers which tile they prefer in a bathroom or compare two different outdoor spaces in a listing. The possibilities are endless!


3 Ways to use Reels for Realtors

As the newest addition to Instagram’s platform, Reels is gaining a lot of traction within its first year. If other agents aren’t using Instagram Reels yet, this is your chance to get ahead of the competition and take advantage of this new feature. Reels truly fills the gap between Instagram Stories and IGTV: they feel less formal than IGTV, and are also more permanent than IG Stories. At the time of writing (April 2021), they say Instagram Reels is best for improving your algorithm within the app. Since it’s their newest feature, Instagram wants users to watch and create Reels. Instagram has confirmed it’s prioritizing “entertaining, funny, and interesting content.” 

Create Short, Fun Content

Short-form video content is perfect for showing the fun side of a brand. Being relatable is key to growing your audience on social media. Many realtors use Reels to create funny content that’s relevant within the industry. @leighmarcuschicago follows trends on Reels and uploads content with approachable realtor humor.


Even going behind the scenes can be a fun way to build transparency in your brand. Social media gives a very curated look into the highlights of one’s life or business. Showing some light-hearted Behind the Scenes content can feel authentic and relatable. Some ideas for Behind the Scenes content could be giving a tour of your office space, showing how you stage a home, getting ready for an open house, or even showing how you film your social media content like @saernorealestate:


Short Videos of Listings

While you can use IGTV to upload a full drone tour, you can utilize Reels to upload short highlights. Jason Rowland of the Rowland Group (@rowlandgroup) uses Reels to do precisely this with his Indoor Drone Tours videos


By uploading a shorter version of a drone tour, you can focus on the best parts of a new listing. You can use on-screen text to highlight the best facts of the home (In-ground pool, luxury fixtures, proximity to public transit, etc). You could also pair the Reel video to a song that’s trending on the platform to help the post gain more visibility.  

Tips and Tricks

Short videos are an easy way to show your expertise in a fun, exciting way. If you have terrific DIY tricks up your sleeve or home decor tips, share them on an Instagram Reel! Do you service a particular neighborhood and know the ins and outs of the area? You could do short, key neighborhood spotlights of your favorite places.

Instagram Reels is still new. Now is the best time to experiment and try out different types of content to see what works for you. 

Whether it’s IGTV, Reels, or Stories, every Instagram feature offers various ways to engage your audience. Don’t be afraid to play around with each feature and see what kind of content clicks with your followers.