Alushta, Russia - December 3, 2014: Woman holding a iPhone 6 Space Gray with social networking service Instagram on the screen. iPhone 6 was created and developed by the Apple inc.

Instagram: I Have An Account, Now What?

One of our most popular CE classes is consistently our “Instagram: I Have An Account, Now What?” class. We all know how important it is to have a presence on social media, but how do you create content, know which hashtags to use and most importantly, connect with buyers and sellers? Our technology trainers Robin Riggs and Annette Carvalho are here to help! Read on for Robin and Annette’s top takeaways from our popular class and visit us at for a full list of upcoming CE classes.

Use Hashtags and Link to your Website

  • Using the “Stair Step” approach, users can spread out hashtags using the Stair step approach (hashtags with lower #’s mean you might be seen more.  So if you did 27 hashtags (which we don’t necessarily recommend) use nine that have 0-50K followers, nine with 50K-100K followers, and nine with 100-250K followers, etc.
  • Make sure to include contact information – including your website – in your Instagram bio.

Connect with your sphere by turning on “Post Notifications”

  • Because Instagram is always changing their algorithmic feed, you may not see everyone that you follow consistently. Make sure to turn on Post Notifications for the accounts that you want to make sure and see.

Use Direct Messages

  • Did you know that you can direct message up to 50 people at a time?

GeoTag your Posts

  • Searching by “Places” is an entire search category on Instagram. Make sure you are using this feature!

Use Instagram Live

  • This is a powerful tool that Instagram is promoting – you will reach more of your audience using Live since Instagram features those videos in a different way.
  • A best practice in using Instagram Live is to promote your live video in advance with email or Facebook. For example: “Catch me LIVE on Instagram Friday at 10am where I will share my 10 biggest tips for getting your home ready for the market.”

For MUCH more on Instagram, social media and other technology trends, sign up for one of our CE classes at

republic title open house

Open House Safety Is Important

In this day and age, safety is of utmost importance as a REALTOR®. Please read this post from MetroTex Association of REALTORS® with some tips on keeping you and your clients safe.

Holding an open house can be an act of faith.  Your seller cleans, declutters, and prepares their home to look its best, hoping at least one of the visitors will fall in love enough to make an offer.  At the same time, open houses are invitations to strangers to walk amoung your clients most prized possessions, often with only a single real estate agent present – and so there are very real security concerns, for agents and homeowners alike.

In North Texas there have been recent reports concerning thefts during and even after open houses.  When you go through the house to make sure all lights are off and the house is in good condition after an open house, remember unscrupulous people have been known to unlock a window with the thought of returning later. After the open house, don’t forget to walk through the house and check every window (even on the second floor), gate, and door to be certain that they’re all locked.

Here are a few other tips to help your clients when showing a home:

Say ‘No’ to drugs

There are so many tales of open house visitors rifling through medicine cabinets and taking a few pills, or even whole bottles. Have your clients remove or put in a locked drawer all prescription drugs from their medicine cabinet, even the ones they might think are harmless.

Control your remotes

Most people don’t think about the extra garage remote they leave dangling from a hook near the back door. It’s small and easy to slip into a pocket, so take it with you when you leave for the open house.

File this under ‘Lock & Key’

Identity theft is real and should be taken seriously.  Advise your clients to use a safe or lockable filing cabinet for important documents: birth and marriage certificates, financial statements, basically any legal, medical, or personal information they don’t want falling into someone else’s hands.