Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Reels: How to Make a Reel on IG

You’re a realtor. You need to connect with your audience.

And a lot of that audience is on Instagram.

Instagram has 2 billion users. At least some of those people are looking to buy houses. All of them are looking at Instagram Reels.

Below, we’re going to take a look at how to make a “Reel” on Instagram.

What you need to produce Instagram reels

  • A smartphone with a good camera (or a high-resolution tablet)
  • A circle light or other lighting (available on Amazon)
  • A tripod to hold your smartphone steady (optional)
  • An external microphone to make your voice clear (optional)

What is an Instagram Reel?

A “reel” is an ultra-short video, not unlike YouTube Shorts, Vine, or TikTok. Realtors use reels to update people on their lives, highlight listings, and produce market updates.

You can connect Instagram Reels to the Instagram music library. To create Reels, you go through essentially the same process as Instagram stories, but the experience isn’t as ephemeral.

Creating engaging, well-converting Instagram Reels takes some practice. But it doesn’t take much to get started. If you’ve created Instagram Stories, you probably already have all you need.

Source: Instagram

The basics of an Instagram Reel

Instagram Reels are vertical videos that can be up to 90 seconds long. They’re a great tool for getting new eyes on your properties, and their short length makes them easy to produce.

Plus, creators can access many editing tools and an extensive library of trending audio tracks. Instagram has an interest in making these videos inviting and engaging. Viewers are given the content they want to see, and Reels keep playing as long as the client wants to play them.

Instagram Reels are very similar to Instagram Stories. Unlike Instagram Stories, though, Instagram Reels don’t disappear 24 hours after posting. Instagram Reels are available to view on Instagram until the creator deletes them.

Better yet, Instagram’s algorithm loves Reels, which are also featured prominently on Facebook.

How to create and record Instagram Reels

There are two ways to start creating Instagram Reels.

  1. Open the Instagram app and swipe left on the Instagram camera at the bottom of the screen. Once on camera, select “Reel” from the bottom options.
  2. Start at your profile page. Click the plus button on the upper right and select the Reels icon.

From there, it’s just a matter of recording and uploading your video.

But creating an engaging and interesting Instagram reel is about more than just recording.

Source: Instagram

Set the stage for your Instagram Reel

Take a few moments and make sure everything is set up. A cluttered background will make you seem disorganized.

Start with good lighting. The better the light, the better your video will look and sound. You don’t need an expensive studio setup; a circle or ring light can do wonders for your Reel (and it’s not too expensive, either).

Additionally, you may want to invest in a tripod or stand for your smartphone to stay steady and an external microphone to ensure your voice is clear.

Take a test video to determine whether the video quality or the audio is sufficient. You don’t need a completely professional environment. You need something that looks and sounds clean and clear.

Source: Instagram

Write and practice your Reel

Your Reel should have a script or an idea of what you want to discuss. Your script doesn’t need to be Pulitzer Prize-winning material.

Reels are best when they’re short and sweet, so keep it simple. You don’t need to present every single detail about your listings, but you should highlight a couple of important features.

Write down what you want to say and practice it at least once or twice so that your presentation is natural and easy to understand. You could discover that, as you practice, there are things that are more difficult to verbalize than they are to write or read.

Record and upload your clip to Instagram

There are two ways to create a video for a Reel: with a button or hands-free.

  • You can press and hold the record button to capture footage for your Reel.
  • You can set a timer to give yourself time to get into the frame.

Reels can consist of a single clip or several that you edit together. Tapping the record button during recording can end a clip. To start a new one, tap the record button again.

Tapping the button again brings up the “Align” button, which makes it easy to line up your clips visually. This creates seamless transitions and a smoother overall Reel. 

You can also click on your camera’s roll to upload a previous clip or video.

Edit your reel on Instagram

You can post a Reel immediately if you want to. But you’re better off using the built-in editor to add text, music, and other effects. Text, music, and effects will give more information to your audience and improve engagement.

After recording, you can choose a Reel length of 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds to suit your content. Trim clips so that your Reels show just the footage you want to showcase. Adjust speed to dramatically slow your Reel or give it high-speed zing.

You can also change the layout to show more than one recording in the frame. Or edit the audio to use music or voiceover you import from your device or audio clips from Instagram’s music library.

As you become more experienced with Instagram reels, you can consider more advanced features. The internal Instagram editor can create seamless transitions and connect multiple reels.

Add details to your Instagram video

Once your Reel is ready, it’s time to optimize it to bring in the viewers.

  • Edit your Reel cover to showcase either a frame from the video or an image from your camera roll.
  • Add a caption to describe what your viewers are seeing. Pick relevant hashtags that are likely to put your Reel in front of the right audience. 
  • Adding a location to put your Reels in front of people looking for properties in your local market. 
  • If important, showcase your content on Facebook using the Facebook recommendations feature. 

And you can also pay for Instagram marketing for the video clips you want people to see.

Post your Reel to Instagram

Once you are happy with all your settings, all you need to do is post your video clips.

Hit the Share button at the bottom of the screen, and your Reel will go live.

Depending on your settings in the last step, your video clips will be available on your page or Instagram Feed.

Tips for making your Instagram Reels even better

Your Reels don’t need to be perfect, but there are a few tips you can use to ensure they reach the most people and look their best.

Schedule Instagram Reels for the right time

Posting when your likely customers will be online gets your Reels in front of a bigger audience. Reels can be scheduled to appear at any time of the day.

In the Instagram app, you can choose Schedule once your Reel is uploaded and edited. You can also use third-party scheduling apps like Hootsuite to schedule Reels for the future.

Share and market your Instagram Reels

Get more mileage out of your video clips by posting to multiple platforms. Just click the three dots from your posted Reel, then go to Share. You can choose from a list of external apps, then follow the dialog to post. 

You can also download Instagram Reels to post them to other apps directly without using the sharing function. You can use Instagram to edit clips and produce video content if you want to upload video clips to another platform.

Things to avoid in your Reels

While there are few hard and fast rules, successful Instagram Reels generally avoid a few don’ts. 

  • Don’t be too sales-y in your Reel. Instagram Reels are not ads, and people won’t watch ones that are too much like video ads you need to sit through them before getting to the real content.
  • Don’t post extraneous content. Focus on content that your potential customers will find engaging and useful. A luxury realtor can showcase posh living spaces or dramatic views from local properties but probably shouldn’t post their outfits for the day.
  • Don’t stress too much over being creative or unique. At the end of the day, people want to see content that they find enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking.
  • Don’t incorporate any loud sounds. A real estate video isn’t the right place for a jump scare. Many are listening on headphones that can be louder than you think.

As you post more content, you’ll get a better feel for what your audience likes and dislikes.

Do you need special equipment to make an Instagram Reel

You don’t need any special equipment to make an Instagram Reel. But it’s not expensive to get basic equipment, and it can help.

On Amazon, there are a few kits that make it easier to make your video posts:

Most of these devices are less than $100 and will make your life much easier. The quality of your post reels will go up.

Tips for making your Reels even better

There’s no cut-and-dried formula for making post Reels go viral, but some of the most successful Reels have a few things in common.

  • Have fun and explore your creative side. When you create Instagram reels, play with different lighting, subject matter, and composition to see what looks best. Don’t be afraid to be comedic, energetic, or earnest in the content you create. 
  • Be honest and genuine. The more authentic you are, the better you’ll connect with your potential audience.
  • Use on-screen text and subtitles. Since 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off, it’s a good bet that Instagram users are doing the same. Captioning is available in the advanced settings when creating your Reel. It may take a few minutes for the AI to transcribe your audio.
  • Look for trends. Spend some time watching popular Reels to spot trends you can join. Whether it’s a popular hashtag, style, dance, or the song of the summer, jumping on trends can get more eyes on your clip.
  • Add three to five relevant hashtags to each video. This helps put your video in front of people already interested in real estate content like yours. 
  • Develop your niche and focus on your geographic region. While it’s fun to have a universally popular account, viewers in San Francisco don’t help you if all your business is in Dallas.

Finally, consider spending a few dollars on Instagram marketing to get your Reel seen. If you have the budget for it, boosting your Reel is an easy way to increase its visibility in front of potential customers. Instagram marketing is especially useful for those new to developing an Instagram marketing strategy.


Short videos like Instagram Reel let you showcase great properties, expert staging, and real estate tips. Importantly, you can do this without asking for much of your viewers’ time and attention.

Don’t obsess over being too clever. Just be earnest, honest, and clear. You’ll find out what your audience likes over time.

Post regularly to keep your services on top of your audience’s minds–and take the time to find out more about the content that people in your niche find exciting. Over time, you can develop a strong following while having a little fun. For more information, check out my complete Instagram guide.


How do you make an Instagram Reel without posting it?

If you click Download, you can save your Reel on your phone’s camera roll without posting it first. When you are ready to post, go back to your camera roll and reupload.

How do you make Instagram Reels with music?

To make Reels with music, either upload your musical tracks or use trending tracks available in the app. But choose the music carefully. You don’t want anything that will distract from your message.

Can you make a Reel from photos?

Yes, you can also make Reels using still photos. Simply choose the pictures you want, along with transitions and music. This is a great way to showcase something like a listing.

Kyle Handy

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I’ve helped hundreds of real estate agents, team leaders, & brokers all over the country increase their sales, online presence, and create scalable systems. I would love the opportunity to work with you. Together, we can make this year your best yet!

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