Instagram is a social media tool that is often overlooked by real estate businesses trying to strengthen their brand, with many utilising Facebook or Twitter instead. However, one principal has proven Instagram can be just as successful, and he has shared his secrets with RPM.
Ray White New Farm, Brisbane, is taking the Instagram real estate industry by storm, recently surpassing 2,000 followers on the social media channel.
Principal Matt Lancashire said he personally thinks Instagram is a great way to share stories that are not too cluttered.
“I have a full-time marketing girl whose full-time focus is on Twitter and Instagram. She does a little bit with Facebook, but not that much; I think Facebook is a dying sort of breed,” he told RPM.
“People think that the more followers you have the better it is, but it has nothing to do with that – it has got to do with engagement.
“We only started our Instagram account nine months ago and we have over 2,000 followers – and nothing has been bought,” he added.
High quality content
Mr Lancashire said the one thing he has discovered is that, unfortunately, real estate agents don’t have a great name in society.
“We are trying to turn that around,” he said. “The marketplace does like success, but they don’t like shameless, self-promotion. So don’t make it about yourself or your business; make it about the community and always use and upload great content.
“We are very mindful of the content we put on – everything has to be very high quality, everything has to be very market-specific.”
Mr Lancashire said the main aim of the firm's Instagram account is to build a platform of local people in its marketplace who share a passion for the same things as the firm does.
“We call it growth through partnership. We are looking to build really strong partnerships with the people, and partnerships with the local businesses in the New Farm area,” he said.
The firm has a photographer who goes around and sends the business one professional photo of a local business each week.
“We sort of push that ‘local is lovely’ element,” he said.
“If you look at the way we have grown, we are not the biggest by followers, but we are actually growing and the people are staying – they are not leaving us, which is a big thing.”
Building a ‘divers’ database
Mr Lancashire said he has spoken to many professionals in the social media space about building a strong base of loyal followers on Instagram.
“When you look at the people and the level of engagement, you have got three types of people that actually look at content,” he said.
“You have got people called the ‘skimmers’, that just skim over the top of it and they don’t actually do anything.
“Then you have the ‘dippers’, which are the ones that will ‘like’ things from time to time.
“Then you have got the ‘divers’, who will go in and comment and they are the ones you really want to build up.
“We are trying to build a following of ‘divers’ and you do that by producing good content and relevant content,” he said.