Pinterest: The Perfect Tool for Real Estate Marketing
By Bill Gassett
About Inbound Marketing
As an agent myself, I know your life is already busy enough. I get that. I really, really do. But please, do yourself a favor and schedule at least 15 minutes per day to devote to Pinterest. No, not so you can plan your kid’s birthday party, pick out your next wardrobe staple, or even share your latest real estate listing. Do it so you can grow your online presence. With just 15 minutes a day, you can experience increased website traffic, a new client base, and potentially more money in your pocket.
If there was ever a perfect marketing tool for real estate agents, it would surely be Pinterest. Why? Because your ideal client is also Pinterest’s most active user. According to B2C, 83% of Pinterest users are women and 45% of them are between the ages of 35 and 54. Oh, and the average Pinterest user has a six-figure annual household income. So yes, you definitely want to be present where these people are.
Still not convinced? Did you know that the posts on Pinterest have the longest lifespan of any social media site? When you pin something, it is essentially there forever. And thanks to the bulletin-board-esque style of the site, it is very easy for your old pins to be found.
People will continue to pin things they like endlessly. I like to call this the “I told two friends concept.” You pin something, a follower does the same, and then their followers do as well.
Typically, when you share an article on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Linkedin, it will have appeal for a few days and then it will be forgotten. This is not the case with Pinterest!
Now are you ready to hop on board? Great. I would suggest you first read this beginners guide to Pinterest for real estate. There are some excellent tips for agents who are just starting out using Pinterest for real estate marketing, as well as a fantastic video worth watching. Then, follow these tips for maximum success:
Remember the Content
Since Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board, it’s easy to focus on amazing graphics and forget about what happens when someone actually clicks on them. Your image should be viewed like a cover letter: It needs to get the user interested, but if your resume (i.e. content) doesn’t back it up, you just wasted everyone’s time. So get your articles and blogs perfected first. Make sure they draw your audience in and offer some value — then find or create a share-worthy image to go along with it. Just like selling homes, the images you use are critical for getting people to pin them.
Make it Easy to Share
Speaking of images, wouldn’t it be awesome if the visitors to your website could just share your images directly to Pinterest? Well, if you use WordPress, install the Pin It plugin and they can. With the plugin, any image on your pages can display a Pin It button, prompting readers to pin your content with the click of a button. Not only does this encourage sharing, it also allows you to determine which image will be shown if one of your articles is pinned.
Here’s a perfect example of a highly sharable image: Pin away!
Okay, now that you know what to do on your website, let’s talk about how to maximize your actual Pinterest page. As you know, Pinterest is all about the boards you create. Each board should have its own purpose, making it easy for visitors to quickly find exactly what they are seeking. To decide what you should have on your boards, begin by creating a persona for your ideal client. Now, figure out what problems they have and how you can solve them. Seek out what questions they wonder about and answer them. Finally, discover what inspires them and provide it. Here are a few ideas for boards to get you started:
Neighborhoods. Have a board dedicated to each community in which you are hoping to attract clients. This is also a great place to pin your new home listings when they arise.
“Innovation is creativity with a job to do.”
— John Emmerling
General Real Estate. It is critical that you have boards dedicated to consumers who are buying and selling homes. This is where your best real estate articles will be found. Here are 25 additional Pinterest real estate board ideas you can use to get started right away to target potential clients.
Staff. Real estate is a very personal business. You are getting to know your clients inside and out, and they want the same transparency from you. It builds trust and forms solid relationships. So make a board all about you and your team.
Home Living & Improvement. Finally, you need to have several boards dedicated to all things home related. Have one for contemporary design ideas, another for fun ways to incorporate the color blue into any room, and yet another for weekend renovation projects. Homeowners and potential homeowners are obviously your target, so anything that interests them is worth pinning.
Collaborate with Others
One often-underused aspect of Pinterest is the group board. Pinterest real estate group boards work just like the regular boards, except several people can pin to them. So why does this matter? Because when a pin is added, it goes out to all of the followers of all of the contributors to the board. This is an excellent way to increase your visibility tenfold.
However, you have to be careful with whom you collaborate because these shared pins do have a direct reflection on you. Of course, you will want to seek out other respected real estate agents and brands, but you should also partner up with some mom bloggers (or the like) who have a large number of loyal followers. If you are in the real estate industry and think you may want to jump into this right away feel free to join one of the most popular real estate group boards. This is a great group of real estate collaborators who will be happy to share your best articles!
When you post a picture to Pinterest, you have to enter a description. Instead of viewing this as one more thing to do, consider it one more way to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) and garner attention. Compose a description that is keyword-rich, catchy, and includes a hashtag or two. If you can do this successfully, not only will your pins be found easily by Pinterest users, they can actually show up in search engines for competitive keyword search terms. When you are pinning your own content, also make sure you add your website address into the description. You always want to make it easy for your visitors to click over to your website.
Check the Links
You already know that you want your pins to lead to your website when they are clicked, but don’t get in such a hurry that you forget to double-check each one to ensure that it takes the reader exactly where you want it to. But it’s not only your links you need to be checking. Every single time you re-pin something, click through first and see where the pin takes you. Unfortunately, Pinterest has just as many scammers as everyone else, and you don’t want to be a part of it.
Stand Out from the Crowd
What can you do to make your pins stand out from the sea of images on Pinterest? See if you qualify for rich pins. Never heard of them? Rich pins are a way to add extra content to the bottom of your pin to boost its curb appeal. They are available in five categories: article, movie, place, product, and recipe. While you might not have much use for the recipe and movie ones, the place, product, and article rich pins can come in quite handy.
However, the process is not cut and dry. It involves some behind-the-scenes wizardry (i.e. HTML coding) and an application process. You may need to call on a website developer to help you get it done, but it will be worth it. One thing’s for sure — rich pins look awesome! Here is an example of a rich pin taken from my Maximum Real Estate Exposure website. If you notice closely this pin has bold lettering of the title to the article as well as my website.
Finally, you need to interact with your followers. Comment on the pins of others, reply to remarks on your pins, and say “thank you” for a re-pin. Just as with all other social media sites, Pinterest is all about building relationships with your potential clients and fellow agents. Pinterest can be a great real estate social media marketing tool as long as you invest the time. Like anything else, you are only going to get back what you put into it! When used properly, Pinterest can be a great way for a real estate agent to become more visible online.
Want more information on nailing Pinterest for your real estate marketing? Read Using Pinterest as a Valuable Real Estate Social Marketing Tool & 5 Great Accounts.
Published on August 22, 2014
Written by Bill Gassett
Bill Gassett is a Realtor who has served Boston’s metrowest area for 28 years. Gassett has been ranked a top-five RE/MAX agent in Massachusetts in 13 of the last 15 years and ranked among the top 20 RE/MAX agents nationwide. He holds a B.S. in Marketing and Management from Northeastern University.