Let me just start by assuring you I will not waste your time with this content by covering what has already been written hundreds of times before.
This is a Pinterest guide specifically for Real Estate and especially for 2016.
I have read well over 100 articles that tell me how to sign up to Pinterest and how to add a Pinterest button onto my web browser, or even perhaps advising me to use Canva. If that is what you need to know then it is very readily available all over the internet.
I have also found that a large number of the top Pinterest guides written are from 2012 and 2013. They mention requesting an invite to join Pinterest. Allow me to bring this guide very much up to date.
I will briefly discuss the benefits of Pinterest for the real estate market. Then take you through how you can utilise this platform to generate free real estate marketing and home buying leads.
Better still, I will discuss how you can do this in as little time as a coffee break; and only once per day.
The Benefits of Pinterest and the relation to Real Estate
First of all brands and businesses are very much welcome by the Pinterest audience, there is a caveat with regards to overplaying this role which I will come to later.
A study found that over 80% of Pinterest users were happier to follow a brand than a celebrity.
Think of it in terms of brands are more likely to offer useful ideas and tips than a celebrity would. So while twitter followers would rather see what their favourite pop star is interested in or doing; Pinterest users may be more interested in a life hack or a cooking tip for example.
Pinterest users actually want you to reach them with practical or innovative advice and tips.
Things that you pin tend to have a longer life cycle in terms of exposure, than a tweet or a Facebook status. I wouldn’t expect to very often share a status or retweet something from 6 months ago. However the life cycle of a pin has huge potential, it’s amazing how far it can go in that period of time.
So in relation to real estate, when done smartly (which we will cover) this can drive traffic to a specific property listing. This may not necessarily be in the form of a potential buyer either, but it could likely get there. Many of your followers may not be in the market for a home, but they may well know someone else who is. The listing can be passed on, whilst gaining a lot of exposure.
You will be generating traffic to your site, increasing your brand awareness and potentially putting a property listing in front of a potential buyer, all for free.
It will be hard to know exactly how many homes you sell online via this form of marketing, however it can be a fantastic way of generating warm leads at the very least.
You do have time to do this
If you have read this and thought that you simply have enough on your plate already, without trying to juggle Pinterest as well; then let me allay that fear.
If you have never used Pinterest before in your life, then you can set up an account and be comfortable using it within one hour. Seriously!
Anyone that already uses it will likely verify that. One hour will not an expert make, however you will be comfortable enough to fully use Pinterest.
To fully set up your page, initially it may take you a good few hours. However this is a one off task.
To maintain and run your Pinterest account whilst generating leads and receiving brand exposure, you can do this in as little as 20 minutes; once per day.
This is enough input to keep your audience engaged and for you to be interacting. Setting up a new property listing (which should not be a daily occurrence, but I’ll get to that) will take you minutes.
That’s it, sparing 20 minutes per day when done correctly, can have a really positive impact on your business. Call it a very useful way of procrastinating if you will.
There are two main considerations to ensure you differentiate yourself.
Firstly other real estate companies or agents may not be using Pinterest at all. By doing so you are opening yourself up to a larger and potentially more engaged audience.
Secondly and most importantly, do not just look to do the same as others. I have seen a number of real estate agents on Pinterest and indeed Facebook (I will not name and shame) that simply have listing after listing of properties for sale. They are not providing anything else of any value or interest to their audience.
Their followers tend not to follow for too long.
I will get onto exactly what I would include but I do love this quote from Bob Gilbreath, and I think it is very apt.
“You’ve got to err on the side of great content…..You’re not forcing a brand down someone’s throat.”
One other element of appearing to stand out is to consider creating a board about you. Allowing your personality to come out can be a way of further interacting with others and allowing them to see past just the real estate agent.
Examples of things to include in this about me board could be hobbies, interests or favourite places. What are your loves and passions? For example if you are a passionate runner or enjoy going to the theatre, this could help you connect immediately with a like-minded individual looking for properties.
I really don’t think it hurts to show your human side, especially on social media. So within this board be sure to have an image of yourself, ideally a headshot so that there is a trusted face to put to the name.
In just a moment I will cover what content to include within your real estate board. However other than signing up, I want to take you through this process step by step; let me cover how to go about organising or getting started within Pinterest.
First things first, ensure you have a repin option on your website. So that anyone enjoying your content can easily share that on their own Pinterest account. If your content is of good quality, then there’s every chance it will gain some social shares.
Another thing to always remember with Pinterest is that a lot of the audience are primarily interested in a few key topics. There are obviously branches from these areas but they include fashion, food, holidays and DIY. So why is this relevant to real estate you may ask?
It is incredibly relevant. For example you could relate back to these key topics through various pin boards which I am about to cover. As an example you could link a real estate listing with a walk in wardrobe to fashion. Or perhaps a gorgeous kitchen to food; or maybe a themed interior to a style of a specific country.
Hopefully this has got you thinking a little, but let me jump in with further details here.
What to include?
Next you should set up some Pinterest Boards on your account. For anyone without a Pinterest account previously or with very few boards, I would recommend setting up an initial 10 boards. Be aware that it is important to not just pin your own content.
I would look to use other people’s content to create these initial boards. I tend to pin images or articles that I feel customers or colleagues may like. This can help you avoid being seen as merely a spammer.
I look at it in this way, if the image is unlikely to excite or inspire me, then that is how others are likely to see it also. It is ok to allow your personality to come across, rather than being just a real estate bot.
Firstly you need to create a new board (if you already have Pinterest in place then still stick with me as there may be useful information for you too here) and you will have to fill out some details.
Choose a name for the board which is relevant to the theme, and ensure you include relevant keywords and hashtags within your description, these may be crucial for anyone searching for relevant boards. Then thirdly choose a category. People should be able to see exactly what your board is about without them having to click through to the site.
You can do this by using the search bar at the top of Pinterest to find some related categories. Then if you find articles that you feel suit what you would like others to see, you can pin these articles to a new board. Let’s for arguments sake you wish to create a real estate board. You could search real estate then click on any article you like the look of. In the top corner you will see a red search pin. Then you can either pin it to a new board, or one you have already created. In this case it would be the real estate board.
Once you have done this a few times, your board may start looking a little something like this:
To act as some inspiration, these are some ideas of the types of boards you could create by pinning other peoples content:
- Interior design
- Mortgage advice / information
- Real estate photography
- Home staging
- Home improvements
- Home selling tips
- Luxury kitchens
- Dream outdoor spaces
- Design styles
- Office spaces
- Relaxation areas
- Kids bedroom ideas
The list is endless but I’m sure you get the idea. We are looking to widen our horizon from just real estate, into other related topics. You can create a lot of boards within your account.
This can show anyone who wishes to follow you that you are committed to providing useful information, rather than just sales pitches.
With regards to appealing to a wider audience, I would recommend creating a specific board for sellers also. Include things that the homeowner can do to help their property sell. Things like:
- Curb appeal recommendations
- Renovation ideas
- Home staging advice
- Lighting idea
- De-cluttering options
This can help you be seen as an authoritative resource within the Pinterest real estate community, rather than just a salesperson.
However it is very relevant to this article, to discuss how we can go about generating leads for a single property listing.
My strategy is to create a board for a specific area. This board should be extremely relevant and updated regularly to keep it fresh and at the forefront of the Pinterest audience.
It should include local attractions, places of interest, restaurants and cafes etc. All things that would add to the appeal and draw of an area; as well as general information about the neighbourhood. You can create some really beautiful boards like this. The idea here is that you are showcasing the area, and highlighting the social aspects can be a great way to go about it.
I would even consider exclusivity as another option to highlight. Is there anything that really stands out that you should incorporate? Do celebrities live near? Is the area famous for any reason? Perhaps part of a film was recorded there? Look at the area with fresh eyes to highlight all of the important features.
You could also consider sub categories within this structure. Such as ‘Best schools in …..’, or ‘places to visit in …..’, ‘best places to eat in …..’ or maybe ‘best clothes boutiques in ….’
You get the idea right; your imagination is your only obstacle here. It is also wise to relate back to the big 3 categories which we discussed earlier too. This will help broaden the appeal of your boards.
Think of the people who would like or follow this board. It would not have anything to do with real estate prospects if you market it as a local area board. By keeping it up to date and contributing to it regularly then it will likely gain a local following.
You could then ‘sprinkle’ real estate listings in every now and again. This won’t be considered as spammy because of the other content that is contained within the board, the fact is that real value has been provided.
You may not put your new home listing straight into the eyes of someone who wishes to purchase a property. However they may well know someone who does. I would also let the homeowner know of the listing and they themselves could pin it and encourage their friends to do likewise.
This could mean the listing picks up traction quicker, and ends up in front of a truly interested party. With the information provided on Pinterest, this could very well become a warm lead.
I would strongly urge you to consider the possible outreach created from this form of marketing. How many leads could be generated from this technique, which is entirely free of cost?
It really feels like a no brainer to me.
I would also create a unique board for every property listing you have. If you make the title and description clear, then people will know exactly what it is, and can choose whether or not they wish to view what you are showcasing.
Example of an appealing area pin
The Corcoran group display that area boards extremely well in my opinion. It is also very easy to replicate, but I feel they really stand out.
Simply by having the area name over the image makes it very easy to spot amongst other pins out there.
By simply selecting Pinterest Graphic from the https://www.canva.com/ options, you can create a similar effect image in as little as a minute.
This little touch really is incredibly simple, but one I feel is effective.
I recently read that Pinterest is considered to be a ‘seasonal beast’.
I really like that analogy and it’s rather accurate.
Stay on trend with the boards that you create. With regards to real estate this could be in the form of winter decorations or Christmas ideas; or perhaps ways to accentuate your garden in summer. Whatever the season make your content stay on topic so that your audience remains engaged.
This also applies to how often you should use Pinterest. I recommend trying to use and pin items at least 4 or 5 times per week. This could be done in as little as 10 minutes per day (ideally 20) but it can pay dividends in terms of your audience engagement.
For some inspiration and ideas then I would strongly recommend having a look at Bill Gassett on Pinterest https://uk.pinterest.com/massrealty/. What I really like about Bill is that he contributes a lot to the real estate community. He provides a ton of value to his audience, the majority of which is actionable and relevant information. It is then no surprise that his followers have reached almost 13,000.
He is someone that really understands how to use Pinterest to its full ability and I think it’s fair to pass on credit where it’s due.
However there is no reason at all that you cannot use his model in your own way. His followers have grown due to his regular engagement, and the level of value that he provides.
Do not look at this as a benchmark to success; instead view it as a target to surpass. It is no fluke he is where he is, but you can get there too.
By investing some time daily into the Pinterest side of your business and contributing positively, then your pins could be just as successful as his.
That does not mean to say it is easy, but the concept is simple. Provide great content, regularly; to reap the rewards.
One of the best ways to gain followers is by following others. Initially you could aim to follow 10 – 15 people per day. This will give you traction and give those people an opportunity to follow you back.
By liking other people’s images and commenting on their posts, is another way of generating more interest in your own pins.
As an extremely simple rule, the more active and engaging you are, the more likely you are to receive likes, comments and followers in return. So don’t be shy 🙂
A top way of gaining more influence and a larger audience is to seek out and join a ‘group Pinterest board’. These are often followed by thousands of people. By pinning your own quality content here, it puts it into the view of a great audience. Then the potential for repins really takes off.
I would add a note of caution, do not request to join until you have proved to be offering value to an audience. For example if I had no followers and no boards, my request to join is almost certainly likely to be rejected.
Secondly once you are accepted then only pin interesting articles or images. You can be removed for posting real estate listings and the like. Make the most of your opportunity in a large group.
This is a great group to join initially https://uk.pinterest.com/massrealty/pinterest-real-estate-group-board/
As you can see there are over 9,000 followers but only 267 contributors.
If you request an invite and indeed receive it, it does open the door to much more potential for your Pinterest endeavours.
I would look out for other similar boards too.
Pinterest can also be a fantastic way of shouting about and inviting people to events. If there is an open house you are hosting then advertise it for free.
You can post an invitation to generate interest in the event. As well as posting photos and videos. Even encourage others to pin their own photos to the board to attract greater interaction.
Or perhaps you wish to think outside of the box and host a home staging workshop or a guide to buying a home talk. There would likely be many interested parties that would like to attend. You can use your expertise to showcase your knowledge and likely pick up warm leads (and a reputation boost) in the process.
Many overlook the possibility of using the platform for the use of invitations, so if it is applicable to you then go ahead and try it.
This is incredibly simple and something you really should include in your Pinterest strategy if you do not already.
I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I have spent playing with this for many industries, not just real estate. If you are aware of it, hopefully this is a reminder to continue to use it, or if not; this could well be a content game changer.
If you type the following into your web browser:
Pinterest.com/source/www.YOURDOMAIN.com (replace ‘yourdomain’ with a chosen URL)
Then you will see the most popular pins relating to that source. This will provide you with a potential goldmine of content and headline ideas to use on your own content.
Let’s take this away from real estate for one moment and just look at internet marketing in general. If I search using viperchill.com as our example, so pinterest.com/source/www.viperchill.com. These are the results I see:
It shows me what articles Pinterest user’s value most about the ViperChill blog.
I can then understand what content people in the Internet marketing niche are interested in.
So let’s focus this back on real estate specifically. You can type your own domain in to see what people have appreciated about your work, or use a competitor’s domain here. What has been shared the most and why is that. It makes it much easier to understand the type of valuable content that your audience craves, appreciates and ultimately pins.
Just consider the reach of the initial article due to these pins.
This simple hack is something I really would recommend using, whether that is for a local competitor, or for a larger company. In the US you may search for
Or maybe for the UK you may search for
The idea is to provide inspiration for your own great content, which in turn could deliver some great social shares and traffic to your site.
So if you aren’t using this little tip, or haven’t done in a while; then do so; and let please let me know how it goes.
Have a play around with various URLs for your next source of inspiration.
Let’s round this up
Always consider that Pinterest, like other social media outlets is a tool to grow your business. It is a format with which you can engage your followers, build your brand and gain a positive reputation.
Quality content will allow you to be seen as a real estate expert. Posting listing after listing without providing value will not.
Building relationships with your followers and visitors can lead to positive business interactions or recommendations in the future.
Remember to make your pins visual. They may only have a few seconds to make an impact, so make this count to get your content noticed.
I would also consider experimenting with the image sizes of your pins. Landscape pins tend to be less favoured over portrait and vertical pins.
See which sizes work best and gain the most interaction for you, to find your own sweet spot.
Perhaps try 735 x 1,200 pixels as a starting point. Once you have found your ideal size then you can repeat that over and over.
It is not essential to getting started, but do find the time play around with Rich Pins for your own Pinterest. They can provide extra information on the pin itself.
They can also become a nice aid in terms of acting as a conversion tool, encouraging people to click through your pins.
Once again there is a very simple guide available to take you through this process https://business.pinterest.com/en/rich-pins.
If you don’t have it already then upgrade your Pinterest page to a business account. This allows you to use analytics which are extremely useful when understanding who views your content and how they react.
There is a full guide available here https://business.pinterest.com/en/pinterest-analytics to get you started.
As a gentle reminder, as I have seen this happen before; remember to put your contact details on your content. You can write a great piece, or create a fantastic board, perhaps even a property listing; but without your details included, no one will contact you.
I have genuinely witnessed a wonderful property listing displayed and an invite, with contact details missing. It is such a simple and obvious thing, that it appears to somehow get overlooked.
So don’t do it, ever 😉
Do not forget also to advertise your Pinterest account on your website, blog or other social platforms. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you.
Remember that great quality content is so much more powerful that a great quantity of content. The highest quality pins will find themselves at the top of the results; and will likely stay there as long as the interaction of repins is in place.
Thank you ever so much for reading, and Happy Pinning!
If you would like any further details or have any questions then feel free to contact via email