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3 Reasons REALTORS® Need Pinterest (And how not to ruin it for everyone else)

March 12 2012

pinterest logo1Okay. I’ve said this 1,000 times since I’ve started blogging about Real Estate Marketing. Get ready for it, I’m going to say it again:

Social Media is not going anywhere. Whether you want to admit it or not, Real Estate is a SOCIAL business. Therefore, if you are not on the social media bandwagon, you are missing out on opportunities.

There.  I said it again. I can now get off my soap box. Well, at least a little bit. You see, today I am going to give you three very good reasons you should have a presence on Pinterest (if you don’t already). Besides that though, I’m going to show you SPECIFIC things you can do to build out your profile effectively, AND ways to keep from “ruining it” for everyone else (anyone remember what happened with Facebook?)

Why the heck should I sign up for ANOTHER social media site anyways?
This is a very valid question.  After all, there are FacebookFacebook, LinkedInLinkedIn, TwitterTwitter, Google+Google+, and NOW Pinterest? When is this going to stop? I totally understand your hesitancy to jump into something else. There are only so many hours in the day, and where are you possibly going to find the time to fit another social media effort into your busy schedule?

I have good news though, Pinterest is actually an easy social media website to use passively. In fact, I would venture to say that to date, Pinterest is THE most blessedly simple to use social media web service, in a passive setting, bar none.  Here’s why:

1) Pinterest is the EASIEST site to use-
http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/

pin it button

If you go to the link detailed above, you can quickly, and easily download a “pin it” tool that will be displayed right on the toolbar of your web browser.  What does this mean? It means that you NEVER actually have to go to Pinterest. When you see something on the web, that you want to add to your Pinterest Page (e.g. a new listing, a beautiful home interior, a neighborhood website, local restaurant review, etc.), you can do it in seconds, without leaving what you are doing. Never has a social media site been so easy to use. In fact, you could almost say that after you set up your account on Pinterest, this site really requires ZERO effort on your part. You just occasionally pin something you find interesting, in your normal, day to day web browsing travels.

Okay, let’s just say I believe you about the ease of use thing. Why though, does my Real Estate Practice need to include a strategy for Pinterest?
In the beginning of this article, I promised I was going to give you three very valid reasons you need to include Pinterest in your social media strategies.  I’ve never promised something and steered you wrong before, right? I gave you one, but owe you two more.  Okay, so in order of importance (at least in my opinion), here are two more reasons you cannot ignore Pinterest when marketing your Real Estate Practice:

2) It’s all in the demographics-
This is actually the most important reason and it’s going to be the easiest to explain.  Simply put, Pinterest has the target demographic you need. If you do a quick google search on “Pinterest User Demographics”, you’ll get hundreds of results back that perfectly illustrate my point.  Basically, the heaviest users of Pinterest are Women. Depending on what report you read, and what scoring index that report is using, Women are between 57 and 97 percent of all the users on Pinterest.

Not only that, the website has been dubbed everything from “Digital Crack For Women”, to “Tumblr for Ladiez”.

Why is this an important statistic that can’t be ignored? Simple. In any home buying transaction, who is the most important influencer in the decision on whether to buy a home or not? If you said “The Wife”, give yourself a gold star and a pat on the back. It’s true. Women are the most important influencers in a Real Estate transaction. So why not go to where the influencers are?

3) Pinterest Actually “Allows You” To Be An Expert In Your Marketplace
Again, to touch back on the idea that “Real Estate actually “is” a social business”, think of taking that and then merging with it the idea that a platform like Pinterest allows you to demonstrate and share you knowledge of the local area, it’s unique features and why it’s the perfect place to live.
corcoran RE Homepage

To illustrate this, I want to use the efforts of a Real Estate company on the East Coast called Corcoran GroupCorcoran Group. Simply put, these guys just “get it”. They have put together an amazing presence on Pinterest that not only showcases their listings, but also the uniqueness of the marketplaces they specialize in, as well as some beautiful homes and things you would want to put in them.

corcoran pinterest main

If you take a look at their Pinterest page you will see that they have much more than “just listings”.  They have pin boards devoted to design and style, local food, lifestyle and information on their marketplace. In other words, they are giving a tour of their marketplace and the lifestyle of living in New York or Florida.  It’s no wonder that the slogan under their logo on their website is “Live Who You Are”.

The Corcoran Group has a unified, consistent brand image and direction. Perfect execution. Think of all the ways you could utilize this.  What would you do? You could feature bios about you and your colleagues, events and activities in your marketplace, art, lifestyle & cultural events, and even the amazing cuisine and shopping, in proximity to where you sell homes.

spaces kitchens dining

Even though this Pinterest set up is almost perfect, there is one thing you want to be careful of, whenever you are pinning things you find on the internet.  In all instances, whenever you pin anything, you ALWAYS want to pin directly to the site that has the images or content on it.  In other words, DO NOT link to a google image search or search page results.

This particular page on the Corcoran Group’s site shows what I mean. A couple of the images are actually linked back to Google.  That means if a visitor clicks on the image and then wants to click back to the site it came from, they can’t.  They’ll simply get stuck on Google.

So be a good citizen and put a link directly to the content you like, giving your “find”, referral link credit for SEO and Search Engines.


One Final Note – How To Keep From Ruining Pinterest-

One final note I would like to leave you with, has to do with the “Do’s and Don’ts” of Pinterest.  I mention these simply because if you remember when Facebook burst onto the scene, many REALTORS® unfortunately went about marketing themselves all the wrong ways, leading many to feel that they “ruined facebook”.

Now while I don’t necessarily 100% agree with that feeling, there are definitely some best practices, when it comes to Pinterest, that you should follow:

Things you SHOULD do:

• Use common sense
• Pin your blog posts
• Pin things you are passionate about
• Make your pins 80% personal, 20% business / real estate related
• Be Social! (Duh) Add comments and likes to others Pinterest pages

Things you SHOULD NOT do:

• Do not only pin your listings
• Do not make Pinterest only about your business
• DO NOT SPAM
• Do not spend all day pinning everything you come across online
• Do not broadcast everything you pin on Facebook and Twitter

For more tips on proper etiquette on Pinterest, you can always refer to their handy reference page: http://pinterest.com/about/etiquette/

I hope you have found this article helpful.  If you want to get involved in the Pinterest Universe, but don’t have time, or simply don’t want to do it yourself, our staff is tooled to actually help you accomplish your goals, easily, with hardly any interaction on your part.

If you are interested in taking the challenge and building out a Pinterest profile on your own, but would like some more pointers, you are also in luck. We are going to be having 2-3 webinar / workshops about Pinterest that go through best practices, demonstration of some great profiles, and the actual set up and building of your account. If you are interested in being a part of these workshops, please contact us today.

Either way, we are here to help you, anytime, with anything we can, to help you build your Real Estate Practice.