With more than 125 million users in the U.S. alone, Pinterest is an ideal social media platform for Realtors. Of course, it’s not just size alone that makes Pinterest so great for real estate marketers. More than 90% of active Pinterest users report using the platform to help in their purchase planning process.
Knowing this, we were very curious about our experts’ thoughts on Pinterest marketing for real estate agents. We put out the call for the best Pinterest real estate marketing ideas, and heard from experts all across the digital marketing space. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Create Pinterest Boards Around Topics Your Potential Home Buyers and Sellers Are Interested In
Most agents’ first mistake when it comes to Pinterest is that they put it in the same category as Facebook or Instagram. Pinterest is its own animal, and needs to be treated as such. People use Pinterest as a visual search engine. Even better, they save the ideas they search for to reference later. Here’s social media expert, Heather Farris, to help explain:
“One of the biggest myths about Pinterest is that it’s just recipes and craft projects, a social media platform for DIYers. It is far from that; Pinterest is a search engine. Pinterest’s own research shows that nearly 90% of pinners use Pinterest at some point to help with their buying decisions. Realtors can capitalize on this by creating boards around topics that their potential home buyers and sellers are going to be looking for. Pinterest can help Realtors establish an authoritative voice in the field and a reputation for knowledge and resource, all things that a home buyer or seller would consider extremely important.
2. Be a Part of the Social Community
When we decided to put together an article of Pinterest marketing tips, we figured our sources would be marketing professionals only…until Bill Gassett sent us a note. Bill is a rockstar Realtor with RE/MAX, and just happens to be the most influential Realtor on Pinterest today. Here’s what he had to say about how being social can help you grow your audience and get more leads on Pinterest:
“Pinterest is a visual search engine, but it is also a social media platform. In order to be successful here, you need to be social. Don’t just create content and expect others to do the work for you. Interact with other people’s content, share it, be a part of the community. If all you do is promote yourself, you will fail to grow on this site.
Bill’s Bonus Tip: “Also, I strongly suggest setting a schedule for pinning. I pin at least a few times a day; morning, midday and a couple of times between 7p and 10p. Pinterest audiences are very active in the evening, so make a plan to be active then too.”
3. Reach the Right Audience With Hashtags
Just like on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, hashtags help create conversation across the platform, across users, and on Pinterest, across boards. Effectively using hashtags gets your content in front of a much wider audience, an audience that is interested in what you have to add to the conversation. We spoke to Daniela Andreevska, Marketing Director and Pinterest guru with Mashvisor, here’s what she had to say:
“Similar to other social platforms, using hashtags on Pinterest is a must. Hashtags make your content easier to find and navigate to. Do the research to figure out what the most popular hashtags are for real estate, and for your particular geographic area. An easy way to start this research is to look at what other real estate professionals in the area are using.
Each of your posts (pins) should have at least 3 hashtags that are popular in the industry and relate well to your image. Don’t go overboard though, any more than 10 hashtags and your posts will start to look like spam.”
4. Create Evergreen Content
According to a study done by digital marketing company, Epipheo, the average life of a Tweet is about 18 minutes. Facebook is a little better, you get about two and a half hours of influence there. Posts on these platforms have to be ultra current and timely, but that’s not the case on Pinterest.
On Pinterest, an average post gets engagement over a year after its been posted, making it vital that the things you post today are going to be just as relevant and interesting tomorrow, next week, and next year.
We heard more about this from International Marketer, Nicole Gustas:
“It can take anywhere from several weeks to a couple of months before a Pin starts getting traffic. Because of this long tail, Pinterest isn’t ideal for posting about your open house this weekend, or even about specific listings.
For example, a Los Angeles real estate agent will be more successful on Pinterest by creating pins for blog posts like “10 Up and Coming Neighborhoods in LA You’ve Never Heard Of” or “The 10 Hottest New Loft Buildings in Downtown LA”, rather than something about a specific house in a particular neighborhood that is for sale at a particular time.
Pinterest content needs to be relatively evergreen – something that would still be relevant to users a year from now.”
5. Make Your Branding Ultra Consistent
As great as a visual search engine is, its easy to get lost in a sea of images, especially if everybody’s pins are starting to look the same. A strict style guide is so important; your fans need to be able to recognize your pins if you want them to keep looking for them. We talked to Bradley Shaw, an expert in SEO (seriously, when you Google “SEO Expert”, he is the first organic search result) about the importance of consistency across your brand, and how that affects your brand visibility:
“Pinterest has a famously crowded version of the newsfeed, so real estate agents who want to stand out need to get consistent with their visual branding. Your pins should be immediately recognizable in terms of fonts, messaging, tone, and color scheme.
One simple branding touch that works well on visual platforms like Pinterest is to add a small logo or watermark to the bottom of all your pins. Keep it discreet, keep it understated, you don’t want it to take away from your message, but you do want to remind people where this quality content is coming from.”
6. Don’t Forget About Group Board Participation
We couldn’t write a list of social wisdom without turning to our very own digital shaman Lily Stern. Lily runs all things social for The Close, and has helped us find entirely new audiences on Pinterest. She told us:
“Many new pinners will focus on just building their own boards, and while building your brand is great, so is engaging with the community and reaching new audiences. There’s no better way to do this than with Pinterest group boards.
You can join existing ones dedicated to broader topics like real estate or more targeted ones, such as specific listings in southern Florida. Request to become a member on these boards and reach new prospects by sharing relevant content that the existing followers of that board won’t be able to resist clicking on!
Pinterest is first and foremost a community, and tapping into the followers of community spaces is an essential way to become successful on the platform. Group boards are the perfect place to connect with new audiences.
By the way, make sure to follow The Close on Pinterest!”
7. Your Pinterest Strategy Needs to Be a Year Long, Not a Week
Because of what we know about other social media platforms, it’s tempting to take your strategy a week at a time. And, you can do that on Facebook or Twitter or even Instagram, because the lifespans of those posts are so short, most people will forget about what you said in a day or two anyway. However, on Pinterest, posts live for SO LONG, you need to make sure your strategy and message are consistent all the way through. Here’s what Amanda Behm, real estate efficiency expert, and founder of Real Estate Digital Assist had to say:
“Long lasting Pinterest success depends on more than just a couple of pins here and there; it requires an overall strategy. First of all, remember all the things that makes something successful on Google: Clickable, captioned correctly, linked appropriately. Combine these with an image that draws someone in, you have the start to your successful strategy on this visual search engine! Set up an optimized pinning schedule and start creating your pin images, you’ll be reaping the rewards next year.”
8. Women Are Your Audience, Plan Accordingly
It’s no secret to marketers that Pinterest’s user base is dominated by women. Studies done by Omnicore tell us that upwards of 81% of active Pinterest users are women, so make sure you account for that when you are planning your content. Mae Karwowski, Founder and CEO of the influencer marketing agency, Obviously, told us:
“When crafting your content, make sure you consider who your audience is. The majority of Pinterest users are women, most of them with an average household income of over $100,000. Create your content accordingly so you are reaching the best audience with the best message every time.”
9. Use Pinterest to Stay in Touch With Clients
Realtors know that the best kind of business is repeat business. You already have a great relationship with your client. They know how the process works because they’ve been through it with you before. But how do you turn your clients into repeat clients? Staying in touch with them after their transaction is complete is critical, and Pinterest can be a part of that effort. Add a link to your Pinterest Page in your email signature to encourage contacts to follow you. We heard more about this from Pinterest aficionado and social media expert, Lori Ramas:
“Pinterest is a great place to recruit new clients, but it’s an awesome way to maintain relationships with your existing clients. Try building boards that your customers will enjoy visualizing. If you have families on your client roster, try building boards for easy family meals that you can update regularly. Think of the things that you clients love and care about, and start pinning! Pinterest can be another touch in your communication plan with the goal of turning your former clients into repeat clients.”
10. Think Outside the Box When Marketing Property
Marketing property on Pinterest effectively can be tough because there is often a lag from when you post a pin to when it actually starts gaining traction. Get around this problem by taking a creative approach to real estate marketing like the one described to us by paid advertising expert, Alexa Kurtz:
“Think outside the box when it comes to marketing properties. Since Pinterest content lives for so long on the platform, creating pins about individual properties doesn’t make a ton of sense. After all, these properties are going to sell, and then that pin is worthless. However, if you create a pin that has a broader appeal, the targeted content that pin leads to can talk about your property and you can update the content as properties sell.
For example, rather than pinning photos of a home you have for sale in San Diego, try creating a pin with the title “The Best Things to Do in San Diego”. Then, when people visit that content, you can market your property there. After the property sells, replace it with your next San Diego listing!”
11. Set Up a Pinterest Business Account
In order to get the full power of the Pinterest platform for real estate agents, you need a business account. They’re free, easy to set up, and they unlock all sorts of bonuses unavailable to the general public. SEO Associate and small business finance expert, Lizzie Dunn, gave us the inside scoop on why Realtors should take this free (but important) step:
“Make sure you’ve set up a Pinterest Business account. Business profiles give you access to key features like analytics and paid advertising. With these tools, you can have better insights into your best performing content, what kind of people are consuming that content and when. Using the business level resources will allow you to learn something from every pin, and make your plan for your next pin even better.”
12. Target Your Audience by Location With Pinterest Ads
We know it seems like a lot to consider: Getting into the paid side of Pinterest while you are still learning the ropes. There’s so much upside to this opportunity, which is why we wanted to plant the seed early. But, don’t take our word for it.
We talked to Pinterest blogger and influencer, Mckinzie Bean of Moms Make Cents, to hear the best way to get started:
“Pinterest advertising, formally known as Promoted Pins, is a great way to get your content in front of the right audience at the right time. Pinterest audiences have proven high buyer intent; the vast majority of Pinterest users have claimed to use Pinterest to help them decide in their buying decisions, so advertising to them can be effective and profitable.
If it’s your first time running a Pinterest Ad campaign, start with the ‘traffic campaign’ option. I’ve done thousands of dollars worth of testing on this platform, and this type of campaign has always been the most profitable and easiest to get started on. With a traffic campaign, you only pay for the actual clicks to your website.
Narrow your audience down with a geographic location and with keywords so that you are only showing your ad to the people in your area who are searching for what you want.
Watch your results carefully and adjust course accordingly! Pinterest marketing is all about making sure you are understanding what is performing well and what isn’t, as the leads start coming in, leverage your successes and put a stopper in your failures!”
13. Make Sure Your Content Gets On the Right Boards
Since Pinterest is part social media platform and part visual search engine, it’s doubly important that your content is categorized properly onto boards that are easy to find. Hamna Amjad, a social expert with Gigworker told us more:
“Because Pinterest serves both social and search purposes, properly categorizing and cataloguing your content is very important. Create several Pinterest boards to help separate your content into categories, making it easier for people who are interested in what you have to say to find more of it. The more specific and specialized your boards are, the more likely people are to follow them.”
Some Great Real Estate Pinterest Boards to Check Out
We asked our in-house digital marketing guru, Lily, to dig a little deeper and make some recommendations for a few Pinterest Boards to check out, and she came through.
Here are some Realtor Pinterest destinations you should get familiar with; they are doing it right:
Bill has a LOT of Pinterest boards, and he pins so regularly that you know as a follower you are going to be getting fresh content multiple times a day. Our favorite board is his “Do It Yourself Today” board, filled with DIY projects from home improvement to fresh dinner options.
The Cascade Team does a great job of not just marketing themselves and their properties, but also the areas that they serve. This multi-state operation has some great boards centered around life in great beach towns like Boca Raton, FL.
Ben’s Pinterest strategy focuses mainly around inspiration. He pins very visual content great for when you’re considering your next big project or just need some new ideas for your next decorating direction.
With almost 24,000 monthly visitors, Shannon Palermo’s Pinterest strategy is working, built on the idea that she wants to appeal to folks in many different spots in their homeownership journey. We especially love her board for renters and people who are considering the idea of purchasing a home.
Nicole’s Pinterest presence is new, but gaining a lot of steam. She has taken the tact of making her boards ultra specific, and it seems to be paying off. Check out her board dedicated only to walls. Yes, you read that right, and yes, you’ll get hooked as fast as we did.
If you haven’t already, follow us on Pinterest! We’d love to interact with you there. We pin new content every week, so check back often. In the meantime, tell us about your Pinterest experience. Are you driving a lot of traffic and picking up clients?