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You can’t write a column about technology in real estate and not address the Internet’s most frequented social media tools. That’d be tantamount to a website about cars never talking about the Corvette. Or the GTO.
Point being, there are a ton of awesome ways to redline your sales using the tools and resources I talk about in this space, but sometimes our hands may already be on the right wheel.
We just need to know how to navigate the course.
At the start of 2015, Pinterest had about 47 million active monthly users in the United States, according to mashable.com.
From a marketing theory standpoint, what makes Pinterest most valuable is the idea of “long-tail content,” or what I like to call contextual marketing. This means you can use like-minded ideas and byproducts loosely related to your listing or services to build a compelling case for your product. It’s like a cruise line selling images of people on a lonely island. Or Coke selling “happiness.” Leveraging Pinterest for real estate is about highlighting the experiences your listing is capable of providing to that potential buyer or seller.
Don’t just pin images of the home’s spacious flagstone back patio and intricate garden pathways; create boards of “Patio Party Ideas” and “This Summer’s Hottest Grilling Recipes.”
And the best part of this process is that so much of it is done with content created by others. In fact, Pinterest created the idea of “curated content” in today’s Internet marketing milieu. By choosing the best of what others have created, you become the default resource for what’s cool and first in garage organization and bonus room paint schemes. Just like an art museum curator deciding the time is right to mix in some Andrew Wyeth. People come to see Wyeth’s Americana realism, not the person who made the choice to showcase it. Or is it the other way around? There’s a lot of hidden influences in our buying decisions.
To get into usage specifics on Pinterest, because it does change quite a bit, you can create public boards and private boards.
If you’re helping a buyer, for example, create a private board and give them access to see the pictures of home styles or characteristics they prefer and to pin to the board themselves. It’ll build quickly. Plus, you may find out sooner than later about their actual preference. Just watch the patterns.
Listing agents can create public boards for a client’s home and share it on the marketing collateral. If your client has a particularly nice decorating touch, comment on it and keep it public, because the pinning spreads quickly, like office gossip.
With each listing, choose one or two of the home’s highlights and pin content that relates to it. Large, well-organized garage? Capitalize on it. Chef’s kitchen? Go nuts.
You can also use it to keep clients aware of the market. Pin shots of recently sold homes or comparable listings priced differently than theirs. Use it to also offer inspiration within your market, pinning homes that stand out or of compelling amenities, like parks and retail centers. Also, highlights of the cities and towns in which you do business are great ways to share market content.
But don’t just use Pinterest for your clients, use it for your own business. Pin agent pictures and bios, logos, and company events.
Remember, you can post links, too, so insert the home’s “official” listing page as often as makes sense. It will get carried on when others pin it. Plus, the more active you are, the more frequently your name and brand will be associated with cool ideas about homes in your market.
I highly recommend adding detailed — but not wordy — descriptions to your images. All content is searchable, and even though pictures are worth what it’s said they are worth, words still mean a lot, too.
(At least, they do to me.)
Lastly, don’t forget videos. I think they should be used sparingly, maybe one per board at most. With too much video, you increase the risk of production quality issues and interrupt the sharing mindset. That is, if a user is floating around your boards, liking and repinning, the video may hinder that process, or interrupt the flow. Use with care.
Pinterest, like other forms of social media, should be used to offer supportive outreach and branding about your efforts. Don’t rely on it as the single source of marketing or customer contact.
It’s very easy to use, which is why I talked more about strategies than learning curve. Seventy millions users don’t log on to something hard to use. Still, that could be it’s downfall: don’t un-commit once you get going. And certainly don’t overdo it. The Internet rewards authenticity, so don’t mail it in.
Pinterest has power, there’s no doubt about that. It’s doesn’t have Facebook’s power, but when it comes to your marketing budget, there are no ad rates or boosting to consider. Just pin.
Do you use Pinterest? What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!
Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.