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Pinterest Is Changing The Way People Buy Homes

Pinterest Real Estate

If you’re in the market for a home, you typically run a search on a real estate website with all your required parameters, from price, to location, to size.  The result?  A list of homes that typically don’t reflect your taste or needs.  But what if you could send your agent a collage of pictures giving them a better idea of what you wanted?  For example: open floor plans, granite countertops and a large master bath (yes, this is my wish list).  Realtors could not only steer you in a better direction, but also make the process less time consuming, more social and much more interactive.  This is precisely why real estate companies are starting to discover that Pinterest is an ideal social media platform to sell a home.

Real estate websites are already highly visual, but the pictures typically just stay on the website and can only be shared via email.   By integrating Pinterest into listings, photos can be shared between the buyer and agent and also across the web.   This re-pinning of listings not only provides collaboration among the broker and the buyer, but also provides a powerful opportunity for real estate companies and brokers to gain traffic to their site.  Although many agents haven’t started utilizing Pinterest yet into their business, some real estate companies have and are finding some very positive results.

Corcoran, the largest residential real estate firm in New York, has been using Pinterest for almost two years and currently has about 75 different Pinterest boards.  Currently MLS listings aren’t pinnable but Corcoran, which has successfully been using social network Tumblr to post a hugely followed “10am Special” or “house of the day,” made Pinterest an extension of its Tumblr product, creating Pinterest boards organized by room, i.e., kitchen boards, bathroom boards, and living room boards (even foodspotting and neighborhood boards).  In addition to giving users richer visual content of homes and neighborhoods, Corcoran has found that Pinterest is driving traffic back to their native website at a huge rate.Corcoran Pinterest

“Because of the momentum that Pinterest currently has for us, between Q2 to Q3 this year, there’s actually been a 95 percent increase in traffic from Pinterest to Corcoran.com,” said Matthew Shadbolt, Corcoran’s Director of Interactive Product and Marketing.  “Once they get to Corcoran.com, they’re very highly engaged, they stay longer, they look at more things.”

While Corcoran may be advanced as far as its social media utilization goes, many real estate firms are behind the eight-ball on technology adoption.  But Apu Gupta, CEO of  visual analytics provider Curalate, said that while technology adoption for real estate companies is notoriously slow, integrating Pinterest into listings could be done with Pinterest’s newly rolled out “Rich Pins” feature.  Rich pins allows images that are pinned to carry over key information about the image including pricing, availability and brand.

“First and foremost, make the real estate listings pinnable; integrate a pin button into the listing, next to the image.  And when you pin it, bring the MLS list data with it,” Gupta said.  “So when you pin it, you can share something really quickly with your broker– instead of creating these crazy long emails with 100 MLS listings.”

Aside from helping real estate companies build their brand, making real estate photos and listings pinnable could open up the door to collaboration between the realtor and buyer in a way that never existed before.

“What you should be able to do is create collaborative boards, invite your broker in, be able to pin things to it and take that data with it, so you can just share it, Gupta said.  “And what would be great about that is then your broker can now get a really good sense of the types of things you like.”

A real estate broker that actually get’s a sense of what you want and who you are?  I guess anything is possible.

— Cassie Slane

Cassie Slane is a technology and consumer products expert and appears as an electronics guest on QVC and Philly's Fox 29 Channel. She has been a producer and writer for major media outlets including Bloomberg News, CNBC, and CNN.