Pin it, and They Will Come

Agents and brokerages are finding Pinterest to be a unique tool to grow their businesses — and even sell homes.

October 3, 2013

You might think your Web site is everything. That’s probably the first place you’d go to advertise a new listing. Not Mike Gardner. From now on, when he wants to showcase a new listing, his Web site comes second — and Pinterest comes first.

The photo-driven social media site, after all, is where he snagged a buyer for a recent listing: an impeccably remodeled 900-square-foot mobile home on the market for $565,000 in Malibu, Calif. Within five days of creating a Pinterest board specifically for the listing (which is free to do, by the way), it went into escrow, says Gardner, an agent with Prudential Malibu Realty East.

He didn’t even bother posting the listing to his own Web site, the first time he didn’t employ a traditional site to advertise. The Pinterest board, which included dozens of detailed shots of the home, was his primary vehicle, and he shared the board on Facebook.

The reason Pinterest worked so well for this home, Gardner says, was because it allowed him to highlight the home’s details.

“With a traditional Web site, you’re limited to 20 or 30 photos,” he explains. “There’s never been a place on a traditional Web site to add 30 or 40 additional photos that show the details.”

That wouldn’t do for this property, filled with luxury components. From the Kohler stainless steel sink to the custom tile work in the glass-enclosed shower and the mercury glass pendant lamps and chopping-block countertops in the kitchen, Gardner wanted to bring attention to every detail. He wouldn’t have been able to fit all that in on a traditional Web site.

“Homes with a lot of detail are natural for Pinterest,” Gardner says. “The [mobile] home had a lot of interior style details — it looked like a cool California beach house. There was a lot of eye candy. The details help explain the value of the property.”

Pinterest was also the best marketing tool for the mobile home, Gardner says, because the property had no yard — and, thus, no curb appeal. Its real and only selling point was the detailed interior.

“With homes that have appeal inside but not outside, Pinterest will be a winner all day long,” he adds. “Something that was even more appealing was that [the Pinterest board] can be shared a lot.”

The buyer who took interest shared the link to Gardner’s Pinterest board for the property with family and friends, he says. That made it easier for the buyer to settle on a decision after consulting loved ones.

Going forward, Gardner sees himself using Pinterest to promote every listing he has with the eye candy element. “I see it as a huge player in the real estate market in the future,” he says. “Pinterest is just a very sharable link where you can link back to your advertising and to your Web site or to the MLS.”

Graham Wood
Senior editor

Graham Wood is senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at