I assist homebuilders/master-planned communities with PR and social media, and have been thinking about Pinterest as an option for them. The best way to look at Pinterest (or any form of social media) is to think about your audience (who is following you). For example…

1) Showcase cool design elements/interesting features within a home or community to the non-shopper

As a twentysomething living in an apartment, I find myself tagging dream kitchens/master bedrooms/home storage solutions, etc. because I truly enjoy looking at these photos. Many of my other twentysomething friends have a “home” board, too. Have you heard this expression floating around the web, “Pinterest: Where women go to plan their imaginary weddings, dress children that don’t exist, and decorate homes they can’t afford?”

Because most of my friends and I are not in the market to buy, we don’t want to see property listings, pricing or promotions, but we do want to see cool design elements/interesting features within a home or community.

2) Hit me with a sale (for the active shopper)

What if you were searching for a home? Wouldn’t it be easy to visit multiple home websites, pin the ones you like and then share your board with your husband, wife, parents, etc.? What if your realtor pinned listings and you were able to add the homes you like to your board, too? Seems like it’d be more efficient than writing down URLs or bookmarking a ton of pages.

I know a few girls that are planning real weddings. They pin stuff all day long and quickly share with their fiances. When the wedding is done, their need for a wedding board will diminish and they’ll move on to something else (hopefully). A home shopper could use a board to pin real estate listings until they find a home, then they’ll stop using the tool in this way.

As someone selling homes, you first need to figure out who you’re talking to– the active shopper or the dreamer (or both). Pin what your audience wants. You’ll know what works once people start following you (or not).