Think of it as a high tech version of your refrigerator door. A photo album or visual journal. Pinterest is an internet service that lets you share collections of images. It’s a great way to get personal with your clients, and it’s also a useful tool to drive traffic to your website or blog. Pinterest is for real estate agents.
If you’d like to add Pinterest to your personal toolkit, here are eight steps to get you started.
1. Get invited.
You need an invitation to join Pinterest, and you can get that by going to the website, putting in your email address, and clicking on Request Invitation. You might have to wait a few days to get your invite, so if you know someone who’s already on Pinterest, get an invitation from them and you can start immediately. Want an invite now? Yep – you guessed it, I’m on. Leave a comment below and I’ll send you an invite right away.
2. Browse the site.
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, browse around the site before you jump in. Get an idea for what other people are pinning. There are basically three things you can do when you see something that interests you:
• You can like it
• You can comment on it
• You can repin it (after you have your own boards)
Liking or commenting works just like Facebook. It lets you give feedback and connect with others. Repinning means that you are copying that image to one of your own boards.
3. Start with a profile.
This part is easy—just start with your name, photo, where you work, and a short bio. If you’re on Facebook, you can link to your Facebook page here. You have two choices when writing a bio. You can make it a one-to-one personal communication between you and a potential client, written in first person (“I ought to be your realtor because. . .”) or you can write it like a news story (“Sue Sanders is a great realtor because. . .”). Either one is fine, as long as your personality comes through.
4. Create your first board.
Once you feel comfortable with the site, it’s time to jump in. On the top right navigation bar, click on “About” and then click on “Help.” This will take you to “Pinning 101,” which is a clear, step-by-step how-to that describes exactly what you need to do. You’ll need to name your board–something captivating that describes what it’s about. For instance, “Is This Your Dream Home?” could feature dramatic photos of your top listing. Then choose a category for your board or make up your own.
5. Create more boards.
You can have any number of boards, but limit each one to a single topic area. To appeal to prospective buyers and sellers, for example, you might create boards on staging your home to sell; low cost renovation ideas; or quick curb appeal tips.
If you serve a particular neighborhood or area, you can create boards that depict all the great things it has to offer. Be careful to use specific keywords here. “Oak Creek Schools” works better than “Our School District.”
Of course you can have one board for your listings, but keep this limited and fresh. Show off your newest listings, featured listings, or your next open house. Use the most attractive photos you have, of course. Keywords are important here too, so experiment with different board names and captions to see how many repins, likes, and comments you’re getting.
6. Get personal.
Once you’ve created boards to highlight your business, design one that’s all about you. Have you just toured the wine country or gone windsurfing in Hawaii? Pin some photos. If you collect vintage china or do pottery, show off a little. People will get to know you, and we all feel better about doing business with someone we know and trust.
7. Be helpful.
People will like, comment, or repin something that’s useful. You can greatly expand your follower base by mixing Pinterest with Facebook, and using both to share buying and selling tips.
You already have Pinterest boards full of fun photos and ideas, so now you can post on Facebook and reference your Pinterest pins. You can actually become a “help center” for DIY and decorating tips, decluttering, or anything else you think will appeal to your public. If you are already promoting your business on Facebook successfully, Pinterest will make it more fun and further expand your horizons.
8. Be social.
It’s called “social media” for a reason—it’s a way of connecting with others. Keep it fresh and fun and you will build a following that will get you noticed by the buyers and sellers you want to attract.
Are you ready for Pinterest for real estate agents?
— Richard M. Hartian (@WinningAgent) May 3, 2012