Pinterest became a social media darling so quickly that, at this time, many real estate agents only know it has something to do with pictures posted onto bulletin boards. How in the world, they ask, can this be used as a business-building tool?
It’s a legitimate question. The answers may surprise you. If you’re already familiar with Facebook, the first thing you’ll notice about Pinterest is that conversations are virtually nonexistent, seemingly defying most people’s notion of social media. But Pinterest’s simple, streamlined interface hides many of the subtle but important dynamics driving the site.
First, there are strong visual and psychological aspects at play–most real estate agents would agree that visual appeal and psychological factors also loom large with home buyers. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the impact of a whole collection of images. But how do you harness the power of images to build your business? Here are six ways real estate agents can benefit from Pinterest:
1. Understand your clients’ dreams. So often, home buyers have a vision of what they want in a home, but struggle to communicate what’s in their mind’s eye. Try suggesting that they use Pinterest to collect home images they love, both interiors and exteriors. A quick glance at their boards will tell you SO MUCH about their home preferences. Consider the time you might save avoiding inappropriate homes and the delight you’ll bring to buyers if you can show them properties that come closer to matching their favorite features.
2. Compile resources for clients. Home buyers have questions, right? Lots of them. Imagine ways to answer their questions through pictures. What kind of fence should we build? How do we clean and maintain our floors? Our siding? Our appliances? Create a variety of boards around these and other themes. You can easily search for and repin images from other pinners. If your images come from local business websites, your clients can go straight to these sites via your pins. That includes boards about local shops and restaurants–a great way to use social media to link your real estate practice to neighborhood businesses.
4. Create and pin other original content. Do you blog about real estate? Pin your posts! (using a nice companion image) Do you make real estate videos? Pin those too! Videos are easy to view on Pinterest. “How to” content is extremely popular. So are infographics. Get creative about the many ways you can share visually-oriented real estate content on Pinterest and other social media sites.
5. Give your SEO efforts a boost. Pinterest is the number one referral source among social media sites, driving more traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined! People LOVE to share on Pinterest. In fact, over 80 percent of pins are repinned! Pins are automatically linked back to the source. But if you include the url to your site in your captions, Pinterest adds bold font to the url, helping others recognize a clickable link to see more.
6. Encourage pinning. Add a Pinterest widget to your blog or website so visitors can easily share your content, which in turn could help many other people view and possibly repin it. Adding a Pin It button to a real estate agent site is a relatively simple process, similar to adding a Like or Tweet button.
These are just a few ways real estate agents can leverage Pinterest in their business. What’s worked for you?
P.S. If you’d like to connect on Pinterest, you’ll find me here.