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Pinterest for REALTORS® | How to Get Started

Pinterest isn’t a hot fad in social media, it’s driving more clicks than Google+ and YouTube and was one of the top 10 most trafficked social networking websites in 2011. And it may have just started scratching the surface. REALTORS® looking to drive additional traffic to their websites, blogs and listings would do well to experiment with Pinterest and see if it can another effective tool in your belt.

PINTEREST FOR REALTORS®
For REALTORS®, Pinterest is a great way to showcase your expertise in a visually pleasing form while taking advantage of links back to any existing content you have. For instance, if you maintain a blog and have a post about how small home renovations can pay off big during a sale, Pinterest is a perfect way to drive additional traffic to that post through a single pin.

Here are some examples of how you can use Pinterest to your advantage:

Boards Directed at Homeowners or Would-Be Homeowners
Here you can create boards that appeal to homeowners looking to sell or people looking to buy. Decorating Ideas, Open House Tips, DIY Renovations, Landscaping, Seasonal Craft Projects, Organization Tips, Dream Products for the Home – all of these boards can help celebrate the idea of home ownership and link back to any existing content you have on your website or blog.

Boards Directed at Your Territory
If you service a particular market, use Pinterest to showcase all of the things that make your city great. Things like shopping, dining, recreation, fitness centers, school and daycare, historical sites or anything else that makes your city or neighborhood stand out. Upload original content but also search Pinterest for things that you can repin, engaging the local community and maybe gaining a few followers. Note” it’s important to include city keywords to make it easier to find your pins. Using “Portland Shopping” over “Shopping” is key to creating relevant boards for your followers.

Boards to Highlight Your Top Listings
Don’t overdo it, but try uploading photos of some of your feature listings with links to additional information and experiment with how many clicks, repins or shares you get. Be sure to use the best possible image for each listing and test what board names and pins work best.

Boards That Feature You
This is your Pinterest board, so show a little of your personality. If you’re in to crafts or cooking or collecting, show off your personality and add pins to give people a sense of who you are. Pinterest can be a great business tool, but don’t forget that it’s a social network. Be social. Have fun.

GETTING STARTED
If you’re not too familiar with Pinterest, here’s a quick tutorial to help you get started right away. Pinterest is still invitation only, so you’ll either need a friend currently on Pinterest to send you an invite or request one and be put on the waiting list. If you receive an invitation through a friend you can get started right away, otherwise you might have to wait up to a week for your invitation at which point you can invite your friends to join, saving them the hassle. Our advice: if you don’t already have friends on Pinterest, gather up a group and request an invite and the first person who receives a positive response can automatically invite the rest of the group to join. Teamwork.

YOUR PINTEREST PROFILE
Add a profile picture, your name, location and short bio to your profile. You can also link Pinterest to your Twitter and Facebook accounts which will push Pinterest updates to your social channels if you choose so. This can be a good way of informing your followers on those networks that you’re on Pinterest, but excessive activity could clog your news feeds, so keep this in mind when pinning.

PINNING, REPINNING AND BROWSING
Before creating your own boards, it’s wise to browse Pinterest to get a feel for the site. The home page displays all the most recent images in five vertical columns. Mousing over an image allows you to repin, like or comment on each image. Repinning a photo adds it to your own Pinterest board while liking or commenting on an image provides feedback. You can browse Pinterest by search term, categories, popular pins or by gifts – there’s a lot out there.

To make your Pinterest search a little more personal, you can find and follow friends on the site and see what they’re pinning. When you sign up through Facebook, Pinterest automatically adds all your current Facebook friends who are on Pinterest to your follow list. You can view their activity by clicking Pinners you follow at the top of the page. You can visit each friend’s individual boards by clicking on their name which reveals how many boards, pins and likes they have. You can find additional Pinterest friends or follow new people by using the find friends option or simply clicking their profile and selecting follow.

CREATE YOUR OWN PINTEREST BOARD
Once you have a feel for the platform, click the Add+ button on the top right navigation rail to create your own board. Name your board, trying to create something compelling that describes the board’s subject matter. For instance, Dream Homes could be a board full of the most beautiful property in the world. Visit Salt Lake City could be a board full of beautiful content surrounding the city of Salt Lake. Next, choose a category for your board or create your own.

Once you’ve created a board, you can upload photos directly to it by clicking the Add+ button. Pinterest will prompt you to add photos to an existing board or to create a new board for the content. Once complete, click Pin It. You can also add photos by uploading the url of the image from the web and following the same procedures. Pinterest also allows you to pin video, uploading the video link and hitting the Pin It button. All images and boards can be edited and deleted, so if you make a mistake it’s easy to go back and change your work.

PINTEREST FOR BRANDING
Pinterest is fun, but it’s also a useful tool to drive additional traffic to the places you want people to go. Adding a follow button on your blog or website will advertise your presence on Pinterest, while adding Pin It buttons on any page you own or your web browser will help increase useability and drive more traffic.

Click About and then Pin It Button to get details on how to add the Pin It button to your web browser or add Pin It buttons to web content just like you would with Twitter or Facebook share buttons. This can be a little tricky for people who aren’t comfortable with technology, but integrating all social channels and giving the option of pinning images on your website or blog directly to Pinterest is a great way to foster sharing.

TOP BRANDS ON PINTEREST
Here are some of the top brands on Pinterest. Explore their pages and see what you can learn from their model.

Whole Foods
Martha Stewart
Better Homes and Gardens
Real Simple Magazine
Bergdorf Goodman
Today Show
Travel Channel

PINTEREST BEST PRACTICES
Here are a few general best practices to keep in mind to help you get the most out of Pinterest:
1.   Create a handful of boards that cover a broad range of interests. Don’t focus on one or two boards devoted to a single topic.
2.   Repin within Pinterest to engage other users rather than adding too much external content to start. This will help you build a network of followers much quicker than posting wholly original content.
3.   Don’t pin too many times in a row, especially if you’re linked to your social platforms. Let your pins breathe a little.

Are you currently on Pinterest or do you have any of your own advice? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s continue the conversation!

Comments
  1. Hi! I have a Pinterest account now and love it. I have been curious how other realtors have been using it with their business. These are great ideas and I think I will research and see how it works. Thanks!

  2. I’m fairly new to Pinterest. I started pinning and re-repinning other people’s great ideas until I got a good grasp of how I wanted to promote my Real Estate business.

    Mixing Pinterest with Facebook, I’ve gathered a number of new Facebook and Pinterest “followers” and stirred quite an interest when sharing household tips.

    With Pinterest boards full of fun photos and ideas, I can post on Facebook and reference my Pinterest pins. I’m noticing that my Real Estate facebook page is getting more popular as a “help center” for making homes organized and de-cluttered.

    Now when I capture a Facebook Fan’s attention, they are staying on my page longer. They are commenting and sharing the ideas I post. In the past few weeks, I’ve seen my fan-base grow. So, while I’m sharing some of Pinterest’s fabulous ideas on facebook, I can now throw in a Real Estate fact or two (or even a listing) knowing that I have a larger audience.

    For years, I’ve been promoting my business on Facebook with great success. Pinterest is making it more fun and is helping me expand the horizon.

  3. Pintrest is a great tool for businesses. Posting listings or creating engaging content to show that your the “expert” in your local area. We use it show case our business services and charities that are very near and dear to our heart! Check out our page for yourself http://pinterest.com/virtualreo/

  4. Thanks so much for the head start I’ve begun to hear a lot more about pinterest but didnt know where to begin. This was a quick and easy article that pointed me in the right direction and will get me going in the next hour or so. Wish me luck!

  5. How about boards about;

    -Pictures of all team members
    -For Sale
    -For Rent (if you have rentals)
    -Things to do in
    -Interior design ideas
    -Realtor’s recommendations (places to eat, shop, parks, theaters, fairs, etc.)
    -Local schools
    -Local parks

    So many ideas for realtors and Pinterest. It’s wide open!