One of the fun things about working in real estate in the 21st century is technology. Every few months another tool emerges that makes marketing yourself and selling homes easier.
One that's catching the industry's attention is Pinterest, the visual social media site that lets you post or "pin" photos, videos, ideas - really any information you like -- on a board that's shared with your followers.
It's simple to use: just visit Pinterest.com, click the "Join Pinterest" button and create an account. You can "re-pin" pictures already on Pinterest or find your own pictures elsewhere.
And just this summer, Pinterest started giving Realtors and others in sales ways to target pinners based on the type of content they like, what they search, and other such indicators. Now you can target users who've shown an interest in what you've pinned. So if one of your followers has saved one of your pins, clicked on one, or just tapped on one for a closer look - you can now better target those folks.
What's more, Pinterest is taking its "Lookalikes" audience offering -- which can be used to help brands reach groups of people who look and act similar to their own audience -- and renaming it "Actalikes."
Plus, you can target local geographic areas with your promoted (ads you buy) pins and ensure locals see your content. At last count I heard promoted pins can be targeted to 210 U.S. cities.
Since rolling out the features, Pinterest says brands have seen an 80% increase in their click-through rates. This means more and more people are gathering around Pinterest - and you should be too.
Here's how some Realtors are using Pinterest to their (and their clients') advantage:
1. To attract - and help - prospective sellers. Realtors are creating Pinterest boards that help prospective sellers with pins that show examples of great staging, low-cost renovation ideas and curb appeal tips. Realtors are also creating a board for each home they're selling and asking sellers for permission and content to upload to the home's board. Many Realtors are having success with before-and-after shots to show improvements. Others are using photos of the seller enjoying the home hosting a party in the backyard or lounging in a living room watching a football game. Realtors can also allow sellers to pin directly to your boards, so they can add their own photos and videos.
2. To attract - and help - prospective buyers. Realtors are making themselves the experts on their farm areas by creating boards that detail all their farm area has to offer buyers - information on schools, shopping, recreation, etc. Agents are also pinning service providers in the area like mortgage brokers, painters, carpenters, landscapers, restaurants, etc. In essence, they're setting up a network and partnering with other businesses who can promote real estate professionals as well. Some Realtors are having their buyers compile must-have lists for their new homes (furnishings, appliances and amenities) and what represents their ideal home. So the old days of buyers ripping out pictures from magazines are being replaced with buyers building virtual pin boards of their wish lists. Just remember, keep your pins useful and interesting. Your goal with Pinterest is the same as your other social media channels: to become top-of-mind with your target audience.
3. To help prospective buyers and sellers get to know them. Realtors are using Pinterest as a tool to forge relationships and share information about their lives. Many have found that humor - just a funny photo of you doing your favorite hobby, for example - often gets shared. Other share recipes, favorite quotes, song, books or movies. We all know real estate is a relationship business and Pinterest is proving to be a great tool to make new friends and strengthen current friendships.
Let me hear from you. How are you using Pinterest to improve your sales?