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And now for some technology humor ... you may have seen the story last week about a futuristic product Google is working on officially called "Project Glass." Basically, it's not unreasonable to think of the (unofficially termed) "Google Glasses" as a wearable computer. Would people wear these? Not sure, but here is Jimmy Kimmel's comedic take on them.
Summary of Inman News Webinar:
Presented by Chris Smith and Katie Lance of Inman News
Inman News recently hosted an excellent webinar called “Pinterest for Real Estate.” We recommend watching the entire video for the webinar (click here to view full Inman News webinar), but for those without 67 minutes to spare, you can read this summary of this valuable webinar.
As a brief background, Pinterest is a new social media platform with a very visual, image-based focus.
Here’s the summary of the “Pinterest for Real Estate” Inman News webinar:
According to Chris Smith, Pinterest is the “fastest growing stand-alone web site ever.” In May of 2011 (less than a year ago), Pinterest had 50,000 visitors. Last month, they had 11 million. So, they’ve had very strong growth.
Amongst social media sites, only Facebook and Tumblr currently have more time spent on the site than Pinterest.
According to Chris Smith and Katie Lance, the primary demographic of Pinterest is presently upper income women ages 18-34 from the American heartland. Overall, 97% of Pinterest fans on Facebook are women.
Why does this matter to real estate agents? As most real estate agents know, women tend to have a significant say in home buying decisions.
Pinterest is also easy to use. It has a “super simple interface,” and is “a real testament to the power of photos.”
Why Use Pinterest for Real Estate?
Two things are of particular importance to real estate agents online: Traffic and leads.
Pinterest is already generating more referring traffic than You Tube, Google+, and Linked In combined. For our purposes, referring traffic is traffic that comes from another site to a real estate agent’s web site by way of links. Chris and Katie believe that it should be a “no brainer” for real estate agents to use Pinterest due to the referral traffic it can generate.
According to Katie Lance, “photos are at the heart of a lot of real estate marketing making Pinterest a natural fit.” Pinterest’s success is also increasing the importance in real estate for agents to use professional photography. Blog article images are now critical in order to make blog articles “pinworthy.”
In terms of getting to know real estate buyers, sellers, and prospects, you can “learn a lot about somebody by looking at their Pinterest boards.” You can learn more about a person than their Facebook profile will tell you. In fact, you will know more about your real estate buyers, sellers, and prospects than most other agents.
Pinterest defines what can be termed a “photo economy.”
One of the major problems real estate agents have had with social media is the challenge of making things shareable, likeable, and tweetable. Pinterest can help solve this problem.
Pinterest also affords a good opportunity to certain real estate agents in particular: According to Chris Smith, “with Pinterest, someone who is a good curator, has a good eye, but is not as good at creating content, can utilize it.” As in, a real estate agent who does not do as well writing and creating content can instead utilize the visual nature of Pinterest to assemble boards of compelling photos.
Examples of Good Real Estate Use of Pinterest
1. (Brokerage) Style House Realty: www.pinterest.com/stylehouse
They have “beautiful photos” and “utilize beautiful imagery.” They provide various ideas for home decorating and home improvement.”
2. (Agent) Raj Qsar: www.pinterest.com/rajqsar
This is an example of “local pinteresting.” The focus is on orange county life style and sights. In addition to this, a “Meet the Team”board is worked in and is very effectively being used to generate referring traffic to the agent web site.
3. (Brokerage) Corcoran Group: www.pinterest.com/corcorangroup
They have done an excellent job using it to visually illustrate New York City.
4. (Industry) Inman News: www.pinterest.com/inmannews
Inman News has set up a number of boards including “Homes of US Presidents,” “Historic Homes,” “Tips for Home Owners,” “ManCaves,” “Home Improvement,” and “No More White Walls.”
5. (Industry) HGTV: www.pinterest.com/hgtv
They believe this is presently the best example of industry use of Pinterest. This is a good example of how to go about pinninghouses.
6. (Other) Ann Nilsson’s Homes of the World: www.pinterest.com/anils/homes-of-the-world
How to Use Pinterest Successfully for Real Estate
A question was asked by a real estate agent / listener: “What is the value that this provides a consumer to make them want to use my real estate services?”
Chris Smith responded that, “That’s just the wrong approach from the get go. Right now, your goal should not be to use this to get consumers to use your services. Your goal should be to paint a picture of the ‘why’ of your brand.”
Chris Smith referenced a discussion he had with famed restaurateur (also considered something of a brand expert) Danny Meyer, in which Meyer noted that “you can only get 49% through effort, hard work, doing your job well. The rest of your success comes from how your brand makes people feel.”
Inman comments that, “Pinterest makes people feel good.” Along these lines, it's mentioned that the Corcoran Group “put NYC into Pinterest.”
Agents should create boards for their real estate listings and their solds, but be sure to have more content than just that.
They recommend your content is 80% personal, 20% business. Don’t make it just about your real estate business. Suggest using common sense, pinning your blog posts, and pinning things you are passionate about.
They stress the importance of “backlinking” - ie providing links from Pinterest to your agent web site to generate traffic.
Some Pinterest Technical Tips
Pinterest has plugins for web browsers that let you choose from all the images on a web page what you want to “pin.” Chris Smith and Katie Lance believe using the browser plugins is the easiest way to use Pinterest. Google “Pinterest browser plug in” in order to find.
To find out if any Pinterest user is “pinning” your site right now, go to: www.pinterest.com/source/your-url-here
So, a real example would be: http://www.pinterest.com/source/inmannews.com
To integrate Pinterest into the rest of your online business world, you can put a “Pin It” button on your web site, blog, etc
Do not use “pins” from Google Images because the actual pin will then be from Google Images rather than the underlying web site with the image. Doing so can lead to copyright problems.
You can have a video board on Pinterest to show your You Tube videos. To do so, you need to create an image, a still shot from each video, which you will add to Pinterest to link to your video.
Pinterest is fully integrated into the Facebook Timeline.
Useful Pinterest info:
The team at iMax wishes you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving 2011!
We want to thank you so much for your business.
Have a wonderful holiday!