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For those of you who like to get straight to the point, here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Put gorgeous, “pinnable” photos in compelling posts.
  • Step 2: Make it easy for your posts to be pinned.
  • Step 3: Share as you normally would, then go do something more productive.

For those of you who might be interested in some of the underlying logic, read on.

Step 1: Put gorgeous, “pinnable” photos in compelling posts.

“Ah, Pinterest – where I dress my unborn children and decorate my imaginary mansion,” Christina Gomez, a San Antonio political consultant said. And in describing Pinterest in her own words, she illustrates the point that @dadcamp made in response to the illustration I created for this post, “Pinterest is aspirational.” And it’s hard to argue that the popularity of Pinterest owes it’s roots to vision boards.

Because this is true, photos about design, home decorating, cooking and fitness are far and away the most popular items being shared. It stands to reason that, from a real estate perspective, well executed photos of design details in a home, beautiful landscaping shots, and luxury properties have the highest potential for being pinned and “repinned” on people’s boards. They play on the apsirational nature of how pinboards have been used, long before Pinterest existed. It’s what pinboards are for. A photo of the $45,000, 2 bedroom, 1 bath listing in Alpharetta, Georgia  is not likely to generate the same aspirational response on Pinterest as the photo of the $8,499,000, 7 bedroom, 12 bath listing in the same area.

Place that beautiful photo into a compelling post that speaks directly to an aspirational quality of the home, and you have a potentially winning combination,  and for reasons that have benefits far beyond Pinterest.

Step 2: Make it easy for your posts to be pinned.

Pinning isn’t winning. Getting other people to pin you, that might be winning, but I’ll talk more about that in a minute. “The biggest thing we did to help our success on Pinterest,” Erika Lehmann, VP of PR atDesign Public stated, “was to execute on an intelligent implementation of the Pin It button. We made sure descriptions of our products were properly inserted into the pins without having to rely on our customers to do that themselves.” Other people pinning Design Public’s great content is the key to their success on the platform. It is only loosely tied to how well they have pinned things themselves. Rather, their Pinterest success is a result of having pinnable content and making it easy for those who visit their site to create their own pin.

The notion that you need to go spend a great deal of time on Pinterest for it to have benefit is not accurate. If you’re content contains photos that play well in the aspiration space, and you’ve made it easy for people who are avid Pinterest users to pin your content, you will get pinned. This is, of course, assuming you have reasonable traffic to your site to begin with.

Step 3: Share as you normally would, then go do something more productive.

Many people in the real estate industry are being driven to the business value of Pinterest based on headlines like this, “Use Pinterest To Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog.” But in the real estate space, I’m not convinced the traffic Pinterest has the potential to drive is worth doing anything more than sharing to your existing channels and allowing others to pin if they’re so inclined.

“IMHO, Pinterest is pretty over stated.” Jim Marks says. “We have done some pretty extensive analysis of Pinterest traffic in the real estate space. The click-ins are great…. but click throughs and time on site is terrible. I have come to the conclusion that a LOT of the traffic coming from Pinterest is people clicking on an image to see it bigger, ending up on a site and bouncing.”

That’s certainly not surprising to me. The chance of a random Pinterest visitor being someone who is interested in working with you is very, very small. That’s not why they’re on Pinterest. They’re coming for they eye candy, their not coming to buy a home or start a relationship with an agent. Not all web visitors are created equal.

My advice.

Go ahead and share your posts and listings as you normally would. And if you’re already on Pinterest and have no concerns with the obvious copyright issues, have fun, enjoy it and sprinkle the content you create and own the copyrights to in with the other content you’re already sharing. But pinning for gold, rushing to set up a Pinterest account thinking it will translate into meaningful real estate business is time that could be spent doing something more productive.

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Photo credit: Pinterest 101 – Things via Jeff Turner on Flickr.