What can I say? I’m not an early adopter of anything. Not fashion, not art, not technology. I’ve convinced myself it’s because I don’t want to be lumped in with the here-today-gone-tomorrow culture.
That’s why I waited until Doc Martins were on their way out before I bought a pair.
The iPhone? Just got one and I don’t even know how to use it yet.
And skinny jeans? Well, they’re not popular enough …
Which is exactly why I’ve waited until now to jump on board with Pinterest. I didn’t want to just do what everyone else was doing. My obsessions must be hard-won.
Now, Pinterest isn’t just any obsession. It’s so much more. It holds my heart and soul and is clearly fundamental to life itself, as both my husband and I sit in bed pinning away until way past 9:30 p.m.
You could say I’ve finally found it: a social media application that makes sense to me!
Pinterest didn’t sound interesting at first. Scrapbooking on a computer? That’s just weird. Plus, I saw a special report on the news highlighting a handful of crazy, crazy women who had tens of thousands of pictures pinned for future life events (weddings, funerals, baby showers, etc.). Yikes. Now I never wanted to join.
And I might never have if my husband hadn’t joined first. What? My husband? MY husband? What was this evil creation? I was pretty much forced to find out.
So, is Pinterest a fad, or a useful tool? A tool! A tool! Who cares if it’s also a fad (yes, probably).
Now you don’t have to hide your phone when your partner asks what you’ve buried your face in. Pinterest isn’t Facebook, it’s work! Beautifully indulgent work.
Take your buying clients, for example. If they don’t already have a "dream home" board, introduce them to the concept. With a computer or a smartphone and one little itty-bitty crumb of creativity, they will not resist. Pinterest is the dark side. Once they are hooked, let them take you through their "dream home" by combing through their picture board and asking questions. This board is the perfect compliment to the buyer’s questionnaire, by the way.
Now that you know what they want, you’ll surely be touring your clients through many homes. "BP" (before Pinterest) I might have emailed my clients files of pictures and video from their favorite homes.
Not anymore! By simply tagging photos with corresponding addresses and uploading them to a board, I have an organized online storage tool for many buyers, not just one.
Although I see many listing brokers using Pinterest to "market" a home, I don’t believe it is effective. Sure, you can add it to your list of online marketing tools, but beyond that … dud. Sorry, listing brokers.
You could, however, create boards about the city or town in which you work: natural beauty, activities, history. Then you might capture the attention of someone moving to your corner of the universe. But beyond that? Let me know if you have had success.
Finally, Pinterest has done what Etsy couldn’t: given me faith that I, too, can be crafty. This means I can save a lot of money this year on gifts. No more ridiculous fruit baskets! Or etched cheese knives. This year, gifts will be meaningful and personalized.
Yep! So all the people who work with me, my friends and my family will be surprised (thrilled even) when they receive their monogrammed tile coasters, pine-cone-owl ornaments and bookshelves made out of old ladders and pallets. My mother will drool over the rusty rake that has a new life as a wine glass rack. Then, they will laugh at all the new jokes I know while drinking gingerbread martinis and nibbling on miniature meat pockets. All thanks to Pinterest.
See? It’s not just a passing fancy. It’s not a time drain! It sells homes, builds relationships, fosters dreams, cooks and recycles! What more could you ask for? Thanks, Pinterest. I love you.
Alisha Alway Braatz is a buyer’s broker for Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties in Eugene, Ore., and a real estate humorist.
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