Penned by Paul Wilson
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Melissa Marro, Founder and President of Staging & Redesign.
As a professional home stager and President of Staging & Redesign, a home staging training company, I’ve learned over the years that image, well more specifically, images, are everything. The way someone perceives a photo is more important than reality. A really good photo can make the difference between a good and an exceptional stage. It can mean the difference between being seen on MLS and being SOLD in the market.
Today Pinterest brings an entirely new level to businesses, particularly ones that are visually oriented, like mine. Old cliches like, “A picture is worth a thousand words” or “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” come to mind. With Pinterest, it’s especially true.
Staged photos of average homes now need to look like magazine shots in order to tune out the static noise and stand out. You’re competing with thousands of other photos that potential home buyers will view online. We have to create and capture lifestyle, not just a home. And we have to do it immediately, and in each photo, to attract buyers and properly service our client’s needs.
With Pinterest, this visual need is even more crucial. All industries that want to try to catch the Pinterest wave (and believe me, they all do) should pay attention. With hundreds of thousands of photos pinned on a daily basis, the trick is to find a way to stand out. It’s not enough to have a Pinterest account, or to put photos from your blog posts on your boards. You must have the pins that jump off the page when pinners scroll so people will want to repin them. It is the only way to become viral.
This need to improve, not only our work, but the images of it, raises the professional bar. Eventually it will help dictate who survives and who falls behind. Anyone who feels that this Pinterest-effect will die down, needs to rethink their business plans. No doubt people felt the same way about Twitter, and yet it is still here.
The first thing you have to ask yourself when creating your blogs, or pages, that you would like pinned is, “Is this image alone interesting enough to capture someone’s attention?” If it’s not, then you need to rethink your image. Think about what the image needs to convey to create the message you want readers to conjure.
Next, think vertical, not horizontal. In my business, home staging, before & after photos were always shown side by side. Today, they need to be shown top to bottom.
Adding a “pin-it” button and your own language for it, may help you get your message across. One blog post, with the pin description saying: “Tips for updating a kitchen on a budget,” was pinned over 90 times. Readers knew exactly what they would find. It was more than just the lovely photo of a kitchen. They wanted to more than a picture of a gorgeous kitchen, they wanted budgeting tips.
Still another blog post about choosing front door colors, received 144 pins. The description reads, “What message does your front door say? Watch as Ty Pennington tells how to send the perfect message.” In the last month alone, the post has been read more than 350 times.
Remember, Pinterest is all about eye-candy. While there are huge opportunities to market through this medium, particularly to women, it will only happen IF your images are exceptional. We hope you found this information helpful. If you want more tips on utilizing Pinterest, we have some resources to help. We have two recorded webinars available: Pinterest for Beginners ($17) & Advanced Pinterest ($27). Get both for only $37.
Melissa Marro, a published artist, now turned staging advocate and national speaker speaks her mind about real estate and the home staging industry. In her ‘no holds barred’ approach, audience members find real answers to the industries pitfalls and learn how to overcome them with tried and true information and guidance. With marketing as her passion, she turned a small home based business into one of the nation’s largest home staging and training facilities. Selling her successful home staging company in January 2012, Marro is now a full time speaker and instructor for Staging And Resign and Real Estate Staging Association(RESA)’s trade events.