Long before they ever contact realtors, people who are in the market to buy or sell houses are compiling must-have lists for their new homes.

It used to be that they’d tear pictures from magazines or newspapers that represented the features they were looking for. Now, millions of people are flocking to Pinterest to create virtual pinboards of their wish lists so that others can see and share their ideas as well.

Whether it’s getting a clearer picture of what your clients are looking for or positioning yourself as a well-connected member of your community, there are many ways that realtors can leverage this immense interest in Pinterest. If you haven’t done so already, here’s how to create a Pinterest account. Then, continue your Pinterest marketing momentum by implementing these strategies.

1. Get Your Buyers Involved

At any given time, a typical realtor represents a number of different properties as well as a number of different clients and prospects. What might be a considered a dream home for one client could be nothing more than a drab home for another.

To eliminate the guesswork, ask your buying clients to create Pinterest pinboards that represent their ideal homes. Follow your clients’ boards and ask them to pin pictures of the dream homes they’re looking for. Encourage them to include pictures of the furnishings they’d love to have, the appliances they’d like to see in the kitchen, and so on.

Uploading pictures consolidates those images in the minds of your clients and it makes it that much easier for them to envision themselves in their model homes. Plus, it gives you tangible insights into the features that are most important to your clients when they’re looking to buy.

2. Get Your Sellers Involved

Your clients who are selling their homes are just as interested in closing the deals as you are, so why not get them involved in the selling process too? Create a pinboard for each home you’re selling and ask the seller for permission and content to upload to the home’s pinboard. Before-and-after renovation pictures would be of great interest to prospective buyers, as would pictures of the seller actually enjoying the home (a backyard BBQ, sitting under a shady tree and so on).

To really encourage interaction, allow sellers to pin images to your pinboards directly. You can easily adjust the settings of your pinboards to allow other Pinterest members to add their own photos and videos to your property-based boards.

This kind of interactive selling is all still very new, so some clients may be more inclined to participate than others. Still, those that do become effective members of your Pinterest-based sales force!

3. Become Known as a Community Builder

Create a pinboard of your own that represents the community in which you do business. Don’t simply upload pictures of your listings though; people will lose interest in those types of boards pretty quickly. Instead, include pictures and even videos of interesting neighborhoods in your community to let your clients know that you represent more than just listings — you represent the entire community in which you live.

Partner with local businesses related to your industry, such as painters, carpenters, landscapers and so on. Pin some of their images to your pinboards, comment and promote them on their own boards and encourage your followers to do the same.

Also, make sure to follow all of your client’s pinboards too. Make interesting comments where appropriate and use Pinterest as a stepping stone to follow them on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Your goal on Pinterest, like social media in general, is to become top-of-mind with your target audience. When you rely less on traditional selling techniques and focus instead on being a good social media neighbor, you just might help your clients find some new neighbors of their own.

Have you come across any good examples of realtors using Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image credits: Megapixel Eyes, Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire, Ian Muttoo, Dru Bloomfield]