Just Say No - To Pinterest

Real Estate Agent with Las Cruces Homes and Land


Sorry my budding Pinterest Pinners but this has gone on too long. I've been reading a bunch of blog posts, articles and Facebook posts about how wonderful and fun and cool and etc Pinterest is! Surf the web, find cool pictures, pin them on your board and share! I even bought into the hype, creating my own boards about the different neighborhoods here in Tucson. Last night, my boards went bye bye.

BUT BUT BUT!! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY????? (As a friend of mine said in an email.) Let me explain it very simply. I don't have time to deal with lawyers and individuals who will email me and threaten to sue me because I used their image(s) without permission. Plus, I don't have time to email someone whose picture I want to pin and wait for them to respond.

How many times have you been surfing around, looking for that perfect clip art piece or sunset photo to use? You hit The Google (yes, THE Google), type in what you want, click on images and voila! There it is!! A quick copy to your computer, a quick upload to Active Rain and you're done. Right? WRONG!!!

Say this outloud with me:

Repeat that 10 times to yourself.

Mercado San Agustin Tucson AZ
Picture courtesy of Kent Simpson

Here's a great picture my better half took of a new development here in Tucson. With his permission, I can use it. If I had found it just surfing around and used it without permission, he could call Denny Crain (Boston Legal anyone?) and have him send me a 'knock it off' notice.

The same concept goes along with Pinterest. I'm surfing around and I find this picture that I want to include on one of my boards about Tucson neighborhoods. I click "Pin It" and there it is for all the word to see. I have NO WAY (unless it's changed) to offer attribution for the photo unless I open up PaintShop and use my text tool.

To me, there is NO difference between finding pictures for my blog post here or finding pictures to pin on Pinterest.

I think it's a great concept and, maybe, it could be a great marketing tool. Until Pinterest figures out a way around the trademark and permissions problems, it's more trouble than it's worth.

Still in doubt? Read what a former Pinterest user/lawyer had to say about it




Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Kathleen Daniels 02/29/2012 01:52 PM
  2. Kathy Sheehan 02/29/2012 10:09 PM
  3. Gloria Matthews 02/29/2012 11:47 PM
  4. Brian Schulte 05/23/2012 12:38 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Emmary....Congratulations on your feature...Pinterest is mostly made up of middle aged women, I think over 60% to Men, the average time I hear is over 8o minutes a day compared to 10 minutes on FB.

I play there loading my own photos and re-pin the ones i like from people that follow me. To me it's a venue to expose my photos and where I live and about me...Purely innocent stuff...

The last time I heard of any damage suit succeeding was where they proved damage to the original owner like the loss of income or monies etc.

If someone re-pins my photos, I'm pleased they they liked it that well, because that's why I re-pinned their photos...like someone early said why slam this very popular venue because of copy write options...I believe so far nobody has sued anyone over photo sharing....but wise to only upload your own photos (or ones you have permission to use), it could be because they're having fun and enjoying the photo sharing !!! I know I am, along with millions of others making this bigger that FB already...Thanks to the Lady Power.

Like Brad says "get out there and get belly to Belly with your family, Clients and friends, for your Real Estate and life in general", Keep SM for enjoyment and some Business, It's Not a Silver Bullet!!! SM is all about networking socially and some for business results from your exposure, by getting your face and comments with new and old online friends.




May 04, 2012 12:07 AM #162
Barbara Heise
Keller Williams Realty STL - Saint Louis, MO
Search for Homes for Sale in St. Louis

Thanks for this article.  I've been wanting to learn more about this social media tool.  This article has some interesting thoughts to ponder.

May 05, 2012 10:11 PM #163
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ

Unbelievable.  I just cancelled mine.  Didn't really understand it anyway.  Thanks for sharing the light on this subject!

May 07, 2012 02:03 PM #165
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Great blog.  I knew I didn't need to do Pinterest for some reason and you gave me a good reason.

May 07, 2012 09:42 PM #166
Vanessa Helmick
Fiore Interiors - Portland, ME
Interior Designer

I personally haven't seen anyone in real estate or staging successfully track sales back to Pinterest.I hear about all this SEO possibility-but I don't see results in quickbooks. For retailers that have online stores (think west elm, crate and barrel) or etsy sellers it can be GREAT!

I don't pin because I don't enjoy it. Honestly it is not a good use of my time. But I do hope that this evolves into something responsible. Let's wait and see.

May 09, 2012 07:31 AM #167
Michael Maynard
New Neighbors Realty - Milford, CT
"Welcome Home!"

My Fiance is addicted, I never took the time to check the site out haha.

May 11, 2012 01:56 AM #169
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

I totally agree with you, Emmary. No amount of argument will ever make me believe that linking back to the original post (assuming the original website even had permission) is enough to avoid copyright violation. We've been told not to post re-blogs to our outside blog because if the photos were used without permission, then we can be held responsible. Those same folks think Pinterest is okay? Really?

May 14, 2012 03:32 AM #170
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Emmary - This also concerns me for repinning.  We don't know where they came from.

May 14, 2012 03:05 PM #171
Susanna Haynie
CO-RE Group, LLC -Real estate sales and services - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor GRI CNE MCNE ePro MRP

I did not realize that Pinterest was so controversial. I pin a lot of my original content - sometime some other stuff too. As someone said before I am NOT really pinning photos I am pinning websites. The photos just help me remember what the content was about.

In regards to linking back to the original site. it seems that regardless of how many times a pin has been repinned if there is a website that it's linked to it, it will show up directly from your pin. So there IS always a direct way to get in touch.

Lately, I have seen a lot of photos that have been reported as spam or "inappropriate content" if you find your (or your daughters) photos and don't like the pins, simply report them, they will be taken down by pinterest.

Feel free to take a look at my boards. http://pinterest.com/COSprings/



May 15, 2012 11:39 PM #173
Blatt + Cutino
Keller Williams Coastal Estates - Monterey, CA
Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today*

To mos Pinterest was fun and interesting in the sense that I have found things and bought them that I would not have found and bought otherwise. But because someone else pinned it and I saw it .... I then bought it. But, I only pin things that are allowed to be pinned from the original sight. Does that matter?

May 18, 2012 10:51 PM #174
Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Interesting discussion! I haven't joined the Pinterest bandwagon yet. Haven't had a chance to spend any time there to evaluate it. I've been on Flickr and I'm on Picassa and google photos. I take a lot of pictures and use my own photos on my blogs. 

Having said that, my brokerage is successfully using Pinterest as part of an integrated campaign for The Luxury Collection through video and pictures onlne through a targeted campaign featured on social media channels including Facebook, twitter, Pinterest and Google+.  Pinterest features our listings organized by rooms. Pictures of all our dining rooms, pictures of all kitchens etc.updated everyday. Innovative marketing helps strengthen a strong brand. http://pinterest.com/corcorangroup/

May 20, 2012 11:32 AM #175
Bud & Beth McKinney
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United

Interesting content. In my dabbles with Pinterest I have found that most of the posts I come across have links back to the original sources, and perhaps sometimes a comment down below about the source. So with a few clicks you will see who did the original posting. 

I know that in the case that the source isn't or can't be located, as much credit where credit is due should be given! A little comment down below about where one found their "original" pin would suffice, I think.

Great post, though. I had no idea this was going on. 

May 21, 2012 12:32 AM #176
Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation
Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC - Port Coquitlam, BC
Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team

I have read several posts proclaiming the pitfalls of using Pinterest yet am unaware of ANYONE I know or have heard of that has experienced the aforementioned negative consequences.  By all means, sit this one out but miss all the fun. 


May 21, 2012 02:51 PM #177
Kevin O'Rourke - Keller Williams Miami Beach Realtor
Keller Williams Miami Beach Realty - Miami Beach, FL
CDPE Miami Short Sale Agent 305-520-9436
Emmary, thanks fir the heads up on the legal issues of using Pinterest. I created an account and pinned one photo as I was told it was the hot new social media site. I doubt I will return after reading this blog.
May 22, 2012 12:58 PM #178
Lori Spohn
Eugene, OR

Emmy, Congrats on the feature about Pinterest.  You raised some great observations.  Not to mention all the spam that follows you to your inbox whenever someone likes your pin. ETC....

Great Job

Lori Spohn Team

May 29, 2012 07:03 AM #179
Deb Dahlberg - Rowland
Stanberry Realtors - Fayetteville, TX
Deb sells Texas "in between" AUS/SAN/IAH

I agreee with Mary Borth above.  I use Pinterest to file away projects and ideas and recipes I can refer to later.  I love that the link is with the picture that takes me back to the original website.  I have tried to pin images from websites and they aren't available soit seems that  someone has made the decision to allow a  pin or not.   I also use Pinterest for my real estate business and I pin my own photos from my website or I upload my own photos and love when they get repinned!   

Jun 28, 2012 05:42 AM #180
David Krichmar
www.DaveYourMortgageGuy.com - Legend Lending - Sugar Land, TX

lol, thank you.  You go my attention with this post.  i will pass on it. 

Jun 28, 2012 06:15 AM #181
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
I know this is an old article, but Pinterest is growing like crazy, and early adopters are now benefiting. Maybe instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, you should figure out how to use it correctly. They have now added business pages, and it's another powerful social media tool that many large and successful businesses are using.
Dec 24, 2012 07:52 AM #182
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA


 Pinterest does not just store a small thumbnail graphic with a link back to the site, but a full sized copy that makes the authors of the images very upset. Most Pinterest members don't mean to violate copyrights, they just don't even think about that since <everyone else> does pinning and it is <normal>.

How about quotes? Everyone uses them, but do they ever ask a permission to do so?

Nov 07, 2013 04:32 PM #184
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I post only my material on my Pinterest Board that is identified with my business.  I place my virtual tours there, listing info, advertisements, postcards. 

Jun 20, 2014 07:01 AM #185
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