Content Ideas for the REALTOR who has Nothing to Write About

June 29, 2010

So, what kind of blog content can a real estate agent find that will get quality links? That is the ultimate question, because the goal should not be to win over the world overnight – it should just be to slowly gain quality links one at a time and build the authority of your site. This will ultimately better your rankings in the search engines which is what will get you the additional business that you are looking for.

But what if you aren’t a Pulitzer-prize winning writer or a professional photographer? This is ok. Just find relevant topics for your area and the local real estate market (even if it’s just remotely related) that visitors to your site would find interesting, and even compelling.

Don’t worry about writing an article or finding a picture with the goal of gaining 100 new links to your site or getting so many hits that it crashes your server.

If you get one great link from a local college (.edu sites are great) to your site because you wrote a great article about how the market is affecting home prices in your city and recent college grads are unable to afford homes in the area, then you have achieved your goal.

Or what if your photos and write-up about how a local fire halted construction of a much needed infrastructure system to a densely populated subdivision and shut down schools for days – if a local news media links to your site, then you have achieved your goal.

So… here it is. 106 ideas for blog content to get links and traffic to your site. This is certainly not a complete list – feel free to add your own, fresh ideas. This list may also spark some new ideas that would work well in your market.

1. Home prices in local market

2. Local subdivisions/ farm area prices, solds, actives, pendings, etc.

3. New construction plans in area

4. New businesses coming to area

5. Job market in local area

6. Local weather and how it affects lifestyles & local market (for example, in Phoenix, no natural disasters, so many companies put their data centers here because of low risk of physical destructions to computer and data equipment)

7. Create a helpful checklist for buyers and sellers

8. Create an ebook. Example: “(Your name)’s Guide to Buying Real Estate in (your area). Make it a step by step guide to let your clients know exactly what it’s going to be like to buy real estate in your state.

9. Mortgage rate updates

10. Dangers of certain types of loans (such as interest only, certain ARMS, etc.), and why they are not for everyone – be careful not to buy more house than you can afford

11. Advantages of going through a mortgage broker for your next loan as opposed to your local bank (i.e., more options for finding a lender to say yes, potential for better rates, competing lenders so can find the best program for your needs)

12. Buying your first investment property

13. Dos and don’ts of buying investment properties

14. Should you rent it or flip it?

15. What you should know about home inspections

16. What to do about mold- is it really a problem?

17. Do I need to worry about radon?

18. The importance of safety around swimming pools

19. Simple repairs to help your home show better and sell faster

20. How do I choose the right real estate agent for my needs

21. How do I price my home right to sell without giving it away?

22. Landscaping can make a difference

23. What is curb appeal?

24. Is a neighborhood with an HOA for me?

25. Local school report cards and ratings

26. Child Care Guide (write a resource guide for parents on locations, costs, and services of local child care, day care,
preschool, and after-school facilities)

27. Local shopping and attractions in the area

28. Guide to dining out – rank all the restaurants in your area (let the restaurants know about your ranking guide and see
if you can get a link from them)

29. Upcoming sporting events, concerts, shows, etc

30. Anything newsworthy in your area (fires, road construction, crime reports, job markets, etc.)

31. Anything controversial in your area such as upcoming elections, debate about a subway/rail system, problems at a local nightclub, road noise from new freeway, new housing development with controversial architecture, etc. (be to take a somewhat neutral stance by posing questions to the reader rather than just stating your opinion – you don’t want to offend anyone, but people do like a good debate)

32. Average energy prices for your subdivision / farm area / local market

33. What homeowners can do to save on energy costs

34. Remodeling ideas to instantly increase the value of your home

35. Resources and tips for hiring contractors and actually having a good experience (a lot of folks have bad experiences with contractors either not showing up, not finishing the job, not doing work they were already paid for, etc. – you could provide a list of tips and resources, such as your local or state contractors association, referral services, etc.)

36. What are the Top 5 Scams of building contractors and how to avoid them?

37. What you need to know about buying foreclosures

38. What you need to know about buying tax liens in the county of _______

39. Buying a second home or vacation home/condo

40. The pros and cons of buying and owing a timeshare

41. Buying a resale home versus a new construction home (or completed spec home)

42. How to hire a great property management company

43. Is it better to buy or lease commercial space for my business

44. The new craze in buying Office Condos

45. Things you must know to successfully sell your home on your own (great bait for FSBOs – overwhelm them with so
much powerful info so that after reading it, they will WANT to hire you to sell their home)

46. Getting involved in local charities (write about what you have done, and what residents can do to get involved in local organizations)

47. Organizing a neighborhood clean-up day or garage sale

48. Plan a neighborhood block party or kid’s parade and then write about it, send flyers out, take photos, etc to get the word out – see if the HOA or local chamber or other organization will link to your site for more info

49. Travel tips for visitors to your area (great for out-of-town buyers)

50. Weekend getaways at local resorts for residents (often in the off-season, local resorts and attractions have huge discounts – take photos and write about some of these deals and amenities and get the hotels/resorts to link to your site)

51. Cost of Living Comparison (for different cities or neighborhoods in your local market). Put in a side by side comparison for average price of homes, gas, utilities, etc. Provide proof to your buyers of what they get for their money in one city versus another.

52. Top Ten Reasons why Babyboomers should buy their next home in [this town]

53. 7 Reasons Why you Should Sell your Home during the holiday season (most agents would say this is a bad time to sell and the market slows down – you could be different and show them why to list with you now instead of waiting and possibly losing the business to another agent)

54. Every week or month, go visit a new subdivision . Prepare a write up and photos on all the details: # of lots for sale, square footage, floor plans, spec homes available, builder warranties, locations, nearby shopping, amenities, future plans, etc.

55. Advantages of a Home Warranty

56. Fire Safety Tips for your home (also discuss 2 story homes, condos/high-rises, small children, the elderly, etc.)

57. Research the history of your city or local area – if something significant happened, such as a major fire, plane crash, storm, etc., write about it, get photos if you can (with permission) and post all the info about it you can find on your site.

58. Have webcam feeds from local points of interests such as ski resorts, traffic monitors, etc.

59. Create a quarterly crime report – gather the data from local law enforcement offices and break it down by city, area, subdivision, etc.

60. Get involved in your local Community or Neighborhood Watch program – post articles about the program, how residents can get involved, what activities are going on, etc.

61. Volunteer to coach a local little league or sports team – be sure to post your “coach” photo with all the kids on your website, write a short blurb about how the season is going, and send the photo, article, and url to all the parents along with your business card or brochure

62. What’s the difference in hiring a REALTOR versus a real estate agent? (use this one if you are a REALTOR – show potential clients the advantages of membership, education, code of ethics, etc.)

63. Moving resource guide (resources for buyers moving in from out of the area, for local moves, and for sellers moving out – all are potential client bases for you)

64. What should I offer for earnest money and down payment when buying a home?

65. Need to sell your home quickly? Ask about our guarantee. (or quick-sell program, or any other marketing technique you may use in your market)

66. How does the close of escrow process work? (talk about the general closing process and then things that are specific to your market or state/local laws)

67. Three Biggest Seller Mistakes (typically, these are Price, Condition, and Marketing – they must price it right, have it in good condition, and market it well – this is where you can talk up how your marketing program beats the competition)

68. Avoid Legal Battles when Buying or Selling a Home (a great place to talk about the importance of hiring a professional – You! – and to talk about the protections and responsibilities built in to your state/local real estate contracts)

69. Subdivision Reports (you could have one page for each of the popular subdivisions in your area or more specific to your farm area – title the page with the name of the subdivision and talk about the amenities, location, local shopping, attractions, home prices, architecture, HOA info if any, builders info, types of housing such as single vs. 2-story, homes with pools, etc.)

70. Reviews on books relevant to real estate or anything of importance to your area

71. Reviews on local businesses/vendors of interest to homeowners (for example, call pool vendors and get them to give you details, articles, referrals, and a link to your site, then call homeowners in the area and get reviews on their service)

72. Bargain Hunter’s Guide (Where to eat for under $20, How to find Furniture Bargains, etc.)

73. 25 Things to do in (Your Town) on the Weekend for under $40
74. Current Events (subscribe to local business journals and expand on any articles of interest to potential clients/visitors to your site, add photos, comments, etc.) The goal is for you to Become a Reporter!

75. Attend local zoning commission meetings, council meetings, school board meetings, etc. and write recaps of the meetings

76. Conduct community surveys and post results on your site (invite readers to participate because this makes people feel important – if your survey is relevant to your community or local real estate market, others will link to your site to spread the word about your findings)

77. Make donations to local organizations and then put photos and a write-up about it in your blog (very effective to have a matching gift offer – such as you’ll match $1 up to $1000 for every $1 your readers donate to this organization) This can get you write-ups in local newspapers and be sure you always mention your website when talking to reporters.

78. Have a contest (one that involves kids is very effective because kids will typically bug mom and dad to check your website to see if they’ve won) The prize doesn’t have to break the bank; dinner for two, tickets to a local theme park, movie passes, etc. are very popular and inexpensive.

79. Offer a scholarship for a local community college or university student (make sure the application links to your website and just like that, you have a much sought-after .edu link)

80. Volunteer to give a lecture at a university or local college (be sure to have the professor/administrator put a link to your website on the school’s website – there’s that .edu link again – so that students can either sign up or get more info). Giving a lecture or seminar not only gets you a link, but also puts your name & business out to all the attendees (you never know what potential buyers or sellers may be in the audience).

81. Offer your services for incoming students to local colleges/universities looking for housing. This can get you a .edu link and also direct access to advertise to potential clients.

82. Keep a camera with you at all times. Photos are great link bait. You never know what you’ll find in rush hour traffic. Once you capture the puppy dog running across the freeway on film, submit the photo to sites like Flickr and gain links from people looking at the photo in disbelief. You can also build out a story on your site to go with the photo.

83. Capture great photographs of a sunset or lightning storm – another great photo idea. Submit them to Flickr as well – if it’s local, you can also get links from local media and other interested parties.

84. Recount historical events on their anniversary date and write a blog post about it. Can be local events, national events, or international.

85. Write a themed article for each holiday of importance. For example, on Veteran’s Day, write an article thanking and remembering our veterans for their service to our country, find out about any local events or parades in your area, etc.

86. Interview three of your best local home inspectors. Come up with a common list of the 25 Most Important Things a Homebuyer should watch out for when buying a home. You could also come up with a list of the 10 Most Common Code Violations found by local inspectors.

87. Give your readers a space of their own to ask you questions. Post the questions and answers on your site. This allows reader interaction and avoids the one-way conversation. It can also get you links from both the reader and others who like your answers and want to reference your information.

88. Keep a Toolbox on your site. These are tools that your readers may want to use on a daily basis, and thus link to your site for easy access. (Some examples are a calendar, scheduler/planner, link to mapquest, local yellow pages, local & national news sites, weather sites, local newspaper, reliable online dictionary/thesaurus, computer troubleshooting site, local sports teams, movie reviews/local theaters, community newsletter,…)

89. Cheap Gas Spots (link to sites that show where you readers can buy the cheapest gas in the area where they live or work). Some examples might be your local AAA website, local radio and news media sites, Gas Buddy, and Gas Price Watch.

90. Expose a scam (what fun!) Alert residents in your community about a scam that is taking place in their neighborhood. Inform them what to look for, how to avoid it, and how to report it. Examples might be a telemarketing scam, identity theft ring, etc.

91. How to secure your wireless internet connection (many homeowners become victims of identity theft or other crimes simply because they use an unsecured internet connection – give them the steps to take to protect themselves and possibly get some local ISPs to provide input and/or link to your site)

92. Compare services of local phone, internet, cable, and satellite providers. Ask your readers for feedback; ask the companies for their pricing and customer satisfaction ratings; and find out what services are offered at which prices. Do a comparison chart and allow readers to comment on their experiences.

93. Local directory of doctors, dentists, hospitals, chiropractors, etc. (also, get these providers to link to your site and add a blurb about their facility and the services they offer)

94. Publicity Stunts – Do something funny or outrageous (be careful here – this is something you’ll want to be remembered for).

95. Participate in and/or Post photos and a write-up about local marathons, triathlons, fundraisers, etc. (local charity fun runs, breast cancer runs, diabetes walks, fitness challenges, etc.)

96. Provide details about the local Christmas light shows and attractions – post directions, times, prices, & features. Go to them, take photos, and write reviews on each on your site. You may soon rank for this search term and become people’s future source to find Christmas lights.

97. Take photos and write a short blurb about the Christmas lights and decorations in your own neighborhood or farm area. Post this on your website and incorporate it in any direct mailings or newsletters. If readers find their house or street on your site, you’ll get links and traffic.

98. Have a contest (complete with photos, of course) in your neighborhood for the best Halloween costume and best-decorated house.

99. Follow King Tut. When there is a traveling museum or exhibit that comes to your city, go see it. Take photos and write all about it. Post the hours, location, and parking tips – even where guests can eat lunch/dinner while there.

100. Interview local church leaders and pastors on what they have to say about the local housing market. Ask what challenges their members may face such as traffic issues or housing costs. Ask what the church does in the local community (i.e, church recently held a local clean-up and tree planting day in partnership with the city).

101. Go build a house with Habitat for Humanity or similar charity. Be sure to get a photo of yourself with your hard hat on and write about your experience. Also, let readers know how they could get involved if they desire.

102. Write a voting guide – don’t tell them your opinion or how to vote; just provide both sides of the issue for all the propositions on the ballot. Interview local candidates and post their views on the hot issues as well.

103. Visit local schools and interview teachers or principals about the challenges and opportunities in their school. Get a synopsis of the school’s enrollment, future plans, budget concerns, political issues, and other matters of importance. You may even get a link from the school or district websites.

104. In addition to talking to local school staff, talk to the parent-teacher group (sometimes called the PTA or PTO). Ask them what projects and activities they have going on, what they do to get parents involved in school, what the local community can do to help, etc.

105. Comment on other blogs. Once those blog owners notice you when trolling through their referral logs, they will likely return the favor. (This, by the way, is a legitimate reciprocal link.)

106. Conduct an “Annual Profile of Homebuyers/Sellers” in your market. Here’s how it could work: Interview 100 folks who have recently or are currently buying or selling a home. Offer them a gift certificate or dinner for two for their time. Ask all kinds of questions such as how they ultimately found their home, how they chose their REALTOR, what other homes or areas did they consider, what was most important in selling their home, etc. Then, write a nice article about your findings and post the results (use photos, charts, graphs, etc.).

Some of you already have the light bulb going off about this last one. This is a biggie – just think about how you could use this same technique as a prospecting tool for FSBOs and Expireds. And about how many news stations or local universities may stumble across your report. Then, you’ve got interviews, links to your website, reprints or quotes from your article, and more. This is a key stealth marketing technique that could land more traffic to your website and numerous buyers and sellers lining up to do business to you.

On some of the unique and local ideas above such as the Christmas light show directory, this can help you rank immediately for some of the long tail searches because they are not as competitive. So, whenever someone searches for “Your Town Christmas Light Shows,” you now come up in the top of the search. Not only does this bring potential clients to your site, but it increases your name recognition and the authority of your site. You become a trusted source for valuable information – this is easily incorporated into your long-term strategy of becoming an authority in your marketplace (both on the web and in the neighborhoods you work). It is also very likely that various news media outlets will stumble on your website and want to quote you or interview you – another great way to get famous and get links.

Think of your website as the canvas and your expertise as the paintbrush. Pick up your brush, open your mind, and create a link-worthy masterpiece.

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