I’ve read through those articles just to make sure I am not repeating anything that’s been said before, and I think I might have some good original ideas to share! These are techniques I incorporate into my own real estate blog when searching for inspiration and resources.
Keep in mind, content strategy is not just about writing blog posts. There are tactics behind each one of these ideas that will help you rank better, create more relationships and position yourself as the local expert.
Here are four mega resources, right in front of your nose daily, that you’ve probably never thought to tap into for hyperlocal blog ideas.
4 obvious blog resources you’ve probably never thought of
Here is a really easy two-step process to both write some of your best articles and also get free promotion for them:
Step 1: Pull out your list of recommended vendors.
Step 2: Use every vendor as a blog post.
I’ll give you some examples:
- Appraiser: “Defend the price: How to avoid a low appraisal”
- Accountant: “Tax stuff you should know as a new homeowner in Texas”
- Foundation expert: “Best practices to prevent catastrophic foundation damage in Central Texas”
- Pest inspector: “Eek! The home I’m buying has carpenter ants. Now what?”
I mentioned promotion. By teaming up with your vendors, they are incentivized to share your content to their own audiences and promote it.
Interview your vendors to get quotes, and educate yourself more on the topic. Mention your preferred vendors by name. Interview multiple vendors in the same category, and include quotes from them all (I try to have three recommended vendors per type for clients to pick from). That is three times the sharing!
And you can repurpose it easily into multiple forms of content. Add in some video content like an interview with a lawyer explaining probates, or do a Facebook Live on your next listing with the surveyor explaining some of the most frequent problems he runs into with surveys.
The benefits include better relationships with your vendors, which opens the door to co-marketing or referral opportunities, easy ways to expand your audience and get your content shared, and learning more about the real estate space that will make you a better agent.
And sometimes that kind of content can rank pretty darn well, opening up other opportunities.
As of this writing, I have a page on my site titled “Recommended lenders — Fort Hood, Texas” that is ranking in the top 10 for keywords like “Fort Hood lender.” That can be pretty powerful!
This is one of my favorite sources for articles, and I see extremely few people using it for blog post ideas.
Just take a look at the fields in a sold homes MLS printout. How many fields (or combinations of fields) would make for interesting information?
I’ll give you example articles I’ve come up with :
- Year built: “You’ll be shocked at the average age of Fort Hood, Texas, homes!”
- Loan type: “How much of a military town is Killeen? 54% of local buyers use the VA loan”
- Under contract date: “August is cold: The seasons of the Fort Hood, Texas, real estate market”
- Occupancy type plus dollar per square foot: “Don’t sell with a tenant! Tenant occupied homes sell for 15% less!”
I find articles like these that focus on a single statistic are easier to write, more actionable and more interesting than monthly or quarterly market reports (though you should probably do those, too).
Articles like these familiarize you with your market statistics beyond just median price and days on market. Sometimes, it can lead to revelations!
For example, I never would have guessed that March is the hottest month of the year in my market. That knowledge can be meaningful to sellers who think waiting until June to list is a good idea.
These articles may or may not rank for target keywords. But they can make for some very shareable, attention-grabbing headlines and infographics to incorporate into your social media strategy or repurposed into other content like buyer guides and listing presentations.
Research shows that numbers in articles and headlines get noticed and are persuasive.
Contracts and forms
Here’s another great source of inspiration! Go through zipForms or whatever your state association uses, and check out your forms.
Turn every document into an article.
For example, Texas has an “Information about mineral clauses” form. I can whip up a quick blog article about what buyers and sellers need to know about the basics of mineral clauses in typical residential transactions and some resources if they want to explore further.
I recently wrote a post called the “Texas real estate dictionary” based and inspired in part on the Texas “General information and notice to a buyer” form.
Some more examples include:
- Third-party financing addendum: “Protecting the right to walk away if your financing falls through”
- Sellers disclosure: “What you should be looking for in a Texas seller’s disclosure”
- Seller’s estimated net sheet: “How much does it really cost to sell your Fort Hood, Texas, home?”
- Buyer and seller temporary lease: “When, why and how to use a temporary lease in Texas”
- Property subject to mandatory membership addendum: “Tips, hints and tricks when buying a home in a Texas HOA”
These articles are great to incorporate into your systems. When I send a document for signing, I include links to the articles I’ve written about those forms to give my buyers and sellers a surplus of information and to continue establishing myself as a subject matter expert they can trust.
You can synergize this technique with the vendor technique above.
For example, Texas has a form called “Protecting your home from mold.” Perhaps you can write about that form (linking to it) and also use contributions from a local mold or restoration company.
How many small, local builders don’t have a website? What if you made one for them?
Well, not so much made one for them, but created a post or page on your own site about each builder? Not just one builder. Not just about local builders in general (although that’s a good idea, too).
Every builder you can think of!
Even for builders with their own website, it’s not hard to rank just below them in the top three results on Google.
I did this on my own site. There are multiple builders in the Fort Hood area for whom I am the no. 1 Google search result and many for which I am on the first page of Google.
This is an opportunity to leverage that web presence into relationships with these builders, perhaps partnering on some promotional content, videos or co-marketing.
It was one of the fastest SEO results I’ve ever seen, as my new posts began showing up on the first page of Google within a month after publishing them for some local builders.
It is both a blessing and a curse, as I also get calls from homeowners thinking I am the builder who want me to come fix their plumbing (I make it clear on the page that I am a Realtor and not affiliated with the builder, but that doesn’t seem to register with everyone).
My personal blogging experience
My first attempt at blogging actually failed. I couldn’t think of ideas. It wasn’t fun. My goal was to post something just once every two weeks, and even that was a chore. I felt like I had to do it because everyone said I did.
I don’t know why I struggled, but my eureka moment came when I broke down how much there is to talk about in my community that no one else is talking about!
I live in a market of about 250,000 people, and yet it is large enough that I could not possibly know everything about every builder, every HOA, every community, city code, tax rate, etc.
There is an abundance of opportunities to make hyperlocal content that ranks in search engines and delivers website traffic and leads.
Don’t blog about real estate in general. Take every article you write, and make it about your community.
For example, there are lots of articles about HOAs, but there is only one article about Fort Hood HOAs (seriously, google “Fort Hood HOAs” and you’ll see my article, I hope).
Hopefully, there was something new here for you. If not, or if you have other advice and think I’m off my rocker, please share in the comments below. I would love to connect with any folks who are killing it at blogging.
Other agent bloggers I’ve taken some queues from include Andrew Fortune with Great Colorado Homes, Kyle Hiscock with The Rochester Real Estate Blog, Bill Gassett at Maximum Real Estate Exposure, The BREL Team in Toronto and Michael Saunders. I recommend checking out their sites for ideas and to see what they are doing!
Hyperlocal content is one of the things that the big players such as Zillow and Redfin don’t do very well (or at all). It’s one of the few ways you can still beat them online. Get blogging!