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Blog Fodder Gold For Your Hyper-Local Site

You Know You Want It

You want to write articles on your blog that captivate your readers and elicit responses from them. You want content that positions you as the housing expert in your area. You want your site to create some local buzz. You want SEO and you want traffic and you want to create conversations with your neighbors. You want it all, don’t you?

It Ain’t Easy

Sorry, I have no magic bullet for you. It’s going to take work. (Or money, if you want to hire someone to write for you.) You are still going to have to put in the time and be disciplined enough to write on a regular basis. And you are still going to have to promote your site via Facebook or newletters or email campaigns, or by whatever other means you have used up until now. But what I do have for you is a way to generate a steady stream of great blog topics that are relevant, interesting and maybe even controversial enough to get your readers talking.

You’re Gonna Be So Mad At Me! Teehee 🙂

Ok, so here is my idea: Get involved in your REALTOR Association. More specifically, get involved in your local, State or National Association’s Government Affairs Committee. Come on, stay with me here. I’ve written before about RPAC and why that is important, but this is something different and doesn’t require you to write a check. You need to get to these meetings and put your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your area that affects your clients where they live, in their daily lives and in their pocketbooks.

Topics People Are Already Thinking About

The things you will learn about on the Government Affairs Committee are going to blow your mind. Trust me, if you don’t come away from every monthly meeting with 1-5 article ideas, you’re asleep. Are real estate taxes a hot topic in your area (duh)? You will learn about all the intricacies involved in the topic of real estate taxes…what affects your tax bill on a local level, at the state level, how property assessments impact them, how local elections could impact your tax bill, etc. All of these things are things you’ll discuss and learn about in Government Affairs. How about issues involved in land use and zoning? Affordable housing issues? How about licensing of home inspectors and contractors? Is there a special project slated in your area that needs State funds to get off the ground?

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Do you think your customer base might have strong opinions about any of this stuff? Of course they do. Guess what? You can harness all of their emotion and energy for your own evil real estate purposes on your blog! People react and engage with what pushes their buttons. And engagement is what it’s all about.

It Works, I Swear

I know, I know. This is not what you were expecting. I will not apologize – this is no-fail recommendation! I’ve written two such articles on my local blog in the past, one about a local school district considering a student uniform policy, and another about how the County was recommending that we not spray for a heavy gypsy moth infestation we were dealing with. These two articles received the most hits and the most comments ever. Not only that, guess what kind of conversations I started having (initiated by others, not by me) at my daughters’ field hockey games? How many times did these readers talk to other parents and say ‘did you see Lisa’s article about that?’

This is the kind of buzz you want to create, right? Get on that Committee!

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Written By

Lisa sells residential real estate in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern PA, and authors The Poconos Real Estate Blog. Being a strong believer in community participation, she currently serves as President of a 1700 home Property Owners' Association and Secretary of the Board of the local REALTOR Association for 2009. Her most challenging and fulfilling role, though, is that of Mom to two teenage girls, and her main hope for them is that they learn to appreciate the abundant joys of a life lived with a positive attitude. You can connect with Lisa on Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Mark Eckenrode

    February 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    i hope others pick up on this because it’s an absolutely killer tip, lisa.

  2. Ruthmarie Hicks

    February 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I tend to go to city council meetings and meetings of neighborhood associations. Not so much real-estate based meetings. Same idea, different venue. It also puts me in front of people who could be potential consumers.

    This year the school board meeting is a hot topic. We have some of the highest paid teachers in the nation (perhaps THE highest paid) and their salaries and legacy costs are creating a tax burden that is impacting housing prices. Literally we have a median salary of over $80k and some teachers making $140k. My comments and research on taxes and their impact on home values put me front and center with a couple of journalists. So it works – even if I don’t win a popularity contest with the teacher’s union.

    (Lest I get slammed here – I’m all for decent salaries – educators deserve nothing less – but these people are very well paid and work less than 10 months a year – and they are STILL demanding significant raises in spite of the financial carnage around them.) Sometimes you have to give back – and they don’t seem to be inclined to do so.

  3. Vicki Moore

    February 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks Lisa – That’s a great suggestion. Getting involved can be very motivating.

  4. Lisa Sanderson

    February 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Mark: I am humbled by your compliment-thanks!!

    Ruthmarie: Keep up the great work representing the industry! (BTW-your site is pretty 😀 )

    Vicki: And it feeds on itself. I have to hold myself back sometimes lest I get too carried away! I’m a hopeless RE geek!!

  5. Kim Skumanick

    February 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Great recommendations Lisa! Knowledge is power, and the legislative arena provides a wealth of information that practitioners can use in their daily business. But, we still need those RPAC contributions!

  6. Missy Caulk

    February 10, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Lisa, you know I am big on Realtors getting involved in their local associations. It is only as strong as the volunteers.

    Great suggestions on blogging about some of the things we do in those committee meetings.

  7. Marvin Jensen

    February 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Lisa,

    As Chairman of Salt Lake Board’s Government Affairs and RPAC committee, there are MANY good ideas and issues addressed in blogs and newsletters that home owners would appreciate. Most are not aware of what Realtors are dong to protect property rights.

  8. Jim Duncan

    February 11, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I was the Chair of our Government Affairs Committee and I became much more knowledgable, informed and interested in my market because of it.

    Gov’t Affiars is, in my opinion, the one committee through which I learned applicable knowledge about my market.

    That, and I got a lot more to write about. 🙂

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