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    It takes two things to make a house a home. The first is family, and the second is community.

    As an experienced REALTOR®, you possess a wealth of knowledge—not just your expertise as a real estate professional, but your experience as a citizen of the community in which you live.

    Use that knowledge of the town or city where you live and work to your advantage. Look no further than your own backyard for the inspiration you need to develop interesting content for your website or blog—and ultimately build relationships that translate into referrals.

    What’s there to write about? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    1. Restaurant Reviews: People love to know what great restaurants and eateries there are in town. Some may like to see a list of fast food, ethnic food restaurants, or old school diners. Short reviews that include a brief description of the atmosphere and clientele, the menu, and hours of operation are both helpful and informative. If you know the owner of a particular establishment, a shout-out is sure to be appreciated.

    2. Grocery Stores: Grocery stores are of interest to everyone. Which are the biggest, most popular, and most convenient? What are their specialties? What about ethnic foods, health food, or “green” shopping. Are there farmers markets in the summer months? Is the region known for locally sourced seasonal foods?

    3. Shopping: Does your community have a downtown shopping area? Are the stores locally-owned, national brands, or a good mix? Is there a bookstore nearby or coffee shop where people like to hang? If your’s is a suburban community, is there a mall or shopping plaza nearby? New homeowners would be pleased to learn that there’s a Lowe’s or Home Depot in the community for those home improvement projects.

    4. Entertainment: What are the local entertainment venues? What types of entertainment are generally available? Is there a local theatre company, dance troupe, symphony, or museum? Are there summer festivals, free outdoor concerts, home team sporting events, an amusement park, or even a circus or carnival that comes to the area each year? Is kid-oriented entertainment available? Is there a cineplex or art house movie theatre?

    5. Schools: Families considering a move are always looking for information about local schools. What public and private institutions are available in town? Is there a college or university nearby? You should be able to find detailed information about your local school system as a matter of public record. You can post statistics like test scores, state ranking, and graduation rates. Are the schools known for their athletics, music, or theatre programs?

    6. Parks and Recreation: People are always looking for green space, particularly in more crowded urban areas. Are there parks or a public pool? Are there seasonal sporting events, like baseball or football? Maybe there’s ice skating or skiing nearby? Is there a lake or stream known for great fishing?  Does the community have a dedicated bike path?

    7. Local Services: Contractors, plumbers, electricians, home inspectors—posts about local service providers are an excellent way to introduce the valuable resources available to people considering a move to your neighborhood.

    8. Town Amenities: Local police and fire are all interesting topics to profile, and at the same time, highlight the safety of the community. Prospective homeowners might be interested in town government and local planning board initiatives that will affect the community at large.

    This type of content doesn’t require eloquent prose; bullet points and statistics will suffice. And, with new businesses and other changes in the community, you always have updates and new things to write about. If you’re nervous about your writing skills, consider a series of short videos you can shoot with your phone. The more you’re out and about in the community, the more connections you’ll make. And, your informative website or blog will keep you in touch with those satisfied customers long after closing.

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