Jan 02

A neighborhood tip

What is a neighborhood tip?

A neighborhood tip is a very short post written about a neighborhood or area. Each neighborhood tip has the following attributes which will be created by you:

  • Title
  • One or two lines of text about the neighborhood
  • Listings — properties for sale inserted into the text based upon criteria you will select
  • Comparable listings — similar properties representing criteria selected by you
  • A featured image — from our Media LIbrary
  • An image in the post — from our Media LIbrary
  • Tags — The zipcode and type of home
  • Categories — The neighborhood and city of the subject

Each neighborhood tip is inspired by a listing posted on our site by a local real estate agent. (A listing is another word for a property that is for sale.) You will use clues in their listings to create neighborhood tips.

It may take several tries to master the procedure for creating a tip. Don’t be discouraged.  After a day or two you should be able to create 1 tip every 2 or 3 minutes.

Examples of Neighborhood Tips

Here are some examples of neighborhood tips:

  1. 7 Reasons Linden At Fair Ridge is incredibly convenient condo living
  2. What makes each home in Groveton Heights so special?
  3. Claremont is a fun neighborhood near Bailey’s Crossroads
  4. Walk to Mosaic District and Metro from High Pointe At Jefferson for less than $300k
  5. Maywood is just one traffic light from Washington, D.C.
  6. What are the prices of homes at Harborside?
  7. 5 Bedrooms close to Mount Vernon Country Club for less than $1 Million
  8. Is Waynewood An Easy Commute To Old Town?
  9. Is Stratford Landing Near Mt. Vernon

Source Material

So how do you know what to write about. You start with a “source post”. The source post in this case is a “listing” or article about a single property for sale in your area. Follow the instructions in the screenshots to find your source material.  In all cases click on the image to see a larger screenshot.

Go to Settings>>RSS Multi Importer to find source material.

Go to Settings>>RSS Multi Importer to find source material.

The source posts/listings are found in Settings>>RSS Multi Importer>>Manage Posts.  You may have to scroll forward a couple of pages to find a source post in your area.

You should open a post that looks like this.  It contains the address and price, property details and the inspiration for your article.

You should open a post that looks like this. It contains the address and price, property details and the inspiration for your article.

Here’s the “Details” and “Inspiration” from the example in the screenshot.

I should mention here that the source post will refer to a “TRACT”.  That word is a limitation of the software we use because the people who developed the software are in the Western United States.  On the East Coast in Virginia, we don’t have TRACTS.  We have subdivisions (groups of similar homes) and condominium buildings.  Don’t use the word tract in your article. Use subdivision, neighborhood or condo community. 

3 beds, 4 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 3,084 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 06/21/13, Last Updated: 12/20/13
Property Type: Residential, ResidentialSold, SoldTownhouse
MLS Number: FX8115030
Tract: Mclean Place Townhome
Status: Sold

LUXURY TOWNHOME IN IDEAL LOCATION NEAR BUS/METRO! SOARING CEILINGS, ELEGANT MOLDING, CIRCULAR STAIR, BALCONIES. FORMAL LIVING & DINING W/HARDWOOD. GOURMET KITCHEN W/ISLAND OPNS TO BREAKFAST NOOK. FAMILY RM W/GAS FRPLC & VERANDA. 3 SPACIOUS BDsS WITH ATTACHED BATHS. MSTR BD W/WALK-IN CLOSETS, BAY WINDOW & BA W/DOUBLE SINKS,JACCUZZI. INVITING REC RM W/GAS FRPL OPENS TO PATIO. GATED COMMUNITY.

Writing the Article

These aren’t so much articles, as they are just a sentence or two of rewriting. You should start by understanding that the article is never about the property that is in the source post.  The article is about a home like the one in the source post.  The article is about a fact that you find in the Inspiration.

Example of how to write

In this case the key is this phrase: “LUXURY TOWNHOME IN IDEAL LOCATION NEAR BUS/METRO!”

This clue tells us that “Mclean Place Townhomes are located near the bus and Metro.”  That’s the article. Now we need to play “Jeopardy” to write the headline.  (For those who don’t know the Jeopardy Game Show, this is how to play Jeopardy.) The headline is your chance to be creative.  Possible headlines:

  • Why are Mclean Place Townhomes convenient?
  • Are you looking for luxury and convenience in Mclean?
  • How much is a luxury townhouse in Mclean near the bus and metro?

So here’s the article and headline that I’ve created. If you click the link you’ll notice that the post has more than just my line of text and a headline.

Add "listings", tags, categories and images

Add “listings”, tags, categories and images

Always add listings

“Listings” are properties that are for sale. Using tools on the blog you can add properties automatically to your post. Add listings to each post. More about this here:

Use the selection criteria to define a home that is as close to the source post as possible. The listings should always come from the same tract as the original post. Use additional selection criteria to describe the source property. For example use the same price range and/or same size as the original post.

Add comparable listings

In addition to adding listings that are from the source material, add another set of “comparable” listings. Comparable listings are similar homes that are for sale in similar neighborhoods. They are added the same way as described above. In your comparable try to use multiple criteria to make the other properties as relevant as possible. For example if the subject property was $350,000. Make the comparable properties have a minimum price of $340,000 and a maximum price of $360,000.

Or, bracket the square footage. For example if the source property was 2500 sqft, then the comparable properties should be 2200 minimum to 2700 maximum.

Call the comparable properties from the same zip code or city as your source post.

Vary the selection criteria between posts and vary the “display order” from post to post.

Finishing touches

Don’t forget to add a featured image.  How to add a featured image.

Every tip should also have an image in the post.  Here’s how to add an image.

Every post must be properly tagged.  Your tags should be the property type and the zip code, as well as anything you think is relevant. [More about Tags]

Every post must be properly categorized.  Your categories should the TRACT and the CITY.  Not all Tracts are found in our categories. Don’t add these.  [More about Categories] In addition each post must be categorized according to price.

Tips on making tips

If your work area does not resemble the work area in the screenshots, you probably need to click “Visual” on the tab above where the text is entered.  When you click “Text” you’ll see code and different buttons.  If you have done this but don’t see the green button, it might be because your monitor is too small.  In this case, collapse your menu to see more of the toolbar.

Please keep in mind that we are trying to actually add value and not just create volume and noise. For example “Renovated Condos near Metro Station” is a great title and is exactly what someone might search for, but that article should actually point out a renovated condo and not just have a list of condos—some of which are renovated and some of which are not. To make this an article more useful, from time to time you might want to use the solitary green peg (one house not many) to show the exact home you found in your source post.

Try not to create two posts about the exact same neighborhood on the same day. When you do create two posts about the same tract/neighborhood, schedule the post to be published the next day. You can edit the publish date by tinker with a setting right above the publish/update button.

Try read your own posts. After doing this for a number of days you should become familiar with some of the features and neighborhoods in your area.
 

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