You Have The Power

There’s no denying it. People look for (and at) houses on the major search portals. Millions of people, every day. However, a very large number of those people are just kicking tires with no real intention of buying, selling, or relocating now, in the foreseeable future, or ever. It’s also true that the portals have done an amazing job with their search engine optimization; people type in an address (or a city name) in the Google search bar and up pops the results from the major search portals, front, and center.

So, if there’s zero likelihood your website will show up at the top of the search engine results for your own listings (because you most likely will never be able to trump the big portals), the question becomes, “What CAN I do to get to the top of the search results and in front of my perfect potential clients?”

<strong>Revisiting SEO</strong>

Let’s first review what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) actually is. SEO is the process of optimizing a website in order to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important because higher ranking in search results can lead to more traffic to a website, which can translate into more business and revenue for you, the REALTOR®.

 There are actually several reasons why SEO is important:

  • Increased Traffic: A higher ranking in search results can lead to more traffic to your website, as homebuyers and sellers are more likely to click on a website that appears at the top of the search results.
  • Increased Visibility: A higher ranking in search results can make your website more visible, which can help to build trust and credibility with your prospective clients.
  • Cost-Effective: SEO is a cost-effective way to attract users, as it does not require paying for (often expensive) advertising.

You may be thinking, “Isn’t it way too late for me to start thinking about ranking on page one of Google?” (Yes, I did say page one – I’ll get more into how you can do that later).

There are several factors that can influence your website’s ranking on Google search engine results, but I really want to focus on the one that you can do without any tools or experience necessary.

You Are A Walking Encyclopedia

As REALTORS®, we are very much focused on the homes we are selling, which makes sense since our main objective is selling homes. However, the homes themselves are just a part of the bigger picture. Homebuyers most definitely have personal wants and needs in the home they find most attractive to them and what they eventually will purchase. But, what about everything else?  What about the neighborhoods and how each of them have different amenities, or their proximity to local stores, for example?  What about the parks, the events, the nightlife, the restaurants… People want to learn about the lifestyle they are buying, not just the house. And you are the perfect person to provide that intimate knowledge to them.  You are literally a walking encyclopedia of everything there is to know about your town – and if you aren’t, you absolutely should be making time to get to know it all, inside and out.   

So what does this have to do with ranking on Google? Everything! You have the ability to attract potential clients through the enormous, almost endless, amount of knowledge you have about your city/town which, with extremely simple tactics, you can see results in just days. And, unlike social media posts, your content will be found on the search engines for years to come. 

PRO TIP: Claim your free REALTOR® website!

The National Association of REALTORS® offers a lead-generating website and a free web address ending in .realtor™. It’s everything you need to get started and it’s free for the first year. After one year, it renews at $39.95/year. Gain instant recognition and credibility with the power of the REALTOR® brand. Learn more.

Agent Broker Dashboard Native Ad

<strong>Curate. Curate. Curate.</strong>

I think it is important to provide a little backstory as to how I came to teach about gaining new business from ranking on page one of google. 

In the summer of 2020, my family, along with all of you, were in the depths of COVID and found ourselves in a position to work remotely, indefinitely. So, we moved from Cupertino, CA to Napa, CA, because, well, because we love wine! But, we didn’t know anything about Napa, and as a new agent in a new city, I, even more than a ‘normal’ buyer, needed to learn everything there was to know about where I was going to live. I began looking online, searching for what I could learn about the neighborhoods, proximities to various cities, the schools, etc.  

What I found was very telling.  None of the websites that came up on page one of Google, nor any of the YouTube videos I saw in the top of the search results were created by a local REALTOR®. So, I took it a step further.  I curated the content I found, added in my own, at this point, limited knowledge, voice, and video, and created my own content about the neighborhood I was moving to, my favorite restaurants, the biggest local event in the city, and other topics around Napa. Within just a few days, my website was on page one of Google and YouTube.  I didn’t do any fancy keyword research, I don’t have a degree in it, I just wrote like I am now – for the reader, not the machine.

There’s No Time Like The Present

It may be debilitating thinking about where to start in this journey of local content creation, but don’t let it paralyze you – as they say, ‘getting started is the hardest part’ and there’s no time like the present. Here’s some starting points to help you get going.

Consider what you, as a new resident in your city or town, would want to know. While what’s important to one person or family may be different from another, there are many aspects that are universally consistent. These universal interests are what you should begin with.  These include information about:

  • Neighborhoods in your city or town
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Medical facilities and their proximity
  • Driving distance to nearby highways and large cities 
  • Local parks and hiking spots

Pull from your own experience (and internal encyclopedias) to create your content (whether in written form and/or video) and start writing. Voice-to-text is also a fantastic way to really get going as it is quicker than typing (for most people). I’ll be sitting with my coffee in the afternoon and will pick up my phone, open up my notes app and start talking. Before you know it, I have enough content to add to my website!  

The above content ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other things about your city or town that you can create content about, but for now, start with these and see what happens. It’s well worth the time investment - the content has a much longer shelf life and will put you in front of many more potential clients as the local expert they are truly searching for.

PRO TIP: Where to host your content

The author of this blog post uses a web address ending in .realestate:


.realestate web addresses are sold by the National Association of REALTORS®. Most neighborhood names are available for only $69.95/year, and each comes with a free lead-generating website. Grab all your top neighborhood web addresses now, before someone else does! More info here.

Doug  Laptop Email

<strong><em>About the author:</em></strong>

Suzanne Hawken has been a real estate marketer for the past 22 years, fourteen of which she has been specializing in content creation and social media, including holding the position of Sr. Director of Social Media Marketing at from 2013 - 2019. Suzanne is the owner of UpRight Avenue, LLC, a marketing and brand strategy company located in beautiful Napa, CA.   

Suzanne Hawken

Marketing & Brand Strategist



IG: @suzannehawkenmarketing