Readers have asked me how I manage to come up with new topics to write about each week, so this week I’d like to share my sources of ideas, information, and inspiration.
My primary source of topics is from my daily work with buyers and sellers and answering their questions about the market, contracts, and other topics. I frequently take a moment and enter a topic that just occurred to me on my iPhone’s Sunday calendar. When I sit down to write my column on Sunday, I look there.
This week I was inspired, as I often am, by the narrated video tours I made of the 15 homes on this year’s Metro Denver Green Homes Tour.
I also get email newsletters from Realtor.com, REcolorado (our MLS), my Realtor association, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and Realtor Magazine, as well as from Zillow, Redfin, Re/Max, and other real estate entities. I also subscribe to Inman News Service, which has a daily newsletter. Lenders, inspectors and other industry partners have their own newsletters which often spark a topic idea for me. I have also attended multiple national NAR and Inman conventions/expos, as well as a couple Re/Max conventions when I was at Re/Max Alliance, which generated lots of topics for columns.
It’s also important to stay informed on local and national issues and current events, including politics. Real estate (especially real estate statistics) is a common topic of interest in those non-real estate media. I subscribe to email newsletters from the Denver Post, Colorado Sun, Colorado Public Radio, New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic Magazine, and The New Yorker. (I love the daily satire emails from Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker!)
My radio diet is limited to Colorado Public Radio (90.1 FM), which suddenly has the biggest Colorado news staff thanks to its merger with The Denverite and KRCC. I do, however, switch to KUNC (91.5 FM) when CPR has its overly long pledge drives. Both stations carry National Public Radio and other public radio programs. I even listen to CPR programs (mostly Morning Edition and Colorado Matters) during my daily dog walks! As much as I love music, I don’t spend my free time listening to music with all that’s happening in our world. Yes, I’m a “news junkie.”
When it comes to television, 9News, (especially Next with Kyle Clark) is the station Rita and I favor for early evening news, although we watch Channel 4 News at 10 since 9News at 10 often repeats segments from earlier news programs. For humor and insight we like to catch Steven Colbert’s monologue and usually watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
For national news we watch the both CBS Evening News with Nora O’Donnell and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. It’s interesting how many secondary stories are unique to one or the other. (We fast forward through the common ones.) We watch CBS This Morning six days a week, and our Sunday morning viewing includes CBS Sunday Morning, Reliable Sources and Fareed Zakaria GPS (both on CNN), and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Also, of course, 60 Minutes in the evening. I record Meet the Press and Face the Nation to see if there’s a guest I want to see interviewed. CNN has some really great Special Reports which I always record and frequently watch.
Evenings are largely reserved for relaxation and entertainment, except Sunday and Monday evenings, when I write my columns. Our prime-time viewing is mostly limited to the reality TV shows, although we also watch movies on Netflix. We love to watch the competition shows – The Voice, America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, American Ninja Warrior, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, etc. That’s a pretty heavy diet when combined with the news programs we follow, but everything we watch is recorded on a DVR, so we can skip through all the commercials.
We get home delivery of the Denver Post Thursday through Sunday, but only to get a hard copy of YourHub containing our ads. Any subscription to the Post includes access 7 days a week to their Replica Digital Edition, which is easier to read than the printed paper. For that reason, I wish I could just subscribe to Thursday’s paper. Also, the newspaper’s email newsletters alert me to stories I would want to read without having to look for them in the printed paper.
Book reading (on iPad or Kindle) is reserved for bedtime. It’s usually a book about current events/politics. Rita prefers novels.