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Provide Value in a Fun Way

Posted to the* site, that provides information about the community, this infographic had more views than any other infographic I’ve created. Why was it so popular you might ask? It provides useful information in a fun way. *( is no longer active)

Even if readers aren’t looking for information on where to get donuts, they read it to see if they agree with your choices. And, when it’s a topic people are passionate about – or at least have a strong opinion about – they’re bound to comment. There were comments on this post about a well-known bakery I’d neglected to include. Which was great – people interacted with the post.

This idea works for a variety of topics. The best place to get pizza; the best Bloody Mary in town; or the best tap beer selection. 

But don’t confuse this with, i.e. “The best place to get a new home mortgage,” or “The best plumbing contractor in town.” Both could provide useful information but the donuts/pizza/bloody mary articles can be much lighter in tone. We can have fun with it. Plus, you and your website are then perceived as someone who provides useful information, without always trying to sell.

Without question, the biggest advantage of a post like this is the eyes it brings to your website. Eyes that are there for something other than real estate, or electrical work, or home construction or apartment rentals. Yes, you want people visiting your website for something other than that which you sell or service. You should look at your website, and in particular your blog, as the long-game. Your blog should portray you as the local expert. The local expert on everything. 

When you’re ready to start driving more traffic to your site give me a call or shoot me an email.



MOBILE:  507.951.1761

CONTENT – Local Info

Become The Expert on Local Info

In the eyes of your potential clients, you want to be the local expert. On everything. Filling your website with solid, well researched, local market information and content will go a long way towards establishing you as that expert.

Think about this for a minute. A homeowner, potential home buyer or seller, or apartment hunter, searching the internet, can find thousands of articles, pages, websites, and blog posts, that deal with general information like; “How to Finance Your Dream Home,” “What to Look for During a Home Inspection,” or “How to negotiate your lease agreement.” But few if any real estate professionals or contractors are providing them with, i.e. local information like, “Where to Live if You Have a Horse.”

Additionally, how many buyers and sellers do you suppose would share an article like “What to Look for During a Home Inspection?” That kind of information is all over the internet. Anyone can find it. But an article about their own town or city or neighborhood? An article with information specific to their community? That’s shareable content. And that’s what you want on your website.

Check out the sample article below and when you’re ready to set started driving traffic to your site, give me a call or drop me a line.


Corrals are Okay – Where to Live in Rochester if You Have a Horse

When the older of our two beautiful granddaughters turned four, my son designed and I helped him build, an amazing castle in their basement – complete with princess tower and portcullis. (Portcullis being a fancy word for that wooden gate/door that blocks the entrance to the castle.)

Kidding my son I said, “Considering the expense and labor you’re going to for her fourth birthday, what’s little sister going to get when she turns four? A pony?”

If you live in an apartment or a condo you get a kitty or a Poodle. If you live in suburbia with a big yard you can get a Labrador or a Golden Retriever. But a horse presents a whole different set of challenges – not the least of which is the size of the pooper-scooper you need.

If you’re a parent who was somehow overcome by the pleading deep blue eyes of a 12-year-old in the grips of pony-fever, fear not. In this article, we’ll show you all the areas around Rochester where it’s okay to have a corral.

Zoning Makes the Difference

There is no zoning ordinance – at least in Olmsted County – prohibiting you from keeping a cat or dog in your home. Unless you have more than five of either – then it’s called a kennel and there are ordinances about that.

As you might imagine it’s a bit different when it comes to horses and goats, sheep, llamas and the like; they’re considered livestock and are only allowed in certain zoning districts.

A Zoning District Primer

Back in the early to mid-1970’s Olmsted County – the County that Rochester is in – adopted their zoning ordinance. At that time they assigned zoning districts to different areas of the city and county.

Existing residential neighborhoods, for the most part, were zoned R-1; Single Family Residential District. Residential areas with denser development – like apartments or condos or townhomes – may have been zoned R-2; Low-Density Residential District, or R-3; Medium Density Residential District. And then, of course, there were the areas of the county that were primarily agricultural in nature. Those areas may have been zoned A-1, A-2 or A-3; Agricultural Protection District(s). As you might imagine there’s no problem keeping horses in the Ag districts.

Animal Units – as defined in the zoning ordinance – are not allowed in the residential districts. Save of course for cats or dogs or gerbils or hamsters or a 20-foot Boa Constrictor – as long as you have as previously described – fewer than five of each. (My guess is if you have a Boa Constrictor you won’t also have hamsters – at least not for long.)

But of course, at the inception of the zoning ordinance, there were people – typically living in the more suburban areas – who did have animal units – like horses – on their property. The City couldn’t very well march in the hobnailed boot brigade and say, “Get rid of the horse you’ve had since it was a pony,” so they created the RA; Rural Residential District which – you guessed it – allows animal units.

The Rules

I quote from the Olmsted County zoning ordinance;

Section 6.00 R-A: Rural Residential District:

Permitted Uses:

2. Keeping and raising of livestock and poultry for personal use, and as an accessory use only, provided they are housed and fenced so as not to become a nuisance and are clearly non-commercial in nature. The animal density shall not be greater than one (1) animal unit per acre of pastureland, except for the raising of poultry where the maximum number of chickens shall not exceed 50 chickens. In no case shall any structure used for housing poultry or livestock be located nearer than fifty (50) feet to any property line.

So what does that mean exactly for you and your horse? For starters, technically, if your lot in an RA District is less than two acres in size – you probably can’t have a horse. The reason being, once you take out the area for your house, driveway, and yard – you’re probably not going to have a full acre left – which you need for the horse, according to the ordinance.

That said, there aren’t many RA zoned lots that are less than two acres. If your RA zoned lot is, for example, five acres, you could probably have four horses – providing you meet the rest of the ordinance requirements.

One other little arcane tidbit of information you might find interesting; animal units are subject to a definition that is based on – and I’m not kidding here – how much the animal poops. The larger the animal the more poop. Horses are considered “1 animal unit.”

The Bottom Line: Neighborhoods Where Corrals are Okay

It didn’t make much sense to try and describe where the RA neighborhoods are so I made some (downloadable PDF) maps for you. Sometimes it’s an entire neighborhood and sometimes it’s just a lot or two. Use the maps to explore the neighborhoods and search for homes where your little Rainbow Bright will feel welcome.

Also keep in mind that while the zoning ordinance in these areas allows the keeping of animal units, there may be homeowner association rules in effect that don’t allow horses. If you find a home for sale in one of the RA zones you’ll just have to consult your Realtor – or the seller – to be sure.

Happy horse house hunting!



MOBILE:  507.951.1761

CONTENT – Local Info

Restaurant Review

Yelp and TripAdvisor both provide restaurant reviews. As do Facebook and Twitter – albeit usually only when someone’s pissed about their service or crummy food. Reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor are based on comments and ratings left on the respective sites by restaurant customers. Those comments typically amount to, “The pork chops are awesome!” Or, “Our waitress Trudy was so nice.” Seldom are they full, in-depth reviews of the restaurant and its menu.

You’re right if you think people aren’t going to search out your website to find restaurant reviews. On the other hand, imagine the subconscious impact if a site visitor reads your review then goes to that restaurant and has a positive experience. I wrote this review of Pescara in Rochester because it is, in fact, our favorite special occasion restaurant. 

Reviewing local businesses gives you the opportunity to show potential clients you are the local – knowledgeable – expert. Reviews like this help build trust between you and potential clients; that trust vital in their decision to choose you as their Realtor, builder, electrician or landlord.

When you’re ready to start building trust between you and your potential clients, drop me a line or give me a call.


Fine Dining at Pescara in Rochester


Do you have a go-to special occasion restaurant? A place you know you can count on for impeccable service, quiet relaxed atmosphere, and over-the-top food? As I’ve written here before, Newt’s North is our Friday night tradition. But when we have something special to celebrate – besides waking up in the morning – we book a table at Pescara.

Located on the first floor of the Double-Tree Hotel at 150 South Broadway in downtown Rochester, Pescara is, in my opinion, Rochester’s preeminent seafood restaurant. And before you click away because you despise all things seafood, understand they also offer steaks, veal, and pasta.

Compared to a chain restaurant Pescara’s dinner menu is limited. You won’t find page after page of salad and appetizer options, or beef selections from every quarter of the cow. Neither will you find a dessert option made with a blonde brownie, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.

What Pescara’s menu does offer is a selection of carefully selected dishes created from the freshest of ingredients which – in the case of their seafood options and as described on their website – are so fresh they were still swimming the day before.


If I’m firing up the Big Green Egg at home I’ll grill steaks or smoke ribs, but when I go to Pescara I’m thinking one thing; seafood. And I always start with the Tuna Tartare. I know, I know, “Eat raw tuna?” you exclaim, “have you lost your mind?”

Calm yourself – and don’t think of it as raw fish. Instead, imagine it’s the day after an evening of fine dining, one in which you couldn’t eat your entire beef tenderloin filet and now you’re snacking on the cold leftovers.

The Tuna Tartare appetizer at Pescara is like that cold tenderloin but infinitely better; tidbits of tender tuna hay-stacked together with ripe avocado, capers, and cilantro. Your plate comes with a tiny rolled ball of wasabi, thinly sliced pickled ginger, a bit of soy sauce and some wonderfully salty thin chips. I pair it with a nice glass of Cabernet – because that’s all I drink. Feel free to have whatever you want.

Pescara’s small plate menu includes such delights as Fresh Oysters, Lobster Bisque, Bang-Bang Calamari, Crab and Lobster Rangoon, Mussels and Jumbo Smoked Shrimp.

The Entrees


If you’re a light eater the menu includes a variety of salads from Caesar to Mixed Greens to Green Apples and Amablu Cheese to their Crab Louie which is topped with hard-cooked eggs, cucumber, Kumato tomato, jumbo lump crab, snow crab claws and Russian dressing.

You can also add grilled chicken, grilled shrimp or grilled salmon to any of the salads.

Beef and Veal

For those of you not overly fond of seafood Pescara offers you a Bone in Veal chop, a Tenderloin Fillet and a New York Strip. Either of the beef selections will be char-grilled to perfection and topped with your choice of seven different sauces like Fond Rouge (a red wine butter sauce), Chimichurri or Truffle Butter.


Obviously, this is where Pescara excels and their menu will leave you wishing you were a *ruminant (*having more than one stomach;-)
Their Signature Dishes include such choices as Ginger-Coriander Crusted Ahi Tuna, Insignia Scallops, Grilled Salmon and Cioppino (pronounced Cho-pee-no), which is a combination of jumbo shrimp, scallops, fresh white fish, crabs, and mussels, served with grilled crostini. (Cioppino is Italian for fish stew; which I imagine, is why they call it Cioppino on the menu.)

None of the eight Signature Dishes sound like what you’re craving? You can also order a-la-carte and choose from; Tuna, Bronzini, Arctic Char, Halibut, Snapper, Swordfish, Mahi-Mahi, Salmon, Scallops or Lobster Tail. Then decide to have it char-grilled, sautéed or broiled and then choose from a selection of nine different sauces.

The last time we dined at Pescara I opted for the a-la-carte sautéed Halibut with Chimichurri sauce and a side of Smoked Gouda Hash Browns. And because I’m a glutton, I finished the evening with Rum Pecan Bread Pudding. My wife had to wheel me to the car with a two-wheel hand-truck, but it was worth it.

The Drink

Pescara’s wine list is extensive and the General Manager, Xavi Torres, is a Certified Sommelier. And this for me as much for you, Sommelier is pronounced Som-il-yay. If you’re having trouble choosing a wine it’s always better to ask for the Som-il-yay as opposed to “the wine guy.”

I’ll not even attempt to pretend I know anything about wine, other than I like heavy reds and once shared a bottle of Cake Bread Cabernet. If you’d like to learn and be more adventuresome in your wine selections, you could hardly choose a better place in Rochester for that education.

The bar menu also includes a wonderful selection of single malt scotch and cognac (if you’re a ladies man). You’ll also find some unusual cocktail concoctions like; a Sour Flower made with Absolut Hibiscus, house-made lemonade, and blood orange puree; or a Boulevardier which is a combination of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, Aperol (a milder version of Campari) and sweet vermouth.

That’s a Wrap – Almost

I’ve only touched on Pescara’s wonderful dinner menu, but they’re also open for breakfast, lunch and late night snacking – with an awesome bar menu. Check out their entire menu right here.

If you’re looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion, entertain guests or business associates or just because you like amazing food, artfully prepared and presented by a top-notch wait-staff – you’ll want to check out Pescara.

Your Turn

Tried something at Pescara you think others should know about? By all means, let us know in the comments section below.




MOBILE:  507.951.1761



“Average Home” Pins

Pinterest can be a huge source of website traffic and potential business – from both buyers and sellers. 

These “What Does the Average Home Look Like” pins give viewers – both locals and out of town buyers an idea of what homes are like in a particular neighborhood. They also work to help build your website SEO using the long-tail specific neighborhood search terms.

You send me an image of an average home in the neighborhood along with the neighborhood stats and I create these “Pinable” files for your Pinterest page.

Colors can be matched to your brokerage or team color scheme and we can even add your photo and other contact information.




MOBILE:  507.951.1761

Pin It on Pinterest