I recently posted about how real estate agents can use podcasts to turn their entire town into a referral network.
But I thought some agents might still be intimidated by the idea of getting together their own real estate podcast. So, I asked journalist and podcaster Mark Jones to share some tips with Business2.com.au.
Q. Mark, you are the Australian Financial Review‘s former information technology editor, you host the Scoop podcast for MIS magazine and your company Filtered Media provides editorial, social media, speaking and consulting services.
Tell me, why should real estate agents podcast?
A. Well, first let me give you some kudos for this blog. I speak with many people in the communications & PR profession and few have made the leap into the blogosphere.
Podcasts are a powerful form of media because in the first instance they appeal to our desire to listen to audio content on our own terms. Radio is great, but podcasts are better because you have access to a literal universe of ideas on your mobile device when you’re on the bus, train, or working at your computer.
The amazing opportunity for real estate agents is that podcasts appeal directly to their core skills. In my view, real estate is only partly a sales function. You are in the people business – understanding their needs and finding solutions.
Agents are a source of valuable information on everything from market trends, to demographics and local news and politics.
If you want to build trust and be known as an expert in your field, hosting a podcast and inviting clients on your database to listen is a very easy and effective way to achieve that goal. If they keep listening to your show, you will always remain top of mind – and that’s the goal, right?
Q. How has the Scoop podcast performed as a business tool for Filtered
A. I produce The Scoop because digital media is my passion. Hosting a business technology show was something I had always wanted to do – and I believe you’ll have more success in life if you follow your passions. So there are benefits that have followed from that approach.
Through The Scoop I am regularly staying in contact with my business network. Media and consulting is very much a word-of-mouth business, so this is a useful way of remaining top of mind among industry peers. Beyond that, the podcast’s core function is actually to build value for misaustralia.com , so I don’t think about the show in purely selfish terms. If it doesn’t create value for MIS, it won’t continue!
Q. You told me that you have two brothers-in-law who are real estate
agents. Do you think most agents are technologically sophisticated enough to
create a podcast for themselves?
A. Yes, I do. One in Sydney and another in Canberra. Both of my bros-in-law are what I’d call proficient gadget users – they’ve got iPods, smart phones, notebooks and so on. Really, that’s the level of technical proficiency you need to record a podcast. The real skill in media, regardless of format, is your content or story ideas. Content is king!
Q. How much of creating a podcast can a real estate agent outsource inexpensively?
A. You could outsource your podcast to a friend or colleague, but really I think the personal touch is better. At its most simplest, you need a fairly current computer, a microphone and headphones (or headset), and some editing software. Apple’s GarageBand (free) is great, or on the PC try Audacity (free) or Adobe Audition.
Q. If you were a real estate agent creating a podcast, what are the first
three things you would do to make it happen?
A. 1. Listen to other podcasts first. Get an idea of what different styles and formats work for you.
2. Talk to colleagues and clients about your ideas for a show – what do they want to hear?
3. Record your first show, or pilot episode, and publish it on the web. Get feedback and keep improving!
Q. What kind of topics would you focus on?
A. It’s a hard question to answer because it will depend on the industry or markets you serve. You might want to go broad and talk about macro trends in real estate. Or you could go hyper-local and talk about issues in your immediate community.
Q. Is there one rule of podcasting that a newcomer should follow?
A. Just be yourself. Podcasting, like radio, is a very personal form of media. Remember that people are looking to be both informed and entertained! Don’t be afraid to edit down your show if you think it’s rambled on for too long.
Q. How important is it for agents to produce podcasts regularly?
A. The answer is yes. If it feels too daunting, try once every two or three weeks, but really I think you should aim for weekly – even if it’s just a 15 minute show. There are no rules about how to approach topics, but the “how to” idea is a good one. Magazine empires thrive on the “5 ways to bake a cake” idea.
Q. Do you know of any real estate agents that use podcasts effectively?
A. Nope, sorry! Have a look on Google or iTunes Music Store and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of examples.
Q. What resources are out there that can be helpful to agents who want to
create podcasts for the first time?
There are plenty of bloggers and podcasters who have written helpful guides. Again, a quick internet search will lead you in the right direction.
Q. Does Filtered Media provide podcast services to businesses like real
estate agents? If so, what sort of things do you do?
A. Yes indeed. I thought you’d never ask! 🙂
One of the services I provide is to visit a company and speak about trends in digital media such as podcasts, blogs and social networking. From there we can work on a strategy to determine which forms of digital media will achieve your objectives.
I currently provide a mixture of strategy, training and outsourced digital production services. I’m finding there is a lot of interest from people wanting to understand digital media, particularly among large companies.