By Donna Evers
RISMEDIA, November 17, 2009—Today, buyers and sellers are turning to the Internet for more information than just housing listings. They want to stay abreast of what is happening in the areas where they are buying and selling with the latest localized housing market information.
A great way to deliver this is through audio podcasts. With podcasting, the sky is the limit. And most importantly, it can help position you as the authority on the market in your area. If you are thinking about starting your own podcast, you may want to think about a couple of different approaches. For example, your report could focus strictly on the “numbers” of what is happening in the market for the month or the quarter. Or you could talk about a timely issue, such as the homebuyers’ tax credit. Or you could create pieces that are relevant for a longer period, such as how to buy a home during the holidays.
Relaying the information through someone’s voice is much more personal than receiving a postcard or e-mail, so hosting a podcast can be effective in not just showing that you are a knowledgeable resource, but also for building relationships and trust with clients.
For example, at Evers & Co., we have been providing comprehensive market updates and tips on buying and selling in the current Washington, D.C., region market to our clients for years.
Recently, we have taken these market updates to a new level through audio posts or podcasts. These 2- to 3-minute audio files are easily uploaded to our firm’s website and distributed via e-mail to our contacts.
In addition, people interested in these market updates can subscribe to an RSS feed and receive the information as it is released, through a forum such as Google Reader. Tracking the number of subscribers is beneficial because it allows podcasters to see growth in their following, which helps justify the time commitment involved with planning, recording and promoting the podcasts.
Another group many real estate professionals may wish to connect with on a regular basis is the news media. Like agents, journalists’ schedules are becoming increasingly hectic as media outlets are reducing staff and vamping up reporters’ responsibilities to include blogging, conducting online chats and promoting their stories through social media platforms like Twitter.
When in need of a reliable source for an article, journalists value responsiveness so they can meet their often tight deadlines, as well as the “quotability” of the expert. This means that the source is able to express their ideas or opinions in a clear, succinct manner that is easily understood by a consumer audience with statements that can be seamlessly incorporated into the article as quotes.
Rather than scheduling an interview or waiting for a call back, journalists who receive an informative podcast often quote directly from the audio and save time without even having to connect with the source. Also, since the journalist can listen to the podcast multiple times, there is less of a chance that the source will be misquoted.
While podcasting is a great tool that may provide real estate professionals with an “edge,” agents should be mindful of the time commitment before jumping in. It’s also important to establish the frequency of podcast recordings and to keep up in order to convey reliability to potential clients and the media. To get started, podcasting equipment is available at electronics stores like Radio Shack, and editing software is available for purchase online. It’s certainly a valuable tactic to consider for your marketing toolbox.
Donna Evers, president and broker of Evers & Co. Real Estate (www.eversco.com) in Washington, D.C., has been communicating with media and the public through monthly audiocasts for about six months. She has more than 30 years of experience in residential real estate and is a frequent resource for print, radio and television journalists who cover housing market trends in the Mid-Atlantic region.
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