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Editor’s Note: The Industry Influencers series analyzes the industry’s most effective marketing efforts and shares experts’ actionable insights.

D.J. Paris, president of Sales and Marketing at Kale Realty, has worked in real estate for eight years. Prior to that, he was a marketing executive across multiple industries, including healthcare, IT and food and beverage. He successfully translated those marketing skills to his current business, helping to build his brand with a real estate podcast called Keeping it Real.

Why a Podcast?
Still relatively new to real estate, podcasts can help brokers and agents not only reach consumers, but also their colleagues, helping to brand themselves and set up profitable referral networks. In addition, it can help brokers recruit more agents. For Paris, a podcast was the missing link in his business, as well as in the industry.

“I’ve found that the most successful marketing methods relate to customer value. I consistently ask, ‘How can I add more value to the real estate industry that isn’t currently being addressed? A few years ago, I realized that even though there’s 45,000 real estate brokers in Chicago, nobody had yet interviewed the top 1 percent to find out what they were doing that the other 99 percent were missing,” says Paris.

In his podcast, Paris interviews a top 1 percent broker for each episode, asking them to share how they’ve become so successful in their career. Currently, he says, the podcast has thousands of regular listeners, making it one of the most popular real estate podcasts in the country.

How to Get It Off the Ground
It can take some time for a podcast to catch on—it took Paris two years to get to a level of national recognition. A big part of that is in offering a unique value: useful information that no one else is providing.

“Most marketers are trying to influence you to make decisions. Buy this. Choose that. I’d rather not try to convince anyone of anything. I want to give them what they need to be successful,” says Paris. “By creating this value, I believe it draws brokers to want to join our firm. And in eight years, we’ve grown from zero brokers to over 650 by these methods. It works!”

Additionally, promotion is key in order to continuously expand the audience base. Paris promotes his podcast on all the major avenues such as iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. It’s Facebook, however, that provides the most engagement, as it’s the perfect platform for sharing tips and best practices, he says.

“We receive messages almost every day from brokers thanking us for the show. Many have written that, due to a specific tip shared by one of our guests, they were able to increase their production,” says Paris. “That’s the aim of the show, and we’re proud to be able to meet that goal.”

Starting Your Own Podcast
For those interested in starting their own podcast, Paris shares the following tips:

1. Know your audience. “Find out exactly what your audience wants before you get started. Poll the people most likely to listen. Message them and ask, ‘I’m starting a podcast where we’re going to cover x. My intention is that it will help you do y.’ Would you listen to a show that provides this information?”

2. Don’t expect to get rich. “Ninety-nine percent of podcasts make $0. Assume yours will, too. It took us over two years and 105 episodes before we were approached by national advertisers—but even if we never made a penny, I’d keep doing it. Why? Because I’m providing great content to the real estate community, and we benefit indirectly from all the goodwill we’re generating. Think of it as a branding tool versus a revenue stream.”

3. Don’t spend a fortune on equipment. “A $50 USB microphone is all you need. Start there and do 20 episodes. See if your content is resonating with your audience. Once you know your show is working, then you can invest in better equipment. We’re one of the largest real estate podcasts in the country, and I think our equipment cost $700 total. That’s all we need!”

Of course, Paris also recommends that agents listen to Keeping it Real, as they’ll hear firsthand from the industry’s top brokers on how to succeed in real estate. Those interested can tune in here.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.  

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