The Agent’s Guide to Planning and Launching a Real Estate Podcast
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Marketing is powerful. More specifically, connecting with your audience in unique ways is powerful. And one compelling way to grab your audience’s attention is to speak to them regularly through conducting podcasts.
Not only have podcasts — which, essentially, are recorded audio sessions — proven to improve web traffic (see: Pat Flynn), are also fairly easy on both your time or efforts (once you’ve gotten your feet wet with the process). Podcasting about real estate and other topics of interest to your audience affords you an opportunity to become more personable, relatable and human to buyers. And ultimately, this can make a big impact on your business.
Interested in adding podcasts to your marketing arsenal? Then this guide will help you plan, create and market them.
Before Starting Your Podcasts
There are several facets of the podcast planning process. Let’s start with the basics needed to get yours off the ground:
Develop a concrete theme and format.
What will you discuss in your podcast? How do you want to structure it? Will you talk straight through for, say, 20 minutes about one topic, or discuss several topics in succession? How about publication frequency: How often do you want to post podcasts online and/or on iTunes? Diving into these details and understanding your audience’s needs and wants — in this case, that could be real estate/mortgage news updates, info on trends, home searching or selling, etc. — will help you create thematically consistent podcasts that resonate.
Successful podcasts are ones that captivate listeners, get them fired up about the subject matters discussed and make them want to join in on a conversation you’re starting. And if you use it to promote your website and social accounts, those passionate listeners will head to those channels, thus boosting your traffic and conversions.
“Create something people want to share.”
— John Jantsch
Generate topics and write up your scripts.
Once you’ve got these basics down for your podcasts goals, you can start ideating and determining how you’ll put together your “shows.” This includes putting together talking points and, eventually, your scripts so you can have a clear idea as to what your podcast will entail topic-wise.
When it comes to devising podcast topics, you can scour the web to find notable trends in the real estate industry, interesting news and blog content geared toward agents and brokers or reports and studies. There’s a seemingly limitless amount of topics you can cover — even advice from personal experience could work. Just be confident you can accurately and exhaustively discuss those topics at length so you position yourself as a thought leader.
Another unique avenue for topic generation is reaching out to fellow colleagues and/or industry experts to join you on your podcasts and have them discuss topics in their field. Once you’ve done plenty of research, you can organize certain topics to be discussed in specific podcasts so they each have unified themes and focuses.
If you think you’ve got to have Wes Anderson–esque writing skills for your scripts, then take a deep breath, as that’s not the case. Start with an outline of how you want your podcast to be structured. Then adjust, add to and trim it as needed.
Find the right space and equipment.
Next up comes where you want to conduct your podcasts and what type of equipment you’ll need to succeed.
Simply put, it’s not necessary for you to rent out some big recording space at a sound studio somewhere to ensure your podcasts sound clean, crisp and, well, comprehensible. The confines of your home or office are just fine for recording sessions… so long as you can secure some quiet time there for an extended period. It’s also wise to ensure there aren’t any echoes or background noises that could interfere with your audio (the last thing you want is a noisy radiator interrupting your flow).
When it comes to equipment, it’s not as complicated as you may think. Got a computer? Then you’re almost entirely set in terms of what you need to get going. Most computer have built-in microphones, and that could be all you need. On occasion, the sound quality may suffer slightly with computer mics, so you could consider purchasing a USB microphone and headset, which can be easily set up. And don’t forget there are digital recorders as well. Your smartphone may even have one, so if you’re comfortable uploading your conversations from these devices to your computer for editing, then you’re good to go.
During Your Podcast Production
Now we move on to the fun stuff: Actually conducting your podcasts. When you’ve thoroughly prepared and practiced your sessions (such as reading your scripts out loud and timing yourself to see how long you run), the actual production process will be a cinch. Focus on sounding as natural and conversational as possible, too. No one wants to hear a monotonous tone of voice, so speak as if talking to fellow agents and brokers or your clients.
The good news is when you record your podcast, you don’t have to do so just once. Consider recording multiple sessions to ensure you can edit them together (if needed) to include all of your key points and topics. Regarding length of your podcasts, that’s entirely up to you. After your test runs, see what feels natural to you. (Later, you can even ask listeners for feedback to see if the length is appropriate.) Some popular ones can be as long as 45 minutes to an hour. If you plan on doing weekly podcasts, you could make them shorter than if you were to do monthly podcasts, given the frequency.
“When it gets difficult is often right before you succeed.”
— Chris Garrett
After Your Podcasts Are Recorded
Should minor issues — like missing out on discussing a certain subject occur — it’s no sweat. Using audio editing software (here’s a good list of ones you can use) makes the editing process simple. If you need some assistance in understand the basics of editing, there are many tutorials you can find online. For instance, if you use one of the more popular software choices for podcasting, GarageBand (for Mac users), here’s a step-by-step guide to editing.
Move on to marketing.
Getting your podcast on iTunes, your website or some other digital platform (there are certainly plenty to choose from) can be a great feeling, as you’re getting your name and voice out there to your audience in a new manner. Just be sure to promote your podcasts sufficiently online.
Your website is a prime place to promote (and even host) your podcast. If you use WordPress, familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of posting podcasts. Other avenues for promotion include:
Linking across your site, including blog posts
Monitor which of your marketing channels are helping you gain the largest audience for your podcast, and adjust your efforts to focus on those channels.
To make your podcast stand out in a big way, just remember to be thorough. Research your topic well, write and rewrite your scripts to get the most engaging rhetoric possible, hit on angles of importance to your listeners, and bring in real-life examples that your audience can relate to.
Need some guidance on making stand-out content? Check out our Guide to Creating Killer Content for Real Estate Marketing.
Have you already experimented with podcasts or other non-traditional marketing tactics? Tell us about your strategy in the comments below!
Published on June 11, 2014
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.