So you’re wondering if a podcast is a smart move for your real estate company?
Maybe. It depends on your goals and what you’re hoping to accomplish with it.
Podcasting can be a big investment of time and money so it’s important to understand what you’re getting into and if a podcast really aligns with your company’s goals.
We’ve been producing podcasts in the corporate real estate space for the last six years and have helped our clients achieve over a million and a half downloads (as well as many other benefits).
In this article, I will cover six ways we’ve seen a podcast tangibly benefit our commercial real estate clients.
A few clarifications about what roles in real estate would benefit from starting a podcast.
Like most industries, there are many facets and nuances. Real estate is no different.
To clarify, the majority of our experience is in the commercial real estate space. We’ve worked on a more limited scale with individual realtors.
As you can imagine, there are big differences between selling an individual property and managing millions of dollars in global real estate investment or providing services.
A podcast can help both. It just depends on your definition of success. The following ideas might help.
6 Benefits of having a podcast for your commercial real estate business.
Build credibility and trust with your clients and candidates
We do business with people we like, know, and trust. And this is especially true for large ticket items and higher priced services you commonly find in real estate.
Relationships take time and attention.
A podcast can speed up that process in two key ways:
1. A podcast gives you a reason to have long-form conversations with people you might not get to talk to.
As you can imagine, they are both busy people.
They regularly interview founders, managing partners, and CEOs of other real estate advisory groups, multi-family associations, and global investment firms, i.e. other busy people.
The podcast creates a needed, positive reason for two busy people to spend time with each other.
2. It creates a parasocial relationship between the host and their listeners.
I wrote about this recently in our Reasons to start a podcast for your coaching business article. A parasocial relationship is a one-sided relationship formed when one party extends energy, interest, and time, and the other person doesn’t know they exist.
For example, our hosts have received hundreds of positive reviews and emails from their listeners reaching out, praising the shows, and wanting to connect.
Here is one review that speaks to this point:
“I’ve been a fan of (the host’s) podcast since its inception. The breadth of professionals he interviews across the entire spectrum of land-use professionals is unrivaled.
Further, the scope of questions and the candor of the answers is extremely enlightening and inspiring. These attributes are present even when you listen to someone speak who is totally outside your field of interest.
I can’t recommend this podcast series highly enough. Whether you are a student considering a career in the real estate professions, or a seasoned veteran, the insights you will gain from these episodes will be certain to educate and entertain.”
Many of the listeners and guests eventually become clients of our hosts. The podcast helps start those relationships further along than if they were to begin fresh.
A podcast can help establish and increase your leadership in your real estate niche.
This credibility building happens in a few ways:
- By association with your guests.
You gain credibility by associating yourself with the right people. Our hosts have been able to interview many iconic and influential people in the real estate space.
People like the late Sam Zell and Art Gensler, Lisa Picard, Cathy Marcus, Christina Scarlato, and even Representative Marilyn Strickland (I know I’m name dropping but it’s amazing the caliber of people our hosts have been able to interview!).
- By association with your partners.
Similar to your guests, podcasts often develop partnerships through things like sponsorships.
For example, one of our clients had a sponsorship deal with global real estate and investment company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). This partnership opened multiple opportunities for positive association.
- By consistently showcasing your expertise.
When you are hosting and regularly releasing a podcast, people learn about you, and what you know, by default.
It’s hard to hide what you know when you’re publishing 30 to 60 minute episodes every-other week!
And more opportunities come up as you grow your authority, for example:
- More people look to you for ideas and solutions the real estate industry is facing
- More people will reference and link to your work
- More people will offer you speaking opportunities
For example, some of our clients’ podcast episodes and series have been featured in major publications like the Wall Street Journal and by predominant real estate players like Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Matt Slepin, host of Leading Voices in Real Estate, has been able to speak and host live shows at events like The National Multifamily Housing Council, The Urban Land Institute and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).
Need to grow your authority and visibility? A podcast might help.
Teach your clients and team members everything they need to know
Founders and leaders of organizations are often pressed for time.
It would be amazing if your team or your clients knew what you knew but it’s often not realistic to communicate regularly with everyone.
The solution? Scale yourself through teaching and telling stories on your podcast.
For example, one of our clients works in commercial real estate search. They recently placed a candidate in a new role with one of their partner companies. They sent her several relevant podcast episodes to get her up to speed on the company and the space.
The same is true for your team. Another client of ours interviews their partners and prospects. The founder is the host and she’s able to explore the topics most relevant to her and her team and her staff is able to listen to the conversation as if they were there.
Another client of ours leverages their podcast to explore difficult niche topics and get inside perspectives from the clients using their services. They then use the show to help in their employee onboarding process and sales process.
There are many ways to position it but a podcast is an excellent way to scale yourself as a leader and teach people what you want them to know.
Stay top of mind with your audience even when they aren’t actively using your services
My neighbor is a real estate agent and the person who sold us our current home. Occasionally we talk about the trends she’s seeing in the market and what it’s like to run her own practice.
A while ago she mentioned to me how she was brainstorming different ways to stay top-of-mind with her clients.
This is a problem I see in many businesses, including real estate: you offer a service or product that is needed occasionally or periodically.
According to one source, the average person will own three homes in their lifetime and another source said Americans own more than 11.7 times in their lifetime.
And most business people know it’s often easier and more cost effective to retain your existing clients rather than finding new ones.
So how can realtors and similar service providers stay relevant?
A podcast is one way.
In early 2020, we partnered with a realtor from the Los Angeles area and planned to produce a podcast documenting the stories of people searching for and buying high-end homes.
We ended up canceling the project because of the pandemic but I’ve always thought it was a good idea. Like an audio version of something you’d watch on HGTV.
A podcast that documents searching for and buying a home would give all kinds of insights on what it’s like to buy a home and what it’s like to work with you as a realtor.
Not only would it help your existing clients stay connected with you, it would likely draw in new clients as well.
Support and inform your existing marketing strategy
How does your podcast fit into your marketing strategy?
If you’re thinking about your show in isolation or only in terms of repurposing content, you’re probably missing opportunities.
The companies that do this well often take an omnichannel approach to their marketing.
For example, a multichannel marketing approach is when a company uses multiple individual channels to target customers, like print or digital media. Each channel is managed separately with its own content and message.
On the other hand, omnichannel marketing focuses on creating a unified experience across all channels by distributing integrated and connected content via various touch points.
Take writing blogs and producing a podcast for example. Maybe you want to lead with your podcast. This could mean crafting episodes on a variety of topics and see which ones resonate with your audience. From there, expand on those ideas in written form.
- You could write an article on the “state of multifamily housing” and quote experts from the top three episodes you recorded on the topic.
- You could write about the complexities of urban planning and embed a section of your podcast episode into the article to expand on a specific idea.
- You could create a round-up article on affordable housing from your top five episodes that address the issue.
This is just one tiny example of how to let your podcast inform and support your entire content strategy. You’re only limited by your resources and imagination.
Generate direct sales and new clients
I purposely am mentioning this one last because you shouldn’t start a podcast to increase sales.
It doesn’t work like that for most people. Especially at first. You’ll find a lot more value in leveraging a podcast to improve your relationships and build resonance with your listeners.
That said, I have seen new business become a byproduct of the podcasts we produce.
For example, one of our client’s interview guests received multiple five and six figure inquiries about his managed consulting and services business after the episode aired.
Another client of ours has signed up podcast listeners for his company’s real estate search services.
We’ve also helped clients secure four and five-figure sponsorship deals for their podcasts from other major entities in the commercial real estate space.
Again, don’t start a podcast in hopes of making sales. But if you make an excellent show, you might start increasing your sales organically.
Starting a podcast might be a great decision for your commercial real estate company. It really depends on your goals and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Hopefully these examples will help you figure out how to best leverage one for your company.
I’m biased but if you want to create a show that actually resonates with your audience and helps you accomplish goals for your business, you will probably want some help. Founders and lead marketers should not be running their own shows.
Visit our service page to see how we might be able to help you.