Apple’s catchy slogan, “There’s an app for that,” could be replaced with “There’s a podcast for that”—and the real estate genre is no exception.
From sales strategies to investment tips to house-flipping guides, the world of real estate is at your fingertips thanks to the popularity of podcasts, and many hosts say they’re in it to help others in the industry.
Shauna Ganes, an agent with the David Morris Group at RE/MAX Realty Affiliates and host of the Reno, Nevada–based “Do It! And Be Glad You Did Podcast,” says she was concerned about the reputation of real estate agents. “When you come into this business, you aren’t given a manual in how to be a real estate professional,” says Ganes, who learned by working with her father. After several years of experience, she began to ask herself, “How can I take an active role to help myself and others elevate our game professionally?”
Her broker, Amy Lessinger, backed the idea of the podcast and appeared on the show, which is available on platforms like iTunes and Player FM. Ganes’ goal isn’t to gain more business or referrals from other agents, but to be of value to other real estate professionals and small-business owners. Sometimes Ganes discusses her own thoughts on topics such as about how to avoid burnout or her reaction to “Things I’ve Heard in a Continuing Education Class,” as she titled one episode. Other times she interviews other real estate professionals. She hosted the leader of the northern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals in one episode, and she talked to an attorney about common pitfalls in the real estate industry in another.
“I think podcasts are phenomenal. I love that any listeners can choose what they want to listen to,” says Ganes, who gets the word out about her show through social media, word of mouth, and organic publicity. “This is fulfilling my value of service. We do better when we share information, both struggles and successes. I think if we can take our egos down a notch, we can all become better together.”
Finding Your Podcast Niche
Chicago-based Marki Lemons Ryhal, who often goes by Marki Lemons, is a licensed broker in both Illinois and Indiana as well as a trainer on selling real estate via social media. She initially used her podcast to repurpose the audio from her YouTube videos before upgrading to a higher-level, dedicated podcast geared strictly toward real estate professionals called “Social Selling Made Simple,” which debuted in February. As a public speaker and live-streamer, she already had the interview process down to a science. She simply needed to adapt to the method used to deliver the talks.
For Mario Jannatpour, author of The Honest Real Estate Agent, his podcast is an extension of his book, addressing themes that help agents learn how to improve themselves. “We are more than our occupation. We’re going to be better when we feel good about ourselves,” says Jannatpour, whose podcast is available on such platforms as iTunes and Stitcher.
The author and host, based in Louisville, Colo., near Boulder, began detailing subjects that he believed would help new real estate agents. He notes that many people who become agents do so after initially following other career paths. “One of the problems in our industry is that the training, in particular for new real estate agents, is very lacking,” he says. “A lot is based on what can you do to generate leads, and it’s a very short-term focus.”
Drawing from his own industry experience and from interviews with other real estate experts, Jannatpour helps new professionals learn to build a sustainable business that will last for years. While speaking in a calm and friendly manner, he covers classic topics of importance to any real estate professional, such as how to find new clients, along with specific issues like how to handle shrinking commissions, keep up with new technology, and work with agents who act unprofessionally.
Using the Right Gear
Because Lemons Ryhal records many of her interviews on the road while traveling for speaking engagements, she purchased a Blue Yeti USB microphone for the recordings. She also uses a Logitech USB camera on a tripod while she’s in Chicago for recording video that she uploads to YouTube. Her podcast episodes are available on platforms like iTunes, Player FM, and SoundCloud.
Jannatpour began with a Blue Ball microphone and later added a pop filter to eliminate popping during the recording. He uses a room in his house with the door closed and blankets on the hardwood floor to prevent echoes while recording, and uses Adobe Audition for editing. He has also recorded interviews with Skype, which he cautioned is not always stable but creates a reasonably high-quality MP3 file. Lately, he’s been using Zencastr for remote interviews. His 30-minute shows take about 40 minutes to an hour to edit and finalize.
Taking Your Show to the Next Level
As a guest on Hank Seitz’s “Agent Wealth Network Live” podcast last year, Lemons Ryhal noticed that the host had help handling some aspects of the production. Then, about a week after the interview, a blog post was published with some key takeaways and an infographic based on the information she shared during her appearance. While Lemons Ryhal had already been teaching real estate pros how to do their own podcasts, she realized she could step up the level of her own recordings. So, she hired Pursuing Results, the podcast public relations and production firm based in San Diego that works on Seitz’s show. “I didn’t have to hire a videographer, sound technician, writer, and graphic designer; they’re doing all of that,” Lemons Ryhal says.
She stresses to other real estate pros that they must have a clear niche and layout of their show; otherwise production companies will not take on the job. Podcasters also need to be highly active online, she says, and recommends they try using a call to action to engage audience members. For example, Lemons Ryhal has asked her audience who they would like to have on her show, although she is still selective in who she interviews for the podcast. “That’s why so many people have reached out to me to be on my show,” she says. “I always add a call to action. Always.”
Lemons Ryhal also lays out a 12-month calendar on what topics she plans to cover over the course of the year. “We break it down into monthly themes, and we get people who specialize on that theme,” she says, often choosing topics based on national awareness months, such as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. ”I’m laser-beam focused on the subject of each month.”
Ganes hired Chris Webster Productions in Reno for her show. Webster’s business helps podcasters utilize equipment at the Reno Collective, hosted in a converted house that previously had been home to the musician-focused Granny’s House Recording Studio. From drafting the script or interview to recording and then editing and syndicating on all podcast platforms, each show takes about three to four hours to create. Ganes pays about $50 an hour for the production company’s help. “They have a soundproofed recording booth, with proper mics and a soundboard,” Ganes explains. “[Chris Webster] mixes everything; he balances all the sound. I just have to bring my ideas, tips, and energy, and he does the rest.”