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Podcasts and potential profits

Podcasting can be fun, useful and did we mention profitable?

Whether you want to become a podcaster or just listen to a few, here are some possible uses for real estate:

Marketing. A quick search for “real estate” in podcast.net, iTunes, or any other podcast directory is all it takes to prove that practitioners and homeowners are beginning to take advantage of this new medium. Hundreds of podcasts are available covering homebuying and selling tips, market conditions in specific local areas, viewpoints of real estate and the economy, real estate investment trusts, real estate investing, and more. At least two technology providers offer services that turn property listings into podcasts. For real estate professionals, podcasting can be a low-cost method of sharing expertise and reaching customers, but it also can be time-consuming and requires imagination to create a program that will keep listeners coming back for more.

Business. In addition to creating and using them as marketing tools, there also are plenty of podcasts that cater to the personal and professional interests of practitioners. Podcasts on local news and issues, the economy, new sales techniques, technology, cultural diversity, and countless other topics can be downloaded and listened to whenever it's convenient.

Company info. Real estate firms and local associations also can use podcasting. Some firms have already begun using podcasts as a way to automatically bring updates on benefits and company information to sales associates who spend most of their time working away from the office. Associations also can offer podcasts on local industry news, recordings of education sessions and other presentations.

Advertising. Podcast advertising and vodcasting are two trends the real estate industry should keep an eye on. Sponsoring or advertising on a podcast may prove to be a great way to reach niche audiences, but keep in mind that the business models for podcast ads are still very much in their infancy. Costs, potential audience, and the podcast content and update frequency should all be carefully considered when buying ad spots in this new medium.

Source: Frederik Heller fheller@realtors.org — manager of the Washington Information Resource Center, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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