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"Podcasting Hacks for Real Estate Pros!"


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Jack Herrington Photo
6/2/06 Interview with Jack Herrington

Leverage Software, Inc.
4820 Delores Dr.
Union City, CA 94587
Biography

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The Basics of Podcasting

  1. Podcasting in essence is a way to get media files (audio and video) out to people who subscribe to receive them; podcasts can be listened to on an iPod or any MP3 player-and now iPod video can be watched; podcasting is relatively inexpensive-nearly free if you use some of the free tools.
  2. In Herrington's book Podcasting Hacks, "hacks" refers to ways to do things, and the book outlines the steps to put media files on the Web for subscribers-how to get set up, assemble hardware and software, find compelling content such as people to talk to and how to edit a final product.
  3. The easiest way to find podcasts of interest is to search the directories at iTunes (the Apple media manager); there are many podcasts on real estate, including some aimed at RE professionals, such as those from the Society.
  4. Subscribe by entering your "feed," a file reference to upload to your site; you can use special software on your server or use a service to upload and manage podcast files for you.
  5. If you wish to set up your own podcast to deliver information to a target audience, create an MP3 file (audio only) or a movie file (audio and video) to be uploaded to your site; people can then download your product with iTunes and synch up their iPods to it.
  6. Although audio and video files have been available online for years [e.g., the Society's Real Estate CyberSpace Radio], the podcasting mechanism is beginning to standardize a process and channels for delivery; this evolution lowers the barrier to entry and makes use easier for subscribers.
Real Estate Applications
  1. Video podcasts have powerful potential for marketing to homebuyers as an advancement of virtual tours; agents can create guided tours of their listings to be fed conveniently to consumers.
  2. Podcasting Hacks details how to get started; services are beginning to appear to assist with podcasting-a Google search on "real estate podcast" is an easy way to find podcast producers.
Podcasting Tools
  1. Hardware for doing audio podcasts includes a computer and microphone.
  2. Excellent, free software from Audacity can handle recording and editing functions (multi-track editing); save your edited file as an MP3 for uploading.
  3. Free sites to use as uploading destinations include Internet Archive and OurMedia.org; they require that the content be available at no charge; people can subscribe to your content once it is posted.
How to Promote Your Podcasts
  1. Post the feed URL to the globally popular iTunes, which can be a primary source of new subscribers; also post to other external podcast directories (identifiable with a Google search).
  2. Post both the direct link to your podcast and a link to the iTunes subscription page on your own web site homepage.
An Email Alternative
  1. RSS is the underlying, standardized file format for podcasts; it is spam-free because it delivers content directly from an author to recipients who subscribe and can unsubscribe at any time.
  2. New material is automatically downloaded to subscribers' computers overnight and transferred to their iPods whenever they synchronize; material can be dependably delivered without being subjected to email filters.
Blending Blogs and Podcasts
  1. Blogging and podcasting can work together; after uploading your podcasting files to a media host, place the link to the podcast in your blog.
  2. However, a text-only blog is carried via an RSS 0 feed, so to accommodate the audio files, a conversion must be done to integrate the two; the free site Feedburner can be used to convert the plain text RSS 0 feed into a podcast-enabled RSS 0 feed.
  3. You then use the converted 0 feed as the link for your blog.
Video Podcasts
  1. For video, you create a QuickTime movie file instead of an MP3 file; QuickTime is the standard for iPods; any video production tool can be used such as iMovie (for Macs) or Adobe Premier (for Windows).
  2. Herrington knows of no open source video editing tools, but to keep cost down, the editing software that comes with your PC's video card or video camera may be adequate.
  3. The completed video file can be uploaded to OurMedia.org; follow the same procedure outlined for audio to convert your blog feed on Feedburner to accommodate the video file.
  4. The text remains on your blog, and you place the OurMedia link on it for access to the video; by posting the podcast Feedburner link, you allow people to subscribe to updates to your video podcast.
  5. Video files are larger than audio files but can easily be handled by an iPod; a typical 2-minute video would be 1-2 MB.
More Tips on Promoting Your Podcasts
  1. Feature a link to your podcast on your own web site and on your own blog if you have one; also post it on the homepage of the realty company and on any other relevant community sites for your area.
  2. Posting your link on iTunes is primary-easily done through a link on its homepage; other external search directories include Podcast.net, Podcast Alley and Ipodder.
The Mossman Model
  1. Zahara Mossman of Miami Beach [review her interview from Dec. 2005] has used podcasting to leverage her own real estate practice; her Podcast Realty provides podcasting tools for other agents.
  2. Podcasting technology takes virtual tours to a new level by allowing agents to use a proactive strategy; listings and tours can be pushed to consumers instead of waiting for consumers to come to them.
  3. Sophisticated applications are possible, such as categorizing video podcasts by kind of property and/or location; each keyword (such as "condo" or "Key Biscayne") is linked to an entry that points to a podcast of focused information.
Contact Information for Jack Herrington:

(v) 510-475-0673
(e) jherr@pobox.com
(w)www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/1293


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Herrington's site on blogs: www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/1293
iTunes: www.itunes.com
Other podcast directories: www.podcast.net www.podcastalley.com www.ipodder.com
Audacity:http://audacity.sf.net or http://audacity.sourceforge.net
Internet archivea: www.archive.org www.ourmedia.org
Feedburner: www.feedburner.com
Video production tools: iMovie (for Mac) Adobe Premier (for Windows)
Podcast Realty: www.podcastrealty.com