Consider Talk Radio

Would you believe that you could get on your local talk radio station for free? You are an expert in local real estate values, so your local radio stations might want to hear from you.

Getting on the radio requires a little chutzpah and media savvy. You’ve got to talk fast and feel totally confident in your expertise. I’ve met lots of appraisers and I know many of you qualify. If you are very comfortable talking about real estate values, the mortgage meltdown, and pending regulations like the HVCC, you have a good chance of getting some airtime either as a news interview or even better, on a local talk show.

There are two approaches to getting on your local talk radio station. In most markets, talk radio stations separate news and local talk programming. You can go through the news department, pitching yourself as an expert, or through one of the local talk shows. News interviews will be very short and will run throughout the day. Talk show interviews will be longer, and will likely be excerpted for playback through the day.

Spend a couple of weeks listening to different radio stations. Don’t neglect your local NPR station and music stations — may of them have news segments or even some talk programming. Listen for your “in”. What can you add to these conversations? What stations are the best fit for you? When you’ve decided which stations to target, visit the talk show websites and gather the hosts’ e-mail addresses. Visit the stations’ websites and get the e-mail addresses of the news desk, the fax numbers of the news desk, and the e-mail addresses of the assignment editors and the news directors.

When you hear the anchors talking about real estate issues at the top and the bottom of the hour, send them an e-mail and a fax offering to give an expert opinion. In your pitch, be sure to relate your local conditions to the national news. It’s very important that local news stations maintain a local angle. See below for scripts that might interest assignment editors.

You can also send less time-sensitive e-mails or letters to news editors and talk show hosts, asking to be put on their “experts list.” Outline in detail your experience in your real estate market, the topics you’re willing to discuss, and important points to note about your local real estate market.

Just as important, be prepared. With your phone numbers and e-mails, keep vital stats about local market conditions, important talking points (like our HVCC talking points) and other data. Most long form interviews and even short news interviews include a freeform question at the end like, “What would you like to add?” Be sure to have a closing thought to answer this question when they ask it. (This might be a good place to mention tax challenges, for example.)

Perhaps most important, keep it brief. Radio is a medium of seconds.  Stick to the point. Don’t tell stories or wander far afield. Don’t answer abruptly with “yes” or “no” answers, but keep it brief. Keep focused, and they’ll be much more likely to call you in the future.

Who knows? If you’re glib and quick on your feet, you may have a future as a talk radio expert.

Scripts

Use these two letters to pitch yourself as an expert on appraisals and the mortgage meltdown

If you send these by e-mail, include them in the body  of the message, where they are likely to be read. Be sure to add your own insights or ideas, but KEEP IT SHORT.  Radio folks don’t have time to read a long letter.

First letter: Market conditions in your area counter national trends:

Dear [NEWS DIRECTOR, ASSIGNMENT EDITOR, TALK SHOW HOST] (use real names, not titles),

Listening to the national news, you’d think we’re all running for cover with house values in sharp decline and foreclosures on the rise.  But the market in [YOUR CITY] is not the national market.  We’re bucking the national trend, but most of your listeners don’t know that.  I’d like to offer my home valuation expertise to [STATION NAME/SHOW’S NAME].  

I am available for short interviews or guesting on a show at a moment’s notice at [CONTACT NUMBER].  I understand that some folks don’t understand how the mortgage bust happened, and many want to know how it affects their home’s value. I’m glad to answer general questions about our area or take specific questions from callers.

As a real estate appraiser in [YOUR CITY] for [NUMBER OF] years, I can provide unique local insights into the market here in [YOUR CITY]. I can talk about how the mortgage meltdown affects (or doesn’t affect) [YOUR CITY], and the things people should know about how their homes are valued.

Please give me a call any time.
Sincerely,
[INSERT CONTACT INFO]

 

 

Second letter: Market conditions in your area follow downward national trends:

Dear [NEWS DIRECTOR, ASSIGNMENT EDITOR, TALK SHOW HOST] (use real names, not titles),

The mortgage crisis and declining home values are a big topic in the news, especially in [YOUR CITY.] Many of your listeners don't understand the cause of the crisis, or how it affects [YOUR CITY.] I’d like to offer my home valuation expertise to [STATION NAME/SHOW’S NAME].  

I am available for short interviews or guesting on a show at a moment’s notice at [CONTACT NUMBER].  I understand that some folks don’t understand how the mortgage bust happened, and many want to know how it affects their home’s value. I’m glad to answer general questions about our area or take specific questions from callers.

As a real estate appraiser in [YOUR CITY] for [NUMBER OF] years, I can provide unique local insights into the market here in [YOUR CITY]. I can talk about how the mortgage meltdown affects [YOUR CITY], trends I'm seeing in local home values, and the things people should know about how their homes are valued.

Please give me a call any time.
Sincerely,
[INSERT CONTACT INFO]