Deb Tomaro, real estate agent with RE/MAX Acclaimed Properties never set out to be a real estate agent, nor a podcaster for that matter. But a move back to Bloomington, IN in 2007 opened the doors to both.
After 13 years in Corporate America, Deb moved back to the city that she called home during her under-grad and graduate years, earned her real estate license and built up her network. “I started with nothing. I moved back knowing one person and grew my business from ground zero,” says Deb. “In a few years I was one of the top realtors in my area. I had to push myself outside of my comfort zone and work really hard to get to where I am.”
That ‘no boundaries’ attitude lead to her next big break. “I always wanted to do radio and in 2015 was approached by Voice America, a national online radio/podcast program. They invited me to host a real estate broadcast. It was fun but it was live and very stressful,” shares Deb. “After two and a half years I decided that with the listeners I had, I could branch out on my own and bring my focus to a local level. At Home in Bloomington was born!”
Deb completed her first season with 36 episodes earlier this spring and started recording her second season last month. She aims for one show a week and keeps her formula basic: interviewing local business owners, profiling events and exploring places. Her goal is to help people find a sense of community, wherever and whatever that may be.
Here, Deb answers five questions about how she got her podcast off the ground, and keeps it Above the Crowd:
1 – What topics does your podcast cover? Do you host guests?
“My podcast is more about the community than real estate. I interview local business owners to showcase what the community offers. I’ve interviewed a local organic farmer, a non-profit, local men’s clothing store, glass blower, museum curator. I always ask my guests what they want to dispel about their industry and bring to light what’s great about it. In the middle of each episode I take a little break called “Real List” and talk about three little things they should know about something related to real estate – like home inspections – I try to tie it back to real estate and introduce myself as a Realtor, but I don’t hit them over the head with it.”
2 – Where do you record? What equipment do you use?
“My co-host is a local lender and sponsor of the show. We usually use their office, it’s bigger and quieter! And the equipment we use is an app on my laptop connected to a professional microphone that I bought for a couple hundred bucks. I don’t rent a studio, I’m not techy, and it’s attainable and doable! I do pay an engineer $50 to put the show together for me. We don’t edit much, he only cuts in the break and lays down music. It’s not the highest production quality but it’s interesting content. This keeps it real; we make mistakes, we laugh. We can show our personality and it builds trust.”
3 – How or where do you host/promote it?
“I pay around $200 a year to host it. Once the engineer edits it together, then I host it to Spreaker- a platform for podcasts. It feeds to other channels and is uploaded to iTunes and Spotify. It’s very easy and costs next to nothing compared to some marketing techniques. And I think it’s a great way to get your information out there. For me, it’s not about people stumbling upon my show, but more for me to point people to – to help people remember me, or a reason to reach out to past clients.”
4 – How many followers/listeners do you have?
“It’s hard to say, but I had several thousand over the course of the first season. But I make sure each podcast we create is an evergreen show – meaning it’ll be just as relevant months from now as it is today. I don’t record a podcast for one moment in time, that way I can use it as a touchpoint again down the road. And for me, it’s not about the number of listeners I have, what matters more is what I do with the show and how I use it to connect with clients. I will share on social media to answer questions, tag my guests so their audience sees it, it grows my audience by leveraging theirs and is an easy way for me to paint myself as a community expert.”
5 – What advice would you give an agent thinking about starting one?
“I would really think about how you can use a podcast as tool. Don’t approach it as ‘how many people will listen’ but rather ‘what can I do with this and where can I share it to connect with more people?’ Your success as a realtor who does a podcast will come from connecting with people, not what you talk about. So I would say if you’re thinking of starting one, start with how you’ll use it, not what you’ll talk about. It’s made a huge difference in my business.”
If you’d like to tune into season two of At Home in Bloomington with Deb, click the link below:
Or follow along on Deb’s Facebook page: