Jason Hartman is joined by Kirky Galt, Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Creative Real Estate Copy, and Host of Real Estate Thought Leadership Podcast. The two discuss marketing strategies in today’s real estate world. He discussed how commercial real estate will have one of the largest shifts in the industry. Related to marketing, Kirky emphasizes the need to provide value in your content.

Announcer 0:02
speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches and info marketers unite. The speaking of wealth show is your roadmap to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you’re looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand and become the go to guru. The speaking of wealth show is for you. here’s your host, Jason Hartman.

Jason Hartman 0:40
It’s my pleasure to welcome querque Gault. He is founder CEO and creative director of creative real estate copy and host of The Real Estate executive thought leadership podcast querque Welcome. How you doing?

Kirky Galt 0:52
Excellent. Thank you, Jason. Appreciate the opportunity to be on show. My pleasure. You’re in Austin, Texas and give us a little overview Maybe a bird’s eye view as to what is going on in the market first, and then let’s dive into, you know, what the industry can learn from what you do. But a lot, a lot of changes. You know, we’ve all heard about how commercial real estate is being affected by the pandemic. And now now by civil unrest, you know, people moving out of high density cities and such, what is your take, because you’re doing a lot of copywriting about this. So you really have a bird’s eye view. Yes, we’re working with a lot of commercial clients, and doing the content for them. We do a lot of research and we’re really watching the market. And I’m getting a lot of feedback from our clients as well about where the markets going with their experiences. And a lot of them are having challenges. But what I’m getting a sense is that there’s a lot of optimism in the marketplace, going into quarter three and quarter four, we really see it there’s going to be a real boost in the market. Seeing that there’s a lot of new originations occurring, people are getting a lot of new leads right now. People are very optimistic. Although it’s been a challenging time. We’re going to bounce back quickly. There’s concerns about what’s gonna happen with the, with the vacant commercial space. But people putting together plans to convert that to residential, we’re seeing a lot of conversation about that. And we’re gonna find our way through it. And I think the markets gonna really do well and pick up here.

Jason Hartman 2:14
You know, we’ve actually been talking about conversions and alternate uses for space. And, you know, I think that is a very interesting topic. And maybe we could dive into that for just a moment. But you know, it’s it’s fraught with issues of zoning and you know, whether whether it’s better to just take do tear downs or remodels. Because, you know, this stuff is complicated, of course, when you get into construction and actually executing on it, so you look at something like shopping malls, right, which are in big trouble, and then you look at office space, and then of course retail, tell us about what you what you’re seeing in terms of the alternate uses and you know how that might actually play out

Kirky Galt 3:00
Well, I think the most cost effective and most sustainable approaches are going to be infill, rather than new development. I think that’s also going to be easier to get financed in this marketplace considering the risk. With infill developments, there’s a lot less development costs, you’re not having to get completely in a lot of cases, if the zoning is already appropriate for what you’re gonna be your plan best uses. There’s a lot less challenges, it’s going to be less expensive, and it’s going to be more practical and feasible. So, yeah, switching from commercial to residential, there’s gonna be challenges. But given the current climate, I think public planning officials are going to be more cooperative with zoning changes, I think you’re right, making these deals possible.

Jason Hartman 3:36
Yeah, they’re gonna have to be I mean, they, you know, they’re going to lose their tax revenue base from one use case. And if they don’t convert it to another, that’s just going to be gone forever. So they’d be crazy not to cooperate. And so I think a lot of that will be streamlined. Whereas before, you know, if you wanted to convert a, you know, an office building to residential Boy, that would be a nightmare, getting it through city planning, I’m sure. But you know, it’s interesting. Like I sort of think about querque like this the typical, you know, two or three stories suburban style office complex, right? And, I mean, are they gonna, you know, make it make it so the windows open? Are they going to put balconies? You know, how are they going to do the bathroom, they got to put bathrooms in each space. I mean, it’s just a, that’s a chore to redevelop like that I almost wonder if it would be better to just bulldoze it and start over and just put up a housing development. There are thoughts on that but you know, a lot of them are on Main Streets too. So you know, it really doesn’t work very well necessarily.

Kirky Galt 4:44
From a replacement cost perspective, it’s probably won’t be practical to build those it. Also sustainability is gonna be a lot of waste materials. A lot of extra construction that needs to be done, but I think they’re going to find alternative uses that will work for residential. It may be replacing some windows, adjusting a few things. And then the design, but there’s gonna be a lot of opportunity for I think, work live a lot of elearning working from home, but they’re also going to want to have more professional space where they can concentrate on work where they can work with their teams, whether it be digitally or in person, where they have the design live space going to work without having to completely modify the design, I think there’s gonna be a lot of small companies that are going to be looking for that. So that might be an opportunity there

Jason Hartman 5:23
sort of lifestyle, mixed use, which has been pretty popular, it hasn’t been done that much. But you know, like, like the office downstairs and the house upstairs kind of concept. So yeah, there’s some interesting things that’ll come out of this for sure. Any thoughts on shopping malls, and then alternate uses for those?

Kirky Galt 5:43
I’m hearing a lot of that storage is one of the top considerations. Mm hmm. Also affordable housing. So with the space empty, they’re going to need to do something with it and it’s going to have to be practical, it’s going to have to meet best use and what people are looking for. No storage is definitely in high demand but residential space, especially for Trouble is always in demand. It’s needed most every market. So that’s, that’s the top of the list that people are considering.

Jason Hartman 6:06
Yeah. Oh no, we all know it’s needed. And there is a huge housing shortage, but it’s just so hard when I walk through a shopping mall, you know, I was at a shopping mall, here in Palm Beach last weekend. And I’m thinking about how could you convert this to condos or apartments, and I’m looking at the structure and the way it works. And I’m thinking that would just be a really difficult job, at least with what we’re used to for housing in terms of how it’s laid out and, and so forth. But now Who knows? We’ll see. I mean, I can’t wait to see some of the creative designs and concepts architects and planners come up with it’ll be it’ll be fascinating to see this roll out over the over the years. Maybe we can switch gears now and talk to us about you know, the marketing side of the real estate industry especially you know, most of your clients are commercial real estate oriented or asset. Management. So I assume you’ve got funds and so forth. Tell us about some of the projects you work on for them. And you know, what’s working, what’s not working in the in the marketing world?

Kirky Galt 7:11
Sure. We work on a lot of thought leadership content. That’s our primary focus. We also write promotional and other materials, direct response materials, we do PR writing. And we also do website design and content. And right now we’re finding that these are really important to especially during a crisis period, when you’re when you need those leads when you need to recover. The marketing has to be essential. And we see that a lot of firms that pull back on the marketing budgets during this time, but this is actually when you need to really redouble your efforts to maintain a consistent lead flow and keep prospects and closings in pipeline. Some of the strategies we’re seeing that are working are inbound content. That’s really the most impactful sharing your insights and knowledge generating value for your prospects. But it does it build that credibility and your personal and corporate brand and it helps guide your clients and their end users. Through this market, so it’s extremely important right now. And we’re finding the video is very effective and supporting that. It gets the message out there. It’s easy to connect with. And it generates excellent engagement. And podcasting, like what we’re doing here is also very effective. It helps with building connections with leaders and influencers, influencers in your industry. And right now, this is the time to do that. Because a lot of us a lot of prosper. A lot of lot of companies aren’t doing so much activity in terms of the projects right now. So it’s an excellent time to focus on your marketing. So podcasting, excellent, generates goodwill. It’s a good opportunity to learn from other experts in your field. And from the interviews that I’ve been doing on my show. It learned tremendous amount about the market and what they’re doing, how they’re coping with it and how they’re, they’re planning for success in the coming quarters.

Jason Hartman 8:46
I couldn’t respond to any more. I mean, I’ve been podcasting for 16 years, 1516 years now. And it’s it’s great. I mean, you learn so much talking to people all day. So yeah,

Kirky Galt 8:55
that’s, that’s great. Absolutely.

Jason Hartman 8:57
Is there any shift You see in the content marketing world, you know, that has happened over the years, obviously, attention spans are a lot shorter, and they keep getting shorter, you know, any sort of changes in the content marketing world that you’ve sent?

Kirky Galt 9:13
Sure I see that’s definitely going more towards informational content, content that really provides value. I think anything that’s overly promotional gets dismissed as noise couldn’t be really. Yeah, they’re not willing to listen to that or entertain that and sit through an extended amount of content about that. However, the content length, yeah, it has gotten shorter, and you have to break it up, make it easy to read, you have to make it engaging, tell a story, no matter what the topic is providing a narrative. But even longer content, even white papers, and things like that. That could be 1500 2000 words or more people will engage with that read with that if you’re providing them clear value, and you’re presenting it effectively, showing them bullet pointing it making it clear what it is that you’re trying to express and then getting into the details. So your length has gotten shorter. intention sponsor change, but valuable content overcomes that.

Jason Hartman 10:04
Couldn’t agree more. It’s interesting also what firms and marketers are, are calling documents or content pieces, you know, whether you call it a white paper or a free report, or a, you know, an E book, ebooks not as common nowadays. Do you have any comments there about what you see working as those, you know, lead magnets?

Kirky Galt 10:27
Sure, I think white papers are the top of the list and also contributor articles, white papers, they have different names. Sometimes they’ll be called an E book, which isn’t so popular anymore, I think so popular in residential space.

Jason Hartman 10:38
Yeah. Or many years ago in the days of the internet, right?

Kirky Galt 10:42
Yes, white papers and case studies, very valuable, provides lot information and that will drive clicks and opt ins to build email lists but followings very effective on social media. Especially when you support it with with other multimedia with video and audio to to help get the message out there and make it clear with the value As

Jason Hartman 11:00
in you mentioned length before, and I just wanted to go back to that. So what what is the optimum length for that document.

Kirky Galt 11:10
If for a white paper, it depends on how you’re going to distribute it, if it’s going to be something that’s go on your website, that’s your industry by email. And if you’re just gonna know, cut and paste the content there into your blast your distribution, and 500 to 1000 words and work. And it also depends on the complexity of the topic. If you’re going to offer a white paper on your website to drive clicks, and or if you’re gonna have them both through multiple steps to get that information, then you’re going to need more content, it’s going to need to be more in depth is going to need to provide more value. And that depends on the topics too. If you’re dealing with a software as a service in the commercial space, for example, it’s going to need to get into some more depth it’s going to need to provide more information about how the service works. The value provides how the end user can apply it, the value generates. Whereas if you’re just giving a brief on the market or specific thing, then it can be 500 words, I’d say for SEO purposes, if you’re going to be sharing it on your website, or in a press release, then a minimum of 500 words. Yeah, I wouldn’t be more,

Jason Hartman 12:09
I would say 500 words pretty short for that. But, but, you know, attention spans are short, too. So I hear you, I hear you. How is the PR world changed? I mean, that world has just been upended in so you know, so many ways for the past couple of decades. What what’s working and what’s not working in PR nowadays?

Kirky Galt 12:31
I think direct marketing to journalists is a bit less effective. Now, a lot of spam filters. They’re not really looking to get pitched directly. Although if you already have relationships, it can work really well. Distributing press releases on newswires is very effective. Most journalists are tuned to that. And the way that the content is distributed is very targeted as well nowadays. So let’s strategies to work we’re finding that the message that the The title, the headlines you’re using the story that you’re projecting needs to be very compelling. It needs to add value and needs to really describe a situation in the marketplace, or the relevance in the context of what you’re offering. Otherwise, it won’t get picked up anything is promotional, especially is not getting attention right now, because everybody is trying to promote themselves. So the press release really needs to convey factual information about the market surveys are very good statistical information, if you’re going to announce a leadership change in your company that really needs to be compelling and tell the story of the people involved, how it’s gonna affect the company, the way it’s relevant to the internal and external stakeholders.

Jason Hartman 13:44
So wire services are out though, it sounded like I mean, of course, the big public companies need to use them, but is that not really worthwhile anymore to use the wire services?

Kirky Galt 13:56
I think they are actually I think they’re very effective. Oh, okay. Sorry. Okay. It goes issue, because it goes directly to the targeted journalists. And the wire services. Depending on who you use, they already have relationships established. They filter it, they vet the information a little bit. They make sure that what is being distributed is the value. And often they’ll advise you on that if you love the services you work with, if you submit something to them, they have their own editorial staff before they just put it onto the Newswire. The distribution is very broad. So it goes out thousands of publications that are targeted. The last press release we issued got very good uptake through a thorough Pr Pr wire service, whereas the direct distribution we did for that campaign didn’t really get a lot of attention. Got it? Okay, got it got expensive, but but it can be very effective. Right.

Jason Hartman 14:45
Okay. Okay, good, good stuff. How about with what’s going on? You know, with civil unrest, with a pandemic, any changes in the way you’re wording things or approaching things. I mean, if course it’s sort of easy to be insensitive and distasteful nowadays and I’ve seen a lot of marketers doing stuff like that. So, you know any any advice you have to listeners to just make the messages relevant to what’s going on, but also to do it correctly

Kirky Galt 15:16
and effectively. Yes, I think being tasteful and tactful with anything you write or distribute is really important regardless of pandemics. With a pandemic, particularly though, we do avoid bringing it up too much or placing emphasis on it unless that’s the topic that we want to focus on or messages directly related to that. But we try not to dwell on that. And for international audiences, especially, we do avoid writing that incorporates too many like American cliches, colloquialisms, things that can be considered offensive. It really is important to avoid that. I think, in business writing, especially it needs to be objective. It can be personal can tell a story but it needs to be objective. It does need to be concise, professional, and really project a tone that reflects well on your brand.

Jason Hartman 16:00
Good stuff. Um, anything else you’d like to say? Just to wrap it up for us? querque? You know, getting questions I didn’t ask you or what do you’d like for listeners to know?

Kirky Galt 16:09
Well, I’d like to say that the most important thing in marketing is to be consistent. And to be authentic with what you’re offering, what you’re saying the messages, putting out there, really being clear, concise, and always generating value. That’s the key thing and anything that you do, you need to generate value otherwise, it’s not necessary. It’s not needed. It’s not going to do anything for anyone, and nobody’s going to listen or pay attention to it. So whether it’s even small social media post, even a pay per click ad, it needs to generate value it needs to raise a question in the prospects mind. It needs to provide value there for the internal or external stakeholders. It needs to provide value to investors or users. As it needs to generate value needs to be credible. And it needs to convey your value proposition. That’s the other thing. The value proposition is essential. You really have to express that clearly what it is you’re offering, who’s for, how it benefits them, and why you’re the best choice. And also, I think today, sustainability is an important thing. That’s something we incorporate into all of our content. Whenever there’s an opportunity to focus on environmental and social consciousness, find that that’s the best thing to do to convey concern, and your interest in more than just profit motives, which are important. But social context, environmental context, regulatory context, those are all very important for generating content that’s balanced, informative, and that really conveys your position in the industry helps build and build credibility,

Jason Hartman 17:39
and give out your website.

Kirky Galt 17:41
Sure, it’s creative real estate coffee calm. querque Gault, thanks for joining us. I want to thank you, Jason.

Jason Hartman 17:52
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