What should you expect when two men who are entrepreneurs, real estate professionals, good pals and story tellers get together, as host and guest, to launch a new Podcast? A great mix of information and entertainment. It all starts with the most basic question – what exactly is a Podcast, anyhow?
So… What’s a Podcast?
Ryan Sloper, wearer of multiple hats such as Entrepreneur, Real Estate Investing, Real Estate Sales, Mortgage Company Holder, Duck Donut franchise partner (more on that, I promise!) and veteran Podcaster, defines it for us.
Podcasting is “an on-demand internet radio show that can be accessed through your computer, a portable media player such as an iPad or any sort of tablet, or your phone, whether it be an Android or iPhone.” Ryan continues, “Essentially, it’s a digital audio file. At the end of a recording, it’s downloaded into an MP3 that sits somewhere, such as a server, so people can access it at any time.”
Podcasting Cuts Commuting Time To Zero
In 2010, when Ryan was on 1580AM, he had to make the long drive from Northern Virginia to Lana, MD every Monday to host from 2:00 to 3:00PM. An entire business work day was being sacrificed to this arrangement, week after week. It had to come to an end and Podcasting was the perfect solution.
Podcasting allowed Ryan to continue his radio show but distance himself from actual Terrestrial Radio. He now notes that anybody – yes, ANYBODY – can start a Podcast; even Joe Shmoe off the street. Are you listening, Joe? Opportunity is knocking!
Starting a Podcast is free. Yes, totally free. Well, except for the equipment that goes into it but that’s a very minimal expense. It’s certainly cheaper than building your own recording studio, an option that briefly crossed Ryan’s mind.
“It would have cost about $15,000 to build a studio in my office versus simply plugging into my computer, dialing in to a line, record the show from the comfort of my home or office, put it up on the internet for anyone to have access to, day or night. Podcast is internet radio that’s on-demand for the consumer.”
Eric Is Introduced To Podcasting
Eric, host of the new Frederick Advice Givers, admits to being clueless about Podcasts until about 6 months ago. He called his trusted friend, Sloper, to find out how to get an app to listen to Podcasts on his phone.
He now has his favorites, leaning towards the ones that are aimed at entrepreneurs, marketing and business like Entrepreneur on Fire by James Lee Dumas and Agent Marketing Syndicate with Ryan Fletcher. Being a voracious reader and accustomed to taking a ‘nugget or two’ out of every book he reads, Eric notes that he’s also able to take something away from each Podcast he listens to.
“They’re 15 minutes to a hour snippets. It’s not a few days or 40 hours’ worth of reading. And, you get the same value out of a Podcast, I’ve found, as you do out of reading a book.”
Ryan listens to Ted Talks, Dave Ramsey and James Altucher. “Currently on my phone, I have The Moment by Brian Koppelman. He’s one of the best storytellers. I Love Marketing with Joe Polish and Dean Jackson. Real Estate investing Podcasts, like Real Estate Investing Mastery. Honestly, it’s anything that I’m interested in; I’m looking for other like-minded people.”
“All I do is get on iTunes and I start searching. I’ll type in a keyword; it can be real estate investing, or it can be health, it can be anything. I’ll find something and I’ll just start listening. And, if I identify with the person, if I can relate, if I like their story? Then, I’m going to tune in for future episodes.”
Eric and Ryan Are Effective Real Estate Story Sellers
Neither goes into a house to list it and give a presentation that’s scripted. They talk to their clients to learn their stories. Transactions are story-based, not data-based. They say they aren’t in the real estate sales profession; they are in the story-telling profession.
Eric goes above and beyond in writing amazing stories about individual houses. It can sometimes take up to 8 hours to put the whole story of a property together. It creates an emotional attachment and that’s what seals the deal. “Words are very powerful.”
Ryan completely agrees. His clients do the writing. “I always have my buyers write a one to two page story with pictures before we submit contracts. I’ve done that for 5+ years now.”
” I can give you probably 10 examples where we weren’t the highest and best offer and we won that contract. Because, it’s not just about the seller getting the most amount of money. They care also about who is going to be buying their house.”
Story telling is a trick of the trade that not everyone knows about…well, until they hear the Podcast or read this article, that is.
Story Telling is Eric Verdi’s Vision for How to Interview Frederick Professionals
As Frederick’s brightest minds are interviewed by Eric, he’s going for a story-based approach that will give deeper insights. The Podcasts will be of 2 people telling stories about their lives, their professions, their families, their interests…
For instance, the pilot Podcast for Frederick Advice Givers has the background story on how Ryan became a partner in a Duck Donut franchise. Okay, so how does a Real Estate entrepreneur/Investor/Podcaster/and so much more become the part owner of a donut shop?
The Road to Bristow Duck Donuts
Ryan isn’t alone on this serendipitous adventure. His partner, Larry, came up with the idea about a year ago when he noticed that the area was lacking breakfast places. He thought donuts would be a good idea because they don’t cost a lot to run; the product is basically made with dough, like pizzas.
So, to make a long story longer, Larry conducted research while Ryan’s enthusiasm wasn’t that great. The idea was put on the back burner. That is, until Ryan, his wife and in-laws went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for their yearly 4th of July vacation getaway.
“Every day, they’re walking in with boxes of donuts and setting them down on the table. And, it’s not like one or two; it’s, like, boxes of, like 12. So, there’s like 3 boxes! By the end of the week, I started counting them all up, trying to figure out how much money they’d spent on donuts this week.”
Duck Donuts is a donut franchise that started out as just one store and now there are 4 corporate stores situated on the Outer Banks. This donut franchise basically dominates the entire Island. What’s so special about this donut shop? They deliver “an unparalleled experience.”
“They’re basically made right in front of you. So, the donuts are dropped into the fryer, it runs down the conveyor belt, it spits out, you top ’em, you put your icing and then your toppings.”
“The kids get to line up at the window, get to watch the donuts coming down and watch the donuts being made and then they’re presented to them. ‘These are the donuts you wanted.’ And, the kids walk out the door.”
It’s an amazingly enjoyable experience that Ryan himself hadn’t witnessed until after he knew that the family had spent at least $300 on donuts that week alone. He knew he had to go check it out for himself. The first thing he noticed? A long line that translated into a waiting time of about 45 minutes. For donuts.
This was enough to make Ryan get on his phone and check to see if there was already a Donut Duck in Northern Virginia. Knowing that a large number of the area’s population vacationed in the Outer Banks, he knew there would be built-in brand recognition.
There was one existing Duck Donut; it was in Williamsburg and it was the Corporation’s pilot franchise. It was time to call Larry to talk donuts. He told him to go to Williamsburg and experience it for himself. That’s all it took.
They opened their own franchise in Bristow and they have the option for two more, in Woodbridge and Chantilly, if they choose to execute those options. It wasn’t the idea of selling donuts that sold Ryan on the business, it was the reaction of the customers to the experience that he had witnessed himself first hand.
“At Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme, you’re not getting kids’ faces to light up like they light up when they come through a Duck Donut store.”
What Do Duck Donuts And Disney Have In Common?
Speaking of the impact of being caught up in an enjoyable experience, Eric recently went to Disney with the kids. “Disney is all about the experience.”
It was in February during a record cold spell; the record cold spell was also extended into Florida but that meant temperatures in the upper 40s. Undeterred, they went to Disney every day. There were some hiccups; some rides were closed, some technical issues, etc. but Disney went out of their way to make it a great, memorable experience.
Alex, almost 6, had about $20 left when picking something out from the Disney Store on the last day. He wanted two stuffed animals from the Lion King but he only had money for one.
Mickey Mouse suddenly appeared with an offer to purchase one for him. And, the eyes lit up! And, this is the magic! This is the type of experience that makes people return to Disney over and over again and wait in line for hours for rides even in record cold temperatures.
Great Vacation! Now Back to Realty Reality and Problem Solving
Back home on Sunday, back to the real world. Monday morning, checked on a listing that was to be settled on Friday, just to make sure everything was okay.
“I walk in and I hear water running. Oh, my God! And, this is vacant. It’s a vacant house. I’m just praying that somebody just left the faucet running or something. But, no man..I opened the basement steps and it sounds like somebody has a fire hose going down there.”
“It’s a 1900s house with one of those basements that has dirt floors and stone walls. So, I’m walking down the wood, creaky steps. I get to the 3rd step and my foot hits water.” Eric took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants, and waded through 18 inches to 2 feet of water to get to the main water shut-off valve. The fire company pumped out the water, the restoration company was called out…the plumber was called to fix the leak..the HVAC guy was called to check out the furnace…the drywall and painter guys had to come out…
With only 4 days to coordinate and get it all done, the painting was finished merely a half hour before Friday’s signing. The seller was extremely gracious because of the incredible experience. Every transaction in real estate is different. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond.
“That’s what we do for our clients here in Frederick. We try to deliver an experience where they’re going to tell their friends ‘Hey, Eric Verdi, he did this or did that, above and beyond what we expected.’ We always want to over-deliver.”
Fredericks Advice Givers Podcast Interviews Going Forward
As Ryan notes, this story is the perfect example of why the new Podcast program that introduces business owners and entrepreneurs in the local area of Fredericks is so important and such a great idea.
“As you tell these stories, people can make sense if this somebody I want to work with or not.” Similarly, telling the story about the Disney vacation is a thumbs up for going to Disney – there’s a great experience waiting to happen there.
The Frederick Podcast is a way to meet the professionals that you might want to do business with. “If people want to go to a mortgage professional, if people want to get a landscaper, a photographer, and I’m sure these are the types of people you’re going to be interviewing on your Podcasts, after listening and getting to know the person, it’s easy for people to make a decision.’
“With all of the Podcasts that I’ve listened to, I really quickly develop this affinity with somebody if they have something in common with me where I want to learn more about them.”
“To me, it’s really a magical way to create a relationship with somebody that you may never even talk to. I feel like I know Dave Ramsey on a personal level, and I feel like I know James Altucher and all of these other people, even though I don’t. So, I think it’s awesome what you’re doing and I think the community is going to get a lot out of it.”
And, this is exactly what the Podcasts are going to be like…two people talking about their professional and personal experiences. Aim high, Joe!
Find updates for the May or June opening for Duck Donuts Bristow on Facebook. Check out Ryan’s weekly Real Estate 360 Podcast for in-depth market dynamics. He can be reached at RyanTSloper@gmail.com with any questions.
Content taken from Frederick Advice Givers #001: Pilot Podcast with host, Eric Verdi and special guest, Ryan Sloper.