When Darryl Baskin started out in real estate 16 years ago in Broken Arrow, Okla., he had an unusual problem. He was only 19 years old, and he looked so young that when he went out to show properties he was often mistaken for his customer’s son. The way he overcame his challenge holds a lesson for any real estate agent: he created a name for himself via television.

Baskin realized that what he lacked, given his youth, was credibility, so he decided to develop a weekly real estate news show for a local cable television station.

“I needed to create an image that differentiated me from the pack. I realized that, if I could just get on TV and have the credibility that medium offered, I could begin to change people’s minds,” he said in a recent Star Power Club interview.

Baskin purchased air time for his show. He went with cable TV because it was cheaper than the network stations, yet still provided a large enough audience for his services. He pulled together sponsors to pay for his expenses and launched The Future of Real Estate. The half-hour format involved reports on local real estate statistics and interviews with area business people and civic leaders. The program was not a commercial. Rather, it offered a news and talk format with solid information about the local market.

“In the first half of the program, I would interview a local guest who was an expert in their field–anyone from a home appraiser to a home inspector to the mayor or a senator. I developed contacts and helped people by giving them some good PR on my show. I was also able to squeeze in a little information about my listings,” he said.

Sponsors were mentioned on the show and had their ads run during the program. Baskin also sent them referral business.

The first year was a little rocky, Baskin said. “To this day I have a lot of gratitude for the sponsors, some of whom are still with me today, because they paid for me to be on TV. They probably weren’t too impressed with my first year of production. It was kind of like Wayne’s World of Real Estate,” he joked.

However, Baskin’s interviewing and presentation skills improved with time. Now, 13 years and 200 shows later, The Future of Real Estate has become one of the longest running television shows in Tulsa. Baskin contracts with a local firm, Expert Talk Productions, to produce approximately two new shows each month, at a cost of about $5,000 per show. He provides a finished product to the cable television station, which airs the segment about eight times before Baskin sends them a new one.

Sponsors offset most of the expenses, and finding them was not difficult, Baskin said. He refers them business when possible. “My sponsors know my business growth is a direct benefit to them. I am very loyal to the people who help me succeed and work hard to keep reliable sponsors so my customers are getting the best service.”

Baskin later expanded with a radio show, which was easier and less expensive to produce. He also added a co-host. “Having just one person talking all the time is pretty dry,” he said. “It’s helpful to have someone to banter back and forth with and give a differing perspective.”

As for benefits, Baskin says it takes staying power to generate business from the shows. It doesn’t happen overnight, but eventually, he says, his talk shows “made a significant impact on my business.” Guests and sponsors appreciate being on Baskin’s show and send customers his way. “If you are helping other people build their business, it starts coming back to you,” he says.

The Baskin Team is affiliated with the Real Estate Technology Center at McGraw Davisson Stewart, Realtors. Baskin and his team handle about 200 Tulsa real estate sales each year.

Howard Brinton is a real estate sales motivational speaker and the founder and CEO of Star Power Systems, a sales training organization that offers tapes, books, videos, conferences and a club that distributes selling techniques from the nation’s top producers.

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