Content Creators Volume 7: Howard Kline

Howard Kline is a true commercial real estate renaissance man, especially when it comes to content creation. His 38 years in the industry, operating in numerous capacities, are indicative of the fact that whenever Howard sits down to talk about the CRE sector, he’s bringing a wealth of knowledge about social media, content and marketing to the table. After working as a commercial real estate attorney, broker, and arbitrator, Howard has increasingly been devoting more time to his passion project: CRE Radio & TV. When it comes to thought leadership on how to create amazing, original content, Howard Kline continues to raise the bar!

- When did you start CRE Radio? 

Howard: My first broadcast was in December 2010.  It was a live broadcast taking live questions and answers. I started blogging, though, around 2005. Notice, I have not given you a date when I started doing things well. We first started posting videos from ICSC RECon in June 2013

- What was your original goal? 

Howard: My original goal was to create a way to warm cold call for my law practice, which I restarted after a few years of retirement.  Since I was experienced in cold calling as a real estate broker, and hated it, I wanted to come up with something to say other than "hire me, I am an experienced lawyer.” Being somewhat of a techie, I found an online platform that allowed me to do a radio show, from the comfort of my office, for $40 a month. It allowed me to get on air and work through the learning process in relative obscurity, or so I thought.  I had 500 listeners for the first show.  I also had something interesting to say when I cold called for clients. "How would an expert like you want to be on the radio?" People responded much more positively to that opening line.  

- Where do you get your content ideas from? 

Howard: At first, my ideas came from my general real estate knowledge, LinkedIn groups and topics suggested by my guests.  Now, I spend a great deal of time reading online news, blogs, videos etc. I have many more ideas than I have the opportunity to publish.

- Has the show helped grow your business? 

Howard: While I have earned some money directly from the radio show, within a few months of the first show, I made the conscious decision not to use the show to promote my law practice, focusing rather on creating content that would be of interest to a commercial real estate audience without the burden of being my own sponsor. This has allowed me to provide a more independent perspective.

- What have been some of your favorite shows? 

Howard: I did a show on CAM charges with 8 guests.  It was lively, spirited, with many differing opinions and yet everyone was mindful and respectful of each other.  It was amazing that it flowed so smoothly and didn't devolve into a free-for-all.  It was great content and highly entertaining to people who were interested in the topic. My producer said that I really tempted fate by having 8 guests.  The "radio gods" were looking kindly on me that day. The best shows are when my guests and I are relaxed and able to be ourselves. Having fun is a high priority and comes across to the listeners.

- How do you balance your “day job” and CRE Radio? 

Howard: I don't, or I don't do it well. Something always suffers. Either my tiny media empire, or my law practice, or my family suffers from inadequate attention.  Within the last year, I have made the commitment to wind down my law practice, by attrition intending to only consult or handle special projects on a case-by-case basis in 2015 and beyond.

- What are some of your favorite content sites or content creators? 

Howard: In real estate, I almost always read or listen to Duke Long.  I usually don't agree with him, but he is entertaining. To me, Duke is like the pain you feel when you wiggle a loose tooth. It hurts like hell, but you can't stop wiggling it. Linda Day Harrison and Allen Buchanan too, partly because I like their content and partly because they are such great people. To be perfectly frank, I like your blog quite a lot and will read your posts in their entirety.

- Whats next for Howard Kline? 

Howard: Making CRE Radio & TV, not only self-supportive, but supportive of my family. This will require significant improvement in the quality, consistency and distribution of my content. This year, we will also focusing on sponsorship sales, something that I have little experience in, as well as better and more sustained collaboration with other points of media distribution. Personally, I find being creative and coming up with ways to do things different from other people a very invigorating process. I never expected to be this creative at this age, and wish that I had done this sooner. Also, through what I am doing, my kids are discovering that being creative and different is a good thing.