Interview with Michael Bull of the Commercial Real Estate Show

interview with michael bull // founder of bull realty and the commercial real estate show

What is the history of the Commercial Real Estate Show?

The first show aired in October of 2010 on just one station in Atlanta. This is how it started. Most my days are spent continually helping clients and brokers with real estate issues and transactions. They explain the issues and I ask them questions to help them consider various options to move the mission forward. 

With 30 years of transaction experience and a tendency to cut up a little, people said they found the discussions enlightening. People asked to sit in while I helped others if the discussions weren’t confidential. I kept hearing, this would be good radio. So I decided to approach some stations to do it on air, and one said yes.

A month before the show started the station called to say that because of some expansion construction, I would not be able to do a live show and take calls. It went from an easy Q and A for me, to a much larger project. I had to plan the topic, guests and discussions in advance. The good news was I could totally control the product. So what would have undoubtedly been an easier, local interest show, turned into a show interesting to people all over the country.  We have done a new show every week since then, close to 300 shows.

For idea of the work, do this. Plan, lead and moderate a panel for an event. Make sure its fantastic or it will hurt your business. Get the sponsors on board. Now add recording video and audio. Oh, and get all the guests on board, comfortable and on time. Absolutely make sure you and the guests are all informative. Hope you, or no one else involved, gets sick, vacations or just gets cold feet. Then market it. Repeat and rinse.

If you’re like me, if every show is not better than the week before, you’re not happy.

How do you select topics? Do you find inspiration from other content sources?

I don’t get topic ideas from other content sources, I tend to do things my way. I pick topics based on what I feel is interesting to U.S. commercial real estate participants. As an active broker licensed in 9 states with 25 agents doing all types of transactions, I see what’s interesting to listeners and viewers. The first show topic in 2010 ? Well you probably guessed it, loan workouts. I had no idea how valuable the show would be for listeners until I taped that first show.

How do you get the content you produce out to the marketplace?

We built a pretty elaborate studio in our office in Atlanta. We call it Studio One. The show has a full time professional producer. The studio, cameras, lighting, build-out, sound insulation, news desk, software and production equipment were set up by companies that build studios for CNN and Fox. Guests fly in, or we use skype or a telephone line. We prefer guests who visit Studio One in person.

The shows are loaded to iTunes, YouTube and the show web site Shows are marketed on social media and by a weekly opt in email on the show web site. The show web site is where the audio podcasts, videos and articles are stored. The access is free and available anytime. Visitors search show topics by medium, maybe they just want to “watch” videos. Or by “sector”, maybe they’re just interested in multifamily for example.

The show airs every week on radio stations around the country,  but it’s easier to listen on a smart phone whenever its convenient, like during a commute.

How does the show help build Bull Realty's brand?

The show helps people know who we are and builds credibility. Commercial brokerage is half consulting and half marketing. Clients understand pretty quickly we understand marketing, and that we would not talk on the radio if were concerned about the quality of our advice. We have picked up relationships, referrals, agents and clients. I think most people realize how much work it is to produce a quality show like this, and they really appreciate us providing it.

What's next?

I’m planning a TV show! Stay tuned.

Lindsey Imperatore