JLL reports its OneView PodCasts generated more than 1,000subscriptions within two days. However, the boast that the digitalmedia files were an industry first wasn't entirely accurate.

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A podcast, for the uninitiated, is a buzzword for technologythat allows users to download audio and video files from theInternet to their computers, iPods, mobile phones or PDAs, They'resort of like radio or television programs you record in advance tolisten or watch whenever--and often, wherever--you want.

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podcasts

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Several real estate trade organizations, including the BeverlyHills, CA-based International Real Estate Trade Organization andthe locally based CCIM Institute are also producing podcasts.

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So contrary to the company's claim, JLL isn't the firstcommercial real estate organization to get into podcasting. But itis on a short list of firms and organizations that have--gaining,at least temporarily, a competitive edge over rivals like CBRichard Ellis Group Inc., the world's largest commercial realestate broker, and Cushman & Wakefield Inc. Neither iscurrently offering podcasts on their websites.

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It's somewhat surprising that podcasting is still cutting edgetechnology in commercial real estate circles, especially since ithas been popular in the residential real estate sector for years.As early as 2004, Miami Beach Realtor Zahara Mossman was usingpodcasts to promote her residential listings.

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Mossman makes audio recordings featuring both fact andimpressions about the listings, converts those recordings to MP3audio files and distributes them to subscribers using really simplesyndication (RSS) technology. She also posts the files, along withphotos of the homes, on the websites of two of her businesses:Podcast Realtyand ZaharaProperties . "The reaction has been phenomenal," she says."We are the buyers' eyes and ears."

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Podcast enthusiasts describe them as convenient, cost-effectiveways for commercial real estate professionals to communicate withclients, attract potential new clients and showcase the expertiseof brokers, department heads and other employees Businesses alsocan use podcasts to share information and train employees.

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[IMGCAP(2)]JLL calls podcasting an "effort to leverageinnovation and technology to serve client demand," a response tothe firm's research that indicates "clients want relevant andtimely information at their fingertips."

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It's offering short, concise audio and video clips, most lastingless than two minutes, featuring non-promotional thoughts ontrends, market statistics and other industry issues. The podcastsare available by subscription on the JLL website. Subscriberscan select one of three formats--e-mail, over iTunes or as an RSSfeed. They can also go back to the JLL website for links to whitepapers, articles and research for greater context on the podcasttopic.

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Right now, JLL expects to add one to three podcasts each week.The podcasts, which feature brokers, managers and other employeesfrom offices nationwide, will focus strictly on the US market.Later this year, JLL plans to launch international podcastsexploring global real estate issues.

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David Johnson, executive vice president and chief informationofficer at JLL, says the challenge for commercial real estatebusinesses is to incorporate technology without depersonalizing theservices they provide. "It's a very relationship intense business,and you don't want technology to come between the broker andclient," he explains.

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"But the podcasts are a way to connect," Johnson notes. "Theygive people who are very busy the flexibility to hear--at theirconvenience--a quick hit on our thoughts about a particular topic.They're easy to use and build on those personal relationships thatwe think are so important."

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