If you see TONS of ads about Realtors making millions from their YouTube channel, you are not alone. Although I haven’t done it myself, I’ve interviewed and am friends with Sam Caudle and Will Grimes – both of them are real estate agents who have YouTube channels consistently generating leads.
If you want to learn more, this post will discuss:
- How to Start Your Own Real Estate YouTube Channel
- Skills required and costs to expect
- Pro’s and Con’s of using YouTube Videos to generate leads
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents:
- Skills and Costs Required for YouTube Videos
- How To Start a YouTube Channel for Real Estate Agents
- 1. Define your Target Audience
- 2. Define What Value You Will Add to Them
- 3. Define the Simple Elements of the Brand (Name, Color, Font)
- 4. Outline Your First 20 Videos
- 5. Include 1 or 2 Client Stories in Every Video
- 6. Remind People That You Want Them to Call
- 7. Let your Passions, Tastes, Interests, and Style Show
- 8. Try to Improve the Entire Video by 1% Every Time
- 9. Make Something That You Like and That You Are Proud Of
- 10. Don’t Quit
- Pros and Cons of YouTube for Real Estate Agents
- Negative Aspects of Starting a YouTube Channel for Real Estate Lead Generation
- Positive Aspects of Starting a YouTube Channel for Real Estate Lead Generation
- Is YouTube good for real estate agents?
- What do most Realtors struggle with when starting a YouTube Channel?
- How long should a real estate video be?
- Conclusion: Is YouTube Right for You?
Skills and Costs Required for YouTube Videos
Compared to cold calling, starting a YouTube channel is a rare skill because so few people have done it. Every marketing channel requires specific skills to be successful. A business can outsource those skills and assign responsibilities.
Let’s go over the skills required to be successful with YouTube and the costs you can expect to outsource those skills.
Persistence and Consistency
You shouldn’t expect to make 5 videos and be SWAMPED with work. Creating engaging content is not a skill that comes quick and easy… it could take months of improvement before your videos become good enough.
Therefore, you need to develop your muscle of discipline. They both agreed this is the one thing most real estate agents get wrong…
They stop showing up and putting the work in.
At one point in my interview with Will, he said something like:
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taught people… and on the second week they’re already missing a video.”
It’s not going to be easy… If it were, everyone would do it. But you’re going to have to make 20+ videos, maybe even more, before you start seeing traction.
Videography and Audio
Obviously, you need to film, right? So…
How do you set up a shot so you get the best lighting? The best angles?
What’s a good background?
How do you know the audio isn’t going to sound like crap?
You can watch videos and stay in ‘learning’ mode for weeks or years, but nothing is going to teach you more than creating videos.
Since you won’t be producing movie-quality videos, you likely won’t need an audio producer… But a videographer would come in handy!
You could hire one full-time for around $60k/year… Make that one hire in charge of videography, audio, and the rest of these skills so you can focus on your real estate business…
You likely wouldn’t want to do this from the start… So you’re $1,000 iPhone will work great!
Actually, Sam has told me he wishes he never would have upgraded from the iPhone because the video is good enough.
Considering Sam makes over $250k/year from his channel and Will and his partner Eli make over $1,000,000 in commissions from their YouTube channel… A videographer might give them some time back. (IDK if Will has a videographer or not).
Since you’re reading this, you probably aren’t ready to hire someone full-time for $6k/month… Editing is time-consuming and one of the first things you can outsource.
Actually, here’s what Sam said when I asked him about DIY editing or outsourcing from the start…
If you can’t afford to pay someone for editing…
What video editing tools does he recommend?
So, unless you come with prior editing experience, Sam says you use iMovie and other free editing software.
I’ve used CapCut and really like it!
He started outsourcing his editing at $20-$25/hour, so he pays around $100 per video. Since he posts 2 YouTube videos per week, that comes out to roughly $800/month.
Final Touches – Graphic Design, Copywriting, and SEO
At this point, you’ve recorded and edited the video. Now, all you really need to do is write the video’s title, video description, and create a video thumbnail.
It is impossible to become highly skilled at graphic design (thumbnail), copywriting (title), and YouTube SEO (description) if you’re only doing it for 2 videos per week, and hiring experts is going to be considerably expensive…
Sam has a different perspective than I thought he would on these final touches…
He sent me a voice message explaining the title, thumbnail, and description can be changed after the video is posted, and therefore it isn’t that big of a deal… especially if you’re just getting started.
The video is something that can’t be changed after posting, so focus more on that.
As a real estate agent, you know how important it is to have high-quality, professional photos of a house…
If the photos look horrible, fewer people will schedule showings, right?
The same concept applies to thumbnails… If your thumbnail looks meh, fewer people are going to click on it and watch your video.
For the thumbnail – include a photo of you, and don’t use the same text as your title.
Here are some of Sam’s most recent thumbnails:
Sam says when a video first goes live a good CTR is 7-8%. It’s higher at first because the video is shown to your subscribers first. Then it should level out between 4-5% as it starts showing to a colder audience.
If your CTR is below 4%, Sam recommends abandoning that thumbnail completely and split-testing 2 new ones.
TubeBuddy is an app and tool that Sam swears by. It gives you the ability to split-test thumbnails to see which has a better CTR and which thumbnail leads to a higher retention rate.
Here’s a great video that shows you exactly how to split test thumbnails.
Video Title and Description
Titles and descriptions are important because it tells YouTube what your video is about, and what it should rank for.
This impacts how often your video will show up. Every time 50% or more of your thumbnail is visible for more than 1 second, that counts as an impression.
TubeBuddy will help tremendously… Here’s their video on how to use it to optimize your video’s title and description for YouTube’s search engine.
Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of data in regard to impressions.
The costs associated with outsourcing thumbnails, titles, and video descriptions can be relatively low. Considering the huge impact it could have on your video’s success, it would be worth it to set aside an hour or two of your time.
If you do want to outsource, Sam suggests creating a style guide and giving it to a designer… For costs associated: add $10-$50/video for the thumbnail creation… or do it yourself on Canva for free.
Let’s rewind a bit…
Once you make your first 30-ish standard videos about neighborhoods, pros and cons, and cost of living, you might not know what to make videos about.
TubeBuddy can help you identify keywords that you should create videos for.
If you’re a real estate agent interested in starting a YouTube channel, those are the costs and skills associated with starting a YouTube Channel!
How To Start a YouTube Channel for Real Estate Agents
Let’s get tactical. I asked Sam for 3-10 steps on how real estate agents can start a YouTube channel and here’s what he said…
1. Define your Target Audience
After thoroughly interviewing Will and Sam, they had a lot of similar advice about doing YouTube… Be you. Your personality is what makes you unique
You are who you are, and people want to see your authentic self. If you are a father, you probably think like a parent and your target audience should be parents.
Sam moved to Tampa, FL, and started his YouTube channel shortly after. He had the unique perspective of speaking to people who were considering moving to Tampa, FL because he did the move himself.
2. Define What Value You Will Add to Them
As a real estate agent, you likely want to make videos for people looking to buy or move into the area. So this will change from video to video… But you still want to speak to the same target audience.
3. Define the Simple Elements of the Brand (Name, Color, Font)
As someone who loves design, it’s easy to get lost in ‘creation mode’… Selecting colors and a font shouldn’t take more than a day. But, choosing a brand name might be one of the hardest parts of starting any business…
I suggest starting brainstorming names sooner versus later. Ask a bunch of people you trust for recommendations. You can get some good ideas from ChatGPT as well…
Don’t select a brand name without speaking to a couple of people about it. Sam is an awesome dude and I recommend reaching out to him.
Here’s Sam’s Living in Tampa:
Here is Will Grimes and Eli Schmidt’s:
4. Outline Your First 20 Videos
When I had Sam on the Agent Goldmine, he actually provided 20 titles for your first 20 videos. I’m going to attach them below so you can’t use ‘I don’t know what to make videos about’ as an excuse.
There’s a special beauty of location-specific content… You can look at the people who made the best videos in other markets, copy their outlines, and swap out the city for your city.
Not sure how to make a viral video?
Watch the videos with next to no views and watch the videos with a bunch of views… Build your outline from the videos that CRUSH.
YouTube Video Ideas for Real Estate Agents
1. Moving to YOUR CITY in 2023
2. Living in YOUR CITY in 2023 – Everything You Need To Know
3. Cost of Living in YOUR CITY
4. Hidden Costs of Living in YOUR CITY
5. Most Surprising Things About Living in YOUR CITY
6. Pros and Cons of Living in YOUR CITY
7. Areas in YOUR CITY That Locals Love
8. Areas With The Best Schools in YOUR CITY
9. Best Areas for Families in YOUR CITY
10. 10 Worst Things About SMALLER TOWN in YOUR CITY
11. Pros and Cons of Moving to YOUR CITY in 2023
12. Cost of Living in YOUR CITY Compared to California
13. Cost of Living in YOUR CITY Compared to Texas
14. Cost of Living in YOUR CITY Compared to New York
15. Best Suburbs In YOUR CITY, STATE
16. Where To Live in YOUR CITY, STATE
17. Things People Don’t Tell You About YOUR CITY
18. Don’t Regret Moving To YOUR CITY
19. Why I Live In YOUR CITY
20. How I Chose Where I Live in YOUR CITY
5. Include 1 or 2 Client Stories in Every Video
The entire purpose of creating real estate YouTube channels is to generate leads, right?
How can you do that without being overly aggressive or coming off as needy?
People love a good story… If that story can involve your real estate business and how you helped a certain client or how maybe one of your clients decided NOT to purchase in a specific area because XYZ, it’s a subtle way to remind your audience you are a real estate agent.
Here’s an example of Sam telling a story about one of his clients:
6. Remind People That You Want Them to Call
A great time for a CTA is immediately after a client story. Sam says you have to remind your audience in every video that you want them to call and text you.
If you don’t tell them multiple times in each video that you want them to reach out or leave a comment if they have questions, your audience engagement will drop…
7. Let your Passions, Tastes, Interests, and Style Show
In one of my interviews with Will, he spoke about how people are unique and we like specific people more than others.
There are a bunch of news channels and sports show hosts all saying similar things. The reason you listen to one over the other is because you feel a connection or like one host over the others.
This is only possible because those people are consistent in who they are over time.
The point is, don’t be afraid to share little ‘tokens’ about yourself that other people can relate to.
8. Try to Improve the Entire Video by 1% Every Time
As with anything, if you want to get better, you need to evaluate yourself with a critical lens. It’s important to rewatch all of your videos and learn from little mistakes…
Look at the analytics, was there a specific point in the video where you lost a chunk of viewers?
Listen to your voice, was there a time you weren’t audible? Did you stutter or mumble?
Look at your clothes… Does that nasty, stained white shirt you wear display trust to your audience?
Need to groom your nasty facial hair?
There are a ton of small tweaks you can make on a consistent basis to improve.
9. Make Something That You Like and That You Are Proud Of
Some of you will have standards that are too high while some of you will have standards that are too low. At the end of the day, keep in mind this is marketing, not a house you’re building for someone to live in for the next 100 years…
It’s okay to get your tongue tied up a few times… Mistakes are human.
At some point in this article, you may have thought ‘I wouldn’t have worded it like that’… and that’s exactly how some people will view your work, regardless of how good it is.
These are two totally different styles… Chances are, some people who watch Emma Chamberlain’s videos might not like Mr. Beast’s and vice versa. Which brings us back to #7.
For those of you who are perfectionists, this may be an impossible mountain to summit… I asked Sam what perfectionists should do and he said:
10. Don’t Quit
Skills take time and practice to develop… Just like learning how to hold a buyer consultation, you improve over time… You likely WON’T see results right away and that is fine.
If you are willing to suck, learn, and improve by 1% for your first 100 videos… Your 101st video will be 2.7x better than your first video… BTW that’s less than 1 year of doing 2 videos per week.
With 100 videos under your belt, you should have a few leads coming in per week, and you will likely close at least 1 deal per month.
Pros and Cons of YouTube for Real Estate Agents
Not sure if YouTube is right for you yet? Let’s talk about all the negatives of YouTube for real estate agents then we can weigh the positives.
Negative Aspects of Starting a YouTube Channel for Real Estate Lead Generation
The worst part about starting a YouTube channel is not having the skills developed to make high-quality videos. This ‘skill development’ phase can be extremely difficult and frustrating, especially if you don’t have help. If you already have the skills of getting in front of a camera and know how to create videos, YouTube is a no-brainer.
I’d say the second worst part of using YouTube for your real estate business is not knowing how long it will take to see results. If you start running paid ads, the ads go live instantly and you can get leads that very same day. With organic YouTube, it might take months to get your first lead.
I think the third biggest issue is the time commitment required for video production. I tried YouTube for a few weeks and it took me multiple days of planning and recording to make a single video. I was exhausted from it. I can’t imagine spending 4/7 days making 2 YouTube videos and then still having to work with clients… Although Sam did tell me what I was doing it wrong by scripting every word. I believe he spends less than 20 hours per week and still produces 2 videos per week… Hit him up to learn from a pro!
Positive Aspects of Starting a YouTube Channel for Real Estate Lead Generation
My favorite reason for YouTube lead generation is the quality of leads that come from it. Sam describes his leads as ‘clients not leads’… After watching you on video for 5, 10, maybe even 30 minutes, people feel like they know and trust you. They’ve already decided you are their agent and they want to work with you. I imagine this level of trust would probably make them want you to sell their house when they want to sell, as long as you do a decent job of staying in touch.
My second favorite part of YouTube is the low-cost aspect… Yes I know it costs money to drive around and edit videos and whatnot… but everything costs money. If you spend $125/video and make 100 videos per year… That will cost you $12,500. In some markets, that’s one closing. Considering this is the model Will and Eli used to generate over $1,000,000 in GCI with their channel, Living in Denver, that’s an awesome ROI… Even if they spent $100k and generated $1,000,000, it would still be a great ROI.
My third, final, and longest-term outlook on the benefits of starting a YouTube channel to generate leads is actually the development of skills. Storytelling, being comfortable in front of a camera, and creating engaging content are all extremely valuable skills that will translate to any industry.
Is YouTube good for real estate agents?
What do most Realtors struggle with when starting a YouTube Channel?
Most Realtors struggle with posting videos consistently when starting a YouTube channel.
Creating content is a lot of work and most agents aren’t willing to put in the work without seeing consistent results.
If you make 100 videos and improve on every video, it’s highly unlikely you won’t generate leads that will convert to more than $100k/year.
How long should a real estate video be?
Real estate videos made for people interested in a specific area should be between 8 and 14 minutes.
This information is provided by Sam Caudle, the owner of the YouTube channel – Living in Tampa FL
Conclusion: Is YouTube Right for You?
You are NOT too late… There’s going to be competition with every marketing channel, and YouTube is one of the best ways to acquire clients because…
There’s no stronger way for you to connect with an audience than YouTube. When people watch your YouTube videos and reach out, it’s because they already feel a sense of trust.
If you are a real estate agent still considering using YouTube as a lead source, I recommend committing to creating 100 YouTube videos. This is 1 year of 2 videos per week…
By the time you get to YouTube video #100, you’re going to be a pro in front of a camera and have so many valuable skills…