On July 31, 2017, real estate agent Karin Carr posted a video on YouTube listing 10 reasons why people should consider moving to Savannah, GA. Three months later, she started getting “come list me” phone calls from people who’d seen her videos. Then buyers who were moving to Savannah began calling. By now, Karin says that video alone has brought in more than $100,000 in GCI, and her YouTube channel filled with helpful videos for buyers and sellers is responsible for 70% of her business. Best of all, she’s teaching other agents how they can crush YouTube video marketing in their markets, too, with a book, training course, and in this episode of The Walkthrough.
Links and Show Notes
- YouTube: Moving to Savannah video
- Karin’s YouTube account: Georgia Coast Homes by Karin Carr
- Easy Agent Pro
- Keywords Everywhere extension
- Karin’s Moving to Savannah blog post
- YouTube for Real Estate Agents book on Amazon
- Search Engine Land article on click-through data and rankings
(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host) When you post videos online, are you more active on Facebook or YouTube? Both can work. I don’t think it’s a matter of one being better than the other, but they are very different. On Facebook, your videos can be seen by a ton of people right away, but they disappear after a few days and don’t really give you much more value. YouTube is a different beast, almost the exact opposite. Chances are your videos won’t be seen by a ton of people right away, but they have staying power. A good optimized YouTube video can provide value for years to come — and it might show up in Google search results, too.
What kind of value are we talking? Well, how about more than $100,000 in GCI from just one video? And how about getting 70% of your business from clients who found you on YouTube? That’s what happened — and is still happening — to a successful real estate agent in Georgia. And she’s here to teach you exactly how she did it.
This is “The Walkthrough.”
Hi everyone. I’m Matt McGee, editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center. On this show, you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents and we believe that by helping agents like you be even better at serving your clients, the entire industry improves. If you’d like to reach me with feedback, ideas, or questions about The Walkthrough, just send an email to walkthrough [at] homelight.com. In fact, we’re going to be reading and sharing some of those incoming emails on future shows. So if you have a question that you wanna ask other agents, send it in. If you have a followup question for today’s guest, send it in. Again, the email address to use, walkthrough [at] homelight.com.
Let’s talk about video marketing. On today’s show, you’re going to meet Karin Carr, a successful agent in Savannah, Georgia, who is absolutely crushing it on YouTube. She’s been posting one video per week on YouTube since 2017. And today, she says 70% of her business comes from those videos. She’s stopped cold calling and all those other stressful, hit-or-miss lead-gen activities. Karin’s secret isn’t that she’s spending a ton of money to make really slick professional videos. Let me say that again, she is not spending a lot of money on really slick videos. She’s actually making these videos herself on an iPad.
The secret is that she’s using smart SEO tactics to create videos that rank highly both on YouTube and in Google’s search results. And the videos offer great content too, so people watch them, and love them, and want to do business with her.
I used the word “secret” there, didn’t I? I mean, it’s not really a secret — Karin published a book this last year. It’s called “YouTube for Real Estate Agents.” It offers step-by-step instruction for you to copy exactly what she’s doing. You read the book, you’ll get one task a day for seven days and you’re off and running.
Agents, we’re gonna get in the weeds a bit on today’s show. About halfway through, we’re gonna talk about SEO and YouTube ranking factors. So maybe grab your marketing person and have them listen, too. But I promise, this is all stuff you can do, no expert help needed. After our conversation, I’ll come back and make sure you know where to find Karin and her book. I’ll make sure to do some key takeaways too, because you’re about to learn a lot.
When Karin and I spoke recently, I had just finished reading her book and the first thing I wanted to ask about was that video I mentioned, the one that’s responsible for six figures in GCI.
Matt: I was struck by one of the videos that you talk about in the book, your “Moving to Savannah” video. Now, did I read this right, that video alone has brought in more than $100,000 in commissions?
Karin: That is correct. It’s been up for a little over two years, and that video brings us so much business. Yeah, it’s crazy.
Matt: Once you posted it, how quickly did the first lead come in? How quickly did the first deal happen?
Karin: Well, it didn’t happen overnight. So, I started…let me backtrack a little bit. I moved from Atlanta to Savannah in June of 2017. And even though they’re both in Georgia, they’re about five hours apart. So they’re completely different markets. And I decided I would start making weekly videos on YouTube when I got to my new city because I had no name recognition and no market share. So, that was one of the earliest videos that I did for the channel. And it took me about three months before I got my first lead and it was a “come list me” phone call. It was crazy. He said, “We’re gonna move back to Florida, we need to sell our house. Found you on YouTube, watched all your videos, will you come over and tell me what we need to do to sell my house?”
And so, I wasn’t thinking that it was a “come list me” phone call. I thought it was okay, I’m up against other real estate agents and I haven’t lived here that long. So I’m gonna have to come in with all of these answers to his objections because they’re gonna ask, “How many houses have you sold in my neighborhood?” And all the typical questions that I would get asked. So I went to his house on a Saturday morning, you know, sat down for coffee, did my whole song and dance. And at the end I said, “So, who else are you interviewing?” And they said, “Nobody, we’ve already picked you.” And then it was like this light bulb went off in my head of, “Oh my gosh, they already felt like they knew me because they’d been watching me on video. So by the time I show up at their house, they’re ready to sign the paperwork.” And they did, they signed the listing agreement then and there and we put their house on the market.
And then the next call was the same thing, it was another come list me phone call. So they did say, “Well, we picked a couple of agents that we feel like we should interview multiple people. So we’ll let you know in a couple of days.” And I wasn’t a mile away. I said, “No problem. Take your time. I’m here to answer any questions.” I got my car and drove away. And before I even got to the first traffic light, they called me and said, “No, that’s dumb. We’re just gonna go with you.”
Matt: Oh my gosh. That’s like a dream right there, right? That’s exactly how you wanted it to play out.
Karin: Yes. So it did take a couple of months before it started to happen. But then when it started happening, it’s like a snowball rolling downhill. You know, when you’re making a snowman and you’re rolling the snowball, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and if it’s going downhill, it gathers momentum as well. So it takes a little while before it gets started, but then once it takes off, there’s no stopping it and it just gets bigger and faster with every single video that I upload.
Matt: Right. And I think that…I mean, that’s a super important point that I think listeners need to keep in mind as we go through the rest of the conversation is this is not like an overnight solution, this is something that you have to be…you have to have a plan, you have to be consistent, continue to publish and eventually trust that the rewards will come in if you consistently stick with what you’re doing. And your book, I think, lays that out really well that it’s not an overnight thing,
Karin: Right. I mean, I know real estate agents who have had viral hits where they did a video and it went viral and they never made any subsequent videos. And so, they got a lot of business at the beginning and now they’re sitting there scratching their heads like, “Why did it just stop?” Well, you can’t make one video a year. You have to make this a commitment. And for me, I found that YouTube was so successful that that is my only platform. I don’t do Facebook Lives, and I don’t do Instagram Stories, and I don’t make videos for LinkedIn. I picked the one platform that I felt would be most beneficial to me, that I could commit to, and I have made one video a week since June of 2017. So, it is definitely consistency, it is a time commitment for sure, but that’s literally the only thing that I do.
Matt: Wow. So, literally, 100% of your business is coming from YouTube. I mean, you must…certainly you’re getting referrals and sphere and that sort of stuff, but…
Karin: Sure. Yes. I mean I do get calls from other agents, so I get referrals that way. I do get sign calls, I do get past clients like we helped them buy and now they’re ready to sell and move up to something else. But I’d say at least 70% is from YouTube.
Matt: Wow, that’s fantastic. So, this video, since this is an audio podcast, I imagine listeners are probably trying to picture this video in their head right now. So, I’ll just give a quick brief description. It runs about four minutes long. It has 19,000 some odd views when I looked earlier this week, so it’s not even the most popular video on your channel. We both know why it’s successful, right? Google loves it and we’ll talk about that in just a moment. But I have a feeling, Karin, that some listeners might be thinking, “Well, she must have spent a ton of money on this. It probably has really sleek and professional editing,” but that’s not the case.
Karin: That is so not the case. It was the height of summer when I recorded it, so it was hotter than the blazes and, you know, 1,000% humidity. I’m all like sweaty and shiny looking in this video. It was not…it’s not pretty. I’m a hot mess. I recorded it with my iPad. I like to use my iPad just because I kind of designated that for video only, and that way I wouldn’t fill up my phone with all of these giant files from videos. So I figured if I just only did video on my iPad, then I wouldn’t use up all the space on my phone. I recorded on an iPad, like it’s nothing fancy. It’s not a great big camera. It is my iPad that I bought at Sam’s Club. It’s not even the greatest model. It’s probably last year’s model. I have a tripod with a big adapter to hold the iPad because it’s big.
You know, it’s…I don’t know what it is, 11 inches or something, so you have to get the adapter to be able to put it on your tripod. And then I have like a $12 microphone. Because if you’re standing across the room from it, you don’t wanna be shouting across the room into the microphone. So I just got one of those clip-on lapel mics for, seriously, I think it was 12.95 on Amazon, then it plugs into the headphones jack. I record in my home office.
I just wait until the kids go to school and the house is gonna be quiet, and nobody’s around to make fun of me when I make mistakes. And, you know, I make tons and tons of mistakes. I’ll forget to turn off the phone and then the phone rings or the Amazon guy come to make a delivery rings the doorbell. And I just figure if I turn on the camera, if I press record and I let it run until I’m completely finished, then later I can always edit out the mistakes. I can edit out where the phone rang or I can leave it in as a blooper because people think the bloopers are funny.
And so, I’ve had my phone ring and I’ll say, “Gosh, if only I’d ever made a video before, you would think that I’d remembered to put the phone on silent.” And I just turned it into a joke and I find that people really relate to the fact that you’re human, that you’re a mistake, you don’t make…it’s not perfect. You don’t have to hire a professional videographer. I had somebody asked me the other day, somebody quoted me $1,000 a month to film me making four videos and then do all of the editing. Do you think that’s a good deal? And my heart stopped. I’m like, “$1,000 to film four videos? I do it myself for free. Like why would you spend that much money?” Now, if it’s a $5 million listing and you’re trying to make the house look as beautiful as possible, sure. But if you’re recording a video at home about why you should move to Savannah, you do not need to pay $1,000 to approach a…
Matt: Exactly. I mean, you just shattered so many myths about video making, you know, what level of investment is required, the level of production required. Because literally, it’s you sitting in front of the camera on your iPad, now you’ve just told us, just talking and saying, “Here are, you know, all these reasons that you should move to Savannah.” It’s like the simplest thing and it’s so effective. So, listeners, you might be driving in your car right now, so I’m not gonna tell you to get on your phone while you’re driving, but when you get a chance, get on your phone or get on your laptop or your desktop computer, go to Google and do a search. Just type into Google, “Moving to Savannah.” I pretty much guarantee, you’re going to see Karin’s video come up first. And so that is why, Karin, this video has been so successful. It’s SEO, right? And you make…
Karin: All SEO.
Matt: Yeah, you make the point in the book that YouTube is a search engine. And I think that’s such a good thing that agents and listeners need to know. Walk me through the process of creating this video from the SEO perspective. You’ve told us, you know, the production that went into it, but the SEO perspective, just in terms of the keyword research, the tools you use, that sort of stuff.
Karin: Sure. Well, the first thing I did was I decided I needed to have a specialty. You do not need to be all things to all people. You do not need to work with anybody who wants to buy or sell any type of property in your entire market area. I figure if you’re the Jack of all trades, then there’s nothing to differentiate you between you and all of the competitors out there. And no matter where you live, I’m sure there are thousands of real estate agents in your market. So, what makes you different?
I decided that my niche would be military relocation. My husband is retired air force, we’ve moved a ton. I feel like I speak their language because we’ve bought our own homes using VA loans before. So I figured I’m gonna make videos for people that are relocating to the Savannah area because they’re gonna be stationed at Hunter Army Airfield or Fort Stewart. So I had a very specific viewer in mind. And then the video is, “Moving to Savannah: 10 Reasons Why it’s Great.”
And I just talk about the cost of living., the average cost of a house. We have a major airport here. I mean, it’s not a major airport, it’s tiny actually. It’s got one terminal with 13 gates, but it is an airport. You don’t have to drive four hours to Atlanta. I talk about the weather, and great restaurants, and things to do, and the beach is right here, and there’s tons of golfing, and like all of these great things that make it a nice place to live that’s also extremely affordable. It’s kind of a listicle. Like if you go on Buzzfeed and you read one of these list articles in video format, and so that was the idea behind the video.
Then I did my keyword research and this is the key, you wanna figure out what are people searching for so that your video would show up at the top of the search results. And I had to find out are they typing in “Moving to Savannah?” Are they typing in “Relocating to Savanna?” Are they typing in “Moving to Savannah, Georgia?” What is the exact phrase that they are typing into the Google search bar so that my video will show up? And I determined, by doing my research, that it was “Moving to Savannah.”
Matt: That may sound complicated to some folks. I know there’s, you know a lot of agents don’t get SEO. It’s sort of this black box mysterious kind of thing. But there’s tools that you can use that will show you what people are searching, the exact terms. So, A, how did you find these tools as a real estate agent, and what are they, and how did you use them?
Karin: I learned everything I know about SEO from the company that hosts my website because they had a really great blog. I use Easy Agent Pro for my website. They have a killer blog and they have a YouTube channel as well. And so when I got my website four years ago, I didn’t know anything about SEO. And they said in a nutshell, SEO is optimizing everything on your website so that it will be found by the search engine. And when somebody searches for it, you are gonna show up the top of the search results whenever possible. And so, I think I learned about it from them and just started looking at various keyword research tools because some of them are totally free, but they’re not user-friendly at all. Some of them are amazing, but they are $100 a month and then everywhere in between.
The one that I learned about that I liked the most is just a Chrome plugin and it’s called Keywords Everywhere. It’s $10, so it’s super inexpensive. And it’s a plugin for Chrome. So when you go to Google and you type “Moving to Savannah” into the Google search bar, right underneath the search bar, it shows you how many people on a monthly basis are searching for that keyword, and how hard would it be for you to rank for it. So on a scale of 0.01 to 0.99, it shows how hard that keyword is. And I just look for anything that’s under like 0.33 and below.
Matt: Yeah, that makes sense. And so, like, all this data is right there on the Google search results page. It shows you the competitiveness, it also shows you some related keywords over on the right. It’s a really simple, it’s just click a couple of buttons and it’s installed and there you go. And so you can see, so you’re using this and you see that the keyword you need to target is “Moving to Savannah.”
Karin: Exactly. Because like you just said, it gives you suggestions. What if I typed in “Moving to Savannah” but only 20 a month are searching for it and it’s got a competition score of 0.98? Well, I don’t wanna use that because there’s not enough volume. There’s not enough people looking for that term and it’s very, very competitive. So you can look and say, “Okay, well what would you suggest I do instead?” And maybe they come up with “Moving to Savannah, Georgia,” or “Relocating to Savannah,” or “Pros and Cons of Living in Savannah” or something like that. And that keyword might have more monthly searches and lower competition. I would say, “Oh, well, I’m gonna call my video that instead.” So you do your research before you ever press record on the camera.
Matt: Yeah, and I think, too, that we should also point out the value in doing this keyword research is that people search differently in different parts of the country. So, somebody in Minneapolis might not say “Moving to Minneapolis,” it might be a different phrase, or somebody in Phoenix it might be “Relocating to Phoenix.” And so, if you do the keyword research, you make sure that you get that exact phrase that you wanna use when you title your video and create your video.
Karin: That’s a great point because, for example, in Atlanta, the nickname is ATL because that’s what the airport code is and so people might type in ATL instead of writing out Atlanta. Or they have this thing of there’s a freeway that’s the shape of a horseshoe, and if you live inside the perimeter versus if you live outside the perimeter, so you could type something about “Living OTP.” Well, nobody outside of the Atlanta area is gonna know what that means. But if you live in the Atlanta area, you know exactly what that means. And so you might type in “Living OTP” into the search bar, you’re just trying to find the ideal keyword. So then that’s what you’re gonna title your video, and then you also can figure out what am I gonna talk about in this video knowing that that’s the keyword.
Matt: So you decide that your keyword is “Moving to Savannah,” that becomes the title of your video. It sort of guides the content that you’re including as well. You also did a very, very detailed blog post that sort of mirrors what’s in the video but then extends and expands on it. I mean, the blog post is really, really thorough. Lots of information, lots of links. Is that a requirement or did you do that just sort of as a supplement sort of bonus kind of thing? So, I guess, what I’m asking, agents that are thinking about doing this and making videos, do they also need to be having a blog post on their own website for all the videos they create?
Karin: It is not required, but it is extremely helpful. I read a statistic, and now I can’t remember where I read it, I don’t know if it was like Social Media Examiner or something, but they said a blog post with a YouTube video embedded in it is 43 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google. So, when I read that stat, I’m like, “Well, dang it, I better go make a blog post too.”
And I’m not gonna lie, it took me a good week to write that blog post. It is not…it’s like 3000 words. I’d sit down and write for half an hour and then I’d go to Canva and make a little infographic, and then I had to put in pictures and links and, you know, I had to drive around town taking photos of restaurants so that I’d be able to put them in this blog post. It definitely was a labor of love. However, that was almost three years ago. So you do at one time. Yes, it’s an investment of time, but it will pay you back 1,000 times over. It’s not like you’ve got to do this for every single video that you make. You can just pick the most pillar pieces of content for your channel, and then maybe you only make blog posts for those.
Matt: Gotcha. That makes perfect sense. Let me ask you, with this, “Moving to Savannah” video, I think I already asked you how quickly you got the first lead, the first deal and all that sort of stuff. Do you recall or did you even notice, I guess, how quickly after you published it…I think you put, it was like July 30th or 31st or something I saw, do you recall how quickly after publishing that Google started to love on it? Like, did you notice like a surge or anything like that in views or traffic?
Karin: When I first posted it, there was very, very little competition for it, so I was convinced this sucker’s gonna rank immediately. And I was showing up at the bottom of page eight and I was heartbroken like what? I spent a week writing this blog post and how long is it gonna take. And so every week I would go and look, and I would just do an incognito search on Chrome, and I went from page eight to page seven to page five to page two to page one but way at the bottom and it worked its way up. And now, the blog post is always in the top three. I’ve never done a search for it where it was not in the top three search results. And then I actually made the blog post first and then I made the video afterwards if I recall correctly. It’s been a while now. But I think I wrote the blog post first and then I made the video. And the video was ranking pretty much right away, I think, because I already had some SEO juice from the blog post. I’m not really sure why it ranked so much faster, but it did. But once it hit the top, it never left.
And even though other people have tried to copy the idea and make other videos about living in Savannah, my channel has so much authority in the eyes of Google now that you pretty much just can’t knock me out. So, well, I don’t wanna say that because like I’ll jinx myself, so knock on wood. But because, you know, my channel has 250,000 views. I’ve got 6,000 subscribers, I’ve got 200 videos, I’ve got so much Google juice built up with this channel that it consistently ranks every video very, very highly. Even the videos that were not all that great, quite honestly, it’s like the success of the channel as a whole helps every video do better.
Matt: Right. And that’s such an important point too. And I’ll ask you to expand on that a little bit here because the algorithms, the Google algorithm, the YouTube algorithm, none of us knows for certain exactly what goes into all that sort of stuff. But your videos, you also get a lot of engagement on this, right? So, the views matter, the comments matter. What all do you think is, you know, coming together to make Google love these videos?
Karin: The most important thing with the YouTube algorithm is watch time. So if somebody clicks on your video and they start to watch it and they leave after 30 seconds or so, it sends YouTube a signal that says, “Ah, okay, people are not really enjoying this content because they’re bailing out very early on. So we’re not going to show it to more people. We’re not gonna have it show up higher in the search results.” Whereas if you’ve got a 10-minute long video and people watch it, you know, two-thirds of the way through and they give it a thumbs up and they write a comment, all of those things together tell the algorithm, “Wow, people really like this content. We should show it to more people.”
So, as I understand it, watch time is the most important metric. And then your title is very important, your description is very important, and the clickthrough rate is very important. Because if somebody searches, I don’t know, “best time of year to sell a house” and your video shows up 100 times but people only click on it 2 out of a hundred times, again, that tells the algorithm people are not really excited about this content. Nobody’s clicking on it. So if you’ve got a great clickthrough rate, then you are rewarded by the algorithm. If you have a terrible clickthrough rate, they’re like, “Eh, there’s no real incentive for me to show your content in the search results because nobody’s clicking on it.”
Matt: And you have used this same approach with, you know, tons of other videos, right? Like this, we focused on this “Moving to Savannah” video, but you’re doing the same thing with, I would assume, all your content now. So, just give listeners some ideas. What are some of the other keywords you’ve targeted and videos you’ve made that have followed the same approach?
Karin: Well, every video that I make follows the same approach. So I’ve never just randomly uploaded a video and put it on the channel just because. Like, every single video I do keyword research for, except I think one time. I was at one of those indoor trampoline places and some guy was doing like 100 backflips in a row, and I took a live video and I uploaded that because I was like, “Look at this guy doing backflips,” but it had nothing to do with real estate. Everything else, I sit down and I think, “Okay, what would a good topic be? Who am I trying to attract with this video? What would I call it?” And then I go do the keyword research. So I probably do keyword research once a month, maybe for 20 to 30 minutes. I don’t really spend an excessive amount of time. And I come up with four video ideas and the keyword that I will use for each of those videos.
So now I’ve got my content planned out for the whole month because I only do one video a week. Then I used to record each video once a week, but you get to the point where it’s like, “Oh my gosh, it’s Saturday night and I’m posting my video Monday morning. I haven’t even recorded anything yet,” and you’re stressing yourself out. So, I got to the point where I said, “Well, if I’m gonna set up the camera, and plug in the microphone, and turn on the lights, and do my hair and all the things, I may as well record three or four videos back to back.” So now I only have to do that one day a month. And that’s much easier, let me tell you.
Matt: Totally, yeah.
Karin: You know the four videos that you’re going to make. I don’t write a script. I highly encourage you not to write a script because every video I’ve ever seen where someone is reading, you can tell that they’re reading. Like, it’s a very hard skill to read from a teleprompter and not look like you’re reading. And when you’re reading, people just don’t really engage with the video as much because you’re not making eye contact with the camera lens, you’re reading a script and it sounds like a commercial. So, instead, I just make bullet points on a piece of paper. I wanna hit this, this, this, this and this, but then I wing it. So it’s all very much off the cuff and it sounds like I’m having an actual conversation with you. So, for example, like this podcast, you and I are recording it. I knew what I was going to talk about, but I’m not reading a script right now.
Matt: Right. Exactly. Yeah.
Karin: I might have a list of don’t forget to mention this, don’t forget to mention this and I can glance at my piece of paper so that I’m reminded of what I wanna talk about, but I’m not reading a script. And then I record…like I said before, I press record, I record one video all in one take. Meaning, I don’t stop and start the camera. That doesn’t mean that I never mess up. So, for instance, I might say, “Are you wondering how to buy a house long distance? Well, that’s [vocalization] Oh, okay, let’s start over.”
Matt: We have all been there.
Karin: Yeah, totally. So then you just start over again and you can always cut the mistake out later. It’s very, very easy in the editing process to just say, “Okay, I tripped over my words, or the doorbell rang, or the dog barked, I’m gonna cut here, cut here, take the part in the middle, get rid of it and then close the gap in your video editing software.” So, you record each video as its own file. And I used to go and change clothes, now I don’t even bother anymore because nobody watches your channel consecutively. They’re not gonna notice if you’re wearing the same shirt this week that you were wearing in last week’s video. I don’t think anybody would ever notice. And if they do notice, nobody has ever said anything about it. So, I don’t worry about it.
So I just I press start, I record. When I’m done, I press stop. Maybe I go get a drink of water and then I come back and I record video number two. And I will do that four videos back to back. Takes me maybe an hour and a half. It really doesn’t take all that long. Once you get into a rhythm and you know what you’re going to say. And my videos are pretty much all formatted the same structure. So I give them the hook at the beginning of what the video is going to be about, I do a little animated intro with my logo.
Then I say, “Hey everyone, I’m Karin Carr, I’m a realtor in Savannah, Georgia with XYZ brokerage. Hit the subscribe button. Today, we’re talking about blah, blah, blah.” And then I wrap up the same way at the end. So I really only need to know the topic of the day and everything else I’ve said 3,000 times before, so I don’t have to look at my paper to remind myself of what I’m gonna say. Like, once you do it over and over and over again, it becomes like second nature and now I can bang out a video in 10 minutes with no trouble.
Matt: And one thing, too, that I noticed, and you mentioned this in the book as well, there’s no, like, hard sale in your videos.
Karin: Absolutely. That’s probably my biggest secret to using YouTube is that you do not ask for the business, which is totally counterintuitive, right?
Matt: It is. Yeah.
Karin: We’re thinking that we need to be the salesperson. “And if you know anyone looking to buy or sell, call me and here’s my phone number on the screen. And I’m gonna have my logo in the top right corner all the way through this video.” But that really just screams commercial. It screams salesperson and people on YouTube don’t respond to that. They want…they were searching for like I’m relocating to the area and I wanna learn about Savannah because I’ve never been there before. I have no idea if we would like it or not. I wanna know how much it’s gonna cost before my husband even goes on this job interview because I don’t wanna take the job and then we get there and we hate it.
So they start doing a little bit of research. They’re not coming to find a realtor, they are coming to find out what is it like living there and do I think that we would like it? So you make your video and you’re giving them all of this information totally free, asking for nothing in return, not promoting yourself. Just being very friendly, and approachable, and likable on camera, and the people who have very similar personalities as you are attracted like a magnet. It works so well.
Matt: Yeah, and that sort of speaks to what you said earlier also about just being natural and being yourself, right? Nobody goes on YouTube because they wanna watch ads. They’re going there to be entertained or learn something. And that’s what you’re doing with the videos that you’re creating.
Karin: Right. You know how when you start to watch a video and you have to watch five seconds before you can skip over the ad? Who watches the whole ad? Nobody. They wait the five seconds because they don’t have any alternative, and then they skip it. So then if your video starts and it’s a five-minute-long ad, nobody’s gonna wanna watch that.
Matt: One other thing, and we kind of touched on this a little bit. Let me just ask you to explain to listeners what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. And just in terms of sticking to a schedule, you are publishing, you said, one per week, same day per week, same time, that sort of thing?
Karin: Yes. So, I randomly chose, out of thin air, Monday morning at 9 a.m. In retrospect, that’s probably the worst day and time to publish ever because people are just getting to work after the weekend and I hope they’re not all sitting around watching YouTube videos. But my thought was Thursdays tend to be a day when we never have any meetings. We don’t have our MLS meetings, we don’t have our broker tours, we don’t have the meetings at the office. So, that would be a good day for me to film because I don’t have to go to the office for any meetings. So if I record it on Thursday, how much time would I need to edit it, and make a good looking thumbnail, and get it uploaded and everything that I needed to do? And I figured if I record on Thursdays, I can publish on Monday. And then I don’t know why, but I just picked a 9 a.m and that’s what my posting schedule has been ever since.
It does not have to be Monday at 9 a.m. I don’t really care what day or what time it is, but if you pick a day and you pick a time, you have to post every week at the same time. It’s kind of like, oh, remember back in the day when “Friends” was on, must-see TV on Thursdays, everybody would run home to watch “Friends.” Well, what if you sat down to watch “Friends” and they were like, “Oh sorry, it’s gonna be 2020 this week.” No, that’s not cool. I came to watch the show that I wanted to see and if you just randomly stop showing up at the designated day and time, they think, “Oh well, you know, you fell off the wagon. You’re out of business. You’re not doing this anymore.” They’re not gonna show up looking for it if you consistently fail to show up.
Matt: Awesome. Karin, if there’s…I’ll give you the microphone to end things. If you wanna just like sum this up, what would you want agents that are listening, what do you want them to come away from this conversation with?
Karin: I really feel that you do not have to be on all platforms. If you pick one platform, you make that your thing and you commit to it 100%, you will be successful. I don’t care whether it’s Instagram Stories, or Facebook Lives, or YouTube, you pick the one thing and you do it, it’s going to work. For me, YouTube worked extremely well because I was new in my market so I didn’t have a big Facebook following. And all the people that were already connected with me on Facebook, did not live in Savannah. They lived all across the country. So I figured YouTube is the easiest way for me to attract people that are interested in real estate, they wanna buy or sell. I’m not doing Facebook Lives talking about great restaurants in town because I’m not a food critic. I am a realtor and I want people to hire me. So I was kind of looking for the immediate gratification, the low-hanging fruit, people that wanna buy or sell a house and I cannot express to you how effective the YouTube platform is. And the best part is it’s completely free.
(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host) So who is fired up to start crushing it on YouTube? You can do this gang. Trust me. Karin’s book shows you how. It’s available on Amazon. You can choose the Kindle version, Audible for audiobook, or it comes in paperback, as well. And like I said, it’s just 90 pages. It’s filled with step-by-step, day-by-day guidance. It is not overwhelming in any way. By the way, Karin also offers a course that you can find at YouTubeforAgents.com.
So we covered a lot of stuff in there. I bet there’s like, you know, 50 different tactics and pieces of advice just in this one show, so let me highlight what I think are the key takeaways. Ready?
Number one: YouTube success doesn’t happen overnight. Karin said it took about three months for her first YouTube lead to come in. Your mileage may vary. It might take you six months or maybe one month, but momentum will come from consistently executing your plan.
Number two: You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t need to dress like 1 million bucks. You don’t need professional production and slick editing on your video. Just be you and just get started.
Number three: Do keyword research and learn the phrases that people use when they search for info about your area. Karin did this and she identified “Moving to Savannah” as a great keyword for her area. And then the target keyword for each video should be the title of your video and then, obviously, you wanna mention it in the description as well. Karin uses a tool called Keywords Everywhere for this. It’s a plugin for your Chrome or Firefox browser, and you can find it at keywordseverywhere.com.
Number four: No hard sales pitch. You are providing info. Remember what she said, her biggest secret was, “You do not ask for the business. They’re not coming to YouTube to find a Realtor. They’re coming to find out about the area.” Just think of it this way — don’t be a salesperson, be a teacher.
Okay, one last note I want to mention from the conversation. Karin talked about clickthrough rate affecting rankings. Now, that’s a subject of a little bit of debate in the SEO industry. For what it’s worth, Google has been less than clear about how they use click data. In public appearances at SEO conferences over the years, they’ve usually said it doesn’t affect general rankings, only personalized rankings. But many SEOs would tell you not to take that at face value. It’s one of the many aspects of SEO that sort of exists in a gray area. And I’ll include a link in our show notes on HomeLight.com if you want to read more about this.
Okay. Questions for Karin? Questions for me or HomeLight? Email us anytime walkthrough [at] homelight.com. In fact, I would love for you to send me an email with your biggest win of the week or month. We’re going to have a podcast segment called “HomeLight Home Run,” and we’d love to include your success stories no matter how big or small they may be. Again, the email is walkthrough [at] homelight.com.
That’s all for this week. Thanks to Karin Carr for joining us and thank you for listening. Now, go out and sell some homes. We’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye.
Header Image Source: (Angela Compagnone / Unsplash)