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Karin Carr is from Savannah, Georgia. She has a Youtube Course for Real Estate Agents. I’ve been getting a kick out of watching what she’s been doing with her YouTube channel. It’s something that I teach in my Ballen Method training course, and when I travel and teach lead generation. I believe Video is important and underutilized.
Real Estate Leads
I started this podcast because I’m a real estate agent, just like most of the listeners, and my passion is lead generation. One thing that I understand is that if I have enough leads, I have enough choices on how to run my life.
Everything revolves around how many leads we have that we can get to the closing table, so it’s important.
I also know is that even though I’m feeding a real estate team here in Las Vegas, I don’t know everything. There’s a lot of lead generation sources out there that I haven’t touched or haven’t mastered, that’s for sure.
I play right here in the internet marketing game and do a lot with search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, and video myself, and then I go out and interview a lot of other people on what they’re doing really well”].
Some of the agents on my interviews are new and they’re just killing it with something, or they’re new to that source.
A couple weeks ago I had on John Verdeaux from the Holli McCray team. They’re a husband and wife team. They’re doing, I don’t know, $100-plus million a year in sales, 400 units. But he’s new to this Instagram stories and he’s killing it, so I brought him on to talk about that even though he hasn’t been doing it for a long time.
Everybody I’m talking to is doing something really well that stood out to me and that’s the reason that they are on the call.
I prefer multi-channel marketing, but if you really go out there and do video at a high, high level, and fill the niches and solve problems and answer questions, you can generate a lot of business from it.
It’s not always trackable, part of it is like wrapping a car and it’s part of the brand out there, but I love what’s Karin’s doing. Karin, thank you so much for joining us today.
Karin: Well thank you so much for inviting me. I’m really excited to be here.
Lori: All right. Here’s what we’re going to talk about. You’re fairly new to the videos, although you’ve done a lot with it. I’ve been watching it. You were explaining that you really just started making weekly videos last June. Is that correct?
Karin: That’s correct. I have a website with a blog and I have been getting a lot of success with my blog. I starting making YouTube videos simply for the purpose of embedding them in the blog, to help the blog rank higher.
I really wasn’t using YouTube per se, except as just a place to host all of the videos.
I started getting people calling me and saying, “Hey. We found your website. We’ve been watching all of your videos. I feel like I know you already. We want to buy a house, will you help me?”
I had this epiphany when they said, “You don’t know me but I feel like I know you because I’ve been watching all of your videos.” I thought, “I need to be a lot more intentional with video.”
Lori: Well, right, because:
What we know is that people do business with people they know, or think they know.
How do we create something where people feel like they know us? Social media is one of those platforms obviously, and video is another. I’ve had a lot of people call me and say things like, “You look honest,” and it always makes me laugh.
Like, “What am I doing that makes me look honest?” But you know what it is? It’s the same with when I’m watching your videos. There’s an energy. There’s a certain energy about how you say certain things, how you present yourself. It gives the person the opportunity to actually kind of like you a little bit, right?
Karin: Exactly. What you said, when they say, “You seem honest,”
Like attracts Like
Lori: Yeah. That’s fantastic because really you already qualified yourself because you positioned yourself as an expert by doing those videos. That already gave you a leg up, and the fact that they felt like they liked you also made them feel like they trusted you. Don’t we always, always trust the people we like?
Karin: Yeah. What I really am liking is that the people that seem to be attracted to my YouTube videos are people that I would naturally get along with.
When they watch my videos, if they don’t like my personality they’re not going to call me. So the people that are contacting me are people that I would want to hang out with personally anyway.
I’ve had a really good experience with the people that I’ve met so far that have contacted me from YouTube. They’re all people that I want to go out to dinner with on Saturday night.
What Kind of Videos?
There are so many ways to do video. I went through your channel and viewed several of your playlists, and what I notice with you, for the most part, is most of yours are what I call talking head videos.
They’re you on camera. You’re positioned stationary pretty much, from the ones that I saw, and you’re answering a question that a buyer or seller would have about something in the process when they’re selling a home, or buying a home.
And then you have your local ones also for moving to Savannah or why you would like Savannah. Those are more out and about. Have you yet gotten to the point where that’s reversed? Where you’re going, “Wait, let me make a video on that,” and then make a blog?
How to Repurpose Video
Karin: Yeah. In fact, that’s totally what I’m doing now, just because writing the blog takes me so much longer. It takes me 15 minutes to record a video, plus then some editing time afterward.
But if I write a 3,000-word blog post, I’ll obsess over it for a week. So now I’ve done what you had said, I just have the video transcribed. I then copy the transcription and post that. That becomes the blog post.
Lori: What Karin’s talking about for the listeners that haven’t yet experienced this, I have a whole YouTube series and a training course on how to do this exact thing.
It’s so, so powerful. What she’s saying is 3,000 words, which is honestly really what it takes this day and age to rank on the search engines, To cover a topic in-depth you’re going to be writing thousands of words, if you’re really answering a question appropriately, diving into a topic.
Well, to sit down and write all that, it’s going to take hours. You have to think about what’s going to go into every topic, and then you’re going to go try to make a video.
But instead, if you start with the video and you’ve got some points on what you’re going to talk about, you can say thousands of words without even realizing it, right Karin?
Now, I would teach you guys that if you are focused on search engine traffic at all, you’re going to want to do a lot more than just put the transcript on the page.
You’re going to want to optimize it, and there’s a lot more to that. But if that’s not your goal, you simply want to have the blog and you want to share it on social, you may not need all of that.
Are you doing any kind of optimization Karin? Are you just now getting to the point where you just do the transcript?
Karin: I wasn’t doing optimization until I listened to one of your recent videos where you said you need to be putting links and you need to be optimizing the blog post as well. So now I’m doing that too.
Lori: Yeah, and I will tell you, that’s something that can be hired out. So for those of you that … Like Karin, you’re so good on video, you may or may not want to sit and … Do you enjoy the process of sitting and doing the optimization?
Karin: Well, enjoy is kind of a strong word. No.
Lori: Do you hate it?
Lori: Are you somewhere in the middle?
Karin: Yeah, don’t hate it. It’s just time. You get to the point where you’re thinking, “Okay, is this the best use of my time.” I now have so many clients coming to me.
I’ve got five different clients that are coming to Savannah next week alone that either found me from the blog or from the YouTube video that want to start house hunting in Savannah.
They’re moving here from DC, or Florida, or wherever else. That you start to go, “Okay, is this really the best use of my time? I should hire this out so that I have more time to spend with clients.”
Lori: Yeah, and I will tell you right now, Of course, you know this, your best time spent is actually face-to-face with the clients, but next to that it would be making the video.
If I were you, unless it’s something that you really want to learn or you feel the need, sub that stuff out. Get somebody else to do it. There are so many options, from interns to marketing companies.
In fact, we’ve got a service we’re rolling out soon with that at Ballen Brands.
I Don’t Like How I Look
Now let me ask you a couple questions on the topic of that. Where are you getting the ideas? Of course, you know I know every trick of the trade, where to get ideas from, but this is the biggest struggle with both video and blogs, topics.
There are two struggles I see people on why they don’t make video. One, and you can address this, they don’t like how they look or sound on camera. Two, they don’t know what to make videos about.
How would you respond to those two objections?
Well, the reason that you don’t like how you look or sound on camera is that you’re not used to it. So if you start doing it regularly and then you spend the time to play it back and watch it back and do some editing, eventually you become desensitized to it.
Then, after a couple of weeks, it will never bother you again. But if you’re only making a video every couple of months, of course, the minute you play it back you’re so critical of yourself.
I kind of feel like, “You know what, I’m not some hot young chick. I’m 50, and if somebody doesn’t want to work with me because of the way I look then forget them, I don’t want to work with them either.
So I don’t really obsess over how I look on camera.
The day that I film I make sure that I do my hair and I look presentable, but that’s about the end of it. As far as your voice goes, you are the only person who hears your voice differently, because your voice has to resonate in your head before it comes out.
Everyone else hears your voice the same way, and that’s how it sounds on camera. There’s really nothing you can do about it, so why obsess over something you can’t really change?
Just start making videos, you’ll get used to it I promise. After a couple of weeks, it won’t even be a factor anymore.
Do you watch your videos over and over Karin?
Karin: I mean, I kind of do but I’m doing it with the intent of finding fault with it. I’m watching it like, “Hey, this is kind of fun to watch.
If I were a client I think that I would enjoy this.” It’s more of an affirmation if you will, that I think what I’m doing is working so I should keep doing it.
Lori: Are you a “natural?”
Karin: Yeah. I would say so. Maybe not in … Well, okay, so let me back up. I lived in Atlanta until last June and then I moved to Savannah, so I was starting over in a brand new market. Confidence being here? No, because nobody knew me.
I had no name recognition. People don’t know that I’ve been in real estate for 14 years. They didn’t know any of that stuff. I could have been newly licensed for all they all knew, so I wasn’t really confident about that.
But I did major in music in college, so I was going to be an opera singer of all things. I have countless hours experience being on stage, so that part never really bothered me. Yeah, I’m confident in front of the camera.
Lori: That, you just hit the nail on the head. You’re confident on a stage. I’m with you. I think that’s where I do want to give that permission to somebody who’s not a little bit more room, because I think people, people like me and you that have been on the stage throughout our lives, or might be a little bit more naturally adept to, we can jump on and do our thing, where somebody is really shy and really nervous and hasn’t been.
It might take them a little bit longer. So your advice of just do it is exactly spot on. Just do it. Just start making them. You’re going to start feeling more comfortable. Things are going to get better.
I’m sure we all at first struggle with the lighting and the audio and how can improve these, but none of us are perfect right out of the gate.
Gosh, I made the disaster of trying to do the green screen. Bought all the equipment, did the green screen. What a mess that was. I finally said, “Lori, just go back to the roots. Flip on a light switch and hit the computer, just do it.”
Because I actually literally stopped making videos for several months because the green screen messed me up so bad. What I like about your videos is you’ve done a lot of things really, really well. You’ve got your intro.
It’s a Skill
You’re very consistent about that. I love the way you do this little voice intro and then you say, “We’re going to start right now,” and then you roll out your little logo and stuff that comes out, and then you get into the actual video itself. How did you learn to do those things?
Karin: I totally stole that from somebody else. He has a killer YouTube channel where he is talking about how to grow a YouTube channel. He’s not a real estate agent. He just talks about how to make good videos.
When I had this epiphany of, “I should really start making videos,” it was that old adage of when the student is ready the teacher appears, and suddenly I start discovering all these people on YouTube that were teaching you how to be on YouTube.
Nick Nimon was one, and that’s his intro. I hope he’s not mad but I totally stole that from him, and other people that are showing you this is how you should make the format of your video.
It’s very simple.
You do your hook which is, “I’m telling you what the movie is going to be about.” Then we have your intro. Who are you? Where are you? And why should anybody be watching this video?
And then you have the topic that you’re talking about, and then you just wrap it up with a call to action. My videos are all typically around five minutes long.
They’re not excessive.
Start with Questions
You’d asked earlier where you come with ideas. Basically just think about the questions that you get asked over and over again. When I first started making videos one of the first things I did was, “Why should I have a home inspection when I just paid 450 bucks for an appraisal?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question by a first-time buyer, so I figured, make it into a video.
Lori: That’s right. That’s exactly right. Spot on. Start with your own customers’ questions. I mean, gosh, if we just listen to them, they’ve got a lot.
They’ve got a lot of questions, and sometimes we’re giving advice predicting the questions. Those are the same types of things we want to be creating videos around. Is there anywhere else that you get your ideas from?
Karin: I will read a blog post, or I’ll see something on Pinterest and think, “That’s a good idea. I should look about that.” I keep a little journal in my bag, so that any time I have an idea I can write it down on the page, that I call brain dump.
Just start gathering all these ideas.
Ranking your Video
And then I treat the video just like it’s a blog post, so I go and I do my keyword research. I did a video, my idea was, “How long does it take to buy a house?” But when I did my keyword research I decided the keyword I actually wanted to go for was, “How long does it take to close on a house?”
If I hadn’t done my keyword research I wouldn’t have known that, and I was able to rank for that in a day because nobody was using that specific search term, but yet it was getting something crazy, like 4,400 searches a month. Which, I never would use that phrase, but apparently 4,400 people were. So then I just sit down and I do the keyword research, and then I go film the video using the keyword.
Lori: Yeah, and I would tell those of you that are at that level, where you believe you can sit down and use some simple tools and do some keyword research, that is … Google’s getting smarter and smarter, and it’s becoming more and more about topic and less about specific keywords.
However, if you do nail the keyword and it is what people are searching, and you’ve got good quality content, you’ve got good search visibility, you have a chance of outranking everybody if you follow some of those guidelines.
If you’re not at that level, don’t get caught up in it, go make your videos. But there are different levels in where everybody is, and so Karin’s kind of got an understanding of how all of this works now, and so she’s able to put those into a process, that it makes everything work that much better.
That’s really the whole concept of SEO and ranking in the search engines. Now I will tell everybody, YouTube and Google search, in general, have different algorithms. This is one of the bonuses in creating a YouTube channel.
Somebody might search for something like selling a home in Savannah, Georgia, and they might find Karin’s video on YouTube if they’re searching on YouTube, but it may not show up on the search results, or vice versa.
It’s less competitive or it’s considered a better value on search, so it may actually show up with a little YouTube preview, but it might not show up on a YouTube search because there are 10 other videos that outrank.
So doing them both the way that Karin’s doing them, this is also the way I do it, you have the advantages now of both search engines.
Because YouTube is its own search engine and Google it its own search engine. Although both are owned by Google, people don’t understand that the way they rank is completely different.
So Karin, have you also been learning video optimization for ranking higher? Like creating a series playlist and tags and how you’re doing those types of things?
Karin: Yes. Although that stuff started to come later. At the beginning, it was just, “I need to be consistent.” You will show up in the search results in YouTube so much higher if you can be consistent.
So one video every week on the same day is better than one video this week and three videos next week and two videos the following week. If you can be consistent … So I chose a day, I decided it was going to be Monday.
I think the biggest thing has been consistency, and then after two or three months now I’ve got a bunch of videos. I can start making playlists, and I put links in the description to go back to my website and download this free guide.
So if I’m doing a video about buying a house using a VA loan, a the end of the video for my call to action I say, “Do you need to learn about what you qualify for? No problem. Go to my website, download this free e-book all about how to use your VA entitlement to buy a home with no money down.”
ROI on Video
Lori: I’m a girl who likes to track everything. It’s not because it’s naturally in my behavior, profile or DNA. It’s because I’m a marketer and I like to know where my time, energy and money is returning. It’s like if you wrap your car and people say, “What’s your ROI?”
Well, you’re never going to know what your ROI is on a wrapped car. It’s something that ties into your branding.
Well, video is very much the same way. Although you can create trackable links in the call to action on the description, you’re more than likely going to have people call that say, “I watched your video,” maybe.
Or they’re going to go over from your video and then they’re going to do a search, and they go to your website and there’s not a direct track to trace it from here to here.
I want to point out to people that you’re not always going to know every time. You’re not going to be able necessarily to assign an ROI that video work.
It took about three months till I got my first lead. It was a come list me phone call. Then I got another one the following month, then buyers. I since closed several and have more in contract right now, and I have a coming soon listing, several buyers I’m actively working with, several solid leads a week, name, phone number, email. All without paying for Facebook ads or buying leads from Zillow.
Even though there’s probably more than you could possibly imagine that are actually just piquing their interest right now, you are able to hear them say, “I came from YouTube,” or they’re typing in how they heard about you if they’re coming from YouTube.
So you’re able to track actual real deal business from your YouTube channel.
I got a lead about an hour ago. I can’t make this stuff up. It came through my website. He wrote a little note and said, “Do you have any time to talk?” So I immediately called him, because I wasn’t doing anything and I was sitting at my computer when the email came in.
The first thing he said was, “I just want to tell you, I really enjoyed watching your YouTube videos.” I was going to ask him, “Where did you hear about me?” But that was what he said first. So even though he came through my website, filling out the contact me form, he told me he came from YouTube.
Lori: I love that. What software are you using if any? Anything special for editing or shooting?
Karin: I have a Mac and iMovie comes free with your Mac. So if you are a Mac user I would say just use iMovie. It’s already free. One for PC users is called DaVinci Resolve, that I haven’t used personally but it gets really high reviews and it’s free. So DaVinci is a good one.
You know, there are tons of really fancy ones out there for several hundred dollars, but I just don’t feel like I need that. I think iMovie does everything I need to do, and it didn’t cost me anything.
Lori: How about any special lighting or audio? Anything that initially you had to setup?
Karin: Yeah. I really feel like audio is probably the most important thing, along with lighting. I just bought a $20 microphone off Amazon. Not anything super fabulous, the kind that clips onto your lapel and it plugs into the headphone jack. I record on my iPad.
You could record on your phone. The cameras in our smartphones are so good these days. The only reason I use my iPad is that when it’s across the room I can see it better because I need reading glasses now. I use my iPad. I plug the microphone into the headphone jack, and then I do have two lights. I don’t even know what the proper term is.
It’s kind of like a tripod with a light bulb and an umbrella shoved in the front of it. I bought a set of two for 50 bucks for the set. I have them on either side of the room, pointing at me, and that’s about it. The camera, or the iPad, I already had. The tripod I already had. The lights were 50 bucks, and then the microphone was 20 bucks, and then my little-animated intro that’s at the beginning of every single, I just ordered that off of Fiverr.
Lori: Yeah. I love everything you just said. That’s pretty much the way my stuff’s wired as well. I have the diva ring, the round light for Facebook Live videos. The phone actually sits in there. That was a little bit more expensive.
I’ve got tabletop lights from cowboy studio that are on a tiny little tripod that were less than 50 bucks for two of them that do the job on the lighting. It is amazing how cheap and easy it is to get started with video.
That part shouldn’t be anybody’s challenge because that part’s pretty simple. I did want to add, for anybody that’s struggling with where to get ideas, it’s the exact same thing I teach for my blogs.
Quora, Q-U-O-R-A dot com. Quora. Go to Quora and type in, “buying a house,” or, “military relocation,” or, “selling a house,” or, “short sell,” or, “VA loans,” or, “FHA loans” and you can see a slew of questions that people ask that you can go make videos around.
There’s another website I like, also free, called answerthepublic.com. Answer The Public actually goes out and scours the web. It scours sites like all social channels and Quora, and it puts them in an aggregate list or graph.
It puts in the data into why questions, how questions, where questions. So you literally never have to think of another idea with those two websites. You could make a video every day, there are so many topics it will blow your mind.
I still think the questions your customers are actually asking are the best because they’re local, they’re really relative. But then these other websites are fantastic for that kind of thing.
How Long Does It Take?
Karin, how long are you time blocking now? You’re making one video a week and I know you’re doing some editing on your videos, and you said you’re spending a couple days doing that. How long are you time blocking for the day of actually shooting?
Karin: The day of actually shooting it only takes me about half an hour. It’s literally the time to turn on the lights, plug in the microphone, get the stuff set up. It takes me about 15 minutes to record a video which will eventually end up being about five minutes long. My process-
Lori: Your 30 minutes, you said you’re going to get it down to a five-minute video, but how long do you think on average the video starts off being?
Karin: It’s 15 minutes, roughly. I turn the camera on. I say my intro. If I don’t like I say it again. I say it again until I get it exactly how I want it, and then I move on to the next section. So I don’t have to memorize a big long script.
I only have to memorize one or two sentences at a time. And then, when I’m done with the entire video, then I hit the stop button. Now I’ve just got one big chunk of video that’s about 15 or 20 minutes long, and then I go in and I’m basically keeping the last take of every section. Because if I didn’t say it correctly the first time I do it again, and I do it again.
That way when I’m editing it, it’s really fast. All I have to do is go to the end of the timeline and work backward. I keep the last one because I know that was the best, and then I delete the couple that came right before it.
That saves me a ton of time with editing. So to answer your question, how much does that all take? It takes about half an hour on the day or recording, or what I’m trying to do now is record all four videos for the month on the same day.
Figuring, “You know what, if I already know what my topics are going to be and I’ve already done my hair and I’ve done my makeup, why not just bang them out four in a row?”
It will take me an hour, hour and a half tops, and then I don’t have to record again for the rest of the month.
Lori: Yeah, I love that. I love that.
Karin: And then I’m editing, I’m not a super fast editor. It probably takes me about two hours worth of editing time, and I go over to Canva and I make some slides, and some pretty graphics to along with it. So let’s say that each video, I’m all in for three hours.
I would argue that that is a great investment of time, because if you are calling FSBO’s and expireds or door-knocking, you are only generating leads for those three hours. When you stop, that’s it, you’re done.
But if I spend three hours, I can be getting leads six, 12, nine months, two years from now, from somebody that saw a video that I made three months ago.
Video is a gift that keeps on giving. The shelf life is incredible.
If all you can commit to at first is once a month, then just don’t ever let a month go by that you don’t do it, and make sure that those videos are quality enough to compete. Meaning, just really the information that’s on the actual video, and that it’s not dark, and that you can be heard. Those are going to help make it rank even more.