5 Lessons I learned selling Real Estate on YouTube

I never would have used the word “content creator” to describe what I do. Even today, I’m not 100% sold on the term.

But that’s basically what I do all day.

I make content for websites, YouTube channels, Instagram, and Twitter. The YouTube and website content are mostly what I use to generate business. Twitter and Instagram are just for fun.

My *specialty* is generating real estate and mortgage leads.

Here’s 5 things I’ve learned over the last 5 years. This applies to anyone trying to build a business with content.

1. You can make a lot of money with a small following

I used to think YouTubers needed hundreds of thousands, even millions of subscribers to make $100,000.

I made $6,000 my first 9 months in real estate.

Then I made $93,000 in the following 9 months. From YouTube.

Now, if you’re only making money from AdSense, then yes you need enough subscribers to fill a small city.

But you can make multiple 6-figures without all that… If you have a more powerful way to create value from your audience. Other than sponsorships and affiliate deals, there’s a lot of opportunity to sell a service to people.

That’s what I did. I was selling a service.

One of the biggest advantages of using YouTube for lead generation is the fact that you can build a relatively big business with a pretty small channel.

Each video was meant to teach viewers about my local market. The videos become a library of content. And the library becomes the foundation for my book of business.

2. It’s easy to stop obsessing over views when views don’t correlate to money

Marketers like to say focus on the process, not the results. Focus on the content, not the views.

That’s easier said than done when making content is your entire source of income.

But when your income increases regardless of views, it’s easy to stop obsessing over views. Suddenly, I stopped caring how well each new video performs when views aren’t the best predictor of revenue.

Your audience and their relationship with you, the creator, compounds over time as you build a library of content.

My views have remained pretty steady for 2 years. I average 25,000 – 30,000 views a month, but the leads, sales, and revenue we’ve generated from views has exploded.

My best YouTube channel has generated $320,000 in 2 years. I currently have 7,560 subscribers and about 1 million views.

If I were only making money from AdSense, that would be the equivalent of having 32 million views (which I definitely do not have).

There’s also more ways to make more money when you have strategies other than getting more views. If you get the same amount of views but found a way to improve lead conversion from YouTube you can increase your income without increasing views.

3. People make big purchasing decisions based off who they trust online

People buy stuff online from TikTok and Facebook ads, but would they buy real estate based off YouTube videos?

My colleagues who built their careers doing “traditional” marketing in real estate didn’t think so.

Well, I wanted to stick it to them. Making content became my sole business priority. I decided to forget the typical stuff like:

  • Cold calling
  • Hosting open houses
  • Sending direct mail
  • Hosting events

Hundreds of in-bound leads later, I can safely say that people are comfortable making big life decisions based on who they watch on YouTube.

I also learned about the way to build an audience on YouTube. Show more personality and be brutally honest in my videos.

4. You never know who is watching

Some of my viewers became clients and friends, but I have no idea who 99% of my viewers are.

If you post content online, you never know exactly who is watching you. That might seem scary. But it’s also pretty cool I think.

You’ll have some haters. You’ll have some raving fans.

Sometimes they’ll let you know which one they are. But until someone comments, publicly subscribes, or DM’s you to have a conversation, you have no clue who is watching.

A few people will publicly engage with your content. That’s how you’ll know who watched it.

But way more people will reach out privately. They might even tell you they’ve been following your content for months or even years. They never commented on anything.

They quietly watched until they were ready to talk to you.

5. There will be outcomes you cannot predict

When you put (good) content out there, you have at least one expectation of what you’ll get from it.

Could be something measurable like:

  • Views
  • Subscribers
  • Comments
  • Leads

Or something obscure like:

  • Awareness
  • Presence
  • Feedback

And you could absolutely get what you were hoping for.

But you will also unlock opportunities, connections, and ideas you never expected at the beginning.

Things will happen that you never planned for, and they can change the course of your career.

Back in 2020 I got into real estate right as COVID hit.

I had to figure a lot of stuff out. But I was always obsessed with the idea of getting business from social media.

So I started making YouTube videos.

Originally 1 video per week, but now I post 3-4 videos a week and 3-5 shorts across multiple channels.

I didn’t have it figured out when I started, and I still don’t. But I’ve learned a hell of a lot along the way that applies to content marketing regardless of the industry.

These are just 5 of my biggest takeaways for anyone who wants to make content to attract business rather than chase it.