Editor’s Note: The Industry Influencers series analyzes the industry’s most effective marketing efforts and shares experts’ actionable insights.
Javier Vidana is a REALTOR® with My Home Group Real Estate in Arizona—but he likes to be called a real estate content creator.
He’s rebranded himself away from the traditional real estate agent, moving closer to a YouTube influencer who focuses on what he believes homebuyers are looking for—help with understanding the real estate process—rather than his own stake in the game.
“I love doing video,” says Vidana. “I started about two years ago, and now most of my business is coming from subscribers who are happening upon my videos and feel comfortable enough to reach out.”
Why YouTube? Vidana’s own experiences with the platform set the plan in motion.
“I watched a lot of YouTube growing up. When I was struggling and needed to figure something out, I’d go on YouTube and search how to do it,” says Vidana. “When it comes to real estate, people are genuinely stressed about buying a house, but traditional marketing doesn’t help them because it can be very salesy and clickbait-y. YouTube is a lot more intimate, so they feel like they can trust you.”
Vidana’s YouTube channel has 19,500 subscribers and his videos are consumer-centric, providing educational information that helps them understand and be comfortable with the real estate process. Topics include everything from the difference between loan types to breaking down closing costs. They’re often simple “talking head” videos, making them feel personalized. He uploads 1-2 videos per week. Some have reached upwards of 100,000 viewers.
“I was surprised that my videos were getting traction and that the reaction was pretty amazing. I had my first call in February or March from someone who found me through my channel, and a few months later, someone else called me,” says Vidana. “Over the last year, 80 percent of my leads have been coming from YouTube, or they hear about me and do some research and find my videos.”
The secret to capturing audience interest? Vidana says it’s about giving them what they want.
“I think about what questions an average homebuyer would have, and from that point, I find a way to answer them in the best way possible and without selling them,” says Vidana. “Today, REALTORS® want to make videos, but they are more serving themselves than the consumer. When I create a concept, I put myself in the mind of my clients.”
While Vidana says he doesn’t typically cross-promote his YouTube videos on other social platforms, he does link to his channel on his website. His Instagram helps drive interest as well.
“I no longer use Facebook, and I’m not cross-promoting my videos. I do use Instagram just to post about my life and I try not to be so real estate-y. People know I work in real estate; I don’t have to remind them,” says Vidana. “I get the most engagement on Instagram because, from there, people start researching me to confirm who I am, and they find my YouTube videos.”
For those just starting out with video marketing, Vidana recommends keeping expectations low in the beginning but maintaining consistency.
“You have to start with the idea and know that you’re not going to get anything in return for the first few months. You’re going to have to give away value and get nothing back,” says Vidana. “If you have a specific audience in mind, and you give them value and do everything else right, it’s going to work. You have to love doing it and stay consistent with it.”
Watch the video below to see how Vidana approaches real estate video marketing: