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Video and content marketing with Josh Cobb

Josh Cobb from Stepps discusses a video marketing strategy that has helped other agents completely dominate their local area in Google’s search results. And this one technique as described by Josh, is really so simple that that if done right, it can really keep the leads coming in - easily and inexpensively.

Thank you our Week 4 sponsor:

Busivid who have provided the #supersix with a swag of tools and gadgets enabling them to produce quality videos from their smartphones. Busivid is a simple mobile sales tool that quickly integrates emotive video content into email and text messages with near real time analytics.


Josh Cobb from Stepps and Helen Mitchell from Busivid

Coaching Links:

  • Josh’s tips on using social media on Real Estate Social Media report card.
  • Podcast between Josh and our own Editor Samantha McLean on the threat of disruption to the real estate industry
  • Subscribe to the Stepps podcasts here

Video Notes/Transcript:

00:00 Introduction and Session Overview: Samantha McLean

01:03 Be a Leading Information Provider

What we’ve really established over the last couple of years is that people don’t go to Google to ask the top five questions I need to ask my real estate agent when I’m thinking of selling. We’re all familiar with the sales funnel and where most agents play in real estate, not just here in Australia but all over the world, is down at the bottom. It’s the list with me, I need a lead now, I need a sale now, I need to list a property because that’s how I make my money. That’s fine but the opportunity for real estate agents is at the top of the funnel where there are far more people asking lots of questions, nothing to do with selling a property right now or finding a property manager.

Something I wanted to explore with you today, and it’s probably going to be challenging for maybe some of you, is to take our real estate hats off and think like, as Sam said, like a publisher and like a media company. It’s when we do that that we can build an audience for ourselves and establish you guys as the leading informational provider on real estate in your local market. I’m going to show you some examples of that today.

First and foremost, the opportunity for you … If we were to type, what’s a question that you guys would get? I’m just going to test this out. What would be a question that you guys get in relation to real estate on a daily basis?

How long does it take to sell a property? Anything else? How do I get the best price? If I’m not thinking of selling just yet, how much does a real estate agent charge? How’s the market? What marketing do you do? Open homes?

Maybe throw a couple of others in there, do I need a building and pest inspection if I’m buying at auction? If it’s in property management, it might be when do I get my bond back when I move out of the house? Those sorts of questions that we know people are asking in Google, because Google has this data and they give it to us.

If we type in “How much does a real estate agent charge?” … What I’m going to do guys, I’m just going to scroll down. I just want you to tell me to stop when you see a real estate agent website. We’re getting towards the bottom now. That’s really bad.

There is an opportunity, a big opportunity I believe, where we’re talking about the top of the funnel, these questions that people are asking. You guys are the best place to be answering those questions. We’ve got Fair Trading, we’ve got realestate.com.au, we’ve got all of these other companies that are answering the questions that your customers are asking. The audience is going to them. There is such a big opportunity for you guys to become the leading informational provider, taking what Marcus Sheridan did with his company and applying it to real estate.

04:00 How Google Search Works

There’s a couple companies that are doing it really really well. First of all, what I thought we’d do is just explore how Google search works and understand that. We’ve all been to Ikea, yeah? We all know how big Ikea is? Times Ikea by five: that’s one Google data center. And there’s twenty of them around the world. They’re dust controlled, they’re air controlled, they’re security controlled, temperature controlled; these things are big, big data centers all around the world. What happens is, when someone types a search into Google, the Google crawlers will go through a website every few days and they look for snapshots of answers for what people are typing into Google and it will serve up the most relevant response.

The top search result here, if we click this little down arrow … What it says at the top here is, “This is a snapshot of a page as it appeared on the 6th of March 2016 at 9:40.” What’s the date today guys?

Today is the 9th. The 9th, so that was three days ago. The Google search crawlers landed on that specific site at that time and the question that we typed into Google, it served that as the most relevant response to our question.

Yeah, it will give you the search result and the exact moment in time that the Google crawlers went through a trillion websites in their data centres and served up the most relevant response to the question we’re asking.

Just to prove this point and to hammer it home, who do you guys think is the funniest man in the history of humanity? When it comes to marketing yourself on the internet, when you publish to the web therefore you are. You are now actually the funniest man. Even if it’s not true, and I can assure you that’s not true, you can be anyone you want to be on the internet as long as you publish to it. You’re asking a question now. How does it know, or how can you manipulate it so you know that that’s the answer?

If we click this little cache page here, what Google’s data centre did on the 26th of February 2016 at 8:42:20 GMT, the Google crawler landed on that page and found that there was a bunch of key words in a line that aligned with the question that I put into Google. Therefore it is the number one search result because I had all of those key words exactly as I asked that question.

If we now look at an example, to put it into a real estate context, I’m going to use an example of a business up in Brisbane. Some of you might have heard of these guys.

I’m curious to know who’s the best real estate agent in the world. Well it’s not necessarily a question that anyone other than a real estate agent would probably ask, so I don’t know if that’s necessarily something that we’ll … It might, it could, but these guys are used as an example for a couple of reasons. Number one, this is their website. If we look at that and we land on their website, the first thing you’ll notice on the home page is there’s no listings. They’re a real estate business, no listings on their website, or home page anyway.

07:59 “Very few real estate websites are not about listings”

We did some research a little while ago where asked consumers around Australia, people that are looking at renting or buying over the last two years, first of all where did you start your search for property, and 94% named either one of the major portals as their primary starting point to search for real estate, rentals or sales. We followed that question up by asking at any stage did you visit a real estate agent’s website at any stage during that decision making process and 84% said no. Out of 400 respondents, 84% said we never visited a real estate agent’s website at any stage during our search for a new home. Instinctively we know that the audience is going to the major portals, but very few real estate websites are not about listings. People already know you sell real estate, but how can we establish ourselves as the definitive leading informational provider in our local market?

These guys, in my opinion, do a fantastic job. If we go down a little bit, they’ve got this series of videos called BBRE-TV. They’re on the south side of Brisbane, average sale price I would assume from the last check would be around the $500,000 to $600,000 mark. Rentals, average rent would be about $400 per week, to sort of give you some perspective. Their BBRETV episodes, what they’ve done is train every single one of their staff members to write down any question they get asked, whether it’s in an e-mail, whether it’s an open home, an auction, wherever it might be, a listing appraisal, things like that. They file them into the bus once a month and they go to the recording studio and they film the staff members answering the question that they’ve been asked in the previous month. They’ve now got a bank of about 80 videos that when someone else asks that question, it might be the importance of entry and exit condition reports, how to take action on tenant arrears, what’s the difference between conditional and unconditional offers. Any question that they’ve been asked is … Thanks for the question, here’s a link to the video that is on our website where we answer that question and allows that person then to go on a discovery through all the other helpful videos that they’ve created.

They use this content to post out to their social media channels to bring people back into their website and convert leads for their business subscribers for their content and do an amazing job.

To use this as an example, one of the questions that these guys were asked regularly … What do I do in a multiple offer situation? Number one search term, and how many people do you guys think would have to get to land on that page of the website and convert into a lead to make the 30 minutes it took to write that article worth it?

One. That’s it, just one. When it comes to content marketing and digital marketing we’re in the game of ones. All we need is one. If it takes half an hour to write an article to answer someone’s question that we’ve been asked, establishing us as the leading authority on real estate information in the local market, we just need one. We just need one lead. Especially the commissions you guys earn, it’s such a huge return on investment.

Again, we’re taking our real estate agent hat off for a second, we’re thinking like a publisher, and we’re creating content that’s simply answering the questions that our consumers are asking. Does that make sense?

It’s got nothing to do with listing. When we forget that we’re a real estate agent for a second, it frees us up then to create helpful content that adds value and makes someone smarter as a result. When I land on that page, as a potential seller or a potential buyer, and James here from Brad Bell has answered that question, who am I going to call? James.

12:08 Social Media Platforms

Guys, one thing I really want to stress is this thing around social media and this mindset of … This thing about social media being the be all and end all of marketing these days. I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely not going to work without content, we all know that, but your website is the central most important platform for your business. Does anyone know why?

You can control it 100%? You’ve been listening to my podcast, haven’t you? It is 100%. Your website is the only platform that you own on the web. Facebook, if it shuts down tomorrow and you’ve got 10,000 followers, they’re gone. You do not have access to it. You’re simply renting access to your audience on social media. Your website is the only platform on the web that you can control and that you own. It is the central point. It is the universe, the sun and all of the other planets, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, all of it revolves around the sun. We want to, as much as we can, use our website as the central point of everything we do and drive all of those spokes into the hub as much as we can, because then when we do that, we can control what happens next.

A little tip for you, a little digital ninja tip, is to use a tool here called Google autocomplete. If we type in here what is the … See how it’s already finishing the sentence for us? That is probably the easiest fastest way to have … They’re the most popular iterations of that response. They’re the most commonly asked questions using those four words and what comes next.

When we’re buying a house, who’s answering that? We’ve got Fair Trading, we’ve got Simple Conveyancer domain, Queensland government, Sydney Morning Herald, South Australian government, local agent finder, REISA. Such a powerful opportunity for you guys to become the leading informational provider in your local market, with just this strategy. We can do a million things, we can go and do Facebook ads, we can go and do Instagram, we can go and do all this amazing stuff, but if all we did was focus on in the next six months of answering our customers questions on our website and using that as our content that we push out to social media, we don’t want to push out just listed just sold necessarily … I’m not saying don’t, stop doing that, you don’t want to stop doing that, but this will just enhance all of other awareness and credibility around your brand tenfold.

14:47 Utilising Video

If you are going to use video as your strategy, Google can’t see the video necessarily. We’ve got to have some text in the description down underneath our videos. If we’re embedding it onto our website we want to be putting a description … If you film yourself answering a question that you’ve been asked and that’s going to be your strategy, and I hope it is after today, when you post that video on your website just use the script that you’ve written as the text underneath the video. That’s what Google can see. It can’t see the video on your website, but it can see the text on the page.

You do the full script or just the question and a bit of a brief? I would have the full script because it’s got all of your words, the things that you’re saying. Another ninja tip for you, and this is what we use for our weekly podcasts, some of them can go for 40 minutes, some of them are 5 minutes. When we finish recording, what we do is upload the audio, in your case it might be a video … I’ve got a face for radio, that’s why we do podcasts. Speechpad.com. Upload your video to Speechpad and in 24 hours you’ll get back a fully copy written transcript of your video. There’s your text. You don’t have to then write it out.

A lot of agents now, in their car or leaving an appointment and they’ll record … They’ve just been asked a question at an auction or listing appointment. Sit it on the dashboard, hands free of course, record the answer to the question and they go back to the office, they upload it to speechpad and that’s their blog post or their article that they then share out to social media that afternoon or the next morning. They’re in this constant mindset of creating helpful content and all they’re using is this thing, you guys have all got one. It’s a really powerful little tool. That’s something that we do every week. We upload the audio of our podcasts, get it transcribed and then when someone searches for the search terms, Google can see all the text on the page.

You guys don’t necessarily have to sit in front of a computer and write a script or have to know how to edit a video or anything like that. Just be open minded about this stuff is so powerful and put the right people in place, invest in the people you need to do all this stuff for you if you’ve got assistants and things like that. It’s such a powerful strategy and there’s a million things I could share with you today about Facebook and Instagram and all that cool stuff, but in my opinion this is the number one content marketing strategy in real estate that we have available to us today.


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