Hi. I’m Cameron and I create educational real estate content, primarily in the form of YouTube videos and Instagram posts. I’m entirely a one-man team, from writing the content to lighting and shooting, up to the editing, and post-management. My real estate company Stephens Real Estate is focused on entertainingly educating people, which makes the entire process of purchasing or selling a home enjoyable and fun while making sure smart financial decisions are made.
Almost all of my content comes from real problems or questions that I have encountered with my clients. For example, a client was recently interested in a bridge loan, a loan that helps someone purchase a new home before selling their old one. Since I hadn’t yet worked with bridge loans, I did a ton of research on them and created a video specifically on how they work, who uses them, and why.
At the end of the day, I take common questions and help demystify the real estate process, which can still seem very opaque to many people…and rightly so!
I started out creating little videos about the houses I’d go see in person, why I liked them, why they were architecturally or historically interesting and significant, and really just putting my raw thoughts out there in videos. Then I started polishing and editing them even more, creating a combination between my thoughts and a moving slideshow showcasing the home. Then the pandemic hit, and it was far more difficult to just go see a ton of houses, so I made the shift to educational content. Sometimes it’s not as fun as looking at pretty houses all the time, but it’s far more impactful to my clients to be educated.
In terms of creating content, I think people always want to make the most perfect thing possible and I think that not only is that not actually possible, but it turns viewers off. I like imperfections in my videos because it means clients are seeing me and not some overly polished robot.
My biggest piece of advice to new content creators is just MAKE MAKE MAKE. You learn by making, not by reading and researching.
All of my inspiration is from real-world problems or questions from my clients. My philosophy is: if one person has this problem or question, many others do too, and therefore, I can share that education with far more people that can benefit.
Another big source of inspiration is just stuff that I personally want to learn more about. For example, ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) are becoming a huge deal in Los Angeles. I understood a little about them, but I took a deep dive into everything about them, from the legal aspects to building them, to calculating return on investment. Then, I made a 3 part series on them. I enjoyed making it because I personally found the topic interesting.
Other than that, sometimes, I just search the internet for common questions and put my own spin on the answers, but those usually aren’t as fun as doing something that came directly from a personal experience.
I used to shoot with my iPhone and a directional mic, but now I switched over to my DSLR camera with a wired Lav microphone that I clip to my shirt. I also started using the Parrot teleprompter app as that has made my workflow for editing much easier and smoother.
Speaking of editing, I just use iMovie. My videos have the same general flow each time so most things are drag and drop and then cutting at the right points in the video itself. I have actually been editing video and podcast audio for fun for many years, so this was stuff I taught myself from online videos and just messing around with the programs.
I’m primarily on YouTube, Instagram, and I have been pushing a LOT of content recently to LinkedIn that I really like. I use Facebook a little bit too, but it is falling out of favor and becoming dated, so I just cross-post there mostly.
Yeah, honestly, I was scared when I was starting. Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable, especially when you’re new and learning is definitely scary. My philosophy was just: make more content. Again, I always learned by doing. I go back to my old videos and they’re really cringey to me, but people still loved them back then like they do now. People don’t really nitpick things like you probably do your own work. I always kept that in mind if I fumbled words or the lighting was weird. I tried to remember that if the content was interesting, helpful, and engaging, the rest would all fall into place.
Just do do do, and you’ll eventually improve every aspect of your content creation.
In the beginning, I wanted to make sure I did one great video a week. I didn’t have a ton of funds, I probably spent about $500 or so in miscellaneous equipment for audio and lighting. Luckily, I already had a DSLR camera and a decent iPhone, otherwise, you can track the cost of that on. I was inspired by a few other real estate agents doing educational content and a few YouTube personalities like Graham Stephan doing financial fitness content. But at the end of the day, it was important that my personality shines through as that is my biggest differentiator.
I’m a bit lucky I suppose in that I don’t have to rely on sponsors or ads to generate income. My content is specifically to educate current and potential clients so that they ultimately do business with me outside of the content world. Therefore, I don’t really focus on subscriber numbers or views. A single view could be a single transaction for me and that is more than enough.
I actually left the film industry to work in real estate. I fumbled around a bit in between, but I knew eventually I wanted to work for myself and be an independently-run business, so I realized that at a certain point I had to bite the bullet.
I got my license in October, and that very December I got a parking ticket at a holiday dinner. It was a $60 ticket and I only had about $500 to my name. I broke down in the street and sobbed. By February the following year, I’d made my first real estate sale. That year I doubled my income from the film industry, and the year after I tripled it. I just stuck it out no matter what.
You know I think our biggest obstacles are always the little voices in our heads. The ones that protect you by telling you not to put yourself out there and risk being humiliated or shamed. In our caveman days, humiliation and shame meant outcast and death. In today’s world, yeah it might not feel good, but there really is no downside. The risks today are infinitely less.
I think the best milestone was getting a random person on YouTube to comment on my video that they found it organically, watched it in its entirety and found it to be useful and educational. It’s easy to get praise from your friends, I feel like it’s hard to get it from the general public organically. That felt fantastic!
I’m sorry, I don’t have a huge amount to offer here. My philosophy is to make great content and let that speak for itself. Otherwise, I’ll take inspiration from the structure and titles and such that other successful people are doing and just make them my own, but really, I just believe in getting it out there over and over again.
I don’t earn any money directly! It is a core piece of marketing for my real estate business, and because of that, selling real estate is the end of my marketing funnel. That being said, I consistently now sell about $8 Million in real estate yearly in the city of Los Angeles.