Jeremy Knight – Real Estate YouTuber Spotlight ($100K in Monthly Commissions!)

jeremy knight case study on youtube strategies for real estate marketing
Founder of InboundREM an inbound marketing lead generation company focused on SEO. Blogger. Real Estate SEO expert. Real Estate Lead Generation expert. Real estate online marketing fanatic. Podcaster. Occasional public speaker and frequent vlogger.

Table of Contents

I’m really excited about shining the spotlight on Jeremy Knight. He has achieved a rare accomplishment, so there’s a lot to learn from studying his methods. As of February 2023, he has over 2 million lifetime views.

That’s impressive for anybody creating real estate content on YouTube. But what’s really impressive is that Jeremy achieved those numbers by creating almost entirely hyperlocal content.

For example, there aren’t really videos on FHA Loans or the national housing market. His channel focuses specifically on Austin real estate. In July 2020, he had about 1000 subscribers. Two and a half years later, he has about 15,000.

To put that into perspective, I have clients with under 200 subscribers that are earning multiple fat commissions per year from YT leads, enough to cover their entire InboundREM investment and more. 

YouTube created the bulk of Jeremy’s $50 million in sales for 2021, a significant bump from $19 million in 2020. That puts him earning over $100,000 per month in commissions, by and large from YouTube-generated leads.

1. Dominate hyperlocal keywords

51% of home buyers use YouTube as the #1 platform for homebuying research, while 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with agents who use video to sell properties.

Of course, hyperlocal content has far better conversion rates than national content. The majority of people watching videos on the neighborhoods to avoid in Austin are considering a move. Less than 1% of viewers for a national housing market report share the same interest.

The combination of these two simple, but powerful facts, is the cornerstone for Jeremy’s content mapping strategy. By “content mapping”, I just mean choosing content topics and focus keywords.

“Austin Real Estate”

Check out what happens when you search for a valuable term like “Austin real estate” on YouTube.

Austin Real Estate

Everything’s coming up Milhouse Jeremy. This is the kind of success we’re going to analyze and help you emulate.

“Moving to Austin”

I want to talk about the keyphrase “moving to Austin”, which has 150 monthly YouTube searches. Jeremy’s channel title includes this phrase, he has a few videos targeting the keyword, including his #1 video.

This is where things seem to get a little strange. When I searched, Jeremy’s best video for the keyphrase “moving to Austin” ranks in 20th place, even though it has more views than the top 19 video COMBINED

Something similar happened when I searched for “moving to Austin Texas”, which has 800 monthly searches. His highest-traffic (related) video sits far down in the search results, despite having 240K views. Two other of his videos rank higher. One of them has 1K views and the other 3K views. 

This is a crucial topic because for many real estate agent YouTubers, this kind of target keyword is one of the biggest, if not the biggest.

Why Is This Happening??

You need to understand that YouTube search results for “moving to…” and “living in…” keyphrases are fickle and constantly changing. There are two main reasons I want to uncover.

1. YouTube is a trend-based platform.

YouTube’s algorithm is very much based on trending content regardless of the topic. But this holds especially true for these kinds of videos.

That’s the primary difference between Jeremy’s 240K-view video sitting at #20, while his 1K-view video and his 3K-view video had higher ranks. His most-viewed video is over 2 years old. His better-ranking videos were 3 days and 3 weeks old.

Now lets go back to “Austin Real Estate”. Remember those 4 videos dominating the search results? All of them are less than 4 months old. That’s not a coincidence.

Pro Tip: Include the current year in some video titles.

2. Lots of creators make Living In and Moving To videos.

This is relevant because YouTube (like Google) often gives new content a trial period near the top search results. Generally speaking, it will trend at that level as long as metrics like clicks and watch time remain strong, then tail off as new content appears.

With so many different kinds of content creators targeting these topics, there’s lots of content that YouTube wants to give a trial period. That makes it very difficult to remain at the top long-term, even with killer content with 10-20X views.

Dominating Broad Keywords Long-Term

If you want to continually dominate semi-broad keywords like “Moving to Austin Texas”, you need to create content targeting that keyword on a rolling basis. I would recommend every 3-6 months.

One exception would be towns and rural areas where you have zero competition on YouTube. Keep in mind, however, you still have the opportunity to take multiple top ranks for high-traffic keywords.

That’s a very good look. It’s a very good reason to continue making content targeting the same keyword, even if you rank #1 for a year straight.

So how do you target the same keyword on a rolling basis?

The key is to find new frames for what is essentially the same topic. For example, check out these different versions of the same general topic:

  • Pros and cons of moving to Austin suburbs
  • Reacting to a controversial article bashing life in Austin
  • Explaining how life changed after a major event, like Elon Musk relocating Twitter to Austin
  • What it’s like for millennials who move to Austin

By doing so, you create fresh content while continually appeasing the voracious YouTube algorithm gods. It’s crucial to continually target the best, broad, lead-generating keywords with new content.

Make it part of your content map or suffer lots of missed leads.That’s especially true for agents in metropolitan areas.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to have 6 video ideas in place for the next two years. Often the best repackaged content responds to new events or media.

2. Stay focused on hyperlocal.

About 95% of Jeremy’s content is focused on either Austin or Texas. Right now, that’s changing some as he opens up his audience.

But he remained focused on purely hyperlocal content past the point where he had to hire a team to handle all of his YouTube leads. It wasn’t until his team was already producing 150+ videos and shorts per year that he started targeting a more national audience.

That’s the main reason I got excited to analyze Jeremy’s strategies.

Local vs National Content

Consider this eye-opening quote from Malcom Lawson, a Maryland realtor with over 2 million views.

“I had a local channel with nothing but local content, nothing but Maryland content. Then I started making bigger, broader content. Some of them did really well. I had one video that was like 600,000 views. That’s actually one of my biggest regrets, that I took my local channel and made it into a national channel. Because now I want to make more local content, but it doesn’t fit on that channel because 70-80% of my subscribers won’t relate to it.”

That is very compelling information. Imagine creating a real estate video with 600,000 views and regretting it.

The Perfect Middle Ground

Unless your YouTube channel already has significant success in terms of views, leads, and commissions, you shouldn’t be thinking about creating anything but hyperlocal content. You certainly shouldn’t consider moving to national content before you’ve nailed your city and state.

But if you do want to make broader content, here is the secret to doing so in a way that protects your local channel, continues to drive viewers that can convert, and earns you commissions.

Watch the first twenty seconds of this video, and see if you can figure out the best strategy.

The title, thumbnail, and bulk of the content are devoted to national housing market statistics, but Jeremy is quick to compare the national market with his predictions on the Austin market.

That’s the strat. If you want to widen your focus, retain the power of your hyperlocal channel by relating broad topics to your area. Every single time.

3. Leverage measured negativity.

Look at the twelve highest-traffic videos on his channel.

Eleven out of twelve contain titles and thumbnails that scare or warn. Those eleven videos have 700,000 combined views, which is about ⅓ of his total traffic. To put that into perspective, Jeremy has made 350 videos to date.

30% of his traffic comes from 3% of videos, of which 83% have negative titles and/or thumbnails.

If you keep scrolling down the most popular videos, you’ll find even more foreboding content. Only about 10% of his videos have explicitly negative titles or thumbnails, but that 10% accounts for almost 40% of the channel traffic.

So how can you make this information actionable? Let’s start with a list of content ideas.

Negative Content Ideas

 Reacting to content that bashes your market
 Reasons people shouldn’t move to your area
 Neighborhoods to avoid
 Trending and long-term problems in the local housing market
 Why people leave your area
 New property taxes or similar legislative issues
 Worst-rated home builders in your area
 Dangerous aspects of your area (wildlife, crime, natural disasters)

Titles and Thumbnails

It’s important that your “negative” content contains measured negativity. Clickbaity doomsday predictions can increase your traffic, but at the cost of your trustworthiness.

Still, Jeremy includes fire (which statistically gets clicks) on his market report thumbnails and phrases like “MASSIVE problems” in his titles. And it works.

That said, it’s also important to demonstrate a laid-back, rather than uptight, attitude. If you watch the video below, you’ll see Jeremy transparently admitting something sucks without getting angry about it.

4. Lessons from Jeremy’s Top Video

The topic of the one video that accounts for 10% of his traffic might blow your hair back.

You would probably never guess that a video directed specifically to people living in one state and considering moving to a specific city in another would account for 10% of Jeremy’s traffic. That’s doubly true since the title seems to discourage people.

1. React to viral and controversial content.

I think this is such a clever way to create engaging content. People love controversy, complaining, and having a common enemy. Now I’m definitely not saying you should spit fire at everyone who bashes your area.

I am saying YouTube is a trend-based platform, and reacting to trending content gives you an excellent foundation for trending yourself.

2. Highlight the negatives.

Same as Will Friedner’s video that accounts for 90% of his 1+ million views, the clear forerunner video is basically about why people should not move to Austin. Don’t overlook the power of being transparent about what sucks.

Keep in mind that if you really dominate your market on YouTube, these kinds of videos have a secondary benefit.

They weed out people who are contacting you on a whim, but aren’t suited to your area. You can show them the reality with the video, rather than chauferring them around on your Saturday morning. 

3. React to trends.

Now this particular video went viral because of COVID. In fact, Jeremy has said that the success of his channel is 40% due to the pandemic, and 60% due to hard work.

Will’s video went viral for the same exact reason. I’ve said it before, but I feel the need to repeat it again. You can have a great content map in place with videos of neighborhood tours, listing walkthroughs, and pros/cons of living in your area…

But your channel is going to get blasts of recognition with long-term benefits through viral content. And viral content on YouTube follows trends that are happening now.

Production Rate

Here’s what Jeremy produces every week. 

  • 1 standalone video per week
  • 1 livestream per week
  • 1-2 clips repurposed as a short (he has since discontinued shorts)
  • 1+ new listing property walkthrough

In the past 12 months, he created almost 150 videos and almost 50 shorts.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a summary of the biggest lessons from this article:

  1. Create repackaged content targeting your highest-traffic keywords every 3-6 months, especially if you live in a metropolitan area.
  2. Stay focused on hyperlocal. 
  3. If you MUST do national topics, relate them back to your area.
  4. Leverage negative titles, thumbnails, and topics for more views.
  5. React to viral and controversial content.
  6. Keep an ear to the ground for trends. 

Real Estate YouTube Spotlights

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