#240 Mail-Right Show We Talk About Video With Special Guest Malcolm Lawson

How To Use Video Effectively to Build Your Real Estate Business in 2020 With Special Guest Malcolm Lawson

Malcolm’s YouTube channel, he talks about his home state of Maryland and helps home buyers moving here to make smart real estate decisions. You’ll learn insider secrets about Maryland that only someone living in Maryland will know. I will answer all of your real estate questions so you know you are making the best decision possible when it comes to your home.

I am a Maryland native, 11 year Air Force Vet, YouTuber and Real Estate Agent, and team leader of The Lawson Group of Keller Williams. Located in Annapolis Maryland, I help Maryland families buy, sell, and invest in real estate.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home here in Maryland, let’s talk!


Jonathan: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right Show it’s episode 240. We’ve got a great guest. We’ve got Lawrence with us. Malcolm, Lauren, sorry, Malcolm Lawson, sorry I tumbled there, and we’re going to be talking about all things video. And it’s going to be an exciting episode because Robert and I are passionate about video. So Malcolm, would you

Malcolm: Yeah, sure. So my name is Malcolm Lawson. I am a real estate agent in Maryland, Annapolis, Maryland, and I also consider myself a YouTuber. I’ve been creating content on YouTube on a couple of different channels for about six years now. My biggest YouTube channel at 82,000 subscribers right now. And then I got into real estate about three years ago. And I knew I wanted to really like merge those two passions of YouTube and real estate and I started making a lot of content for my real estate YouTube channel. And I’ve just kind of figured out that I can

Malcolm: In 2019 I generated over $100,000 in commissions just from the leads that I get from my real estate YouTube channel. And so this year that’s kind of my main focus. I’m just focusing on video and putting out content and just kind of working on these YouTube leads.

Jonathan: Oh, that’s fantastic. And I’ve got my great co-host, Robert. Robert, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?

Robert: Yes, I am the most amazing thing ever. You should go to my website, inboundrem.com. My name is Robert.

 Jonathan: I think he’s had too much coffee this morning. Somebody has pumped him up. Right? So Malcolm, let’s start with it. So you had this other channel, you said you got that up to about 80,000 subscribers, which is a really amazing achievement. What area was that in actually?

 Malcolm: So that on is called Survival Know-how and it’s like outdoor wilderness survival and a little bit of prepping and that kind of stuff. And it’s actually doing really well right now with this whole pandemic and everything. But I still upload it to that channel every now and then and I make a little passive income from that as well.

Jonathan: Right. So that’s how you learn your chops about YouTube. So what led you to think that it could be beneficial for your real estate business and how long did it take before you started to get your first leads from the activity, your real estate YouTube channel? Malcolm: Yeah, that’s a good question. So I got my license in 2016 and I started making just experimenting with different videos and for a long time, I wasn’t generating any leads whatsoever. You know, my videos are just kind of sitting there and I realize it’s, you have to be creating the right type of videos, to really generate leads. That’s the big secret there is the topics that you cover in your videos and, it’s probably early 2018 I made a video, 10 things to know before moving to Maryland. And I made a Facebook version of that video and on Facebook that video got like 800,000 views. It got shared I think 9,000 times and I literally got like 30 leads within like two week period. And I was pretty much a brand new agent at that time and I was like, Holy cow, there is definitely something to this. And that totally does validate this idea that you could generate leads from videos.

 Malcolm: And at that point, I just started doubling down in most of 2018 and 2019 and just starting creating content and figuring out what type of videos actually generate you leads. And that’s, that’s where I’m at now. And what’s great is that video that I made in 2018 that’s almost three years ago now and it’s still generating me leads today. That video right now ranks on the very first page of Google for the term moving to Maryland. And it’s just like passive lead generation. I just, every couple of days I get a new lead from my YouTube videos. I don’t have to do any work. It’s a pretty beautiful system I got.

 Jonathan: It’s amazing. Now before I put over to Robert, what kind of equipment… I see that you’ve got a nice mic and your picture quality is really great, but a lot of people get kind of stuck on their equipment. What’s the kind of basic set up that you need to get reasonable quality in your YouTube videos? Malcolm: Right? Yeah. So this is what I bought about four or five years ago, big fancy DSLR camera, and this is probably $3,000 worth of equipment I had. And you know what? The cell phone that I have right now, this does just as good a quality as that big camera does. That’s, you know, five, six years old now. And really nobody, you don’t really need anything nowadays. Literally all you need is a phone in your pocket, and this is all you really need to get started. I do have a fancy microphone this is just because I do a lot of live streams. Malcolm: Now I am an enthusiast, so I do have a really fancy camera and this is a, another like a $3,000 set up right here, which is what I use. But you can get 90% of that quality with just whatever the latest iPhone is and the latest Samsung phone is. So you really don’t need much if you’re going to buy anything, if you’re going to do film or videos in a studio, indoors, I recommend getting a softbox. So softbox is just a particular type of light that cast a really attractive light on your face. So this is what a softbox is and it just diffuses the light. It makes it a much more appealing, soft light. And if you’re going to invest some money, I’d recommend investing in some of those and maybe some better audio equipment. And other than that, usually just phones.

 Jonathan: So that mic, you’re using at the present moment, which if you watch this on the Mail-Right YouTube channel, go to the Mail-Right website. You’ll be able to see this. He’s got a nice mic. How much is that mic? Is it a USB mic? Is it?

Malcolm: Yeah, this one is the blue Yeti, and, honestly I didn’t even do any of that much research in this one. I just went on Amazon and I saw a blue Yeti had a bunch of reviews and I bought this one. I think this one is maybe $150 or so. And it’s just because I do a lot of live streams like this and I really want the video sounds good. Jonathan: I actually liked the tone of that a lot. Some of the Yeti products are just down to personal taste. I don’t actually like the tone of them, but that one is quite rich. It sounds really good.

Malcolm: And what I like about it is, it has a little button on the back here and you can change the direction of it. So right now it’s only picking up audio from this site, not from the monitor. And I also have this really nice little arm here. They kind of hold it up for me so I don’t have to constantly hold it in my hand. Jonathan: So $120 that can be used on a Mac or PC and then probably a decent Logitech webcam. It doesn’t have to be 4K. So you don’t have to go to the top version that would probably cost you another hundred. And with some basic, how much time do you spend on the editing?

Malcolm: So I’ve been editing for six years now, so I’ve gotten pretty quick at it. So maybe an hour for a quick video. Sometimes I’ll do really elaborate videos with a lot of fancy graphics in them, a lot of effects, and those ones can take me up to five, six hours of editing on that. But one investment that I made that I love is I used to have a big PC and I’d use to have to lock myself in the office and I’d be so lonely just editing these videos. And now I got just whatever the latest Mac book pro is, and I can just edit on that and I can go sit on my couch with my family and edit my videos or take this to the office or something.

Jonathan: But the good news folks, there’s a lot of people out there offshore you can go to various freelance websites to find editors, so you don’t actually have to do it yourself. I think Malcolm does it himself because he enjoys it. So you’re on the Mac, what editor do you actually use on your videos then Malcolm?

Malcolm: Yeah, so I’m using Adobe premiere. And Adobe premiere you know, like, Hollywood editors use this to edit Hollywood movies. It’s very in-depth and elaborate, kind of have a little high learning curve. I think you can get it for $20 a month, but there’s a lot of other really simple ones. I usually recommend people use whatever comes for free on their computer just to get started. You know, iMovie, I know plenty of big YouTubers that have millions of subscribers and they literally just edit on iMovie, so it doesn’t have to be elaborate.

Jonathan: Well I don’t know what you think, but I normally suggest that if they’re on the Mac, they look at Screen Flow because it’s, I think it’s about $190 and so it’s not ridiculously expensive if they want to do the editing. But it’s what I use, I just use it a little bit, I just chop the front and do some minor cuts. But the main thing is, there is a lot of people out there that can do the editing for you. Would you agree? Malcolm: Yeah, absolutely upwork.com is a great place to higher freelancers, fiverr.com, and also the editing apps on cell phones have gotten really good. I mean they have ones where you can add different layers and text effects and you can do a lot of really fancy stuff. And that’s kind of a growing trend is that YouTubers are filming and doing all their editing completely on their phones, creating their thumbnails, uploading a hundred percent of the work just on their cell phones. So that’s something else people could look into.

Jonathan: Over to you Robert.

Robert: Well, first of all, thank you for joining us, Malcolm. I’m super excited to get you on the show. I found you through your YouTube channel and for those who are listening, I want to encourage you Malcolm: It’s literally on my YouTube channel you just have to read the title.

Robert: We want you to be Michael something or another. Anyway, so Malcolm Lawson realtor is his YouTube channel and if you go through here, you’ll discover that he has tons of videos on different subjects. Personal finance piecing to Maryland, which is a military term, moving to Annapolis Maryland guide, tips to selling your home. You’ve got your military stuff in the back.

Robert: So let me kick off this, my series of questions because I reached out to you because we’ve been talking about the fact that everything’s going to video. You said it a lot. Video affects SEO, video affects conversion when you integrate it properly into a real estate website. And now we have you on the show saying that you’re doing what 80% of your lead generation through video. Is that a fair assessment? Malcolm: Yeah, I mean this year I’m trying to shoot for a hundred percent. I mean it kind of depends if you count like agent referrals. But, I do get a lot of agent referrals from my videos as   Robert: Okay. So you’ve got the majority of your leads from your channel.

 Malcolm: Yeah, sure 80%.

Robert: Okay. And just to give everybody a feel for what that looks like. Your third year in real estate, right? How many transactions, I’m not going to count this year right now with COVID going on, but last year, how many transactions did you achieve?

Malcolm: Yeah, so I was in the air force for a long time and I got out in July 2017 so I consider 2018 kind of my first year I did 19 transactions. Last year was my second year and I did 30 transactions and 11 of those 30 found me on my YouTube channel.

Robert: Nice. And where did the other ones come from if you don’t mind me asking?Malcolm: Yeah, different sources. I was doing some Facebook ads, some agent referrals. I was on a couple of these websites where you have to pay them a 35% referral fee and they give you these internet leads and those are terrible. I hate working those so much. And luckily I’ve been able to dump those now because Robert: Right. So basically this entire time you’ve been pressing away at some type of YouTube schedule, which has slowly but surely been ramping up in terms of lead generation. Am I understanding that correctly?

Malcolm: Yeah, that’s it. Luckily YouTube has like an accumulative effect, you know, you upload a video to Facebook and that video is dead after a week. Sometimes only a few days of Facebook actually gives it views. But with YouTube, you upload a video and it can get views for years to come. And just the more you chug away at it, the more videos you have ranking in search and just generating you views. And right now I’m at the point where I’m getting, I think it’s about 1200 views a day across all my videos combined.

Malcolm: So it’s 1200 times a day. People are hearing me say, hey, my name is Malcolm Lawson, I’m a Maryland real estate agent and that’s just, just generates me enough leads now that I can kind of take my foot off the gas pedal a little bit.

Robert: So hopefully guys, for those of you listening, I’m really hoping that at this point we’ve got your attention. We’ve been screaming video, video, video. We’ve got a guy on the show right now saying that he’s going to do most of his business off video. So I’m going to assume that we sold our audience finally on doing video. And having said that, what I’m going to ask you now is that I’ve checked out a couple of your videos and I’m noticing that you definitely have figured out how to– six years into it, you’re optimizing your videos pretty effectively. It looks like you’re probably using maybe a 

 Jonathan: Let’s go for a break because that’s the part that I would like to discuss really in the second part of the show. Because it’s so important because you know, you got the taking of the video, you got the commitment. You got a bit of a commitment that you’ve got to put in into making that video or videos every week. But then it’s so important to understand how to title them and how to set up the video on YouTube. So you start getting some views, which I want to discuss. Well, hopefully, you and Malcolm can discuss in the second half.

Jonathan: So I’ve just outlined what we’re going to be discussing the second half stay on because this is going to be fantastic value and so important. If you want to be an effective real estate in the next couple of years. We’ll be back in a few moments’ folks. Announcer: Do you want quality leads from homeowners and buyers, right in your own neighborhood? Then you need Mail-Right. It is a powerful but easy to use online marketing system that uses Facebook to generate real estate leads at a fraction of the cost you’d pay from our competition. We stand behind our work with a no question asked, 30-day money-back guarantee. So don’t delay. Get started today. Go to mail-right.com

Jonathan: We’re coming back. We’ve been talking to Malcolm Lawson. He’s done some fantastic video work on his own YouTube channel. It’s one of the biggest way he’s getting leads now. It’s been a fantastic first part and over to you Robert.

 Robert: Okay. So here’s, and I have my ways of doing this and I was just going to run through them really quickly. I use vidIQ, I tag, like videos. I title them. I usually use a location tag depending upon what I’m trying to do. Like where I’m trying to get that video associated. And usually, typically that association for me is where do I want it associated on my website because real estate is very neighborhood-based and I already took a look at your easy agent pro website. That’s what I do. I’m curious to know what you do. Like when you tag the video, do you use the tool? Do you just kind of eyeball it because you’ve been doing it for six years?Malcolm: Yeah. So I mean vidIQ is a good tool. I use Tube Buddy and that’s what I’m using now is very similar. And I’ll say that the tags are really not as important today as they were a couple of years ago and your description is not quite as important today either. Those things used to play a huge factor in the YouTube algorithm, but now the algorithms moved over to a performance-based algorithm.

Malcolm: So what they’re really looking at is if they show your video a hundred times to people, what percentage of those people are actually clicking on your video, on the circle called your click-through rate. That’s a very important metric for the algorithm. And the other thing they look at is how long people are actually watching your video. And this is known as your audience retention. So essentially they want videos that people are going to click on and videos that people are going to watch for a long time.

                                    Malcolm: And that’s really how you optimize your content for YouTube. So it means that you need to have a title and if you can use your neighborhood or your city in that title, great. But it also has to be a very clickable title. So one of my videos is 10 things to know before moving to Maryland. And that’s a clickable title because somebody may be seeing that and like, what do you mean I need to know something before I moved to Maryland? What, what is it that I don’t know about Maryland?

Malcolm: So it kind of creates that bug in their mind that makes them want to click on that title or click on that video. And then you also need a really engaging, bright and colorful thumbnail to get their attention. And again, try to just make them a little curious to make them want to click on your video in the first place.

 Malcolm: So there’s a lot of psychology that plays into it. And then also how you kind of structure your video. You have to structure it to keep people’s attention and keep them watching your video. So for example, a big mistake I see agents making is that they start the video off and then they just start off with a whole bunch of call to actions at the very front of the video, like, comment, subscribe, send me an email, give me a call, share with a friend, all this stuff. And people are just backing out of the video.

Malcolm: When they do that and they’re not even getting to the content, YouTube can see that, and then your videos don’t perform. So if there is a secret sauce to performing well on YouTube, it’s creating content that people want to click on and keep them watching your videos for a long time.

Malcolm: And if you really want to look at for lead generation, if you want to know how to make one video that you wanted to generate you leads, I’ll give you the secret right here it’s relocation style of videos. Those videos are targeting buyers that are moving to your area. So for example, if somebody types in moving to Maryland, my video ranks in the first page of Google for that. Actually I have a couple of videos that do and that is targeting hot motivated buyers. And that’s how they’re finding me. If you type in moving to Annapolis, Maryland have three videos on the first page of Google for that search term. Malcolm: So those relocation guide type videos are what really generate me leads. The single video that’s generated me the most leads is the video I have PCS’ing to Andrews’s air, like what to know before PCS’ing to the Andrews air force base, which means service members getting relocated to that base. And I probably close five deals a year just from that one video because this is targeting those really motivated buyers that are moving to that area.

 Robert: And I’m curious, so your experience and your history with the military definitely is playing a part in your current success both on YouTube and in general, right?

 Malcolm: Yeah, I would agree with that. Most of my business is military, but I would say to people that’s my niche is the military and I have that credibility and that community. But ask yourself, what community do you have credibility in, and could you make your channel all about 55 places, 55 plus communities in your area. I don’t have any credibility with that community. Or could you make your channel all about first time home buyers or moms buying homes or families buying homes, you know, in other niches that I don’t have any credibility in but somebody else might.

Robert: Right. I noticed that you’re using;

Jonathan: So I just want to say that, that’s another thing me and Robert have been consistently hammering away at is finding your local niche. So it’s fantastic that you validate it without us prodding you. That’s also important it’s fantastic. It is a video and finding your local niche are two of the things that we’ve really been hammering away isn’t it Robert?

 Robert: Yeah, absolutely. And this is total like a total flyer, like aside and I probably could have waited until we turn the camera off but, but I am so curious. You are using Easy Agent Pro as basically your foundational location because you’re driving traffic. I’m noticing over and over again that you have certain links like search homes do this, do that. So you are driving traffic from you to, to website. The website that you’re driving traffic to isn’t Easy Agent Pro website, just from my own knowledge, this is more from me than the audience itself. What do you think of that site?

Malcolm: Yeah, I mean I think it’s fine. It’s got a nice user interface for the user and on kind of the back end. I originally was into blogging and I used to do a lot of blogging, get my blogs to rank and that’s kind of how I got into video years ago. And so that’s kind of why I started going with Easy Agent Pro because they really advertise their blogging usability and how front blogging friendly it is. Truthfully, I haven’t had any luck with any of my, almost, I’ve only had a few blog posts actually rank, on my website and that’s a whole other rabbit hole there with getting back links to your website and increasing your domain authority and all that nonsense with blogging

Malcolm: I don’t think I get very much organic traffic from that, but I did want to have a really nice looking website that I could send people to that had plenty of call to actions on it. And that’s what easy agent pro does for me. It’s just a pretty little website and I can embed a video on my homepage.

 Jonathan: Did you look at any of the other competition at the same time or were they on your radar of initially and you just thought that was the right solution for you? Malcolm: You know, I didn’t really look at any other competition. You know, how easy agent pro got me is they were making content about running Facebook ads for real estate agents. And I think that may have been how I originally discovered them. And then I saw much of the blogging stuff and I was like, hey, I do Facebook ads, I do blogging and I thought it was a good fit for me. I didn’t really vet any other websites or anything I just knew it’s a better-looking website than what Keller Williams gives me.

Jonathan: And, would you like to quickly outline why it’s so important to have your own website rather than relying on your brokerage, supplying you with something?

  Malcolm: Yeah, I mean, Keller Williams gave me a website, but it was pretty limited and it just wasn’t all that impressive and I couldn’t really do what I wanted to do with it. And I like having that flexibility and being able to put my videos on my website and put them on my home page and create complimentary blog posts for my videos. One thing I like to do, I don’t do it for all my videos, but I’ll make a video and then I’ll go to upwork.com or Fiverr and have somebody write a blog post based off of my video just because I don’t feel like doing that.

 Malcolm: But that combination of video and blog posts, that does pretty well for me. And kind of ironically or funny enough is I’ll post a blog post on my website and then I also post the same blog post on medium.com, which is a blogging platform.

Malcolm: And I’ve had much better luck with getting my medium article to ring in Google search than I do have in my blog post. So for example, right now if you type in moving to Annapolis, Maryland like four down is three of my videos, but the number one result for that search term is my medium article that has my videos in it. So even if they don’t click on my videos, they click on the number one result, they’re going to get my videos anyway. And so that’s another really powerful way that people can send traffic to their YouTube videos is by embedding them in a blog post.

 Jonathan: Well, I think we’re coming to a close of our podcast part of the show. But, Malcolm’s agreed to stay on to some bonus content, which you’ll be able to see on the Mail-Right website. We have a full transcription of the whole interview. Well at the beginning of the conversation on the bonus, I’m going to ask him about Google’s local business page and how important, has he bothered with that. Because that’s one of the other things I and Robert hammer away with is how important that is to get that totally set up for a local agent. And some of the other things that we preach around being able to be found when people do local search terms. So Malcolm how, what’s the best way to find out more about you and what you’re up to?

Malcolm: So I’ve actually got a Facebook group all for real estate agents using YouTube and it’s just a Real Estate YouTube Mastermind. You can find that on Facebook. And I’m constantly posting training in there and people are posting videos and getting feedback.

Jonathan: Oh, I’ll join that myself.

 Malcolm: Yeah, it’s real estate YouTube mastermind on Facebook. And that’s probably the best way to contact me is you can find me in there talking to people all the time.

 Jonathan: That’s great. And Robert, what’s the best way for people to find out more about you and what you’re up to? Robert: Go to my website, inboundrem.com. I’ve never been so active. If you become a subscriber, I have a secret Facebook marketing group that I don’t let everybody join, but if you become a subscriber, follow me on email, I will eventually invite you to my Facebook marketing group.

Jonathan: Alright there you go. And you would have watched all our great videos. Go to the Mail-Right website. We’ve got over 250 interviews, internal discussions between me and Robert or great guests like Malcolm it’s a great training platform in its own right. Plus in the next few weeks, I’ll be launching the Mail-Right University and I’ll be offering that free to anybody that is listening to the podcast. Put a ton of work into that, it’s almost killed me, but we’re getting close to getting that finished. We will be back next week with another great guest like Malcolm. We’ll see you soon folks. Bye.


038: Good Quality Photography With Special Guest Greg McDaniels
038: Good Quality Photography & Video is Important! 1

We discuss with our special guest Greg McDaniels the importance of quality photography connected to being a successful real estate Read more

039: Why Agents Need To Blog Regularly
038: Good Quality Photography & Video is Important! 1

Agents need to do more than blogging to get results in 2016. We discuss this during this show with our two Read more

040: We Have Special Guest Greg McDaniels
038: Good Quality Photography & Video is Important! 1

Greg McDaniel literally began his career at his father’s knee. It would not be an exaggeration to say he has Read more

041: Personal Agent Photography With Preston Zeller
038: Good Quality Photography & Video is Important! 1

Personal agent photography is really important but usually semi-forgotten. We have a great guest "Preston Zeller" on the show who recently Read more