263 Mail-Right Show With Special Guest Will Friedner of Montana Life Realty
We Discuss How To Use YouTube Effectively If You Are A Real Estate Agent
Will Friedner has managed to get 1 million views connected to one of his YouTube channel videos produced with a $20 mic and a $40 camera. 50% of his leads come directly from his videos about moving to Montana.
Will Friedner is familiar with the Flathead Valley having spent many years enjoying the lifestyle this area has to offer including golf and hockey. He and his wife Angie met while employed at Eagle Bend Golf Course in Bigfork. He has represented a variety of properties in Northwest Montana and does extensive research on any opportunity you send his direction.
He strives to provide a pricing strategy to garner strong offers in which all his client’s needs are met. As your agent, he will focus on an array of marketing tools to sell or locate a property for you in a timely manner. Will continues to broaden his online population base by managing a variety of web pages. Well versed in technology will have provided years of success for his clients.
Johnathan: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right Show, this is episode 263. Got my great co-host Robert with me and also, we’ve got a special guest, we got Will Friedner.
Johnathan: And he’s from Montana Life Realty. We’re going be talking about the great state of Montana and about how Will and his wife have used YouTube as a key part of their marketing, online marketing strategy to promote themselves and the services they offer. Will, thank you so much for coming on the show. Can you give our audience a quick introduction to you and what you do in the great state of Montana?
Will: Sure. My name is Will Friender and we’ve been in real estate, my wife and I now for 12 or 13 years, I’m not sure exactly, but it’s been a while and probably about in the last six years, we’ve kind of… I’ve got into the social media side of things pretty heavily went to a few conferences and I’ve just been studying it and kind of working on our skills with it. And we have a podcast and we have a YouTube channel and we get tons of business from all of them.
Johnathan: That’s great. And I’ve got my great co-host, Robert Newman, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Robert: Certainly. My name is Robert Newman. I’m the founder of inboundREM, which is the only inbound company that focuses on inbound marketing for real estate agents, residential real estate agents.
Johnathan: And I just want to thank you that have been listening to the show and telling other people. This last month was our biggest month ever for downloads. It’s really great to see the show grow and get more and more people listening to the knowledge that Robert and my guests share with you. Obviously, I’m not going to include myself in that, but there we go, I know my place. So, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this. I came across your YouTube channel Will and I just thought what you were doing with it was great. The kind of general information you were giving, it was unpretentious, you really got the idea that you were there to help people that were actually looking to move to Montana. So, how long have you been running the YouTube channel and what can you give some insights about the kind of results that you’ve obtained for the time that you spent building the channel up?
Will: Well, to go back a couple of years, after I went to that social media conference down in San Diego, as a kid, I always wanted to be a broadcaster and so podcasting was kind of like, that’s what I wanted to do. And so, a couple of years ago I started a podcast, just basically doing the same thing I do on YouTube and just breaking down different things you need to know about moving up here, the different laws up here, just things you should know about Montana and I was getting some feedback. I had actually a guy from Louisiana that heard it and was listening to it and actually flew up and, kind of a funny story, he ended up not buying a place up here because we have grizzly bears and he was scared to go outside and so I didn’t get that sale. But anyway, I was a little disappointed in the results or what I was getting out of the podcast so I was continuously searching around for new things and I stumbled across, I mean, not the YouTube was new, but for me it was.
And so, I decided I’m going start a channel and basically recreate the podcast, but with video because again, as you guys know, YouTube is the number two search engine in the world behind Google, and they’re owned by Google and if you think about it with real estate, if you’re going to move somewhere that you’ve never been, you kind of want to see the place you don’t… yeah, you can read articles and see pictures, but I think YouTube for real estate is like the number one thing that everybody should use because it’s a visual medium and people want to see where they’re moving. And so, basically, in May, I started our channel, and just once a week, I read…. you need to be consistent so I’ve been doing a video once a week. And as you saw, they’re around 10 minutes, long, nothing major and I just go over different things you should know and I show a lot because it’s such a beautiful part of the state we’re in right here. I show a lot of the area and the scenery and I’ve gotten great feedback and it’s been awesome. And at the beginning of September, I did a video and this is, I don’t know, we haven’t even spoken about this, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I went out and just…I have some people that called me off of earlier videos from LA actually, and they said, we have to get out of LA now, we’re done.
We want to go to Montana and just get way out, away from anybody and we just want to be way out. And I said I don’t think you guys understand what you’re getting into, it’s a different world up here and they’re no, no, no, we want to be way out. Okay, so they drove up here and I took them way out…
Johnathan: Hopefully, you showed them some grizzlies.
Will: No, well he didn’t see any bears, but after an hour in the car and 20 miles up a forest road before we were even at the house I pulled over, they were following me and I walked back to their car and their eyes are huge and they’re like oh, this is pretty far out there. I said this is what I’m telling you. And I said it’s taken us an hour in the middle of summer, what are you going to do in January when you need to run to the store real quick? And they got it and that was the end of that. And so, I thought, I need to make a video just to warn people that it’s different. You need to know what you’re getting into up here and the thing went viral. I’m about 12,000 short of a million views on that one video since September and I’ve gotten more leads. And the ironic thing about the whole thing is there was a video about why you shouldn’t move to Montana.
Robert: That’s brilliant. I’m not…
Johnathan: Over to you Robert.
Robert: We’ll I’m not seeing that one on your Real Estate Marketing Maniacs channel. Where did you post it?
Will: Real Est…
Robert: Is that you? That isn’t you [cross-talk [07:53] Real Estate Marketing Maniacs is not you.
Will: I did a podcast with them a while ago.
Will: No. The other thing is, I’ve kind of studied up a lot on SEO for YouTube and for our website and the tagging and everything I did help out immensely because now if you get on YouTube and you just type in Montana with nothing else, my video is the first one that comes up.
Robert: All right, let’s do that. So, we’re going to do that. So, here’s what I know from the video groups that I belong to. I’ve actually heard from many people in many different cities, not Montana though, not Montana, that the number one type of video to make for regeneration is moving to or living in but what you’re saying if I’m hearing you correctly, is that your number one producing video so far, which finally I can see your stuff. What is it called? Living in Montana. Yes?
Robert: Okay. And so, you’ve got 35,000 views on moving to Montana, literally a million views on Living in Montana, and that’s your number one producing video. Oh, no, that’s 100,000. That’s a different video entirely. Wow, you have a lot of [cross-talk [09:06].
Johnathan: I did send him all the links I did send you all the links. But it’s amazing, it just shows you the power of it. So, when you first…
Robert: Let me finish my question.
Robert: I was leading to something, I actually had it in my mind. I was just trying to look at a video at the same time I so forgive me, he’s right. I didn’t look at all the videos, but here’s what I was driving at. Has that been that video, The Danger of Moving to Montana, I’m just going call it, is that the number one producing lead video for you right now? Has that gotten you more calls than any other video type then you have produced?
Will: Well, I think what it does is that because of the YouTube algorithms and however, that video ended up in a million people’s feed, I can’t explain that. I obviously… we all know the word algorithm, but how it works, who knows? I think that video got people into our channel. So, they watch that video and they’re like, ah, okay, and then they looked at our other stuff because once that one took off, then the one Idaho versus Montana took off, and the one about Zillow took off and got way… tons more views than they had before this all started. So, to say, I get all my leads off of that video. Yes, I get all of them, but they’re pushing people to the other videos. Do you know what I mean?
Robert: I got you. And I do love the title. So, for the audience, because they can’t see my screen, the title of the video that we’re talking about is Living in Montana, Things They Don’t Tell You. And I have found that reverse psychology inside titles in my own experimentation works really well. Like the secret of don’t tell anybody, and if you follow it up with content that matches the actual title like literally, which you obviously did, based on that story you told us, I have found that to be very successful and I’m guessing that you’re probably figuring the same thing. So, John, I’ve gotten my question done, sir, go ahead and ask yours.
Johnathan: Fine. So, I thought the great thing to have you on the show though is that being in Robert have been hammering away for most of this year about the power of video, but I just thought that it was maybe better to actually get a real estate agent that’s really in the trenches, that’s really doing something with video and getting results rather than just being Robert just keep pounding on it. But how long did you… we’ve discussed this video that’s gone viral, but before that, were you still get in some results, and how long and how much practice did you have to do on the tagging and the other bits before you saw any kind of results?
Will: Well, if you look at the earlier videos, they’re garbage and I guess what I’ve learned too is there’s a lot of people and Robert was talking about some of these video groups and I belonged to some of them too, and there’s a lot of people that get all worked up about all, I need this drone and I need all this fancy equipment and what I’ve found is people don’t care. As long as you’re, you’re giving them what they want and telling them what they want to hear and explaining things in a decent way that that’s what I’ve noticed people are looking for. They don’t need some Hollywood production million-dollar film on why you should move to Montana. They just want to…
Johnathan: I think you’re so right and I’m what I love about the way you’re doing it Will, is that the formats that you use and you really show that you and your wife have a really deep knowledge of the area and you’re really showing through that knowledge that you express for your videos, why people should really hire you as a real estate agent.
Will: Yeah, and that’s the feedback I get. I get three to four calls or emails a day now from people that want to move up here. So, that’s why I kind of stopped doing the podcast because this is by far, I’ve never seen anything like it. And I have a total of… I bought a $25 tripod and I bought a $20 microphone with a wire on it, so I can stand back and get good sound and that’s it. So, I have 40 bucks into it and I’ve gotten more leads in the last few months than I ever had spending money on anything else.
Johnathan: That’s great. Over to you Robert.
Robert: Well, as I often do inside these podcasts Will, I usually take these opportunities, Like I both asked questions and I also make comments or statements because you’re literally the living, breathing Testament to stuff that we’ve been saying over and over and over again. And the way that I’m viewing how your story is that you found a pain point, which you, by the way, the way that I view your stories, you’ve collected the pain point when you were on the drive from the couple of California where you’re in the car with him, and you realized these people, despite the fact, I already had a conversation with them, they just really didn’t understand what I meant when I said rural living. So, you had the thought to go out and say, okay, I’m going to create a YouTube video that not only addresses that pain point, but I feel like probably you’re not saying this, but it also maybe saves you personally some time because you’re going to answer those questions by doing a video and showing them what you mean so maybe the next time somebody flies out, you don’t have to go through the experience of driving them an hour out and then stopping before you even get to your destination. Am I right about that?
Will: Yeah, for sure. Yup. And with all of that, I mean, I would love to build up a library where I can get it organized in a way where like if somebody’s thinking about moving out here, I can send them a pack of five of the videos. Like here’s the five things you need to know, or, here’s a… I’ve put out a link on my channel for people to… I want to do a FAQ video and I’m having people just send in questions so I can do a video and just answer all that. Because even though I live here, I know that people that have never been here or been here once on vacation, they’re going to ask stuff that I don’t even think about and so, like, they always say, ask your audience, give your audience what they want. And that’s what I’m trying to do.
Robert: That’s brilliant. So, do you mind sharing with us and our audience, like some of the ideas that you’re kicking around, whether it’s these FAQ’s like the questions that you’re looking at, you’re going, okay, that makes sense, I’ll try to produce a video around that? Do you have a list of things that you are kind of thinking of working on sometime soon?
Will: Oh, yeah. I have one in the works right now that I personally found interesting and I would never want to do it, but there are people up here that live off the grid, meaning there are no utilities, they live 30 miles up in the mountains somewhere and they have solar. So, I went out just last week to a place, it was 60 miles from where I live here and way out, it’s just spectacularly beautiful but yeah, they have solar panels, they have a huge woodshed full of wood, they have 2000-gallon propane tanks and they’re living off the grid. There’s nobody coming to help them, they have a generator that if something breaks, they’re on their own and I just found that kind of interesting and I think a lot of people will find that interesting as well. So, that video is coming out here in a week or two.
Johnathan: I totally agree with you and I follow some channels of people doing that. Not because I plan at any time in my life ever to do that, but for some reason, I just find it fascinating. We’re going to go for our break. It’s already been… I think it’s been a real eye-opener of an episode with Will. We will be back in a few moments.
We’re coming back, I’m amusing my co-host, that’s my main objective is to keep Robert happy and amused.
Will: I just got this; I don’t know can you guys read that? That was just from YouTube.
Robert: Oh yeah, nice.
Will: That was just from last month.
Johnathan: So, do you think, like a lot of things do you think also because of the pandemic and the virus, and a lot of people are working remotely now and they probably going to continue working remotely, even when the pandemic has subsided, do you think you’re also in a very virtual position because a lot of these people in major cities are looking at the possibility of moving somewhere like Montana?
Will: Oh, for sure. I think I got lucky in a way that with the one video, I keep going back to the one video, because that’s what made everything take off, but yeah, the pandemic and people wanting to get out of the big cities and realizing they can get out of the big cities now and work. And the other thing with that video that I didn’t say earlier is, and it was not my intention whatsoever, but in this current climate, everything no matter what you say, turns political and of course, that video turned political. I had to shut off the comments and just review the comments before I post them because it’s all about if you’re a liberal stay out of here and all of that, and it’s…
Johnathan: All that crap.
Will: I didn’t bring that didn’t once mention…
Johnathan: Well that’s the other thing. I am… you rarely… the I watched a lot of your videos; I’ve delved deep in your channel and the other thing that I admire about you and your wife is that you keep off politics completely. You just concentrate on the information provided, don’t you?
Will: Well, yeah. And I thought now that once that one video went viral, my wife and I were talking about, well, how do we keep this going? And I said well, I could do a rundown of the last three presidential elections and how Montana voted and that would stir up such a pile. Yeah, I’d probably get a lot of views, but I’d probably lose half the people too.
Johnathan: Exactly. Over to you Robert.
Robert: Well, I’m going to give you some… I don’t know how deep into these groups that you are, like groups that you belong to, but this is part of what I do for a living and I’m…
Johnathan: Can you give us some tips, both you and Robert. Can you give some tips about the groups that people should join?
Robert: Well, I’ve already given mine, so we’ll let him give him, we’ll ask you what groups you like, but let me finish my thought here, John. So, I’m going to give you a couple of ideas because I’ve now caught up. My bad audience, John called me out, he was right. My bad Will, I should have looked at the links before we started the show I did not. But I am now caught up. I’ve looked at all the videos and all the video titles that you have here and there are a couple of things that I think might go well along with your channel. You’re not… one of the guys that I do some consulting with, he does market updates, which are some of his most widely viewed videos with how big your audience already is and how people are already talking about how much they want to move there, you might consider just doing like a monthly, like a once a month or even a once a quarter market update on what the real estate market is actually like in Montana.
It won’t be a widely viewed video, it’s not a traffic building video. It’s a kind of video that you only produce when you already have an audience because now they are thinking they want to hear what you have to say. So, you’re not really going to attract new people, but you might very well serve the people that you have better. Does that make sense?
Robert: And then the other thing is that Montana is very, like, I’m looking at all these videos, he got posted and I’m seeing beautiful outside shots, so on and so forth. But I would have to imagine there’s a special set of things that you got to do, you’ve already mentioned a few in this video, such as propane tanks and solar, and you just kind of threw it out there casually. A lot of those things, people here in California, aren’t going to understand what they were used for. Like why do you need propane? They’re going to be like having that question with themselves. So, maybe what do you do with your home? Like how do you improve your existing home? What do you need? What are good additions to existing homes here in Montana is solar really proactive here in Montana? Stuff like that. Like that might get you some traffic from people that actually live there and then also might get you in touch with some people looking to sell some inventory as opposed to just the buyers moving into the city, which sounds like you have a ton of.
Will: No, I… yeah, I tried, like I just did a video buying land in Montana and I just went over the different things that people, again, coming from a different area don’t think about, don’t know, because they’re not from here. And Montana’s kind of a one-of-a-kind place and there’s some weird rules and things that go on up here and I just went over… a lot of people will buy a big piece of property and not realize that the neighbor that lives five miles away has an easement through the middle of it to drive his tractor or whatever. Or in the mountains here, there are some areas that it’s not easy to access and then when you split up parcels, all of a sudden, you’ve got a landlocked lot up at the top of the mountain that without an easement going through the property below it, you can’t get to it without a helicopter. And then it’s just things like that, that people don’t think about. And that’s what I’m trying to put out there.
Johnathan: It’s similar to Nevada because one of the big things in Nevada is water rights. And you really got understand that in Nevada, one of the key factors that affect the price of ranches or land, in general, is water rights and having a clear title to those rights and it’s a minefield, Will. So, finding some agent understands that is quite important if you’re going to buy that type of property. Now I’d like to get back to the video. So, a lot of people, I think they struggle and I think you touched it, they think that they got to buy a lot of equipment and they got to buy a lot of expensive equipment and I probably contributed to that during joining one of our episodes because I started talking about some of the gear that I bought. But can you give some insights about some of the… Because I think the main thing and you got, by the way, you got lovely sound Will, is what kind of equipment you had to buy on the sound of video to produce your videos and how did you find the right equipment for your own setup?
Will: Well, Amazon. Again, I was no expert. I’m still no expert by any means I just bought a microphone that had good ratings and it was 20 bucks. It’s one of the lapel ones and it has a 20-foot cord on it or whatever so I can stand back. The video editing software I guess would be the other big thing that I forgot to mention so I guess I do have more money into it. That was about 200 bucks and it’s Camtasia. I have a PC and so that’s what I use to edit the videos. And again, I’m sure there are, well I know there are…
Johnathan: I know I’m interrupting. How hard on reflection was to learn the basics to enable you to do the kind of videos you’re doing now? How hard was it to learn?
Will: Not really. And again, back to YouTube, I mean, nowadays you can figure out anything on YouTube and there are many times where I just typed in a question about Camtasia and there are 10 videos on how to do what I’m trying to do. So, I’m the kind of person that tries to figure everything out first on my own and then I’ll go to YouTube, but I didn’t think it was all that hard. Maybe because I had already spent two years with the audio editing software for my podcast so it’s kind of along the same lines as that. So, I don’t know, I mean, I guess if you’ve never done anything like that, it may be a little bit of a learning curve, but I didn’t think it was. It’s not that hard, it’s fairly simple and I know that there’s much better editing software out there, but then I think its way more complicated and if you’re doing a Hollywood production and that’s when you need that.
Johnathan: Camtasia is a powerful program; you can do a lot with it. Now, if you don’t want to share this, I understand, but how many houses did you and your wife sell last year compared to this year, and have you quantified in your own mind in actual sales and gross income, the difference that the video and the outreach you’ve done for YouTube is going to make to your bottom line?
Will: I would say… yeah, I don’t have an exact number in front of me for those questions, but I would say we’re going to do 50% more this year in sales and I can’t… yes, YouTube has helped immensely don’t get me wrong, but I just think where we happen to be and had I done this and I was living in New York City, I don’t know if I would add 50% more sales. It just, everything came together, the stars aligned if you want to say it, then started the YouTube channel at the right time and then all the bad stuff that happened around the country happened and everybody decided they wanted to get out of the city and move to a place like this. So, not to take anything away obviously from YouTube, it’s been awesome, but I don’t know if I can put everything on that.
Johnathan: That’s great. We’re going to wrap up the podcast about the show. Hopefully Will okay to stay on for another 10, 12 minutes.
Johnathan: We’re going to call bonus material, which you’ll be able to see on the Mail- Right YouTube channel and go to the Mail- Right YouTube channel and subscribe. We’ve got over 300 different videos on that channel. Unfortunately, we haven’t got the view figures that Will has got, but slowly growing. And join us next week, we’ve got some fabulous guests coming on the show, we also going to have some internal discussions between me and Robert, where we’re going to finish off our previous discussion around why you need a digital marketing plan, which was a fabulous discussion and we need to finish that off. We’ll see you, next week folks. And remember go to the Mail-Right YouTube channel and sign up and watch the bonus content, which me and will. And Robert are going to be discussing after we finished the podcast. We’ll see you, next week folks. Bye