- One brokerage is encouraging its agents to make videos for their marketing.
- Think progress over perfection when it comes to video, said Kala Laos, co-founder of JK Realty.
- JK Realty is also helping buyers use video to tell sellers why they like their home.
A recent video from JK Realty’s “Beard Estate Agent” crew — part of the 48 Real Estate team — shows three laid-back, bearded (of course) dudes heaving themselves athletically out of the pool in a house tour.
Lead agent R.J. Cushing, who has a background in marketing and lived in California, wanted the scene to resemble a similar one in the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
The beginning of the video shows the three agents meeting up on bikes in the neighborhood and arriving at the house, then touring it as with an old friend, quipping “even a bad cook can cook in this kitchen.”
Target your video to the style of potential buyers
According to JK Realty’s co-founders, Kala and Jason Laos, the doctor-turned-entrepreneur seller, who has built himself another large home nearby, was delighted with the video — which also showed another member of the team skateboarding through the house, the guys playing basketball on the purpose-built court and the end comment: “It’s like an epic mullet — all business in the front, all party at the back.”
It’s the perfect informal pitch for potential homebuyers of this $1.5 million property, who might well be one of the entrepreneurs or athletes gravitating towards Gilbert, Arizona, and the city’s tech industry.
They are just the types to appreciate all the house’s bells and whistles in their downtime.
“For the Beard Estate Agents, it’s a vibe they have — R.J. Cushing, Tom Aulman and Matt Novak. They all share a passion for life and family, and they have huge hearts,” said Kala.
Your offices show who you are
Gilbert is a suburb of Phoenix. It’s been voted one of the best places to raise a family and one of the fastest-growing cities, said Kala.
The couple have put a lot of investment in the area. Their 7,000-square-foot offices are like being at Google, said Kala.
“There are no private offices; there is no hierarchy. One of the cool things: We are going to allow anybody a chance at success — you are going to be in the environment where you share, collaborate, inspire each other. It’s very infectious.
“What makes us different is our fearless use of video,” added Kala.
“We want people to smile, laugh and remember that real estate does not always have to mean being in a suit — we are just real people here.”
“One of the ways we have grown our brokerage is through video,” she added.
Video has also been responsible for taking the business from 30 to 200 real estate agents in less than two years, she said. And they plan to have 250 agents by the end of the year and a new office in Scottsdale, Arizona, by the end of 2017.
JK’s 2015 sales volume was $300 million, and it is tracking $400 million in 2016, said Kala.
The business has had some approaches from larger companies, but Jason said: “We are happy being independent with our brand — we have a lot of real estate to do in the future. We are young; we have lot of energy; we want to work in our own real estate company.”
The couple opened the company in 2007, not an auspicious time in the market. “We are about ‘change or die,'” said Kala.
Now in a strong seller’s market and growing its agent base, the firm’s favorite quote is: “Your vibe attracts your tribe.”
“Our family of agents use the hashtag #jkvibe in our social media posts, too. We do this because we believe in marketing by staying within our authenticity. That attracts like-minded individuals to our organization,” said Kala.
New agents are welcome. “I love working with new agents because they are excited and optimistic, not jaded,” she said.
Training their staff in video
Kala and Jason train all their agents in making videos and have a videographer on staff who does all the editing and shooting. Every Monday, Kala has a Monday motivational video for agents.
“Most of the topics are on mindset. We believe in the 80/20 rule. Being successful in real estate is 80 percent mindset and 20 percent mechanics,” said Kala.
“We encourage agents to keep going and never give up. Selling real estate is a privilege and when we have perspective on that, we do mighty things,” she added.
“You need to get in front of the camera. It’s attracted business for me; I know it will attract business for them.”
The culture they portray tends to attract the “techie agent,” who sees how technology is changing real estate and wants in.
The youngest agent is 22; the oldest 76 — and he does videos, too. “Anyone can do this, ” she said.
Some of the agents do community videos, such as aerial shots explaining the area.
One recent video showed an agent up on the roof — a bit like a “Rocky” movie, complete with soundtrack.
“He was the No. 1 agent last year and got a championship belt. We hit him with a drone, but both survived!” said Kala.
Kala’s biggest tip on video is to approach it as “progress, not perfection.
“The biggest thing is to start doing it themselves and work their way up,” said the co-founder.
Have a strategy for distributing videos
JK Realty, which believes in the power of social media, also has a strategy for distributing the agent videos.
“We upload the videos directly to each platform. For instance, direct to Facebook, not sharing the YouTube link.
“We believe it’s best to release the video on Facebook when the team members are all available to share and engage on the post. Then, the agents distribute on their own YouTube, Instagram, blog and so on,” said Kala.
The Phoenix market is attracting a lot of remote buyers — families from North Dakota looking for second homes in the sun. JK Realty was the first to invest in a Matterport camera in their market, said Jason, a strong believer in virtual tours.
“How we embrace technology is very attractive to out-of-state buyers who know we will do a really good job of showing them every part of the house so they know what they are getting.”
Using video in a multiple-offer situation
With expertise in video, JK Realty encourages its buyers to make a video instead of writing a letter to a seller in a multiple-offer situation.
“For some sellers, it makes a difference — it gives an emotional connection,” said Kala.
Said Jason: “With the video, they get to see the body language of the buyer. We have been doing it for about two years and we’ve started seeing the results.
“Some people are getting the house after the video even when theirs is not the highest offer.”
The agents coach them, added Kala.
“They might say ‘thank you for allowing us to go through their beautiful home. We are a young family excited about purchasing our first family home.'”
“Sometimes they will do the video in the house. There was one where we could see the children picking their rooms — it was unbelievably awesome.”