Cody Steck a realtor based in Salt Lake City, Utah goes back at the beginning of his career in real estate. Cody shares advice for agents in their first years in the business based on his own experience. Next Cody talks about his YouTube Channel content and how it helps generate business. Cody and D.J. discuss extensively the power of video in the real estate business. Last, Cody also discusses the investment part of his business.
Please subscribe to Cody’s YouTube channel here.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Cody Steck can be reached at email@example.com.
D.J. Paris 0:00
you brand yourself on Facebook and Instagram. But what about YouTube? That’s actually the place you need to be next. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads in interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host to the through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer Cody stack about why YouTube generates almost all of his business. So this is gonna be a great episode for those of us that are already posting on Facebook and Instagram, but not totally sure what to do with YouTube. But before we get to Cody, just a couple of quick announcements, please number one, tell a friend about our show. Actually not an announcement that’s a request. We really appreciate it the more people you tell the more listeners we have, the more episodes we can do. So please tell a friend about our show. And also leave us a review whatever podcast platform you might be listening to the show. Let us know what you think of it. Leave us a review. We read every review and it helps us improve and also lets us know what you like. So anyway, enough about all that let’s get on to the main event my interview with Cody stack.
Today on the show we had Cody step from Salt Lake City let me tell you in more podium now Cody stack is a 28 year old realtor and he’s also a real estate investor based in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been working as a realtor for six years and has climbed into the top 1% of agents by volume in just within his first two years, which is absolutely incredible. Although Cody has found success with selling real estate his real passion is real estate investing. He loves to invest the money urines back into real estate the exact product he sells. And over the past five years, Cody has acquired 15 rental units Currently has five more under contract. Now in addition to being an investor himself, Cody also works with new and experienced investors and property developers he’s worked with brand new investors to buy their first rental property as well as investors who have been buying and selling real estate for over 50 years. At the end of the day, Cody believes that investing in real estate is the number one way to build wealth and live an amazing lifestyle. Now Cody would like to talk I’m sorry apologize. I was just getting into you’re talking about scoring Cody I’m sorry about that. So I want everybody though to before we Cody comes on I want you to check out his YouTube channel. We’re going to be referencing a lot of that today in the strategy he uses to attract investors and also buyers and sellers to his business, which you can find him at living in Salt Lake City. So easiest way to do that. Go to YouTube type in living in Salt Lake City. Look for Cody’s name comes right up and subscribe and check out the videos that he makes. But Cody, welcome to the show. Yeah, I’m happy to be here. Thank you. I’m excited to excited to have you there’s a number of things about you that are absolutely remarkable. Number one first and this is something that that you wouldn’t necessarily know from the intro, which is you are you do not work for another real estate firm. You have your own real estate office and it’s you as a solo practitioner. So not only are you
Cody Steck 4:40
sorry, I do actually have my license underneath a broker I’m actually with with real broker, but I got you I apologize. Yeah, but it is still it is still your thing assumption. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think maybe you and I got a little confused when you’re talking about it, but I I still have my license underneath a broker but I do everything 100% on my own. So I
Yeah, apologies if I if there was no, no, it’s it gets confusing these days because companies like EXP and real. For anyone who out there who might not be familiar with real real is sort of the newer kid on the block has a similar model to exp. And so that makes perfect sense why someone like you, you would be with with great companies, both of them. I’m fans of both, I think I think, for me, I always joke that I think real has like a much cooler, like, logo and presence. exp is a little older, so that, you know, their stuff looks a little bit more dated. But I always love reels reels. From a marketing perspective, I think they have really cool looking stuff. But anyway, but you have done a lot in your early part of your career here. Number one, starting your career when you were what 22 or so that’s not easy. You know, there aren’t a lot of people that I knew at that age friends of mine who are buying and selling real estate. So that would have limited my opportunities for sure. I love that you have within a couple years of starting your business, you were a top producer, you are still a top producer. Oh, and your by the way, you you also, you know, have your own investment portfolio that you’re putting together. And we I was talking to Cody earlier about just how remarkable he is. And so I just wanted to highlight a couple of those things before we get into your story. Because I think in particular, you’ve done a lot. So I think, you know, the sky’s the limit, I’m sure but you’re already doing real well, of course. But I’d like to start all the way back at the beginning. So I’d love to learn more about why you got into real estate at such a young age. And then how you got started. You know, I again, I just think gosh, that seems like the hardest thing to do as a 20. You know, early 20 year old 20, early 20s. person, so tell us a little bit about it. Yeah, absolutely. So
I got started in real estate actually, for whatever reason, it was always a goal of mine to buy my first house. As soon as I got out of high school. I was like I want to buy my first house. I’m going to try and make this happen as soon as possible. I don’t know why maybe I had, you know, something to prove or, or whatever. I don’t know. But I wanted to buy a house. So I was going to the community college, I was working just a normal job that a 19 year old, you know, works. I was actually working at a go kart race track
for a couple years. And it was a great job was a lot of fun. I’m into cars, I’m into racing and stuff. So it was a great job. But I mean, it was it was like 13 bucks an hour. So it wasn’t anything great. But that’s how I got started. And, you know, I went I went to the community college and was working at the same time, saved up some money, eventually found a townhome to go out there and buy just a cheap little townhome, rough part of town. But it was about all I could afford on 13 bucks an hour. So
moved into the place, made one mortgage payment and then realized, wow, you know, being an adult and paying a mortgage kind of sucks. So I got two roommates after that, because it was a three bedroom place. So I got two roommates, and the roommates the rent that they were paying was almost enough to cover my entire mortgage. I mean, I was living in this house for like 200 bucks a month. And that’s when it kind of clicked I’d never been interested in real estate or knew anything about it even. But it kind of clicked. I’m like, You know what, if I actually move back in with my mom who has lived with before, I could then rent out that third bedroom and I’m making money every month, right? I’d be making two 300 bucks a month. And you know, for a 21 year old kid making 13 bucks an hour. That’s not bad, right? I was thinking man a couple 100 bucks, it goes a long way. I mean, I’d love an extra 200 bucks a month now I think that’s I think it’s it’s, you know, because really, you know, yeah, that amount isn’t going to excite somebody, but sort of guaranteed to get that for the rest of your life. Assuming you can hold on to it. That’s that’s that’s good money. And also you’re like, I mean, you sort of stumbled upon what, I guess is a version of house hacking, where it very very trendy right now to do so. Yeah, I love that. It seems like a lot of kids in college but like a lot of parents will do that sometimes if they’re forward thinking enough they have a child in college and instead of just you know paying the rent, they’ll they’ll do that. So get some roommates cover them cover the mortgage and you know, you get to live free so awesome. Yeah, absolutely. So
yeah, basically house hack that first place that kind of got my my head spinning on real estate investing, and actually started going to these investor clubs, going to different meetups and luncheons, and stuff like that and got started on the real estate investing side did that for about six, seven months trying to figure out my next move, and then eventually decided, You know what, I’m just gonna start selling real estate. I really liked this. I’m spending a lot of time doing it. I’m learning a lot. Why not just try my hand is selling and jumped in Super naively didn’t know what I was doing. I had never done sales before but just jumped in and just said, you know, I’m just gonna figure this out. And you know, I like it enough that I think I can be successful and it was a grind. In the beginning it was a
grind, you know, after I jumped in with both feet, you know, I got my license and I quit my job dropped out a dropped out of college and started selling. And that first year, I think I made 14 $15,000, which was not a lot, right. And then from there, the second year, it really took off. And that’s when I was really able to climb in and start producing, you know, at a high volume.
D.J. Paris 10:24
Yeah, it’s, it’s amazing. The fact that yeah, you you, you sort of suffered through a $14,000 year, which, by the way, not uncommon, right, for people even who are, you know, you who have who’s who are starting it in their 30s or 40s, sometimes it’s or later, it’s not just a young person’s challenge, but it’s, it’s everyone’s challenge, although certainly a harder, I would suspect a harder challenge, in most cases for somebody of your age, because again, I’m assuming your peer group wasn’t lining up ready to buy, you know, buy a condo, you know, your friends are probably, you know, just like anyone struggling to figure out what they want to do with their lives, you know, graduating college, some of them and, you know, going off and doing other things and moving to write. So it’s like, there’s just a lot, a lot of things that would make it I think, really difficult for you know, somebody in their 20s, early 20s, to really be successful. And at least, you know, here in Chicago, we’re sort of lucky, because there’s such a strong rental market that a lot of times younger agents will start off just doing rentals, because it you know, their friends are renting. So it’s a good way just to sort of stay busy, and then hope that the sales pick up, but I love the fact that you did. And the other reason to have getting a license even before realizing that you wanted to sort of be an, you know, an agent working with buyers and sellers, is it gonna save you a ton on the Commission’s when you know, of course, when you buy or buy or sell something. So
super, super forward thinking super smart, the fact that you had this figured out at a pretty young age, again, just buying a home on a $13 an hour sort of salary is like the idea of that is so far beyond what what i’ve what I would have thought of at that age. So I really applaud you for jumping in and, and starting your business. So what in those early years, you talked about it being a grind? Do you remember what worked for you? Because we have a lot of people who are listening who are in their first couple of years? And you know, they’re in that grind right now. And any advice or things that you would suggest to somebody who said, I’m just about to get started? What What should I focus on? Yeah, you know, that’s a really good question. So when I got started, I joined a team, which I’m really glad I did, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t be in the business today. Because it’s a grind, you know, there’s a lot of failure, you don’t know what you’re doing. You know, I was 22 at that point, I have a baby face. That’s why I have to carry this facial hair. It’s like, you know, there’s like the there’s like the you go out there you meet somebody, it’s a 49 year old person buying their second house and you’re like, I’m I’m 21? You know, 22? I don’t I don’t know much. So, I mean, sure. I mean, there was things working against me. But there was also things on my side, right, it got a lot of time to build a business. Yeah.
Cody Steck 13:14
A lot of hustle, you know, and that’s just kind of what it took. So in the beginning, with that team, we did, we did everything we did for sale by owners expireds door knocking open houses, Facebook ads, Google ads, you know, pay per click stuff, we did pretty much everything. The only thing that really worked for me was the Facebook ads and the Google Pay Per Click, you know, those leads that come in, they sign up on your website, you call them up, you know, start your sales pitch and,
you know, try to try to sell them a house. So that’s how I got started, I stopped expireds I sucked it for sale by owners, I knocked on 57 doors and never knocked on another one again, because it just wasn’t my thing. Which by the way, those things all work, right. If you get good enough at them, every single method of lead generation will work. It just wasn’t for me. So in the beginning, I did a lot of Facebook and Google ads, you know, this pay per click. For the first four or five years, that’s pretty much that was the majority of my business, you know, this is back in 2000 got my license and 15. So, you know, 2015 1617 18, even into 19 a little bit, it was mostly just those leads, you know, that were coming in, I got pretty good at it. You know, I’d be setting spending anywhere from 500 to $1,000 to get a closed transaction. Right? Isn’t that you know, you spend, let’s say 1000 bucks. Oh, that’s,
D.J. Paris 14:38
that’s a nice return. Yeah, you
Cody Steck 14:40
get an $8,000 Check or something, right. So no, in fact,
D.J. Paris 14:43
I will give you all of my money if you do that. Because that’s like the world’s greatest investment. And it’s not a passive investment. Of course, it’s, it requires a obviously a ton of work, but but the end result is that’s a good return.
Cody Steck 15:00
Yeah, yeah, it was really good. It was really good return. But the thing that I realized was one, it wasn’t scalable, because as soon as I stopped calling the leads dried up, right that these were not calling me, even though I generated, I don’t know, five to 10,000 leads, I don’t know the exact number, but it was a lot of names and numbers over the years. I mean, I maybe had five people who actually reached out to me and said, Hey, I’m on your website, you know, I’m interested in this house, can you help me? Most people are not are not calling me. So one, it wasn’t scalable. And then two, I kind of just hated it, you know, you when you’re making that sales call, you’re coming from a position of a Salesman, right? And not the authority, you don’t have the control, you’re basically almost in a way, like, kind of almost begging those people like, Hey, let me help you, let me help you, you know, find a house, let’s meet up like, you’re really trying to sell them. And that’s difficult. You know, I mean, real estate is a sales game. But more than that, it’s a it’s a people game, you know, it’s it’s about relationships, it’s about building those relationships, and making friends in the business. So, you know, that was, that was kind of the tipping point where I just realized and said to myself, you know, what, I’m kind of tired of this, like, I, I’m tired of making these calls, I was starting to get some referrals and past clients and stuff. And I’m like, you know, what, I need to transition my business, you know, sooner than later, or else I’m going to be the guy that’s, that’s calling every single, you know, every single day for the next 20 years.
D.J. Paris 16:26
Yeah, it’s so interesting. I think I think what you just said is really important, because I know a lot of agents have have sort of, not that they’ve painted themselves into a corner, because a look, that’s a great return, you know, when you’re, you’re spending $1,000, to then get, you know, a $7,000 net profit. What sounds awesome, we’d all do that. Except those calls are difficult. And, and a lot of times people who are completing, you know, you’re you’re having to call somebody multiple times, often. Right? And it’s, it’s, it’s still a pretty cold lead, right. It’s, it’s warmer than if you were calling an expired or for sale by owner, but, but just slightly, right. And it’s still like, yeah, like you were saying, you generated 10,000 leads, you know, it’s, it definitely works. And here, we know that it works, because we’re all getting spammed for the last couple of years from these email accounts that are like, Hey, I’m generating lots of leads online, are you interested? I think all realtors are getting these, these emails, because of course, it does work. But you’re right, it’s not really scalable, you know, unless you were hiring, you know, in an ISA, which is an inside sales agent, you know, and they sort of tackle everything and then refer it over to you or someone else. But even that’s hard, because you have to manage somebody and you have to, you know, just, it’s a lot of work. And so you’ve you’ve transitioned a bit from sort of generating colder leads now to working more by referral. But we should I really want to talk about, you know, your youtube content, because I think this is such a missed opportunity for so many agents who, you know, go well, I’m not really that adept at, you know, doing social media, and I don’t always know, sort of the best practices there. And it’s like, no, I think that’s right. I think most agents aren’t going to spend a year studying, you know, sort of YouTube SEO or, or Facebook, SEO and really getting a sense or, or just Facebook ad stuff. And it’s, it’s tough, but what I love is realtors have the content that people are searching for on YouTube. They’re hyperlocal they know, they’re all they should at least they should know their area. And what let’s talk about what you do on YouTube, that I that has been really successful for you. So can you talk a little bit about your YouTube channel and how it works to generate business for you?
Cody Steck 18:49
Sure, absolutely. So I didn’t know it at the time. But back in 2019, you know, I was getting burned out with those Facebook leads and you know, just kind of thought, You know what, I need to do more on social media and branding that was a part of my life where I kind of, you know, had this like this revolution, I guess where I realized, you know, what, I really kind of need to like build a brand around myself who I am what I am online, and just put myself out there because you know, social media does work. Everybody says it works. You just got to be strategic about it consistent, all that stuff. So I first started making videos actually kind of just for fun, you know, like it was just kind of a creative outlet, and then quickly realized, Hey, I’m actually getting views on my videos, you know, and we’re talking small amounts of views, you know, 510 15 views, for sure. Beginning but it ramped up pretty quickly. Right? And you know, I was making videos from everything from what it’s like to live in my area, the best neighborhoods, the worst neighborhoods, where to buy a house what new construction looks like the pros and cons of living in an area. The cost of living these names Road tours have been really beneficial as well. So I’m making videos all about my local market. And it’s basically just me talking about it. So I come up with the title, I look at what people are actually searching for, and then say, okay, how can I provide some type of content for that. So if you just go into your own market, and you know, you go into YouTube, and just type in living in Miami, Florida, right, you’re gonna get a number of videos that pop up, look at what those titles are, copy those titles, and then make your own video about that, you know, that’s exactly what I’ve done. When I got started, nobody was doing this in my market, and very few people were doing it around the country even at that time. So a lot of agents are kind of making videos on like, here’s how an inspection works, or here’s how a 1031 exchange works, or here’s how to stage your home or whatever. And the reality is, most people don’t care about that. They’re not searching for that. They’re not searching, how does a home inspection work? Right? It’s just not right, like, unless you get, you might get one guy who’s searching for that. But, you know, there’s nobody’s searching for that, basically. And so you really got to make content surrounding what people are actually looking for, and what they want to see. So like I said, just go on to YouTube, type in your city name. And it’s going to come up with a ton of suggestions. You know, like here in Utah, one of my best actually, my my best video is what it’s like to live in Utah as a non Mormon.
D.J. Paris 21:21
Yeah, I want to pause pause for a second because that’s exactly what I wanted to talk about. So I apologize for cutting off your, your flow there, you’re doing great, I just want to pause and give you my my observations of that video in particular, because for anyone out there who’s like, I don’t make videos, I don’t have, you know, a lot of production skills. I don’t know how to add graphics, I don’t know how to, you know, really make I don’t have proper equipment. And please forgive me because I am in no way suggesting there’s anything wrong with your video here. But I think it’s a perfect sort of demonstration of that, really, anyone and I again, I’m sort of making the sound like it’s not so cool, because it is super cool. But you are literally sitting in front of your your computers behind you, you have a couple of screens, you have a microphone in front of you, you’re you’re wearing you know your baseball hat, you’re you’re talking in front of the camera, no special setup here at all. And you were literally just talking for about 1314 minutes about what it’s like to be a non Mormon living in Utah. And I will tell you, that would be the very first thing I would search for as a non Mormon if I was moving to Salt Lake City, right? That’s exactly or anywhere in Utah, I would be like I curious what it’s like to be there to be there if I’m not part of of, you know, the the Mormon faith. So I love this video. And by the way, how many views does Cody have on this video 79,000 views. So this is he he does have some graphics that show up. It’s pretty minimal production, though. And I don’t mean that in any sort of pejorative negative way. I think it’s inspiring because that content is so valuable, that it doesn’t have to be cutting edge beautiful. It just has to be good content. And it is. And I’m sorry, I stole all your thunder on that one. But I am such a fan of this video. I want everybody to check it out, just search for living in Utah, non Mormon and it’ll pop right up or go to his channel. But can you talk a little bit about that video in particular, and, and just the results you’ve had from it?
Cody Steck 23:31
Yeah, absolutely. So I got started making videos, like I said about pros and cons, the cost of living neighborhood tours, all this stuff. And as I was doing my research, I kept, you know, looking at YouTube, trying to figure out what people are searching for doing some of that SEO research. And this title kept coming up, you know, living in Utah as a non Mormon. And for a long time, I was like, I don’t want to make that video, you know, it’s controversial. You know, I’m like, am I going to be steering people? Am I going to be Yeah, giving that information as a realtor, you know, with my ethical duties or whatever. And, and I was just kind of thinking, I’m just like, Oh, God, I don’t know, I’m not ready for that. Right. Then one day, you know, I just figured, you know what, let me just put it out there. You know, let’s see what happens. So, like you said, I’m filming in my office. Not high production quality at all. I mean, those if you go back and look at some of my first videos, they’re terrible. The audio is bad, the lighting is bad. I’m stumbling, the editing is bad. I mean, it’s just a bad video all the way around. But they do really well. And for this video, it’s no different. I’m sitting in the office baseball cap on regular clothes.
D.J. Paris 24:37
You look you look like a normal guy. You don’t look like a realtor. Because you’re in this video. You’re sort of not you’re just a non Mormon guy talking about what it’s like to live in Utah, which is exactly what I would want to know if I removing there. Sorry, go ahead.
Cody Steck 24:52
Exactly. And that’s the thing that’s underlying that that I want people to see or hear is that it doesn’t matter. matter what you look like what you wear, what the video is, people, the thing that’s amazing about YouTube and just video in general is it gets people to know you, like you and trust you. This is one thing that one of my real estate coaches taught me early on, he said, those are the three things you need, in order for somebody to do business with you, they have to know you, obviously, right? They have to like you, they have to like you as a person, and they have to trust you, they have to trust that you have the ability and the knowledge to do the job that they’re asking you to do. Right? So for me, when I’m talking about these areas, or I’m talking about what it’s like to live here, this or that, it gives people the confidence to know, hey, I live in this area. And I know a lot about it, you know, I can give you advice on like, Hey, if you’re a single person, you probably don’t want to live in this area that’s super family focused, or vice versa, if you got a big family, you probably don’t want to live in the hip part of town where it’s mostly single people going to college, right? Like, it’s just those kinds of different things that you have the insight on, and people want to see. So when you get those three things, then people start to do business with you. And that’s the thing I love about this video is or just what I’ve been able to do now is that now I’m the I’m in the position of authority. People are searching for this content, they see my face, they see my videos, they hear my voice, and they start watching videos, you know, and I’ve had people call me and tell me, hey, you know, I just watched 27 of your videos. And now I’m talking to you, this is kind of weird, but like, you know, I’m calling some random guy off of YouTube to ask him real estate questions. And I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve gotten like that. And the thing that I love about it is, I’m already in a position of authority, right? Because they are reaching out to me, I’m not, I’m no longer making that sales call to say, Hey, let me show you this house. Let me meet with you. Let me show you how to list your home or whatever, these guys are reaching out to me almost begging to work with me. You know, they’re, they’re saying, Hey, I’m moving there, or I just moved here, I need help finding a place, can you help me, and they’re basically begging me to like work with them. And it’s, it’s still mind blowing to this day. And it’s been almost three years. So the thing about YouTube is, you just got to be yourself. It’s all about branding. It’s all about building a persona, if you will, around who you are, and what you do in your business. And that relates to all aspects, you know, sellers, buyers, investors, developers, new construction, it doesn’t matter. It all works. It just depends on what you focus on.
D.J. Paris 27:27
Yeah, I, there’s, you have another video that I am a big fan of the title, which is called what nobody will tell you about living in Salt Lake City, which I love that because years ago, I wrote an article this is this was like, I should have made a video but I wrote an article for realtors, who are people who are just passed their exam, who are newly licensed, who are now trying to figure out what firm to go out. And I wrote, well, I’m a real estate recruiter, I sort of know the tricks of real estate recruiting, why don’t I expose some of these more smoke and mirrors stuff about recruiting and sort of just tell people, here’s here, if I were a new agent, knowing what I know, here’s what I would look for when I was, you know, interviewing firms. Here’s here’s what to pay attention to, here’s what’s kind of, you know, just a little bit of, you know, exaggerated whatever. And, you know, and I thought, well, maybe somebody would find this interesting, and it ended up the, it has ended up being our most viewed page on our on our recruiting website. We don’t even promote it, it’s just buried behind many other pages. But because people search for that on on on YouTube, on Google, in this case, this like what recruiters don’t want you to know, I think it’s the title about real estate recruiting or whatever I titled differently than that, but something like that. And that’s a great also tied because I was I remember, I really got into this when I was, I was on a my dad and I went to Ireland several years ago, and we were going to all these little cities, and we had our travel guide book, but what we but you know, it’s like, well, that’s great and fine. And the Rick Steves book, or whatever we had, was was awesome. But it was also like, I kind of wanted someone else’s opinion of maybe people who live there. And so every morning before we would go to visit our you know, to two towns a day or three times a day, we would go to YouTube and say like coolest things to do in XYZ place or or, you know, what, where the locals hang out or like the really cool places. And we would do those kinds of searches. It was all YouTube. And we would listen to these YouTube videos in the cars were driving in. The power of this is so is so big. And I’m curious, just from Back to the living in Utah as a non Mormon. And I know it’s probably not super easy to quantify, but how many clients would you guess in the three years that that video has been up? How do you think you’ve received as a result?
Cody Steck 29:49
Yeah, so I’ve actually got the info right here. Let me just look on my computer and I can tell you exactly how many I’ve gotten. So here in Utah, we don’t do rentals for whatever reason, it’s just not Part of our buyers and sellers. So the leads that I’ve recorded here over the last two, almost three years, I’ve brought in 621 buyers and sellers, unbelievable. For clients, I mean, a lot of those, I guess you could call them clients or leads or whatever you want to say. But we brought in 621 people who’ve reached out to me, you know, people I didn’t know, literally from all across the world. And the last time I checked, this was maybe six months ago, I was at about a 7% closing ratio on those leads. Wow. So really, really high actually, like a lot of these leads that are coming through super high quality really interested to have money in the bank, good credit scores, you know, are ready to buy, you know, three 612 months, it varies, right? depends on the nature. But I’ve had some people who literally are in town, like you just said about Ireland, right? They’re in town, they’re like, Hey, I’m out here. I just accepted a job. I’m actually in town right now. Can we look at some houses? I’m like, Yeah, sure. Let’s meet tomorrow, we go look at some houses. And sure enough, put in an offer and have a deal, you know, in 30 days. So I mean, I’ve had deals like that literally, like come same day, just out of the blue. And yeah, the thing I love about YouTube is because these people already know me like me. And trust me, when they call me. There’s not even really a sales pitch. It’s just like, here’s what we’re gonna do. Here’s how the process works. Here’s what I’m gonna do for you. And most of the time, they’re like, great, sounds awesome. Like, when do we get started? You know, there’s no, there’s no sales pitch or anything. So, yeah, it’s good. And I mean, you know, going back to that video that you talked about, you know what, nobody will tell you about living in Salt Lake. I was actually doing that video. I decided to reach out to some of my clients who had moved here. And I just said, Hey, like, what? What did they learn once they got here? You know that they didn’t Excel? Yeah. I love that I was really kind of just looking for feedback, because then I knew those are the types of cars. Those are the types of questions I need to answer in my future videos. Because you know, you may not realize something about the weather, or the traffic or the snow that we get, or the Mormons or whatever, right? Like there might seem like you haven’t thought about, and that I can make video content around that. So I was really just looking for feedback, like a survey almost, and then decided, You know what, let me make a video out of this. And I titled it, you know what, nobody will tell you because these are things that I didn’t even think about. And I think that’s like my second or third best video on my channel. You know, a lot of really great response from it. So I have
D.J. Paris 32:35
I have a video title for you. Because it’s the exact question I asked before we went live. I used to a million a million years ago, I used to work for Anheuser Busch and I, we I was telling Cody, I used to sort of travel the country doing things for them. And we never did anything in Salt Lake City. And this is like 2000 2001, because Salt Lake City had very strict, very strict rules around alcohol. And so I was like, Oh, is it still just still really strict there? And he was like, no, no, it’s changed a lot. And so I have a video for you how alcohol works in Salt Lake City, because there’s been a lot of us who have never been there. We just We know there’s like alcohol situation. It used to be kind of more unusual. And, of course, that’s something people want to know who are moving there, too. So I don’t know if you’ve done that video yet. But I imagine that’ll be a great one for you.
Cody Steck 33:23
Yeah, I did it. I did a quick little two minute video. It’s done pretty well, I don’t know. 5000 10,000 views. I haven’t looked at it. But you’ve already done that. I love it already done it. Yeah, I just I just it was titled like weird alcohol laws in Utah or something. And I just talked about, like, hey, you know, here’s what you can get. And here’s what you can’t get. And here’s what not and you know, the percentage volumes are a little bit different and whatever. Yeah, so I mean, people are looking for that type of content. And that’s the thing that’s really important. That is not real estate specific, right, but not somebody who loves alcohol and wants to be able to get a drink. That’s something they’re going to be looking at. And they appreciate that type of content. So you know, making videos around what people are looking for is really, really important. And it’s going to vary from market to market, right? Obviously, if you’re in Pennsylvania, and making a video about Mormons is not going to do very well. If you’re in Miami, Florida, making a video about how much it snows there is not going to do very well. So like it’s really market specific. You have to you have to look at your market and say, who’s moving here? What are they looking for? What questions do they have? What information do I need to give to them and then make video around that?
D.J. Paris 34:31
And you you said something very important, which is like okay, how do you figure out this content? Well, you basically did that by reaching out to your clients and saying, Hey, what do you wish you would have known? Or rather, you had a different question was what are some of the cool things that people don’t know about? You know, here in Utah, and then you were able to take that content and make videos, but it could have you could really have asked a different question to which is what do you wish you would have known before moving to Utah, and then that’s content for you or, you know, like you were Saying you can just look it up on YouTube, see what videos already exist, see what videos seem to get a lot of traction. And because I know for me, a lot of times when I ask a question, like, for example, what it’s like to be a non Mormon in Utah, I will watch a couple because I want to get a couple different perspectives. So even if someone’s already done that video, and it’s got, you know, hundreds of 1000s of views, and you’re like, well, that’s the one people are gonna hit. Yeah, they will. And they might hit another two or three, just to get additional opinions. I know I do that. So even if it’s something that’s already well established, you’re like, Oh, that guy’s already got all the views. It’s like, well, yeah, but, but it’s good to have a second opinion. And you never know what’s going to hit either. Right? Like, could be anything really. And the other thing too, and I just want to make this point, because it might not be so obvious to our listeners, is you also get referrals for business outside of Utah, right?
Cody Steck 35:53
Yeah, so most of the people that I help are relocating here to the area, Salt Lake City has become kind of a tech hub. So there’s a lot of tech companies that are here, bringing in, you know, high paying employees, high paid employees for those positions. And so there’s a lot of people moving in from out of state, of course, the whole pandemic thing accelerated that with people moving around market going crazy. But, yeah, I have generated a lot of referrals, because those people who are generally moving here already own a home. So during that first call, you know, we talked about that a little bit. And if the opportunity presents, I say, Hey, let me help you find an agent in where you know, XYZ city that you’re moving from, let me help you, you know, find somebody who knows how to do relocation so we can make sure to make this a smooth transition for you. And, you know, I’d say 30 to 40% of the time, they’re on board with that they’re like, yeah, that’d be great. Please help us. You know, a lot of times they do have agents already. And that’s fine, whatever. But I mean, sort of really just bring it up during that initial call and get a referral out of it. It’s a pretty easy sell most of the time.
D.J. Paris 36:55
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Cody Steck 39:53
Yeah, absolutely. So, bigger pockets is a great online resource. Of course YouTube is great as well. Well, if you’re into videos, I mean, I almost like feel like I don’t even watch TV anymore because I watch a lot of YouTube. Because I get to watch for exactly what I want, right, and you find these personalities and you learn from them. So YouTube’s great. And then also, the third thing I’d recommend is look at your area and find out where the investor associations are at. So just type in your city, you know, for here, for here in my market, I just type in, you know, go to Google type in Salt Lake City Real Estate Investors Association, that’s the name of the association that’s here that I’m a part of, and they do monthly meetups that are more formal. And then they have like weekly luncheons that somebody will actually host. So there’s, I don’t know, a couple 100 investors. And some of these guys are big shots. You know, some of these guys have lots of money. They’ve been doing it for a long time, they’ve got tons of experience. And there’s a lot of deals, trading hands that Realtors don’t even know about whether it’s rental properties, or fixing flips, or big commercial deals. I mean, there’s a lot of big hitters at these associations. So I’d get involved with something like that, you know, are you going to walk up to the big hitter and pick up his business? No, probably not. But you know, there’s going to be other people there who are trying to learn and you just network with them. It’s just a big networking thing. And you meet these people, and, you know, build a relationship with them and say, Yeah, you know, I’m just getting, I’m just getting started with investing to Oh, hey, I have my license, you know, maybe I can, maybe we can partner, maybe we can, I can sell you a deal. I can represent you on a deal or, or whatever, you know, it’s all about, you know, one thing that I noticed is when you make that shift of this isn’t just a lead, but I’m building relationship here, this is a friend, that’s a major shift, and then also making the shift from, hey, I’ve got a client, I’m gonna go find a deal for them. If you can find the deal. First, you almost always can find a client for that deal, right? And so I almost like to say, Hey, I work for the deal. I don’t work for the seller, I don’t work for the buyer, I work for the deal. And that might be putting the deal together. It might be bringing in an investor on a on a property. It might be, you know, investing myself, I don’t know, it could be anything, but just kind of making those mental shifts really goes a long way. At least it did for me.
D.J. Paris 42:10
Yeah. And that’s that’s the thing we hear over and over again, when we have had investors on the show, as they said, the finding the money is the easy part, the finding the deals the hard part, because everyone’s always looking for a great deal. Like jokingly I said earlier, I’ll give Cody all my money if he can turn 1008 1000. You know, of course, anybody would take that offer in a split second. But finding the deal is really and I think to going to these meetups, so you’re absolutely right. Like here in Chicago, it’s called the Chicago what, there’s a million of them. So there’s lots of these investor associations, bigger pockets also can connect you with that stuff. But what’s great is, you know, apprentice with some of these investors, most a lot of them don’t even have their real estate license. But I would I would say, can I spend time with you, I want to learn how you evaluate a deal, what do you look for, it’s just a great place to learn it, I have found that the investor community is very, in my experience, they have been very helpful to each other. There’s a lot of support that goes on, which sometimes doesn’t happen as much on the realtor side. You know, sometimes there’s Realtors feel like they’re in competition. But I like a lot of times, I don’t get that sense as much with investors where they’re, they’re very open to share a lot of them, you know exactly how they find and process deals. And, you know, it’s a great opportunity to learn and add those skills.
Cody Steck 43:29
Yeah, yeah, it absolutely is. And I think my perspective, I would agree with you, I think my perspective is that investors, no one that it’s relationship, realtors kind of forget to remember that sometimes, believe it or not, but investors really know, hey, this is really about the relationship, either their relationship with the seller, or the person you’re trying to wholesale a deal to, or whatever it may be. So relationships are really important. But also it’s kind of the personality, it’s also kind of the, the MO, if you will, behind why people invest, right? People who go to these investor meetings are trying to level up, become a better person invest in themselves, and invest in property so that they can, you know, build a portfolio and get to the point where they can support their family better, right. And they’re always trying to level up. And I think people are willing to share when they when you get into that mindset of like, there’s a lot of deals out there, you know, I can’t handle every single one myself. So like, if somebody else picks up the deal, that’s great. And it’s all about just like putting yourself out there and continuing to build those relationships. So, I mean, yeah, I know, we’re kind of running a little short on time, but I mean, I would love to talk more about that if the opportunity ever came back up, you know, like, yeah, definitely,
D.J. Paris 44:41
we can definitely bring you back for that. I want to finish just just by sort of going recapping some of our, our video strategy because again, so much of us might even be posting videos on Facebook, Instagram. You know, really, those are the two places where Realtors they’re doing reels are stories and that’s great. And it absolutely will help you deepen the relationships you already have with your sphere of influence and anyone else who follows you. However, it’s a little trickier I think, especially on Facebook, Facebook is a friend to friend network, of course, although you know, there’s, you know, business pages a realtors have business pages as well. But typically people who find you are going to be people that already know you, unless you’re running ads, of course, and then, you know, that’s a whole different thing. But Instagram kind of the same thing. Yeah, people search by hashtags, too. But you know, it’s not the easiest way to find people. But YouTube is a total search engine, that’s really I always say, YouTube is, is exclusively, first and foremost, a search engine. In fact, I think it’s the number two search engine right behind Google, of course, Google owns that as well. But it really is, it’s think of it as a search engine. And so this is an opportunity. So what Cody’s done with very little, you know, investments, I mean, you know, probably everybody’s got the same equipment that you used to create some of your videos just in their phone even, or at least a comparable equipment, although, you know, you have a nice mic and all of that but, but you know, the fact is, is content is king and and as Realtors you have the content? Or if you don’t have it, ask your clients. Boy, what do you wish you would have learned and as a result of you putting up content on a regular basis, and it takes time, in fact, Cody quick question. If somebody were Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sort of jumbling myself, I’m gonna pause, go back to something, I realized I’m all over the place what I was gonna say about YouTube versus Facebook and Instagram, YouTube is a search engine, Facebook is more of I’m going to scroll through and see what comes up. YouTube is, is a little bit of that, but I think most people go to it, to to search for things. So you know, this is an opportunity for you as an agent to make content that people are already searching for. It doesn’t have to be, you know, the, you don’t have to have, you know, a production degree. And you have to have a whole team of makeup artists and graphic designers, you can literally just do it yourself as long as the content is good. And that’s what realtors are. They know content. They know the best bars in there in the neighborhoods, they know the best restaurants, they know the coolest retail shops, they they know, the best schools this in you know, of course, as you said, You’ve got to be very careful to make sure you’re compliant and not violating any any ethics. Or, you know, any sort of compliance regulations or licensed law. But let’s let’s just think about like, you just talked about one video and I know not every video, you know, is going to do this. Well. You just talked about one video getting over 40 clients that what did that video about being a non Mormon? What did that cost you to produce? Like the total cost of it? What would you say? For you know, what, how much money did you put into that video?
Cody Steck 48:00
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I can’t remember exactly. If I had my virtual assistant editing my videos at that point, I think I did. Some of the graphics in there, I don’t know how to even put into the video myself. You know, I know how to edit the basics, but I must have had my virtual assistant editing for me. So that was maybe three hours worth of time to script out the video and then film it and then send it off to my editor, he put in probably, I don’t know, six hours to edit it. And you know, it’s a virtual assistant. So it’s like four bucks an hour. So it probably cost me $25 To make that that was my editing.
D.J. Paris 48:37
And three years later, you’ve got over 40 clients and and hundreds of other people that I’m guessing are on like an email list or, or some sort of follow up campaign depending on what information you have about them. But 4040 actual clients, less than 100 $1 spend. Now, why did this happen? Because the most important thing on YouTube is content. Cody created really great content. Did it look great? Not really. But it sounded great because it was great. And that is the key and anybody can do that. And I apologize I’m making Cody sound like your videos look terrible. They don’t they look great. But there’s we’re not talking about a high production value. And the point I’m making is Could somebody else have done this exact video? Totally now they wouldn’t have been Cody, they wouldn’t have it his personality, but somebody else and probably other people have tried. But Cody now you know has it that’s just one video. So there is so much opportunity out there for agents to just start putting out content and just realize when it lives on Facebook and Instagram, it’s more disposable. It’s it’s there, it’s gone. It might hit some of your friends feeds maybe 3% of your friends or followers will see it that’s about it. But on YouTube that lives forever and if it’s good quality content and you can always update it too. That’s that’s something you can always do too. But So I just I love that you’re doing this, I think it is so smart. And oh, by the way, you know, so I wanted to ask you one more question, because we’re bouncing around a bit. So you make this video, somebody’s like, Hey, I’m moving from, you know, wherever some other state, other city and you’re like, I don’t know any realtors in that area, but they go, you know, I actually do need to sell my home before I move into Utah. And then Cody goes, no problem, I can help you with that. How do you go about sourcing and finding somebody that can assist in their hometown? And I mean, I already pretty much know what I think you’re gonna say, but let’s talk about that. Because you’re getting a referral commission on those do.
Cody Steck 50:36
Yeah, yeah, sure. So believe it or not, the first thing I usually do is I’ll look up their city on YouTube, you know, and see who’s doing YouTube in their area, because if they are, there’s a good chance they know about relocation, you know, relocation, there’s a couple extra things you need to know about people are making a move 500 1000 3000 miles across the country, sometimes even you know, international, and there’s a lot that goes into it. So I usually start with YouTube, I’ll say, Hey, who’s doing YouTube and selling houses in their area. If I can’t find anybody, then I usually reach out to either my mastermind group, which I’ve been a part of, for about six years, now we’ve got a pretty good referral network in there. Or, you know, worst case, I shouldn’t say worst case. But my third option is I go to the brokerage and just, you know, try to keep it in house and see if somebody else is able to do that. But, ya
D.J. Paris 51:26
know, or you could always you could also to just go to Zillow, and see who’s got the best reviews, if you absolutely, so finding realtors in these other areas, not difficult, there’s a million ways to do it.
Cody Steck 51:39
We’d love to have your business. So it’s not hard. Yeah. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 51:43
I mean, it’s it’s actually brilliant. We, you know, so I am such a such a big fan of what Cody is doing at such a young age. He’s, he’s and again, you know, I spent a lot of time on on sort of the YouTube component of it. But I think it is such an amazing opportunity that anyone can do. And you know, also, really, I encourage everyone to follow what Cody’s doing. The easiest way is to follow his YouTube channel, which is living in Ohio. I’m so sorry. My notes just shut? Yeah, living in Salt Lake City. Yeah,
Cody Steck 52:16
yeah, you can just type in my name. And that will bring up you know, other videos that I’ve done. I’ve got, I’ve actually got a handful of channels. We didn’t even talk about any of that. But, you know, I’ve done videos for other markets. So you can even just type in my name, and it’ll bring up additional content as well.
D.J. Paris 52:31
Yeah, and the name is Cody stack. And that’s cod y s t. E CK. And I have a last question for you. Yeah. Have you thought about making so you talked about making videos in other areas? Have you have you thought about getting information about a completely different area that you’re not, you know, you don’t live in, you don’t work in and you don’t know that well, and starting to develop content for there just to see if you can also get you know, and then just build referrals to other agents in that area. So you would make content for let’s say, Atlanta, Georgia, as an example where you don’t live? Have you thought about going into other markets and saying, What if I applied the same? Now, obviously, your knowledge would be different, you would have to spend more time learning about those areas. But have you thought about expanding into other cities? Yeah.
Cody Steck 53:16
So I do run another channel for St. George, Utah, which is about four and a half hours south of me. I don’t live there, but I make video content about it. And then I’ve got a partner there who’s boots on the ground. So I do all the videos, I run the channel, I do the editing, whatever, I take those first initial calls. And then as somebody comes in, you know, they say, Hey, I’m in town next week, and I look at houses, I’ll just say, hey, great, I’m going to be traveling or whatever, you know, I just tell him, I’m unavailable. My partner’s name is JD, I’m like, Hey, JD, he’s available, he’s in town. He’d love to show you some houses and then and then I just have a split setup with him. So I’m actually the face of the videos for that specific thing. And I don’t live in St. George, but I’m, you know, building the channel there. And then I’ve also partnered up with some agents as well, where I do all the backend so they actually do the filming and and work with the clients. But I do all the backend, kind of the YouTube management stuff. So we’ve attacked it from a couple different angles. And it’s been really good, but, you know, I’ve had the most success with with my main channel living in Salt Lake.
D.J. Paris 54:22
Sure, but I suspect too if anyone reached out to you for maybe a small smaller market where they said hey, can you make videos for my market just send me all the referrals you guys work out an arrangement that’s also an opportunity to so if anyone’s out there who goes you know, I’m not really good in front of a camera, but I would like to start participating. You know, maybe you’re the boots on the ground guy and again, there’s only so much of Cody to go around. But that might be an opportunity to right so that’s that’s another thing that agents can leverage, you know, and partner with you sometimes even in these other markets. So, you know, anyone out there has it as an opportunity saying hey, Cody, let’s Let’s work do some business. What if anyone does have those questions? Or maybe they want to partner with you? Or if they want to refer business to you for people that they have moving to the Utah area? What’s the best way that another agent should reach out to you?
Cody Steck 55:15
Yeah, so the best way is email. You send me an email, my email is pretty simple. It’s Cody cod. Why at fast Utah homes.com, just like it sounds, and yeah, just send me an email with an introduction on what you’re looking for. If it’s a referral, if you have questions, I’m a total open book, I’ll share anything you want to know. I’ll try to help you if I can. But email is the best way to get in touch just because I’m so busy throughout the day, you know, doing stuff like this or with clients or on the phone with with new leads or whatever, you know, sometimes calls and texts I’m not able to get to right away. So emails usually best for to get that introduction started.
D.J. Paris 55:50
Awesome. So again, that was Cody at fast Utah homes.com. Correct? Yep, yep. Awesome. Yeah. And check out faster Utah homes.com, as well, to see what all Cody’s content is also posted there. So you can find his YouTube channel, of course on YouTube living in Salt Lake City, but also find at fast Utah homes.com. Well, Cody, we are so grateful to have had you on the show. And I know we like to have you back to talk more on the investing side. But I just think you have captured I want to call it lightning in a bottle, except it’s not lightning in a bottle. It’s a ton of work. It’s really a something that anybody can do creating videos to attract other consumers. But it takes time it takes discipline, it takes the work of other people in your case, hiring virtual assistants, which absolutely can be affordable. Thank Thank God, we live in a gig economy. Now, world economy, a world gig economy, sorry, took me a few times to say that correctly, where we can put jobs out and say, Hey, who’s got a skill that can do this. And we’re not limited to the people in our local area. And we can find people from all over the world that will do it at a at a much lower price than maybe what we would have to pay in our existing area, and consistency and just getting it done. And then just, you know, seeing what happens. I know for this podcast, we didn’t really get any traction for at least a year. And we’ve we’ve spent no money on production or not no money on production, but but no money on marketing, but just trying to get content out there. So I just realized Cody just inspired me, as I’m saying goodbye to make videos for because I’m a real estate recruiter, I recruit agents to join our firm. I should be making videos about what agents are thinking about when they’re trying to evaluate firms. And I should do that for my specific market and become more of the knowledge source of hey, here’s here’s what you know, just like that blog post I wrote all those years ago. So you can just inspired me to take action and become the YouTube channel for agents trying to pick a real estate firm, so nobody’s steal that idea, please. But, but that’ll help me in the same way it’s helped Cody. So we’re huge fans of Cody stack. Please keep your eye on him. subscribe to his YouTube channel living in Salt Lake the show in the show notes. We’ll have a link right to his YouTube channel. Check out what he’s up to duplicate what he’s doing in your own local market guys. You can do this of course, guys, meaning men and women. So please do this. Cody, thank you so much for being on our show. We are huge fans of yours are 28 years old, you are a million miles ahead of where I was at 28. So I am jealous and also very proud of you. So congratulations on being a top producer and investor and a YouTuber at the same time. So for everyone out there who is listening, we call on behalf of Cody and I we say thank you for continuing to support our show. Please We ask you do one just one thing. Tell a friend think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing this amazing interview with Cody send them a link to our show. Best way to do that we have a website keeping it real pod.com Or if they’re already a podcast person, pretty much everyone listens to podcasts anyway, just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real and hit the subscribe button. So on behalf of our audience, we also think Cody for his time, Cody, it was such a pleasure and we will see everybody on next episode. Thanks Cody.
Cody Steck 59:21
My pleasure. Thank you