My One Year Of YouTube And Commercial Real Estate

My One Year Of YouTube And Commercial Real Estate

This week marks the one year anniversary of the launch of my YouTube Channel.

Reflecting back on what have I learned.

1.You must respect Charles in Charge!

Yes oh yes it does look easy. It is not. I like many of you have over the period of your lives watched a ton of  TV and thought ” hell I could do better than that”.

Guess what…you probably can’t. Hey, Scott Baio I tip my hat to you sir. Anyone else have the balls to do the same. That’s what standing in front of a camera will do to your brain.

2. Content Creation.

I started out with hundreds of ideas and still have hundreds of them. The difficulty was choosing which topics were the one’s that I had the most passion and interest in and then put on video.

Think about an industrial building…..keep thinking…see what I mean. Pretty boring…but maybe not so much.

Office buildings….still boring….I do like the decaying human in a cube wasting a precious life for the corporation angle. Hmmm.

Retail seems to be the easiest because it relates so much to the experience of shopping and interaction…unless your the father of two daughters. It’s Hell.

Adaptive reuse…now that has a lot of potential.

Airports as a hub of all cities in the future…not downtown’s.Think of Atlanta and Dallas. I think of the airports first too. Trend?

My point is this. Take the topics above and try and come up with visuals and text that makes a point entertains shows an opinion and do it in three minutes.

Oh and do one a week for a year.

3.Stats and Production.

At the very beginning I stuck my little camera up and let it roll. Raw,unedited,bad sound,and sunglasses.Hey, I had to start somewhere. What did I learn? Wow did I need help.

Enter Nathan at Ovation Studios. Nathan tracked me down on LinkedIn and shot me a message.”Hey maybe I can help you with your video’s.” I obliviously needed HELP and we struck up a professional/friendly relationship. You will never see the first stuff we shot….. it was brutal.

Nathan does all the camera work, editing, sound and formatting. Let’s remember what he has to work with!

Numbers: 9200 plus views on YouTube.

More importantly I post(embedded) all the videos on my blog and the hits for each get into the thousands.

4.What I would do differently.

Start with a list of at least 50 yes I said 50 topics and work on a solid 20 topics for at least a month before even thinking of filming.

Practice Practice Practice. I stand in front of my home video camera and Practice. Guess what? I still suck.

Time Effort and Money. Put in the time to make it worthwhile. Remember that your time has a value. 50 videos will cost x dollars. Be prepared to pay for quality.

The writing or content context part of this is where I would focus the most. The visual is not that difficult. The other is at times very hard to articulate.

5. Benefits?

Fame and fortune. Uh….NOT. If that is the reason you want to do videos for commercial real estate. Get a life!

Learning more about your market.

Gaining insight into your business and your customers business and helping pushing it forward.

Creating and OPINION about all commercial real estate. Priceless.

Interaction and reaction to the videos. 99% good and the rest….whatever.

Almost everyone that meets me for the first time mentions something about a video that I have posted. I call that brand recognition.

Finding clients in a completely different way. Some people don’t want to read and would rather listen and watch.

6.What’s Next?

More Google+ Recorded Hangouts.The technology is there…for free!

Broader topics. Examples: Logistics,Airports,Green,Leed, Sustainability,Interviews with Big Hitters….in a bar:):)

Travel to more cities and dig deeper into the commercial real estate business…and not the corporate fluffy stuff.

Document four brokers and how they do deals. Day in the life of how deals get done kind of thing.

One on one with Sam Zell unedited uncut and raw. Now that sounds like a video worth watching.

Interview 3-4 Co-Star reps about data……and try not to throw up.

Think a little harder about the offers of “sponsorship”. Is it selling out? Is it giving away control. I can fund the things and do,say,film,opine and rant whatever I want. Still thinking.

7. Was it worth it?

One year’s worth of YouTube video interviews,opinions,buildings,deals,attitude,learning…was it worth it? HELL YES!



Duke Long


  • As you know I do audios and videos for the CRE industry and also for authors and celebs. You have learned and done well and I wish I had a Nathan that would be great. I still have to do it all myself…

    All the hard lessons learned here are important.

    I would add….

    Sound over video quality is a must. Get a camera that has a mic jack and use it… having to hold the camera 6 inches from the subjects face so you can capture sound is ridiculous.

    Learn how to compensate for over and under exposure and if you really want it nice learn about white balance.

    If you cannot do a single take without screwing up. Do many small single takes.. It works fine if you know how to edit. Doing it in one take makes the editing process at that much easier however.

    People like to see faces so try not to do too many far shots. Fill the frame with head if you can.

    Have fun.. The camera can tell if your not.

    Bottom line… Do it all wrong before not doing it at all….. Like Duke says.. There will be a payoff for video content.

    All the Best

  • Video can be a scary thing. Initially I thought Google+ Hangouts would be a runaway hit, but it is amazing how hard it is to get folks in cre to use it. I assume they either do not have the technology (webcam/mic) or they are afraid of being recorded. Anyway, thanks so much Duke for the experience we had and I learned so much from that!! I definitely need tons and tons of practice, (along with a hair and make-up team for an extreme makeover)!! OMG! Boy it is not easy to watch yourself either. Happy 1 Year Anniversary and wishing you many, many more!!