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Inman contributor Brandon Doyle is interviewing 100 of the best and brightest minds in the housing industry this summer. His mission is to share dazzling advice from experts to help you better position your career development in any market.
Kyle Handy is not your average real estate agent. From selling homes to creating educational content, his journey in real estate has been nothing short of fascinating. Here’s a look into how he’s been leveraging the power of the digital age to revolutionize his career and the industry at large.
Handy, a San Antonio native, launched his career in real estate in 2008, immediately following his graduation with a degree in finance. His initial stint was in new home sales, where he spent five years honing his skills before deciding to venture out on his own.
“I started my own brokerage to gain financial independence,” Handy explains. “I was tired of the constant ups and downs of real estate commission life and wanted a more predictable and steady income stream.”
His independent journey led to the creation of Handy Realty. However, despite the freedom it offered, Handy found himself working more hours for less money. It was then that he discovered eXp Realty.
The company’s model of minimizing financial overhead, reducing liability and offering robust support resonated with Handy. He joined eXp in 2017, where he has since built a group of over 600 agents spanning 32 states.
Becoming a content creator
This shift marked the beginning of Handy’s ascent to digital prominence. He launched a blog and a YouTube channel, becoming a content creator who now reaches tens of thousands of real estate agents every month. His content, fueled by his resourcefulness and relentless learning spirit, is based on meticulous keyword research and careful planning.
Handy’s approach to content creation is strategic and systematic. He outsources video editing, which allows him to focus on delivering value to his audience. His online courses offer agents the opportunity to quickly learn and start implementing his strategies. He also publishes an annual income report, a transparent practice inspired by John Lee Dumas, creator of the Entrepreneurs On Fire podcast.
Handy attributes much of his success to his decision to become a content creator. “This has opened many doors and opportunities I never even knew existed,” he notes.
He believes that his daily quest to be the most helpful real estate agent has driven the growth of his YouTube and Instagram platforms. These platforms have become instrumental in building his business, bringing him messages from agents all over the world.
Breaking down the numbers
Currently, about 70 percent of Handy’s income comes from his revenue share with eXp Realty, 20 percent from affiliate, ad and course sales revenue, and 10 percent from real estate commissions and referrals — a stark contrast to 2018 when 90 percent of his income was commission-based.
When asked about his time management strategy, Handy shared, “In the beginning, I gave about 80 percent effort to sales and 70 percent effort to recruiting. Yes, that adds up to over 100 percent. That’s because I was working more than I had in the previous year(s) to get the revenue share off the ground.”
Handy’s YouTube channel recently surpassed 30,000 subscribers, garnering around 60,000 views per month. His YouTube journey started in 2018, but it wasn’t until Summer 2019 that he started posting content consistently. By July 2020, his channel was monetized. He now earns around $2,000 per month from ad revenue alone, with additional income from affiliate links, course sales and agent partnerships.
Even with his success, Handy remains grounded and relatable. He is quick to address negative comments with positivity and gratitude. The key aspects of his videos are the thumbnail, headline and the first 15 seconds — elements he believes significantly impact the success of his content.
Advice for getting comfortable on camera
His advice for fellow agents looking to get comfortable on camera is simple: “Start. That’s the hardest part. We’re our own worst critic and sometimes, it’s that internal voice of self-doubt that stops us from hitting the record button. But remember, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be authentic.”
Handy also suggests getting used to seeing yourself on video. Watch your recordings, notice your mannerisms, the way you speak, and improve from there. He encourages agents to embrace their individuality, as authenticity resonates with viewers far more than a polished but impersonal persona.
For those who worry about the technical aspects, Handy recommends starting small. “Don’t worry about having the perfect gear right off the bat. A smartphone with a good camera is more than enough to start. As you get more comfortable and start seeing the value in creating video content, then you can consider investing in better equipment.”
When it comes to content, Handy suggests focusing on providing value. “The purpose of your videos should be to educate, inform, or entertain. If you can do one, or better yet, all of those things, you’ll attract viewers who could potentially become clients.”
Handy also stresses the importance of consistency. “You can’t post a video once and then disappear for a month. Consistency is key. People should know when to expect new content from you.”
While Handy has certainly found success on YouTube, he cautions against relying on it as the sole marketing strategy. “It’s just one piece of the puzzle,” he says. “A strong online presence requires a multi-faceted approach. You need a good website, an active blog, a strong presence on the relevant social media platforms, and of course, great customer service.”
Handy encourages real estate agents to step out of their comfort zones and embrace the digital world. “The real estate industry is changing rapidly. If you’re not willing to adapt, you’ll get left behind. So pick up that camera, hit record, and start sharing your expertise with the world. You might be surprised at the results.”
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.