Using YouTube to gain a competitive edge

Houses for sale in Ottawa

Gemma Leggett’s primary job is to sell homes. To help her do that, she focuses much of her time and energy on producing videos for her YouTube channel. 

Legget works as a real estate agent in Newmarket, Ont. and she says creating regular content for the platform helps generate leads while raising her profile in the industry and among potential clients. In the past two years, Leggett says she has secured seven listings through YouTube alone. Her channel has racked up more than 500,00 views, but it didn’t happen overnight. Leggett has been churning out regular content for years. 

At the end of 2020, following a challenging year for the industry, she parodied the iconic doorstep scene from the Christmas movie Love Actually. In her version, aptly titled 2020 Actually, Leggett attempts to bring some humour to an otherwise bleak year for real estate– she says it was her way of thanking her friends and clients for their support. Since sharing the video in December 2020, it has received more than 46,000 views. But it’s far from her most-watched video. Her most popular video? A well-produced compilation of testimonials from previous clients that has garnered 150,000 views.

Leggett says she spends about $10,000 a year creating content for the platform. With millions of users, YouTube allows businesses to reach a larger audience with videos, opening its services and products to a wider range of potential customers. But videos are not Legget’s only tool in her marketing toolbox. In addition to creating regular content for YouTube, she farms her area, has billboards and uses social media extensively, “about two to three hours per day, every day,” she says. The referrals, listings and recognition she receives through her YouTube efforts are too great to ignore.

Leggett recently answered questions for Real Estate Magazine about her YouTube strategy and how she approaches the platform.

Gemma Leggett, Facebook


REM: How does making YouTube videos give you an advantage?

Gemma: We are in a people-first, relationship-based industry. People want to do business with people they like. I’m not saying that postcards and cold calls aren’t working; I am saying that if you get someone to like you before they even meet you, you got it! YouTube, Tiktok, etc., there are millions of people using social media. Why reach one hundred households a day when you can reach thousands? 


REM: How have your videos helped you grow your business?

Gemma: People and realtors know me and recognize me from my videos. There isn’t a time I go to a social event where someone doesn’t talk about my videos without even knowing me. It gives me tons of recognition and, therefore, leads and trust.  


REM: Why is it essential to include a wide variety of content?

Gemma: People want to work with people they can relate to. I need more than one type of content to get them excited to stay on my channel. Everyone likes to laugh also, so it is important to show them my personality. I want them to stay on my channel, come back often and trust me. Only posting listings or market update information isn’t enough for the public to connect with me. I have three video categories:

Listings – I look at the features and sometimes hire actors to sell the property and the lifestyle.

Market updates – I give information about the market in the past month and why they should invest or buy in the York and Simcoe regions.

Personalized videos – I always include fun and things people can relate to, so when they decide to meet me, they already know me; I don’t have to sell myself at the listing appointment.


REM: What goes into creating your videos?

Gemma:  It depends on the video, but one can take a day to two weeks to make. I usually bring the idea and vision to my videographer, and we put it together. The editing and filming are all him. I post monthly market updates, a video for every new listing and others when I get an idea or have enough content to share. 


REM: Do you have any advice for somebody looking to add videos to their marketing strategy?

Gemma:  I always say, “my videos will always outperform the ones you are not making.” We can get self-conscious, but getting out of our comfort zone will give us an advantage. Trust me; there are so many bloopers when I make them, but I keep at it. I always strive to be different and look for fresh ideas. If you look at my first videos, they weren’t that good. Practice makes perfect! 


REM: What are your plans for your 2022 holiday video?

Gemma: Since the pandemic, nothing has been “normal” in the real estate industry; I decided to remix “The Night Before Christmas” by talking about market conditions. My message in this one is also to be aware of who you hire to represent you.


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