Storytelling through Video | Sean Uyehara


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There are a lot of stories out there that need to be told. One of the best ways is through video. Sean Uyehara captures that beautifully through his video about Vegas right when Quarantine occurred.

Sean joined loanDepot in 2019 bringing 12 years of valuable experience and desire to help assist others in securing their American Dream of owning a home. He originally moved to Las Vegas to pursue a career within the financial planning industry, but his career went in a different direction. Given Sean’s natural knack for finance and passion to help people, loan origination made for a perfect career choice.

Episode Transcribe

- Whoo, you went out be in the restroom 'cause we're breaking. Oh man, all right, ladies and gentlemen, we're gonna keep rocking on this social collab. Thank you for hanging out live with us, thank you for being on You Tube, Facebook, LinkedIn. All of you, thanks for watching. In the future, appreciated if you are watching this feature, #bypass. It always gives me a little notification that somebody's watching this later. Just makes me happy, man. Alright, Sean Uyehara, man, welcome to our video. You first were talking about with the others. You're heard talking about the medium that runs non stop. So, we're gonna get in the pocket, we're gonna plan this phase. Let's talk about video and let's talk about storytelling video. Sean Uyehara is gonna be on right now at a viral video, "Go Crazy in Las Vegas". We're with the actual staff on here but we're talking many views, which creates many brand opportunities and much influence. So, without further ado, hit me on, Sean.

- Friends and professionals, you are going to love this next topic, video storytelling. And there's nobody better right now to share this with you guys than Sean Uyehara, this guy right here, bang! The power to communicate your message and your heart through video is tied deeply into your ability to tell a story. Now, this guy has got over 100,000 views on a story about Las Vegas, and he's gonna jump on with us right now and teach us how to tell stories in video.

- Woohoo, I get pumped up every time with my stupid music, what's up? Let's talk about--

- You are a strong man.

- Well, we're gonna see what happens here. I might just pass out in the middle of this so we'll see. Thanks for hanging with us, dude. Welcome to the show or whatever this is, "The Collab." Man, I wanna talk about stories, dude. First, and I know I said 100,000 views but where are we at in this video of yours in Las Vegas?

- I think we capped it at about 150,000, 150,000 is what we ended up at.

- Dude, first of all, please go ahead, Mikey, let's share the actual link to this video across YouTube Facebook and don't leave "The Collab" and go watch it, don't leave. Come stay here, hang in the pocket. But you did a video in Las Vegas and let's just walk people through what you did, why you did it. We know the results but let's talk about it for a second.

- So we did kind of a tribute to the city when COVID shut us down and I think it was just kind of a cool idea that I had because obviously everyone who's been to Vegas, it's the glitz and glam and the lights and, you name it, you can find it here. And once the shutdown happened, everything went dark. Literally you could ride a bike in the middle on Las Vegas, Boulevard. So I was like, what if we did a video just kind of showing people, not only here in town but across the country in the world of, "Hey, we're more than just a city." People live here, we have regular jobs. It's not just all about the partying and everyone's in the service industry. There's a lot of people like teachers and first responders and everybody else. So I was like, "Now, let's do kind of a tribute video "and let's just see what happens." So we posted it and it just took off from the beginning. I think on our personal page, on my personal page, we got over 300 shares and I think on our business page, we ended up getting I think over 3,000 shares and I think, like I said, it was about 150,000 views.

- So those of you that are gonna watch the video as it's linking around, it was a surreal video, dude. And again, it had nothing to do, everybody with Sean the mortgage star that he is. It was you walking through the streets downtown in Las Vegas with no one there.

- Yup, I mean--

- That was like post-apocalyptic and you just get a bit of voiceover effectively of the video, of about the ethos and the culture and the soul of the city.

- Yeah, and a lot of it was just, Vegas has gone through a lot, you know what I mean? When you go back to the foreclosure crisis, we were the hotbed probably besides maybe Arizona and Florida and then you had the Route 91 shooting. So Vegas itself, I felt like we've gone through a lot but we keep coming back stronger than before. And I think it was just something where there was a lot of negative press and the media all the time. It's easy to find that. So I was like, "Let's do something to really shout everybody out." We all move to Vegas from somewhere else in the world, hardly anyone's from here. So why not say, "Hey, look, now that we've all moved here, "we're all a family whether we wanna admit it or not." And we always band together and Vegas always comes back, man.

- So share a little bit, you made this video, you put it out there, it went crazy and then now all of a sudden you get all these shares. Has it changed your business? Has it impacted your mortgage career?

- Yes and no. We found a few leads and stuff come in that people are like, "Hey, I seen your video." And then they reached out and it was kinda funny too because we had a few leads that we were already kind of going back and forth with that they then reached out and said, "Hey, I see that this is your video," and then we kinda went into more detail with the preapproval and stuff like that. So, yes and no. I mean, it wasn't to where, hey, we're doing a ton more business just because of that but I think it gave us maybe a little more credibility and just showing that, hey, we care about the community and we're a part of this.

- Yeah, it's just such a powerful brand play to get out there and tell stories. So let's talk about storytelling with your community 'cause you've done some other interesting things with video out there and I want you to share a little bit about some of the public services you were doing with COVID, the restaurants you were supporting, because again, it didn't have anything to do with mortgage. It wasn't just, you know what's DTI? How does that affect the world? Share with everybody what you did.

- Yeah, obviously the whole, again, COVID thing, it was, how can you contribute to your community? And I see a lot of people, they were doing stuff with first responders but I had a couple of clients actually comment on other people's videos and stuff about them donating food. She was a nurse and she said, "We don't need food at the hospital. "Go and support local businesses. "I'm tired of people bring in, dropping off stuff, "things to the hospital." I was like, "Okay, I guess I can kinda see that." So we reached out to our community, a few of my friends, they have restaurants and stuff like that. So I just said, "Hey, look, I wanna support you guys "and I'll buy some food and let's just give it away." There was actually a casino here in town called Palace Station and they were doing like a food drive and I was driving by one day. I mean, this line to get food was blocks long. I thought something happened at the hotel. So that kinda made me think like, yeah, we need to help the first responders but look at all these people. They're literally waiting in line at 7:00 am. and it's a hundred degrees in their car to get food. So I was like, you know what? Let's just give the food away to the community. I don't care, who needs it? There's only so many times you maybe are eating Mac and cheese or whatever it is to kind of stretch that dollar a little farther because maybe you don't know when your unemployment's coming in and stuff. I was like, look, a couple of my buddies, they own some great restaurants in town. I said, "I'm gonna buy food and let's just give it away." People can come in this isn't about, like you said, this isn't about LoanDepot or anything else. It's just, you guys need food, come in and eat and I'll take care of the bill. So, we did that.

- Let's just walk through this 'cause it goes so much deeper. So, you call your buddies at these restaurants and you say, "I wanna buy food," and what do they say?

- They're like, "Yeah sure, why not?" They were wondering why, I was like, look, people are struggling and I think obviously some of it could be a pride thing and they'll never reach out but if they can come in knowing that we're here to help and there's no gimmick or there's nothing tied to it. It's just literally, "Hey, here's some food, man." They were all for it.

- So what went down? You went to the location, you bought your food, what happened?

- Bought a bunch of food. We donated about a little over a hundred meals from two different restaurants. So we had people come in, we gave away some food and everyone was happy, we fed a bunch of families and then the second time we did it, I had some masks and stuff made 'cause that's when the whole mask thing was kinda coming around so I did some LoanDepot masks and we just gave those away to people. And everybody was super appreciative of it. And not that we asked for it but you had some people that were reposting pictures of the food and giving shout outs on social media and stuff like that. So again indirectly, it grew our brand a little more here in town.

- Well Sean, this is what I love about this and obviously you did an amazing thing. It was a really cool thing. I would have never seen it if you didn't tell that story on video. I would have never seen it and I work with you, but the community, the reach you could have had would have been way less, if you didn't share it through storytelling and video. That's just period. And I want everyone to hear that because everyone's doing really cool stuff. There's a lot of loan professionals doing amazing stuff in your community but no one can see it because you're not telling any stories through video and you're not showcasing what's happening. And once you push those stories out, share about what happened after that. How did people respond? What happened in your life?

- We are really careful about how we did the videos 'cause obviously we didn't wanna get a bunch of people in there and have them feel some type of way about it. So it was more about us taking control 'cause I think with social media and everyone it's just easy to say, "Oh yeah, that's a good idea," and you kinda keep scrolling or "Hey, I wanna do this," but you don't take action. So for me, it was "Look, I don't give a shit. "It's how many meals we buying? "We just need to do it." I'm tired of just seeing other people, "Oh, we should do this and we should do that." Just go do it. And it was to help my friends who had restaurants and everyone was saying, go support local businesses but how many people actually went out and did stuff? I was like, "We need to go do it," and we documented it and not everyone's gonna do that but it wasn't for my benefit. It was also to show that that restaurant is busy. They're serving food, they're still in business. Hey guys, come out, check these guys out and go try their food. So, it was really putting everybody else first and our business has grown. Now, we've got agents that are reaching out to us. I just had one yesterday, I've never talked to her before and she reached out and she's like, "Hey, I've been watching your videos "and I wanna start working with you." She's like, "I work with another lender "but they don't do anything close to what you're doing." Again, I don't do these things with the intent of, what's the ROI. I think some of the other guys were talking about that earlier. It's just a, I tell Leo this every day, who helps me with our videos is, we just gotta do what we gotta do every day, that's it. That's all we gotta focus on. All the other stuff's gonna come eventually. At some point, the water faucet's just gonna, you can't turn it off. So until then, we just gotta focus on our daily grind and what we do and everything will pay off at some point. Hey, I'm gonna share the video. I want people to watch this. Let's see how this goes here. Let's do full screen. All right, and then let's try this thing here. Can you hear the audio?

- Las Vegas is our city, a city where 3 million people call home. The city that boasts the world's best entertainment, fine dining, night life and shopping. What was once a tourist destination was completely shut down in the blink of an eye. I mean, who would ever think the bright lights of The Strip would go dark? Sin City is what many people refer to as a party destination. But we are more than just nightclubs and overindulgence. This is home, home to teachers, doctors, nurses and first responders that are doing everything possible to protect our community. They risk their lives every day to help those in need. Millions of us have moved here from somewhere else in the world but now we call Las Vegas home. This isn't the first time Las Vegas has gotten knocked to the ground and it probably won't be the last. We certainly have faced our fair share of adversity over the years, from the foreclosure crisis in 2008 to the Route 91 shooting. The people of our city have shown and will continue to show love and support for one another in tough times. No matter how hard we get hit, we always bounce back. We never quit, we never give up. In fact, we always rise up stronger than before. Like they say, this too shall pass. COVID-19 has hit our city hard but I know one thing, we are gonna bounce back even stronger than before. We are #vegasstrong.

- Boom dude, that's what I'm talking about. Jeez dude, I get goosebumps still, watching that thing and seeing you're driving and nobody's there and seeing the guy hitting the tennis ball in the valet line. This is storytelling with video guys and this is, the power of this stuff is human connection. And I just am encouraging you guys because what Sean did is an example for all of us of what we can do when we step out of the mortgage world, take our hat off and tell stories. And again, Sean share with people, where did the inspiration come from for that?

- I've taken a lot of content and I've seen actually, Ryan Serhant, he did a video about New York city and I watched that and I was like, man, that's, it was a pretty cool video. And I was like, we could do the same thing here. So we got out, we went out and shot it and just kinda threw a lot of that B roll and stuff together. I mean, for us too it was kinda cool to just get it on The Strip and again, you don't ever see it ever like that. I mean, I've lived in town 13 years. So, it was one of those things before you start to see more people go out and bike ride and do all that stuff down there. We were still pretty early when we did it. So I think by the time we shot the video, we got it out, it was before a lot people started really going out there and trying to get those photo ops, I guess.

- Yeah, I mean, yeah, of course. But I love this because what you said was very transparent. "I saw someone else do it, "what's gonna stop me from doing it?" I wish more people would get in that frame of mind. So you do a lot of video content, Sean. You do a lot, anyone that follows you or has now started to click on your handles and found you online from this, you put out a lot of content, what's your motivation behind that? What's your motivation for your videos? Share your thought process in when you're gonna make a video. I just saw on social that you just did eight, you're going for eight videos in one day?

- Yesterday, yep. I know what you're feeling, man. You got that water by your side.

- So yeah, break it down. What goes through your head when you make this content? What's your intent behind it?

- So a lot of it stem, like Neel talked about this morning was I just kinda got fed up with always just having to ask agents for business. And I think when you first get in, I've been doing this about 12 years. That's kinda the only way you're taught, you have to call agents every single week. "Hey, do you have any leads? "Hey, can I help you with this?" I kinda got tired of it because you do so good of a job sometimes on these deals. We can close early, there's no hiccups and yet that agent will still not use you. They will put you at one of five lenders that they deal with. So, about a year and a half ago or so I really said, "Okay, I'm gonna just start creating content," and I never used Instagram, never used Facebook for any marketing. I kept all my stuff private. So I said, "Screw it, let's go. "Let's just start doing this, let's figure this out."

- Pause, why? A year and a half ago, you weren't doing any of this stuff. What was the catalyst that finally was like, "I'm in?"

- I just got tired of calling agents and I just felt like I was, I played basketball my whole life. I'm super competitive and I felt like I'm better than the next guy but why am I not getting the deal? If I can close faster and I have, our customer service is better and we close the deal quicker, why am I not getting the agent's deal? There's something else that I'm not doing, that's we're not getting versus just paying for the business, which I've done, spent tens of thousands of dollars doing that too. But I wanted more of that partnership with the agents, truly telling them like, "Look, we're in this together. "We're gonna create content together. "I'm not just gonna be one of five on your list "that you send leads to. "I want everything and let's start building "something stronger together." So I started like probably everybody else, Facebook, running some ads. We did okay with that but it wasn't anything that really transformed our business, but it was the company that I was with prior to LoanDepot. They kinda put the handcuffs on me and said, "You can't do certain things," and it was just, I'm like, "Well, I'm trynna go in this direction. "You guys don't want me using social media." So, obviously I was able to meet with Chris and you guys and I was like, I didn't know how I didn't hear about LoanDepot before.

- I want you to hit again like, there are so many loan officers right now. I know it, I see them, I talk to them in the entire industry who haven't made the decision yet to get all in, in this space. And they're still like, and right now with loans kinda falling from the sky, it can be distracting. I'm like, "Oh, I'm doing fine." And Scott, the last guy we had on was like, "It's not gonna be fine in the future." He's like, "It's not gonna be fine in the future," and there's fear. And so if somebody is gonna go all in in just video and storytelling, what advice would you give them? How would you share your thoughts on that?

- Just share your story. Like you said, you don't have to talk about mortgages every day. 'cause honestly, no one gives a shit about mortgages. It's boring, what we do is boring. There's nothing cool about reading a tax return. So, how can you spice it up a little more? I know I've talked to a couple of guys within our region that there was one guy that loves dirt bike riding. I'm like, "Dude, post about dirt bike riding every day," and he's been doing it and I see he gets a lot more engagement. So I think for anyone that's out there that's listening, that's struggling with content to think of, just talk about yourself, talk about what you like doing. And I think once you start doing that, people will start to follow you and people will start to engage and then you can start talking about PMI and down payment assistance. You can sprinkle that stuff in amongst your personal content that you wanna share.

- Dude, I could not agree more. The fact that we are hiding our authentic self behind videos about DTI and down payment and not letting our selves come through that. The others talked about that earlier is gonna be the big hindrance to growth and success. When you finally show up, like you did one song, I really liked this and I want other people to take a lesson. You showed yourself watching one of your first videos, do you remember this? Your first video's up and then you were next to it, looking at it.

- Oh yeah, that was bad. That was all bad.

- But what was that first video about? What do you remember?

- It was about loans. It was, I think it was just about some kinda guideline I think, it was terrible. It's like suit and tie and I would say like, you watch my stuff now, you'll never catch me in a suit and tie but it was about some kinda guideline and it didn't do that well. But it was funny 'cause you go back and you look at your library and how you've evolved, which is kinda cool and now, we do a lot more stuff that's maybe inspirational and kinda sharing our journey 'cause I still feel that we're pretty young at this whole social media thing 'cause it's only been maybe a year and a half.

- I want everyone to hear that, man. The journey has to start somewhere.

- Yeah.

- A year and a half to a video that's got 100,000 , 150,000 views and massive brand play across the country. It's like that it's not too late, it's time to start. Everyone has a unique and powerful audience waiting for 'em and you just tell your story.

- Yeah, you just gotta get on camera. I think that's the biggest thing. Everyone has this thing of what's gonna be, when am I gonna get my money back or what am I gonna get my what's the ROI? I think on our YouTube channel in the last three months we've done maybe over 100 videos. I put those out, I don't care if I get a view. Some will get five, some will get 50, it doesn't matter to me. It's just putting the content out every day and just creating our brand every single day. Like I said earlier, that realtor that called me. I was telling this story to Leo yesterday that if she would've never called us, if it wasn't for the videos that we're doing today. However, if we didn't start a year and a half ago, she would have never had content to watch regardless. So I don't know who's watching my stuff right now but the fact that she could have been on my page and she might've watched 20, 30 videos yesterday and said, "I'm gonna call this guy." She called me and said, "I wanna work with you." I've never heard of her. So I think it's just those opportunities you kinda open yourself up a lot more once you start, like you said, you gotta put yourself out there. And I know that's a big thing for a lot of people but, what's a deal worth to you in whatever part of the country you're listening to this? Five grand, seven grand? I mean, if you could post and every post could potentially lead to a deal, why would you not be more consistent about posting?

- Well, dude, we got a few minutes for our next guy that's coming on. So let's drop some advice. What's some of your advice, Sean, for somebody who's new in the business or lifetime player in the business but hasn't gotten into storytelling with video? What's your advice?

- I think the biggest thing is just do it, don't get caught up with the equipment, don't get caught up with trying to be too overly professional or anything. Just be yourself, talk about stuff that you have a passion about. It could be anything, your kids. Obviously you see jerseys in the back. Like I said, I played ball my whole life, so it could be sports, whatever it is, talk about that. That's the easiest thing 'cause you don't have to worry about a script. You don't have to worry about what you sound like, just record. And we all talk about, it's just, it doesn't matter, we're using Blue Yeti mics, they're a hundred bucks. Just do it and I think the more you do it, like anything else in life, you get better at it. And yesterday we spent two and a half hours, about two and a half hours, we shot six videos. That would have taken me probably two days to do that when I first started. We shot nine videos yesterday but again, I've shot hundreds of videos at this point and I still screw up. We still make mistakes but you just have to keep pushing yourself every day. And the more you do it, the better you'll get at it. And if this is your career, you got another who knows how long? 20, 30, 40 years in the business. I mean, you might as well keep creating content now. There's nothing that's bad about creating content.

- Well, here's a comment too that people are forgetting and you said it so quickly and I think everyone's gonna mishear this. You've carved time to film videos and then those videos get posted when?

- We schedule them out. So from yesterday that we shot, we'll probably get them semi edited by the end of the week, of this week and then I think hopefully by Monday, Tuesday of next week, we'll have 'em completely done and then we'll go and we'll try schedule them off for the next few weeks.

- So I want everyone to hear that because everyone's like, "I've got to do videos all the time. "When do I have the time? "When do I find the time?" And they get a little overwhelmed and you're like, "Just carve time on a Saturday "or carve time in your workday, "have some discipline and film videos during that time." I used to joke that I had a t-shirt rack next to me, out of camera range and I film a video and then I changed t-shirts.

- I had three of 'em yesterday, three different shirts, three different hats so we shot it all.

- You guys have to realize when you get really tactical on video creation, you're not gonna have the motivation every single day to show up and film a video let alone have the time because you're working and hopefully you're working on a ton of loans. So you gotta have to carve a time, make it part of your deal and then all of a sudden you're gonna realize you got the power right behind you because you'll have it all in the Dropbox and then it just picks up momentum and as Sean said, you get better. Now he's filming in what used to take a hundred takes is taking five. I hope you and Leo are saving all the bloopers by the way 'cause I need--

- I told him that's on our list and that's another thing. So I have a videographer on my team. So the minute I get an idea, we have a Google doc that we share. The idea goes in there and a lot of times, I'll text them like, "Hey, let's shoot this." So I get these ideas and I'll wanna shoot it. Sometimes we get busy. I mean, everyone, like you said should be busy right now. So, two of the videos that we shot yesterday, I've been sitting on that idea for the last two weeks. So we finally got those done. We'll get 'em out, before, obviously he's sitting right next to me and I get an idea. It's like, let's just go shoot right now kind of thing. So, I like to move fast when we get ideas.

- So we got two minutes left but I wanna share this for everyone that hear this and I put Leo up on the screen 'cause he's your right hand man, helping you produce content. And in mortgage, I remember in 2003 and I know this makes me sound like whatever I am now, but I got my first assistant and my branch manager wasn't gonna let me hire that person because I didn't do enough production yet. And I was like, I need to get, I want to get some, Neel's still hanging out. I wanna get an assistant that's gonna help my business and the second I hired my first assistant, I hired him with my own cash. I gave my own money out of my commissions 'cause it was easier back then and it radically changed my life because now I could scale up my activities. And when I look at the world today, even Neel said it in the beginning on Instagram, if it's important to you, you'll hire for it. You'll spend the money for it. You'll carve time for it. And a good example is like all these loan officers that's got a million production assistants. I'm like, one or two of those could be a video guy.

- Yeah, absolutely.

- If it's important to you go hire him, go pay him money and step your game up. And I look at you and I'm like, dude, you're leading the way on that, you're hiring, it was important to you, you're investing in it. You're hiring 'em, they're working side by side. You could have had another PA that was pushing paper but you hired a video guy to create content and I'm like, wow, this is the future. This is the future right now, dude. So thank you, Sean. Thank you for telling great stories. Thank you for letting me share that Las Vegas video. Any final words before we get you out of here?

- No, man, I hope you know, I've talked to Neel a bunch of times and I agree with him, who cares what company you're at? We're all in this together and there's enough business for everybody. I've bounced ideas off of him and obviously anybody else that's listening to this, if you're at a different company, you have questions, hit me up, I'm more than willing to dive deep with you and let you know how we do it, why we do it 'cause again, I'm all about everybody winning.

- Thank you, dude. All right, you're out brother. Have a great day.

- Thanks man, appreciate.

- Man, dive into the water, team. How much more proof do you need? Dive into the water. I don't care where but go all in and have some fun with your career, with yourself. Don't take yourself seriously, at the end of all that stuff, there's unbelievable opportunity if you're willing to play in this space. I hope you found value today. Please go find these wonderful human beings online, connect with them, follow them, see what they're doing. Man, I appreciate you all. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful week. I'll see you on the internet.

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