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Mar 30, 2024

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Barry Kaufman

Photography By

Kellie McCann
Persevering through tragedy and other hardships, Realtor reinvents himself on YouTube

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John Weber isn’t like most people who can rightfully claim to be big on YouTube. 

When you picture your average YouTube star, you’re more than likely envisioning some fresh-faced Gen Zer whose opinions on video games have somehow made them an overnight millionaire.  

Weber is a different kind of YouTube star – one whose experienced gaze sweeps across the Lowcountry, sharing with outsiders some of the joys that living here provides. 

Each week he drops a new video on his YouTube channel, ranging from roundups of new restaurants to community profiles to insider tips on making the most of the local lifestyle. What you’ll rarely see in his extensive library of content is him trying to sell you any real estate. 

That might seem an odd tactic for a Realtor, but that counterintuitive approach has helped Weber completely reinvent himself.

The John Weber Team
(from left to right) Krista Wilson, Christina Rickey, Carolyn Welch, John Weber, Brenda Kline and Tom Britschge

“You know what people are looking for? They’re looking for a guide – someone they can trust,” he said. “They’re not thinking about real estate, insurance, lawyers … they just know that they’re getting out of Cleveland.” (Incidentally, residents of The Land shouldn’t take that as a slight – as a Buckeye, Weber can sympathize with the impulse to move south).

Today, Weber’s channel boasts more than 6,000 subscribers, and videos that have tallied up more than 950,000 views, making it one of the most popular real estate channels in the area. While he has harnessed the power of the video sharing site in ways that few in the industry have, and had established a following long before other Realtors began their own channels, his move to YouTube came as the second act to a long career.

Weber got his start in 1985, before most YouTube stars were even born, working on the developer side of real estate.

“Developer real estate sales is a different animal,” Weber said. “I was always selling myself out of a job.”

Selling communities like Hilton Head Plantation let Weber see the island on the verge of massive growth, and introduced him to real estate professionals like Johnny Ussery, Tom Jackson, Dick Patrick, and Brad Wilson. He would stay a few years before pursuing developments around Virginia, Florida, and the Caribbean, keeping in touch with his friends in the Lowcountry the whole time.

It was a career that saw him leap from success to success. Then, it all came crashing down. Personally and professionally, it was a period that would put Weber to the ultimate test. It started with a phone call.

“I came home to a call saying, ‘Your son’s been in a serious accident. I suggest you get to Tampa General immediately, and when you get there, ask to speak to the Chaplain,’” Weber recalled of that tragic day. Weber’s 19-year-old son had been hanging out with a friend. That friend had left a loaded .45 on his coffee table. He picked it up, it went off, and Weber’s son was struck in the face. 

He died later that day.

“You never get over that,” Weber said. “But one thing I’ve learned is that you have to keep going.”

It was a streak of perseverance that had guided him through a career in which the natural result of success was unemployment. It brought him and his family through the tragedy of his son’s death. It spurred him onward when the crash of Lehman Brothers brought down the company he worked for. It allowed him to endure the crash of 2008. 

For a time, it felt like nothing could go right. He took a job selling with West Virginia’s Greenbriar, and a couple of years later a 1,000-year flood devastated the region. When he and his wife decided to return to the Lowcountry after decades away, they got here just in time for Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

“It’s like my minister says, ‘You’re like a modern-day Job. You kind of got stripped of everything,’” he said. And, like Job was pulled through the devil’s tribulations by the strength of his faith, Weber endured his trials with the love of family and indefatigable optimism, along with grit.

And then, one day, he picked up a camera and changed his fortunes.

“People say that ‘you don’t want to do videos because you’re putting yourself out there for people to judge you.’ All that stuff, it can be very difficult,” Weber said. “But when you’ve been through what we have, you actually get to the point that you don’t care what people think. You know they can’t really hurt you.”

Propelled by his enduring spirit, he continued to make videos for six months without so much as a nibble. A few would go viral, such as “The Things I Wished I Knew Before I Moved to Bluffton,” which racked up nearly 60,000 views. But even if videos failed to ride the algorithm to new heights, he continued to release them weekly. 

And then one day the phone rang once again. This time, it brought hope. 

“It was one call and then a few after that, and then it was this tidal wave of people calling,” he said. “Because I had stumbled on something that people really responded to.”

Everything he had endured had taught him how to persist. And in persisting, he had finally found the success that had eluded him for so long. Some might be content at that point to simply revel in their good fortune. Weber took it as an opportunity to pay it forward and change the lives of others.

He assembled a team of agents who, like him, were looking to start a second chapter. He changed their lives, offering them the opportunities that had eluded him for so long. And for him, that’s better than any commission check.

“These folks have made so many sales and so many friends. And I get people all the time telling me, ‘I saw your videos. You changed my life, because it brought me down here.’ That’s just amazing to me,” he said. “That has been super rewarding.”

He’s continuing to pay it forward with Lowcountry Connection, a network that aims to give new residents a single place to discover their new home. “It’s a group of businesses that they will need when they get here – insurance, attorneys, financing, home repairs … it’s a one-stop shop.”

It’s another intriguing new direction for a real estate professional who has written a new chapter in life with bold pen strokes. 

“You have to think outside the box to figure it all out, and you have to have determination,” Weber said. “Every day you pound that rock and you don’t give up.”

Find out more about the John Weber Team by visiting, or call and the team directly at, 843-295-2114.  

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