This article was last updated on Oct. 18, 2022
TikTok isn’t just a child’s app anymore. When Glennda Baker committed to using more videos in her marketing and outreach efforts, she had no idea TikTok would directly bring her more than $108,000 in five months, but it did.
While others balked at TikTok, Baker saw an opportunity to extend her brand by sharing real estate advice on the platform. She has generated more than 7 million views on her content over just a few weeks. Perhaps more importantly, she generated over $108,000 in gross commission income (GCI) in the first five months of 2021.
Baker shared the following how-tos for other agents looking to create their own TikTok content.
Decide on your style
Baker hired a professional videographer for her content — even though anyone can shoot TikTok videos with their cell phones — because she was looking for a specific style in her videos. She signed the contract with him and pointed him to another brand whose style she wanted to emulate.
Baker’s team shoots video one day a month at her house, and they identify topics for TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram and general marketing videos as well.
But it isn’t necessary to hire a professional videographer. You can generate excellent video content using your smartphone. Choose your style, and start posting.
Generate content ideas
Baker gathers content ideas in her notes and then shares them with her videographer throughout the month. On shooting day, the two begin by outlining the topics they’re going to address, and then they allow the ideas to flow from there, depending on how the day goes.
“Some days I’m on fire, and I’m a little bit spicy or sassy, and on those days, we focus on storytelling,” Baker said. “On the days when I’m a little more buttoned-up, we focus on informing people about how to buy a house, how to sell a house, things to look for in a real estate agent, or things that will help you sell your house that other people won’t tell you.”
One of the videos that performed best was Baker’s story about earning a $137,000 commission in 1995 and choosing to buy a Mercedes and new clothes instead of investing in a townhouse. The $100,000 townhouse that she could have purchased in 1995 just sold for $1 million, the Mercedes isn’t worth anything, and the clothes don’t fit anymore.
The takeaway for the audience was to avoid wasting money and understand how real estate value appreciates. Transparency and authenticity are keys to success on TikTok or any other social media platform.
If you aren’t comfortable on video, Baker has few tips on how she got started.
Start by going live first. Baker started with Facebook Live because the audience there already knows, likes and trusts her. Begin your effort wherever most of your contemporaries are because you’ll get the least amount of hate there, and it will be a much safer space.
“If you start with recorded videos, you’ll likely find yourself reshooting each time your hair doesn’t look exactly right or when your words don’t sound perfect,” Baker said. “You’ll never get it finished. If you shoot a live video, people love the in-the-moment nature of the content, and they’ll respond well to the authenticity.”
Baker recalls that when she shot the first few videos, speaking directly to the camera didn’t feel natural because she thrives on conversation, so she developed a format of talking to the lighting guy when she delivers her content.
“So I tell the stories to Sam, the lighting guy, and sometimes he gets tickled, and he’s trying not to laugh because he doesn’t want to mess up the video, but it feeds the energy of the room.”
Decide when to post
Baker began her TikTok project by posting any time the mood struck or when she remembered to post something, but her posts weren’t getting much momentum. One night, she posted a video at 10:30 p.m., and it generated about 100,000 views. And the following morning, she posted at about 6:30 a.m. and generated nearly 700,000 views.
When one of her videos got up to 2 million views, she decided to post every single day between 6-7 a.m.
Replace pictures with video
Baker’s advice to agents who want to start using video is to shoot everything on video rather than just posting pictures.
Document everything. And if you think you aren’t interesting, consider what goes on in real estate every day, and shoot videos about that. If you don’t want to be in front of the camera, show them what you’re doing behind the scenes — people love to know what happens in real estate.
Just throw it all out there, and be yourself.
are going to love you, or they’re not. Why not get rid of the riff-raff early? There’s no need to be fake because, at some point, viewers will catch on. And they’ll decide they don’t like you, and you’ll have already wasted all of that time.
Measure TikTok’s results
Baker’s first video addressed being house-poor, and it quickly generated about 2 million views and grew her followers by about 50,000. A later video generated almost 7 million views, 43,000 shares and 32,000 comments.
Some of those comments came from people moving to Atlanta wanting Baker to be their agent because they had seen her content. Customers sent her direct messages asking to meet about listing their homes or helping them to buy homes, so the TikTok videos directly converted into new business.
In one week, she had two listing appointments in the million-dollar price range due to a TikTok video.
What’s funny is that for both of these appointments, it was the kids who said to their parents, “Hey, I found this real estate agent on TikTok. You should talk to her,” Baker said.
Since April 14, she has increased her following from 50,000 to 300,000 using TikTok.
If you aren’t already using video to increase your outreach and grow your real estate business, now is the time. Follow this outline from Baker to create your first live video today — and begin connecting with the people who know, like and trust you.
When you do, you’ll find new followers, build new relationships and generate new leads that will ultimately convert to more sales.
You can find Glennda Baker on TikTok here.