How to Build Your Personal Brand in Estate Agency

By: Matt Giggs | June 17, 2024

To be a real estate agent, you have to have a personal brand. You need to be real out there, to be seen, known, liked, and trusted.

We're going to talk about that now. I'm going to take you back. It's April 2012. There's little Matt Giggs. He's come out of the corporate world. He's on his gardening leave as they used to call it. Why'd they call it gardening leave? I mean, what the fuck's that about? You're not doing any gardening, are you?

Anyway, back to launching Giggs and Co. I’m on this mission and my website guy, kind of finishing off the website, looked at me, he goes, “So, should we set up your Facebook page?”

And I said, “What are you on about?”

He goes, “The company needs to have a Facebook page.”

I’m left wondering, ‘Does it?’ I didn't even think about this stuff back then.

12 years ago, I was nowhere to be seen on social media. Now, I’m on YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok – that last one didn’t even exist until 2016! I've got probably about 20,000 followers across my channels, not massive, but pretty good.

In this post, I'm going to share with you how to increase your following, but you never need to pay for followers. Let me get that clear, right? We're going to talk about building your personal brand and growing your audience – but don't buy followers. That's just bullshit.

It's a bit like being an estate agent and asking your mates to put up boards or lying about the houses that you've got on the market. You're just kidding yourself. And if that's the way you're going to go forward, your business at some point will catch you up because of the bullshit. So let’s do this the right way.

Not everyone’s going to like you

So the first thing you need to know about social media and building your brand is know, like, and trust. This phrase has been bandied around a lot over recent years.

What I didn't realise when I started to build my personal brand, my know, like, and trust, is that it's going to involve being not liked. Let's talk about some truth here.

If you're going to put yourself out there and build a personal brand, some people will like you, but others won’t. It'll be like the parting of the waves. That's what you've got to do if you're going to build your brand and talk about things that you believe in, that you're passionate about. You’re going to divide people when you talk about the impact, insights, inspiration, and all of the knowledge that you're going to share out there into your market.

Be prepared to be tested. Be prepared for people not to agree, to not like it.

By the way, people not agreeing with you all the time is actually really healthy for you. It's like training your brain. It's like training your muscles.

Your muscles don't, before you go training, go, ‘Oh, please put me under a huge amount of pressure.’ But when you put them under that pressure, the muscles get bigger. And this is the same for your personal brand.

While you don’t want to be deliberately controversial, you've got to be passionate. You've got to talk about what you believe in.

I didn’t understand social media could help estate agents

I wasn’t on Facebook in 2012 in the very early part, a month away from starting a business. To be honest, my wife was and I used to see her on it. I'd be like, what are you doing? I wasn't a big fan.

Anyway, the company went on to Facebook, but to do that, I needed to have a profile myself personally. So all of a sudden, I've got “Matt Giggs” on Facebook and then I've got my company one. As well as opening a business, starting a business, going out there, prospecting, distributing leaflets, doing all of the things that we did back in the day, I was thrown into the mire of social media.

I really didn't understand it, and I think I still probably lack a little bit of awareness and understanding around the amount of people that watch this stuff, look at this stuff and never like, comment, or share. right? So just be prepared – never to measure your personal brand success on those kinds of metrics.

What do you specialise in as an estate agent?

As you build your know, like, and trust, you won’t always be liked, but you do need to be respected for your opinion in your chosen field, in your specialisation.

Think about these questions:

- What is it you specialise in?

- Who do you want to be known as?

- What kind of person are you in your chosen field, in your area, in your community?

If you need more help figuring out who you want to be in your field, read this post: “3 Things You Need to do to Stand Out as an Estate Agent”.

When I started, I knew a lot of people in the area, but I didn't really know what I was up to, what I was doing. The fact was that most of them probably didn’t know that I had been an estate agent for 16 years before I started Giggs and Co.

It's not like I just started, and it all exploded. It actually took 16 years of working somewhere, working for other people, building my confidence, my skills, my expertise, to then come into the market, bang, awfully well. I needed to get that story out there and social media was part of doing that.

Social media is part of your personal brand. It's an opportunity to put yourself out there as an authority, as someone that's got something to say about the market that you're in.

Your brand is all of you – not just your work as an estate agent

Your personal brand isn’t just about what you do at work. It also includes you walking down the road and being a nice human being.

Your personal brand also involves you being in the pub, having a drink and behaving yourself.

Learning to behave yourself is key. I was quite a lively character. I used to go out, loved the beers with the lads, and all the rest of it. But a guy locally said to me, “Matt, you've got to think. This is your town that you're working in and you're drinking in. You can't be going out there getting smashed on a Friday and a Saturday night and expecting it all to go away. You've got to have to think about your brand, who you are out there in the marketplace that you're in.”

And to be honest, guys, that was a big thing for me. That was a big thing for me, just asking myself, ‘Do I want to be known as the person that is an experienced, skilled, highly professional expert in estate agency, in the market? Or a nice bloke that gets hammered every Friday and Saturday night in the local town?’

My personal brand is extended to everybody that I come across, everybody that I meet. I will always do my best, and I'll always have the best of intentions. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong. How do you want to be known?

What are your core values as an estate agent?

Your personal brand has to own everything. It's about who you are at your core, your values. You have to be real. That's what this is all about. It's not about going out there, stealing other people’s content and sharing it as your own, or just resharing other people's stuff.

Instead, you have to answer these questions for your audience:

- Who are you?

- What message have you got to share?

It's really important that you understand the reach behind this and the amount of impact that you can have in order to scale your career just by being yourself. When you do that, when you’re authentic in what you do, you'll attract the right people to your brand.

You'll attract the right customers to your business. And you'll also, if you continue to do that outside and inside of work, have the right people around you in life.

Some of the most popular people have to try hard to please so many people because what they're actually doing is trying to be friends with everyone apart from themselves. You know? They constantly try and put out things, make fun, do these things to get validation from everywhere else.

Don’t go down that road. Whatever you're doing, don't use social media as an opportunity for you to be validated by people that you've got absolutely nothing in common with, right? Instead, focus on being you and attracting the right people – not all the people.

Social media allows you to reach more people faster

My point here is that social media is a tool. In the old days of estate agency, you'd have to deliver like 10,000 leaflets to get your brand in front of people – think about how long that would take. With social media, if you spend an hour posting powerful and impactful content with insights and information that's relevant to the people in your marketplace, you could get 10,000 views in the space of a day or two.

That's the difference you make when you’re out there in your market, building your followership, building the people that actually like, respect, and admire what you've got to say. The followers that are prepared to still challenge you, but also to get help from you to grow their knowledge and experience around the market that you work in.

People buy from people

You’ll probably have worked for someone else before you really acknowledge the fact that you have to build this thing called a personal brand. And I know that there's a lot of companies out there that really don't, or they're a little bit sensitive about how their staff, their employees, actually go out and do that.

But I'm a big believer that actually you want to encourage people around you to build their personal brands because I think people – the public, the clients that we're going to be working with in estate agency – buy people more than the company itself. And actually they're going to gravitate towards you more than the company itself. I think you need recognize that you want your people in your organisations, if you've got one, to be putting themselves out there in a way that's authentic to them.

Remember, if you’re supporting your team members to build their personal brand, they will need some encouragement. One of the most knowledgeable estate agents that works with me at Giggs and Co., always says he doesn't know what to say on social media. Yet you can't get a word in in a conversation with him off camera.

He says, “I don't know what to say, I don't know what to put out there.” But he seems to find it really easy in front of a vendor, in front of a buyer, in front of a client to find the words.

Over the years, he’s learned to trust what he has to say and his content's gotten better and better and better. He's realised that instead of trying or overthinking the message that he's trying to get out there, he just needs to say what he’d say to a client one-to-one.

People are going to talk

We all overthink stuff, right? We all think, ‘Oh, God, do you know? If I share that, someone will say this, or if I share that, someone will say that.’

The thing is, if you don't share it, the people that will value it, miss out.

Like I said, I only started this journey back in 2012. Back then, I didn't realise that I’d alienate some people by talking about

- My passions,

- Gratitude,

- My team,

- Personal development,

- Business success and growth

- Recruiting, and

- Client feedback.

But alienating them was okay because it was also encouraging other people to help me to build that followership.

What I soon realised is that the people that didn't particularly like what I posted, the ones that would say “Don't be posting too much.” Or, “Look at him, he’s on camera again.” They were never really going to work with me or support me anyway.

People are going to talk, so focus on the ones who want to go with you on your journey.

Invest in the people who invest in you

You can't put your career, your ambition, your ability, your potential in the hands of people that won't invest back into you. Those people don't really care about your career, your achievements, your goals, your dreams, your desires.

You know which people care, right? They're the people that check in on you. They're the people that support you, like your posts, comment, check in, and give you the support you need.

They’re the ones who will work with you and don't ask for a discount. You know, they're the people that you want around you.

Don’t try to please people that you just don't need in your life. Instead, remember that building your personal brand is about being you. Being known for what you're great at, being known for your expertise, being liked for your opinion and respected. And when you've got those things, the trust will follow.

When you've got trust, you've got everything in estate agency that's required.

Build your brand on your values and mission as an estate agent

So, go build your brand, build it on your values, your vision, your mission, your thoughts, your feelings – nobody else's. And remember, you don't have to be great to get started, but you've got to get started to be great.

Get going, get your first post out there now. Talk about something that means a lot to you. Start talking about

- the stuff that challenges you,

- the stuff that's given you sleepless nights,

- the stuff that's pushing you to the edge, and

- the things that make you feel alive.

Share a bit more about your journey. Share stuff that's going to make a difference to your market.

There's a little bit about my journey through building my personal brand, going from zero in 2012, to thousands of followers across my platforms. Know this: I have always believed in everything that I've shared, but I also understand that what I shared five years ago might not necessarily be what I believe in today.

We're all on this journey. Life takes you through the ups and downs and the roller coasters. I really hope you've enjoyed this post and that it's made you go, do you know what? I need to just go and get on with this. I need to think, feel what I'm sharing, and bring some value to my audience. To see what I’ve been sharing, check out my socials – here are the links again:

- YouTube,

- LinkedIn,

- Instagram, and

- TikTok

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