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Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
CREATING A
THOUGHT
LEADERSHIP
Jonathan F. Williams
Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
Page 1
Agent Gold
Introduction
If you're a real estate agent, broker, or anybody in a leadership role at your company, you've
likely heard about the importance of developing a thought leadership strategy for yourself. For
those who don’t know, building thought leadership means you’re building a reputation as a
leader in your chosen eld (ie real estate). It's like building an expert celebrity personality. This
personality doesn’t have to be known nationwide. You could be a thought leader even if you’re
just known in a very small niche industry or a tiny geographic area.
The overall goal is to be known as someone who understands the issues of the day in their eld
of business and someone that the public would want to follow. They’d be a go-to leader to get
advice on speci c topics or a knowledge base about the eld they are an expert in.
Nowadays, companies aren't just companies. They are very much personality-driven. And some
of the best-known companies have a strong personality leading them because it puts a personal
face on the company. In real estate, Gary Keller at Keller Williams has done an excellent job at
that from a national standpoint.
To successfully do that, most corporations have developed a strategy to help get that leader out
there in the public’s eye and to be this thought leader in their industry.
So let's do that for your small business. Here are 11 steps you can do to become a thought leader
in real estate.
1) Develop your personal brand.
So before you can even become a thought leader, you need to understand what your thought
leader’s personal brand is.
Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
Page 2
Agent Gold
Just like building a business marketing content calendar, which we have an entire white paper
on how to do it, you'll need to create a personal thought leadership calendar. And once you build
it out, you need to stick to it.
To do that, we have an entire course on “Personal Branding” that, when completed, should help
build your own brand. For a successful thought leadership strategy to work, you need to have the
thought leader’s brand that resonates very closely with what you want to be known for.
2) Pick your platforms.
Once you have your personal brand, you should have determined what communication
platform(s) you're going to be most comfortable being on. For example, you may want to be on
Instagram because it would be the perfect platform to share images of the properties you have
for sale. This is where you need to take a hard look at what type of content you'd like to post,
what platform you'd like to interact with and use, and where your ideal audience(s) is located.
You need to make sure all this works together, so you can have a successful synergy between
them. This is especially true if you're going to be doing this plan yourself and don't have a team
of individuals to help make sure that your message goes far and wide. Don’t be fooled by many
thought leaders like Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson, or former T-Mobile CEO John Legere -
they all have teams that can take their content and format it for all the di erent platforms.
If you're just starting or you're a one-person shop, you aren't going to have this team unless
you're hiring out, which might not be feasible. So, make it easy on yourself and pick what
platforms make sense.
You don't have to be all things to all people. You can just go out to the platforms that make the
most sense and get you the most bang for your buck or, in your case, make the most of the time
you have to invest in creating the content.
3) Develop your content calendar and stick to it.
Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
Page 3
Agent Gold
Ensure that people feel like they have a direct connection with you through the engagement and
that you're not just a person pushing out information on the platform expecting everyone to
come to you. Become involved and show that you care. That's going to get people to care about
you. Plus, the platforms you're commenting on are then going to favor your content because of
your engagement.
Most people in a company will look at their personal brand and think that this is secondary to
the business. However, one can argue that the content and how you portray yourself could
almost be more important than your business. Because in a lot of industries, you  your
business, and having that personal brand is going to have a compound e ect on bene ting your
business itself.
are
You need to develop this plan and stick to it. One of the things people do with a thought
leadership strategy is that they try to do it for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, don't see
any results, and then give up saying it doesn't work. This is not what you should do. You need to
stick to the plan, keep creating content, keep with it, and trust that it'll grow.
4) Devote time to engagement.
You need to make sure as part of your thought leadership strategy that you are engaging with
people.
Since it is going to be more of a personal thing, you need to add that personal touch. You need to
make sure you're engaging with other people on the platforms you’ve chosen to be on, you need
to share content, comment on other people's posts, and respond to people who are commenting
on your post. This is not just previous, current and potential clients. This is also other agents
and professionals in the eld (ie mortgage brokers, insurance agents, etc.)
Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
Page 4
Agent Gold
5) Invite comments on your posts.
Whenever you post written content, an image, or a video on your platform, make sure you end
with an invitation to share their thoughts. This will again show that you are interested in other
people's opinions, and not just having one-way communication.
Social media is a two-way communication platform, and going back to the previous point, make
sure then as people are sharing their thoughts, you jump into the conversation as well. Make
sure that people see that you are engaged and rewarding them for their engagement, because on
most platforms, the more engagement you get on your posts, the better it will perform, thus
more people will see it.
6) If available, join relevant groups on that
platform.
On most social media networks, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular, there are actual groups
that you can join within the platform. These are micro-communities of people that engage
around a speci c topic.
If you, as a thought leader, become involved in those groups, you can comment, share, and
become part of the discussion while connecting with other people who likely share your
interests. This can have a synergistic e ect on your public pro le and help boost you and boost
your thoughts as well.
Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
Page 5
Agent Gold
7) Search out relevant trending topics on the
platform.
No matter if it's Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, they all can show trending topics,
show what hashtags are being frequently talked about, and allow you to jump into the
conversation with people that have never heard from you before.
This is an excellent opportunity to discuss trending topics relevant to you and become involved
in discussions that people might not realize you enjoy.
Just make sure that the topics you're talking about are connected to your brand and relevant to
the people that you follow, and or you want to follow you. Additionally, make sure that your
commentary is related to the conversation, and you're adding value. Don't just comment just to
comment. Make sure you're adding your particular knowledge or spin to the conversation. Do
this by supporting somebody’s view, o ering a di erent point of view (respectfully), or
anything else that will build the discussion and potentially show a point of view that no one else
has thought of before.
8) Show vulnerability.
It's bene cial to be vulnerable on social media in your thought leadership role. Now, this isn't
you having a celebrity-worthy breakdown. But this is you showing that you can learn from your
past mistakes, sharing the process with your audience, and showing people what you've learned
from them.
As humans, we are skeptical when we see people that look perfect all the time. Think about
actors or other celebrities that try to show the world their ideal life, but of course, they're not
really. We've all seen their failures play out on the magazines in the grocery store check out
aisles.
Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
Page 6
Agent Gold
When thought leaders are open and share failures, they become real to people, helping to forge a
meaningful connection. Your audience might be in the same position you were in the past with
your failure. They can learn from your mistake, and in turn, they will likely trust you more
because they know that you're open and honest with them. They'll want to learn more, because
they want to hear those failures and how they can then apply the learnings to their lives and
inspire them to take action.
9) Make sure you do show your personal side.
Just like showing your vulnerabilities, which is very personal, you also want to show your
personality and the personal side of your life. This is your family, your hobbies, etc. All of this
should not be the majority of content, but make sure you show this personal side at least from
time to time.
People want to know who you are; they don't want to know you just as someone who is looking
to sell their house. They want to see what you do for fun, if you enjoy going to the beach with
your family, what your dog is like. All the di erent aspects of your life - they want to make sure
they know you in a full sense.
It doesn't have to be all the great stu . Show your failures, too, if you're comfortable with that.
People want to know that you're human, just like them. So humanize yourself, because the more
you do that, the more people will trust you, follow you, and want to learn more about you.
There's a saying in politics that the person who becomes a president is the person that people
most likely want to have a beer with. This is very similar in almost any area of life. People might
come to you initially because you're a leader in the industry. But won’t want to keep that
relationship if they can’t connect with you on a deeper level (and have that “I see myself having
a beer with you” moment). Make sure you’re that person.
Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent
Page 7
Agent Gold
10) Make sure you engage in personal topics.
So this is not just sharing your photos of you and your family doing stu . This is showing your
hobbies. This is going out there and nding personal topics that you can share that build out
your interests. If you love baseball, share and discuss your favorite team. If you have other
hobbies or topics/issues that you are excited about, share it, show it, and let people know about
it.
With this, you can always inadvertently make enemies (i.e., with New York Mets fans if you’re a
die hard New York Yankies fan). But if you engage politely, you will likely just have people who
don’t connect with you on certain hobbies but others who will love you because of those
hobbies.
11) Be authentic.
This is the last major point, but it's probably one of the most important. And by now, you should
understand this and know that this is what you should be doing.
You need to be authentic on whatever platforms you are on. People can smell out somebody
who's being fake, or if something happens to come out that is negative, they're going to
immediately know that you're fake and you haven't been authentic.
Even if your content is curated ahead of time and based on a content calendar, you still can and
need to be authentic.
If you have to make time to create the content yourself, do it. Don’t have an underling, agency or
employee do it for you, at least until you've developed a voice that you can then train that other
person to help you with creating the content. Otherwise, you can potentially hurt yourself more
than not even having a thought leadership role.
Your
Next
Steps:
Now you know how to develop a thought leadership
strategy. Next steps: Do it, and don’t be afraid to tweak
it as you go along. It’s possible that you’re not going to
immediately know exactly what you like and what you
don’t like. Grow your strategy as you grow your
audience. The only way to really and truly fail is not to
take action.

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Agent Gold - Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent

  • 1. Strategy As A Real Estate Agent CREATING A THOUGHT LEADERSHIP Jonathan F. Williams
  • 2. Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent Page 1 Agent Gold Introduction If you're a real estate agent, broker, or anybody in a leadership role at your company, you've likely heard about the importance of developing a thought leadership strategy for yourself. For those who don’t know, building thought leadership means you’re building a reputation as a leader in your chosen eld (ie real estate). It's like building an expert celebrity personality. This personality doesn’t have to be known nationwide. You could be a thought leader even if you’re just known in a very small niche industry or a tiny geographic area. The overall goal is to be known as someone who understands the issues of the day in their eld of business and someone that the public would want to follow. They’d be a go-to leader to get advice on speci c topics or a knowledge base about the eld they are an expert in. Nowadays, companies aren't just companies. They are very much personality-driven. And some of the best-known companies have a strong personality leading them because it puts a personal face on the company. In real estate, Gary Keller at Keller Williams has done an excellent job at that from a national standpoint. To successfully do that, most corporations have developed a strategy to help get that leader out there in the public’s eye and to be this thought leader in their industry. So let's do that for your small business. Here are 11 steps you can do to become a thought leader in real estate. 1) Develop your personal brand. So before you can even become a thought leader, you need to understand what your thought leader’s personal brand is.
  • 3. Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent Page 2 Agent Gold Just like building a business marketing content calendar, which we have an entire white paper on how to do it, you'll need to create a personal thought leadership calendar. And once you build it out, you need to stick to it. To do that, we have an entire course on “Personal Branding” that, when completed, should help build your own brand. For a successful thought leadership strategy to work, you need to have the thought leader’s brand that resonates very closely with what you want to be known for. 2) Pick your platforms. Once you have your personal brand, you should have determined what communication platform(s) you're going to be most comfortable being on. For example, you may want to be on Instagram because it would be the perfect platform to share images of the properties you have for sale. This is where you need to take a hard look at what type of content you'd like to post, what platform you'd like to interact with and use, and where your ideal audience(s) is located. You need to make sure all this works together, so you can have a successful synergy between them. This is especially true if you're going to be doing this plan yourself and don't have a team of individuals to help make sure that your message goes far and wide. Don’t be fooled by many thought leaders like Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson, or former T-Mobile CEO John Legere - they all have teams that can take their content and format it for all the di erent platforms. If you're just starting or you're a one-person shop, you aren't going to have this team unless you're hiring out, which might not be feasible. So, make it easy on yourself and pick what platforms make sense. You don't have to be all things to all people. You can just go out to the platforms that make the most sense and get you the most bang for your buck or, in your case, make the most of the time you have to invest in creating the content. 3) Develop your content calendar and stick to it.
  • 4. Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent Page 3 Agent Gold Ensure that people feel like they have a direct connection with you through the engagement and that you're not just a person pushing out information on the platform expecting everyone to come to you. Become involved and show that you care. That's going to get people to care about you. Plus, the platforms you're commenting on are then going to favor your content because of your engagement. Most people in a company will look at their personal brand and think that this is secondary to the business. However, one can argue that the content and how you portray yourself could almost be more important than your business. Because in a lot of industries, you  your business, and having that personal brand is going to have a compound e ect on bene ting your business itself. are You need to develop this plan and stick to it. One of the things people do with a thought leadership strategy is that they try to do it for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, don't see any results, and then give up saying it doesn't work. This is not what you should do. You need to stick to the plan, keep creating content, keep with it, and trust that it'll grow. 4) Devote time to engagement. You need to make sure as part of your thought leadership strategy that you are engaging with people. Since it is going to be more of a personal thing, you need to add that personal touch. You need to make sure you're engaging with other people on the platforms you’ve chosen to be on, you need to share content, comment on other people's posts, and respond to people who are commenting on your post. This is not just previous, current and potential clients. This is also other agents and professionals in the eld (ie mortgage brokers, insurance agents, etc.)
  • 5. Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent Page 4 Agent Gold 5) Invite comments on your posts. Whenever you post written content, an image, or a video on your platform, make sure you end with an invitation to share their thoughts. This will again show that you are interested in other people's opinions, and not just having one-way communication. Social media is a two-way communication platform, and going back to the previous point, make sure then as people are sharing their thoughts, you jump into the conversation as well. Make sure that people see that you are engaged and rewarding them for their engagement, because on most platforms, the more engagement you get on your posts, the better it will perform, thus more people will see it. 6) If available, join relevant groups on that platform. On most social media networks, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular, there are actual groups that you can join within the platform. These are micro-communities of people that engage around a speci c topic. If you, as a thought leader, become involved in those groups, you can comment, share, and become part of the discussion while connecting with other people who likely share your interests. This can have a synergistic e ect on your public pro le and help boost you and boost your thoughts as well.
  • 6. Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent Page 5 Agent Gold 7) Search out relevant trending topics on the platform. No matter if it's Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, they all can show trending topics, show what hashtags are being frequently talked about, and allow you to jump into the conversation with people that have never heard from you before. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss trending topics relevant to you and become involved in discussions that people might not realize you enjoy. Just make sure that the topics you're talking about are connected to your brand and relevant to the people that you follow, and or you want to follow you. Additionally, make sure that your commentary is related to the conversation, and you're adding value. Don't just comment just to comment. Make sure you're adding your particular knowledge or spin to the conversation. Do this by supporting somebody’s view, o ering a di erent point of view (respectfully), or anything else that will build the discussion and potentially show a point of view that no one else has thought of before. 8) Show vulnerability. It's bene cial to be vulnerable on social media in your thought leadership role. Now, this isn't you having a celebrity-worthy breakdown. But this is you showing that you can learn from your past mistakes, sharing the process with your audience, and showing people what you've learned from them. As humans, we are skeptical when we see people that look perfect all the time. Think about actors or other celebrities that try to show the world their ideal life, but of course, they're not really. We've all seen their failures play out on the magazines in the grocery store check out aisles.
  • 7. Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent Page 6 Agent Gold When thought leaders are open and share failures, they become real to people, helping to forge a meaningful connection. Your audience might be in the same position you were in the past with your failure. They can learn from your mistake, and in turn, they will likely trust you more because they know that you're open and honest with them. They'll want to learn more, because they want to hear those failures and how they can then apply the learnings to their lives and inspire them to take action. 9) Make sure you do show your personal side. Just like showing your vulnerabilities, which is very personal, you also want to show your personality and the personal side of your life. This is your family, your hobbies, etc. All of this should not be the majority of content, but make sure you show this personal side at least from time to time. People want to know who you are; they don't want to know you just as someone who is looking to sell their house. They want to see what you do for fun, if you enjoy going to the beach with your family, what your dog is like. All the di erent aspects of your life - they want to make sure they know you in a full sense. It doesn't have to be all the great stu . Show your failures, too, if you're comfortable with that. People want to know that you're human, just like them. So humanize yourself, because the more you do that, the more people will trust you, follow you, and want to learn more about you. There's a saying in politics that the person who becomes a president is the person that people most likely want to have a beer with. This is very similar in almost any area of life. People might come to you initially because you're a leader in the industry. But won’t want to keep that relationship if they can’t connect with you on a deeper level (and have that “I see myself having a beer with you” moment). Make sure you’re that person.
  • 8. Creating A Thought Leadership Strategy As A Real Estate Agent Page 7 Agent Gold 10) Make sure you engage in personal topics. So this is not just sharing your photos of you and your family doing stu . This is showing your hobbies. This is going out there and nding personal topics that you can share that build out your interests. If you love baseball, share and discuss your favorite team. If you have other hobbies or topics/issues that you are excited about, share it, show it, and let people know about it. With this, you can always inadvertently make enemies (i.e., with New York Mets fans if you’re a die hard New York Yankies fan). But if you engage politely, you will likely just have people who don’t connect with you on certain hobbies but others who will love you because of those hobbies. 11) Be authentic. This is the last major point, but it's probably one of the most important. And by now, you should understand this and know that this is what you should be doing. You need to be authentic on whatever platforms you are on. People can smell out somebody who's being fake, or if something happens to come out that is negative, they're going to immediately know that you're fake and you haven't been authentic. Even if your content is curated ahead of time and based on a content calendar, you still can and need to be authentic. If you have to make time to create the content yourself, do it. Don’t have an underling, agency or employee do it for you, at least until you've developed a voice that you can then train that other person to help you with creating the content. Otherwise, you can potentially hurt yourself more than not even having a thought leadership role.
  • 9. Your Next Steps: Now you know how to develop a thought leadership strategy. Next steps: Do it, and don’t be afraid to tweak it as you go along. It’s possible that you’re not going to immediately know exactly what you like and what you don’t like. Grow your strategy as you grow your audience. The only way to really and truly fail is not to take action.