You probably laughed the first time someone said you should be making videos on TikTok. “But it’s a kids app! But it’s all about dancing and goofing around!”
Glennda Baker, one of the top agents in Atlanta and a 28-year veteran, begs to differ. She’s posting a TikTok video every day and, since last October, has closed 8 deals worth $141,000 in GCI just from TikTok leads.
This week on The Walkthrough, Glennda shares her TikTok journey and explains the strategy that’s consistently earning her new clients and growing her business.
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Links and Show Notes
(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host)
Tell the truth, how did you react the first time you heard someone say that you, a real estate agent, should be making videos on TikTok? Was it something like this?
I get it. I mean, TikTok’s the place where kids are making dance videos and lip-syncing to the latest hits, and some parents are trying to make funny videos, too. Oh, and there’s also a real estate agent who has made $141,000 in GCI on there.
[Sound effect: record scratch]
What? There’s a real estate agent who is actually getting clients and closing deals from TikTok?
There is. So far, she’s closed 8 deals and earned $141,000 in GCI. She just had a TikTok go viral, more than 7 million views and 50,000 shares. And here’s the most amazing thing, she’s not doing it by dancing and lip-syncing. Shut the front door.
How is she doing it? That’s what we’re going to find out today.
This is “The Walkthrough.”
Hello. Hello. How are you? My name is Matt McGee. I’m the editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center. Welcome to “The Walkthrough.” This is a weekly podcast. We have new episodes that come out every Monday. This is the show where you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country.
At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We are on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable. If you want to get involved in the show or get in touch with me, there’s a couple different ways you can do that. Find me on our Facebook listener community, probably the easiest way. Go to Facebook, search ‘HomeLight Walkthrough’ and the group will come right up. You can also send me a text or leave a voicemail, the number for that is 415-322-3328, or just send an email to walkthrough [at] homelight.com.
You know what I love about real estate? I mean there’s a lot of things I love, but I love the fact that there’s no one single blueprint for success. You get to choose how you want to run your business, how you want to find and convert leads, all of that. You can crush it with online leads. You can crush it with your sphere and your database. You can go door-knocking, if you want, for crying out loud. Never mind all the people who say it’s old-fashioned. You can also try new-fashioned things like TikTok. Like I said earlier, don’t laugh.
My guest today is crushing it on TikTok. You probably know her name already. I’m talking about Glennda Baker. She’s been in real estate for 28 years. She runs a six-person, all-female team based in Atlanta. Last year, Glennda’s team did 149 deals and sold $60 million in volume.
Some of those sales came from, yes, TikTok. Glennda started on TikTok early last year, but she didn’t really get serious about it until last October. And since then, well, you heard the numbers already: 8 closed deals, $141,000 in GCI directly from TikTok.
So, on today’s show, Glennda is going to share her TikTok story. You’ll hear her talk about the importance of being authentic to attract your tribe. How she produces a new video every day. And you’ll hear the audio from three of her TikTok videos to kind of help you get a sense of the content that she’s making there.
All of that is coming up. I’ll have a One More Minute segment at the very, very end of the show.
For now, let’s dive in. We began the conversation talking about that viral video that Glennda had just last month.
Matt: You had a TikTok video go viral in mid-May, 7 million views, 1.5 million likes, 6,000 comments, and it’s been shared about 50,000 times when I looked at the video this morning. Before we talk about the video itself, which we will, tell me what happened afterward, did you get business from this video?
Glennda: So, we’ve had five listing appointments. I think it was posted two weeks ago. And it’s funny because I was actually on vacation at the beach. So, I post every morning between 6:00 and 7 a.m., and my videographer sent me a message about, I was having … I was meeting a friend for breakfast, and about 9:00 he sends me a message, he goes, “Check your TikTok. The video you posted this morning has got some legs on it.” And I checked it and it had 147,000 views within 2 hours.
Glennda: And when Jimmy and I finished breakfast, it had 229,000 views, and I was like, “This is insane.” And so it’s funny that you said that it had 7 million because the last time I checked, it was at 6.9 million. So, I was wondering if I was ever going to get to 7 million. I almost freaked out when you just said that because I didn’t realize it. But it is insane.
So, we have gotten five listing appointments since I got back from the beach from that video, and I have hundreds, hundreds of text messages, DMs, phone calls, all my stars, like I cannot believe that video. We loved it. We’ve watched it over and over. But what’s crazy is, the shares, 50,000 shares, what?
Matt: Right? It’s insane. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video, especially a real estate video get 50,000 shares. Yeah, that’s unbelievable. This is not the first time that you’ve gotten business from TikTok, right. I mean what are the totals in terms of transactions, GCI, and all that stuff?
Glennda: Okay. So, my first TikTok video was in February 2020, and I did, I don’t know if I danced, I don’t know if I did this is who I am, it was something stupid. And so, I posted maybe, I don’t know, 8, 10, 12 weird videos. And then in October, so I said, okay, Q4 of 2020, I’m going to get serious about TikTok.
So, since October 2020, $141,000 in GCI, 8 closed transactions, 5 listing appointments last week. And this is what is crazy is, “Hello, my name is Jerry. My son found you on TikTok and said I should interview you.” “Hello. My name is Julie. My daughter Olivia found you on TikTok and said I should interview you.” Sit down, grasp tightly, both of those listing appointments, over a million dollars.
Matt: Oh wow.
Glennda: The child told the parent. No lie, I’m at the AT&T store getting a new phone and I walk in, and the kid goes, “That’s the real estate agent. That’s the TikToker.” Wait a minute, the kid is 12-years-old, 12-years-old, no lie. So, I’m there and I’m talking to the man and they said, “Okay, it’s going to take a little while for your stuff to download. Do you want to wait or you want to come back?” And I’m like, “No, no, no, I’ll wait. I’m going to upload some TikTok videos.” And the kid goes, “I told you. I told you it was her.”
Matt: Oh my gosh.
Glennda: What was that? So, I mean, that’s the thing is, it’s shocking, and the mother, the mom turns around and she goes, “Are you in real estate?” I said, “I’m in real estate.” She goes, “We’re thinking about putting our house on the market for sale,” and I’m like, ding, ding, ding. So that’s the thing is people totally underestimate. They think it’s a kid’s app. They think that it’s people dancing. They think that it’s people carrying on. But the thing about it is, is TikTok is a vehicle for what you want it to be a vehicle for. It just depends on how we use it.
Matt: Let’s talk more about the viral video from the middle of May. You tell this, it’s like a cautionary tale, you say, about how you wasted one of your early commissions. What prompted you to tell that story?
Glennda: Well, I love storytime. I’ve told stories about the naked guy. I’ve told stories about the unit that was on fire during the inspection, and people love to know like what is the behind-the-scenes, the stuff that you don’t know about real estate. And a lot of real estate agents follow me, a lot of young real estate agents. A lot of agents just getting into the business. And I told Denver, my videographer, I said, “I want to tell the story about the commission check that I wasted,” and he’s like, okay.
Well, so Denver has no idea what I’m about to talk about. Denver nearly fell out of his chair because, I mean, $137,000 is a shit-load of a money. He was shocked.
Matt: Yes, it is.
Glennda: So, you know, for me, I want agents to learn from my mistakes. I want to level up our industry and I want agents that are coming into the business to know that the best investment, when you are a real estate agent, is two things, yourself and real estate. So invest in yourself and invest in real estate. That is what will take you longer and help you sustain a career over the long term.
Matt: Can we listen to that audio? Listeners might be wondering, “I want to hear this video.” So, how about if we play that?
Glennda: Go ahead.
So, once upon a time I sold a big ass house and I made $137,000 in commission on that one house. And rather than taking that money and investing it in real estate, I went and bought a brand new Mercedes. I went on a shopping spree and I pissed that money away, instead of buying a townhouse on Lennox road. It was right in the middle of foreclosure season. I could have bought that townhouse for $100,000. That townhouse today, that in 1995 was $100,000, is a million dollars. That Mercedes is worth zero and those clothes don’t fit. This is a cautionary tale.
Matt: So that’s the video that went viral just a few weeks ago. Glennda, why do you think that connected with so many people?
Glennda: I think that they connected with the vulnerability. I think that they connected with the reality, and I think that a lot of people could see themselves in that video. So, I hope, I hope, I hope that agents will look at it and they will say, “Here’s somebody who made a mistake. Let me learn from her.”
Matt: You know, having a viral video with 7 million views or whatever it is at now, by the time people are listening to this, right, 8 million, 9, 10, who knows? Right, that’s cool and all, but most of your videos, let’s be…most of them don’t connect to that level, right? Do you also get business from the non-viral videos, the ones that get 3,000 or 4,000 views?
Glennda: Absolutely. I’ll give you a great example. So TikTok is like a layering of credibility. Nothing accelerates credibility faster than proof, number one. And number two, we’ll get a referral from an agent out of our market. And Joe and Nicole, they called and said, “Hey, we were referred to you by this person and we went on your TikTok and we saw on your TikTok that the first thing we need to do is get pre-approved by a lender.”
Like, that’s the thing, is … and the binge-watching. So, this is something that’s really interesting that you probably didn’t pick up on, because most people don’t realize, I hashtag my name in every single video, so I can follow the cumulative number of views over all of the videos. So, that particular video from mid-May took my views from 6 million to 26 million. So, while I had 7 million on that one video, I had 13 million views on all of the other catalog of the other 81 videos. So that’s the thing that most people don’t realize is that once they get sucked in by that viral video, they then went and looked at every other video to kind of see, is she legit?
Matt: A lot of the advice that I’ve read, I wonder if you’ve read the same thing, when I read it on websites or Facebook groups, and hearing it on Clubhouse as well, like a lot of people say, you know, be fun. You have to dance. Show your personality, and do not talk about real estate. You are obviously not paying any attention to that advice. Were you aware of all that?
Glennda: No, I wasn’t aware of all that, but this is what I don’t understand about people and video. Video is the absolute best opportunity for you to be authentic, for you to speak directly to the people that you want to do business with you. I always say, people say, “Glennda, aren’t you a little bit afraid when you say ‘shit’, and when you say like bad words, that that’s going to turn people off. They won’t think that’s professional. Aren’t you afraid when you tell people you sold the wrong house that they’re going to think you’re like a big quack real estate agent?”
I’m like, “No, that weeds out the riff-raff,” like literally. Like, either you love me or you don’t, I’d rather you find out sooner rather than later to save us both a lot of time. So, my deal is, is that I want to be as authentic as possible. What you see is what you get. And in that way, I don’t have to worry if you’re going to like me in real life, because you are, like literally, like it’s so funny because my daughter said to me, she goes, “Mom.” She goes, “If you ever like, go on a dating app, like you do realize you’re not going to be able to use your name,” and I’m like, “Why would I not use my name?”
She goes, “Because everybody will be able to look at your TikTok and your Instagram and they’ll know everything about you.” And I’m like, “This is fantastic. This is amazing.” Because like literally, like think about how it will filter out all the people that want that quiet, demure, very proper lady? That will not be me. So I’m just thinking this is…and this is just a great filter. I love it.
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Matt: I don’t remember when or even how I discovered Glennda’s TikTok profile, but I was immediately struck by how different her videos are. I follow I think about 15 real estate agents on there and most of them are using the standard TikTok approach, right, be funny, dance, tell jokes, show that part of your personality. But here’s the thing, even though Glennda is breaking that “don’t talk about real estate” rule, her personality comes through loud and clear in her videos, as you’ll hear in just a moment.
As I say this, Glennda has about 330,000 followers on TikTok, 330,000. And you’ve already heard how much business she’s getting from these people. As we get back to the conversation, Glennda is talking about how being authentic has helped her attract that huge tribe of followers.
Glennda: That’s who you want. I mean, really think about it, because the people who are not your tribe that do business with you, those are passive referrers. If those people are at a cocktail party, they may or may not tell their friend about you, but the people that will embrace you, that love you, like, I call them Glenndaratis. I mean, literally, like those people, it cracks me up. If somebody says something mean in the comments, the Glenndaratis will like, jump on them, like those are passionate people about me, and those are the clients that I’m looking for. The people that are excited to work with me, the people that are passionate about working with me, and the people that want to make their friends passionate about working with me.
So, for me, I love the fact that, you know, I can be me and that I can filter out the riff-raff, the people that wouldn’t like to do business with me when they met me anyway, and it’s working and I love it. I love it so much that I almost don’t even want to stop. Like, I have all these videos and I like want to post all day long, but I have to like, contain myself to post one a day, from 6:00 and 7 a.m., and just kind of wait till the next day I post again.
Matt: I have a feeling listeners thinking about this, all right, maybe I should try TikTok, but they are, you know, “I don’t know what I would say.” You’re doing a video every day, as you said, so let’s play those two others that I really enjoyed from your reels. So, I want to play two others so that listeners can get a sense of what we’re talking about.
Number one, you kind of mentioned this a little earlier, this one is you telling a story about a strange encounter, the naked encounter, while you were showing a home with one of your buyers. So let’s listen to that real quick.
Glennda: In real estate, you see a lot, I’ll be honest with you, and I never ever will forget I was showing a house, single mother of two, and I made an appointment at 1:00. This was the first house. We were going exactly at 1:00. Back in the old day, she used to call the seller, “Hello, this is Glennda Baker, the real estate agent. I’m going to be showing you a house at 1:00.” And the guy says, “1:00?” And I said, “Yes, 1:00.” “Not a time range?” “No sir, your home is the first house. We’ll be there at 1:00.” “Okay great, I’ll see you at 1:00.”
Hang up the phone, go out with my client, go in the house, “Hello. Hello.” I can hear something. Anyway, we’re going through the house. So, we come out of the family room. We’re going down the hallway to the master bedroom, and no lie, cross my heart, the seller walks out naked. Not one strip of clothing on. Naked as a jaybird. The girl says, “I think I’ve seen enough. We can leave now.”
Matt: So that’s a crazy story right there, right, that a lot of agents can probably identify with homeowners are probably like, you know, like rolling their eyes like, “Oh my gosh, did that really happen?” Not just stories though, Glennda, that you’re telling, you’re also offering a lot of tips and advice, right. So let me play this other one where you are answering a question about the pros and cons of buying a cheap home in a good neighborhood. So let’s listen to that.
Glennda: You’ve probably heard that you should buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. That is sage and golden advice. If you always buy the least expensive home in the neighborhood, you always buy the worst home, the cheapest home in the neighborhood, your spread for equity building is much larger than if you buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood. And I had this conversation with one of my clients because he really wanted to be on this other side of the neighborhood. He’s like, “I’d be in the cheapest house on the expensive side rather than the best house on the other side.” I said, “You always want to be the cheapest house on the most expensive side, because that way, you have plenty of room for your equity to go up, instead of down.”
Matt: All right, Glennda, I love both of those because they’re really different. Your personality comes through. You’re offering valuable advice, especially in the second one. Where do you get your ideas for what to talk about day after day after day?
Glennda: So, a lot of the ideas come from the questions in the comments. I mean, think about it, that one video had 5,000 comments, and there’s a Q&A section in TikTok that I didn’t even know existed, but you have to answer the question by video. Well, I am not answering each question by video.
So, it’s just easier for me when I have a bunch of similar questions, that I create a video that I can push out, and then everybody can see it. But I mean, my god, I’m a real estate agent. Shit happens to me every day, like literally. Some days, I don’t even believe it. Like, if it could go wrong, it can. I mean no, let me just tell you this. So yesterday, this will be a sneak peek for your listeners, and it’s going to be a TikTok.
No lie. Yesterday, my photographer’s at the house. The pool is on. All of the lights are on, she is taking photos. Thank god, the owner is there. An electric pole fire happens, and I’m thinking to myself, “Please God. Please God, don’t let the photographer have started it. Please don’t let anybody be injured.” No lie. A wire snapped at the pole outside and literally surged the entire house that started this electrical experience. We were supposed to go on the market tomorrow, open house on Sunday, and no shit, the fire truck, Georgia Power, emergency electrician, housecleaner.
I mean, and the photographer is totally whacked out because as a child, she was in a house that caught on fire. And I’m thinking to myself, “I couldn’t make that up. I could not make this stuff up.”
Matt: Oh, wow.
Glennda: Thank the Lord, there was no problem. It was just a surge. Of course, my people need a new electrical panel, but it will not stop my open house. Everything will be fine. That’s why we get paid because this is very difficult, and I think that a lot of consumers think that we drop up in a Mercedes, we open the door, somebody buys a house. We make $30,000, and we go sit on a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean and eat bonbons. And that’s not the way that real estate is.
And every time that somebody tells me, “Glennda, this is so difficult. This happened. That happened.” I’m like, “Praise the Lord, because if it were easy, they wouldn’t need us.” So that’s what I want to get across to the consumer. That’s what I want to get to our agent is, level yourself up. Make yourself indispensable, because if you’re indispensable, you will not become extinct.
Matt: Let’s talk about production a little bit. You kind of hit on some of this earlier, you’re doing this in your home, with one other person helping and…
Matt: Two, okay. So, tell me what the setup is like?
Glennda: We sit at my breakfast room table. I’m doing this from my house. We sit at our breakfast room table. They come in at 7:00. They get all the lighting set up. They get the tables set up, and it’s Denver. Denver’s the filmmaker. Sam is the lighting guy. Everybody is like, “Who is she talking to?” Because when I’m doing my TikToks, I don’t look at the camera, because I am better in conversation. So, I’m looking at Sam. Everyone is, “Who is she talking to?” Sam is the lighting guy and Sam is amazing.
So literally, they come over to my house. They get everything set up. So they show up at 7 a.m. in the morning and it takes them an hour, and I have a call to greatness every morning at 8 a.m. I come down at 8:10. So from 8:10 to 8:30, we frame out what we’re going to shoot, and from 8:30 to 11:30 we shoot TikTok videos. And then take a break for lunch, we come back at 1:00, and then at 1:00, we shoot Instagram reels and other just kind of brand videos.
Matt: You mentioned earlier that you post every day, 6:00 to 7 a.m., is that intentional? Like, is there a reason that is that time of day, or did you just pick that and it seems to be working? Do you like, pay attention to how quickly things take off and all that sort of stuff, like how hands-on are you?
Glennda: Well, I pay attention to everything because I think that you’ve got to be forensic about your business to run a business. So, I was posting, you know…as I said, post when all your followers are online. Post at 11:00. Post at 3:00. Post at 12:00. Post at this, post at that. So, I tried posting at all these different times. I posted at 10:30 at night.
And then one day, I said, I woke up and I thought, okay, before I get out of bed, literally, before I get out of bed, because I wake up every morning between 5:50 and 6:10. So literally, before I get out of bed, the first thing that I do is post a TikTok video. I know. I mean, how pathetic does this sound? Like here is a middle-aged woman in Atlanta, Georgia, and the first thing she does when she opens her eyes is post a TikTok video. It almost scares me that I just said that, but I digress.
So, I post the TikTok video, and when I posted it between 6:00 and 7:00, it got some traction. So I did it the next day between 6:00 and 7:00, and it got some traction. And I was like, “Okay, these are doing really well.” And I started getting comments. “The first thing I look for every morning is your TikTok video.” “I can’t wait to wake up and see your TikTok video.” When I was at the beach, I think two days I’ve overslept, because number one, I was in Central Time zone. I was all whacked out, and I overslept. And like, one day I didn’t post till like 8 o’clock. Like, I had direct messages on my Instagram, worried about me.
Glennda: “We haven’t seen your TikTok today. Is everything okay?”
Matt: That speaks to the importance of being consistent and showing up every day, right.
Glennda: Yeah, I mean, I love it. To me, literally, I don’t know that I have been as excited about real estate in a long time because I feel like I have the opportunity to reach so many people. Like for me, I’m like, think about that. Like, how blessed am I that 7 million people took a moment of their time, a moment of their day, to watch me. Like, I mean, I’m honored. I’m so honored that I captured someone’s attention.
And so that’s why the quality of the product and the quality of the content is so vital and so important to me. I don’t want to put out shit. I don’t want to put out just something that’s not true or haphazard or fake. I’m not out there for the views. I’m out there because I want people to be better real estate agents. I want people to be better informed. I want to inspire, impact, or inform someone, and if I have done that for one person every day, that’s my only goal.
(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host)
Yes, that right there, perfectly said. Insert the target emoji or the 100 emoji right here. Love it. In fact, do you mind if I repeat what Glennda just said? Here’s the quote, she said, “I’m not out there for the views. I’m out there because I want people to be better real estate agents. I want people to be better informed. I want to inspire, impact, or inform someone.” I love that. That applies actually to all the content you make. It’s not just a TikTok thing.
A great way to wrap it up Glennda Baker, thank you so much. Amazing, amazing story.
I’m curious, are you still going to laugh when you hear something about TikTok? I hope not. If you’re not already following Glennda on TikTok, I will link to her profile in today’s show notes. I’ll also link to those three videos that we played during the episode so that you can watch them for yourself.
All right, I have a One More Minute segment coming up at the very, very end of the show. Right now, let’s do our takeaways segment.
Takeaway number one, TikTok isn’t just a kid’s app. It’s not just for dancing and lip-syncing. Glennda said, “TikTok is a vehicle for whatever you want it to be.”
Takeaway number two, Glennda talked about how TikTok adds an extra layer of credibility to your business. Nothing accelerates credibility faster than proof. So use it to show that you know your market and you know real estate.
Takeaway number three, video is the best way to be authentic and speak to the people that you want to do business with. We spent a lot of time in this episode talking about how Glennda uses TikTok, and she is very authentic just being herself. Her quote was, “I want to be as authentic as possible. What you see is what you get.”
Takeaway number four, as far as production is concerned, make it easy on yourself. Glennda shoots her videos in batches. You heard her describe a full day of making videos. Get everything done at once if you can.
And then takeaway number five, test, test, and test again. You heard Glennda say at the end there that she tried posting videos when everyone else was telling her what the best times are. She kept testing and figured out that 6:00 to 7 a.m. was the right time for her. So listen to the experts, yeah, but test things for yourself and stick with what works.
All right, do you have any questions or feedback about today’s episode? Leave a voicemail or send me a text. I’d love to hear from you. The number is 415-322-3328. You can send an email. The address is walkthrough [at] homelight.com or find me in our Facebook listener community. Go to Facebook. Do a search for HomeLight Walkthrough. The group will come right up. Click that join button. Love to see you in there.
That’s all for this week. Thanks again to Glennda Baker for joining me. Thank you for listening. My name is Matt McGee and you’ve been listening to “The Walkthrough.” At HomeLight we believe in real estate agents. We’re on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd and become irreplaceable.
Go out and safely sell some homes. I’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye.
Matt: Welcome back and welcome to another edition of One More Minute.
Are you a detail person? You might think you don’t need to be, but let me suggest otherwise. You just heard Glennda Baker say that she pays attention to everything because you have to be forensic about your business. That reminded me of two quotes that I love.
The first one is from Indra Nooyi, former CEO at Pepsi. She said this, “I pick up the details that drive the organization insane, but sweating the details is more important than anything else.”
The second quote is from a personal favorite of mine, John Wooden. He coached UCLA to 10 national titles in 12 years. His quote is this, “When you see a successful individual, a champion, a winner, you can be very sure that you are looking at an individual who pays great attention to the perfection of minor details.”
If you’re not a detail person, make sure you have someone on your team or at your brokerage who is. Details matter.
That’s One More Minute on Matt McGee. Thanks for listening. See you next week with another Walkthrough.
Header Image Source: (Fernando Aguirre Guzmán / Pixabay)