5 things agents can learn about branding

5 things agents can learn about branding

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New York realtor Fredrik Ekland has closed more than $5.62bn in real estate since arriving from Sweden in 2003. Grant Gavin picked up these tips from him

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If you think the competition is fierce in South Africa, Swedish-born New York realtor Fredrik Eklund competes in a city with more than 27,000 agents. Then there’s the pressure he puts on himself: every year, he aims to double his turnover, despite being worth more than $5.62m already. He believes that wherever you are based as a realtor, creating your own brand in that market is crucial. “Don’t aspire to be something you are not. Brand yourself,” is what he says. I believe his success is due to outstanding branding and passion. Arguably the most famous real estate agent in NYC, Eklund is also host of reality show Million Dollar Listing New York, author of The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone, MD at Prudential Douglas Elliman and the founder of high-end residential real estate brokerage Eklund Stockholm New York. Here are five lessons agents can learn from this realtor:

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Eklund values the training, infrastructure and support that assisted him in building his business. He recently launched his own Eklund Property brand in Europe, but then pulled back to focus on sales and marketing. So here is a related point: always concentrate on your strengths.


Working from 5am to 10pm will take its toll. Prioritise your income-producing activities. Include personal time such as fitness, family and rest in your schedule. Eklund rarely takes business lunches, as he values this time alone to gather his thoughts and replenish his energy.


Put yourself out there and invest in your personal brand to differentiate yourself from competitors. Eklund is not on TV by accident. He knew he needed to elevate his personal brand and invested $10,000 in creating his own pilot reality TV show, which he sent to various producers.

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Nobody can achieve success without great support. A top personal assistant is a massive asset in sales. Nobody works harder than Eklund’s PA, Jordan Shea. Shea is a top agent in his own right and knows everything about Eklund’s business. This is important to ensure a team runs smoothly.


Build a following on social media to provide a platform from which to influence people, establish your personal brand and diff erentiate yourself. Eklund uses social media eff ectively by engaging with his followers and attracting developers and sellers who want their properties exposed to his audience.

 “Don’t aspire to be something you are not. Brand yourself”

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* Grant Gavin is a property entrepreneur and public speaker from Durban, with business interests in real estate (RE/MAX Panache) and property investment. In 2015 Grant founded the Durban Entrepreneurs Club, where he speaks on entrepreneurship and leadership.

Words: Grant Gavin


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