In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
As a top-producing agent in Salt Lake City, Dustin Brohm combines a love for real estate with a love for marketing and education.
His marketing and coaching brand, Massive Agent, is designed to help real estate agents and brokers raise their profiles and create marketing opportunities across multiple platforms and media.
How did he learn the importance of marketing, and what advice does he have for your business?
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in business for almost eight years. Believe it or not, I got started by reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It opened my eyes to entrepreneurship and the possibilities that real estate could provide.
However, I started with the intention of just flipping homes as an investor. But when my mentor recommended that I get my license to help me with investing, I did.
I helped a couple people buy homes, and it really changed everything. I realized that I love being a Realtor and decided to focus on that full time.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Five years from now, hopefully, the market has corrected, prices have come down, the ranks of other real estate agents has been thinned, and I’ve bought a ton of property at a discount.
I’m not joking — I am looking forward to the downturn. But regardless [of] if that happens within five years or not, I will be running a growing real estate team in Salt Lake City, have a thriving nationwide organization of producers within my brokerage and have built Massive Agent into a dominant name in real estate marketing and education for other real estate pros.
It’s become a mission of mine to help other agents who are struggling to turn the tables and start succeeding. It took me many years of trial-and-error to learn what works in today’s modern marketing environment, and I’m committed to helping other agents cut down their learning curve on how to attract new clients and do business the right way.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
That marketing is everything. I underestimated the importance of marketing for the first four or five years I was in real estate. But marketing is everything.
You could be the “best Realtor on the planet,” but if no one knows that you exist, you’ll starve to death. Marketing is what separates the big-shot “mega agents” and the agents who barely close enough deals to pay the bills. Of course, you must be a great agent and take great care of your clients. That’s a given.
But getting new clients in the door is absolutely paramount if you want to thrive.
How did you learn it?
Trial-and-error over years. Learning the hard way that “chasing down business” was not as effective as “attracting” business. Trying new things, constantly searching for something that “worked.”
I knew I hated the phone calls, door-knocking and posting lame stuff online like “If you’re looking for a great Realtor, call me!”
When you don’t like doing something, you can never be as consistent as you must be to see success. You’ll never do it with excitement and passion, which is absolutely required if you want to have any real success. I knew that chasing down business was not working for me.
Eventually, I came across a marketing concept called content marketing, a.k.a. attraction marketing. At the time, it was all theory, but I learned that by blogging and creating educational, entertaining or interesting content online and on social media, I could potentially attract clients to me.
I loved the idea, but had doubts I could make it work for me. I was determined to find out if this strategy was working for other Realtors.
Then I met some mentors who were having a ton of success by blogging, so I started following them and asking for advice. They were a huge help in showing me that content marketing definitely works — and works well.
But more importantly, that if they could do it, so could I. It was then that I “burned the boats” so to speak and went all-in on content creation. I got myself a website and started blogging, while learning how to share and promote the content once it was created.
Fast forward to now, and content marketing has changed everything for me. I didn’t realize the opportunities that I’d get because of my content and the many different directions I could take in my career.
Had I not decided to kick my weaknesses and dislikes to the curb, and instead sought out something I could be good at and would enjoy doing consistently over time, I probably would have had to quit the business and go get “a real job.” Scary thought!
What advice would you give to new agents?
Learn how to market effectively. With so much info out there online, most of which is outdated, you have to listen to someone credible on the topic. Someone who understands the current marketing landscape and is successful with their marketing.
Think of yourself as an entrepreneur, who is running their own business. If you still look at yourself as an employee, you won’t have the drive or responsibility deep down that will drive you to do what is needed to succeed.
Finally, work your ass off. This is a tough business. Most don’t last, so if you want to be an agent that lasts, be willing to work harder than ever before. Your competitors likely are.
Are you an agent with a story everyone can learn something from? Reach out to us (contributors@Inman.com). We look forward to featuring more of our best agents and brokers in a future edition of “Lesson learned.”
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook or Twitter.