Three years ago, Dash Longe was at a crossroads.
The globetrotting, daredevil free skier was now a husband and father of two who needed a career that offered better stability for his growing family. Ten days before his second daughter’s birth, Longe had a chance encounter with Daimon Bushi, an old ski friend who offered him a place in his burgeoning Park City Windermere real estate team.
“He was just spread way too thin, and he offered me an unreal opportunity to work with him that I just couldn’t turn down,” Longe said.
Although he was excited for the opportunity — Longe earned his license in only six weeks — he still grappled with the fear that embracing real estate meant he had to let go of his true love, skiing.
“My entire life has been spent as a skier,” he explained. “I can connect every dot in my life back to skiing somehow, and I think about it constantly. It was really scary, the thought of my whole world changing that I’d worked so hard to create.”
Longe started skiing at the tender age of three, when his parents first took him to Lake Tahoe’s majestic and world famous slopes.
“I fell in love with it as far back as I can remember,” he said. “Some of my first memories are ski memories.”
For the next 10 years, Longe dedicated himself to freestyle skiing, which incorporates jumps and tricks from snowboarding and the ability to land and takeoff backwards. By age 13, Longe negotiated and signed his first sponsorship, thereby launching his professional career.
“I decided early on that I wasn’t as interested in competition, and I felt the best way to refine the sport and showcase the creative side of the sport was through filmmaking,” he explained.
Longe traveled to places as exotic as Kashmir, Corsica, Japan, Croatia, Macedonia, and Montenegro to be featured in documentary-style ski films, which companies produce to showcase talent and market new products.
Although Longe loved his career — the fresh snow, the exotic locales, the jumps, the tricks, the dangerous heights, the creativity, and the films — time and new responsibilities were pushing him toward something new.
“Having my wife be pregnant was the first indicator that something was going to change in the future,” he said. “I didn’t know how or what it was going to look like, but the thought of my ski career ending was something that was always on my mind.”
As his contracts dwindled from three years to one, Longe knew he had no choice but to take Daimon up on his offer, no matter how scared he was.
“My quandary with becoming a realtor was wondering, ‘Is this really me, and do I want to be a sales agent?’ I don’t come from a sales background,” he said. “I’m a total creative and I studied strategic communication and product design in school because I thought I could eventually work for one of my sponsors.”
After some soul searching, Longe decided that he didn’t have to change who he was — he just needed to change his mindset. He soon found ways to use his creative spark, whether it was through a design overhaul of Bushi’s website, refining the brokerage’s branding, or getting behind the camera to film marketing videos.
“I was trying to figure out how I could get excited about this and still be me,” he said. “I had to shift my thinking completely and figure out how to implement my almost 20 years of professional ski experience and integrate it into this profession.”
Longe and Bushi’s unrelenting passion for skiing led them to create their flagship service — ski-in, ski-out luxury property tours for buyers at all skiing levels.
“Daimon’s a die-hard skier too, and together we started to dream up all these concepts and the first clear tie [to skiing] is that our brokerage is ski-in and ski-out,” he explained. “The office that he helped start and create is at the base of Park City Mountain Resort, and Park City is home to some of the most desirable ski-in and ski-out real estate in the nation.”
“The real silver lining to this opportunity is that [Daimon] saw and continues to see how important it is for me to remain a professional skier, and although its been trying on our partnership at times, he’s been supportive,” Longe added while noting he has ski sponsors.
Looking forward, Longe is excited to continue building his real estate career while maintaining his strong connection to the ski world, which he believes is a core component of the success he’s experiencing now.
“Having that work ethic [from skiing] is just my foundation, and that’s what I bring to my clients too,” he said. “When I get excited about something and see that it’s doable, I can’t let go. There’s direct correlation between everything I do in real estate to skiing.”
For agents who are transitioning from another career to real estate, Longe has one piece of advice: follow your heart.
“You can’t change who you are for someone else because they’ll pick up on that,” he said. “Your people will become your business. Find a place where it becomes about fostering friendships and having fun. That’s where your business will come from.”
In honor of Inman’s Agent Appreciation Month, we’re highlighting agents with extraordinary stories through a new series, Agent Plus. Do you know someone who should be highlighted for their work inside and outside of the office? Send your nominations to AgentPlus@inman.com.
Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2020.
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