In this column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry. This week, find out how Long Doan has overcome overwhelming obstacles to realize the American dream — and share it with others.

In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.

Long Doan

With the 90th largest independently owned brokerage in the U.S. as well as the No. 1 independently owned brokerage in Minnesota, Long Doan has spent almost three decades building his professional reputation and the business of his dreams.

Find out how he learned that the most important part of succeeding in real estate is helping buyers, sellers, agents and staff to achieve their dreams as well.

How long have you been in the business?

This is my 28th year in the business. My first 15 years were on the mortgage side, and my last 13 years have been in real estate. I founded Realty Group in 2009.

Looking at the leading and lagging indicators, I saw the opportunities for real estate from being on the mortgage side. I closed more than 1,000 transactions in my first four years in real estate, mostly from bank-owned listings.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Because of my background and experience, I’m passionate about helping others and paying it forward. I see myself finding more ways and dedicating more time and resources to helping others, including those who work with me here as I grow the business.

What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?

This is a people business, so to be successful real estate IQ is not enough. Those with high real estate EQ — emotional quotient — will rise to the top. Also, just focus on helping others, and money will come. Buyers and sellers can smell “commission breath” a mile away.

How did you learn it?

I came to America alone as a “boat person” at the age of 13 with less than a 50/50 survival rate. I’m a “flip of a coin” of being here right now writing this. In Vietnam, the home I grew up in was owned by my grandparents, then my parents, then my uncles. It’s very hard to own a home in Vietnam. So the American dream of owning a home here in America was hard for me to grasp.

It was my experience of owning my first home where I learned that there was so much involved in a real estate transaction (up to 48 parties on the average). A great real estate agent not only needs to know what to do to help navigate through the process but how to keep everyone calm and focused. I didn’t believe it until I actually closed and moved into my home that I had actually realized my American dream.

Afterward, I was confused when I found out how low the barrier of entry was to be a real estate agent. Now, real estate is my platform to help others, and I want to help bring our profession to the next level of professionalism.

What advice would you give to new agents?

Align yourself with the right team or brokerage or mentor that will help you shorten your learning curve, and don’t be a secret agent. This is a people business, so people will work with those they like and trust. Therefore, visibility is credibility.

Leverage technology and social media to virtual door-knock. Also, be comfortable and ready for interviewing for a job, then be prepared to work yourself out of the job within 30-60 days while interviewing for other jobs.

Do you want to be featured on an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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