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First Person

Dustin Brohm on the Importance of Being Known

“I would've started earlier, and I would've been a little bit more honest with myself about what I actually wanted to be doing and what I enjoyed. No matter what you like doing, there's going to be some way for you to do content and grow an audience.” Dustin Brohm, Managing Member of The Maywood Group, Host of The Massive Agent Podcast, and Co-Founder of Industry Syndicate.

Here are a few highlights:

  • How struggling with door knocking lead to more leads
  • Why content marketing helped find his voice.
  • Knowing there is a path for everyone based on your natural talents

Rather read? Check out the transcript below.

Mike Schneider: Welcome back to another episode of First Person, where we talk about the intersection of business and relationships in real estate. And, uh, I'm honored today to have Dustin Brohm here from Massive Agent Podcast.

Dustin Brohm: Thank you.

Mike Schneider: Um, welcome to the show.

Dustin Brohm: Thank you. Yeah, I'm excited.

Mike Schneider: Well, uh, like to start off with, why'd you get into real estate.

Dustin Brohm: Uh, it started when I read Rich Dad Poor Dad to be honest with you.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Dustin Brohm: Yeah. I mean, it was probably 10, 11, 12 years ago now that I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and it planted a seed. Like, you know, once you, once you get an idea or, like, you, um, learn about, like, some new way of doing things, you can't just go back. Like, you can't forget. And so, it planted this seed of what's possible with entrepreneurship and going into business for yourself. Cause my family didn't have any, like, you know-- I'm the first to really go out on my own in my family. And so, Rich Dad Poor Dad opened that, opened my eyes and then, um, specifically with real estate. So it wasn't until a couple years later I actually got my license.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Dustin Brohm: Fully intended to, like, be a flipper and flip homes and, you know--

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Dustin Brohm: --make $50,000 every month. You know, all of that. And I ended up getting my license to be a better real estate investor, or a more effective one.

Mike Schneider: Yep.

Dustin Brohm: And someone referred a buyer to me cause they knew I had my license. And I went out and helped them buy a condo and really liked it and it just kind of grew from there. So--

Mike Schneider: And, and take us through the progression. So how'd you, how'd you end up where you are today?

Dustin Brohm: Sure. So, um, I've been an agent for about eight years now. And, so I started off, just, you know, with some referrals here and there. Like, when you're a new agent in your mid-20s, or-- yeah, mid to late-20s, like, I didn't have a huge network. I'm not one of those people that, when I started out, that I had a ton of credibility with my contacts. I'm just not one of those people. And so, like I had to go out and like try to chase down new business. And my mentor, he has a very different personality than me. He's a, a cold caller--

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Dustin Brohm: --door knocker, likes doing the more traditional, like, chase you down type of marketing. And, that didn't-- like, that's not me. So, that's all-- I thought that was the only way to do things. And so, for like, the first four years I struggled quite a bit. Um, you know, very few deals, very little income, I was splitting it with the team, you know, what little income I had. And so, it forced me, about four years ago, to start, like, looking for ways to generate my own leads.

Mike Schneider: Yep.

Dustin Brohm: I went down the path of content marketing and specifically blogging. And it was, it was kind of like a, a paradigm shift again. It's like, wait, so I could just write articles or do videos, and people will come to me and ask me to help them buy a house? And it was a great idea, and I'm not-- like, I didn't have any other options so I'm like, "I'm just gonna do this." I, I found some mentors that were bloggers.

Mike Schneider: Yep.

Dustin Brohm: And followed their lead. And trusted that it worked. And like three months after I started doing that, I, I got a buyer from a YouTube video that I did that-- it only had a hundred views or something at the time. And they were like, "Hey, you know, we saw your, your video about why Zillow sucks and we think you'd be fun to work with. We need to buy a place." And that validated everything. So ever since then, I've just been content marketing in as many different ways as possible. Learning how to promote-- like, do the content, then promote it, and, and then I got good at it. And it led me to help-- start helping other agents to do that as well. And then I, I launched my, my podcast a year ago, kind of along the, the lines of how to get more leads, how to get more deals, real estate marketing stuff. And here we are.

Mike Schneider: Very cool. Well I, I love that progression. I thought it was interesting that you started about-- talking about the network side.

Dustin Brohm: Yep.

Mike Schneider: And then the content marketing. And we talk about relationships in kind of a broad term.

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: Right? You, you build some level of relationship with that person through video.

Dustin Brohm: Yes.

Mike Schneider: Right? And then, and then relationship over time, as people are following you, then they say-- they came to you saying, "You'd be fun to work with."

Dustin Brohm: Yes.

Mike Schneider: Which they, which they got from your content. Can you talk a little bit about relationships and this industry. How, how important are relationships to real estate, and what you, specifically what you're doing?

Dustin Brohm: Sure. It-- I think everything that works boils down to a relationship somehow. So content marketing is how I attract new, new business. And it's because people get to know, like, and trust you. I know it's cliché but it's true.

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Dustin Brohm: They get to know me through my content, through my Instagram stories, through my videos, through my podcast, all of that. And so then they're like, "That, you know, he's an expert in his local area. He'd be fun to work with." Now, I repel some people with my personality, I'm sure.

Mike Schneider: Sure. Of course.

Dustin Brohm: But I attract the right people.

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Dustin Brohm: People that, that would be a good fit to work with me. And--

Mike Schneider: And it's probably worth saying that everyone is, right, either attracting or repelling through their content, right? Whether they're sending--

Dustin Brohm: Absolutely.

Mike Schneider: --postcards or post, whatever they're posting on Facebook. That's happening.

Dustin Brohm: That's a good point.

Mike Schneider: It's part of your engagement with people, even if it's not an intentional strategy, right?

Dustin Brohm: Exactly.

Mike Schneider: They-- you are being measured by that. It's not just--

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: --your time sitting down for coffee that's building--

Dustin Brohm: Right.

Mike Schneider: --or, or eroding that relationship.

Dustin Brohm: Yeah. If you're door knocking or, or--

Mike Schneider: Right.

Dustin Brohm: --cold calling, you're pissing some people off and, who won't work with you now because you just interrupted their day.

Mike Schneider: Right.

Dustin Brohm: You know?

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Dustin Brohm: So, so, no matter what you're doing--

Mike Schneider: Every touchpoint is--

Dustin Brohm: Yes.

Mike Schneider: --part of building a-- your, your brand and your relationship.

Dustin Brohm: Exactly.

Mike Schneider: So you've gone really deep on the content side.

Dustin Brohm: Yes.

Mike Schneider: So, talk us through. How does, how do you leverage that for a relationship, and when does it shift to the offline side. How, what is that interplay for your. Cause you're still selling, right?

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Dustin Brohm: Yeah, I'm still selling. Um, that's an interesting question. So, the content I use as a way to getting new people in the door--

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Dustin Brohm: --people who don't already know me too, to then, like, kind of go down the rabbit hole, watch some of my videos are follow me on Instagram. And the whole goal for me is for them to get to know me.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Dustin Brohm: To get to know me, hopefully they'll, they'll like me and get to trust me or trust that I'm an expert in what I do.

Mike Schneider: Are you educating them in that? Tell, tell us a little bit about that.

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: If the-- I love the mission, 'I want them to know me.'

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: And what are the different avenues you have for that?

Dustin Brohm: Sure. Uh, I do-- I, I started out  with a lot of real estate heavy content.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Dustin Brohm: Like, you know, '10 tips for first time home buyers,' stuff like that.

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Dustin Brohm: But, gradually I started realizing that's just not sexy stuff.

Mike Schneider: [laughter]

Dustin Brohm: Like, most people aren't gonna be watching a ton of real estate videos unless they're actively in the market to find an agent or to educate themselves. So the audience is small and they don't last that long.

Mike Schneider: Yup.

Dustin Brohm: You know? But the people that are gonna follow you for long period of time, it's gonna be when you're not talking about real estate, when you are going content about your local, your, your local area, like a new bar that just opened or Topgolf is coming to town.

Mike Schneider: Yes.

Dustin Brohm: And, you know, you go document what that is and share what that's gonna be, or Dave and Busters. Or, like, the new school that just got remodeled, then you go do a tour of that. Like, that-- you, you don't have to be talking about real estate all the time for people to realize you're a local expert.

Mike Schneider: It's, it's really funny because we have to remind agents of that--

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: --all the time. When they're signing up for a product they're thinking, "Oh, these people are likely to sell." And they immediately want to talk about real estate. You go, "No, no, no. That's--"

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: "--that's not the point. You want to talk about the other things that are going on in their life and in the community."

Dustin Brohm: Yes. Yes.

Mike Schneider: And then it happens that when they need a real estate agent, you're the one.

Dustin Brohm: Exactly. Yeah.

Mike Schneider: So, one of the things we're working on with this season is to get down to some really practical tips and tricks.

Dustin Brohm: Cool.

Mike Schneider: So, a lot of our audience would love to be in content--

Dustin Brohm: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: --but they're not. If people are getting started, can you give us one or two things that you're saying, "You should do this in 2019, here's something really specific you can do to help."

Dustin Brohm: Sure. Yeah, the, the good news is there's, there's no shortage of different platforms or different things you could do to, to do content. I think you first have to, and this doesn't have to take three weeks, but just, like, figure out what, what you're good at. Do you like being in front of the camera, or do you, like-- does it scare the hell out of you? Cause if it scares you, like, don't plan on being a YouTuber, you know? But, if you like to talk or you like to write, blog, or do a podcast or a flash briefing or something. Pick, pick one of these, uh, these platforms that aligns with what you're good at and what you, what you like doing, because you're, you're never gonna have any success unless you just keep doing it consistently over time. And if you hate it, you're never gonna do that.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Dustin Brohm: That's why I never made it cold calling and door knocking.

Mike Schneider: Right.

Dustin Brohm: Cause I hated it.

Mike Schneider: So you pick a platform. And then, can you give us--

Dustin Brohm:Yep.

Mike Schneider: --one thing that would be, like, a piece of content that an agent could, could do that you found really works--

Dustin Brohm:Sure.

Mike Schneider: --for their, for their local market or, or that's not some cheesy, you know, generally marketing scam that, that everyone's doing.

Dustin Brohm: Yeah. I would-- educate yourself on what new things are coming to your, your town or your market. Is it a new grocery store, a new restaurant, a new school, a new attraction? Whatever it is, find out something that's, that's not there yet, that's coming that people would be interested in. And then, if you've chosen to do YouTube, go do, like, a video, like, tour of the, you know, the empty lot and like, "Here's where this thing's gonna be." And, and tell them what, what it's gonna become. Uh, or write an article if you decide you're gonna write. Facebook-- I think everyone needs to be using Facebook and, to a certain extent, Instagram, because they're just too powerful. There're so many things you can do with them. But, you know, pick something that's in line with, uh, with what you're, what you want to be doing, and, and then focus on something that is coming to your area that people are gonna be excited to hear about. Because when you find that thing, they're gonna share it.

Mike Schneider: Mmm.

Dustin Brohm:They're gonna share the crap out of it. And pretty soon you're gonna have thousands of shares, if you've done it right, whether that's a YouTube video or a blog article or something. And so, then, like, organically, you're growing your audience. People are seeing that, hey, this is, this is posted on your real estate website, or this is on your Instagram profile or your YouTube channel, and the people who are interested in learning more about you are gonna start exploring a little bit more of your content. That's how you grow, is by finding something that's actually gonna be getting attention and actually interesting. So, focus-- forget about real estate. Like, that, that's the thing. Like, content-wise, don't think about real estate. Just think about what's coming to your area that people, most people, don't know about yet that's gonna be interesting.

Mike Schneider: That's great. I think that's a great tip. Um, last question, and we'll wrap up with this, is, if you rewind, and obviously it would be you, you wouldn't do door knocking and, and cold calling, but what's one thing you'd do differently, um, now in hindsight?

Dustin Brohm: I would've just started doing what I'm doing a lot earlier, because, just like driving a car, you can't learn how to drive by reading a textbook. You have to be driving to learn how to do it. It's the same thing with, with content and with, whether you're blogging or doing a podcast or whatever. You have to be doing it. So I would've started doing what I'm doing now a lot sooner. And, I'd, you know, I'd be more talented. I'd probably have a bigger audience.

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Dustin Brohm: I would've been happier. I would've had some actual income instead of, years of struggle. Um, I would've started earlier, for sure, and then, I would've just been a little bit more honest with myself about what I actually wanted to be doing, what I enjoyed. Because there's, no matter what you like doing, there's gonna be some way for you to do content and grow an audience. You just have to be honest enough with yourself to do it. And it, it took me a while before I got there.

Mike Schneider: Well, thanks for being on. Where can people find you online?

Dustin Brohm: Um, @massiveagent on social media, and then

Mike Schneider: Great. Dustin, thanks for being on--

Dustin Brohm: You bet.

Mike Schneider: --another episode of First Person.

Dustin Brohm: You bet. That was fun.

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