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First Person

How Brandon Doyle Won 24 Deals from One Relationship

“I think it's really important to consider the lifetime value of a client because, as you add more people to your database, those people are also referring you business and statistically will move every 10 years.”- Brandon Doyle, REALTOR® at RE/MAX Results

Here are a few highlights:

  • Why understanding your network is crucial
  • What to expect with consistent follow up
  • Alternatives to drip email campaigns

Rather read it? Check out the transcript here:


Mike Schneider: Welcome back to another episode of First Person, where we talk about the intersection of relationships and business, particularly in real estate. And I've been looking forward to this one because we have Brandon Doyle from the Doyle Real Estate team at RE/MAX Results. He's also an author. He's also been a customer at First for a long time and, and he's one of the most data-driven realtors I know, which has been great for us to kind of go back and forth and understand how things are working for his business and not. So I'm, I'm really looking forward to talking about relationships today.

Brandon Doyle: Awesome.

Mike Schneider: Thanks for being on.

Brandon Doyle: Thanks for having me.

Mike Schneider: Well, we're gonna right-- rewind all the way back to why you got into real estate.

Brandon Doyle: Okay. So, interestingly I never really wanted to get into real estate sales, per se. My dad was a real estate agent and still is. We're a father son team. But, uh, he was gone a lot, you know, with showing houses and, and stuff. And so, as a kid, growing up, I'm like, "I don't really, I don't wanna do that." But I did like the idea of real estate. I like the numbers behind it and everything. And so, I went to Saint Cloud State and got a degree in real estate and was doing commercial appraisals around the time the market crashed. Um, then when businesses dried up, I went into hospitality and then my dad was still working at, Edina Realty, down the road from where my office was there. And the draw was just too great. So I ended up getting into it. And I absolutely love it now so I'm really glad that I did, but, uh, it's just kind of ironic that--

Mike Schneider: That's a good story.

Brandon Doyle:--it never really was the intention. 

Mike Schneider: It wasn't the goal but here you ended up.

Brandon Doyle: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: And now you're an author in it. Well, uh, I'm very curious, since you're a numbers guy, what percentage of your business comes through relationships.

Brandon Doyle: About 65% right now.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Brandon Doyle: And we're doing a lot of marketing, so--

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Brandon Doyle: --that number has gone down.

Mike Schneider: It's been higher than 65.

Brandon Doyle: In the past it's been higher, yep.

Mike Schneider: Wow. Can you tell us-- so, everybody on the show, I think, agrees that relationships are a huge driver.

Brandon Doyle: Mmhmm.

Mike Schneider: In your case 65% and that's, that's lower than it has been.

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: : So, of course it's core. But can you tell us a story of an example of what that actually means. How does real estate-- how do relationships drive your business? Or, that 65%?

Brandon Doyle: Yeah. So, I would say that for most agents if you're consistently following up with people, you should expect to get about 10% of your database. That would be people you actually have a mailing address for, a phone number, an email, all of that, to turn over. And so, for the last three years, we've consistently done that. I can take the 360 people that we're mailing to and divide it by 10-- or, that we have relationships with, I should say-- and I know that I'll get 36 transactions this year, just from those people alone. Uh, so, that's huge. But--

Mike Schneider: Are those sales or referrals or both?

Brandon Doyle: A combination. Yeah.

Mike Schneider: A combination. Because it's more like 5% that actually sell every year, right? So it would be--

Brandon Doyle: Correct. Correct. Insane.

Mike Schneider: It would be a high to get 10%. Okay.

Brandon Doyle: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: But, but out of those relationships, you get about 10%--

Brandon Doyle: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: --in terms of referrals and deals.

Brandon Doyle: In referrals. Yeah.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Brandon Doyle: And that's why it's important to follow up with everyone--

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Brandon Doyle: --and not just the most likely. But, I think it's really important to consider the lifetime value of a client because, as you add more people to your database, those people are also referring you business and statistically will move every, every 10 years. But, we have one client that-- I've added it up and since the first transaction, we've done 24 transactions with him, either him directly or a referral from him or a referral from the person that he referred us. So, I just traced--

Mike Schneider: So you--

Brandon Doyle: --it all the way back. I've--

Mike Schneider: You've done the tree.

Brandon Doyle: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: The ancestry tree--

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: --of your deals back to this person. There's 24.

Brandon Doyle: Yeah. And so--

Mike Schneider: Wow.

Brandon Doyle: --you never know who that person is gonna be.

Mike Schneider: Yeah.

Brandon Doyle: And so, it's like, finding those raving fans and then just really taking care of them. So--

Mike Schneider: What, what's the story of taking care of them. That's amazing. It's 24 deals.

Brandon Doyle: Yep. So, uh--

Mike Schneider: Do you guys get coffee? What does that look like?

Brandon Doyle: Yeah. So, we do client appreciation events, and we invite everyone. Um, but for some of our raving fans, we encourage them to invite their friends as well. So it's almost like they're hosting an event. So, it could be--

Mike Schneider: So you invite him or her--

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: --to invite their friends.

Brandon Doyle: Exactly.

Mike Schneider: Are there other-- do you pay other special attention? How did you guys get to know this person? Is this, like, a college friend? Like, how did that happen?

Brandon Doyle: Yeah, so--

Mike Schneider: What happened there.

Brandon Doyle: Uh, he originally did business with us. He was an expired listing.

Mike Schneider: Wow.

Brandon Doyle: He had listed for sale by owner, didn't work out.

Mike Schneider: So no prior relationship?

Brandon Doyle: Uh, nope. Nope.

Mike Schneider: You guys called this expired. Wow.

Brandon Doyle: And, so, we were successful in getting his home sold and then he bought some investment properties and he's just been a big raving fan for us. So, it's been great. We need to find more people like him. [laughter]

Mike Schneider: Right. Well, that's really interesting. Uh, so one of the things we're doing this season is getting down to tips and tricks. 

Brandon Doyle: Mmhmm.

Mike Schneider: So you guys obviously have built a lot but you already mentioned one. Have the people you're inviting to your event, invite their friends.

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: Um, but, are there-- can you mention one or two things that maybe you wish you knew three or four years ago that agents watching this should apply in 2019 to go deeper with their relationships? Specifically in a way that would drive business but also realizing, you know, building and following up on that relationship. Often times we're sitting there going, what do I do next? Am I just gonna call and say, "How's it going?" Like what, what are some tips and tricks?

Brandon Doyle: Yeah. There's so much money in your database, and so from day one it's important to make sure you're spending a lot of time on that and make sure you have a valid email. Make sure that you have their phone number, accurate address. And then,  staying in touch with them in an organic fashion. Like, don't drip on them. No one wants your crappy newsletter. Like, I'm just gonna hit delete. But, you know, just being a real person, following up, finding more about them. And, and making it about--

Mike Schneider: So, something specific. We're all-- all wanna do that.

Brandon Doyle: Yeah. Make it about them and not you. Uh--

Mike Schneider: So, so walk me through a, a day where you're trying to do that with someone in your database. Cause we're all trying to do that.

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: We're trying to be real. We got the drip set up.

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: Now what do we do with the rest? Give me-- what's a, what's something you've found?

Brandon Doyle: So our goal is to do five conversations a day. I know if I--

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Brandon Doyle: --do that, then I'm gonna be able to hit my numbers. Uh, so what I might do is take the recommendations from First and just go right down the list and say, "Okay, well, who is this person? When did I talk to them last?" Um, maybe pull them up on Facebook, send them a message--

Mike Schneider: What's going on in their life.

Brandon Doyle: --there. Uh, shoot them a quick text, handwritten note, that type of thing. Uh, just--

Mike Schneider: And you consider all those a conversation.

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: Or is it a conversation if they respond? Like, how do you get to your five?

Brandon Doyle: Yeah. So, it needs to be a two way.

Mike Schneider: Okay.

Brandon Doyle: They need to have acknowledged. Otherwise, you know, I could just be sending out text blasts all day and that's not, that's not really--

Mike Schneider: So you might send 10 and get 5 responses and that's your 5 conversations?

Brandon Doyle: Well, I would hope that if I text people they'll all respond.

Mike Schneider: I do.

Brandon Doyle: Cause, I mean, they're friends. I'm not texting, like, leads or something.

Mike Schneider: Right.

Brandon Doyle: So, uh, yeah.

Mike Schneider: Great. So, I think that's a tip in and of itself is, just pick a number.

Brandon Doyle: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: So, it sounds like if you had three conversations, you know what that would do for your production. It'd be slightly lower. But that's better than one or two that just happen organically just because you thought of it. Right?

Brandon Doyle: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: It sounds like committing to a system or just a number is helpful.

Brandon Doyle: Yeah. I believe Tom Ferry might have been the first, one of those-- there could've been somebody before him. But, 40 contacts to a sale, so we kind of live by that. I know if I do 40 a week I can do 52 transactions a year right there. So, yeah.

Mike Schneider: There you go. So get into conversation. And tips or tricks for how you fill out your database? I remember you have, having an event that I thought was interesting in terms of getting more addresses or others. Um--

Brandon Doyle: Yeah.

Mike Schneider: --like, what are, what are tips and tricks on that?

Brandon Doyle: So, one of the things we've utilized is Eventbrite. And so, if we just have their email, when they sign up, they'll fill in some more of this information that way. Um, I've had people call and just, kind of, verify information. Uh, we have our assistant do that. And that's been pretty helpful. But, uh, if you don't have the data, just ask for it. There's no shame in that. So--

Mike Schneider: Interesting. Interesting. It's very interesting how you have these events at the core. Sounds like inviting others.

Brandon Doyle: Mmhmm.

Mike Schneider: But I remember also you were, you know, sometimes you'd have a ticketed event so you'd be calling to ask if you could mail the ticket and that was one way to fill it out.

Brandon Doyle: Yep.

Mike Schneider: I think that's really interesting. Um, well, anything that you think, um, would be helpful to our audience in terms of something you wish you had done differently or started sooner?

Brandon Doyle: Well, I wish I would've signed up for First right away.

Mike Schneider: [laughter] Shameless plug. Yes.

Brandon Doyle: Actually I think I might've, I might've been one of your first customers.

Mike Schneider: Yeah, true. That's true. It didn't exist before you signed up, so you got it first.

Brandon Doyle: So, uh, there we go. No, I would say, just focusing on the database from day one and growing that and then parlaying your success into more additional opportunities. And by that I mean, um, using social proof. And so, what I see a lot of successful agents in my market doing is instead of, like, hosting, their listings and things like that what they'll do is post a selfie out showing homes or the clients' success stories, at the closing table with a photo of the family and a photo of the house. And, that really shows people that you are out there. You're in the business. You're doing deals. And that gets the conversation started.

Mike Schneider: Great. Well, Brandon, uh, where should people find you online? What's your book?

Brandon Doyle: So, my book is the Real Estate Marketing Playbook. You can find it on Amazon. 

Mike Schneider: And, if you, uh, are wondering about your conversion rates across different part in the funnel, Brandon's book is awesome.

Brandon Doyle: Thanks.

Mike Schneider: Well, thanks for being on.

Brandon Doyle: Yep. Thanks for having me.

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