After a meandering work life that included construction, car-detailing and customer service, it was Dustin Brohm’s mother that helped him find his true calling.
But first, she made him go to a class.
“My mother signed up for a Rich Dad/Poor Dad weekend seminar and invited me along,” Dustin said. “It totally changed my life.”
That change was based on something that was new to Dustin, but which quickly fit him like a second skin: entrepreneurship. Running his own business wasn’t something that had ever occurred to him. He hadn’t seen it modeled, and it wasn’t top of mind for a career direction at all. But the seminar inspired him to make a plan around something he could do for himself, by himself.
“I joined my local real estate investors association. The president suggested I get my license. And shortly after, someone referred a buyer to me. I helped him find a house and it clicked for me — I loved it!”
That was five years ago.
The ah-ha moment: write, write, and write some more
At first, Dustin followed where his real estate business took him, client by client. He worked closely with a mentor who taught him the tried and true, old-school methods of door-knocking, calling on FSBOs and marketing to expired listings. But it wasn’t Dustin’s cup of tea.
“It took me a while of doing what he was doing before I realized I actually don’t like doing that. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it and therefore I am not successful at it,” he said.
So he turned his eyes to digital and discovered the art of content marketing for real estate.
“I just start creating valuable content where people realized I’m the expert, and people can decide to work with me before I even meet them!” Dustin marveled. “That was an ah-ha moment.”
He knows Salt Lake City’s nooks and crannies, the best spots and hidden gems. And so he turned that knowledge into content. But Dustin quickly learned that if you write it, they might not come. Spreading the word about his content was critical. So he started with social channels, promoting his posts and building up a following. He also launched a video series, called Salt Lake Insider.
“I don’t want to be just another real estate web site — there’s so many of those and they all have the same info. I have local info and I’m writing on stuff happening here. So when people google ‘Salt Lake real estate’ they find me.”
Building a brand for the solo agent
Like many real estate agents, Dustin doesn’t just wear a lot of hats, he wears all of them. If he doesn’t do it himself, it doesn’t get done.
He’s an avid user of Facebook ads and groups, but Dustin learned about Adwerx digital ads for real estate through Bill Risser’s podcast The Real Estate Sessions, as well as through conversations with Jason Frazier of @TheRealEstateCIO. He instantly saw the value of brand awareness.
“I equate it with Coca-cola putting their name on a stadium,” he said. “People are subconsciously noticing your brand, and they may not act on it until they need what you do.”
Others ask Dustin about the ability to measure brand awareness. But he compares it to the newest and one of the oldest forms of advertising: TV and Snapchat. “It’s brand recognition. Adwerx is a great example of brand awareness marketing for real estate. And it was absolutely, unbelievably easy to get started.”
Saying “yes” when others won’t even try
Today, as a more seasoned agent, Dustin has a wide range of skills and experience to call on, no matter what the situation. But when a seller came to him with a challenge five other agents balked at, Dustin dug deep.
“It was a really messy situation,” he explained. “There was a divorce and a bankruptcy. And the house was a short sale.”
It turned out the seller had been blocked at every turn by his bank. One agent tried and failed. Other agents shrugged and walked away. But Dustin knew there had to be a way.
“I’ve done quite a few short sales and I knew the real trick is persistence. You can’t just give up at the first ‘no’ you get. There is always a way.”
Dustin took on the sale and worked closely with the bank. After navigating a tumultuous and emotionally sensitive transaction, he was able to close the deal and even get his seller some cash back.
“I’m really happy to have helped them in a time when he needed someone on his side. Everyone else had told him no. It was a pleasure to say ‘yes’ and then get it done.”
Dustin helps demonstrate how real estate agents are like the Sherpa — just as the Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson described in his speech, “Why Do I Need You?” They help people get up the mountain of real estate in a way that reduced risk, shares the load and comforts the client along the way. And that’s how Dustin was able to help his seller reach the summit.