Brandon Brittingham the CEO and Team Leader at The Maryland and Delaware Group of Long & Foster Real Estate talks about the start of his career in real estate industry. Brandon and D.J. discuss the importance of good customer service in the industry of service providers. Brandon also emphasizes the importance of building partnerships with other businesses to provide the best experience to your customer. Next, Brandon discusses teams and shares suggestions on what should new agent look for when joining one. Last, Brandon and D.J. discuss property management and Brandon shares tips on how to start a business in property management.
You can buy Brandon’s best seller book “Converting Units To Dollars” here.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Brandon Brittingham can be reached here.
This episode was brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
Have you ever wondered what a top real estate team in a particular state did to grow their business? We’re gonna find out today and guess what? It’s different than what you think. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solutions so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris, I am your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Brandon Brittingham, who has the number one team in the state of Maryland and the number five real estate team in the entire country out for production. And we want to learn exactly how he did it. And he’s willing to share it all with you. Before we get to Brandon. Just a couple of quick reminders. Please tell a friend about our show. The way that we grow is by you telling other agents about the value you get from our show. So please continue to do that. we’d greatly appreciate it. And also leave us a review. If you’re listening to us on a podcast app. Whether it’s iTunes, Google Play Stitcher, Spotify, please let us know what you think of the show that helps us get more visibility and also improve. But enough about that. Let’s get right to it. And now our interview with Brandon Brittingham.
Today on the show we have Brandon Britton with Long and Foster in Maryland. Let me tell you a little bit about Brandon. Realtor Brandon Britton Hamm is the CEO and team leader at the mayor at the Maryland and Delaware group of Long and Foster real estate based in Salisbury, Maryland. His real estate team, which is one of the best and busiest in the country, was ranked by real trends as the number one team in the state of Maryland, and number five in the nation in 2021, as well as number one in the entirety of Long and Foster four homes sold. Brandon started as a solo agent back in 2007. Right away, he made a commitment to himself to be the very best in every aspect of his profession. He wanted to offer the very best customer service possible to each of his clients and it worked. In incredibly short time span Brandon rose to become a top seller on the Eastern Shore Peninsula, a popular real estate region spanning two states, which is Maryland and Delaware. Today, Brandon is the CEO of his own team, which has 25 agents, which is incredible for a team. He is a sought after speaker, Coach and Trainer who mentors agents in buying, selling and overall career development. He’s taught 1000s of agents across the country, how to strategically build their businesses using his inspiring go getter, entrepreneurial spirit. He also oversees 19 Plus real estate related companies. He’s an active real estate investor. And he’s built a property management business of 1200 doors in a short period of time. He’s a real estate superstar. And please everyone visit Brandon on his website, which is Brandon’s brain.org. There is a link for that in our show notes. Once again, Brandon’s brain.org. Brandon, welcome to the show.
Brandon Brittingham 4:26
Thank you. I don’t know how I follow that introduction.
D.J. Paris 4:31
It’s well, I mean, jeez, we are so impressed and thrilled to have you because you have really done so much in this industry and in a relatively short amount of time. It’s just so impressive. So I always like to start at the beginning, because our audience is always wanting to know how did you get to where you are today from where you started? So can you tell us about why you got into real estate and how that happened?
Brandon Brittingham 4:56
Yeah, so you know, it’s kind of you know, it’s funny, I got into real See by accident. So I wanted to invest in real estate like that was my whole thing I wanted to buy investment properties. And I had come from, I had another business that I was very successful at, and not to paint everybody with the same brush. But the first couple of transactions I had with realtors wasn’t the greatest experience. So I went and got my license, and I only to represent myself on your own transactions, I really didn’t care about being a real estate agent. And then just there was a lot of things in the industry, when I got in that. I just thought I could do better. So I said, Hey, I’m going to try my hand at being an agent. And that’s kind of what got me into being an agent, kind of the rest is history.
D.J. Paris 5:49
So yeah, it’s it is funny, I have had, we’ve done about 350 of these episodes, so far. And it is not uncommon that someone gets their license, either they were buying a primary residence, and they were not very impressed with, with the realtor they used or they were buying investment properties like you, and also felt like hey, maybe I could do this better, or at least save on the commission. And so I’ll go ahead and get my license. But that is a pretty big jump from, you know, doing your own investments to then becoming a traditional, you know, working with buyers and sellers, realtor. What was it that how did you make that determination that that’s kind of what you wanted your career to be.
Brandon Brittingham 6:28
So I think it was kind of like I came from a business before where it was kind of customer service centric. So I like dealing with and working with people. And I just I thought there was a lot of gaps in the industry as far as what I saw of how transactions were being handled. So I kind of just wanted to get into it, because I thought I could provide a better customer experience. And you know, when I got into it, and I kind of learned the business, then I was like, man, there’s a lot of things we could really improve on. And then I think I can build this and teach other agents how to do it. And so that was kind of how we transitioned or how I transitioned into building a team. And that’s kind of where I’m at how I ended up where I am today was just trying to improve the customer experience.
D.J. Paris 7:15
Yeah, it’s interesting, too, I was just at a, I just got back from a an event where some top producers were speaking. And they were talking about the customer experience. And that is such a huge part of overall business strategy. No matter what sector or industry you might be in right now I’m I’m myself, I’m on a advisory board for user experience or customer experience, organization. So I’m familiar with, with why it’s so important and why organizations often have on staff, even consumer experience, people or customer service specialists to then train. Because I know that and I just went through this process myself buying a property like a year ago, and it was not my first time mine. But I remember, really, I had sort of forgotten the experience of buying a property and had been a while. And I forgot just how stressful it was even for somebody within the industry, and how important it was that somebody was there to call me down. And keep me keep my head a little bit more level as I navigated some of those troubling, you know, times, you know, and there’s there’s peaks and valleys in any sort of real estate transaction, there’s always some sort of, you know, ruffle or wrinkle that happens. So, and I know that that’s a big thing that you coach agents on your team and and also agents elsewhere in the country about is really helping their clients navigate through through those through the difficulty, the emotional difficulty of of a transaction, can you speak a little bit more about the importance of, of a realtors role during that during the transaction?
Brandon Brittingham 8:56
Yeah, so I mean, I think it’s a couple of things. And I think it’s, it’s honestly almost become a lot Lost Art in our industry. And if you look at like, some of the big tech that’s coming after the realtors role, I think they’re banking on. Frankly, they believe that a lot of agents don’t do a good job and the customer experience and the customer service. And they don’t do enough of they don’t do well enough of a job of solving the consumers problems. So and if you look at like an Amazon as an example, you know, they completely disrupted multiple industries, because they said we’re going to solve all of your problems when it comes to shopping and one singular experience. And if you look at real estate as a whole, it’s pretty archaic and siloed of the different parts of the transactions. So kind of what I thought about a long time ago was I had situations where I just knocked it out of the park from my customer. And something in the transaction that I didn’t control made them have a bad transaction, right and they They weren’t, they weren’t mad with me. But they remember at the settlement table, they were upset. So one of the things that I started really looking at and changing a couple years ago was trying to control the entire process and the entire transaction. And for those people that are in our industry that don’t want to go, as far as we’ve gone, you still really have to master and understand the customer experience. Because for a lot of people, this is such a huge deal. It’s not a commodity to them, they’ve raised their children there. During the mean, mom and dad may have lived with them there. It’s an emotional experience. And I think our industry has gotten away a little bit of looking at it from the consumers lens. And the other thing too, is like you’re not competing with whoever you work for, you know, you’re not competing with kW, or exp or cola banker, you’re competing with Starbucks, you’re competing with Amazon, you’re competing with Uber, where people are having good customer service experiences and other experiences of their life. And then like you just said, you forget how stressful it is. And something always goes wrong in a real estate transaction. That is just, it’s going to happen, bad things are going to happen. And for you, as a consumer, that’s it’s painful. And it’s scary, and it’s stressful. And we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the customer and taking that stress off of them.
D.J. Paris 11:22
Well, you just said a lot, and it was all gold. And I one of the things you said that I want to sort of highlight because I haven’t heard anybody say it. And all the years I’ve been doing the show. And I think it’s a really, really intelligent insight, which is that Brandon said, we’re not just competing with the other realtors, the other real estate firms. You know that that’s our most immediate sort of competition that we see as agents. But we’re also competing with every other experience that person has with a service provider or product provider. So and I’ll give you a really great example that just happened to me this morning, I subscribed to Blue Apron where you know that get those meals delivered. And we cook them and, and it might my package didn’t show up last night. And it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Because I actually was brought up in a way it was better than it didn’t show up, because we’re kind of overloaded with food at the moment. But it was still annoying because I went looking for my package. It said it was delivered, and it wasn’t there. And so I contacted Blue Apron. And I had a really great customer experience, which was I had a problem, hey, my package didn’t show up. I message them. And this was at 9pm. At night, I got a response within about 20 minutes with their ticketing support system that said, Oh my gosh, we’re super sorry. It says it was delivered. We understand that that you’re saying it’s not. So can you please just wait for about another 30 minutes, just because sometimes it could show up a half an hour from now. It’s possible. We’re really sorry. And then when it didn’t show up, I they actually messaged me back 30 minutes later and said we just wanted to touch base, did your package arrive? And then it didn’t? And then I said no, I actually didn’t get to until this morning. So this morning, I said no, I’m sorry, it never got here. And they said, Oh my gosh, you know, this is a huge problem, we’re going to take care of it. And I was so impressed with just basic good customer service that here I am now telling you know, 1000s of people about it. And, you know, in Blue Apron can’t control, you know, FedExes challenges with delivering or maybe they can but but the problems happen. And I was just like, wow, I didn’t have to wait 24 hours. I didn’t get a you know, I did. I didn’t have to follow up, they followed up with me. So you’re absolutely right, that that is a very sort of common experience. We all buy things. And sometimes packages don’t show up or they get stolen or whatever. And we then have to then deal with customer service. And it isn’t always the best experience. So I just wanted to share that because you’re right now, I would assume that everyone listening, you know, I was I’m sorry, I’m going to switch gears for just a sec, because I heard a great a great thing this morning when I was listening to a top producer speak at this event where he said, you know, if you’re going to be if you’re running five minutes late, of course, you want to be telling your client Sorry, I’m running late. But you also want to tell the other realtor because their time is just as valuable as yours. But the whole point of it was good, good solid customer service kind of wins the game. And I’m going to stay with Blue Apron because they gave me great customer service. There’s a lot of other meal providers that do the exact same thing. Blue Apron does. But I want a company that doesn’t never make mistakes because of course everybody makes mistakes, but that corrects it instantly. And they boy they sure did. So anyway, sorry to take over a bit there but I just wanted to share that experience because we are talking about it. Let’s let’s talk a little bit about when you said you wanted to control more of the the actual transactional experience for the consumer. How did you go about thinking about doing that and what does that mean?
Brandon Brittingham 14:59
So before we jump into that, know what you said was great. And I think everybody that’s listening to this, you need to understand this, because this is so important when the highlight that you just made is the consumer mindset and the behavior, which is what we need to understand this industry. So another thing that I like to tell people is think about when you travel to a city that you’ve never been to, or maybe you’ve been to, or whatever the case is, but you get off the plane, and you caught you know, you, you get on your phone, and you hit you hit Uber, right. Now, if Uber is more than four to five minutes, the average person gets frustrated. Now, I want you to think about that, from the time before when you would go to a foreign city, and you’d have to hail a cab. And what that was like, now you’re getting into an Uber, they got gum, they got waters, they got cell phone chargers, and you as a consumer, three to four minutes, five minutes, whatever it is, you’re frustrated. So we as agents have to understand that that’s the type of experience that you are competing with. And we forget that. So that’s the consumers expectation now, and that’s why you have to do a good job because the world is getting faster. And the attention span of people is getting shorter. And the people, it’s not just like speed, its speed to information, people want everything right now. So our business is archaic in that nature. And frankly, the Zelos of the world and everywhere else exist because our industry was scared to give information. And we hoarded the information. And now all these cottage industries were built around it. So if you’re not good at your customer experience, you will be extinct, or you will go out of business. And back to the question, you’re asking, I’ll never forget, I sold this million dollar house, you know, early in my career, and I’m sitting in the NFL quarterbacks house, and I’m sitting at settlement, and his parents were involved in it. And his mom was in tears, because the moving company had put the lawnmower upside down with gas in it, and it spilled all over there. It spilled all over their stuff. Oh, no. And, you know, that got me thinking, there’s so many parts of the transaction that I want to control, so that I can control the quality experience, and I can control the consumers experience, right. And the thing about it is that, you know, home inspection, you know, wherever the case is, when we refer people to a consumer, they have an expectation. So I looked at it as if I can control all these different silos of the business. If anything goes wrong, then the consumer can hold me responsible. And that’s what I did a few years ago, we got into just about every silo that Trent that touches a transaction. And I was able to provide a better customer experience by doing that. And that’s why I think we’ve done so well. And we have so much repeat business because someone literally, we’re like Amazon, you press one button, we’re gonna figure the entire transaction
D.J. Paris 18:12
out. So you will even coordinate the move because you’re like, I have the movers or it’s either your company or you have a partnership with or just a referral. But you know, these movers are not going to turn the you know, the the lawnmower upside down.
Brandon Brittingham 18:27
Yeah, so we got into just to give you for everybody listening, so you understand, understand, we got into partnerships on title mortgage insurance, we have the construction services, if something goes wrong in your home inspection, I need to fix it up for you. If before you list the property, you need renovations done, which right now it doesn’t really matter because you can put anything on the market and will sell. But in a lot of cases, you know, in the past, people needed it. Were in the construction business, new home construction, too. So we control that process, because that was one thing that I was frustrated with was dealing with, you know, some of the builders out there. So we created that business. Also, we are in the property management business as well. Commercial real estate, pretty much almost any vertical that touches a home sale, we’re involved in it so we can control it and ultimately provide you a better service.
D.J. Paris 19:23
It’s really, really smart. And I think that agents oftentimes don’t think about all of those ancillary parts of the transaction that yes, the realtor typically doesn’t get involved with, you know, and so I guess your advice would be to agents would be to build those partnerships and really just bring the best people on your team. And then and then and then how are you communicating that to the buyer or the seller? How, what’s the how do they know that you’re We’re going to take care of everything.
Brandon Brittingham 20:02
So we do put some marketing around it and have those conversations we try not to over confuse them of oh my god, you guys do all these things. But it’s more of, you know, in the conversations of, hey, here’s all the problems that you that we solve. And honestly, I think where you’re having such a push from the tech world into our business, and just the landscape is changing of real estate, like, I think that if you don’t figure out solving people’s problems, it’s going to be hard for you to compete. Because you have more and more companies out there that are saying, we get paid too much money, we don’t solve any problems. And I think that if if you don’t figure out how to solve problems and take care of the customer, then your Commission’s definitely going to suffer.
D.J. Paris 20:54
I agree, I think that is, you know, the days of just throwing something up on the MLS, although right now you can sort of do that and get multiple offers, because of sort of just the environment we’re in, but probably a temporary thing for now. But you’re right, the realtors that rise to the top really do it. And that’s been my experience, because I only talk to realtors on the show that are in that top 1%. They all are very similar in that sense where they know all of the best partners, and they provide that and they have a great vendor list. And as a result, they become the Amazon to their client have the home transaction, where they just go, Oh, my agents got it. That’s a really simple and yet, but it’s not, it’s not easy, but it is a simple idea is that really start. So I think that’s a great action step for all of our listeners is started. And it’s not just developing the relationship with the lender and the attorney. You know, of course, every realtor pretty much does that, because that’s so tied to the transaction, but then also looking out towards things like insurance, transportation, moving, all of those all of those ancillary things that become really important, because you’re right, you know, I would have, I wouldn’t have been happy at the closing table, if I had found out that the movers had, you know, turn, turn the something upside down and spilled gas all over my furniture. So I understand that. And while you can’t prevent that, what you could what you can do is say I know the best, the best people, because I just went out and found my own movers, which is what most people do, I’m sure.
Brandon Brittingham 22:34
Yeah, absolutely. And again, that goes back to, you know, the thing that I struggled with and that I wanted to change is, I didn’t want you to go figure it out. I want to figure it out for you. Because then long term, which I’ve seen in my business, now I’m on third generations of people’s family, right? Sure. And you become a client for life, because somebody’s gonna say, you know, I worked with Brandon’s team, and they figured everything out. And then by chance if they go to interview another agent, you know, in the agent, and they say, Well, you know, my last agent, did the punch list, renovations helped me with moving helped me build a new house, blah, blah, do you guys have the capability to do that? And probably 97 to 98% of people in our industry are going to say no, that makes you immune from disruption.
D.J. Paris 23:26
Yeah, you become so incredibly, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s the same, I was gonna say valuable and I cut myself off, but it is it’s about becoming valuable and so valuable that you can’t be replaced very easily or hopefully at all. And you’re you’re absolutely right with the Amazon metaphor, because most of us listening purchase, probably the majority of our online purchases are made through Amazon. And that isn’t by accident. And it’s because they solved a really important problem, which is where do I go to get x online and they just said, oh, we’ll just do everything. And as a result, they captured all of our all a huge chunk of this economy’s purchasing, sort of, you know, behavior. And you’re absolutely right, that top Realtors really get their hands dirty, in dirty and and I don’t mean that in a pejorative way, in a very positive way. But they, they they are on the they are involved in every part of that transaction. The other thing that I know is really near and dear to you, because you have built a super impressive team obviously as I rattled off the stats earlier at the beginning of the show, but teams are on everyone’s mind right now. I know our listeners write us about it a lot have an individual agent, should I start a team should I join a team? And I know that you have very specific thoughts about how that works and when it makes sense and when it doesn’t. Do you mind talking a little bit about sort of the role of a team and and you know, can individual agents even really compete against teams, you know, these days? Well,
Brandon Brittingham 25:05
I, you know, I don’t I don’t want to sound negative when I say this, but I think that it’s going to be harder and harder for the individual agent to compete, because of the consolidation and the growth and the changes of what teams have brought to the industry, right. And then if you just look at the day to day as an agent of the amount of things you have to handle, and if you’re going to be good, and you’re going to really grow your business, it’s just it’s going to be hard. And, you know, if you don’t join a team, you should consider starting one. And that doesn’t mean you got to have 50 agents. But you know, you got to have some admin, you got to have some marketing and things of that nature. I just think in all honesty, it’s gonna be hard for a single agent to compete. In the near future, I mean, I just I really do when you look at the landscape, and again, of the demand of the consumer, which is just look, the consumer is going to win, you know, we can all have our own ideas of the way things are going to be, but the consumer always proves the market, right. And they’ve done that time and time again. And again, the reality of it is, is that you’re competing with these companies that logistically figure out all these pain points and make it easier for the consumer. It’s just going to be hard for an individual agents and compete that doesn’t start a team or doesn’t join a team, because you’re going to be outgunned and outmatched in most situations.
D.J. Paris 26:33
Yeah, I think I think that’s right, for everyone out there who is an individual, you know, solo practitioner, it’s something to just keep in mind, because there’s probably parts of every solo practitioners business that they shouldn’t be spending time on, because it’s not business building activity, or maybe they’re not particularly good at it, or they don’t like doing it, and they put it off, and then they have to fight with themselves to get certain things accomplished. You know, this is where even if you’re not in a traditional team, I mean, gosh, the the rise of the virtual assistant, you know, if that’s, you know, if that’s all you can afford, that’s a great place to start. And technically, that is sort of a team. It’s not a team in the traditional sense of having more than one realtor on it. But it’s really a great idea. Now we live in such a global gig economy, that you can hire people from all over the world that are specialists that you know, are very affordable, that can help take some of that workload off. But, um, but But I we get a lot of questions on the show about from agents who are newer, who then say, well, I want to join a team. Maybe I don’t want to create my own, I’m not quite at that level. I’m, you know, maybe I’m a newly licensed agent, or I’m in my first three years. I’m wanting to join a team, what should I look for? And I’m curious if you have any suggestions for those people who are trying to figure out if they should join an established team?
Brandon Brittingham 28:00
Yeah. So it’s a great question. I mean, number one, look at market share, look at the team’s dominance in your market. That’s certainly a barometer to look at. But I think more importantly, the biggest thing that a team can give you is training. Yeah. And teach you how to build your business. I think, another mistake we make in this industry. This is just my personal opinion is people chase splits, you know, they’re, they’re split drunk of who’s gonna pay me the highest split. And I will tell you from being a new agent, I would have given up a ton of my split in the beginning to go sit with somebody like me in the position I’m in now, to just be able to teach me how to do it every day. Yeah. And there’s a huge value, in my opinion, in doing that, I pay all kinds of money to go to all kinds of conferences and sit in the right rooms to loot learn for people to compress time, right. So I think the biggest thing is the training. In the onboarding and the mentoring are the biggest value, you can get leads, all that kind of stuff split, you know, none of that matters if you are not being trained on how to build a business. And that’s really, really important. And back to what you just said, because I think this is important too, about the single agent is you can be a single agent and be really, really good. And that’s great. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I know a ton of them. We got friends that are that do that. But here’s the thing, if you’re a really good agent, and all the income is dependent on you, you have a job. If you build a team where you can eventually leverage yourself out of out of sales, you have a business. And you need to understand in this business that there’s two very very distinct lanes, there’s a job and there’s a business. If you want to build a valuable asset that you can leverage yourself out of sales one day, you need to build a business And if you’re a new agent, and you’re coming into this, the biggest thing that you can find is someone that’s going to teach you and mentor you and train you. And that’s the team that I would look for.
D.J. Paris 30:10
You just said a lot again, and I want to want to really tread thank you for that, by the way, and I really want to transition based on something you just said into another topic, because it just so perfectly segues, which was you were talking about, you know, look, real estate brokerage, you know, working with buyers, sellers, renters investors, traditionally, as a realtor as a transactional practice, right, we get paid when, at the closing table, and only typically at the closing table, I have, I don’t think anyone’s yet figured out how to, you know, create a different fee structure where maybe people are paying a yearly fee to get access to an agent, I suspect somebody’s probably tried that before it hasn’t caught on yet. We’ll see. But for now, it’s largely a transactional practice, which, which was sort of to your point as like, Hey, if you’re a solo practitioner, this is your job. This is what you do is is there value, can you sell this business, maybe, maybe not. But if you run it, like an actual business, then it builds some, you know, build some additional value to it and increases the valuation. And one of the ways in which that you’ve done that is through these different partnerships, different, different verticals that you’ve explored. And I really am mostly interested in talking about the property management side, because to me, I’ve always thought of that as as a way to sort of annuitize or to add some, you know, a more predictable stream of income. And you’ve done that incredibly fast and short amount of time. I’m a part owner and a property management business. So I have some experience with knowing how challenging it is for us. So I need to hire you to help me because we’re not at 1200 doors yet. But let’s talk about how that works in the sense of why an agent may want to start adding that into their business.
Brandon Brittingham 32:12
So um, it’s a couple of things for me. You know, my, my biggest interest in real estate, initially was always the investment side, right? Yeah. And so for me now, I’m I’m very, very deep into the investment side, I own apartment complexes, single families, Airbnbs a lot of different things, right. So I wanted to get in that circle of other people who did it. I wanted access. And one way that I saw to be able to do that was property management in the property in the in the apartment world as an example, your multifamily apartments, most of the time, they never ever touched the market. It’s like this kind of secret society of stuff gets sold. No one knows about it, things of that nature. Yeah. It’s kind of it’s very, very interesting. No
D.J. Paris 33:03
one even knows who owns the buildings, right? Kind of this invisible owner. And and yeah, and transaction. Yeah, yeah.
Brandon Brittingham 33:09
And they trade ownership and stuff like that. And so it was a couple of things, right, it was like, I really wanted to learn it at scale from other people who had done it at scale. And then, you know, probably my third year as an agent. I had a really, really good year, you know, not a team yet. And I remember, you know, like, at the awards and everything, which again, there’s nothing wrong with this. But this was the epiphany. And it’s like, you know, I got this, this, this great plaque. And, you know, it was like, Well, what else? And it’s like, you start over in a couple of weeks.
D.J. Paris 33:43
Now, you’re back to zero. And I was like,
Brandon Brittingham 33:47
you know, that just I don’t know, I mean, that was just kind of like a gut punch, like, yeah, you know, so wait a minute, if I don’t run at this pace, or I don’t produce at this pace, you don’t I mean, then things could change for me very, very quick. So I was like, Where could I get residual income and solve a lot of problems. And then I saw that the property management and property management in our business gets a bad rap. And people don’t look at just the amount of business and silos that come out of it. Last year, we sold 900 ish homes, and a good amount of those came out of the portfolio that we managed, right? So we’ve built in this huge silo of sellers, this huge silo of buyers, right? renters. Renters? Yeah. And then I’m trading inside that portfolio left and right. So you’re, you’re a property owner, you call me Brandon. I want to sell my 50 units. I go call another one of my property owners. And I’m trading the portfolio in and out and then I’ve bought God I don’t even know. Probably five this 600 doors consecutive out of my own portfolio that we managed from the owners because I knew the product, I knew what I managed, I knew the books, I knew everything. And it creates so many other just avenues, the property management business as a business, it’s skinny, right? You can make it work and you can make it profitable. But your average profit per account is skinny, you have to do it at scale for it to make sense. But there’s so many other things that it contributes to that make it really, really makes sense. And then the other thing that I did not like in the beginning of my journey was I’d sell somebody five or six rental properties, and then they would go manage them with somebody else. And it wasn’t always a guarantee that I would get those back to resell them. So that’s what this solved also. And by the way, even though it’s not like huge amounts of money, like commission per deal, or whatever, when you amass 1200 of them in every month, that’s coming in regardless, it’s truly is residual. So that’s the other thing that I like about it as well.
D.J. Paris 36:12
And that becomes a sellable sort of business at that point, property management is probably a more sellable business than a real estate brokerage, quite honestly, right? I’m just saying that I don’t know if you would agree or disagree, but depends on the brokerage, of course, well,
Brandon Brittingham 36:27
you’re right, you are you are spot on on that. And I will tell you from experience, that five or six years ago, I had a company tried to come by us, right. And I say, you know, here’s all of our businesses. And they’re like, all the other stuff you do is complex, we can figure that out. But we’re more interested in your brokerage and your property management. And I was very surprised of the valuation they gave me on the PM. And when I when I kind of probed and they said it’s predictable, like it’s only going to move up and down so much, it’s predictable. So we can put a basis of value around it. So you just made a really, really good point.
D.J. Paris 37:12
Yeah, and it’s like, we’re, we’re really Realtors often. And I hate to say it this way, because it sounds negative. And, and I don’t mean it to but I think we need to be honest, where we’re really trading hours for dollars. Oftentimes just doing the buy sell side of the transaction, the rental side, bringing in property management, which by the way is and I’m assuming it works this way in all 50 states saying I probably should have looked that up ahead of time. But if you have a broker license, or at least in Illinois, where i where i, where I am, we call everyone who’s a realtor, a broker here. But if you have a if you’re a realtor, you have the ability to do property management. And this is an opportunity, I think, to think about creating residual income. So if somebody is hearing this and thinking, Well, that sounds cool. I’d like to have a, you know, a predictable stream of income coming in monthly, you know, what are some of the steps they might take? Maybe they’ve not done Property Management before, which I know is there’s a learning curve, of course. And also, actually, let’s go all the way back to the beginning is how do you? What are your suggestions? Obviously, if you’re purchasing or property, then you can that you can manage that’s one thing, but going out and finding property management opportunities. Do you have any suggestions on how agents might consider doing that? Yeah,
Brandon Brittingham 38:30
let’s give them the shameless plug. I actually wrote the actual manual on it, I actually literally wrote the book. It’s called converting units to dollars, it’s on Amazon, it actually made Amazon bestseller in a couple of weeks. So kind of to your point, one of the things that when I started to climb and grow this, and get in the room with a lot of high producers that you talk to, I was like, Man, you guys need to start the property management business. And then all these people asked me how. So I created I, initially, I created a training course around that, which is we still have that. But I was like, Man, I want to do a book about this. So I essentially took the training course turned it into a book and then publish the book. So because I think that if you run a good business, you have a strategic advantage from a real estate standpoint, because you’re going to understand it. Because what I saw in the property management world was a lot of people in the property management world weren’t good operators, like coming from the real estate world. Yeah, it was kind of like if you already run a good business or a good team or you’re a good agent you already have you’re so far ahead, because most of your competitors. Listen, if you you’ve dealt with property management, you understand this, No one wakes up in the morning says I want to do property management.
D.J. Paris 39:53
That’s just not how it’s an unsexy business,
Brandon Brittingham 39:56
right? Yeah, people don’t wake up and hey, let’s go do some property management. That’s Exciting, like real estate sales is sexy and exciting. Yeah, property management, it’s not. So I decided to kind of put that all together and turn that into a book.
D.J. Paris 40:09
Yeah, so we should mention, Brandon mentioned this, but go on Amazon look for converting units to dollars. That’s Brandon’s book and purchase, it will have a link for that in our show notes, as well. But, but this is really interesting, though, because I think that you said something earlier that I just want to touch base on, which was around multifamily units and saying a lot of them, a lot of the transactions never hit the market. So you know, it’s really its own sort of culture. And depending on where you are, it’s a different set of players. Oftentimes, realtors are not involved, or people might have their broker license, but they’re not traditional realtors. This is a whole different area. And, you know, we’ve had the BiggerPockets guys have been on our show. And that’s a great resource to start learning about sort of that world and a lot of those people congregate there. But what other suggestions would you have for somebody that wants to get into understanding investment properties, understanding property management, things like that.
Brandon Brittingham 41:13
So one huge point to make is which This baffled me when I got my license was how many people in this industry did not invest in real estate? Yeah. And I thought it was the opposite. So there’s all kinds of and I won’t go into detail on this. I actually do in my book, though, if you are an agent, and you’re a teen, whatever, if you’re considered a real estate professional by the IRS definition, there are all kinds of advantages for you to own real estate. I’m extremely bullish on real estate, you know, I invested way back when things were really bad. And thankfully, that really helped me propel a lot of different things that I do. But I think everybody in our industry should buy in real estate, as you said earlier, and we talked about, you know, do you want to, you know, just having a job, buying and holding real estate can create residual income for you and can create real wealth for you later in life. So I think that’s, it’s, it’s super important that you understand that. And that should be a part of your business model, regardless of where you’re at and what you do, like, you really should do that. And I think that you should really understand and figure out and educate yourself on the investment side. And then if you want to get into the apartments and things like that, the largest sale I’ve ever had in my life was a $7 million apartment building. And I ended up being on both sides. And I ended up buying that apartment complex, by the way. But I think it’s it’s a whole different world of investors and multifamily and things like that. But it’s a very lucrative world. And it’s a world filled with people who have wealth. And you know, the the average deal size is a lot bigger. And you have to make a decision from an investment standpoint, do you want to be passive or active? Well, if you’re in real estate, you’re probably going to be a little bit more active. But it’s a place where like, again, the investor side, a lot of times agents looked at that as the underbelly of real estate. Yeah. And it’s kind of like if you get into that, and you really figure that out, that can be extremely lucrative for you long term. And then if you go the track of multifamily that can get super, super lucrative.
D.J. Paris 43:36
I’m curious, so your team’s sold 900 homes, approximately, what percentage of those came from the relationships you had on the investors in the investor world, we’ll just say, like versus traditional, you know, young, young couple buying their first or, you know, are selling a property
Brandon Brittingham 43:55
last year was probably about 20%. It’s amazing. Yeah, it’s
D.J. Paris 43:59
absolutely amazing. So what a huge jump, and and so now you, you now have a business, you now are not just a realtor, you’re an investor. You’re a property manager, you have title, you have mortgage, you have the title lending, probably insurance. I’m guessing. Brandon’s nodding his head, everything I’m saying? Because Because he as he said, at the very beginning, I want to control every part of the transaction because yes, it’s lucrative and it results in the best possible customer experience. So it’s actually wins all the way around. The downside is now you know, you have to start learning about all these other different avenues. And probably now’s as good a time as any to start that journey.
Brandon Brittingham 44:48
Yeah, but see, here’s the thing. Well, think about this. You know, you you’re touching a mortgage transaction, you’re touching a title transaction, you’re touching insurance transaction in most situations. So it’s not as difficult as people think. I mean, you, you got the legal side and RESPA and all that stuff you got to figure out. But it’s not as difficult as what people think. And initially, when we started some of these companies, it was more of, you know, if they if, if they break even, and it provides a better customer service, we’re happy with it. But then when you got into some of these other verticals, and you realize the customer service of the competitors in that business stuff, too, then it was like, we got more and more market share in different silos of business. So if you run a good business, the things that make you a good business person translate into any business.
D.J. Paris 45:44
Yeah, and I would also like to mention, Brandon has a book we talked about earlier, it’s available on Amazon, and everywhere else books are sold, converting units to dollars, link in our show notes. Also, I want everybody to visit Brandon’s website, which is Brandon’s brain. He’s also a coach, he does property management training, he teaches this stuff, so and I might, I might end up hiring Brian. In fact, I should hire Brandon, for for some of our own business verticals as well, because we need we need a boost as well. And I want to learn from the best. So I want everybody out there to visit Brandon’s website, Brandon’s brain.org. And that’s Brandon with an S at the end Brandon’s brain.org. And it really has everything you want to know about Brandon, he look, he’s a sought after speaker. He’s an author. He’s been on a lot of podcasts. And he does coaching. And he’s just a heck of a nice guy. And he’s oh, by the ways, basically, the most successful real estate team in all of Maryland. So that’s a lot of really impressive accolades. And we are grateful to have grabbed an hour of your time, because I know that you don’t have it, and you’d still found it for us. So we want to thank you. So on behalf of the audience, we want to thank Brandon for coming on our show just incredible, really impressive, very inspiring. And hopefully some good actionable takeaways, about agents thinking a little bit beyond the next sale, let’s let’s think a little bit more broad. Let’s think about this as a as a business as opposed to a transaction. And don’t get caught up in the cycle of transactions or don’t only get caught in a cycle of transactions. Because soon as that, like Brandon is you said earlier, as soon as you start stop running, the money stops coming in. So this is a way to to further diversify and also annuitize the business and maybe make it valuable enough to sell one day, which wouldn’t that be nice. So ever on behalf of the audience, Brian, and thank you so so much. On behalf of Brandon and myself, we also want to thank our audience for continuing to listen and support our show, we just recently crossed over a million downloads. So thank you for everyone for that. And we ask everybody before signing off, just to listen for a few seconds before hitting the pause button or stop to help. If you want to help our show the two ways to do that just one tell a friend. Think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing this great conversation with Brandon and send them a link to our this episode, you can just send them over to our website, keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done, can stream right from the browser or if they’re a podcast person, just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real, and hit the subscribe button. And then also, please leave us a review. Let us know what you think of the show. This helps us get more visibility with a different search engine or the different podcast directories but also tells us what you like and what you don’t like so we can continue to improve our show and create a better experience. As Brandon is a big fan of for you the audience we don’t know unless you tell us please, please tell us let us leave us a review. Let us know what you think. Brandon, thank you so much. This was such a great conversation. I love to have any on and boy and I love that you have a very calm, you’re very calm person or I’m a very hyper person. So you got me calm down. I had a little bit of a fire that I was putting out just before we got on the show when I was frazzled, and boy your voice is just very soothing. So if you ever want to go into like a hypnotherapy business, you could they could use your voice for it for sure. Got it. Awesome, Brandon, thank you so much. We’ll see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Brandon. Thank you