Flat-fee, fast-growing firm leader on lessons learned from Great Recession

Doan came to America along as a 13-year-old refugee during the Vietnam War.

Today’s RealTrending features Long Doan, CEO of Realty Group LLC in Minneapolis. Doan was named a 2022 RealTrends GameChanger for achieving 292% growth by transaction side percentage over the past five years.

Coming to the U.S. as a 13-year-old refugee during the Vietnam War, Doan had an aha moment. “The first night I was at the refugee camp, it hit me. I found a spot on the beach and I remember crying all night. I was a 13 year old boy, alone. I thought to myself, ‘Wait a minute. Am I lucky, or am I unlucky?’ The sun was coming up, and I remember telling myself that, ‘Just put your big boy pants on and go to work,’ because I decided that I was a victor, not a victim. I actually was lucky, not unlucky. And your mind is powerful. When you decide something, you are right.”

This grit set up Doan for success throughout his life.

Here is a small preview of today’s interview with Long Doan. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt: You said you started in 2008, so that was right during the Great Recession. There’s lot of concern over interest rates and inflation and the state of the economy. So what did you learn through the last downturn that you are going to continue to implement or will help you thrive in the new market?

Long Doan: History always teaches us a lot. We call them the leading indicators and the lagging indicators. So if you understand to watch the leading indicator, you should be able to predict the lagging and stay ahead of the curve, versus being behind the curve.

So what I did learn from ’08, ’09? I was on the mortgage side for the first 15 years of my career, so I remember the type of programs and products offered back then. So naturally back then, I believe it was bad money and no equity.

This time around is cheap money and there is equity. So it won’t be the same, but there will be some adjustment. Our real estate model also shifted because of all of that.

So at the end of the day, when the market is tough, the real estate professionals start looking at their bottom line, they go to the cost and the expenses of running a business, the profitability. How much do they get to keep? And then the value they get for what they pay in.

Well, that’s why we are start seeing the different models coming out. The recruiting, residual income model and the flat-fee model, like us. So I welcome this time around because I learned a lot from last time that now I’m going to be aggressive with my business right now.

RealTrending features the brightest minds in real estate. Twice a month, brokerage leaders, top agents, team leaders, and industry experts share their success secrets, trends, and lessons learned navigating this ever-changing industry. Hosted by Tracey Velt and produced by Elissa Branch.

Most Popular Articles

Amid rising housing costs, prospective homebuyers are looking to relocate: Redfin 

A record 26% of homebuyers are looking to move to a different part of the country, up from 24% a year ago and 19% before the pandemic began, a Redfin report found. 

Nov 20, 2023 By