We make decisions every day. And in some difficult situations, there are those who avoid making decisions altogether. Oftentimes, it’s because they worry too much about the outcome or that their choices might lead to failure.
Indecision is a decision in itself. And it is actually worse than making the wrong decision because it robs you of the opportunity and the chance to learn from your mistakes.
This was one of the things that Daniel Dixon realized as he was growing his real estate business. He knew that in order to make things happen, he just had to make a decision, get feedback, and then figure out what to do next whether the decision leads to success or failure.
This was the same formula he used when he wanted to control the customer experience by including ancillary businesses for his real estate team. The systems that he put in place weren’t always perfect and he encountered some failures along the way. But he understands that it’s part of the process, and there’s so much more to learn from your failures than your successes.
Brian Charlesworth joins Daniel Dixon, Owner/CEO of First Step Home Loans & The Dixon Group, as they talk about Daniel’s obsession with creating efficiencies in his business, the importance of coming from a place of contribution, and his passion for providing for the black communities and helping more people of color to get into the real estate space.
- (09:15) Daniel’s thoughts on doing expansion teams across the country
- (09:39) The biggest thing that Daniel learned that allowed him to grow
- (09:59) How should agents deal with “commission compression”?
- (10:23) The importance of having a coach to guide you
- (11:26) The one thing Daniel underestimated as he was scaling his business
- (14:15) The biggest problem most people have when it comes to failure
- (16:27) How knowing their numbers allowed Daniel’s team to constantly make pivots
- (19:35) Why agents don’t like to lead generate all day
- (23:25) Why you need to call with a purpose when you do your follow-ups
- (27:03) What’s great about their team culture
- (30:53) How to make your people stay with you longer
- (32:11) The value of putting systems in place
- (34:30) Daniel’s goal as he continues to grow in the industry
- (35:11) What the JLK Foundation is about
Connect with Daniel Dixon
About the guest:
Daniel Dixon grew up in poverty. Raised by a single mother, they had to use food stamps in order to survive. Yet despite the circumstances, Daniel found a love for football and eventually grew up to become a good athlete. He dreamed of going to the NFL, but being 5'8" and 195 pounds at that time, he realized that this was not the prototype for NFL athletes.
When he stopped playing football, he felt kind of lost and didn’t know what to do. His best friend was working in pharmaceutical sales and told him that in order to get into that profession, he would need to have a college degree. This was the reason he went back to college.
In his last semester in college, he was taking 21 credit hours, and seven classes full-time. His son was also a year old so they were really struggling. He thought to himself that as soon as he gets that diploma, he will get a job and everything is going to be better. But it didn’t happen.
This became the lowest point and he hated his life. He remembered saying to himself that he will never be in the same position again and will work his absolute hardest to not have money be a thing that he or his family will ever have to think about.
Today, Daniel is the Owner/CEO of First Step Home Loans & The Dixon Group. Daniel was able to grow his company from a single agent to a mega team selling more than 900 homes with over $300 Million in home sales. The Dixon Group is now ranked as the #1 KW Real Estate Team in Colorado and in the top 50 KW teams in the United States.
Brian Charlesworth 00:34
All right, here we are back again, on the Grit Podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth, I'm the founder of Sisu and your host of the show. And for those of you who don't know what Sisu is, Sisu streamlines and automates your real estate business, so if you are a team owner, broker-owner, probably something you want to check into. Today, I have Daniel Dixon with me. And you know, Daniel, I've known you kind of a little bit for a long time, but I really didn't get to know you until we had the opportunity to meet in Mexico recently at Spring's event. But, you know, Zack over here at Sisu has talked about you for a long time saying you know what a stud you are. And Spring always talks about you every time she goes to an event over there where you guys are part of that same group. So anyway, I'm looking forward today to getting to know you even at a deeper level. So thanks for joining me on the show.
Daniel Dixon 01:31
Of course, man, thanks for having me.
Brian Charlesworth 01:33
Yeah, my pleasure. So for those of you who don't know, Daniel runs a real estate team out of Colorado. And I look at you as being really unique because I think everyone is focused primarily on their teams. And my take, and I may be wrong. My take is that you are focused more on all of the ancillary businesses than you actually are on your real estate team. So every time somebody does a real estate transaction, I'm guessing you're getting at least four paychecks for that transaction. Yeah. And I want to dive into that today. Because I think that's a huge differentiator. And those who haven't done that absolutely must do that here over the coming years, or they're going to be in trouble. Yeah, with Commission's being cut, and, I mean, now the mortgage industry is being hit. But for people like you, it's not as hard because your business, I'm guessing is mostly purchased, not refi. Is that right? Correct. Okay, so what made you I'd love to learn upfront. I don't know if there's anything else you want to share upfront. But if there's anything you want to add to your intro, feel free. And then I'll dive in.
Daniel Dixon 02:41
Yeah. So my background I've always been, I used to work at Trulia before they were bought by Zillow. So we've always been really heavy on internet lead generation. And that was one of the reasons me and spring kind of hit it off because it was one of the only other people that was building an internet, lead generation conversion type business. And so as we, you know, as I got a license, I got licensed like eight years ago, and everyone's talking about listings, leverage leads, and Gary Keller listings, leverage leads, and I'm in some of these rooms, and people are despising what I do. Because we're an internet-based business, we don't dive into a sphere and that kind of stuff. And so over the years as we continue to, like, I started knowing what I do well, and when I don't do well, and we've never really built a sphere-based business, but we know how to prospect on the phone, value, Prop, close convert, and really put pressure on those things. So as I started getting going in that my coach told me, early in the process, when I first started coaching with him, he goes, alright, do you what happens if you get hit by a bus, I'm like, Man, I'm like, I'm screwed. My wife doesn't work, I have to. I mean, she works probably harder than I do. It's clear, but she doesn't have a nine to five. And you know, if I stopped selling houses, then the income for our family is going to greatly decline. And that's when he was like our idea, we got to really start working on focusing on your business rather than in your business. And so that was when we really started putting pressure on really starting to think about growing a real estate team, and not having me necessarily be the face so much, but really leaning on our tools are lead flow our systems or processes, our training and some of those additional things.
Brian Charlesworth 04:17
So how long ago was that?
Daniel Dixon 04:20
That was like late 2017.
Brian Charlesworth 04:22
Okay, and so from there to here, how many agents do you have now, Daniel?
Daniel Dixon 04:27
We're up to 42 agents in two locations now.
Brian Charlesworth 04:30
Okay, awesome. Okay. And we'll dive into that to multiple locations. Did you all catch that?
Daniel Dixon 04:37
And so as I'm working on the business, and we're looking at, you know, increasing productivity and increasing profitability, Zillow would launch their iBuyer program. And I remember looking at my coach after the buying and selling houses like, Hey, Brett, they're not making money on these sales, like, what is this about? And he's like, hey, they're making money on everything else. They want this vertical integration and all of the ancillary income, and that's when it dawned on me, like shoot, we work real estate agents, I don't think give themselves enough credit, to be honest with you on the drive that we are the engine to this entire industry. And when you start thinking of all the money that's made from a real estate agents hard work and conversion on the front end, it's astonishing how many people wait for us to do our jobs before they can start making money on a real estate transaction. So as you started diving a little bit deeper and understanding how Title income is made, and what happens there exactly, and mortgage, obviously, to be able to run a buyer based business, when you're alone, nine times out of 10, an insurance Well, everyone needs homeowners insurance. And so that we started kind of uncovering, oh shoot, rather than having an MSA or a joint venture, I want to really go in and build these companies. So I can control client experience, I can control expectations, I can control accountability, and I can make sure every loan that there is that could possibly get done gets done. And then a byproduct of all of that is just more revenue at the end, a lot of agents on a $400,000 transaction, they're focused on their 2.8% commission, which is $9500 bucks or so. And I'm focusing somewhere around 34 to $35,000, on being able to monetize the Real Estate Commission, the mortgage Commission, the Insurance Commission, and then the Insurance Commission, and then the title income from that transaction
Brian Charlesworth 06:19
Let's get it straight. Just from that one conversation with Brett. Something clicked in you and you said I'm gonna go figure this out.
Daniel Dixon 06:26
Yeah, the first conversation was funny when he's like, Hey, do you need a joint venture with title? And I'm like, the title charges $320 for their closing fee? Like, why would I want to spend my time and effort there? And he's like, No, let's pull out, at that time it was HUD. Let's pull out a HUD and look at what title makes, and you look at the homeowners' or the owner's policy. And then the lender policy on one transaction, it was like, Whoa, there's a lot of money in title. And so when you start scaling the number of transactions that you do, and the amount of additional revenue that we can have, from our agents working so hard, converting this business following up with these leads, convincing people to work with us, it's almost a no brainer. Now I've kind of become obsessed with it, and figuring out how we can do this, and then how we can teach more agents to be able to understand the math behind a transaction and be more than just a realtor.
Brian Charlesworth 07:16
Okay, I love it. I would actually say that's Grit, which I love fits into this show. But you used a word called obsessed. And you really need to be obsessed to go figure something like that out. I mean, I know. I know, hundreds and hundreds of gym owners. And you're the only one I know, that has said I'm gonna go figure out all these other industries, you know, some of them have a title company, or some of them have a mortgage company, maybe both. But you said every single piece of this mortgage title, homeowners insurance, what else
Daniel Dixon 07:52
and we have an investment arm. That's cash offers to our sellers. Prior to like, the last thing we want to do is list the house and put our sign in the front yard.
Brian Charlesworth 08:01
Okay, so you would rather do a cash offer if you can get them to do a cash offer, then put a sign in the yard? Absolutely. That's awesome. Okay, there was something else. What about property management? Are you guys doing that?
Daniel Dixon 08:15
We don't do any property management. I was actually before I got. Before I started working at Trulia, I worked for a property management company called Camden Property Trust all over the country, our property had like 420 units or something like that. And you just get beat down every day. Like no one ever calls the property manager and says, Hey, you guys are doing a great job managing my properties, like Thank you. It's just a constant people pouring on you type business. So I think as we acquire more houses, it's going to be something that's going to be a must at the end of the day. But that's not really where the energy is right now with that company.
Brian Charlesworth 08:49
Okay. So, Dan, you have figured out these four areas. So like, Are you focused on helping others figure this out? Tell me about that. Or like, I know you're doing building expansion teams right now you have a team in Florida as well. Is that right?
Daniel Dixon 09:06
So in Florida, we have some connections in Florida. My brother recently moved back actually, that was the first expansion that we did. And then right now we're in Colorado Springs.
Brian Charlesworth 09:15
Okay, so you're on two locations moving on to three. So you obviously have a huge leg up and doing expansion teams, because you're bringing like you said $35,000 instead of 9500 on average per transaction. So what's your focus there as far as expanding across the country? And what are your thoughts like, where do you want to be in the next couple of years?
Daniel Dixon 09:38
Well, I think the big thing that I've learned in you know, being in the circles and the tribes that I'm in is sharing information and getting help and assistance from others that are selfless is how I've been able to grow so much and there's a lot of what I want to do and giving back to my communities, right? So I like to just leave with value. Try to show agents like we're in a world of commission compression. We're in a world of people who want to pay Realtors less money. So how can we continue to do the same work that we're doing and then just bolt on other businesses to be able to monetize more of the transaction? I don't think enough people talk about it, which is kind of where a lot of my passion is right now, helping agents understand there is more than just being a realtor and understanding this game of business. But I think the two key pieces are you've got to, you've got to have a coach guiding you, and understanding and helping you figure out your way. And then when you're able to get out of production, and then start working on your business rather than in your business, you see the world a little bit different than being in talking to clients selling houses constantly, you see it a little bit different. So now we can look at growing into multiple locations, our systems, work, our leads, work, our training works, all this stuff that we've built, works phenomenally. And we can go plug that into different markets now. And whether we're leading with lead generation from the mortgage company, and now we have pre-approved buyers that we're teaming up with agents, or we lead with our real estate team that is lining up loans for our mortgage company, or we leave with an investment perspective, where we're looking at just taking down houses wholesaling, wholesaling, acquiring, whatever that is, that will then turn into retail listings, and then potentially even more by cells. So we have different legs of the stool that we can lead into expanding into multiple markets. The one thing I did underestimate, though, Brian, to be honest with you, is the people that were in a people business, and my systems can be great. But we need the right drivers in these additional locations, to be able to see the vision that understands the vision that wants to go build this cool thing together. You've got to have the drivers, you got to have the jockeys, you can't just plug this into anybody and have anybody run into this kind of systems.
Brian Charlesworth 11:50
Yeah, totally. So I want to come back to that. So you've spent time over the last from 2017 to now. So over the last five years, you figured out, you have you now have a real estate company, you have a mortgage company, you have a title company, you have an investment company, you have a homeowners insurance company. Yeah, you have all these companies, which is amazing. Congratulations. Thank you, then now, you think about it. And most people in real estate are having to put systems in place just for their real estate company. Yeah, you're putting systems in place. You multiply that by five. Like, how difficult is that? Because like, I mean, I can talk to most people, most real estate people and they don't even know what encompasses I'm guessing. You're using encompass, right? I mean, so like, how did I just don't know? Like, how did you figure out all these systems for all these companies? Because I know you've built the systems or you wouldn't be able to scale as you have?
Daniel Dixon 12:48
Yeah, it's a work in progress. Always Right. Like to say it's a messy empire. Because nothing when we first hop on the call, I'm like, running around and kind of frantic. And that's just kind of how I feel my life is I think it's just the most intriguing piece to all of this is intertwined. If we get a buyer lead, you can't close that deal without having a mortgage. And so that's an easy layup right there. And then the mortgage, you can't like as a real estate agent going and trying to sell insurance doesn't stick very much. But then when our loan officers are like, hey, here, we need your homeowner's insurance, do you need a referral? Excellent. Use this company. It lays itself right down the title, just a byproduct of you need a title company to get this whole thing closed. So it's weird how everything is intertwined. I've probably done this the harder way of I won't sit in the room and mastermind the process. I'm Mike, let's jump in, and then figure out how we keep our head afloat. And then as soon as we stop screwing everything up, now we can start thinking about efficiencies and scale, and growth. I hate when people get ready to get ready. Right? I want to just jump in, give me the chaos, give me the problems. And then again, we're back to the word obsessed. I'm obsessed with being able to figure out a better way to do this. The money isn't even the driving factor so much anymore. It's really building a business, creating efficiencies, and making things work and run smooth. And when my phone's not blowing up, or people don't have problems, like, you know, then we're doing it right.
Brian Charlesworth 14:14
Yeah. So you just said something that, that I think is the biggest problem most people have. And that is like you're willing to fail. You're like, let's dive in. Let's do this. Most people are afraid of failure. Yeah. If you fail, you know, you're gonna learn and perfect and make the system right. Yeah. There are so many people out there that are perfectionists, right? And you're never going to roll out a new company if you're a perfectionist because nothing is ever going to be perfect. Correct. So like people that I've coached, I coached them and Spring’s team and this is the biggest thing. It's like, you know what, even if you're a brand new agent, go fail fast, right? Go on five listing appointments, and go talk to 400 people that have slammed the phone on your face. That's how you're going to learn. But now we're moving from that to owning and running a business. Go start it right?
Daniel Dixon 15:08
Absolutely. You got to the name of our mortgage company is called first step home loans, because that's the hardest thing for most first time homebuyers is taking that first step to get pre-approved. Right? I think it's, I don't, I don't know where it came from. To be honest with you. I haven't necessarily always been like this. But I truly feel that you know, the things that you put in front of your face. One of the best books I've ever read, it's called Tools of Titans. You know, if you know that book, oh, my goodness, it's like this thick. It's like this thick. And it's just a matter of it's not something you read cover to cover. It's the people he interviewed people that are the most elite in their industries. And you ask them, everybody is like a page to two pages, two pages, what's the best $100 that you spent? What does your morning routine look like? And a lot of the common threads are people meditate, people wake up earlier. And they continue to make progress and pivot in their businesses. So I think the two things that in my world is I really truly feel like failure is just part of the process. I internally like it in my being, I truly feel that I either fail or I learn, I either win or I learn. And I learned through failure, I learned through successes as well. But it's more the failures mean more to me, because I'm like, Ah, I thought this, it was a theory and I tested it and it's wrong, we've got to pivot. And then for a lot of agents, if you just monitor it, agents don't, they don't look at their business enough. And I think this was one of the things that that seems to help us do better was being able to look and have more transparency into our business, and know your actual numbers, what you measure, you move. And so if you can continually see what's happening and see and look at conversion percentages, and lead flows and successes and the failures, it's easier for us to constantly make pivots. We don't really burn anything down to the ground anymore. But we make pivots literally every week, every other week based on the information, the data that we're getting from what's happening inside of all of our businesses.
Brian Charlesworth 17:04
And we do that same right, I run a different kind of business than you, but we're pivoting constantly. And a lot of the pivot is just how we can provide better support. Right? Yeah, there's so much you said right there, Daniel. But I think the biggest thing that stands out for me is when I just your energy around, failing, like failing is truly a positive thing for you. And if we could all get to where we look forward to failure, because we know we're going to advance and make progress from that. It would change this world
Daniel Dixon 17:38
1,000%. I mean, there are people in our organization that doesn't want to make the wrong decision. And I'm like, Indecision is a decision. No, just make a decision, get feedback, and then figure out where we continue to go from there. It seems it's a lot easier said than done, right? It's not an easy or simple process. I should say. It's not an easy process. But it's a simple process. Just do something and figure out what you do next. Yeah, you know, and it's if you do that, and you pay enough attention when you dive in, and you actually like, reflect on what's working, what's not working, Where am I headed? Like how these things are happening, then it's just natural to make a pivot at that point. I don't think very many people make mistakes and make the same mistakes, because I don't care. I just don't think they're paying attention. Yeah, you're just going through the motions and just doing the stuff, and then oh, well, that didn't work, or that did work. Like oh, just pay attention. A little more reflecting. Think back on your day, what worked today, what didn't work today, think back at your month, your quarter? And continue to like, reflect and document those things, and then continue to build on all of them.
Brian Charlesworth 18:36
Yeah. If we, if we ended this show right now, it'd be perfect. But I'm not going to but we probably should. Because everyone like if that's all you do is just take action and learn from it and pivot. And then take action again, and learn and pivot. And then again, just repeat, repeat, repeat those three items, you're gonna be successful.
Daniel Dixon 18:56
Yeah, in whatever. I don't care if we're selling widgets, houses or cars, or whatever it is.
Brian Charlesworth 19:01
Yeah. All right. Um, you came from Trulia, which I didn't know before. So that's so interesting. So you're all about lead flow? Yeah. So talk to us. What are you doing for leads today? How do you like it, what should if I'm listening and learning right now? What, are some things I can do and some action items I can take? Yeah. And make a difference here. And congratulations. I know, you just got flex. So congratulations on that.
Daniel Dixon 19:29
Yeah, that's exciting. They shut Denver down. And we're one of the only teams in Denver that are going to get these warm transfers. So I've learned in this journey that agents don't want to prospect and grind and lead generate every day. They want to answer their phone, show houses, and write contracts. And so we're again pivoting a lot of our business model to support that, instead of having to crack the whip, it's like herding cats and you know, cracking the whip constantly to make your dials and do this and a lot of that is exhausting for our leaders. So if we can just create more of a company that has warm transfers and allow agents to do the things that they do best and then operate in their strength zone versus trying to build a weakness of lead generation. I mean, I've met probably 10 People in my lifetime that enjoy lead generation, like agents just don't like it. And I can respect that. But we generate about 11 to 1200 leads a month for our teams. And that's it's kind of a lead whore. To be honest, I have this weird sense of the lead that we pay for today are going to be the leads that transact in 1215 months from now. So if we reduce our lead flow and our spend today, we're affecting our business in 12 or 15 months from now. So I think for a lot of agents that don't operate in the lead flow space, you got to understand there are different levels to this your pay per click leads that we spent a lot of money on and generate a ton of those people are not transacting for 10 to 12 months, you're catching them early in the funnel, early in the cycle of transacting. But when you're talking about your Zillow leads, or your realtor.com leads, these people are oftentimes a lot further along in the process. So that is going to be more of what I sold a Trulia a transaction-ready, lead. So you've got to be quick, you've got to have buckets of continued follow-up and have systems in place, we can generate so many leads now. Because we have buckets that we can put people in, we have automation that happens to those people. So when they're raising their hand from a lead that came in two or three years ago, we're on it like it's a brand new opportunity coming into our world, and a lot of agents and I mean, I got hung up on constantly at Trulia from a lot of agents. And I got a lot of agents canceling their renewals because they say the leads don't work. Well, you got to be quick. You got to value prop. How many agents? Does the average person know? Right? You have probably three to five agents that you know are licensed inside of your network, every single person we deal with. So what is your value prop? How are you converting and closing that business? What is your online reputation represent for you? How many reviews do you have? I mean, how much feedback do you have? And I think we capture people's business online. That is someone else's referral-based business because the internet's too big. Now, this isn't the real estate of old. We're in a different era now. Where it's who can do the most for me now and who can help me win now. And it's not necessarily your coworker who has given you a referral. And that's the agent I'm definitely going to use.
Brian Charlesworth 22:26
Yeah, so you talked about would you say transaction-ready? Would you call that it's actually ready? Yeah, transaction-ready? So somebody's coming from a Zillow or Trulia, they want to meet you on the doorstep. Right? You're generating these paperclip leads, you're saying they're transacting maybe in 12 months? How do you keep them nurtured? How do you bring them to where they're going to transact? Do you have an ISA team? Or what are you doing to do that? Because seems like agents are definitely you just want to get the agent into a zillo lead and let them go to the doorstep. But on those leads, what are you going to do on that side?
Daniel Dixon 22:59
So a lot of agents have this mindset of you know, they have to before you get in my car, you need a pre-approval in hand. And that's not the way that we operate, we've got to get fit. It's not necessarily speed to lead, it's speed to appointment, how quickly can we get face to face and build a relationship with this person? We've gotten referrals from people who haven't bought from us yet, or sold with us yet because they see what we're doing and they see how we do it. So I think that's a really important piece got to get face to face as soon as humanly possible. And then the second piece of it is the continued follow-up. Agents often say, you know, hey, I'm just calling to follow up, and like that's the tackiest thing I've ever heard. But you've got to call with a purpose, interest rate, there's probably a no better time than right now to call with content on hey, I want to make sure I know you're not buying for nine months from now. But I want to make sure you're seeing what's happening in the industry. So I wanted to drop this article for you. So you can continue to see that, hey, I found this home that we're just getting ready to listen to a little bit outside of your Buy Box. But I just wanted to just show it to you just to make sure to see if you guys know anyone that's looking for a house in this tight inventory market. If you call if you constantly come from a place of contribution, the universe will reward you. If you're the agent that just waiting for your buyer to raise their hands they found a home that came across the MLS. You're just like everybody else out there how you got to be different how to differentiate yourself because they say No, today, they're not saying no to you personally. They're saying Not right now. So how can we continue to provide value and stay in a relationship with that person over time? So when they are ready to say yes, there's no question on who they're where they're going or who they're going to.
Brian Charlesworth 24:27
That is just sitting here on the other side listening to you talk about that, Daniel, it's if I hear somebody say I'm calling to follow up with you, it's like there's there better be a bigger purpose than that. You're wasting my time, right? If you're calling with value, hey, do you understand what's going on in the market? Let me tell you about these interest rates. Let me tell you, let me advise you on what's happening in your neighborhood. You know, all those types of things. I want to listen right so always contribute.
Daniel Dixon 24:54
I love that well because we come with commission breath like hey, I need a closing. Are you ready to buy yet? Like no, just continue to provide as much value as you can to people. And it may not be that person that you help. But when you help educate somebody that regurgitates what you say, and they go, Oh, my agent didn't say that we've got to meet this guy. Like, it just, it just continues to spiral at that point. And I think it's just, that I've been on the other side of the fence with selling leads, and really understanding what lead conversion looks like and what you need to do as a human being to convert these leads. And it's just it's kind of a way of life inside of our world now, you know,
Brian Charlesworth 25:29
yeah. So I had a kind of a funny experience just along the same lines. So I'm going to share it. Just yesterday, I was just at my desk working, and I got this notification popped up. And it happened to be from somebody that I didn't even know who they were. And I scan it real quick. And then it tells me, Oh, and what are your plans this year for buying or selling a house. And funny thing is, it happened to be one of spring's agents, I dug it, and I was about to just delete it and unblocked this person. And then I realized, Oh, this one, you know, there's one of springs agents. And so I just said, Hey, look, you know, if, if you're going to reach out to me like this, you need to bring value. Yeah. Otherwise, I'm just gonna block you. Because Absolutely, and I'm just telling you this because you're sending this obviously if you sent this to me, you're sending this to a lot of people stop. Don't do that. So build relationships bring value. So anyway, it was interesting, but
Daniel Dixon 26:25
we're in the easiest, this market is hard. But this is the easiest real estate market we've ever seen. And unless you start doing things differently, when this thing starts to turn, it's gonna get really tough and really bad for a lot of people.
Brian Charlesworth 26:38
Yep. I think there's no doubt there are going to be fewer real estate agents in this industry in the next three years. But I think that people like you that people that know their systems, that people that are bringing value, that this is the biggest opportunity for you to grow and take market share.
Daniel Dixon 27:00
So definitely, I think just influencing agents to be in our culture is really great here in the sense that we don't just teach agents how to sell houses like that's the first step to everything else that you can build leverage and teaching and coaching people underneath you and becoming a leader and wealth building and buying houses and buying multiple houses and paying fewer taxes. And like, there are so many other spokes on the wheel that has, it starts with selling a house. But there's such a bigger game being played, that we try to help our agents understand that selling a house is just scratching the surface. Yeah, more to this, there's more to this game.
Brian Charlesworth 27:40
So I think everyone has a different culture, and especially these larger teams, it used to be I remember, just five years ago, it seemed like people would stay on a team for two years, and then they'd leave. Yeah. And now it's getting to where, if you're not on a team, you're in trouble. So you guys, and a lot of others, but everyone's unique in this aspect. You've figured out how to build your culture. Like, why is it? I mean, you just mentioned some of these things. But how do you shape that? How do you lead these people so that they want to stay in your culture forever?
Daniel Dixon 28:19
Yeah, one of our pillars of value pillars of culture, in our organization is servant leadership. Like, this isn't the Daniel show. This isn't these aren't all of my employees, like I truly look at these people as my partners. And these are people that we're going to go build a massive business with. And when you come from a servant leadership type of perspective, where that's all about everybody else. My first sales job if I didn't know this about myself, either, but my first sales job in California used to sell timeshares.
Brian Charlesworth 28:45
Okay, that was my first sales job as I graduated from high school, I did that for a summer.
Daniel Dixon 28:51
Oh, awesome. So you get it right. And it'll be Zig Ziglar, like all of that, Tony Robbins, all of that stuff. And I remember Zig Ziglar, one of the lines that still sticks with me to this day is, if I can help everybody achieve what they want to achieve, then I'm naturally going to achieve what I want to achieve. So if I lead with my goals first, then everyone is just doing what I tell them to do. But if we really dive into helping our agents, we believe in building the person and then we're going to build the professional. But we can build you professionally all day long. And if you're broken as a person, or you're broken, you're selling us on a house, it's like we're not winning, and we're not building something that's sticky. So we spent a lot of time on, you know, the human being how can you become a better person? How can you have that true fulfillment in life? Money is just one piece of the game. Right? And we always think that money is the game until you have it and then you realize, oh, shit, I'm not as happy as I thought I would be. What's next? And so we want to help our group do that. And, and again, it's just I think, with a lot of team leaders about the agent or the Rainmaker that's in production or everything is about that person, that person wins. Again, another story from my coach. He's like if you go on stage by yourself and accept everything, people are gonna be realizing the hard work that they're doing is not about them. It's all about you. So a lot of what I've built has been bringing my people up with me, I want to grow our organization and these kinds of speaking opportunities, not because it feeds my ego, and I feel better about myself, but because the next step is bringing my other people on, and having them speak to a bunch of people, and then just continuing that process and that growth process for everybody, because I didn't know I was going to enjoy being, you know, being a coach, in a sense, right? I didn't realize that that was really what my passion is, but nothing gets me more excited than watching my people, when watching my people fail, watching them learn watching them get better. Like, I feel like an old man, sometimes just seeing, watching my kids grow and take their first steps and go through their first, you know, a client that fired them because of A, B, or C or just helping coach in those moments. And our group always knows that we're always going to have your back and at the end of the day, I'll jump on the grenade if I need to, to protect my group. And when you have that kind of love, and that kind of loyalty, your people stay with you longer, because money is 111 spokes on the wheel, a lot of other stuff that people are after.
Brian Charlesworth 31:10
Yeah, very well said. I mean, you're building wealth, you're helping them build happiness. And there'll be nothing worse than getting to that point where you know, you have that mindset of when I get to this, I'm going to be happy. And then you get there. And you're probably less happy than you've ever been in your life. Because didn't bring you that happiness, right?
Daniel Dixon 31:31
Absolutely. Where you make the money. And, you know, early in my career, I was selling a ton of houses. But I wasn't being a great dad, I wasn't being a great husband, I wasn't being a great friend. And so it just you get to the top of the mountain, you realize like this isn't there's a whole nother mountain that go climb. And this is only one I mean, money doesn't create happiness, but it gives you a ton of vehicles to be happy. But when you have this, when you have it's the same way as Spring builds her organization, I'm sure that you build Sisu. It's, it's all about everybody else if we can continue to make everybody happy and help them achieve what they want to achieve. Like we're gonna get it at the end of the day.
Brian Charlesworth 32:07
Yeah. Well said, 32Is there anything you want to dive into on systems, I just know, in order to build five different companies as you have, there have to be systems in place. Like,
Daniel Dixon 32:21
it's, it's a mess like there's a system, there's a system for everything. But I think it's you got to go through it. And you got to pay attention and document what you're doing to be able to pivot these things, we have a system for everything for onboarding, for off-boarding for a new under contract for cancel under contract for a complaint from a client for a bad review, like everything in our company is systematized. Now, that's only been through the failures or something happened to go, Oh, we don't have a system for that. So cool. I like to use the analogy, I'm on a boat, and then there's a hole in the boat. And we immediately got to patch the hole and then realize how do we make sure that that hole doesn't happen again. And it's just over time. And over these years, we've continued to have that same mindset, and not just fix the problem in the moment. But fix the problem in the moment and then make sure that that problem does not continue to pop it set up.
Brian Charlesworth 33:14
Yeah, I think it takes a lot of people losing somebody on their team to say, Oh, wait, I spent a year training this person. They would know everything. We didn't put any systems in place, and they're gone. So I'm starting over. Please don't make that mistake twice. Right? Oh, we've done that. Which, which is actually a big part of why Sisu got founded as spring asked me to help her jump in and grow her real estate business. That's what we were experiencing at that time. It was like, No, we need systems. And so that's kind of how Sisu was founded. So anyway, I wanted to ask you so when we were in Mexico, we were talking about, we were walking down just you know the walkway. And you were telling me about how you have this passion to really provide for the black communities. You want to help get more people into the real estate space. I'd love to hear more about your vision there. What you'd like to see happen, Daniel,
Daniel Dixon 34:10
yeah, so as I've come up and grown in this industry, and gonna masterminds and kW presentations and other company presentations, there's not a lot of people that look like me that are on the stage teaching and leading. And it was, I didn't really realize it until I started becoming successful and looking around like, ah, there's not a lot of people that look like me. And so my goal as I continue to grow in this industry is to inspire people of color that there is a way there is another way to do this business, like our path. There have been people and when I was selling here and a three piece suit that won't look me in my eyes won't shake my hand. And it's something that a lot of people in my community of go through. And I don't look at that as a that's just that's a hurdle. It's not a roadblock, right, she's a thing. So I want to help them and inspire them and help lead coach and mentor them too. helped grow these businesses that we're all in. So as we've made money and become successful, we've given time and we've donated money, and we don't need to do charity things, and nothing was really fulfilling. So late 20, I think was late 2019, we launched the JLK Foundation, which is the JLK is from my grandmother, my mother, my sales director, and my Chief of Staff's mother. They're all single mothers of minority kids. And our shit was hard we used to eat at the food bank, one of my most memorable memories is going to this place called Food for Less in California. And we were getting food stamps. And I remember my mom giving me a $10 food stamp. And I had, I was probably 12 years old, and I had the autonomy to go buy anything that I wanted to do in the store that's under $10. And so you don't know what you don't have. And so it probably gets a little bit older. So I realized, like, oh, shit, like we got it, it was rough. So what we wanted to do, if my mom could have just spent a little bit more time going to my events leaning in and not having to really worry about robbing Peter to pay Paul every month, she could have spent more time in it with me being mom, and not necessarily focus on solely being the provider. So, so we launched this foundation, the jlk Foundation, where we take a portion of every closing $100 For every closing, and we donate it to single parents and minority kids to pay their housing and utility expenses every month. So they can either catch up, they can, they can catch up with their bills, they can spend more time not have to work that overtime shift, maybe not have to take on a second job, just give you a little bit of a lifeline to be able to help you grow help you dive in a little bit more with your kids. So that's a big thing that brings significance to our hearts. And the other thing is we launched a charity for black agents in real estate, whereas we're going through this process of trying to create more equity in this industry, we've got to influence our communities. And we've got to get more agents of color in the industry, where we can teach from the ground up and not necessarily from the top down. So we can get more people of color that are speaking about real estate or speaking about having credit or speaking about not getting into a credit card debt. And some of these additional things that we know about as real estate agents, we can influence our communities maybe a little bit more. And then over time, we can continue to create almost like a grassroots effort of really, truly building our communities. So these are things that are close to my heart, I don't, I don't want to just win, I want to win, and I want to bring other people up with me.
Brian Charlesworth 37:31
I love it, I need to ask you. And then I want to let people know how to get a hold of you. Because I'm hoping that a lot of you listening are going to want to help contribute, maybe donate X amount per transaction to this as well, because what a great cause. But when did you know Daniel, like growing up in that environment and food stamps? And you know, $10? And when did you decide when did you know? Hey, I'm going to be successful. I'm going to change this, like what happened in your life that drove you to be so successful?
Daniel Dixon 38:05
It's actually a funny story. So I'm always I was always a really good athlete, I thought I was gonna go to the NFL, that whole thing, right. And that dream being 5'8" and 195 pounds. That's the old way version of me, right. But, you know, that's not the prototype NFL athletes. So after I got out of college, I stopped playing football and was kind of lost. I didn't know what I wanted to do. My best friend was in pharmaceutical sales, selling products. And so the barrier of entry to that profession is you got to have a college degree. So that's the reason I went back to college. My last semester in college, I was taking 21 credit hours, and seven classes working full time. And then my son was I think, like a year old at that time or something. So we were grinding. And I was like, as soon as I get that piece of paper, like that's my ticket, then I can get in and get this job and like, everything's gonna change. And of course, that didn't happen. So then I was working. This is probably the lowest point
Brian Charlesworth 38:58
Why did it not happen though?
Daniel Dixon 39:00
I just couldn't get a job
Brian Charlesworth 39:01
Couldn't get a job. So you got your paper. And you were interviewing and you were interviewing and you were hearing No, and you were hearing No,
Daniel Dixon 39:08
Brian Charlesworth 39:09
And I just want everyone to know that because like, a lot of people when they hear no, they give up, but you didn't.
Daniel Dixon 39:15
I didn't know I think having a child and having mouths to feed at that time was a kind of responsibility. Right? So then so didn't that wasn't panning out. I needed to be able to do something that to create some income. So I started working outside sales at Staples and driving 45 minutes away from my house. I thought I was a great salesperson, a great human being and I'm begging these gatekeepers to be able to get to the operations person to sell staplers and posted notes. And it was I hated my life. I've never really been one to have depression, but I hated my life. I hated everything about it. And I remember looking and looking myself in the mirror going okay, I will never be in this position again. Once I get an opportunity just To grind and grow, I will never be in this position again, where I have to hate my life or struggle, but I'm going to work my absolute hardest to not have money be a thing that I or my family have to think about. Again, like it was when I was younger we can you can't really get creative or think about how to grow your life if you're thinking about how to survive. Yeah, so it was, it was a rough time in my life. But looking back, that was the moment I was like, nope, not like never again.
Brian Charlesworth 40:31
Well, congratulations on getting through that and accomplishing everything you've done. It's amazing. I'm so happy for you. Thank you. How do people get a hold of you? Like if they want to learn more about these ancillaries or possibly partner with you on a remote location?
Daniel Dixon 40:44
Yeah, you can find me on Instagram, it's @Dixonsoldit d-i-x-o-n-s-o-l-d-i-t. Or you can email me Daniel@DGdenver.com. Either one of those ways is an easy way to get up, get in touch with me and you know, talk about expansion, talk about growth. Sometimes I'll take calls when I don't have a busy week where I'll just give advice and just hop on a webinar or something like that. And just, I just I truly feel that in my role today is I'm a coach, and I'm a mentor. And the more people I can touch, the more people I can reach that doesn't always allow time, right for me to do that. But when I can get a lot of people on a call to answer questions, leave with value to that kind of thing, then I feel like we're making our industry better and making people better. And, you know, I can help people focus on something different than, you know, just the grind of what we do every day.
Brian Charlesworth 41:39
Awesome. Daniel, thank you so much for making a difference in so many people's lives. And congratulations on doing that. Because I know, I can tell that what makes you happy is making a difference in other people's lives. And I love that. Thank you for being on the show today. And listeners. Thank you for joining us today and we'll catch you all next week.
Daniel Dixon 42:00
Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having me and allowing me the opportunity to share my story.
Brian Charlesworth 42:03