Back in November, I was thrown into a life change rather suddenly. When the shit storm crossed my path, I had to take immediate action.The first person I called was my friend Leslie Ebersole. I had to make a quick decision of where to hang my license, as I had showings the next day. She told me to call Danny Dietl at BRIX and he could hold my license for me. I didn’t even think about it. I picked up the phone, called Danny and my license was transferred within the hour. It all happened so fast.
I really didn’t know Danny. He was some kind of mysterious creature in the real estate world. I knew of him for many years because of some mutual connections. But I had only had two previous interactions with him. Then there was this other broker/owner Adam Duckwall, who I also knew….zero about. It was really kind of odd. I’m not going to lie, I felt a little out-of-place there in the beginning.
At the time, I was very uncertain of what my plans would be in the long term. I had a ton of people reach out and want me to join their companies. It felt very overwhelming. After about a month, I made the decision to take a break and go back to selling. I just didn’t think it was the right time to rejoin corporate America.
I was then forced to dive in and try to get to know everyone at BRIX. It was similar to a teen going to a new school. I was nervous. I remember going to my first sales meeting at their office. It was kind of intimidating. I am sure many of them wondered “WTH is with Brooke”. I am completely aware that I am a little weird and a hard person to figure out.
After some time, I learned, that they are similar to a huge group of brothers and sisters. As I have said in a previous post: “A band of misfits that oddly work well together.” Our meetings are filled with good information but we have a ton of fun too. We pick on each other, crack jokes, and come up with some very ridiculous ideas. But everyone seems to really care about each other. This was proven to me by the amount agents from BRIX that showed up to my mother-in-law’s benefit back in February. I hardly knew these people and they showed up to support her. That, in itself, said a lot to me. I have always told agents when considering a brokerage to surround yourself with people you like and will help you become a better agent. This was exactly what BRIX was about.
I decided to interview them recently, out of curiosity and in an effort to see if they would be themselves. I expected some random corporate gibberish. Of course, I was very wrong in this assumption.
Why made you decide to start your own independent brokerage?
Danny: We found that a group of us agents were collaborating amongst ourselves outside of the confines of our respective brokerages. We had a shared set of work styles, goals, beliefs and we felt we could more effectively service our clients by working more closely together. We took the best practices we had and formulated our own environment of like-minded agents of the highest caliber.
How do you and Adam know each other and how did you come together to start BRIX?
Danny: Adam and I shared some mutual contacts in the mortgage and title world and one of the lenders suggested we meet. We got to really know each other after we were hired by a hedge fund to do acquisitions. We spent a lot of time together in a very short period of time writing more offers in a day then most agents would write in a year. Through that we got a very good sense of how each other worked. And, we really had a lot of fun.
How many years of experience do you have in the industry?
How much and what planning was involved before you opened your doors?
Danny: Wait, what? We were supposed to plan this thing? Nah, just jump in the waters is fine.
What was your vision of what your brokerage would be like (Culture, values)?
Danny: First and foremost clients always come first. Many brokerages look at agents as the client and we wanted to get back to serving clients. If you make them the priority and focus on mastering the craft of real estate agents will build their business confidently and organically. We wanted to have a group of people that we always enjoyed to be around. We aren’t the types to spend a lot of time in the office but when we are together, are we having fun? Are people laughing, learning and getting better? That’s what we want.
What do you think sets you apart from other brokerages in the Twin Cities?
Danny: Our soon to be released billboards:)
What do you think you offer to agents. Why should someone join BRIX?
Danny: I think we have some of the smartest people in the industry working at BRIX and they are all very giving with their knowledge and experience. It’s a collaborative group that enjoys sharing and growing together. If you know this business you know that many agents aren’t often happy to see others exceed. The opposite is true here. We are forward thinking and always trying to look around corners. We aren’t afraid to take chances and be unconventional.
What has been your client’s reaction to BRIX?
Danny: Our clients have been incredibly supportive. We frequently get calls and emails from them when they see marketing we are doing or sales by them. They seem to be having fun being a part of it. We also have some great client event parties to show them our appreciation such as our event at Surly Brewery and our upcoming one at Canterbury.
Is there anything that you do differently now than you did at your previous brokerages?
Danny: Honestly, not really. We learn as we go and are glad we jumped in the way we did.
Not what you expected, right? I love the fact that they don’t have the usual image insecurities. They don’t seem to care about awards or recognition. It’s all about helping their clients have a good and enjoyable experience.
I am still trying to find my comfort level with them but that part is not about them. I was pretty scorned from my departure from my last employer. It’s taken a lot of time trying to come to terms with the fact that, what I thought was my dream job, had ended. I have also had a ton going on in my personal life. So much of my time with them has been spent trying to keep my happy face on. I don’t trust people very easily. So I am well aware of the fact that getting to know them has been more my issue vs. theirs. But they have been amazing and supportive. They ask me all of the time if I need anything. That’s definitely something they are good at. Being proactive vs reactive. Many brokers fail with that.
It’s been a lot of fun so far. I feel like I am back to being a new agent. It’s been a little challenging at times. But I am so glad I am there. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now. I am not sure how things would have played out had I been anywhere else. I am looking forward to watching them grow and being a part of BRIX as that happens. Thanks to the BRIX crew for welcoming a weirdo like me into your world. I hope that you will never regret it.