Adam Torres and Jake Breen discuss real estate myths.
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Real estate myths have been passed down over time as common knowledge in many circles. In this episode, Adam Torres interviewed Jake Breen, Broker & Owner at Dijjit LC Real Estate Brokerage and National Software Referral System. Explore real estate myths and how he debunked them in his book, Mission Matters: World’s Leading Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Top Tips To Success (Real Estate Vol.3, Edition 3).
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About Jake Breen
Consciously believe that true effectiveness is born from leading and living on purpose. They are helping people and organizations define, align and fulfill their purpose.
Jake began his real estate career at 23 years old. After 3 years he was ranked top 10% in Utah. In 2005 Spencer Janke and Jake created a team known as “Utah Cribs.” Since inception the team has been among northern Utah’s top 50 teams. As of 2022 they have sold over a half billion in residential and commercial real estate. Jake has managed 2 luxury brands in Utah; Sotheby’s and Berkshire Hathaway. Utah Cribs now consists of multiple agents that are experts in their field and always ready to assist buyers and sellers in Northern Utah.
In 2011, with Adam Breen we started Breen Homes and have a full time general contractor running that business. Breen Homes focuses on innovative building and built the first fully geothermal and solar house in Cottonwood Heights in summer of 2012. Breen Homes has doubled its business every year since its inception.
In 2015 Jake started a business referral software company, www.dijjit.com. Dijjit has doubled its revenue annually since inception.
Philanthropically Jake has served on the board of Westminster College where he sometimes lectures on Real Estate and statistics. He served as a board of director for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors for three years and in 2015 became a member for the Arthritis Foundation. In 2016 Jake served as the Broker Liaison to the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services ReThink Council.
About Dijjit LC Real Estate Brokerage
The Dijjit Referral network was created by real estate professionals who can see the future of real estate, how much the industry is going to change and the faulty nature of real estate referrals today.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on BR Guest to apply All Ride. So today is Ace. Special episode we brought Jake Breen back onto the show, and I, I’m proud to announce that Jake has officially an authored our most recent Mission Matters book release.
So first off, hey, just wanna say, Jake, welcome back to the show and congrats. Appreciate Adam, thanks for having me. Happy to be here. All right, Jake, so you’re, you’re my guy when it comes to this, so I’m excited to, to go further today’s topic. So we’ll talk, we’re gonna talk for everybody listening, we’re going to talk about really what Jake wrote about in the, in the recent release.
So he’s writing about real estate myths specifically. Myth number one, location, location, location. Myth two, buying. Traps you. Myth three. The best real estate agents wear it suits, have long meetings and always return phone calls. I love that one. Myth number four, the early bird gets the worm. Myth number five.
The best real estate agent is the one you know. We’ll pick a couple of these. Myth. To dive into today. But before we do that, we’ll start this episode the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute. So, Jake, we at Mission Matters. We amplify stories for our entrepreneurs, executives, and experts.
That’s our mission. Jake, what mission matters to you? You know I didn’t necessarily know this in my early twenties, but a slogan that has stuck with my sales team as we’ve built the last two decades that we still use today when we’re signing off on a lot of videos or online marketing, is simply this.
We educate you so you can make an educated decision when it comes to your real estate. I didn’t know in my early twenties how impactful that might be when I got into my forties. But. As that’s expanded, really what matters to me and my team is creating that financial literacy and there’s so much information out there nowadays.
Everything’s at our fingertips, especially younger generations often wants to. Look online or scroll social media first to find data and information. And although there’s a lot of good information out there, there’s also a lot of misinformation and bad information. And so maybe a decade, maybe 15 years ago, we got a little nervous as many professionals did.
That these advancements in technology would erode our value as sales folk. And now we’ve learned that it’s just added more tools to our arsenal to give real information backed by solid data to assist people in making some of the biggest financial decisions in their lives when it comes to real estate.
Hmm. And, and well, great to have you back on the show. And we’re, we’re definitely gonna dig deeper into your mission and also the topic. But I don’t wanna assume that maybe some of our newer listeners caught some of the previous work we’ve done together. So let’s just start kind of basic with how you got started in real estate and attracted to the industry.
Sure. Yeah. I I did a service project in my late teens, early twenties, and was out of the country doing service for a couple years. And I always thought leading up to that, that I would go to law school. And I came home to Utah, salt Lake City, Utah, and kind of started seeing. The pathway I would take and the entrepreneurial skills, I wouldn’t be able to use that.
I was starting to recognize that I had if I just went straight down the law degree. And at the same time, a lot of things changed really quickly in my life. My, my parents got divorced and I quickly found myself having to pay for everything on my own and see sleeping on friends’ couches and things like that.
And I kind of. Gosh, I gotta be a professional and make money right now. And so just decided to buy a house. This is a common story for a lot of people that get into real estate and at 21, 22 years old, it’s like, who in my sphere of influence would. Trust me to sell their property. I, I don’t, I don’t know anything about it and I’m too young.
So I started just with some remodels and flips and back then it was a little less barriered entry and easier to do, and loans were easier. Mm-hmm. But we had some success with that and started building a little team. And as we did those things and produced we started getting people asking us, Hey, can I do the same?
Mm-hmm. We were also adopting early technology back then. This is, you know, early, early two thousands. Yeah. So at least in our market, we were some of the first to. Go take digital pictures of properties and then give an analysis for what it could be bought for, what we’d have to do to it, and how much it would cost remodel it.
Fast forward two decades me, I, I, this is kind of a, me and my friends from high school and a lot of my family works with me now and. Got my brother a full-time business. He’s a general contractor and custom home builder. Now. I’ve always run the sales team. My father’s a broker and so we kind of just grew organically like that.
And I guess the last thing I’ll say about it is I’ve spent the last 20 years not only doing professional real estate sale. Speak. But ran luxury brands was managing broker Sotheby’s when that came to Utah, was a managing broker of the corporate office of Berkshire Hathaway when that brand came to Utah.
Yeah. Now own an independent boutique, and I would say we’re unique because. Although our main business, we call it the bread and butter, is mm-hmm. Real estate sales being a traditional agent we’ve expanded into ancillary businesses and done know, all types of investing. Owned every asset class, mm-hmm.
Custom building. And then I’ve spoke around the country and done a decent amount of training. I was a public speaker for Berkshire Hathaway for 10 years. Training agents on not just the industry, but also personal life habits. It’s kind of a, a, a real interest and hobby for me on how to optimize all things in your.
I want you to, I want you to talk to maybe that newer agent right now or that individual that is considering going into real estate as, as a profession and a serious career. What do you think it takes to make it in real estate today as an agent? That’s a great question, Ashley. It, it’s, We could Google this and there’s a lot of like simple, swift answers.
Right. But I’ll be very candid to somebody that might be thinking that. And I’ve got that question a lot. Mm-hmm. And let me also add before I answer it, that I also spent six years at a local college here in Salt Lake City, Westminster. After I got a graduate degree serving with them and creating a program called.
It’s the alumni mentoring program. And so I’ve worked with a lot of young bright-eyed, excited entrepreneurs, and then I’ve also seen their excitement get kind of sucked out and removed by the business world because, We all have great ideas. Mm-hmm. But then, you know, you tend to dive in and it, there’s a lot of roadblocks in, in all industry.
Yeah. So in real estate, if you are going into sales the first thing I’ll ask somebody, and this might be a unique question, but I say okay. What market are you getting licensed in? Great Salt Lake City, Utah. What’s your history in Salt Lake? You born and raised here? Mm-hmm. And I’ll start going through these series of questions and what I’m getting at is, Identifying what type of sphere of influence, that’s what we call it in our industry.
Mm-hmm. What type of sphere of influence that person has. In other words, who’s your friends, family who are ultimately going to be your clientele? Yeah. Now it’s okay if you’re operating in a market where you hardly know anybody and you just moved there, but you’ve gotta approach the business in a different way.
Hmm. And, and the second thing I will usually try to get at with people is, I’m a firm believer that one size does not fit all. Now I have competitors that run great sales teams and do really well under a very mechanic system and program. So there are. Tried intrude programs that are, you know, you prospect this much a day, you put on the headset, you read these scripts.
Mm-hmm. We’ve been the ver very opposite of that approach for 20 years. Mm-hmm. And so when I’m talking to somebody new, I want to know what their sphere is. Mm-hmm. And then I want to know about them. Yeah. And the older we get and the more we progress in business the more you learn to who you are and what your strengths are, and you should focus on.
And new salespeople are often willing to say, you know, things like, I’ll do whatever it takes, or I’ll just dive in and I’ll, I’m, you know, I’ll work the off hours. And that’s great. Work ethic matters a lot. Reliability and responsibility still matter a lot in the industry. Mm-hmm. But what can trump that and speed up your track to success is knowing yourself and focusing on when you’re gonna be most productive and what skillsets you have that.
Can be tailored to service the industry well, and then it’s just a lot easier, and then you don’t hit burnout. You end up enjoying it, liking what you’re doing. Yeah. And, and one of the things that you said that I, I I love because I think sometimes whether it’s real estate, you know, financial advisory, like a, a lot of, let’s just say the professional services industry where there’s some type of sales component involved you know, there’s, there’s different methodologies, there’s different there’s different.
Setups, for lack of better words. I mean, there’s different ways to work with with your with your mentors in the industry. And it’s not necessarily one size fits. Also, I mean, I’ve heard many individuals who really thrive in that environment that you mentioned this really mechanical, do it this way.
Just keep on and keep on and keep on, and they thrive where others. You know, at times if they maybe entered the industry in that route and it wasn’t for them, then they leave the industry because they think like that’s the only way it can be done. Right. When then you’re, you’re a testament to no, there’s a whole nother way to do it as well.
And not saying that your way versus another or something else is the, is the right way, but it’s more so like anything, like thinking about what’s gonna be a right fit for you and your goals. Right? Yep. Absolutely. Well, Yeah. I want, let’s let’s spend some time in the book. So first off, I love the I, I love the approach and kind of the format that you took as the the real estate myth buster.
I don’t know if that’s a new acronym or, or a new, new moniker. But what was your, your kind of thought process going through with some of the topics that you chose, like, and wanting to kind of bust these myths, so to speak? Like, what was your thought process? Yeah. I, I like that you’re asking why I came up with it that way, Adam, that’s actually a good question, and my honest answer is and I believe other industries are similar, but once you spend so much time in it, it’s not like you know it all.
And again, there’s others that have success doing things in real estate that we’ve. We don’t understand or do it all. Mm-hmm. But I have a pretty good depth in the industry and can kind of wrap my arms around a lot of things and I really decided to write about these myths because it just kind of irks at me.
I’ve got these pet peeves of things I hear all the time, and despite. How far my voice can travel and how much media I can put out there to dispel some mistruths. Yeah. There’s just not enough opportunity to resolve that. And you know, some of them are, are rather drastic fallacies that people play into that I still.
At least monthly that are generally accepted as you know, the way real estate works and the way you’re gonna make it or break it financially, that just absolutely are not true anymore. Hmm. Yeah. And I, and I had to ask you that question because I knew it irked at you, and I had to get that from you because I, when I, when I first saw it, I’m like, at first I was like, oh, these are really catchy titles.
These are really catchy headlines and it’s gonna be a great read. And then I started thinking about, I’m like, I work with Jake. I know like he’s getting this off his mind, he’s getting this off his chest cuz he, he’s tired of hearing it. Oh yeah, for sure. There’s, that’s, that’s the real reason. Let’s let’s pick on some of the, some of the obvious ones that when I saw this, I was like, like I was just excited to dig in because as soon as you read the headline, you’re like, okay, myth number one, location, location, location.
We’ve. I feel like anybody in the industry otherwise have has heard of that. Oh yeah. Dis dispel the myth for us. So, so again, yeah, I mean, you hear, you bring up real estate and somebody will be like, oh, you know, I read Rich Dad port ad, location, location, location. And the first thing I say when somebody says that is I go, whoa, whoa.
Are we talking about your personal home? Are you looking for where you are going to move and raise your family? Mm-hmm. Or are we talking about invest. And people are usually, especially if someone wants to challenge me on this, they’ll usually say, well, location still trumps everything like Right. And, you know, here’s the fallacy.
If we are defining location as. Safety and again, where you’re gonna wanna raise your family then, you know, obviously I’m well aware that in any market mm-hmm. There’s, you know, great areas, there’s more crime in areas and we can look up that data and statistics and, you know, kind of make an educated decision.
But. That’s changing in a big way. One because of covid and remote work and all these opportunities and kind of equalizing certain markets and regenification that happens and we could go on and on there. Yeah. But then the other big part of that that really dispels what people believe about location.
Is the investment side of real estate. So the analogy we use in the book, and you know, I didn’t just pull this out of thin air. I’ve done this study countless times for people. Mm-hmm. So in our market, in Salt Lake, the great recession was November of 2008 to the first quarter of 2012. Hmm. And in that timeframe, median price declined 34.
In Salt Lake County now, that’s the greatest decline we’ve ever seen on record since we’ve kept real estate data in our market. In fact, there’s only been three other times that we even saw a statistical median price downturn, and one of them is right now, and it’s, it’s very different set of economic factors.
Yeah. Back then. If you reverse your mindset, and I’m sure your market is similar, Adam, if you reverse your mindset to say, 2010, winter of 2011. Mm-hmm. Many people in the industry were just crying the blues. They were saying things like, the market will never go back to where it was. We’ll never see that kind of pricing again.
These easy to get no doc loans. We, we, we never should have done that. And although there’s a lot of truth to those things, here’s the main. And it’s kind of back to the age old adage that’s always quoted about, Warren Buffet said, and he said, you know, be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy.
Everybody I talked to was extremely fearful in winter of 2011. Mm-hmm. They didn’t realize that it was only about 90 days past that timeframe in which statistical median. Started popping back up. And if you were a savvy investor at that time and watching trend charts, and let’s say you had a million bucks to invest.
Mm-hmm. If you went to the nicest spot, the location, location, location of our market, which let’s say that would be ski and ski out or in your market, that would be beachfront. Mm-hmm. And sure you would. Buying at the bottom, so to speak. Mm-hmm. And you could spend that million dollars and buy a single family residence.
And then maybe you rented that out or, or whatever. But there is market example after market example, after market example, that if you would’ve purposed that same million dollars in a more blighted and depressed area mm-hmm. And maybe bought four condos for 250,000. Yeah. You didn’t just make a little bit more money in the coming years.
Almost every time I’ve done this analysis, you, your, your appreciation rate was 50 70, sometimes even double what it would’ve been on the one single family residence, and we could talk all day about it. There’s a lot of reasons for that. It’s, it’s spreading your eggs. It’s that. Regardless of the location, oftentimes when a market rebounds, it’s the cheapest real estate that mm-hmm.
As a percentage of its appreciation pops back quicker. So, you know, location, location, location is just a real fallacy and it’s, it not only has it. It’s, it’s going to continue to change at a more rapid pace. I had this, this last thing I’ll say, but I had this thought the other day. We have primarily discounted real estate that’s on major fairways, freeways, highways, especially residential real estate.
Ever since existed around the globe. Mm-hmm. And the reasons for that, the main glaring one is traffic noise, right? Yeah. But if you think about it, one of the other big things people pay up for in real estate, especially in commercial real estate, is access. So it’s like if you have a car dealership, you wanna be right off the exit, right off the main freeway.
Yep. Any major city. Okay. But then if there’s a residential apartment next door that’s high-rise condos, they’re probably buying at a 15 to 20% discount because of freeway noise versus. Two blocks off the freeway, but it’s a little harder to ACC access, especially in traffic. Yeah. Well, over the next decade, as technology changes the way we use vehicles as electric vehicles, like my rivian become totally silent you’re going to see a major pop in freeway frontage, easy accessible residential real estate, because that barrier, that was an annoyance, that declined value will be.
Oh, it makes so much sense. And I’ve had this conversation and the question isn’t like if or will, it’s just when, right, because it, it makes sense. It makes total sense. And when you think about all, and especially the cost and just other things that are involved with the like, like keeping the noise down, other things that they’ve done, it’ll be interesting how, how builds even take place going forward and like what all of that looks like.
I don’t know. It’s just, it’s just interesting. Absolut. Yep. Fascinating. So the so okay. Myth number one, we’re gonna, we’re, and by the way, for everybody watching this, we’re not gonna dispel all the myths today. I, I named them all for a very specific reason. I want you to go by the book. I’m a publisher here.
We do sell books. So be a link in the, in the notes, of course, to, to pick up a copy. But we’re gonna, we’re gonna tease you a little bit more. I wanna make sure we get some more myths in here. Yeah. Sono another big one for us. Buy and buying a House Traps. Yeah. So gimme this one. Yeah. I I like this one a lot and I get this apprehension mm-hmm.
By far and away, most often from first time home buyers. Mm-hmm. And so typically first time home buyers, whether they have gift money from family and they’re buying at a luxury price point, or whether they’re really. Using all of their financial capabilities to buy their first house on their own. Yeah.
I’ve found that their concerns are often very similar. Mm-hmm. And perhaps one of the largest is the liquidity of that real estate. And so they’re usually thinking two things when they have this apprehension on liquidity. The first thing is they’re thinking, well, let’s say in my market right now, median price is about a half million dollars.
And in their mind they’re saying, I’ve never spent a half million dollars. I mean, the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought is my vehicle, and this is, you know, 10 times that. And so that’s the first concern on their mind when it comes to liquidity. And the second is we tend to think of real estate as like signing in blood once you bought it.
It is not liquid. It’s, you know, obviously moving and all that stuff is such a hassle and so you better make a darn good. The problem with that thought process is one, people get who get too hung up on that, especially how the market’s been the last decade post-recession and was even exacerbated during Covid.
O V I D is. Time. Now I’m going down a little bit of a rabbit hole, but if you think of how all of us as consumers are kind of predisposed on how to shop well, we’re in the day and age of everything being at our fingertips. You want a new tv? Yeah. Checks right from Amazon. Run down to Costco. Like what’s more convenient?
Or you gonna save a hundred bucks by go? You can get it today. If you go to the store, prime will have it there. Morning like, and it’s, it’s too easy to do all that in 60 seconds. So we as consumers are jaded because we think there’s unlimited supply, immediate access and availability. Mm-hmm. And that makes us feel like anything we buy is very liquid.
So back to real estate. Mm-hmm. I’ve found even if I give this speech, We as consumers have used those habits so often it’s ingrained in us and we start to apply it to real estate. So you can look a first time home buyer in the eye and say, our average day is on market right now is one day. This is how it was during Covid.
Yeah. And every property that’s up for sale is getting 10, 15, 20 offers. And here’s everything you gotta do to be competitive and you can look ’em square in the eye and be super blunt on that. Yeah. And then they turn right around and apply their consumer habits and go I’ll look at a few this Saturday.
We, well, we wanna think about it. Their parents. Their parents, like, don’t make a rash decision. I mean, real estate, like you buying that house. Yeah. She’s gonna trap you. You’re, you’ll be locked in for a long time. Here’s the reality. Mm-hmm. The reality is real estate is far more liquid than you’re assuming.
Mm-hmm. And if you’re buying a house for $500,000, you’re not spending $500,000. You really not what you’re doing, if you’re getting a loan, which 87% of first time home buyers are someone making that assumption, if you’re paying cash, it’s different. Mm-hmm. But if you’re getting a. You’re only departing with the cash, that’s your down payment.
Yeah. And a lot of our first time home buyers are doing FHA loans. So they’re parting with three or 4% of the purchase price. Mm-hmm. So they’re really parting with 20,000 bucks and some moving costs. Of course they’re really gonna have a payment, but they have rent regardless. Yeah. And even in a soft market, the 20 years I’ve been in the industry, Even in the recession that real estate is sellable.
Mm-hmm. It’s just a question of price and it can be sellable in a weekend if, if the price is right. Mm-hmm. Now the last caveat to this is when I say that, people go, yeah, but what if I buy it the peak and it declines? Mm-hmm. Warren Buffet said it many others have, the worst thing you can try to do is time the market perfectly.
Mm-hmm. What is what you can do? And what rules the roost in all real estate is what I call staying power. Yeah. But it’s also just an analogy with time. The reality is, is if you bought at the peak and you’re thinking you’re trapped in your house, you’re, you’re only trapped while the market has the pricing suppressed.
Or if the price you could hypothetically sell for is less. What you paid, okay? Mm-hmm. And again, people think in terms of, I paid 500. Now the market’s soft and it’s only worth four. Well, you didn’t lose a hundred thousand dollars. I call that phantom equity. Yeah. Remember, you only put down 20,000 bucks.
You didn’t lose anything yet. Yeah. You incur that if you were forced to sell. On a rare occasion, people must for a change in life or job change. Mm-hmm. But more often than not, if you can just have staying. History will tell us that it’s actually a pretty swift period of time in which that will correct.
The worst one we ever have on record in my market is if you bought in summer of 2008. Mm-hmm. Yeah. You probably needed to wait until 2014. Mm-hmm. To to break even. But by 2016 17, you’re at 2020 5% appreciation. And by 2022, your real estate that you bought at the peak of 2008 has doubled. Yeah. So we’ve got to stop thinking of real estate as you’re departing with that much money and that it’s not liquid.
It’s far more liquid than people assume. Love it. I want to and, and I, and like I said a moment ago, we’re not, we’re not gonna dispel all the myths. I want everybody to pick up a copy of this book. But I do wanna spend some time while I have you on the line, Jake, talking about your business as well.
So let’s let’s We’ll jump around a bit from the book and let’s get into Digit. Sure. So tell us a little bit more about, about the brokerage and also some of the other things you have going around the on the affinity program, the referrals. Like tell us a little bit more about the, the ecosystem that you’ve built.
Yeah, you got it. So, although we’ve spent a lot of time just doing traditional real estate sales and we’ve done that under the, the name brand of, of what I believe to be some of the best brands again, have managed at Sotheby’s and Berkshire hath. We ultimately opened up our own boutique so we could have full autonomy.
And because we do a lot of other things outside of sales. So I often hear from people, oh man, you know, the market is, is soft. How are you guys doing? And when we started our call today that way, right? Yeah. And what I’ve found training around the country, Is if all your eggs as a salesperson are just in the basket of selling then you know, you.
Excitement and your attitude about your industry ebb and flow with the market. And although that can be exciting, it can also be quite depressing. Hmm. Because it up, I mean, you talk to people in that are day traders and it’s a roller coaster and they’re view can be determined by how the market is.
Mm-hmm. And as I struggled with that, it wasn’t that it always went well for. As I struggled with that and I found that even though every year I was doing better as a salesperson in January 1st, I was restarting at zero. Yeah. And I know all the effort the prior year took, and it was just, my wife even commented years ago, man, I was just kind of have the blues in January.
So we started branching out and one of the first ancillary businesses that we started that took off it’s called Digit, D I j J I T dot. And the philosophy was simply this by. 2010, 2011, small fries, entrepreneurs like me, were not going to be successful. Trying to build out a website for the top search terms in your industry against Google.
Yeah. So you, you know, I’m not gonna win against Zillow for. Lake, right? Yeah. And so we kind of, we kind of raised that flag and said we give up, but we also noticed there was a lot of niche markets that were not competitive. Mm-hmm. And my good buddy owned a mortgage company at the time, and we started kind of categorizing professionals and we said, well, we can definitely speak to doctors, nurses, and.
Hmm. That’s a whole umbrella field of people that there are some specialty programs for them. As far as financing goes. It is a different kind of lingo. A lot of doctors who will be assigned a new hospital network will have a contractual obligation to live within a certain mileage of hospital networks.
Mm. So as we started learning those things, we created custom pop-up websites that doctors could go search saying, I’m moving to Salt Lake. I’m gonna be in the I H C network. Yeah. What neighborhoods would I want to live in? As far as a house goes, they’re often also people moving to a market that they’ve never explored or been in.
So they’re really need that professional advice as we did that. We also learned that a lot of mortgage companies that are licensed in multiple states have a. Much higher conversion rate of people. They fill out a loan application for in the state that they physically reside versus the other states they’re licensed in, but have no physical presence.
Mm-hmm. Now that’s a good year to figure this out, but what we dialed it down to was it comes down to real estate agents, realtors. Mm-hmm. Because a lender in a different state, and this happens very often nowadays, will pre-qualify a buyer online or just on the phone. There’s no need for a consumer to go into a loan officer’s office anymore.
There hasn’t been for a decade. But that pre-qualification was often disrupted when a local realtor physically got in front of a customer and said, oh, don’t use that mortgage broker. I’ve got a person. Cuz agents are very networked with brokers. Yeah. So we combined doctors nurses and dentist philosophy with mortgage companies and created digit.
Simply put, all digit did is go through every state in the United States and. Good, reputable, responsive realtors. We have a seven touchpoint algorithm that ranks them. Hmm. And got pretty much every county in the US with a, at least one or two good responsive agents. By the way, these are often not the agents you Google, cuz if you go to do that, you’re gonna, if you Google Salt Lake City, you probably end up with me, but I’ve got a full team.
And to be brutal honest with you, you’re probably not gonna get me on the. Yeah. You know so we, we’ve, we’ve found good, responsive, tech savvy still hungry producers, and we went to mortgage companies and said, look, let us attach our software to whatever c r m you use. So to get technical, we just do an API plugin and that When a loan officer is filling out an application for a customer mm-hmm. They can ask the digit questions, which is, have you signed a buyer broker with realtor? Mm-hmm. And if the loan officer a asks that, all they have to do is click yes or no, and then a pop-up window comes up in their C R M and it says, great.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, we’ve got Jake Breen. He’s ranked a 95 out a hundred. You know, algorithm and you’ll be very responsive. Do you want me to refer ’em? They, you know, there’s different scripts that go around. Yeah. As we started doing that the very first year with one mortgage company in beta.
We closed 38 doctors and physicians around the country. Wow. And, and an amazing achievement. Yeah. So it really you know, it really took off. And so we’ve branched into Applying that same philosophy to many other businesses because mm-hmm. A lot of other businesses work similarly. So now one of our large clients is a property management company in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mm-hmm. Because their main business, the way they generate revenue is managing properties, but then they’re also a kind of a first touch point to a lot of investors or renters that want to stop renting and buy. Mm-hmm. And typically what happens in the. Is a realtor sniffs that out and gets a good relationship with the property manager.
Mm-hmm. And they kind of refer business back and forth. Well, we at Digit can take that process and digitize it. Yeah. We can make it automated for the property manager. We can start marketing to all of their renters and prepping them educationally for their future purchase and then we can legally route back a referral fee to the property manager.
For sending us the client and so we can show them how that’s zero liability on their part. Mm-hmm. But they can actually benefit financially from real estate commissions. Once people exit their, their property, they’re managing. So our philosophy at Digit is just to make that B2B business to business referral situ.
Smooth for everybody. Mm-hmm. And this is another one of my pet peeves, Adam. And it’s, it’s, I won’t dispel the secret. It’s kind of built into one of the other myths. I have a pet peeve with a lot of the training that goes down for sales folk in almost any industry. And it’s like, I know there’s cool softwares in all this, but at the end of the day, what we’ve re reduced the value of a salesperson to is solicit.
Like you dive into any CRM and it’s like, here’s a better way to solicit to solicit this client. Yeah. Well, in real estate, if you’re a buyer, buyers have gotten pretty savvy. They know if they put their information in Zillow, they’re gonna get hounded, and they may or may not know this, but that information is being sold.
Time and time again to like the bottom of the barrel when your cell phone’s just getting lit up. And we’ve never done that. And it’s, that style just drives me bonkers. Mm-hmm. So the philosophy at Digit is not to refer the doctor and then hound the heck out of ’em via phone, call, text, and email until they tell me to stop.
The philosophy is this, and, and truly I don’t know of, of any other software that’s doing this around the country, but mm-hmm. Our philosophy is timing. Yeah. So when you have, when you bring a horse to the trough, okay. If you think about the life of a real estate transaction, someone could start looking on a Saturday and be buying on Monday.
Mm-hmm. And another consumer could be looking and it takes two years. Okay. Yeah. We don’t know when, but if they put their information in online, they’re hounded for a year or a day, like in that time. Yeah. At digit. Our philosophy is, We will intersect you when you are the horse walking to the trough to get the water.
In other words, when you’re making actionable steps mm-hmm. To actually buy, in other words, you’re filling out a loan application. Yeah. With a loan officer. At that moment, we want to refer you to a good realtor, cuz it’s on your mind. You’re taking actionable steps and it’s not gonna be weird. If we connect with you at that moment, and you likely have real questions surrounding your purchase at that moment.
Mm-hmm. Other than that, we’re gonna be pretty hands off. Yeah. Jake, how do you first off, it’s a, it’s a brilliant model and the timing part is just so like, crucial in what you said, especially if, if you know, in theory maybe the, the individual has a little bit of rapport with the mortgage with the mortgage company as well, or the mortgage officer and.
What you’re doing also is giving the especially for people that are moving into a new market, they don’t know nothing about what you’re doing also is giving a, a level of of value to the, the actual home buyer that’s looking anyway. Like they don’t know when they go, what are they gonna do, go online and, and Google and research like who’s the best.
Like who’s the best realtor in that market? Yeah. You know, there it is. Just, it’s just difficult. And then especially for some of the niches that you’re working with very busy professionals, right? Like they don’t have that time. Yeah. So I think, I think the model’s brilliant. I’m curious, so how do people get involved, whether it’s mortgage companies, whether it’s realtors and, and different markets?
Like how do people get involved with the digit platform? Yep. It, the simplest option is just to go to our website, digit.com. It’s d I J J I t.com and you kind of covered it, Adam. We’ve, we have a lot of options, so we’ve got, we’re always looking for good realtors and we have leads. We, of course, we always want customers and so far, the last six years.
You know, we have some revenue models in which we might charge lenders, but so far the last six years we attach this software to whatever CRM the lender is using for free. Wow. We charge nothing and we have data and statistics that proves, especially when you’re crossing state lines mm-hmm. Where you don’t have a physical office, we can increase your conversion drastically.
In fact, six years running we have a 27% increase in lead conversion for a cross state line lending for any lender that’s been using. Oh, that, that’s big time. That’s significant numbers you’re talking about. That’s awesome. So Jake just have to ask, first off, it’s been great having you back on the show and reconnecting and seeing all the, all the great work you’re doing over at Digit.
Of course. Happy and thrilled and excited to continue to promote this book with you and for you. That being said, I know, I know you’re a busy guy. I gotta ask you know, we’re recording this in. February of 2023. Uhhuh. What’s next? I mean, what’s next for you? What’s next for, for your real estate business?
Hey, man, that’s a great question. I wasn’t ready for that. We I am actually currently at a crossroads, so we went independent in boutique last fall. That’s going great. You know, digit is growing outside of just the sales we do, I’ve got a lot of fun projects for me doing. The design and kind of the investment side is, is just the fun part.
And my brother who offices right here behind me, he’s our general contractor in-house. So we’re kind of like what people see on hdtv. We cover that entire gamut. Yeah. And I am trying to decide how I splice my time and where I focus that energy. Yeah. I currently am consulting for one of the larger ski companies mm-hmm.
In the United States. Not veil but one of the other ones. So they’ve been actively buying ski resorts. So I’ve been able to travel around and help them master plan how they develop out these resorts. And you know, my kids, their ages 15 to three. And so I, I’m not going to spoof any of our listeners.
I am spending a lot of time. Hanging out with them and vacationing, eating them out, and sleeping more and trying to stay fit and healthy. Man, I love it. You deserve it. And that’s awesome. I mean, what, what this is one of those things when I talk about like entrepreneurship and people being entrepreneurs and the idea or whatever they choose to do of Fig.
Figuring out what balance and time is gonna work for them throughout their life. Well, great to hear that you’re getting some family time in there. Don’t wanna forget that. As we kind of close this out, if, if somebody does want to connect and learn more about Digit or the real estate brokerage or any, any, any of your other projects, I mean just in general Sure.
What’s the best people, the best way for people to follow your. I’ll just give my personal email. I’m happy to, I still respond to my own emails. I’ve got an assistant that watches it. But you know, any generalized question and if it’s specific to Utah and real estate investing I’m not only an expert there.
We’ve got a lot of current material. We can just send people you know, if it’s software questions in the industry of real estate I do a decent amount of consulting there. So happy to answer anything you know, any questions anybody has. And my personal email is just jake breen gmail.com. So it’s j k e B as in boy, r e e n gmail.com.
Wonderful. And we’ll, we’ll put all that information in the show notes so that our audience can check it out and connect with you. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or listening to an episode or engaging with the platform, we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, and having them share their mission, the reason behind their mission, really.
Them up and motivated and fired up to go out into the marketplace and make a difference every day. If that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up and we don’t want you to miss a thing.
And Jake, as always, it’s been a pleasure looking forward to continue this book promo with you. Thanks again for coming back on the show. Sure thing, Adam. And it’s been great to see you grow as well, so appreciate the time.