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March 10, 2020 100 min

Are you a VICTOR? Or a VICTIM? No matter where you came from or what your story may be, anything is possible with the right mindset. When Long Doan was 13 years old, he was smuggled out of Vietnam on a fishing boat. His chances of making it to the US alive were less than 50%. But he made the decision to take responsibility for his life, make the most of the opportunity he was given, and do everything in his power to help others.

Connect with Founders Club Host Oliver Graf on Instagram: @OliverGraf360

Today, Long serves as the Founder and CEO of Realty Group, the #1 brokerage in the state of Minnesota. With more than 25 years in the real estate industry, he has grown Realty Group from zero to 450-plus agents. Long and his business partner, Mike Bernier, treat every agent as the CEO of their own business, reinventing the brokerage model as an education, development and operations center for realtors.

On this episode of Founders Club, Long joins Oliver to share his harrowing journey from Vietnam to the US and explain what that experience taught him about the power of mindset. He discusses what differentiates Realty Group from other brokerages, sharing their seven-step recruiting process and the secret sauce that took his business to the next level of growth. Listen in for Long’s insight around learning to USE your time rather than SPEND it and learn why the most successful people don’t win or lose—we win or learn.

Key Takeaways

[6:10] What differentiates Realty Group from other brokerages

  • Treat every agent as CEO of own company
  • Plug-and-play partnership model
  • [13:12] Realty Group’s ecosystem of economic impact

  • Revenue share with vetted vendors (e.g.: plumber, photographer)
  • Negotiate better deal to benefit end consumer
  • [18:25] The five steps entrepreneurs go through to grow

  • WHY
  • WHAT (systems)
  • WHEN (use of time)
  • WHO
  • WHERE (expansion)
  • [20:45] Long’s seven-step recruiting process

  • Know who you are + what you want
  • Understand target audience(s)
  • Craft message for each audience
  • Deploy messages (i.e.: social media)
  • Reach out with call, meeting
  • Follow up (dating process)
  • Check in re: experience
  • [30:30] The ONE thing that took Long’s business to the next level

  • Partnership with Mike (visionary and integrator)
  • Give up hats until doing what best at + love most
  • [33:58] Long’s insight on lead gen and nurturing relationships

  • Leverage tech for opportunities (Aspiration, Research and Transaction)
  • Use notes in phone as CRM, convergence of humanity and tech
  • [45:57] How Long leverages VAs in his business

  • Assign process-driven tasks to remote VAs (then what exercise)
  • Daily communication via Zoom or Google Hangouts
  • [53:11] Realty Group’s process for onboarding new agents

  • 106-point checklist including transition plan and ‘broker breakup’
  • Automated processes first ten days and 90-minute orientation
  • [57:59] Long’s harrowing journey from Vietnam to the US

  • Dad imprisoned in reeducation camp after Vietnam War
  • Lined up to get rations for family daily (communist government)
  • Mom sent Long on smuggler’s boat alone at age 13
  • Spent eight months at Bidong refugee camp known as ‘hell island’
  • Made decision to be VICTOR rather than VICTIM
  • [1:18:13] The three ways we learn

  • Imitation
  • Experience
  • Reflection
  • [1:20:24] Long’s experience as an immigrant teen in Minnesota

  • Entrepreneurial kid (scaled paper route and lawn mowing job)
  • Overwhelming culture shock, carried dictionary everywhere
  • [1:24:43] How the rest of Long’s family got to the US

  • Middle brother came two years later in similar process
  • Sponsored Mom and youngest brother seven years later
  • Dad eventually released and exiled to US (prisoner of conscience)
  • [1:27:41] The top three things Long has learned from successful people

  • Take responsibility
  • Take action
  • Just figure it out
  • [1:29:51] What Long wishes he had known earlier

  • Take chances sooner
  • Surround self with people in growth mindset
  • [1:34:45] Long’s advice on scheduling and organization

  • Schedule workday and personal calendar
  • Don’t compromise personal commitments
  • Connect with Long

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