Episode 7 – David Dorman – Don’t act like you’re not impressed
In this episode of David Vs Goliath, Adam DeGraide interviews David Dorman on the challenges of running his own franchise of Century 21. David shares some great insight and some very difficult times that he and his partners and employees have gone through. He also shares how they got through it and came out victorious on the other side.
Welcome to today’s episode of David Vs Goliath. A podcast dedicated to helping small businesses leverage technology to not only help them compete against their large competitors but win. Your host is currently the CEO of Anthem business software, a three-time Inc. 500 recipient, and a serial entrepreneur with a passion to help small businesses everywhere find, serve, and keep more customers profitably. Please join me in welcoming your host, Adam DeGraide.
Adam DeGraide (00:31):
Hey everyone. It’s Adam DeGraide here with David Vs Goliath podcast. You can find us online at davidvsgoliathpodcast.com, that’s davidvsgoliathpodcast.com, there you can subscribe and you can apply to be on the podcast. Also, we’re on all of your favorite podcasting networks, and we’re also on YouTube, be sure you subscribe there, watch, share if you love it. Today we have David Dorman from CENTURY 21, David, give us a thumbs up. David, it is so great to have you on David Vs Goliath. Now, you’re not the actual shepherd boy from the story, are you?
David Dorman (01:12):
No, but I think this podcast, when I heard the first episode, I thought it was named after me and I was surprised you hadn’t called me first.
Well, it’s great to have you because you are the very first real estate agent that we’re having on David Vs Goliath. For full disclosure, you’ve been my real estate agent before in the past. You’ve done an amazing job for me. And one of the things I love about David is that, I’ve seen David from the first time I moved down to Florida in 2003, all the way to now my most recent home purchase, he’s helped me, and to see how much you’ve grown, David, from then to now is amazing in your business. Tell the folks watching and listening, how you decided that you wanted to become a real estate agent, and the progression of where you were and where you are now?
David Dorman (01:59):
It’s a pretty, it’s an interesting story, because at the time I’d already at the theme parks. When I first moved here in ’85, I worked at SeaWorld, then I worked at Universal as a acapella [inaudible 00:02:09] singer. And at the time I was working at, I just finished up seven years at Disney World Attractions, and I was just trying to figure out what to do with my life, but I felt like I had some really good customer service skills from those parks and all that. So I’m working out at Ballet back when Ballet was still open, are they even open anymore? And the guy next to me was talking about time share and I’m like, I could do that and do this singing, waiter thing, and then I realized, [inaudible 00:02:34] I didn’t want to do timeshare, but I wanted to do residential real estate, and got hooked up with an independent brokerage, and then eventually with CENTURY 21, and that’s when I met you.
David Dorman (02:43):
And that’s actually, I’ve told you this before, but since your listeners probably don’t know is, once you and I got together, that first transaction we did was one of the biggest of my career, and it really gave me the confidence and the finances to really grow my business. And now what, 21 years later I am the owner and the broker of our franchise.
It truly is amazing, because I remember, so people thinking back then, so that was the early, it was 2003. Internet was still relatively new, but that’s how I found you. I went online and I searched for real estate agents in the Orlando area. I was looking to buy a vacation home at the time, and you were one of the first that came up. There was a few others, I talked to a few others, you were responsive, you were quick, you go back to me. And so you’ve always valued that stuff. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it now. How many employees do you have right now working with you at your particular franchise?
David Dorman (03:39):
Well, employees, you’re probably thinking agents as employees, technically they’re independent contracts. We have about 60 agents, and about five or six employees. It’s a lot of behind the scenes, [crosstalk 00:03:50] people that manage our business. And we’re all constantly looking to grow that.
That’s great. It’s so fascinating to me because real estate is one of those things where it’s like, it’s shifting so quickly technologically now, as you know. You watch TV commercials, they’re all either trying to get rid of the agent, or they’re trying to knock down the rates of an agent, or they’re trying to make it easier for people to buy, and they are, and a lot of those tools are great. But, what has that been like for you to have to compete in that environment? Because, obviously you’re still a small business competing in a very large space. You’re fighting, jockeying to get that placement so people can know how to find you and see you. What has been the the evolution for you from the early days of the internet to now there’s much technology, how do you stay relevant and current?
David Dorman (04:44):
It’s a lot of research. It’s a lot of paying attention to any bit of information you can get, and it’s about not panicking. For example, I’m constantly on Facebook, and in [inaudible 00:04:54], LinkedIn, looking to see what everybody else is doing, but not getting so caught up in it that I panic. With these brokers what you’re talking about, things like OfferPad and similar, they’re called ibuyers, where they pay cash for a house and they basically cut us out of it. But the reality is, nine out of 10 people don’t want to do that. They want someone who’s going to be hands on with them. Another big change that’s happened over the years when I first met you till now is that you have these big teams of people where there’s a group in town and the agent says, I sell 800 homes a year, and I’m like, no, you don’t, because you would be a crazy person if you sold 800 homes yourself in a year.
David Dorman (05:32):
Now, what they’re really talking about is their team of 20 people sold 800 homes a year, which is still impressive, but it’s not the same as an individual. When I say I’ve sold a hundred homes in a year, I’ve sold a hundred homes in a year, and that’s a lot for one person even with an assistant to take on. So it’s just about trying to stay relevant, and that’s where… I tell people I’ve spent a lot of money on good things, and I’ve wasted a lot of money on bad things. We did a thing with a local, I won’t say the team, but they’re an NBA team here in Orlando. And we spent a lot of money with them and got nothing out of it, but I felt like we had to try that, so it’s a lot of trial and error.
Adam DeGraide (06:13):
It really is a lot of trial and error. People don’t realize that when you’re starting a business and you’re starting to get traction, it’s one thing if you’re in the beginning, you don’t have any money, there’s not a lot you can do. But once you start to actually generate revenue and profits, you start to grow, then those opportunities avail themself to you, and you can absolutely put money in places that don’t get results. And sometimes by the way, it’s not that the medium wasn’t the right medium, sometimes the messaging is not right, but you may not have the budget to continue on it to change the messaging. You just never know when you’re a small business, that’s why-
David Dorman (06:43):
You are so, it’s the budget thing. We’re going through that right now. There’s an online, the CRM that we use that we’ve been paying for it for a year, and it’s easily three bills a month. And several of my agents are using it, and it’s just not panning out. And I feel like we’re right about here, but I’m not going to renew for another year because I can’t afford in my mind to spend that money on something that’s not working, you to have to get something for [crosstalk 00:07:10]. It’s a lot of that, what’s that phrase they talk about when you weren’t there, something you missed when you weren’t there, it’s YOYO or YOLO. Not you only live once, but you should have been there.
Adam DeGraide (07:21):
The fear of FOLO, or fear of being left out or something like that. [crosstalk 00:07:25] So what ends up happening is you have to be everywhere, because this person’s over there, that must be the place to go, and you run over there. And you see a competitor over here and you go, oh, that must be, and that really goes back to [crosstalk 00:07:39]-
David Dorman (07:38):
That’s so distracting.
Adam DeGraide (07:39):
Very is distracting.
David Dorman (07:42):
It is. It’s very distracting and it does steal your focus on a very broad level, and that’s what I’m experiencing right now. We’re in year number one now. We just bought the company from the other two owners that I shared the company with for since, in 2012 I became a percentage owner, and then in 2020 of March, because who else opens a new business in the middle of a pandemic, but me, we bought the company. My focus in real estate has been pulled a little bit. Now I’m trying to get it back and get back on track, and this has been a really good year, but there’s just a lot of moving parts that will steal your focus and keep you from doing what you want to do, so goals are very important.
Adam DeGraide (08:23):
I want to talk a little bit about that as you know, because David, I know you’ve listened to the first few episodes. And first of all, by the way, you’re not going to, it’s not released yet at the time we’re recording this, but I interviewed Bob Tasca last week in a two part series. He one of the largest auto dealers in the country now from a single point location, fantastic interview. But we were talking last week, Bob and I about, what it means to create plans and goals. So a small business, five employees, 60 other independent people working with you, you must have went into, when once you bought the business said, here’s what it’s done historically. You sit down with your business partner, you sit down with your employees and you create plans and goals. So I know you did that at the beginning of this year, tell the people a little bit about what the process was like to do that, and then how are you doing on hitting those plans and goals this year? I’m curious.
David Dorman (09:16):
You assume a lot. I will tell you, we bought the company and immediately closed our doors for the first two months and went into PPP because of COVID. Our entire, my entire plan of organization has only been starting for about the past six or seven months because we’re just finally getting over everything, but it’s still not there. We have to sit down and, our first year was all about survival. We had to borrow, we didn’t have to, but we took money from the franchise to pay off the other two owners. And when they left they took 80% of the bank account from savings and taking, so this first year has been all about rebuilding that. And I’m proud to say that in June of this year we not only paid ourselves back, but we had our first distribution of a significant amount of money, so we are all caught up now, so now is the time. We have done a little bit of goal setting. Right now we’re really focusing on-
Adam DeGraide (10:09):
But you haven’t done a lot.
David Dorman (10:11):
It’s about agent retention too, making sure we are not ignoring the people that have made us successful this last year, and making sure that they know that they’re appreciated, but also real estate is all about recruiting new talent, and that’s been my focus. We’ve sat down and said, all right, Dana, you’re target the sales manager, you’re in charge of this. David, you’re the marketing guy. You’re the creative individual who, you’re the people, the face of the company that people are going to be attracted to, to come here and work. And then you’ve got Scott who does all the financial background stuff that makes my head explode. So it’s like a work marriage. We each have our roles and we’ve defined those roles, and now that we feel like we’ve got [inaudible 00:10:52], I think the beginning of January we are planning on going on a little bit of a retreat to sit down and, I haven’t told the other people that, but that’s [crosstalk 00:10:59].
Adam DeGraide (11:03):
You nailed it. My advice to people [crosstalk 00:11:03] if you stay where you are and you’re in the thick of it every day, it’s hard to think strategically. So one of the things that we try to do as well in our business is, David, is take a, even if it’s a weekend, even if it’s a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or a Saturday, Sunday, Monday, go somewhere together, lock in for two days and just dream, look at numbers, look at things that have worked, adjust the things that haven’t, lay very specific goals and milestones. And I would imagine over the years as you’ve been a real estate agent, and you’ve been selling up to a hundred homes a year individually, you know how many times you have to see a home before a guy like me is going to buy it, or how many times you going to show a home before a guy like me is going to buy it, so all of that’s going to factor into your planning, yes?
David Dorman (11:50):
Yeah. It’s so many moving parts the things you chase down. And again, it goes back to that whole, what am I missing over here? Because, leads, you can get leads coming in from all different directions, and people trying to get your attention, and buyers that say they want to buy something but they’re not willing to take that next step, but you don’t want to ignore them because… When you walked into my life, you walked in, in jeans and a t-shirt and flip flops, I remember it to this day. And I could have easily dismissed you and go, this guy doesn’t have a pot, but you have to take a leap of faith sometimes. So to me that’s been the hardest thing is knowing [crosstalk 00:12:25].
Adam DeGraide (12:25):
I still wear jeans, [inaudible 00:12:26] flip flops by the way, I’m in them right now.
David Dorman (12:30):
You’re my poster boy. I tell people [inaudible 00:12:32] you all the time, but it’s just that there are so many demands on my time right now that, but I try to keep a level head. I enjoy working with folks like my buyers and my sellers to really make sure that they’re having a good experience, but I will tell you it gets harder every day, but I’m trying to find my balance right now, and I think I’m about 75% there, but it’s just that every day its something different, but I do think that it’s also important. We’ve started simple with what you were talking about getting out of town. We don’t get out of town, but we go to Panera. But we’re trying to do that every two weeks or so to get out there, just clear our heads and catch up with each other.
Adam DeGraide (13:12):
David Dorman (13:12):
It’s like any, it is a relationship. Dana’s my work wife and basically we don’t get along sometimes because we’re so passionate about what we do, and you have to be able to talk those things out, and you can’t let them fester. And that’s what I think, I’ve seen businesses implode where they just don’t communicate, and it’s so incredibly important. I’m lucky that I’m like you, I’m direct. I’ll say exactly what is on my mind. And it may hurt somebody’s feelings at the time, but they also know that it’s coming from my heart and it’s coming from a place of love. I can’t sit here behind this desk and turn a blind eye to something that’s bothering me. I just can’t do it. I don’t do it in my personal life, and I don’t do it in business. You have got to speak up.
Adam DeGraide (13:59):
That’s great. David, this has been such a fantastic conversation. When we come back from break, I want to talk to you about people and process. Listeners and watchers stay tuned. You’re with David Vs Goliath. I’m your host, Adam DeGraide, here’s a special message from our corporate sponsor Anthem Software
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Adam DeGraide (14:45):
And we’re back with David Dorman. David, its so great to see you on David Vs Goliath.
David Dorman (15:03):
Its like I’d already left.
Adam DeGraide (15:08):
And it’s great to have you back, and speaking your mind, taking that sword slaying it. You mentioned something about how the people you work with are critical. And as you bought the business last March, and as you have your own employees now and the different roles that you have, have you had a challenge finding people during this time, or has it been something, were you able to have them stick with you through the whole time? Tell us a little bit about the people in your organization, how you find them, how you recruit them, how you train them and how you hope to keep them in a loving environment like you were mentioning.
David Dorman (15:40):
Well, first of all, the employees, which are admin people or managers, they are all different unique personalities. So it’s like, I’m really good at mirroring people, and getting into tune with what they respond to and how they react, so I’m good at that. And that’s to me important, making sure that they know that they’re appreciated. When we did our first payout they each got some of it.
Adam DeGraide (16:05):
David Dorman (16:06):
Because, I wanted to make sure they knew they were appreciated. And we are going to do that as a policy moving forward just because it’s, I think that it’s easy to get caught up in the money aspect of your business and not pay attention to the people that actually help get you there, and I’m not a greedy person. Everyone wants to make money in their business, but you also have to remember the people that helped you. And when they feel disrespected or disfranchised, when a small business like ours, if one person, one of those people, the persons decides to leave, it’s a major rebuild. We had, we were-
Adam DeGraide (16:42):
[inaudible 00:16:42] there’s no doubt about that.
David Dorman (16:44):
We lost, in 2017 our admin that had been with us for 20 years passed away from cancer. And we had no idea all the stuff she was doing behind the scenes to keep our company going. And we were dealing with grief of losing that person, and I get a little emotional talking about it, I haven’t talked about it in a while, and we made some serious changes after that to make sure that one person didn’t hold all the cards, because it took a toll on us. So it’s things you have to really look at the big picture, and make sure your business is organized properly, and that’s another thing we’ve done this year as well, making sure that-
Adam DeGraide (17:27):
David Dorman (17:30):
I didn’t know how things got paid out financially. I tend to, I’m like, I don’t want to mess with that. I want to do the fun stuff. You guys do all the other stuff, but I’ve had to really insert myself into that a little bit more this year. And I think it’s important, it helps you understand the whole business more.
Adam DeGraide (17:46):
I don’t want to bring you back to that difficult moment again, but I think it’s a poignant moment for business.
David Dorman (17:53):
I’ve had my moment, I’m good now.
Adam DeGraide (17:54):
For people that are listening though, you said something very interesting, you said, first of all, it’s very devastating to lose that person, because obviously you cared about them. And then you didn’t realize how much they did, and you’re stuck now. This happens to small of businesses all the time, so what did you do specifically? Once you got over the grieving, once you realized what you had, how did you fix that problem, because that’s a real problem?
David Dorman (18:22):
We put things in place. We put processes in place that can be duplicated by anybody. We wrote it down, we taught it, we stuck to it. I joke with Dana because everything I go, that’s process, it always has to be in the air quotes. But process is one of our live by rules. You’ve got to have a process. Because, I’m the kind of person I’m like, I have an idea and I just start running with it, and then I don’t always have all the things in place and that’s why, but you and I count on other people to support us in that endeavor. And this just takes them a little bit longer to get to that point sometimes and feel our energy and all of that, but I think it’s important to have when you are running anything financial, you got to have a process.
David Dorman (19:08):
We didn’t know how to check out our agents when they brought in checks the right way. And it was a lot of closing procedures, and it was just like, oh my God, she was doing that? It had happened really fast. We went on break for Christmas. We went on Christmas break, and she was gone February 23rd. And it was, it never came back. It just so, we don’t have to go on that path. It’s so important for small business. You can’t let one person handle everything.
Adam DeGraide (19:41):
You said something really important that I don’t want to have our listeners miss either. You said something, and this is important for the viewers and watchers. He talked out how they wrote it down, and they trained it throughout their business. So they started to blueprint the processes that were buried in this amazing employee’s life. And it was just a realization at that point in time that to continue as a business, to continue the consistency that we have to have in serving and loving our clients, we have to be disciplined and blueprint everything, writing down everything, making sure that we’re cross trained in the business. You can’t have, if Adam DeGraide is the only one that knows certain things in his business and I’m gone, I roll a seven, that’s a major problem. And if I have key employees and a handful of employees only, and one or two of them know everything and I don’t know those things… See, one of the things that people don’t really realize about when I start businesses, David, because I’ve done this as you know, a few times.
David Dorman (20:45):
Adam DeGraide (20:45):
I love doing every aspect of the business. I want to understand what it means to answer a phone, what it means to serve a upset client, what it means to love and serve a happy client, what it means to deliver on a project, what it means to have results, what it means to deal with somebody who didn’t get results, that stuff, you got to feel that as an owner, because if you don’t feel it, you won’t know what’s really happening on the battle lines that your people are on. And that’s why sometimes they’re so disgruntled employees because they’re like, oh, you just sit in your ivory tower in your little studio with your headset on, no, that’s not true. Because, I’ll be the first one, there’s two things I never run from David, and this is very important for my watchers and listeners. You never run from problems, and you never run from praise. So many times people when they’re getting compliments are like, oh, no, take that in. You’re going to have so many problems, take as much of it in as you can.
David Dorman (21:41):
I do that.
Adam DeGraide (21:41):
But the best thing you can do in the world is run to a problem. And I love the fact that you saw the problem, I don’t love the fact that you saw the problem, you know what I mean, that you recognize that it was a problem, and then you made the steps to change it. Now, transitioning back to process again, when you say you wrote it down and then you trained it throughout the business, what specifically does that mean? You wrote what down?
David Dorman (22:07):
Meaning that in our manuals, our agreements and all that, we keep logs and we train it. We had, there’s nobody out in that office out there outside my door, they can’t do the same thing another person does. They may be a little [crosstalk 00:22:25] at it, but, and even I could do it if I had to. I don’t even know if as much [crosstalk 00:22:29]
Adam DeGraide (22:29):
Do it every once in a while just for fun.
David Dorman (22:36):
It’s not as much written down as it is trained, I guess. But, Dana’s got it written down. I rely on a lot of people. At the same time as I’m saying what I’m saying is, I also rely on a lot of people just to do what they need to do. Because, if I try to do everything in this office, I would make myself crazy. And right now my real estate income, I do about five times the amount of business personally than any of my other agents, so I have to also be careful to not have my focus stolen away from my personal amount out a business that brings income to the company. It’s easy to think if, people think that in real estate, well, I’m the broker. I bring in a check, I get a 100% of that, no, I don’t.
David Dorman (23:18):
CENTURY 21 gets a cut off of it, and then I still give a percentage of my check to the actual company to run the business. So right now we’re in an interesting point here in our company where at the end of this year, January, we’re going to go and we take these numbers and say, all right, how much did we make? And how much of that was me compared to the other agents? And if you took me out of the equation, what do we look like as a company? Because, eventually I want to retire. I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I’ve been doing this for 21, 22 years. I’m only 53 years old, but I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 70 or 80, like a lot of other brokers do.
Adam DeGraide (23:57):
David Dorman (23:57):
Planning for your future in this type of business is incredibly important, and that’s another thing we do here, is we teach our agents, don’t just take that check every time you get it. It’s commission, so it’s 1099 basically, there’s no tax taken out on it directly, so you have to think smart. So we set up our agents with, so by the way, when we direct deposit your commission check, did you know you can also take a percentage of that and put it into a savings account for your taxes? And by the way, this is the number for Edward Jones. They can help you plan and put this money, so you don’t get the big tax burden and all of that.
Adam DeGraide (24:34):
So you’re trying to help your people not only make more money, but to be smarter with it, and maybe not do the same mistakes that you made when you were younger in the industry, is that correct?
David Dorman (24:46):
Very true. When I bought my house, it was new construction. I don’t know if, have you ever done new construction before? [crosstalk 00:24:56].
Adam DeGraide (24:56):
No, I buy things and [inaudible 00:24:57]
David Dorman (25:00):
SO a new construction back when I bought my house in 2001, and the taxes on my property at the time were $700, and that’s what my mortgage, property insurance and taxes were based off of my monthly payment. Well, the next year Orange County caught up and my taxes jumped to 2,500, almost $3,000. So not only did the mortgage company have to pay that missing amount of money, but they also had to start collecting for the following year, so my mortgage payment went up almost $700 a month. Now, I wasn’t as successful back then, and that was scary, and I almost lost my house. And my property taxes, my regular taxes, I was not a smart person [inaudible 00:25:40]. But over time and I didn’t have anything planned for retirement or anything, so anything I can learn, I’m giving it to my agents. And I wish-
Adam DeGraide (25:48):
David Dorman (25:49):
If I could get a message out to anybody, I wish that other agents would understand in this head, I’m not looking at the money part that I make off the company. I make enough business personally to support myself. I could open David Dorman Realty by myself, pay myself 100%, but I enjoy the nurturing our other agents, and helping them be successful as well. And I got a lot of good knowledge up here, they need to listen to it sometimes, but it’s-
Adam DeGraide (26:16):
David Dorman (26:16):
Truly it’s, I just want to share with them all of that, and most of them accept it. Some of them think there’s an ulterior motive, but there isn’t. It’s just about-
Adam DeGraide (26:25):
David Dorman (26:25):
I did it, you can do it. There’s plenty of business for all of us.
Adam DeGraide (26:29):
There’s no doubt about it. And as we’re going to head to a break here in a second, David just said something really interesting, it’s about paying it forward. You make mistakes in the past. You want to help people avoid them now in the future. And if you’re listening and you’re watching and you’re thinking to yourself, man, I’ve been around, if you’re younger and you don’t really have a lot of experience find that person, that man or woman who’s been running a business for a while.
Adam DeGraide (26:54):
Go grab a coffee with them, say, what mistakes did you make financially yourself? Because I made a ton of mistakes early on in my life financially when I started making a lot of money, and I wish I could have gone back and spoken to younger Adam. Well, the good news is I can. I have younger Adams that I work with right now over at my new company, and my previous business, and my friends, and I can help them and give them back. So David, stay tuned. We’re going to come back. We’re going to take another short break from another sponsor, and when we get back, I want to talk about two things, courage and those statues behind you, on David Vs Goliath.
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Adam DeGraide (28:37):
And we’re back with David again for the final segment of this interview. David, this has been really awesome. I’ve known you for years and to actually be experiencing this right now, and listening to these stories. I don’t even know some of these stories, and we’ve talked gosh, 25, 35, maybe, who knows how many times we’ve talked before. So when you think of courage, and I don’t know how much you know about the David Vs Goliath podcast, I know you’ve watched a few episodes, but I talk about five things that every small business needs to succeed. Number one is plans with goals, or goals with plans. Number two is people. Number three is the right process. Number four is the tools, it’s actually tools is number three, four is the process, and then the last one is courage. You said something interesting. You decided to buy the business at the beginning of a pandemic, that takes a lot of courage to go from independent to now owning and having employees. How did you make that step and that leap forward?
David Dorman (29:47):
Well, you got to go back to 2012. End of 2012 I had gone in for, in my business we get a percentage of our commission, and I was making at the time, let’s say I was here, I wanted to be here. I didn’t want to change brands, but my sales manager now, the other owner of the company with me, she says, you got to go talk to the other brokers, and I wasn’t an owner at this time, and tell them what you want. So I said, all right. I went in there with a proposal. They said, well, you know what, we’re going to be retiring soon. Why don’t you? We’d like to groom you to be the new owner, and I said, that’s great. Got my broker license. And then it was New Year’s Eve, I’m sorry, Christmas Eve, day after Christmas.
David Dorman (30:28):
And the owner calls me and says, I’ve had it with the sales manager. I’m selling you the whole company now. You can buy it right now, $100,000. I’m like, I just got my broker license, and we’re about to launch a brand new commission structure that had never been tested, offering really high splits, and I’m thinking, I’m doing the math and I kept doing the math like Rain man, and I couldn’t make it work in my head. And luckily my attorney was out of town, because the contract that they’d given me I’m like, I need him. And finally Scott says, he goes, do you really want to do this right now? I go, no, I don’t. I don’t want to do it. I’m not ready, so that’s when we became the 20% owner. And flash forward-
Adam DeGraide (31:08):
That’s back in 2012.
David Dorman (31:09):
So 2013 New Year’s Eve I’m literally on the floor having a panic attack right before I’m supposed to go on stage for something. So we put that on pause and the plan was to close in June, July of 2020, that’s when the franchise agreement with corporate was up, and I would sign a new one, they transferred over to me, we’d pay them the money, blah, blah, blah. I ended up paying almost three times the amount of money I could have gotten it for back then, but anyway…
David Dorman (31:42):
So going back to end of 2019 at the Leadership Convention for in La Quinta, I meet all these big wigs from corporate. They said, no, you don’t have to wait till then. You can do it now. We’ll give you the money, you can borrow it from us and pay it back over X amount of years. Really good opportunity. So I set that in motion, that was in January of 2020, think everything’s going great, and then all of a sudden as we’re getting closer to March, I made a commitment. It was not the best time to do that, but I made a commitment, and my word is my bond. And so I made the commitment, and that did take courage, and it took, it was very stressful, and-
Adam DeGraide (32:20):
Well, it takes two things, that took courage and integrity. It’s not just courage. You had integrity. You had a deal, and you decided I’m moving forward with it, so that was integrity, and then courage was, I’m going to do it, even though I’m scared.
David Dorman (32:35):
That scared the crap out of me, Adam, it scared the crap out of me, because I’m thinking I just spent a lot of money and I’m responsible for it. I have employees now, and I have to close my doors for two months, and didn’t know how long.
Adam DeGraide (32:50):
David Dorman (32:50):
How long is this thing going to go on? So we became an online company. I sold five homes last year with this.
Adam DeGraide (33:00):
David Dorman (33:00):
And it continues to this year. I still do it, because people are still not ready to come out of their houses sometimes. And so we’ve adapted during this process, and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gotten a little more confident, but I’m finding I really enjoy, the part that I’m loving most about this is that when we bring in the new people, the old people they know me from way back when, they’ve been here just as long, almost as long as I have. They probably would wonder why I got the job and not them, but the new people, they look to me. They put me up on this little pedestal, or they look to at me for advice, and I get to give it to them, and they really listened and it’s crazy.
Adam DeGraide (33:40):
David Dorman (33:41):
I get to train, I get to nurture, it’s just, I’m not used to that. And we’ve been working with Zillow quite a bit, and they’ve given us a very special program that not everybody has, and we have to make it work. But the one-on-one role playing with this and that, I’m digging it, it’s really cool.
Adam DeGraide (33:58):
That’s awesome, man. I think what I love about this interview and what I love about knowing you over the years is to see, nothing is perfect on the way to where you are right now. [crosstalk 00:34:11] No matter how successful you are today, nobody, and Bob Tasca talked about it last week. He talked about, Michael Jordan used to say it, he is like, they always showed the wrong things about me. They always showed the times where I won and when I succeeded, but they never showed the times that really made me, which is when I lost, and I’d failed, and I missed a mark on something. And I think for all of us listening, David, I wish we had more time. I’m going to have you back on in the future, but we’re running out of time here on David Vs Goliath.
Adam DeGraide (34:39):
I think what’s really important for listeners and watchers to get out of this is that, on your road to building your business, it is never easy, and it is never perfect. There are road blocks in your way. There’s going to be pot marks in the street that are going to break your tire. You’re going to end up having to change of tire on the side of the road for your business, nobody’s ever going to see that. But the key is to persevere with courage and integrity, and you too can win and grow your business from just yourself to even others. David, thank you so much for joining us today-
David Dorman (35:14):
Adam DeGraide (35:14):
… on David Vs Goliath. Folks, we will see you next week on another amazing episode. Have a fantastic day.