“I started in real estate the day I turned 18,” DeShong said. “I knew nothing about this business and Keller Williams gave me a really good launching pad to learn. But it didn’t make sense to stay anymore.”
DeShong worked at Keller Williams for 13 years, during which time he became one of the company’s top producers. For the past 18 months, he has been investing heavily in technology with a goal of streamlining the experience for both the customer and the client. He also instituted a flat $3,000 fee for selling homes, something not all of his peers were happy with. However, he believes it is what many customers will soon come to expect.
“What we looked at was if we could reduce our overhead by a certain percentage, what savings could we pass along to the customer?” DeShong said.
He added that as long as his team focuses on improving the customer experience, the money will come. And while his margins are a lot slimmer with a flat fee, he is confident that approaching the business from a larger scale perspective will more than make up for the difference over time.
When DeShong entered real estate one of his primary goals was to help his mother, who had sacrificed so much for him. At the time she’d recently lost her longtime job after a corporate takeover. DeShong vowed that she would not have to work as hard going forward. His success in real estate eventually allowed him to buy a run-down home and completely remodel it just for her. The bold move was reflective of how he has approached his life and his business.
“The way my mind works I only want to do something that I can make big,” he said. “I don’t just want to do some small things that work. I want to do things that I can scale and grow.”
Among the things he is doing now are developing systems that can more quickly and accurately determine home values both before and after repairs. His technology also aims to better identify customer concerns, and address problems before they become major issues.
While DeShong used to measure success based on the number of clients he added on a given day, he now derives his greatest satisfaction from helping other agents grow. Going forward, he hopes to continue developing innovative solutions and expanding his team into other markets.
“I love this because it’s a challenge,” he said. “If I’m not challenged, I’m bored.”