Denie leads the award-winning Dulin Group of Long & Foster | Christie’s International Real Estate, a team of experts making home buying and selling both seamless and memorable.
Denie’s extensive sales record in the Metropolitan Baltimore area speaks for itself. Her market experience and knowledge span from homes in the Inner Harbor to farms and estates in horse country, to waterfront properties, and everything in between. She assists Buyers and Sellers in all the counties surrounding Baltimore City including Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Harford County and Carroll County.
Denie assists many companies with their employee relocation and understands first hand moving to a new city. Denie and her family (including her husband, their 3 children, and several pets) have lived in many states and overseas. Her personal experiences make her the perfect choice to work with your valued new employees.
Denie, and her team continue to exceed client expectations with a passion that ensures all of your home buying and selling dreams are achieved successfully. She always says “who you work with matters” and choosing your Realtor is one of the most important decision you will make!
Denie was selected as one of the Top 100 Elite Professionals at Long & Foster and is a Christie’s Luxury Agent.
- Nothing replaces hard work
- Use self-reflection to continually improve your performance
- Self-accountability is an essential skill
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello, everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the no limit selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:35
Hello, everyone, I'm happy to have Denny doolin, the leader of the dueling group, Danny, welcome to the program.
Denie Dulin 0:40
Thank you. Thank you very much for having me.
Umar Hameed 0:42
So this can be a fun interview. But to get started, why don't you tell us who you are and what you do in about 90 seconds?
Denie Dulin 0:48
Oh, okay. Well, I manage the dueling group of long and foster. It's a team of nine professional real estate agents. One of them also happens to be an appraiser. We work out the Greenspring office in lutherville. But we serve the entire metropolitan area.
Umar Hameed 1:03
Brilliant. Tell me who's your favorite superhero? And what's the attribute they have? That speaks to you?
Denie Dulin 1:08
You know, that's, that's a pretty easy question to answer. I am the flash, I have high energy, and I move all the time.
Umar Hameed 1:16
So not opening up trenchcoat. You mean really fast. I
Denie Dulin 1:19
mean, really fast. I did give me a list of things. And I'll go from one to 10 quickly.
Umar Hameed 1:23
So is that what drives you completing those tasks and just moving on?
Denie Dulin 1:27
Well, like to complete the task, I have a long list of things I do every day. I start early, I work late. So I do like having order. I prioritize things. And I do like working through things and not wasting time.
Umar Hameed 1:41
Has that always been you? Or was there a point in your life where you made that switch and went to very kind of get it done mode?
Denie Dulin 1:47
You know, I think in school, my inherent personality has a little bit of add, right? And I had to learn long before we diagnose that how to function successfully. So early on, I started prioritizing and making lists. And that's how I got things accomplished.
Umar Hameed 2:02
Isn't that magnificent? How people just autocorrect themselves, like it's not been labeled, I know what to do, but you find a strategy that works for you. And you just say, okay, that allows me to move forward.
Denie Dulin 2:13
It's really important because we all aren't dealing with everything perfect. We all have imperfections. That is what makes us that. That's what makes humanity and we need to always self reflect and realize what are our weaknesses, and figure out ways to compensate in order to be our best selves.
Umar Hameed 2:31
One things I like a distinction least for me, personally, is never going for best, but always going for better. That just keeps me coming to improve normally in small little ways that hopefully make a big difference.
Denie Dulin 2:44
Yeah, if you want to improve 100% in a year, if you narrow it down to do a half percent every day, and every day wake up saying I'm going to do better than I did yesterday, whether it's brushing your teeth, doing your exercises, eating better, calling more clients, servicing more people, if you improve a little every day, it's amazing what you can get done.
Umar Hameed 3:05
But most people get caught up in the trap of I have to make this massive improvement, which sometimes creates inertia, or sometimes just is destined to failure. So how do you coach your team to kind of do that small incremental improvement?
Denie Dulin 3:19
You know, I think accountability is really important to to to in the third quarter, fourth quarter of every year to look forward to what is your plan for the next year, break it down, break it down to daily activities, so that when you get off track, it's very easy to go back to your plan and see what you have to do every day to get back on track.
Umar Hameed 3:40
If I was guessing, I could imagine some manager in 200 bc going to their like employees because they had the Mac then, hey, just break it down go smaller. And so something that we've known for a while. Why is it? Do you think that only Olympians, and highly successful people tend to live it so they know it and they do it? And what stops people from from doing that? Because it isn't hard, but it's hard to do.
Denie Dulin 4:07
It isn't hard and it is hard to do. You know, in our industry, we are independent contractors. We don't have a particular boss that we report to every day. So it's very easy to get off schedule. The discipline is so important in any sales job. But in our job, I think it's really when you're an independent contractor to really be disciplined. I think it's developing a good habit. I think we have to exercise. I'm a big believer of exercise and eating well and having some mindspace in order to serve others. And you've got to get in a routine. And when you break it down, it's not overwhelming. If you think every day I want to make five calls. That's not hard. But if you say every every month I want to make 150
Umar Hameed 4:50
it's overwhelming. I'll do tomorrow or the next day. Exactly.
Umar Hameed 4:54
You've got 100 left to do today and that is never gonna happen. Yes. What gets you up in the morning. What motivates you to keep going and excelling in what you do?
Denie Dulin 5:03
You know, that's a really good question, I have always been one to either do it or not do it, I give 110% with everything I do, I decided early on in life that if I was going to be successful, it's going to be on my shoulders, it was not going to be on the coattails is someone else. And the only way to succeed is to every day, question what you did yesterday, and learn from it, and make tomorrow and today better. And so serving people, and making sure that I can give the best service because I believe strongly that I do give the best service really helps me want to help my clients more,
Umar Hameed 5:38
who's your mentor? And what's the attribute they have that you go, you know, that serves me? Well.
Denie Dulin 5:44
I've done so many different things in my life, I have, I have a wide variety of mentors, I can't really narrow it down to one. But one person said something to me years and years ago, is when you learn from somebody else, you will pick up some of their attributes. So it's very important when you do mentor and other mentor and when you mentor others, that you really shine, because you're having a huge impact on how others learn and perform
Umar Hameed 6:14
some model the behavior you want them to do and not completely because don't
Denie Dulin 6:18
do what people tell you to do. Do what people do and follow that behavior. It's huge. It's huge. People are always watching,
Umar Hameed 6:25
Danny, if you could have lunch with anybody from history from fiction, somebody right now living today, who would that person be? And what's the question that you really need answered,
Denie Dulin 6:35
I always go back to the same person whenever I think about that. And it's probably going to come as a surprise to you. But Oprah Winfrey blows me away, a black woman growing up in the 50s in the poor south, and to become who she has become, that's grit. And that is not letting obstacles get in your way. It's just moving forward every day, one step after another. And I just found her incredibly inspiring. And I would like to know, Why hadn't she become that at such a young age? What what switched her in her brain to say I can overcome all and be so successful? She's She's just an amazing individual.
Umar Hameed 7:12
Jenny, what was your first sales job?
Denie Dulin 7:14
I think sales is so underestimated. We are salesmen when we're kids, we're selling high school, we're salesmen in college, we're salesmen with our children and our significant others. And I think I learned really young that how you present something is critical for your success. I
Umar Hameed 7:33
couldn't agree more.
Denie Dulin 7:34
So when you narrow it down to what was my first probably when I wanted a pony, I get what, yeah, I got one. And I had to give reasons why. And I had to substantiate that I would take care of it. And I had to literally sell my parents on buying me a pony. So I think anyone who thinks they aren't in sales doesn't understand sales. And and they should, because it will only make you a better person, a better spouse, about the parent, a better community contributor, when you realize how you present matters.
Umar Hameed 8:05
We just step past Easter, Jesus was only able to kind of convince 12 people, but his disciples, apostles were great marketers, and they captured the world. It's all about they did dedication and the message. So what's the best deal you ever closed? Was it the pony? Or was it something
Denie Dulin 8:23
different? My husband,
Denie Dulin 8:26
um, you know, it's hard to say when I go back to the deals because I feel like my life has been has, I try to look back at the positive and do not reflect on the negatives, except for to learn from them, and then I get rid of them. So there have been several things, I think in my life that, you know, I have created an environment to be successful. So it's hard to say one particular deal. But certainly when you meet a spouse, I think that's huge. When you find a career that works for you, I think that's huge. You know, I really, it's hard for me to put my finger on one particular deal. I think life is a succession of successes and failures. I am also a big believer and advocate that you can only succeed by failure, not in failures. And since that's catastrophic, although some people have, I do think we can't shy away from failure. I think we have to embrace it. I think we have to learn from it. I think we have to put ourselves in an environment where people around us understand accept that failure is a part of growth. And I think that is a huge, huge obstacle that people have to embrace and overcome, because it is that is how we become successful.
Umar Hameed 9:34
And I think it all comes down to like from a neuroscience point of view. Human beings are meaning making machines. And the meaning you're choosing to make out of those experiences is what's the lesson How do I move on to the next thing, learn and forget the negative, positive learn and just recreate and move forward. When other people go through the exact same experience if they make a different meaning out of it. I'm broken. I'm not good enough. Life is a self fulfilling prophecy, you've probably had a lot of people that might have been direct managers or people that were around you, who was the best manager you had. And what was the thing they taught you that you still value today, you
Denie Dulin 10:11
know, every decision, we assist our clients, as far as the real estate world, in matters, the huge, we manage one of people's largest assets, yes. And oftentimes, when you're in, in, in any industry long enough, you become hardened to it. And you forget about the important impact the decisions and the assistance you give to people has huge impact day in and day out. So I never take it for granted. I never take my clients for granted, I never take any referrals for granted. I treat every person as though it's my only client and give them the attention that they need. And that I feel that it's important to allow them to be educated to make the best decisions possible. So one of my early managers identified that I would be successful. And they told me early on, don't lose sight of what you do.
Umar Hameed 11:02
Looking at you say that your body language is in perfect congruent with what you just said. And you have a team that you lead. So how do you instill that value in other human beings? Because you can tell them, but how do you get them to actually believe it and take it to heart?
Denie Dulin 11:18
You know, that's a challenge. I think that's a challenge for any manager. Because I feel the way I do from years and years of successes and failures and growth, I put a lot of energy and effort trying to be the best I can be. And I always am questioning myself, I feel that it's important to be in an environment of honesty, that we can talk honestly about, what are you doing? Why is it working? Why isn't it working, and they have to feel safe and be vulnerable, okay, I'm not making the calls I need to do, I'm not doing what I need to do. And I understand the importance and try to help them get back into that routine of what it takes to be successful. But I think the environment is really important. And it's also important that I continue doing what I do the way I do it, so they can see that it does work.
Umar Hameed 12:07
What do you think, is the greatest challenge in sales today, when in real estate with automation coming in? different programs that people can use down to 1%? commission? What's the biggest challenge for realtors? And then secondly, what's the biggest challenge in sales generally, do you think
Denie Dulin 12:24
I think for realtors, that's to bring value. I think when when the consumer works with a high quality real estate agent, they understand the value. Unfortunately, in this industry that we're seeing today, there are 1000 new agents every quarter getting their license, so they don't know how to bring value to their clients. But when you have a quality agent, you see the value because the knowledge they have had for years and years of experience. So I think that's the most important thing in real estate. Because with automation, like everything, Amazon is a perfect example. You know, automation is huge, it is where our economy is going. But there there are a lot of transactions in this world of sales. And I think real estate is one of them. Where that personal influence is vitally important to to help people assist them in moving from House A to B, because it's not just buying and selling bricks and mortar. It's a lifestyle change. And it just doesn't happen by wire of money. It's a process.
Umar Hameed 13:27
Brilliant. So how do you keep your sales team motivated?
Denie Dulin 13:31
You know, we all come in the office every day. That's huge. A lot of a lot of independent contractors and a lot of salespeople work out of their house, which I think is great to have that flexibility. But in my opinion, I think you've got to go to work every day. You've got to treat sales as though it's a full time profession, not a part time hobby. So coming to the office every day and seeing the activity and energy that inherently motivates you.
Umar Hameed 13:55
Brilliant, how do you know you're making the right hire? Because sometimes, you know, people look, it's like dating. They look pretty rude. And the resume is packed full of lies. I know mine is. Yeah. So yeah.
Denie Dulin 14:06
And you know, that is tough. You know, I think the most experience of managers make bad hires periodically, you know, your business model shifts, you need a different skill set. You know, there are certain qualities and characteristics I look for in an individual, certainly in real estate. First and foremost, I need to know what your why is, why are you doing this job? And are you service oriented? These are not questions I will ask that way. But I want them in the conversation to arise from my candidate and let them tell me
Umar Hameed 14:36
so attention to that. And you're looking for that in their answers.
Denie Dulin 14:39
Absolutely. I need to know where that person is coming from. I need to know what that person is motivated. What that person's Why is and are they what jobs in the past have they had that or service oriented? And did they get fulfilled by that job?
Umar Hameed 14:52
So I was working with this gentleman, he runs this technology company. He says you know when we're vetting new candidates to be managers in the coding department, the first thing we do is do all the checks on their resume and make sure all the boxes are checked off, then they come in. And what I do is, I get them to tell me about work they've done in the past. And what I'm looking for is on my little notepad, I'm checking off how many times they said I, and how many times they said we. And if the weeds aren't four times larger than the eye, then I know they're not going to make a good manager or a good team member, right. And sometimes I have to force people to say, well, it was my initiative, because they were like, so giving the team credit. And I thought that was a simple little thing to just get a sense of the person.
Denie Dulin 15:38
That's huge. Because we do work as a team. There are nine of us that work very closely together, even though client might be specifically one of our client and one of the individual clients. We all work together. And that, that what you bring to the table every day is really important that you share that information,
Umar Hameed 15:58
you've probably had some salespeople that are doing well, then they go into a slump. Mm hmm. You know, they're worth keeping. Have you ever had that happen? And how did you get that person out of the slump and back on track,
Denie Dulin 16:09
it happens, you know, life is tough life is a challenge. I think it all comes back down to what I said earlier about being honest honesty, I think those one on one meetings, you know, at the end of the month, it ends the quarter, at the end of the day, when you see someone doesn't have that energy level, you need to bring them in, you need to have a one on one. They need a little uplift, they need someone to say I've noticed, I care, we need to fix it. How together can we solve this problem? I don't think it comes down to strict series of goals, or expectations. I think it's all a process. We work together as a team to help everybody do the best I can.
Umar Hameed 16:46
If you looked at the entire realtor community, let's say in Baltimore, and you were just going to guess what percentage of people would be the A players, people that walk on water do exceptional things. So they're like brilliant realtors. What percentage of all the realtors in Baltimore? would you say are a players
Denie Dulin 17:04
no more than 10%?
Umar Hameed 17:06
What percentage would you say would be C players?
Denie Dulin 17:09
I would say 50%.
Umar Hameed 17:11
About 40%? would be the B players. What do you think stops because the B players are getting the same trainings as the A players going to the same conferences going to the same trainings. What stops them from entering into the a column? Do you think?
Denie Dulin 17:25
I mean, I think a lot of it's discipline, I think a lot of it is, you know, repetition, doing the same day, the same thing every day and getting into that routine. You know, routine is huge. And accountability is huge. You know what it? And that goes back to what is your WHY? If you wake up every day and you go, what is your WHY? And why do I want to do this job and I want to do it for the best I can do it, you will rise. But without that discipline and that accountability, and about that. It's very difficult to rise to the top.
Umar Hameed 17:55
I agree totally. What is something that you know, now that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
Denie Dulin 18:00
Hmm. You know, because I am the flash, I do things quickly. I have a tendency to think more about the next hour as opposed to the current hour. This one book that I discovered about five years ago, it's called the one word that will change your life small book 60 pages long as the idea is to read it each year. And to draw from it What is your biggest weakness, and I pick one word, and that is your word for the year. No repeats you don't want the one year and that's it. posted on your desk, your computer your screen, and you live that word so several years ago one of my words was saver. And it was a real eye opener It was very very hard
Umar Hameed 18:40
saver as in money or people
Denie Dulin 18:42
saver as in the moment. Oh, saver saver. Okay. V o r savor the moment. This huge love who you're with, give them 100% of your time, put your technology aside, whether it's lunch, cocktails, business meeting and appointment, your children, your spouse, spend time with the person you're with, and no one else
Umar Hameed 19:03
brilliant. What's the best business advice you've ever gotten?
Denie Dulin 19:07
Don't fear failure, embrace it, learn from it, and move on.
Umar Hameed 19:12
So what's been the most useful failure you've had where you've got this epiphany?
Denie Dulin 19:17
You know, when I first got my real estate license, there are a lot of a lot of big agents who sell a lot of houses that I compete with, and always have. But early on, I couldn't compete. You know, it was just a single myself new agent. I knew I had the intelligence. I knew I had the presence. I knew I had the ability, I really had to distinguish myself from everybody else, so that I could be more more successful. And by doing that, I had to really look introspectively Okay, where's my weakness, where are my strengths, and really, really work on those strengths so they can be stronger than the people that I'm competing with. Because it's a life is competitive, Real Estate's competitive, but so is life. Everything is competitive. Everybody has strengths. Everybody has weaknesses. You've got to build on your strengths. And you've got to surround people who can help you with your weaknesses.
Umar Hameed 20:08
If there was a new realtor coming into the market that was starting to build a team, what would be the three pieces of advice you'd give that person before they built their team,
Denie Dulin 20:17
get experience, mentor, someone who you respect, learn your market and learn your trade
Umar Hameed 20:26
or slip by and if you were going to recommend one book to someone, what would that book be a must read?
Denie Dulin 20:32
Well, in addition to the one word, because I found that pivotal to my personal development, there's a book by Angela Duckworth called grit. I've read it grit is that gives me goosebumps grip is a fabulous book, and really what it says, You don't have to be brilliant. You just have to work hard every single day. And if you do, great things will happen.
Umar Hameed 20:54
tenacity is the number one determining factor of success. Huge.
Denie Dulin 20:57
It's a great, great
Umar Hameed 20:59
book, there is one other book that I'd suggest that you might want to read is called unleash your Crazy Sexy brain. I'm not saying who wrote it, but my mother says it's amazing.
Denie Dulin 21:09
Yeah, okay, that sounds like a book I would enjoy.
Umar Hameed 21:13
So that was pretty easy. It was easy. It's kind of fun.
Denie Dulin 21:15
Oh, it's great fun. It's, it's, it's great to really think about those things because you know, the flash, because that is my personality. Right? You don't get introspective very often. I forced myself now to but these were great for make me think about, you know, what motivates me? You know, sometimes I don't really know, I just, you know, we were out to dinner with some friends. And one of one of our good friends turned to my husband said, So is she ever gonna slow down? She had this she said, She's 110%? Or she's nothing. There is no middle.
Umar Hameed 21:47
What do you Yoda do or not do? There is no,
Denie Dulin 21:50
I I use that quote all the time I use that there is no try. either do it don't do don't do it the first time keep doing it, keep trying to do it. I love that. I love that quote.
Umar Hameed 22:01
Yeah, it's like, so easy to say. But it's like the doing. So what I find is at the heart of who we are as human beings is where we hold our beliefs. And it's our beliefs that control the show. So our behaviors are a direct result of the belief that what I bring to the world is very much those underlying beliefs, how to identify them, and how to change them very quickly. And when you change them very quickly. So give you a good example, I have this salesperson come in who's doing about 150 hundred and $60,000 a year is successful. But it's frustrated that you know, why can I ever get to the next plateau? For this person? It's like, Well tell me about a particular time where you were beating yourself up about not doing better. It says, Well, last week I was in my office going you know what the hell's wrong with you? I said, Okay, go back to your office. See, what have you saw? What have you heard internal thoughts, whatever was going on, when you do those two things, you get to experience what you were feeling back then what were you feeling? And he goes, That's weird. It's like a tight feeling right over here. I'm feeling it now. And there's a tool from neuroscience, you can link that feeling to the unconscious mind, which records everything and it's like, have you felt this feeling before had I asked his conscious mind, he would have gone, maybe. But with this tool, he goes, Oh, my God, I was about eight or nine years old, and we'd gone to a restaurant, and my parents were sitting down and the kids were sitting down in front of them. And my dad turned to us and said, don't order steak, we can afford it that created a belief around money and self worth, that allowed him to build a successful life, but no more than the level he was earning. And soon as we uncovered the belief and changed it, he just shot up to the next level, we didn't teach them a thing about selling is just oh, that's the belief that's got Japan,
Denie Dulin 23:42
well, here it is all and, you know, I one of the things that I do when I talk to people, and I've got in my team, and I'm like, get out of your own way. And this friend of mine calls it the drunk monkey. You know, the drunk monkey in your head is destroying your life. Get rid of it, get it out of your life, you've got the skill, it has nothing to do with my skills, everybody can do it. This is not rocket science. It's just doing it and getting out of your own way.
Denie Dulin 24:12
And it's hard for so many people,
Umar Hameed 24:14
it is because we don't have the right tools to do it. And with applied neuroscience now, there's tools out there where you can go, oh, let's take care of that next couple of sessions and just move forward and go. And that's why I think we're at a watershed moment for humanity because all of a sudden, we've got these tools that we can give people that allow them to go, Oh, this is what's causing that behavior. And let me change it this afternoon and off you go. Because at the end of the day, the reason for being is for us to have more pleasure and safety and avoid pain and frustration. And when you got somebody that's got this potential and wants to do better and they're not that's massive pain. Yeah. So if you don't have the right tools, even the pain will allow you to change but
Denie Dulin 25:00
And all in all things, I should not be doing what I'm doing. At this level, I'm doing it. I shouldn't be, you know.
Umar Hameed 25:08
And here's the, here's if I can add to this, because I think that drunk monkey is allowing you to do frickin amazing stuff, amazing stuff. And sometimes it does stuff that's not happy. Yeah, but we need to embrace it, because part of what it does is allows you to execute. This is what I heard from you, in our interview, when I heard from you is, I am going to succeed, a value came up that you know, it's my job to be fully present for whether it's an employee, it's a potential customer, it's my husband's my kids, that if I can fully be there and be with them, I add value to that relationship. And then the third thing was that no matter what the task is, I can break it down as long as I have that determination to keep on doing those things on a consistent basis. That's how I get success. And that's what I have sitting here before me.
Denie Dulin 25:56
That's that's and that's me, and that is the only way that I got where I am. Because you know what? It's like Yoda says you don't you don't choose to do it. And I'll figure it out.
Umar Hameed 26:07
Thank you for sitting down with me.
Umar Hameed 26:14
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at no limit selling.com I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro linguistic programming, and that is the fastest way to get better results.