“Great leaders build leaders” With Jason Hartman & Kathleen Black

Great leaders build leaders. We want to help people, to give them the expertise, leverage and the lifestyle that allows them to have a great income, and advance our teams together, so that our clients get a better experience as well. As a part of my series about strong women leaders of the Real Estate […]

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Great leaders build leaders. We want to help people, to give them the expertise, leverage and the lifestyle that allows them to have a great income, and advance our teams together, so that our clients get a better experience as well.

As a part of my series about strong women leaders of the Real Estate industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathleen Black.

Kathleen is one of North America’s leading real estate team coach and trainer, delivering her proven success techniques to agents and teams around the world. That growth is worth billions in additional sales volume annually across her client network with 80% of her clients being national top 1% producers. Kathleen, the best-selling author of “The Top 1% Life”, will help you to expand your business, at a fraction of the time and cost, using the tried, tested, and true “KBCC Ultimate Expansion Strategy” that has powered her client growth.

The success of KBCC centers around integrity, honesty, and results-driven measures, the very things that represent Kathleen. Kathleen has been named twice as Top Elite Women Driving the Future of Real Estate by REP Magazine and as Top 20 Emerging Leaders by T3 Sixty’s 2018 Swanepoel Report. She was recognized within the top 1% of Realtors in the Toronto Real Estate Board, has ten plus years of agent development experience, and hundreds of teams attribute their growth and success to Kathleen’s leadership.

Kathleen is also the driving-force behind the Ultimate Team Summit, the largest team specific Real Estate summit in North America and the Ultimate Mastermind Series of events, including the 100 Deal + Ultimate Mastermind.

Kathleen lives in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada with her two free spirited, independent, and very loved children Ethan and Ella, and their cat Ethel.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?

Iwas selling real estate as a busy single mom of two children and I had done a lot of content and systems development with a look to creating better work life balance.

The team I worked with was creating a coaching company and I had a background in psychology, so it just seemed like a natural fit to try to become involved.

That coaching company found itself in some challenging territory in its early days and there were differing opinions within the ownership as to how it should be resolved.

This ultimately resulted in the departure of the director of coaching and I was given the opportunity to step into that role within 18 months of the company going live. I had been a coach for just under one year at that point.

It was really a chain of complicated events that led to a great opportunity for me.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

Every single time someone has tried to harm my career or damage my business, it has always led us to better opportunities.

When I thought I was going to lose my first coaching business, it actually led to working with higher calibre people, which further expanded the business.

The interesting thing in my journey has been that at the beginning of my career as a coach, I never had the support of the big Real Estate boards, or conferences and ironically, it drove me to create and hold my own events without relying on other people.

In the end it actually gave me an edge, because I didn’t have to rely on support that other people were getting. Even though it was more difficult to get there, it made me and my company stronger in the end.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We’re always expanding. We’ve currently been expanding our resources to help people obviously during the COVID-19 pandemic, to suit their needs of moving remotely.

But COVID-19 has definitely given another reason for top producers to build systematic process driven businesses, where clients get a higher level of services and the team or brokerage have a more organized way to conduct more business and transactions, while also having a life.

Our focus is on making sure the teams and brokerages that we support have a quality of life, to enhance their lifestyles in order to sell more homes. Our systems are allowing them to hit two very important goals at once.

We’re also expanding our services globally, by building systematically, we’re offering teams 16% higher profit margins than a typical team model would. Having agents on the top teams using our models sell 10 to 20 times the average transactions on most of their local Real Estate boards. Additionally, we’re aiding them in converting at up to 7 times higher when they get to our advanced conversion systems.

We’re really committed to helping our agents build the most efficient, productive and profitable teams in the world. Why would agents follow another path and journey when we’ve already created this path with a predictable track record with our agents?

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our company stands out because we build strong businesses, in an industry that is often still relying on old methods and models, which are increasingly less and less effective.

We stand out because we actually track, and have a strategy that works to expand, where teams are making much more money than traditional brokerages and offering superior value, where team members are able to sell much more and have more time.

I think in an industry where we have all male top thought leaders, we stand out in being a female led team, but also a team that is committed to efficiency, productivity, and profitability, without looking at it as if it’s a bad name.

We bring a systematic, process driven approach which allows us to be more agile and to lean into technology changes, instead of fearing them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I don’t think there has ever been one person. A lot of my opportunities actually came from overcoming challenges, so some of the people who gave me some of the opportunities I had are also people who presented massive challenges for me and my career.

At the end of the day, it’s relying on great mentorship, there’s not only one person I can name.

There were definitely brokers who gave me great advice and now we’ve built programs in place that we’ve created together, like Paul Baron from the #1 Century 21 Brokerage for the country, C21 Leading Edge in Canada.

I’m grateful for our team, I have an amazing group of people who support me and there’s no way I would be able to do what I do without them.

We have a collaborative leadership team who are very entrepreneurial, and who take ownership over what needs to happen. It’s very collaborative without a director style delegation, everyone owns their portion of the business. That is how we thrive.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. The Real Estate industry, like the Veterinarian, Nursing and Public Relations fields, is a women dominated industry. Yet despite this, less than 20 percent of senior positions in Real Estate companies are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what do you think is the cause of this imbalance?

At the end of the day, there are so many things we can talk about, but the whole purpose of our company is to power up people and align them so they are able to handle business growth up to multiple 7 figures and do what needs to be done to get there.

We need more women carving out leadership positions so that we are able to model them, and see that we are capable of doing this, so that we don’t have to apologize for being our personal best versions of parents if we choose to be, or spouses or friends, in order to do what is needed to have the business we want.

The more that we show and highlight women in these professions and positions, more women will follow them to lead successful careers.

We can have a landslide of valuable women, but if we don’t learn to listen to and respect their voices as valuable, then is it going to matter in the end? Women leaders are only as valuable as the people they serve are open to hearing value from them and other different perspectives.

At the end of the day you have to be committed to getting there, and even though the disparity is there, in most industries, the top 10 per cent of performers or skill sets, the disparity is almost invisible. You have to be so good that people can’t ignore you, and that is what I choose. I wanted it to cost others more by ignoring me. I chose to build and offer results so good that they spoke for themselves.

We all have a simple choice, to plant and nurture seeds with our focus and determination, or to attempt to will ourselves through ceilings and obstacles. I built my own stages to house our message, network, and results. we do not need to play in broken houses, when you can build your own.

What 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support greater gender balance going forward?

  • One of the most important things that we can do is encourage our ears to listen for value and find data driven tangible results.

In Real Estate we build our businesses by being outgoing and networking with others, but we expand our businesses into actual efficient, productive, profitable models based on data, strategies and results.

If we look more to what’s working and what’s making a difference, and put that on our stages, instead of what’s political and who’s your friend, I think we’ll be able to encourage a lot more women into sharing their leadership.

  • We need to mirror strength and capability to those around us, and that includes women, and diverse backgrounds.

For example, a score report from 2018 showed entrepreneurs with mentors are 5 times more likely to launch a business. It is extremely important to mentor and promote excellence and advancement in all people around us.

Sometimes leadership is going to look different in a woman or a man, the purpose is to have multifaceted leadership, so that we’re always moving forward, while encouraging those walking beside us.

We can’t just look to mentor those who look, think and sound like us, we need to mentor everyone who shows they have that entrepreneurial spirit and grit. Mentor everyone with a will to expand. Mentorship can be as simple as your sharing the potential you see in that person. I believe we must plant seeds for others to see what they can achieve and step into. This is a core responsibility of leaders: to build more leaders.

Those who have it in them are going to see that vision and be more encouraged to step forward and take on new roles.

Mentoring those around us is a part of the leadership in our industry, and it can make a massive difference.

  • Continue to invest in our own personal development, I can only see as far as what I know, and if I have inherent bias, whether that’s in gender, culture, background or colour, I’m going to continue to make choices based on those biases.

The more that I can invest in expanding myself, and in asking myself why I’m choosing to do what I do or what my responsibilities are in making sure my decisions are coming from a place of abundance, love, evolution and capability, instead of out of fear, scarcity or competition.

Those last three have been the motivators in our industry for a long, long, time so it’s important to have new motivators that allow us to be advocates, not only for our clients, but also for our colleagues and the leaders around us, to remove biases and barriers.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I think it depends. If we look at the statistics, there are lots of challenges that are in place for women executives.

We find ourselves travelling along a less than carved out path of leadership. There is less support, developed over the years for powerhouse women in our industry.

At the end of the day, if you want acceptance and approval, and you want to not be seen as an ice queen, there’s a battle you have to face.

You have to be able to stand strong in a storm and rise out of lots of little fires that will surround you, because in my experience a strong woman leading is not seen as naturally positive when compared to a very strong man leading.

To be a top leader in this industry you need to be unapologetically strong in order to be capable of carving out an efficient business.

This is a difficulty for women, but it can also be seen as an opportunity. You’re either going to hit ceilings, or plant seeds, you cannot do both. If as a woman, you’re looking at your restrictions and the reasons why you might fail, those are not going to propel you further. If you look at those things and create for the future, you can plant seeds and nurture them to create things that aren’t in existence yet.

As much as you do have a statistical bias against women executives, you also have the power to be positively disruptive to change the system and give the spotlight to the voices that haven’t been heard.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry?

What excites me most about the industry is that we have these hubs of powerful teams that have resources, leverage and the ability to be agile and make very quick changes that are positive to the industry.

They make these changes without facing the same bureaucracy or old school leadership that some brokerage models still face, that have really caused them, in some areas, to become redundant.

If you’re good, you can create cash flow, you can invest to create a strong business, and you don’t have it alone. Women are in a position to do what they do well and be great with sales, face-to-face. The problem is that they’re not taking the proper measures to leverage out and create brokerages or teams.

When they do, they will see, not only can you step off of the hamster wheel, but you can help other people do it and do it relatively quickly, and with a larger cash flow than some brokerages can attain at the same speed as you.

With our model, if you’re building a team with us, an average competing brokerage will have to sell 1,500 homes while you’ll only have to sell 114 for the exact same cash flow to come in, after the agent portion is made.

Our ability to move from a sales mentality to an advocate/consultant professional mentality in teams and those in face-to-face selling has never been so important when it comes to gender bias and the human rights conversation that’s going on now.

If we can shift the basis of our business, we shift the way that we think and how we operate as people, and to me that’s an extremely exciting opportunity right now to carve out positive change in the world. I believe our network is doing that and that the Top 1% of Real Estate are a new wave of entrepreneurs creating a technological and sustainable business model. They’re coming with an abundance mentality to change our industry for the better.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

  • I see people taught with methods that are not working but were working with lesser models. The Real Estate market used to be a one level market, it was between the brokers or agent and the buyers or sellers. The complexity of the current Real Estate market is far more complex than it used to be.

We’re still approaching this business with a one-dimensional mentality that is not serving us and doesn’t make sense because it’s irrelevant.

  • It concerns me that we have teams that are far more profitable, producing more, are truly resonating with the consumer, and in some cases these teams are becoming brokerages and they’re doing it better.

We have agents looking to brokerages for visions, strategies and approaches, and some of those brokerages are running businesses that we could say teams under their hub are doing a better job.

  • As humans, we retain information based on tension, and the more we’ve gone to this infotainment style of training in the industry, the less we get away from the minimum standards of professionalism, and the calibre of knowledge we can bring to this industry.

What advice would you give to other leaders to help their team to thrive?

Great leaders build leaders. We want to help people, to give them the expertise, leverage and the lifestyle that allows them to have a great income, and advance our teams together, so that our clients get a better experience as well.

I think the mentality of brokerage owners or team leaders where they think they’ll sit back while the profits roll in and allow team members to work crazy hours and not have a life outside of sales, it’s extremely ineffective.

It’s crucial for your business to have harmony, between work-life and home-life/free time.

As leaders, our ability to cultivate positive lifestyles and earnings for others, in order to cultivate growth in personal development as well as professional development is absolutely vital.

We also need to make sure that we’re not setting up hubs of micromanagement, we need to allow people to thrive in mastery and take on what they do best.

I see a lot of leaders trying to hold onto the reins, in areas that they should be, in my opinion, empowering others.

We don’t build strong brokerages or mega teams by doing everything in the business, we do it by mentoring others and empowering them to be great at what they’re good at.

Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

  • It is non-intuitive to carve out client process steps that are synced in to a CRM and are predictable, but it will 100% allow you to do far more business and will allow you to have other people to help you, so you can do more of what you’re great at in the Real Estate industry.
  • Setting up a protocol that will relieve your brain to empower yourself to focus on other things.

We only have so much bandwidth in our brains, if we are constantly trying to keep all active business in our head, we are extremely limited. Having a structured protocol frees up our time and allows us to put more into the business to succeed.

For example as a single parent with two children under 5 and brand new to the industry, I would have never sold 44 homes+ in my first year relying on my mental bandwidth alone.

  • Adapting to other personalities and other learning styles is critical to your success. Most of us set our businesses up to sell or consult to ourselves, but the more drive you have, the less likely you are to be working with SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

The reality is that we need to learn to understand ourselves, so that we can identify the learning styles and personalities of others, so that we can adapt to them.

  • Our communication styles. Our brains are designed to look into what’s in it for us, and great communication does exactly the opposite of that.

When I communicate with clients or team members at any step of the process, we are constantly looking to communicate what’s in it for them, because that’s how they’re going to understand and allow you to lead them. Most people’s brains do not communicate what’s in it for the other person, and that costs not only a lot of business, but it also costs us a lot of rapport. We always want to put ourselves in the mindset of who we’re serving.

  • It’s not necessarily intuitive to learn to listen and try to trust yourself. At the end of the day, some people want to be a top producer, some people want to own a huge brokerage, and some don’t

It’s extremely important that we take a time out before we start running after these goals to figure out who you are, what you want, and where you want to be. It’s very intuitive for people to be in the top 1%, but almost all of them don’t like the lifestyle, responsibilities or the stress that comes from building those businesses as fast as possible.

It’s not intuitive to take a pause to build your business in a way that is sustainable for you to run that business. Build a vision of the top 1 per cent life, but reverse engineer the vehicle that gets you there.

Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Conscious living. I think people who are conscious about who they are, their values, and what they’re bringing to the world are typically better parents, better team members, better community supporters, better people. I find the ability to ‘do good’ is just more naturally present for people with a conscious mindset. If I can help people raise their consciousness and see their abilities and power, they will ultimately serve the world through their greater purpose with ease. If KBCC can have any influence on people leading themselves versus looking at others, that’s a win!

How can our readers follow you online?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleen-black-4811a052/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenBlackCoaching/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathleenblackcoaching/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kbccoaching

Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights!

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