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Kathleen Black: “Believe”

When I get tired or frustrated, I’m a typical entrepreneur. Instead of thinking ‘take a day off’ or ‘take a week off’ i think ‘okay maybe I’m done’ or ‘maybe I’m not meant to do this business’. But the reality of it is, I get a good night sleep and I know that this business […]

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When I get tired or frustrated, I’m a typical entrepreneur. Instead of thinking ‘take a day off’ or ‘take a week off’ i think ‘okay maybe I’m done’ or ‘maybe I’m not meant to do this business’. But the reality of it is, I get a good night sleep and I know that this business for me, is not about money, it isn’t about a business, it’s about a purpose in my life and I believe that I’m destined to be doing what I’m doing.

This mentality has dragged me to the future, even when I feel exhausted and burnt out. To build this business, I had to run and jump off of a cliff. There was no ability to hesitate or play it safe, I think for me I had to believe it was my destiny to do it, or I wouldn’t have been able to take the risks that I did.


As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathleen Black.

Kathleen Black is 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 50 Elite Women Driving the Future of Real Estate (REP), Top 20 Emerging Leaders (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.

Most recently, Kathleen was recognized as 45th on the Top 100 Industry Trail Blazers (The BUZZ). Awarded as Iconic Leader Creating a Better World for All Award (Women’s Economic Forum), based on experience, results, influence, and commitment to change the world for the better of all internationally.

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 love Nicholas, and her two free spirited, independent, and very loved children Ethan and Ella, and their cats Ethel and Willow.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?

Beginning my career as a RE/MAX Real Estate Agent and working my way to being recognized within the top 1% of Realtors in both the Durham Region and on the Toronto Real Estate Board, many would agree that this level of success is the pinnacle achievement amongst their peers; but for me it was only the beginning.

Identifying the need, I set out to work on further developing the systems and platform of educational programs and coaching methods to which I attributed her own professional and personal success.

With the launch of KBCC in 2015 and building upon my 10+ years of Team and Agent development and guidance, hundreds of teams (80% of which are top 1% producers) have attributed their growth and success to my integrity, honesty and results driven leadership directly or through one of my coaching programs.

I was 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.

Are you working on any new or exciting 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?

In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?

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.

Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?

I moved on from Director of Coaching to Director of Operations in a relatively short time and became half owner of the company with access and full decision-making authority. At that time the books were opened to me and it was instantly evident that the company was in quite a bit of financial difficulty. I played a significant role in turning the company around. I led the clearing of about 180k dollars in debt and revamped the majority of the content which led to considerably stronger client retention.

As things were turning around, my (largely silent) partner decided they wanted to go in a different direction professionally. I was presented with some difficult questions; ‘Is this who I am, can I look at my children in the face with integrity if I don’t stand up and defend what I have built, what will I do if I don’t do this’. I remember fear. I remember the reality of having bills to pay. I also remembered some great advice I had been given; ‘If you really believe in it, bet your house on it’.

Ultimately, I went all in. I stood up for myself. The result of that pivotal moment saw my shares bought out, half of the client base following me to the new company based on the content I owned, and within a month and a half my client roster was full. Within three months, head down and determined, I had a client roster that occupied a second coach as well. Necessity and focus were the defining factors in my early success.

In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? 🙂

When I get tired or frustrated, I’m a typical entrepreneur. Instead of thinking ‘take a day off’ or ‘take a week off’ i think ‘okay maybe I’m done’ or ‘maybe I’m not meant to do this business’. But the reality of it is, I get a good night sleep and I know that this business for me, is not about money, it isn’t about a business, it’s about a purpose in my life and I believe that I’m destined to be doing what I’m doing.

This mentality has dragged me to the future, even when I feel exhausted and burnt out. To build this business, I had to run and jump off of a cliff. There was no ability to hesitate or play it safe, I think for me I had to believe it was my destiny to do it, or I wouldn’t have been able to take the risks that I did.

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.

It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?

Some people are born entrepreneurs, and I would say I fit into that criteria. There are always early signs: The proverbial lemonade stand, an innate youthful rebelliousness, a way of seeing things differently, and an early discovery of the power to manifest.

I knew as an 8th grader that I could manifest whatever I envisioned. Every milestone I reach comes from an inspired flow state — a practice of inner work I leverage now as one of Canada’s leading Real Estate Coaches and Trainers, delivering my proven success techniques to Agents and Teams across North America.

I have never done things the easy way. I had a tumultuous childhood that culminated in me leaving my home while still in high school. I self-funded my university education and completed it as a new mother.

I saw a need for more women voices in a female dominated industry (Real Estate), where there were predominately men being highlighted.

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 percent of performers or skill sets, the disparity is almost invisible.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)

  1. You need to be your own light in a dark room. When you’re building a business, you’re going to have times when you have no one around you who’s there to support you, and you need to believe in yourself. That was the most important thing I was able to do, to realize that if you believe you can create something important on your own, you can create that light and do it for yourself.
  2. You Have to be so Good People Can’t Ignore You. Our benchmark is to be the best in the world at what we do. At the end of the day we have to be so good, and bring so much value to the market and let our results speak so strongly for themselves that they can’t ignore us. Setting the bar up so high will give you an edge, because most people aren’t confident enough to show up and be the best.
  3. Believe. From a spiritual standpoint, I believe I am meant to perform service to people in sales-based functions. I cannot afford, either spiritually or financially, to be distracted from my greater purpose. The trials and tribulations in the business along the way, I believe, serve only to remind me that I’m strong enough, and that my intentions are pure enough to overcome them, and that they existed to educate me and enrich our offering to our clients.
  4. Plant the seeds without expectation. In the tarot world, they call it the fool’s card. Many would suggest that if anybody knew what was going to be involved in overcoming all of the obstacles that stood in the way of our current place, that only a fool would knowingly choose the path I did. I made a conscious decision that whether it took 2, 5 or 10 years, that’s where I was going. Ironically, every time I have made the commitment the results typically materialize faster than hoped.
  5. You don’t have to justify your actions, as long as you have good, clear intentions and you’re doing what you feel is right for the whole business in the long-term, the people who stay in that business will be stronger.

Business can be difficult, you have to make decisions that will help the future of your business. People management can be really tricky. At the end of the day I really believe that if someone is not a good fit for the business, if you don’t see them being a part of the business in five years, or the impact of their presence in the business will not support your vision, then it’s also not a positive fit for that person.

It’s more important to focus on where you’re going than to stay in the mud of any challenges that might come up.

What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?

My favourite quote is something that I’ve heard in my head since I was very young and that’s “You’re built to win”, and when you believe that, when things get hard, you’re going to lean in and really win or learn, so either way you win overall.

Some of my most devastating losses in life and in business catapulted me forward ten times more than I could have ever gotten without them.

‘I was built to win”, allows me to see things in my favour as I’m working in a place of abundance and I’m trying to see myself in the world.

I’ll always try to be better because I want to do good here and I want to have the resources in order to be and do good.

I need a strong business in order to make the changes and impact I want to make for myself and in order to contribute and have a positive impact with as many people as possible.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number 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!

Can our readers follow you on social media?

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

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

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

Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!

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