Have you ever heard the saying "your problems are your gifts?"
I say it often to my kids when they are upset things didn’t go their way or are met with a challenge that prevented them from achieving their goal. I simply remind them your problems are your gifts, you just don’t know it yet. I didn’t know it either when I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for coaching. At the time, I was an agent with BHHS. I chose their brand because I felt there was something lacking at my previous and first real estate company, KW. With KW, at least in the office I was in, they seemed to be more focused on growing their agent count than they were in helping grow their agents. I assumed it was because they were a less expensive brand that maybe I'm missing out and truth be told I’m the kinda gal that enjoys a little more high end feel. So, after 3 years in the business and having more than tripled my volume during that time, I went to BHHS to find all the greats in real estate. Unfortunately for me, they were nowhere to be found. Or at least they didn’t exist in my office. After almost 3 years with them, I found myself at a crossroads once again. The type of culture I had hoped for before moving over simply did not exist. Except for a select few from other offices, I found the successful agents weren’t very willing to collaborate. Being competitive and secretive was the norm among agents. And if you were the sharing type, you were looked at as a know it all. Fortunately, this didn’t stop me from growing. Because you see, the problem I had at the time, which was the lack of coaching and mentorship, I found outside of my brokerage by way of hiring a professional coach. I have always had a coach of some level since my first year but as my volume and team grew, I really needed to ramp it up. I brought this problem to my Regional Manager and suggested they consider paying for ~my then~ $1,000 per month expense of coaching and in return I would bring the information I had learned and implemented back to the office to teach it to the other agents. I was shot down, which was sad really. I mean, it really wasn’t about the money. In fact, I graduated to the next level of coaching during that time and my monthly coaching expense increased to $2,000 a month. What I was looking for was a way to “partner” with my brokerage. So you see, the problem I had of being with a more expensive brand and still not receiving any coaching or mentoring, created the need for outside resources. And there is where the gift presented itself. After spending a couple of days with my mentor, Mike Bjorkman this week, Im reminded once again of how funny life can be and how problems are God’s way of molding you, even steering you off the road in some cases, if need be. Had BHHS paid the expense of my coaching (at the time I was paying for the same coach the managers were using) I would not have looked outside of the company to find what I needed. And in that journey I was led across country to meeting Mike. Mike and David Golden, (Mike’s friend and partner) provided me with the level of knowledge I needed. Not the run of the mill, buy this tool and use that crm and spend thousands on leads. No, this was mindset training. The kind of training you can’t really get from a classroom setting. The type of information not all are ready to receive. But after 6 years in the real estate business and feeling a little beat up from the industry it was time for change. Not because I couldn’t handle the grind as much as the next agent but because I couldn’t find where to refuel when the grinding got to be too much. When I learned about this newer real estate company, eXp, which is a cloud based company, I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have cared if it was called ABC or 123 realty. I wanted to know more because of the people introducing me to it. I learned more from Mike and David in the first 30 days than I did in the last 6 years. For the first time I felt there were actual Mega Agents out there who truly wanted to share their knowledge with you and help you grow. After Jennifer Botchway, my Director of Operations, did her research (I'm not allowed to buy, sign or do anything until Jen gives her approval, lol) she wouldn’t stop talking about the company. Until finally she sat me down and said, ok, I did all my research and created my spreadsheets and I'm certain you are paying way too much to be with BHHS. Not only are you paying too much, she said, but let’s be real, you can sell more homes and make more money but as your salaried employee, you can never offer me a retirement plan or passive income. And eXp can. Furthermore, she continued, I ran some numbers and the buyer agents, had they done the same business under the exp model, they would have made more in their income and had more for their retirement. Frankly (at this point, she is standing up and had her total Mom face on) I don’t know that it’s very financially responsible of you to continue your real estate business this way. I mean, what kind of a Team Leader doesn’t consider her Team’s ability to grow their income as much as her own?! By this point her Mom face went away and her pleasant, I know I'm making a lot of sense to you right now, smiley face on. Fast forward, almost 5 months later and here we are. I still can’t say I joined because of the income growth. Trust me, I like money as much as the next person but I'm of the mindset that if you want more go make more, work harder. And all the revenue share, stock, virtual world, CRM, it was all the icing on the cake. I knew enough to know that my clients do not hire me because Im techy. I also knew I barely had my old user names and passwords memorized from any of my other brokerages and I doubt I’ll take the time to learn how to sign in to the new ones and navigate around. 5 months later, I will tell you, I was right. While yes, I do use KvCore and I have logged in to the virtual world a couple of times, I still prefer to go it the old fashion way. And while Mick Marino, our Broker, probably wouldn’t want the other Agents to know this, he does answer his cell phone even when you can walk into his virtual office in the world and ask your questions. So if this cloud based company isn’t as futuristic as some might think, why is it not for everyone?Because at eXp, there is a level of creativity allowed among the agents that some agents may have a hard time with. There's a culture of sharing and collaboration that some Agents may not appreciate. After all, we’re sales people, we should be competitive, right? There are some agents who love receiving those plaques they get to hang proudly on their wall. Some who want the broker to pay for their office space and copies. And there are certainly some who just absolutely refuse to accept change. And for those Agents, I'm extremely glad the traditional brokerages exist. And while yes, we do have an office because I choose to have one, the expense of my office is about the same as the franchise fee I was paying every year to be with my previous brokerage. That expense was only a very small portion of the whole. Exp doesn’t have a franchise fee because we are not a franchise. We’re an agent owned company. Which makes sense that this is the only company where I have experienced a collaborative culture. If from the top they are sharing the wealth and the knowledge, it only makes sense that they attract like minded people who want the same thing.
I'm sure it goes without saying, this has been my experience with each brokerage. Many of you, I'm sure can proudly say you would NEVER leave the brokerage you are with and you shouldn’t if you show up happy and fulfilled every day. I imagine some of you are even offended by my opinion of each brokerage. Please do not feel you need to defend your brokerage. I get it, the one you are with has been great to you and you wouldn’t change a thing. I'm honestly happy for you. But I do have one question, if we as agents all have such different experiences with any one brokerage, why do we stand behind the brokerage brand and not the individuals that support us? In my opinion, while I love the model eXp created, I can’t say that I love exp. I can say I love the people there. To me it’s the same as a seller meeting with two different agents within the same brokerage and feels differently about each Agent. Of course they did, you are two different human beings.
Why I wrote this post, quite honestly, I'm on a 4 hour flight to Key West with my hubby and I forgot my book. I love journaling but also didn’t have a pen. Jen has been yelling at me start blogging after I bothered to ask her to set up my blog on kvcore. As I began typing, this was the first thing that came to mind. What I’ll leave you with is this. Choose the company that chooses you, treats you well and helps you grow. Respect the relationships and let them know how happy you are to be a part of their team but please do NOT sell yourself short. No one is buying or selling a home with you because of the big balloon or the new tech app your company has. People work with people. Go find your people. I promise you they’re out there. Good luck in your journey and real estate career and if I could be of any assistance, feel free to reach out to me anytime.