Kathy Helbig-Strick – Look to the Past

Show Notes

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Welcome to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast where you’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly of how real estate agents overcame challenges and grew their business. Check out the Episode Notes at CrushItinRE.com/podcast. Here’s your host, Lindsay Favazza.

Lindsay: Welcome back to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast. I am sitting today with woman of the year, realtor of the year. She has led the number one team in Missouri. She’s a trailblazer. She now has a book, and she’s also holds an extremely rare divorce real estate expert accreditation, which I definitely want to hear more about, but I am sitting with Kathy Helbig-Strick. Welcome to the podcast today my friend.

Kathy: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to be here.

Lindsay: I see your post anyways, because we’re friends on Facebook, but I saw a post recently about the book and I said, “Hell yes, I need to get this boss lady on this podcast immediately,” so I’m so–

Kathy: I think you were the first person that reached out.

Lindsay: Perfect. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more. I’m glad that I was first on the list. Let’s dive into it. When did you get into real estate? It was 26 years ago, right? Is that stat still accurate?

Kathy: Yes. I was 10.

Lindsay: I love it. All right, 26 years ago you got into the business. Why did you get in? What were your thought process and take us back to that time.

Kathy: Honestly I got into it on a whim. I had been in automobile sales since I was 19 years old. Then I went into outside sales also in the auto industry. Then got married, had a baby like four months in pregnant and like, “Wow, I couldn’t do that job anymore, because it was pretty labor intensive.” I stayed home for the first two years and I thought I was going to just be a stay home mom. I always grew up with that intention, and the sales jobs before was just a job.

After two years I decided I needed a little more stimulation. We happened to be thinking about selling our house. We ran across this this small broker, and went to a seminar that he had, and the next thing I know we’re listing our house with him, and then through that process he was just like, “You should really get into real estate. You would be great at it. I’ll put you through school, you come work for me. Yada-yada-yada.”

The next thing I know I’m in real estate school. I’ve passed the test. I’m pregnant with my second child at this point. I was looking– He told me that I could get in real estate, work about 15 hours a week, and make a ton of money. 

Lindsay: That’s interesting.

Kathy: I was like, “Cool, yes I could do that.”

Lindsay: Did they ever do real estate, or they were just selling you on it?

Kathy: Yes selling me on the broker pitch. That’s what I was expecting coming in, that I was going to be dabbling in real estate, and doing it on the side. I would say 30 days in I knew I wasn’t the right fit at that place. I also was learning that I liked it, and so I jumped across the street to the largest broker in town. Signed up there, never looked back. It literally happened for me like overnight. With just one year in I was already looking for leverage what could I do to keep up with the business that I had.

Like I said I had a second baby by then. That was the beginning of it, and then that was real, and that was in 1997. This was think about this, this was prior to the internet in real estate playing together. We did have lock boxes. I didn’t have to go to the the offices and pick up keys. We didn’t have the MLS book. We had a floppy disc with the MLS on it, and that’s how we did real estate. This was all pre-teens.

The fact that I was looking for help was prior to really knowing that that was going to be the biggest model to talk about for years coming. That was my start, and then I ended up partnering with some people.

Lindsay: You partnered with people, and then you became one of the first teams in Missouri, or the first team in Missouri?

Kathy: Yes. It was probably two or three of us that emerged around the same time. I wasn’t aware of them, because again there wasn’t real estate online marketing where you can search people and stuff. We emerged around the same time. Probably the other more successful more known team along with me was also at the same company just across town. Like I said I started with a partnership. No direction, really back then there really wasn’t training per se.

You had, “Here is an envelope with the contract and all the disclosures and supplements. Go read it.” It was that training, but never ever and still to this day there’s not much of it. There’s never really training on how to make a business out of real estate. Of course I am a young mom, juggling kids, juggling people, and 

Lindsay: Only working 15 hours of course.

Kathy: Yes, a day. Some people were on my office, they were nice, and it was a mother-daughter team and just out of necessity. They were always like, “Yes, if you ever need any help let us know. Let us know.” I was like, “You know what? We should just all partner up. We should just throw everything in the kitty, and then just split it,” and they were like, “Okay,” and I wasn’t thinking anything through, we had nothing in writing. We did this over a lunch, it’s a handshake deal.

That was the first team that we had, and that lasted about three years. we definitely double, tripled our business every single year, but it wasn’t the right fit, and there was too many people trying to lead. Then of course you’ve got a mother-daughter dynamic, and then me. I just felt like it was time for me to do my own thing, and reorganize. At that point in time the reason why I talk about this is, because I think people do this so often in our industry. Just rush into something.

Lindsay: Absolutely.

Kathy: At that point in time like I said we didn’t have anything in writing. We all worked for the same company. At this point we left one company and went to another, and I just wanted to amicably say, “You know what? Here, take two-thirds of the listings. Let’s just part and go,” and they had another idea. They sued me. That was my first adversity in real estate, and it was crazy because I remember the day and the feeling vividly, when I got served because it was right before a holiday weekend.

Not only did I get served but I got served with a restraining order that I could not contact homeowners, businesses, past clients, current clients, nothing. I was locked out for at least the foreseeable short part would be the holiday weekend, because I couldn’t get an attorney, couldn’t get to a court.

Lindsay: Yes.

Kathy: Well with restraining orders it’s temporary until you have a court date. The court date was two weeks from that. I was like a caged animal for two weeks like, “What is going on?” They got some judge to sign off on it right before the holiday was starting. It was like kind in under the wire.

Lindsay: Perfect timing.

Kathy: Yes the day I was going to court to make that go away, my attorney has a heart attack. Here I am, no attorney, and then some substitute attorneys like, “Well I’m going to go in for him.” I’m like, “This is my whole future here.” It got postponed another two weeks. I was out of commission for 30 days. That taught me a really really big lesson, that this is a big girl’s world, and just partnering up with friends without an exit plan, without partnership agreements, was a really, really bad idea.

It turned into an ugly divorce, and so luckily we we ended up settling, and walked away after all of that stuff, but that’s the biggest thing I warned people about today is don’t haphazardly get into business with people without A, knowing who you’re getting into business with, and B, having everything documented. That was that.

Lindsay: Even partnerships like we have some agents that will just do a partnership where they’re not necessarily a team, but they just partner to help each other, and I think that’s fine, but you got to have some kind of paperwork to cover yourself and to cover them.

Kathy: For sure.

Lindsay: It’s mutually beneficial.

Kathy: To cover the broker too, because now we were in a position where both of us were under the same brokerage, and clearly not liking each other, and clearly having our own opinions of things, and so it puts the broker in a bad position too. Definitely if I can warn anybody about anything is be cautious number one, and document everything, and plan for your exit up front. It’s just like a marriage. It’s harder than a marriage.

Lindsay: You got to have a prenup.

Kathy: The percentage of marriages is what more than 50% end up in divorce, and a partnership is a business marriage, so that’s got a higher divorce rate than even marriages. Keep that in mind when you go go into it.

Lindsay: Also don’t doubt yourself, I think getting into those partnerships is because you don’t think you can do it on your own. Sometimes the scare of, “I’m a single mom,” I lived in that too, I totally understand, I did things back then that I shouldn’t have done just based on the fact that I was afraid.

Kathy: Well and I didn’t know any different, I was naïve. We just had this on our book discussion the other day, a lot of people at our industry planned to work together, or hire people, and I’m guilty of it, I’m still guilty of it, because like them, because we want to give somebody an opportunity, not because it’s the best fit, and because it’s easy. Somebody’s sitting there right in front of you I don’t have time to interview a bunch of people. “You’ll work, come on in and work on my team.” That’s almost always a disaster.

Lindsay: It’s a challenge.

Kathy: Still learning that lesson.

Lindsay: It’s almost better to not work with friends too.

Kathy: It’s very hard. I’ve had a tumultuous road with friends and family for sure.

Lindsay: Tell me about the team, and the early days after that all settled down. Did you go back into having a team? Obviously you went back into having a team model, and hiring people, and having contracts, and doing all those things, because you learned your lessons. Tell me about those early days of the team and getting that off the ground again, and like how that what you dealt with with that.

Kathy: Yes, so I reorganized, I realized that there had to be one cook in the kitchen. Again, no teams to model. There was nobody to look at, at that point in time, so everything was trial and error and man I did a lot of trials. I started with just hiring an admin first. Back then, virtual assistants weren’t even hardly heard of, but I found this virtual assistant, so she did some of my marketing and like newsletters and things like that for me so that was cool.

That was cutting edge before anybody was doing it. Then I hired my sister as a buyers agent, and another listing assistant at some other point in time. That was a friend, a neighborhood friend, was still doing that whole, “You’ll work, bring you in.” We were growing. We were growing quickly but still some dysfunction with that type of thing. It’s just hard to manage friends and family. I still was a baby. I didn’t know how to manage people, and I’m still a little bit of a control freak, but not like in a methodical type of way.

I’m creative and I have a certain vision for certain things, and so if somebody doesn’t make my vision come to life and what we’re trying to do, then I can be a little bit controlling with that type of thing. We grew and then we just kept growing and selling houses, and then I was building a house myself and we moved from one county to another. The next thing I know we’re doing a three or four person team in sales, doing about $35 million, $38 million, and working out of my house, having my whole team in my house. It was literally like, always work.

Lindsay: Yes, no separation between.

Kathy: No. I could never turn it off.

Lindsay: Doing the laundry, and then closing a deal. Like it’s all–

Kathy: Yes, I would always be like, maybe I’m going to, “Okay, I’m coming up from the basement, feed the kids,” or whatever. Then you know what? I need to run and check that email three hours later, I’m still sucked in downstairs in my home office. That was really tough, because I did not ever turn it off. We were growing in lakes and mountains. At that point in time it’s about 2007. We were the highest selling team in the Missouri region. We were with Re-Max at the time.

That’s when an opportunity came my way and honestly, I just took the meeting just to find out about my competition. I had no intentions of doing anything with it, but Keller Williams had come into our town. They were not a name most people had heard of in our area. We have a paint store in our area called Sherwin Williams. I don’t know if you guys have it, but everybody was like, “Is that a paint store you’re working? Are they selling houses now?” “No.” They came and basically painted this vision of ownership, of doing something else besides selling houses the rest of my life.

After 2007 handling most of that production myself, I was thinking, “All right, I’ll at least hear what they have to say, and then I can gain more about my competition.” The more I sat, the more I was intrigued with the idea that you can do something else in this business besides sell houses. I love this business, and there’s going to come a day that if there is other opportunities, maybe I would like to seek those out.

I ended up partnering with some people again, and we opened up the first Keller Williams market center in this particular county that we were in. That was the next new ride. I still kept my team together. We moved over. They were, they thought I was crazy, and then of course, the market was busting so it was 2008 when we actually opened our doors.

Lindsay: I was going to say that’s, this timing is making me nervous. 

Kathy: Yes. Well honestly, it was making a lot of people nervous. It was very hard to even get a lease, and I had to personally, I was the partner that had to personally guarantee the lease for this building, and it was scary, but because no one knew what was going to happen. Just like we’re dealing with right now, we came out of, it was pretty easy to sell the house. Then suddenly they’re sitting on the market, and sellers are in denial, and I remember the day I left Re-Max, and went to Keller Williams and transferred, we had 88 listings on our team, just our team.

Those 88 listings sat there for a lot of them, for a very long time without a return, and some of them you lost, and then some of them you ended up selling, but that’s how I started that next chapter. I can say it ended up being a blessing in disguise, because for my new role, and that is being a connector to build, to bring people into a new organization that really our area wasn’t super familiar with, the fact that I was a successful agent, and a well known agent helped open those doors.

People don’t move when they’re happy. People don’t move when they’re making a lot of money, people don’t move when they’re busy a lot of times. Everybody was dying for something different, something new, for answers, for a safety line. We were able to grow really quickly because of being in a down market, so it actually ended up not being such a bad thing.

Lindsay: Now that we are seeing similar but different, it’s a similar situation where it’s turned so quickly, but obviously the different components of it before there was inventory, now there’s no inventory. You know what I mean?

Kathy: Yes.

Lindsay: Tell me about this changing market. Let’s switch to, what advice do you have for agents that are facing this new market for the first time, a changed market, and how can they navigate this?

Kathy: Well, my biggest advice, and Anthony and I have talked about this before, is, look to the past for answers on how to handle this market, because most of the agents out there haven’t lived through a market like this. People like me, people like Anthony, and a lot of other agents I know that have been around for a long time, we have, and this is, there’s just so many similar vibes to this market as what we had before. Even as consumers seek out the experienced.

No one is experienced in this exact market right now, but because there’s so many similar factors, I feel like it’s advantageous for somebody like me to say, “Listen, I know you’re going to feel this way. I know you’re thinking this way because I lived it back then.” Instead of you wasting the next 10 months thinking this way, and then you’re going to come around and realize, I’m going to tell you this is what the sellers back then thought, here’s what happened, and here’s what the people that pivoted quicker, sooner than later did.

I want to make sure that I’m giving you the advice to not put your head in the sand, because that’s what happens when your sellers on the front line of a change, like we are right now, this market we flipped, pretty much felt like overnight. The group of sellers that came on the market this summer, they’re the front line of this change, so they have nothing to look to. They’re looking in the past, they’re looking at, “Well my neighbors sold for X just two months ago,” but they’re also not looking at, “Okay, maybe it closed two months ago, which means it went on the market two months before that, it got the buyer four, five or six months ago. The market has changed drastically since then, so you can’t react now to what was happening then.”

Being able to articulate that to the seller, and then to reference 2008, 2009, how those sellers, I watched, what happened is they wouldn’t listen to their first agent. They wanted to do the, “La-la-la-la-la-la, not me. I know I hear it on the news, I know I hear it all around, but my house is the best house in the neighborhood. My house sits on the biggest lot, my house is going to sell, no problem.” They didn’t want to believe that it was going to happen to them, they wanted to be the exception to the rule.

When I talk about that and explain, and guess what, those people didn’t sell. They sat, and they sat, and then they changed agents, because it must be the agent’s fault, “Agent’s not marketing my house properly. What’s the agent doing to sell my house?” The blame is always at somebody else rather than I need to pivot, because the market pivoted. Looking at that, they would change agents, then the next agent would come in, probably half the time, second agent got the price reduction that the first agent was trying to get, right?

Some of those houses would sell, some of them would go onto the third agent, and then you would finally see some changes and corrections, and then some of those houses would sell. That’s exactly what we’re living through right now. If you can’t go in with confidence with your sellers right now and say, “Listen, none of us know what this market is exactly doing at this particular time. We need to watch for little micro changes, we need to watch for reading between the lines of things, even feedback, algorithm, hit counts, versus how many showings, how many saves versus the people actually showed up at the house.”

Then start making some sense out of those clues, and then reacting to them. If you don’t do that, and if you’re not an agent that can do that, and tell these sellers what they need to do, then you’re doing them a disservice by just letting them sit there, because you’re not strong enough to tell them that they need to change and take their price down, or make some updates or do whatever they need to do.

They will seek out agents that will tell them the hard truth, because I learned that going in, being a listing agent, if you think about it, blaming people out there, it’s a tough position. You’re walking into someone’s most personal prized possession, and most expensive.

Lindsay: Most expensive. Yes,

Kathy: Most expensive, but there’s so much emotions tied into a house too, and there’s pride. Even with the decorating. I put my heart and soul into painting those walls, and I made the murals on my kids’ rooms, that type of thing. There’s just so much that goes into a house. You’re interviewing for a job, think about layman’s out there. When you go interview for a job, you’ve got your best clothes on, you want to say the right words, you want to be perfect, you’re going to compliment the interviewer, suck up a little bit.

That’s the MO for an interview. Well, now you’re a listing agent walking in and saying, “House has got to change, colors are too much. The decors, we got to cut some of this stuff back. Oh, and by the way, it’s not worth what you think it’s worth. Oh, and by the way, you’re going to pay me a pretty good amount of money to tell you these things, and you got to choose me, because you’re talking to three other people after I’m giving you this dose of truth. Are you going to choose me? Are you going to choose the agent that comes in and goes, “Oh my gosh, your house is beautiful. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Oh sure, you want to ask two times what it’s worth? No problem.” That’s what we’re getting, that’s what we had and houses still sold, just like it did this past year. Those days are over. It was scary for me to change the MO back in 2008, to walk in and say, “No, I won’t take the listing at two times what you think it’s worth. It’s not going to sell. Although I think your house is lovely, let’s talk about what we need to do to appeal to the most buyers and make some of those changes.”

I got tough with my conversations and I was honest with people. It scared me because I thought they were going to throw me out of their house. Honestly, 80% of the time they hired me because of that honesty.

Lindsay: Yes, absolutely.

Kathy: 20% they went with somebody that’s– [crosstalk]

Lindsay: They probably wouldn’t have done it anyway.

Kathy: Yes, but guess what? We got the call back for the second-

Lindsay: The second time.

Kathy: -chance for some of those people that we didn’t get the first time.

Lindsay: When they realized that they should have gone with you the first time.

Kathy: Exactly.

Lindsay: Tell me a little bit about what struggles– I know you’ve talked about the team struggles and that kind of thing, but more realtor specific, what struggles you’ve dealt with in your career as far as dealing with sellers, dealing with buyers, and how you’ve overcome some of those? I think that advice from someone who was realtor of the year, and all these crazy accolades, you have so many accolades, I had to literally go and pick and choose. I’m like, “Well, this one sounds really cool, so I’m going to .use this one.” 

Kathy: Well, 26 years is a long time.

Lindsay: Yes. You’re like, “I better have all the awards.”

Kathy: Yes.

Lindsay: Tell us a little bit about what some of those struggles are that you’ve had with buyers and sellers, and then how you over time have overcome some of those things.

Kathy: Well, I think early on, the struggle with sellers was gaining confidence in pricing. I think that’s a struggle for everybody. Even more so now with comps all crazy, but gaining confidence in pricing and being able to have those conversations with different personality types, and trying to match personalities, the mirror match thing, that’s real important. If you’re one of these people by nature that’s bubbly and silly and fun, and you go in and you’re interviewing with an engineer, they’re not going to attract to that.

I learned early on those type of things I needed to pay attention to, and figure out who my client was, and then figure out how to properly price houses, because that’s the number one thing. I think the other thing with sellers is again, how to do conflict resolution, because they do want to throw the finger at everybody else.

Figuring out how to have tough conversations with them in a professional manner, but also with empathy. I think a lot of agents lose focus of how difficult and emotional it is to sell a house. I think every agent should have to sell their own house every five years.

Lindsay: Absolutely.

Kathy: To regain that empathy back.

Lindsay: From market research, yes.

Kathy: Sure, because we get jaded by it’s our job, it’s something that we’re doing every day. We’re dealing with 30 different people a month that are doing that same thing, so it’s just part of our day. That’s not that way for everybody else. I do think that I got very, very good at those conversations and being able to calm sellers down, take their feelings into consideration, and have those conversations that move them forward.

I think with buyers, it’s learning how to corral buyers and take control also. I don’t know if you guys are a buyer agency state or not. We are, but a lot of our agents are very, very weak at getting that commitment and getting that buyer agency signed upfront. Then they’re in my office, “Well, 

Lindsay: I’m in an open house, they went with someone else.

Kathy: Yes. “I’ve been showing them houses for 10 months.” I’m like, “Well, you have a buyer agency?” “Well, no.” That’s a big struggle. Knowing your worth, and being able to articulate your value to the buyer is a struggle. There are so many people out there that will work with them without a commitment. When you’re the one that’s sticking to your gun saying, “Listen, this is a loyalty agreement, and you’re going to go top of my priority list, my people that have loyalty agreements.”

Otherwise, consumers, you have plans with your kids, you’re sitting at home at dinner, the phone rings, “Can I get in this house in an hour?” If you’re a single mom, you’re calling babysitters, you’re doing all this stuff. We shouldn’t have to do that without the commitment back from that person. That when they do pick a house, we’re going to finally have a paycheck from that. Agents are weak about that.

It took me a while too to get enough confidence in myself to say, “Listen, I really want to work with you, but I’m okay with you walking away if you can’t commit to me,” because I’ve already seen it happen too many times that I work for a year, and then I don’t get paid. That’s not right.

Interviewer: Working with buyers in the last couple of years, God, they were showing hundreds of houses. In some cases writing-

Kathy: Writing 50 offers. Yes.

Lindsay: -50 offers. It’s like, what the heck? They weren’t getting anything yet. If they didn’t have them under contract, then what is going to stop them from just going off to someone else? I think that people definitely struggle with that for sure.

Kathy: Yes. I struggle with it as a whole in the industry, what consumer opinion is for real estate agents makes me sad. It does. That’s why I changed my business model several years back, because it really, really bothers me that people don’t respect our time, they don’t respect our knowledge. They think it’s easy. They think, “Oh, they’re just opening doors and letting me in. I could have done that.” They think we’re making all this money on then they don’t realize how it’s split in all these different ways.

There’s just this really poor consumer opinion from people in our industry. It gets to my soul when I see people treat some of my– The way they treat some of my team members with just not– Who thinks it’s okay to have somebody go work for you for months-

Lindsay: I think it’s people.

Kathy: -and then they get no pay, and you’re fine with it?

Lindsay: It’s people in general nowadays too, they just don’t respect each other. They don’t respect each other’s time. They don’t respect– Then I think as much as I watch all of them, I also think that some of these television shows are glamorizing it to the point where it’s making it look like it’s a fake thing. You know what I mean?

Kathy: Absolutely. I don’t watch a lot of them, because I get so mad. I’m like, “That’s not how it happens.”

Lindsay: That’s not how it is.

Kathy: I don’t pull up with my Maserati with a bottle of champagne and go, “Hey, you want to sell this house?” I’m like, “Sure, I’ll take this.” “Okay, great. It’s a deal. Let’s meet at the bar.” 

Lindsay: I watched one of the episodes where they had a Botox party at a broker open, and I’m like, “You got to be kidding me.” That is the only in LA.

Kathy: Hey we might be on to something. Wait a minute now.

Lindsay: You’re like, “I’m taking notes now.”

Kathy: That’s right. That’s right.

Lindsay: Well, Kathy, we are about to wrap up, but I wanted to leave with one last question, and I think you’ll answer well and take your time. We have plenty of time. I want to make sure that I ask what advice do you have for agents to have longevity in this business? What advice would you give to them? There’s a lot of people who have started in the last few years that will start to question whether or not this is good for them, and what advice would you give them to get through this, motor through, and get to the other side?

Kathy: The biggest thing is know your craft. Many people came into this when it was a frenzy, and so it was some door opening, and contract writing and that type of thing. It amazes me when I work with people that I hadn’t worked with prior, how people don’t know a lot of things about the business. If you’re not studying your business every single day, you’re going to get passed up. It used to be, going back to those days before the internet, we were the controller of the information back then.

If somebody wanted to find a house or buy a house, they had to call a real estate agent. Then each office had their own inventory. It was so completely different. Then as soon as that started getting access online, the consumer didn’t need us for the information anymore. Then the more that the World Wide Web has become full of all kinds of information, they can research all kinds of things that we used to be the keeper of before.

That’s why the consumer doesn’t see the value in the agent as much, if that’s what your value proposition is. It’s really the knowledge behind the scenes, and the knowledge about the market, and the knowledge about the process, and the strategies. If you don’t know how to strategize and talk strategies with your client, then you’re going to get passed up. You have to be either modeling somebody, getting mentored, something to where you’re getting better at your craft on a daily basis instead of just focusing on how to put a listing in.

How to put a buyer in the car, and how to write a contract. There’s so much between the lines on all of that that you can get better at and prospecting. It boggles my mind that most agents don’t want to prospect.

Lindsay: They don’t want to make phone calls.

Kathy: They don’t want to do a lot of things.

Lindsay: You have to make a phone call.

Kathy: I don’t know how you’re going to expect longevity in your business if you’re not constantly filling your pipeline. Even if you’re on a team, you can’t constantly rely on the team leader to be filling your plate. You’ve got to learn how to be a hunter yourself. There’s a lot of people that just don’t like to hunt.

Lindsay: Last-last, because I said that was my last question, but I want you to talk just for a minute about your book, and we are going to link it in the show notes, so that if anyone wants to go and get a copy of it, I would love for you to do that. I’m going to get my copy, because I’d love to read it as well. Tell us a little bit about the book.

Kathy: The book was an opportunity that came my way about a year ago. It’s called Women in Real Estate Boss Up. There is an author-publisher who has a Boss Up series on different topics and people. She had done Real estate years ago, and she came to the conclusion that there needs to be a Boss Up in real estate. so it’s collaborative work. Everybody has said for years, “You should write a book. You should write a book basically like your stories and your encounters and things,” and we probably could fill a book.

Who has the time to do that? Although who knows what the future holds, this to me was an entry point to go, ‘Okay, we each get a chapter. I can do that.” It’s like putting my toe in the water of writing, or at least reflecting on some of the things in my career. It was an interview style, so it was pretty simple. They came through and interviewed us, and then put it in writing, and then we went back and made some changes, and of course, being the perfectionist I am, I rewrote the whole darn thing.

I wasn’t expecting to tell it book style in my interview. I did spend a good month late at night just putting things in chronological order, and rearranging and filling in some of the gaps that I felt like was lacking in the interviews. The coolest thing was working with 15 other women, because I have to say that’s been something that’s been disappointing for me in this industry as being a woman leader has been really difficult in a lot of ways, and I touch on that a little bit in my chapter.

What I didn’t have time to get into is not only in leadership, via leadership arena, but even just with your peers. There are just so many women that lip service support women, but really don’t support women. I have always been an advocate of women, and so getting to work collaboratively with these 15 other ladies and hearing their stories, because we all have vastly different stories, it’s all pretty much some adversity, how you get over it, and then how we’re succeeding.

I didn’t realize how powerful– I have imposter syndrome. Even with this book, I don’t want to say, “I wrote a book. I’m always like it’s a collaborative– It’s a chapter,” because I don’t feel– I don’t feel it’s the same thing. I’m taking that away from myself. When I hear these women, I don’t look at them that way. I only look at myself that way. We did a Panel together, and it was amazing. Each one of us, as we began to talk, every single one of us got emotional, and the room got emotional.

The feedback later was that was one of the best panels we heard, because everyone could relate. Everyone can relate to the feelings behind the scenes, because I think what’s really sad about our time right now is social media just ruins everything, and it’s all fairy tale. Then we’re always comparing ourselves to–

Lindsay: The Netflix shows too.

Kathy: Yes, and we always feel inept. We always have that imposter syndrome. This book was my opportunity to let people see some of the struggles, that I had that I kept to my chest, because all they see is, “Oh, she’s doing great. Oh, she’s so lucky. Oh, she’s this.” They don’t know, they don’t know behind the scenes, the battles that I had faced, the wrong choices that I made sometimes, the money that I wasted, and all the things that I did wrong have taught me the next thing.

Social media right now, nobody talks about that. I think that was why I said I would do this book. I wish I had more chapters now because I just scratched the surface.

Lindsay: Now you can write your own.

Kathy: That was the main reason just to put it out there that I’m not perfect. I had struggles, I’m resilient, and I kept coming back, and I’ll continue to come back after whatever I’m facing.

Lindsay: Whatever’s next, yes. Well, I hope it’s smooth sailing for you from here, my friend.

Kathy: Thank you.

Lindsay: Thank you so much for being a guest. I really, really appreciate it. I know our audience is going to love this episode, so I really appreciate you coming on.

Kathy: I appreciate you having me. It means the world.

Lindsay: Absolutely. All right, everybody, thanks so much for joining us. We will see you on the next episode of The Agents Who Crush it in Real Estate.

Thanks for joining us on the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast. We hope you’ve learned some valuable takeaways. Be sure to take action and grow your business. You can check out the Episode Notes and more content from the show at CrushitinRE.com/podcast. And if you’d like this episode, and you’d like to hear more stories, please share with others, post on social media or leave a rating or review. To catch all the latest from Anthony you can follow him on Instagram at Crush It In Real Estate on Facebook and YouTube. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time.