Monthly Archives: August 2017

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Bless the Emperor’s Heart…

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

In my career, I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand, face to face, elbow to elbow, real- world, real-time” Emperorism” vs. Leadership.

Emperorism is the phenomenon of what happens when the desire for ultimate power over takes common sense, sound judgement and good business practices.  And, just so you know, all industries and all professionals are at risk of falling into the trap of thinking “your way is the only way” …and surrounding yourself with individual, raving fans who work for your approval rather than transparency, the greater good, the big picture…serving others.  Beware of the individual who will say whatever the Emperor wants to hear and allow the Emperor to attend the parade naked…all while pretending there is fabric in the loom…

Every experience one survives should provide a lesson to grow from and live by.  Listed are the TOP 10 lessons learned and how to work to achieve the status of Leader and avoid the pitfall of Emperorism in the real estate industry today:

  1. Don’t be afraid to believe in yourself, yet don’t lose focus of reality.
    • Remain humble, compassionate, caring and candid.
    • Be real and stay real.
    • Admit when you are wrong.
  2. Know your Tribe…Seek clarity on whom you serve.
    • Personally
    • Professionally
  3. Understand why you serve.
    • What is your objective?
    • What is the reason you get up every day and do what you do?
    • What do you hope to achieve at the end of the day/week/life?
  4. Ensure your goals to serve are well-aligned and compliment your objective.
    • Does your “why” match your “who”, “what” and “how”?
  5. Be aware of those who surround you and the support they provide for your cause:
    • Does each provide an honest, insightful and respectful perspective?
    • Does each challenge the status quo?
    • Is their motive for growth and development genuine or self-serving?
    • Does each challenge you to think from and see things from a perspective other than your own?
    • Does each ask questions to help you see and identify roadblocks, blinders and other obstacles that color the true picture?
  6. Work and select members of your team who bring genuine talent and insight into your organization.
    • Seek and select talent so rich you avoid being the smartest person in the room
    • Get out of the way and not only allow, yet encourage systems and pathways for talent to be talent and maximize their development
    • Provide constant opportunities to foster growth and allow others to shine
  7. As a Leader, be willing to hear a voice other than you own:
    • Listen aggressively and open-mindedly
    • Seek honest, insightful, transparent feedback
      • Note:  Emperors are at risk of becoming ventriloquists. Leaders avoid pulling strings and moving the mouths of others to get the response they desire.
    • Acknowledge and accept honest feedback (even when it hurts)
    • Embrace solutions (even when they are costly)
    • Hear the cries of those who are served and acknowledge (even if you don’t agree)
  8. Our industry is one of consistent disruption— Disrupt!!!
    • Consistently conduct SWOT analysis to see how you can dominate your market space through positive and productive disruption
    • What do you need to do to maintain your competitive edge?
    • What do you need to stop doing to maintain your competitive edge?
    • How do you maintain your value in the market?
    • How do you dominate your space by providing the most amazing real estate experience imaginable?
  9. Be accountable to provide as promised.
    To weave the desired results regardless of your role and place in the industry, accountability and transparency are critical.  As the Leader, ask yourself these questions:

    • Engage systems to check “the loom”:
      • Is the loom performing as intended?
      • Are those investing in the loom achieving the desired ROI?
    • Check the loom for “fabric”:
      • Is there fabric in the loom?
      • Is the fabric flawed or damaged in any way?
      • Does the fabric provide the quality product desired?
    • Discern when changes are needed in your business practices:
      • Is the “loom” still the best way to weave the product desired?
      • What better ways are available to achieve the results you desire?
      • Are you one “pull” away from your desired results raveling away before your eyes
    • Demand to be held accountable.
  10.  Say what you do, do what you say.
    • Don’t be deceived by what other tell you; look in the mirror
    • Improve it or change it.
    • Acknowledge who you are, what you represent and what you have

In all sincerity, if you have not recently read The Emperor’s New Clothes, please do so.  It’s a wise tale that holds many business lessons, rules and principles…You may be encouraged or enraged by the similarities represented…and if you choose to be the Emperor and not a Leader, and show up to the parade naked, please, for heaven’s sake, make darn sure you at least look good naked.

Enough said…

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Hire for Attitude; Train for Skill; Educate for Success

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

With the current rate in our profession climbing to an all-time high and the cost of that churn accelerating even higher, what would it look like if we used a more discerning lens before making the hire?

What IF we adopted the practice to:

  • Hire for attitude
  • Train for Skill
  • Educate for sustainable, predictable success

First things first, whether you are an owner/manager or Rainmaker, you must decide what level of professional meets and exceeds the essence of your culture and environment.  Meaning, does your team consist of and support only full-time professionals or are co-career or part-timers (and there is a difference!) allowed?   Upon making that decision, model your talent search and interview process accordingly.

Hire for Attitude:

Determining and defining what makes a person tick and more significantly what motivates them to perform is tricky.   I don’t know about you…but I enjoy working with nice, happy, joyful and positive people.  Experience has proven that often in the sales industry, a spirit that reflects these characteristics combined with a great work ethic can enjoy a career that is unstoppable.

Likewise, one of the most challenging qualities and or characteristics which is damaging to a service and sales professional is a bad attitude.  Owning the sense of entitlement, arrogance or being overly confrontational will serve your career as poorly as being lazy.

Unfortunately for those of us serving in the leadership capacity and responsible for hiring, a bad attitude can be as equally challenging to identify before the hire.  So, what do we do?

Ask discerning questions:

Explore their “Big Why” with these recommended, probing questions:

  • What activities do you most enjoy in your current professional role?  Why?
  • Why are you interested in the career we offer?
  • Describe what success in Real Estate looks like.
  • Who will benefit by your success?
  • Who will support you and serve as support/accountability and commit to support your journey to success?
  • What activities do you enjoy most in your leisure?  Why?
  • When doing these things, who do you most enjoy sharing the experience with?
  • What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
    • Who supported you and played a vital role in this experience?
  • What has been your most rewarding personal experience?
    • Who supported you and played a vital role in this experience?
  • Describe a time that you worked under pressure and performed well?  Why?
    • What was the result?
  • Describe your ideal scene (professional and personal) in 3 years, 5 years.
    • What will be your production in real estate?
    • What will this success enable/empower you to accomplish both personally and professionally?

Define (as best as possible) their potential band-width and work ethic.  Determine their commitment and willingness to devote time, energy and talent to build a successful career in real estate by asking these probing questions:

  • Describe (briefly) your previous work experience.
  • Describe your current daily routine?
    • What do you like most about it?
    • What do you dislike most about it?
  • At what time each day are you most effective and efficient?
  • What work have you most enjoyed doing?
  • What work have you enjoyed the least?
  • What has been your greatest sense of accomplishment?
    • Professionally
    • Personally
  • If you could create the perfect work day, what would it look like?
    • Who would you engage with?
  • In an ideal world, describe “how” you would be working?

Train for Skill:

May we agree there is a huge difference in training vs education?  In this segment, we want to discuss training for specific, foundational skills which we believe are imperative to support a successful real estate career in today’s market space.  You may hear other Coaches and Consultants make statements such as “you train and dog and you educate professionals.”  Although this statement has merit…I do believe the skills which we refer to are quite essential to be a successful REALTOR® or dog.


This is one tough business.  If you don’t know yet, you will soon discover that we get beat up. A lot.  We take the heat, grief and burden of the industry.  A lot.

You need a strong, resourceful, vigilant and dedicated partner to hold you accountable.  One who will talk you off the cliff when you should not jump and push you off when you should. Not only will this individual hold you to do your job, they will celebrate with you when you achieve success and help you to access what when wrong when you don’t hit your goals AND make sure appropriate adjustments to empower you to move forward and try again.

  • Who do you answer to?
    • Who will hold you accountable to complete the foundational activities each day to ensure you deliver exceptional service and build a career worthy of your time, energy and talent?
  • You may choose to have multiple life accountability partners:
    • Professional
    • Health
    • Spiritual
    • Life

As a real estate professional, we recommend the services of a professional business/productivity Coach.  If you cannot financially afford the services of a Coach, it is most like the result of not having invested in the services of a Coach. (think about that).  If you elect to “partner” with a peer or individual in your market space, we encourage you to do so with caution.  Always strive to seek and share empathy not sympathy.  A right partner will bail you out of jail when things go wrong, not be sitting beside you in the cell asking, “what when wrong?”  Seek to find a partner who is in a different market, experience different yet supportive activity.  One who can provide solutions and be a resource not provide excuses and allow you to get by with poor practices and unhealthy activities.

Establishing Good Habits and Adopting Best Practices:

  • Time Management
    • Live out of your calendar
      • Place all activities, both personal and professional in your calendar
    • Time Block
    • What is income producing?
    • What fills your passion?
    • What is taking you forward to achieve and maintain all goals?
  • Identify and honor all activities that are “non-negotiable”
  • Develop and implement systems, procedures and policies which allow you to stay in the flow and adopt a “set it and forget it” real estate practice
    • Business Planning
      • Identifying and understanding all numbers
      • Production & Financial
    • Farming/Marketing/Prospecting
    • Listing Procedure and Buyer Consultation
      • Presentation
      • List to Contract
      • Contract to Close
  • All other procedures and processes

Good is the enemy of great.  Don’t allow things that “feel” good and “fill” time and allow you to mistake busyness for productive, business activities and practices.  Combing good habits with the right systems provide a “no fail” method.

Educate for Sustainable, Predictable Success:

While training may be habits and practices, education is staying ahead or at a minimum abreast of the market.  Taking full advantage of all education opportunities will provide the conduit for your business to grow despite what the market is providing.   Professionally educated agents consistently drive the business they desire by:

  • Using powerful scripts and dialogs
  • Understanding market stats and conditions (local, regional and national)
  • Identifying and adopting relevant trends
  • Adopting the right technology to support their business model
  • Embracing market disruption

If your objective is to build and maintain a sustainably profitable real estate business, begin with the end in mind.  Reduce churn AND frustration while increasing profitability by making the right hires. Use your gift of discernment and immediately improve the way in which your business grows.

What IF you hire for attitude, train for skill and educate for sustainable success?

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Don’t Substitute Systems

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

What is a system?  Read below as we share from Merriam Webster which expresses with bold clarity the definition of system:

System:  N

  1. A regularly interactive or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole.
  2. An organized set of doctrines, ideas, principles usually intended to explain the arrangement as working of a systematic whole.
  3. An organized or established procedure
  4. Harmonious arrangement or pattern

Without exception, top performing professionals in our industry lean heavily into establishing, developing, designing, crafting, implementing, executing and living systems.

Systems create and sustain a consistent, safe track on which to run your business.  The “rails” of the track should be so sound, stable and secure that your business could virtually run on its own.

What should be systemized?

All facets of your business:


  • Business Planning
    • Vision/Mission
    • 1-3-5 Year Plan
    • Structure
    • Budget
    • Exit Strategy
  • Prospecting
    • Farming
      • Center of Influence
      • Sphere of Influence
      • Geo
  • Lead Generation
    • Who
    • What
    • How
    • When
  • Marketing
    • Who:
      • Personal Promotion
      • Inventory Promotion
    • What
      • Market Update
        • Inventory
        • State of the Industry
      • Personal Promotion
      • Activities
        • FSBO
        • Expireds
        • Door Knocking
        • Annual Events
      • Open House
    • When
      • Frequency
    • How
      • Digital
      • Social Media
      • Direct Mail
      • Trade Publications
  • Listing Consultation
    • List to Contract
    • Best Practices
    • Scripting
    • Setting Expectations
    • Pricing
    • Checklists, Processes and Procedures
    • Follow up
    • Advertising
  • Buyer Consultation
    • Contract to Close
    • Best Practices
    • Scripting
    • Setting Expectation
    • Checklists, Processes and Procedures
    • Follow Up


  • Business Planning
    • Vision/Mission
    • 1-3-5 Year Plan
    • Structure
    • Budget
    • Exit Strategy
  • Hit List
    • Developing; determining; designing
    • Who you want on the next 3 to 5 years
  • Prospecting
    • Farming
      • Hit List
      • Retention
    • Scripts and Dialogs
  • Lead Generation
  • Marketing
    • Who:
      • Office Promotion
      • Brand/Independent Promotion
    • What
      • Annual Marketing Snapshot
        • Work proactively not reactively
        • Sustainability and consistency
  • Market Update
    • Inventory
    • State of the Industry
  • Activities
    • Annual/Quarterly/Seasonal Events
    • Awards Events
    • Education and Training
  • Open House
  • When
    • Frequency
  • How
    • Digital
    • Social Media
    • Direct Mail
    • Trade Publications
  • Agent On-Boarding
    • First 30 Days
    • First 90 Day

Our main objective regardless of the role we fulfill should be to implement systems or “rails” strong enough to literally “set it and forget it”.  Each should be sound enough that at any moment team members may step into and provide support to serve as
“Engineer” or “Conductor” and move the business forward to achieve the success desired.

Our long-term objective (my personal passion) should be that we are building a business entity that may be transitioned or sold to provide residual income.  Systems ensure a marketable entity and create a transferable book of business worthy of that.   Lack of systems represents a wish and a dream and not a viable business.

Merriam-Webster uses the term “whole” consistently when defining “system”.  In the absence of working, executable systems to ensure your business is “whole”; you may incur “holes” resulting in loss of business, lack of balance, income and business.

Begin with the end in mind; build it to sell; don’t substitute systems.

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Where would you like to take your business?

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

So often, when we ask this question in coaching, we receive responses such as:  ”Double my business”, “Take it to the next level”…and other intangible, random, almost whimsical, wishful answers.

So, let’s get real…let’s get specific and let’s work with intention and specific numbers and goals. Let’s discern…what is it? After you have that number and is locked and loaded and totally non-negotiable, let’s define the path to make it happen.

You see, I am simple.  S.I.M.P.L.E. and I believe that what attracted me to this industry is that it too is simple.  Now don’t be confused.  I did not say easy.  I said simple.  Having said that, how do you simply, yet effectively take your business to the next level?  By combining systems with consistency and an acute attention to details.  You become relentless.  Not a pest, yet persistent.  You put into a place a “set it and forget it” method of reaching out and touching all that you know and remind them what you do…

What if, you adopted a simple (there is that word again) question that you weave into every conversation and engagement you have with others? What if you simply asked, “Who do you know that I should be talking with?”  We love this because it takes your conversation to the next level which will in turn, take your business to the next level…it opens dialog and challenges the audience with which you are speaking to think much broader than buyers and sellers.  It gives them permission to think…investors, developers, builders, allied resources AND buyers and sellers.

Where could this one simple question take your business?

Once you have mastered incorporating this into your dialog and end each conversation (written and spoken) with this challenge, note what happens.  Note how opportunity abounds.

Remember two things…

  1. It’s not who you know…is who knows what you do and how well you do it.
  2. When you do not remind others of the business you are in and the extraordinary service you provide, and ASK them for their business, you are giving them permission to hire a bad REALTOR and endure a horrible real estate experience…

Do the right thing, please.  Ask the simple question…

“Who do you know that I should be talking with?”

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Master Your Trade

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

As most of you well know, real estate is a living example of The Pareto Principle…it would be safe to guess that less than 20 percent of the membership of NAR is doing 80 to 90 percent of the business (transactions) annually.

So How?  What sets them apart?

They master their trade.   It IS that simple.

Let’s explore another group of professionals who simply (and remember simple is seldom easy) master their trade, one skill set at a time, one play at a time and then one game at a time.  Each spring, members of MLB gather in Florida and Arizona and practice the fundamentals of their sport.  You know, pitching, ground balls, stealing bases, hitting…the fundamentals.…over and over until they simply cannot get it wrong.

What they know is the following: To make it to the playoffs, and then the World Series, they must invest time, energy, talent, patience and commitment into the fundamentals of the sport.  No matter what level of income they have achieved, how many world championship rings they have acquired, or how many years they have invested in the sport, they must stay fundamentally sound and sharp to continue to play and win.  And just to add a little pressure, there is always someone in the farm leagues, playing hard every day to take their place on the field.

Real estate is NO different.  No matter how many houses you have listed, how many transactions you have closed and how many satisfied, raving fans you have…there is someone standing in the wings with the goal of dominating your market space.  Game on!

Let’s take a snapshot of the fundamentals which we need to be focused on to continue to perform at the level desired with the income deserved.  Each task/topic should be practiced with the same relentless commitment and dedication as an MLB member has to Spring Training:

The ABC’s of Mastering the Real Estate Game:

Action and Accountability:

  • Craft and execute a written business plan which includes:
    • Vision Statement (know and own your “Why”)
    • Vision and Goals—what do you want and when?
      • 1-3-5 Year Written Plan
    • Org Chart—How are you structured for success
    • Determine what activities are necessary to hit your goals
      • Quarterly
      • Monthly
      • Weekly
      • Daily
  • Know your numbers
    • Review and adjust as necessary
      • Actual to goal
      • Market of the moment
      • Source of Sales/Production
      • ROI on all expenditures/ventures
  • Secure an Accountability Partner
    • Broker/Owner/Manager
    • Real Estate Coach
    • Business Partner

Build and Honor the Right Systems:

When you have mastered this step, the business should run itself.

  • Building a marketable/dimensional data base
    • Maintaining accurate, manageable content
    • Consistent touch system
  • Building your business with the intent to sell
    • Executable plan of action
  • Following and honoring your written business plan
    • Engaging and incorporating the right software
    • Developing and adopting best practices
  • Maintaining a process and procedures manual
    • Set it and forget it method
  • Adopting and exercising exceptional listing practices
    • Procedures
    • Dialogs
    • Marketing
  • Executing the perfect Buyer Consultation
    • Adopting and exercising strategic best practices
    • Developing and executing scripts and dialogs
  • Consistently evaluating your market
    • Performance against market stats
    • SWOT analysis
    • Trends and opportunities

Commit to Leverage:

Focus your time, energy and talent on income producing tasks

  • Your Org Chart should be strategically designed to cover this fundamental topic which may include but not be limited to:
  • Marketing
  • List to Contract (transactional) tasks
  • Contract to Close (transactional) tasks
  • Errands and runner tasks
  • Personal errands

If it is not an income producing task, leverage the task and pay someone to do it.

You must be willing to get out of the way and GIVE IT AWAY!

But wait, there’s more…one last tip in the ABC’s…it’s the D.

Don’t Settle:

Consistently self-discover and discern your highest and best self.  As per NAR’s survey of the consumer, what they desire most is an honest, trustworthy individual to guide them through the process of the real estate experience.  Be that.  Become the trusted advisor.


Without exception, the professionals whom have mastered the art of real estate are tenacious, resilient and committed to the industry and making a difference in the lives of others.  For many years, we have known…real estate represents the essence of servant leadership.  First and foremost, thanks to those who serve for a job well done!

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