From Addiction To Top Producer – AMAZING • Kelsey Charles

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Kelsey Charles the leader of The Kelsey Charles Team talks about how she overcame her struggles with drugs and started her career in real estate. Kelsey discusses how she focused to serve the military families in their quest for real estate. Kelsey also discusses the importance of community support and marketing and of guiding your clients into achieving their goals. Next, Kelsey shares tips on how to choose a firm to work with and how she sees the role of a brokerage. Last, Kelsey discusses where she’s struggling right now.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

Kelsey Charles can be reached at 808-387-4354 and kcteamassistant@gmail.com

This episode was brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
Should you join a cloud brokerage? And what exactly is a cloud brokerage? On today’s episode? This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris, I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re gonna be speaking with top producer Kelsey Charles and oh Oahu, Hawaii. Before we get to Kelsey, just a couple of quick reminders. Please tell a friend. Think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing these great interviews with people like Kelsey and send them a link to our website keeping it real pod.com. That’s every episode we’ve ever done. It can be streamed right from your browser, or if they’re a podcast person, have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real. And by the way, there’s a few different podcasts named keeping it real. So look for the one with my name on it, DJ Paris, hit that subscribe button or have your friend hit that subscribe button. We really greatly appreciate it. And also last please leave us a review and whatever podcast app you might be listening. This really helps us improve our show and also reach more people like you who benefit from hearing from great top producers like Kelsey and enough about me. Let’s get right to it. Kelsey Charles.

Today on the show, we have Kelsey Charles from real broker in Hawaii. Let me tell you about Kelsey. Now Kelsey Charles is a residential real estate professionals serving the entire island of Oahu and surrounding islands to she is the leader of the Kelsey Charles team and represents both buyers and sellers, whether it be first time homebuyers or seasoned investors. As a military relocation professional, she has often represented clients from every branch of the armed forces. She is also dedicated to the real estate profession and upholds the highest standards of ethics and agency. She’s a certified residential specialist which is a prestigious, professional designation awarded to the most experienced realtors in the nation. She treats your investment in Hawaii very seriously and strives to guide you through your transaction as smoothly as possible. Now her proficiency and use of technology based marketing is unparalleled in the industry, which is why she’s on the show super excited to chat with her. She’s been taught by the best in the business and you can be confident in her ability to close the deal and advocate for your interests. Now Kelsey lives in. And I’m sort of asked you but it’s is it a while beach ever, ever beach? The W is a V. So my apologies but Kelsey lives on every beach. I have a beach getaway, which is in Ohio. With her husband Anthony, who was also a realtor and their two daughters. Please visit her website which is Kelsey Charles homes.com. And that’s Kelsey Charles homes plural. Kelsey Charles homes.com. And also please also follow her on Instagram. Her Instagram. Handle is Realtor in Hawaii. Kelsey, welcome to the show.

Kelsey Charles 4:31
Hey, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here and no worries about E well beach. I work with a lot of military clients and some of them will live here for three years and never know where they still called

D.J. Paris 4:44
our beach.

Kelsey Charles 4:47
So not about it.

D.J. Paris 4:48
By the way, I’m gonna make a declaration I’ve never said on the show. We are about I think we’ve done about 350 episodes. If Kelsey and I lived in the same city I think I would do my best to become her new best friend, because she is a super fun person to talk to. And we were, we were chatting it up beforehand. And I’m like, this is somebody, she’s she’s very similar to myself,

Kelsey Charles 5:10
which is which we could totally hang out.

D.J. Paris 5:14
We could. We’re excited to have you on the show. And I’m really, really happy to have you. We I think you are the first realtor we’ve had from Hawaii. Not that that’s, you know, something that makes you so incredibly unique, of course, but I think you’re in the Midwest. Yeah. Well, you’re a Midwestern girl, though initially. So I would love to know. And by the way, Kelsey is not too far from where we are is from not too far from where we we are that you know where that is, anyway? No, it’s funny. She told me and I said, I don’t I think it’s up there. And she said, yeah, no, you’re wrong.

Kelsey Charles 5:53
place there was in General Motors plant, they remember the decline of the economy. And like, oh, 809 Sure, I can blame my city Janesville for having like, just too much factory going on. I don’t know.

D.J. Paris 6:05
That’s why I did see the movie, Roger and me. And like the early 90s, which was all about General Motors in Flint, Michigan. Town, that town got decimated as well. It’s just amazing what some like I’m from Peoria, Illinois, which is headquartered at Caterpillar, which is one of the biggest companies and in the world. And when they moved, you know, I know, nobody cares about this. But when they moved their executive a good part of their executive team up here to Chicago, because I think it would attract more people than Peoria. More like good talent, it really had a huge impact. So I know what that’s like in the smaller towns. But um, anyway, I read your to talk about how amazing you are. And you really are. And I She’s very Kelsey is very humble. But she does a lot of really cool things. And so let’s start at the beginning. Tell us how you got into real estate.

Kelsey Charles 7:01
Crazy story. So I’ll first start with how I got to Hawaii growing up in like Madison Janesville area. So I saw basically the recession in full force. And I was like, I am not going to live through this, I have not enough desire to stay in the cold. To make it through this whenever there’s like no job opportunities. I mean, what was I going to do like work for $7 an hour? Well, I could do that in Hawaii just as well. So that’s what I did. On a one way ticket, I became a nanny, I actually got a scholarship for college, to study social work. And I was a nanny during that time. And then after my first year of college, I realized like all these things you need as an adult, like health insurance, like paying your car insurance, you got to feed yourself like Well, that’s like a lot of stuff, right? So my dad being a retired or not retired, like laid off auto worker, he was like, I’m totally gonna help you. I’m gonna pay make sure you have health insurance just as a minimum. Turned out that wasn’t true. He either decided not to, or General Motors decided not to do the thing to help the families. So then I’m like, there I am paying for my own health insurance. And then Hawaii just stopping fun when I had to work like 90 hours a week as an 18 year old. So I came back to Wisconsin for a bed, I was like, I’m just gonna finish online classes. And then I’ll go back to Hawaii when I graduate. So you really need to make like, I used to think 90,000 was a good living in Hawaii. And that was maybe true and like, oh nine but now if you don’t make like one ad, you know, you’re struggling for sure. Sure. So I thought like, oh, getting to know nursing, I don’t know something well paying whatever it is. I just want to live in Hawaii. So during that time, I ended up hanging back with the crowd that I did in high school that was using heroin, like very casually. And that was part of like, the Midwestern recession these normal like jocks and I mean, prom, Queens, were just casually doing opiates. So there’s

D.J. Paris 9:00
not a lot of lot of depression probably going out of depression, not a lot of opportunity. Small Town woes,

Kelsey Charles 9:07
right? Very, like Detroit style. So then I got back into that and I got begin there with that. It’s actually my time back in Wisconsin. And then I went to rehab in California, which was not the best for me, I ended up coming out of rehab shooting up and I went and just like orally taking so and everyone

D.J. Paris 9:30
else. So you left you left rehab and immediately started using and accelerating your use with with with a more extreme?

Kelsey Charles 9:38
Exactly. And I’ve heard that can happen and rehab where you hear about all these stories, like people are talking about fantasizing about their youth. And I was like, oh, that sounds great. Like that’s definitely what I want to do. When I get when I wanted to get it. I didn’t see a future for myself. I just kind of wanted to make it through day to day. She was I do have depression and especially like seasonal affective disorder, right? Get out. So using IV drugs, I become homeless. I like 19 and 20. And then I get on a methadone program, which thankfully in Wisconsin was state sponsored. So if you’re on state healthcare, otherwise, that $500 a month when you have nothing is very exciting. Right? So I decided, okay, no, I’m good. I’m stable. I’m gonna go back to Hawaii go to college, even though I’m probably the only college student on methadone that has to show up to the clinic every day.

D.J. Paris 10:26
You’re probably not but you’re the only one talking about it today. Yeah.

Kelsey Charles 10:30
I didn’t see anybody else there. At least in the Hawaii Island. Right? Well, maybe maybe your school?

D.J. Paris 10:36
Yeah. Maybe it was just you.

Kelsey Charles 10:38
I mean, I like to think it wasn’t, but it could have. So yeah, I would go to the methadone clinic, I was doing really well. I was like, tearing up on my program where I only had to go in once a week, getting on a lower dose. And then I met my husband, who was in the Navy at the time, and he apparently saw something in me. Even though I wasn’t doing that one school, I pretty much spent all my days like sleeping. And he was like, yeah, like, move into my house. And I was like, No, I am an independent woman. Like, I don’t need you. I don’t need no man. I’m gonna live in my $700 a month apartment and my studio. Even though there was like more roaches than there was food in the house. And he came in one night to like, help me move myself or like, bring something up. And he’s like, You can’t stay here. This place is so sketchy. Like, I can’t have anyone I’m dating live here. And I was like, You’re just trying to force me to live with you. So you can hold me down. Because that just like this weird mindset of

D.J. Paris 11:34
like, he’s trying to control you is a concern. Yeah,

Kelsey Charles 11:37
exactly. Right. And that’s what but that was my experience, like with men and like short my father, right. So that it was just very, I was in an unhealthy place. But I he was in the Navy. So he was pretty much gone all the time. So he’s like, Hey, like, here, you can have my apartment, you can have my car. I’m pretty much always gone. And I was like, no, like, for the longest time. I’m not going to do that. And eventually, my landlord ended up coming up in the middle of the night to my apartment to just look at me and like, stare at me and be a complete felon, like, for no reason. So I took him up on the opportunity and then living with him. I was like, okay, like, well could be getting married because I was really into Christianity and my recovery. I felt like if I was gonna live with someone, I need to be married. And he’s a hardcore atheists like, Super Star Trek, like no interest in any of that. But like, I forced him basically to marry me, you could say, but he’s he’ll say it’s like the best thing he ever did. Right? So we got married. And then we had our first kid when I was on methadone. So I was addicted. And my baby was one addicted. So she had to be weaned off with morphine. And basically, when you’re on methadone, I don’t mean to make this a drug story, but I’m just like how you can? This is okay. Okay. So my baby was born on morphine. And if you’re on methadone, and you’re pregnant, if you stop that homeostasis of like, that comfortable drug or the baby is receiving every day, you can pretty much you’re almost guaranteed to self abort, right? Yeah. So people are looking down me like, oh, like you’re a junkie or taking drugs. I’m like, Alright, we’re trying

D.J. Paris 13:08
to save your baby. Yeah, exactly. And you need it the methadone to be able to not be Yeah, in the lifestyle.

Kelsey Charles 13:16
Exactly. No, totally, for sure. And just said, maintain like the mental health. I mean, there’s so many reasons people stay on methadone. And I’m not like there to judge them for that. But for me, it was like Yeah, it’s like maintain the lifestyle not want to go to the streets and hang out with the people that I had before. Right. And so I could think about my baby thinking about like, what breast pump are we going to buy just like normal people stuff instead of like, okay, how am I get a score today? Yeah, and I wasn’t using and I just said my methadone every day when my baby was born, she weaned off and she’s fine. And then my husband got basically medically retired from the Navy he has anxiety and his trigger his career just started to really trigger him. And he was an air traffic controller before he became an officer he did really well with that job and they say ATC is like one of the most stressful jobs you can have. It has

D.J. Paris 14:04
to it has to be a walk in the park. Well, that’s amazing because I when I was I know air traffic control and there’s been movies made about how stressful fictional movies and then even documentaries Yeah, it’s it’s it’s pushing 10 I think was one of the movies but but there it is. So because they’re dealing with so much traffic and yeah, 1000s of people’s lives at any given moment.

Kelsey Charles 14:30
Totally. And then the pilot sometimes you have to like override the pilot and say like, Hey, do this and I’m gonna ignore you and he was in your in a lot of like life and death situations daily. And he thought that was less stressful than his new job in the Navy, which was being asked to see like all the time. He would be gone for months at a time I barely ever saw him. And it started to really affect his mental health. He’s like, hey, this isn’t for families. I don’t want to do this. So he gets out. To make a long story short, we moved to Florida. And we bought a house and we had our baby. And I didn’t work. I never really plan to like have a job. I was like, Okay, I’ll get married. Cool. He’ll take care of me. That was my ideal lifestyle. So funny how that change right now. He actually works for me. And I didn’t like Florida. He told me it was gonna be like, Hawaii. And I was like, Okay, I trust you. Not at all. It’s very red state. Nothing like what I’m used to being from the Midwest, and very, I don’t know, it was like, maybe a desert version of Hawaii with like, crocodiles, and rednecks. I mean,

D.J. Paris 15:38
some strange residents. Yeah, I’m

Kelsey Charles 15:40
like, Who are these people? I don’t want to be around this. So I told him, I was like, we’re moving back to Hawaii, or like, like, like a cat. I’m sorry, it’s an ultimatum. But like we’re leaving. And we definitely weren’t in a place financially to do that. And while we were in this, another economically depressed town, I was doing whatever I could to make a book, like whether I’m like, flipping a couch trying to sell multilevel marketing. I would work at these jobs, and people wouldn’t pay me. So I was like a pizza server. I worked at a chamber of commerce, which I thought was legitimately pay me, I would work for months, and no one would ever give me a paycheck. And I was like, I, okay, this is not working, like we just have to go otherwise, our life is just gonna be sad again. So we put our house in the rental market. And then we moved to why and then we find out that we’re pregnant, after we played to not have another kid. But we knew if I came back to the why, if we came back to why that I would have to work just because of his pension. We’re a family of three now. But we had already rented our house. And we had already signed a lease for a two bedroom. Like it was what it was, we just have to find a way now our plane tickets, but and this wouldn’t be a huge concern for most normal people. But when I’m pregnant, I get this disease called hyperemesis. So I pretty much puke like 30 times a day. And that’s like, at a minimum, like, it’s really awful. Pregnancy is not meant for me, like I love my children, but I would never go through it again. And that was really hard to have in my life. I’m like, okay, so if I can make like, $5 to eat that school, but that’s all I could do. My husband was on retirement disability. So he couldn’t work yet, because I hadn’t been locked in right now, which is an unfortunate setup that the system has, but we didn’t have money for food, we would say our mortgage on the mainland, and the rent we were getting was like half of that mortgage. And then we had our Hawaii rent. And after that, like it was a car payment, and then struggling just day to day to get food. So there were days that like we wouldn’t eat, and then we would just have to get like water and bread. And even that was a struggle, like how do we literally learn to make bread out of like flour and yeast and water? And then I remember times that my three year old was like, Mommy, like I’m just a little bit hungry, you know, can we eat and I was like, I’m sorry. We just have to wait till tomorrow, like when the direct deposit hits. It’s how it’s going to be. So with that, I realized I never wanted to live like that again. And I knew it wasn’t permanent. I knew once I had the baby that I would be like, physically okay, I didn’t realize how much mentally that would have tormented me and I thought I had been through pretty much the worst through my life, like being an addict being like, molested all these things that had happened to me. I didn’t realize I can relive this again, as an adult now that I had, you know, created my own support system, right. So I saw this lady, she was actually at exp, and I followed her on Facebook, and I pretty much spent all my time scrolling social media, because that’s the only thing that helped me stay connected. So I mean, I would take my Benadryl, so I did puke. I mean, every moment, I would still be in the hospital every two or three days. Just getting IVs and stuff really terrible time.

D.J. Paris 18:40
Because you’re because you’d be low on fluids and you’d be dehydrated. Yeah,

Kelsey Charles 18:44
exactly. And I couldn’t keep anything down. And you know, to keep the fetus alive, everything like that. And so I started watching her and I was like, maybe I could do real estate. Like, she has my dream car, which is a Tesla acts like she’s got a husband, she’s renovating how she owns a house. I didn’t own a house in Hawaii. I was like, Oh, that’s so cool. And for so many reasons. I never wanted to get into real estate, but I don’t think I understood why. But I love sales. And I love just hanging out with people talking to them. And I still think it’s the coolest thing ever. That’s the thing that you can like, get paid to help people get what they want. And you pretty much just get to know them. They’re your friend or your family. And I’m not saying it’s easy. Like there’s a difficult times of course, but this is still the best gig I’ve ever heard that right. So I get my real estate license babies born. I go to work. I started training with Coldwell Banker Pacific properties. And then they basically just like throw you to the bowls, like go get a deal. And I remember I would find clients anywhere I could whether that was like buying a laptop like oh, hey, do you need a house? I mean, I was probably like just really putting myself out there but I know that’s what it takes, right? That I would eventually get it. But it turns out like the first few sets of buyers only wanted to hang out with me because they wanted like a female company, which we saw Repeat. I’m like, You’re literally like pulling your credit score to go into apartments and just like be alone with me. And they will say things like, Oh, this is 500,000 for an apartment. You know what I can get in Texas for that? And I was like, yes. But we’re not in Texas, like, What are you talking about, bro? And if they had bought, then that apartment would be worth like 700. Today, this was like, two, three years ago than they were like, so I’m like,

D.J. Paris 20:22
a lot of just maybe questionable people.

Kelsey Charles 20:25
Yeah, exactly. And you don’t know how to verify or how to a new a new agent. Yeah, and companies don’t really teach you, right. And I was like, shoot, I just spent all this gas, I can barely afford gas to get here. And now these people are running me around. I was like, Oh, shoot. And I quickly realized that VA buyers, military people, about my age, we’re going to be my best client, that they don’t really know a realtor, they’re gonna buy, they’re going to be super loyal, if they have a good experience, they’re gonna sell with you, and then they’re gonna refer their friends to you. And they can get a house for about 1000 bucks. I mean, literally, like a $500 house for a grand that was in the old market, right? So that became my niche. And then that’s what I did. I did 12 million, my first year, second year was like, 25,000,003rd. year last year, I did like 25 million. I don’t know what this year is gonna look like, I’m trying to put a little more focus on lifestyle and then growing like my other brands, which is like, dropping a real estate course training agents mentoring. And lately, I tried to just work with like, referrals, and then past clients who already know me.

D.J. Paris 21:31
Wow, you said so much there. And I’m trying to think what I want to sort of dive into because first, I want to honor you for your courage and vulnerability, to share, you know, difficult things or what might not be difficult to you. But for other people would be extremely private or things that that they wouldn’t want out there. I too, have an addiction background, a different addiction background. So I can I can relate to, to some of that. I was I was thinking in a really about just all the adversity, and not from a perspective of pity, or I feel sorry for you, although I do I feel sad, that there were things that happened to you that should not have happened that you didn’t invite or control, which is often the case with people who are addicted. So I can, and other times, there doesn’t seem to be that straight line. But I honor you for for being a willingness to share because I think if if nothing else, if our audience just understands the the power of being courageous and telling your story, despite, you know, the sort of fear of will people judge me, I think I you know, it’s interesting, when I I’m curious to get your take on this, I see this a lot. We interview a lot of people for our show, and really wonderfully kind, lovely people that I I don’t want to disparage in any way. But I noticed that oftentimes, they’ll be on our show, and they’ll be concerned about how they came off or there’ll be concerned about maybe they said something that they felt was maybe slightly an opinion and actual opinion. And then they’re like, oh, you know, I? I don’t you know, I don’t want that. And I think we what you just demonstrated was, you know, the willingness to sort of say, here’s, here’s, here’s my story, here’s where I’m at. And I think as a result, not only do people feel more connected to you, because that’s how intimacy works, of course, when people are open up, but I suspect it not that I don’t know if you share though that similar story with all of your clients, I don’t know your process there, but you just shared it with you’re basically sharing it with 1000s of Realtors now and and I just want to say that that that Kelsey is courage to do that is something that we can all take a little bit of a page from of being it’s it’s like the old AAA slogan to thine own self be true or whatever it says, which is, hey, this is who I am. I don’t have to be all things to all people. Here’s my story. And I suspect that your clients if they do know that story about you feel incredibly connected to you because you’re you have this ability to say here here’s where I’m at and the story didn’t end with with you being in jail or or in you know, in a pet what penitentiary or in the in the ground, right? That’s what

Kelsey Charles 24:28
they say. Yeah, if you don’t in the walls in the programs that this is the future most addicts if you don’t get clean. And I mean that is true.

D.J. Paris 24:36
It is it is a disease that is recognized by the American Medical Association with no medical with actually no medical effects, right. There’s no actual fix for addiction. They call it a spiritual problem, but it’s really a medical problem without a medical solution. And the fact that you’re here today and not just surviving and and you know, living, you’re actually in incredibly successful as a result is, is really just an amazing story. I’m so, so grateful for you for all of that. And I don’t want to make that the entire focus, because that’s just the first half of your story. Quite honestly, it’s just where you came from. And we all came from somewhere. And your story, though, I hope, I hope will inspire a lot of our listeners to really think about how they can bring more of themselves into their business, you know, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be things that you’re uncomfortable sharing. Not you, Kelsey, but our audience that maybe they would get comfortable being able to say, This is who I am, this is my who I, what I stand for, I think is incredibly important. So and by the way, just doing fifth was it 15 million in your first year 12 million, 12 million 12 million in your first year is an incredible success. And now you’re you know, you’re at that top, you know, who knows what will happen this year, but 25 million by year three? Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty awesome. So. So I want to talk about how she talked about I think that desperation oftentimes, is such a gift. It’s the worst, hardest thing to possibly

Kelsey Charles 26:10
ever but worst gift ever. Yeah. But you’re right. It’s like what else is gonna drive you until you’re completely desperate. I mean, I am amazed by people who just go out there and kill it. Like they lived a pretty okay life. And maybe they didn’t. I mean, I don’t know what their life was like, but some of them I’m like, Oh, dude, your parents love you. Like, that’s so cool. Now you did this, and you’re still driven to just go and kill it and kill it and kill it. But I think if I hadn’t had this, like, who knows where I would be? I don’t know. I mean,

D.J. Paris 26:39
I would love to talk about and this isn’t necessarily an addiction question. It’s real. But I’m curious if there’s a parallel between support, support for you with with the challenges you’ve experienced, I know, look, going to go into rehab as a supportive environment, or it’s at least supposed to supposed to be getting on methadone and being on a program that’s supportive of finding a sponsor, if you’re in you know, a 12 step thing. All of those things are about community being supportive. We try to do our little version of that here on the show to say, hey, you know, we can learn from from people like Kelsey who have really, you know, persevered. I’m curious on how important support is for you talked about starting with Coldwell Banker and sort of feeling like you’re thrown to the wolves, maybe not feeling like you have that community? How is community real important to you and your life and support? Oh, yeah,

Kelsey Charles 27:30
community is everything for me. And I think that’s one thing that I did learn in sobriety. And then as I started to, like, kind of level up my company and how much better my life got, as I was more selective of who I allowed in my day to day. And now I think I could do anything, I mean, not to be like big headed, but I know the steps, right? You want to go be an astronaut, go hang out with astronauts go listen to their YouTube channels, go stay in the rooms, bug the shit out of them until they’re your best friend. And it just becomes like a second language to you. And I feel like I could do that with real estate or pretty much any venture that I want to go into it. Now, I don’t want to be an astronaut or a doctor. But more than anything like it is your community and who you choose to be around. And I think being in some desperate places, like having to have to get housing needing to get food taught me a lot of basic survival skills that you know, apply and even high levels of business. Right.

D.J. Paris 28:26
And you also to with the extreme challenges that you faced, you now probably have a little bit less fear of the unknown. And then people who maybe have had a more on paper, comfortable life, you know, so I’m curious to that. If If for some reason it all went away tomorrow, and for some reason, you had to start yourself a new again. You probably are like, Well, I would figure something out because yeah, you have figured things out

Kelsey Charles 28:59
totally. And that’s the thing is I really don’t have a fear but that like I’m not I don’t feel entitled to any kind of lifestyle. Like you can lose everything at any moment. And I’ve seen it happen to the best of people, and I can lose everything and I will be fine because like I’m fine. Hanging out with my family. Having some decent even doesn’t even have to be good food, like ramen noodles, like I’m stoked with that. Give me Netflix, give me life and I will be perfectly content. So yeah, nothing really scares me in terms of like, lifestyle loss, like I could have a Tesla one day, the next day, I couldn’t be on my feet. And I’m like, whatever. It just is what it is.

D.J. Paris 29:34
Yeah, cuz you’ve been there and and you’ve gotten through and that’s why I say like the gift of desperation and it’s not it’s no eight meaning to be patronizing because No, I know what you went through is is is extreme and difficult. And I honor you for coming out the other side. Let’s talk about marketing, because I know that this is a huge part of how you grew your business. So can you talk a little bit about what marketing means to you? You and how you implement it in your real estate practice.

Kelsey Charles 30:02
Sure. So I’ve gotten feedback from all kinds of people that say that I don’t have good marketing. And it’s not pretty enough. And I’m like, well, it’s super effective. So you know what you have to say, and I’m trying all these kinds of things. I’ve seen people with like $20,000 a month campaigns, and I’m like, I don’t feel connected to them. Like maybe they have this pineapple. And he’s like pretty linen colors and these color schemes, and it’s really monochromatic, but they’re not speaking to people. So that means nothing to me if they’re not connecting. And I think for me marketing, it can just be as simple as like, how do you break down barriers through digital media? Conversations, putting yourself out there that make people feel more connected to you? And if I’m feeling like someone’s uncomfortable about me, I’ll just start to tell them like some weird shit about myself. I’m like, oh, yeah, like I was a heroin addict and not to like, like, ski them out. But they’re like, Oh, my God, really, because everyone is thinking like, and so many people are just like, going through a weird phase in life. And they’re just like, What the fuck am I doing? What does Kelsey think of me? Like, as a realtor? Does she think I’m like, annoying? Am I too much to deal with? Like, am I looking at this the wrong way, they’re always wondering if they’re being judged. So I’m just gonna, like, make them feel comfortable and say like, Hey, this is who I am. I’m here for you. Like, don’t feel weird. And then this is why and how like, oh, shit, like, that’s my realtor from my for life. Like, that’s my best friend. And my clients a lot of times, like, they send me gifts, like a year down the line, like thank you for doing me, right. Like, I know, we have to sell in a couple of years. And we’re not even a little worried about it. Because we know we have like the best realtor and friends backing us, right. So I’m like, really close relationships with people. So you can do that in many ways. I mean, as far as like getting leads, you can do it with houses, like having a good CRM, putting ads out there. posting on Facebook marketplace, I do have a billboard at a local mall that has a humbug QR code. So you scan it, it gives you an instant home value, I keep in touch with you every month until you decide to block me or sell your home with me, right? And I go the mall like every couple days, I’m like, Hey, guys, this is my billboard. I’m Kelsey Charles, this is me right here on this wall. And then people are like, Oh my God, is she like on drugs? Or is that really higher? Like, I don’t look like I mean, I don’t look like a local person. So like, Okay, this girl just came from Connecticut, like, What is she trying to do? And the question my intentions, right? But then I’ll talk to them and get to know them. And my local people are like some of my favorite and best years clients. And when I got into real estate, so many people said to me, like, Oh, you’re not going to do well. Everyone in Hawaii is a realtor, everyone’s Auntie as a realtor. It’s just a way to make quick money. And everyone’s seen the opportunity. And it’s like, easy to get in too hard to be successful. And so I just saw that as like, Well, fuck you. Like, I’m just gonna go do it way better than you ever thought. Right? So as far as that and you can do marketing anyway. But whatever connects people the most with you, and gets you at like an even level where you’re not like this elite agent, or you’re only this like $2 million agent, and I do all price comps. And I can talk to anyone and there’s no lead. That’s like too low for me. So I think that is like the ultimate goal of marketing. It can look like a lot of different things. But mine is to bring people to me, I want to be the realtor that they think of when they want to make a move, when they need real estate advice. I want it to be come to me, even if I might take a couple days to reply, because I do get like hundreds of text messages a day. And then at one point in my career, I realized that I kind of made it when I had like 12 escrows. And I was driving around showing clients and this lady is like, hey, we need a house. We heard you’re the best person to do it. And I was like, I’m so sorry. I cannot call you till 11pm. Like is that okay? I understand if you want to move on? She’s like, No, I’ll wait. I was like, okay, all right, I think we’re doing well we have realized God to the point where clients and consumers realize that we love them more than ourselves, and that we always put them first and we’re worth waiting for. So in such like a consumer driven society where people want instant reply, instant access and everything. And there’s always going to be those few that are easily picked off by someone else. But I think the majority of our clients are super solid, because we tell our story because we share, we talk about our mission and our our goals for them. Like I set goals for clients. I mean, I talked to them, they tell me, Hey, I’m gonna be here for this long and then I’m gonna want to upgrade it. So I’m like, Okay, this is what this looks like, we’re gonna get you in this house, it’s gonna appreciate likely this month, we’re gonna sell it. We can take that money, you can pay down your debt, you can pay your student loans, you can pay for a graduate degree or we can put it down on another house. And then you can lower your payment as you upgrade your house. And I have a plan of what that’s gonna look like with every single client we have, whether that’s like a seller or a buyer. And not that I tried to be a financial adviser, but I’m like, Okay, this is what I would do. And they always seem to like really appreciate my advice. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 34:55
I got you just said so much. This idea of you consider while I’m putting I’m putting a word in your mouth. Alright? Not. I think you think of yourself as a consultant. Absolutely. Yeah. And like almost like a Life Consultant where it’s like, okay, because you just said, okay, you know, hey, this is this is house number one, well, here’s what we’re gonna do, here’s how long we’re gonna stay there. And again, it’s not like you’re dictating the terms. No, they

Kelsey Charles 35:24
like, they want that they want someone to drive the wheel because they don’t know what they’re doing. I mean, who does their first time buying house, I definitely did it, I wanted someone to say, Hey, this is how we’re gonna build wealth for you,

D.J. Paris 35:34
before I bought now, just to give some context for anyone who might be new to our show. So I don’t run the firm that I’m at. But I’m the CMO of our firm, we have about 800 agents, you would think and I have a licensed real estate license, you would think that I know something about real estate, I don’t like literally nothing. And that’s not me being falsely humble. Like I legitimately sit at a desk all day. I’ve never worked with a client, I know nothing. So and you know, maybe I know a little bit more than the average person, but I would not be any sort of I would not be able to give any advice about is this a good investment or not?

Kelsey Charles 36:08
Within real estate, and that’s it. Yeah. And,

D.J. Paris 36:12
and yeah, and so I before I bought a property, and it was not my first time buying as the primary residence, were not my first time, I had to ask a bunch of really successful realtors. Am I making a good decision or a bad decision? Because I don’t know. And and what the reason I’m bringing this up is what would with you being able not just to say, hey, I can help you get this deal closed, which of course is part of the job. You saying, this is a good idea. Here’s why. Here’s where we’re headed. Here’s what’s down the road. Here’s what I want to do for you beyond this initial purchase or sale, and I’m going to be with you your whole career. Think about No, I’m not saying this to you, Kelsey, I’m saying that to our audience, think about how powerful we all want. Not all but most people want guidance. And we were also really afraid to ask for it. Especially the older we get. We’re like, Oh my God. Yeah, like, like, I should already know all this stuff. I should like, I should already have somebody you know, giving I should really know everything.

Kelsey Charles 37:08
A lot older. first time homebuyers are like we’re retiring. This is our first house like, I’m sorry, I don’t know anything. I’m like, I actually prefer you know, nothing. And just trust me. That’s fine. Yeah. I’ll tell you.

D.J. Paris 37:19
That’s all we all want. Look, I don’t understand my taxes. But I hope my accountant keeps me out of jail. Right. You know, like, like, I trusted my trusted. Yeah, trust will stop getting paid if I go to jail, maybe. But she probably has 500 other clients, it wouldn’t really matter. But, but I care that she knows what she’s doing. And and I hope she does. I don’t know if she actually does.

Kelsey Charles 37:44
We don’t know the questions asked, right. That’s the thing is we as consumers aren’t taught to how to vet our professionals. And I know I’m sure you hear in our industry, like real estate agents are going away, they’re not going to be a thing anymore. I’m like, No, people need more service, not less service. The way I see it is I’m like gearing up to be your realtor for life, for your family, for your auntie for your sister for your kids. And we’re gonna have a plan for you. And I want to do more for you, not less,

D.J. Paris 38:08
and people are terrified to ask for help. It is, it is it is the hardest thing in the world. Because it’s vulnerable. It’s scary, it implies that maybe you might have some shame around, I should know that. And I don’t. And you have had to ask for help in very desperate situations before becoming a realtor. So you understand the power of surrender. And that’s I think, what what every good realtor or maybe not every good realtor, but but many of them, most of them probably are good at saying is I will take care of this Mr. And Mrs. Client, I know how to do this. And I’m not here just for this one commission. So let’s talk about how you with your marketing how you connect, because you talked about connection being so important, you give us a couple of examples of you know, doing some some, you know, social media post, hey, that’s me up there. And, and, and a little bit more, but talk a little bit more about how you how you look for connection when you’re first talking to somebody.

Kelsey Charles 39:07
So I’m always looking for connection everywhere, just as like a natural salesperson. And even before I was in sales, I always want to be connecting with people around me. So if they I like their shirt. I’m like, Oh, hey, like I love your shirt. That’s super dope, right? I’m on Facebook, though. And I realized I have like about 5000 people following me. So I’m looking, I’m interacting with them like, Oh, your kid is so cute. Like, that’s so funny. That just happened and I’m being real. I don’t do it. Because I want to sell. You know, that’s not it at all. But then I start to share about my life and how fucked up it is. And the like the crazy stuff my kids do. And they’re like, wow, like she’s just like me. And I’ve been invited over to people’s houses. They’re like, hey, we actually just bought with another realtor, but you really inspired us to buy and I’m like, oh shoot like, you know, I’m really glad sorry, you didn’t reach out to me, but like, I’m glad you bought a house. I want what’s best for you. But they’re like, well, now we want to sell and it just seemed so easy with you, like you’re so natural, like, we just, we don’t feel shame or pressure galloping around you, we want you to be our agent. So sometimes it comes back and like, if someone uses someone else, I don’t get mad. I mean, I’m like, you know, whatever, you win some, you lose some, but stay in touch with those people, they’ll come back to you. They really well, because social media is the greatest gift we have as far as like, keeping an infinite connection to someone as long as you’re connected through Facebook. I mean, they’re in your life forever.

D.J. Paris 40:30
Yeah, they are. And conversations don’t have really an end, right on social media. They just, they just continue and evolve and consistency. How important is consistency with with connection? Or do those go hand in hand with you being consistent in your outreach? And

Kelsey Charles 40:47
yeah, so I’m really consistent and my clients lives. And as far as like reaching out, people say you’re supposed to have a strategy for social media. I don’t want to wear up my welcome. So I’m not posting all day, like, Oh, hey, this is so funny. I’m not posting like 50 memes, or even five memes. I don’t even post like five times a week. And they say like, um, your presence is important, but also to hide people, if I feel like they’re just trying to sell me and I see Realtors posts, like, Oh, hey, market update, well, that means nothing to your client. They don’t even know how to read that. They might have owned five houses, but you’re trying to look smart. And now they just feel dumb. Right? So I think there’s ways to go about it. And yeah, I try to do it when it’s actually natural to me when I want to post like, Hey, here’s the thing I want to do, I’m sharing a win. This is a funny thing that happened in my life, this is something that kind of sucked. I do it when I’m inspired, not just to have another post out there and to stay in someone’s feet.

D.J. Paris 41:39
Yeah, that makes sense. What I think we’re really what we’re talking about is is surface and authenticity, and connection. And I those three values, I keep hearing from you. Service, value, authenticity, connection. These are all things that what we’re not hearing about is, you know, oh, well, I also know all of the market stats for my local area, which I’m sure you do. But what we’re what we’re really talking about is what moves but a lot of people know that like that’s yeah,

Kelsey Charles 42:11
that’s fair, no value to that. I mean, I might not know everything, but people will forgive me when I don’t, because I know, they know, I’ll figure it out. And that’ll put their best interests first. And I’m not necessarily like the nerdiest realtor, but I know what kind of ROI you’re gonna get what you’re gonna buy at any upgrades. But I’m just me like, I’m just myself. And I think that’s ultimately like, why do you connect? Well, and you talk a lot about a lot of principles of sobriety, like connection, surrender, in knowing how to surrender and a business, this cutthroat can be your make or break. I mean, our failure rate is so high, right? And that’s because people feel like they need to know everything. And some of the best Realtors I know. And people would, I would never say, but they call me for advice, like some of the top agents on Wall who were like, hey, Kelsey, what would you do in this situation? Or what are you doing for marketing? And I just tell them, and I’m like, wow, that they would ask me, but that’s so badass that they’re like, because every day I wake up, I realize I know less than I thought, every day is a new learning experience. I get knocked on my ass every single day. Like, I’ll really be thinking, I’m smart. And I never really think I’m smart. I kind of just like, Oh, I’m just lucky to be here. You know, but like, every day is like, Oh, my goodness, I did not know that was coming. And real estate is so evolving, that if you’re not humbling yourself, if you’re not, if you’re not kind of like gaining more knowledge and thinking less of yourself as you go like, it’s almost the opposite way. It should happen. You’re and you’re gonna fall flat on your face and get sued.

D.J. Paris 43:36
I’ve always felt that confidence is overrated. I think. I think confidence is the willingness to be vulnerable. And the willingness to say, This is who I am. This is what I know. This is what I don’t know. And that to me is that takes a lot more confidence to be like, by the way, I’m not good at that. I can’t do that. But I can get a solution for you. But I don’t know that right now.

Kelsey Charles 44:00
Or maybe not. But at least I’m going to tell you like hey, it’d be honest. Yeah, exactly. And no, I really appreciate that. And I’m the same way as far as like, being super confident if I if I interview someone, and they’re like, Oh, I know everything. I’m a consultant, I’m gonna come in change your business. I’m immediately like, Syed, I’m so skeptical. I’m like, oh, you know everything. And you’re gonna come change in my business. And I’m like, I have no interest in hiring you like the kind of people that I bring on or that just like, oh, I don’t know, everything, but like, I think I could learn it in there just a little bit. I like a little bit of apprehension. And that’s when I’m like, okay, yeah, my person, you can come on. I also

D.J. Paris 44:34
love to win when I meet with somebody. And this this comes up all the time, I’m sure for our audience, is when somebody asks you something, the best thing that and you don’t know the answer, the best thing that I would, if I were the home owner, and I’m interviewing people to sell my property, and I have all these listing presentations and I and if I said well, I have this really unusual thing with with my home or my mortgage or whatever. And if they go I don’t know what that is. But I’m going to figure that out. And I’m going to get back to you with an answer. That is, that is as good to me as Oh, I know what that is. And I know how to fix that. Like, that’s good, too. But I love when people are like, I’ve never heard of that before, but they get excited, like, I’m gonna figure this out for you. I’m like, I want that person in my life. Because and I want to say something else. You did a version of that. In something you said it probably, I don’t want to make sure it didn’t skip over our audience’s ears. You were talking about being so busy that sometimes now you get phone calls where you’re like, Hey, Mr. And Mrs. prospect, I can’t call you until 11pm tonight. But But here’s what here’s what she’s doing. Let’s break that down. She didn’t say no problem, I’ll get right back to you and then fail. She said, here’s, here’s what I can do. Here’s what I’m willing to do. Is that okay? And by the way, if it’s not okay, I understand. We live in an immediate, you know, and I I’m saying more than you did, but But you know, we’re talking about this immediacy of feeling like you need to respond immediately, you probably do need to respond immediately, but with the expectation of when the next step is, and you just said it, and it’s just part of kind of your process. But a lot of people could learn from that is to say, Hey, Mr. Mrs. Client, I am so grateful you called me I wish I could call you back right now, unfortunately, the earliest I can call you is x, can we do that? Does that work for you? And that’s really what you did. And I think that I love that there’s nothing worse than leaving a message. And then just going like, I am waiting on a refund for a child, I won’t even say that they’ve become one child. Now. It’s one it’s like a, like a GrubHub kind of thing. And it’s not their fault that I placed an order for food didn’t show up. No big deal. I was very nice about it. I’m like, hey, guys just never came. And it’s been like three days. And I’m like, now I have to go back to them and be like, hey, just FYI. Did you guys gonna like take care of this? Because worst case scenario, I’ll call my credit card company, they’ll refund it, no big deal. But all I really want is for them to say, hey, DJ, give us a week on this. We’re on it. Don’t worry, validate me, validate me and and tell me what the next step is. If you don’t have to solve it right away, just tell me we’re on it. You don’t have to think about this again, don’t worry. If by Friday, it’s not completed, I will reach out to you and blah, blah, blah. This is what we’re talking about customer service as well. And I think this is a customer service job, at least from my perspective, or at least a good chunk of it is. I want to talk also about choosing a firm and I know this was really when we were first booking Kelsey, that was kind of our the the topic that I thought we’d be going into most was like, how do you choose a firm everyone’s you know, there’s so many options and so many different brokerage models. You’ve been, you’ve been now to this is your fourth firm you’re in and you’re happy. And we like real. And we’re super happy that you’re there. And I’m glad that that more firms who have a similar model to exp are now existing. So there’s just more opportunity for people I love that everybody Nihlus spot for everyone, I would love for you to give any sort of advice you have to our audience about how to select a firm, and maybe questions to ask or things to look for, and maybe things to look out for.

Kelsey Charles 48:20
Okay, so I’ve actually made a YouTube video on this. And it’s probably going to be the last thing that you would think I would say, as I would love to recruit love to have you at my brokerage. But my number one thing when you’re looking at a brokerage is you’re and you’re a new agent is like the split is so irrelevant. I mean, you can argue all day, like, Hey, I’m worth this much more present. But if you’re doing no deals, doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Yeah. So that’s so many new agents are like, Oh, what’s your split? They come to me like, oh, Kelsey, I want to be on your team. Like, what’s your split? I’m like, Excuse me, we’re having the wrong conversation. Like, what are you going to bring to me because I’ve proven I can do this right? On my own. I don’t necessarily need to grow, I want to grow and I want to spread my mission. And I want you know, my team to cover all of why, right? But it never starts with like, Hey, I’m so good at video, I can completely take over your social media, I can do this for you and all for free. Just because I want to learn from you.

D.J. Paris 49:19
Right away, by the way, is that like your dream, your fantasy that somebody? It would be my fantasy. Somebody calls me up and says, Hey, I like what you guys are doing. I think I can add value. By the way, this is how you can prospect you can prospect the exact same way. Hey, I saw you just got a promotion at your company, Mr. or Mrs. So and so on LinkedIn. And I don’t know if you’re thinking of upgrading or moving but boy, I just wanted to say congrats. Keep up the great work. I would love to chat. We’re talking about adding value. And so absolutely. You just said something so powerful. So a lot of times people will say well, when you’re going out interviewing here are the questions. It’s actually the thing I asked you to say is what questions you’re starting with. You’re starting from a different perspective and In a much stronger position, and I used to say this to people who were in the normal corporate world, when they would say, because I’ve recruited over, I don’t know, 1500 agents or whatever that doesn’t mean I’m know all that much about recruiting other than recruiting realtors. But in the in the non realtor world what I used to tell people who are looking for jobs is go into a job and say, here’s what I think I can do for you. Does this match with what you’re looking for? And is opposed to? Here are the qualities I have here is you know, blah, blah, blah, my background? It’s

Kelsey Charles 50:28
Oh, yeah, you can tell me about your qualities. Like it means nothing to me, you know, that show me your qualities? Like, who are you? Are we going to like hanging out with you? What are you going to bring to us? And that’s what I did when I was new. And I would go to top producers, and I’m like, Hey, I’m Kelsey Charles, you have no idea who I am. But I want to dedicate 100 hours a week for free to your business. What can I do for you? Can I show houses? Can I hold your open houses, I was in five open houses a week, and like, five to seven, nobody even came. But I was just trying, right? Putting a sign up? Who’s gonna come by? And I would go to older agents and say, Hey, I know you’re super successful. You’re doing all these deals? Can I help you set up a social media and a Facebook presence? And you just let me come on a listing appointment and teach me what will you do? And that’s exactly what I did. And I was like, seriously, no catch, like, don’t pay me anything. Like I want nothing. I’m just gonna come show up every single day like, I will be your assistant, I’ll bring the coffee. I mean, no matter what you need, just like, let me come. And that’s how I got my start. And I actually learned about that from a blogger, his name is Nate green, and he’s a fitness blogger. And he got his editorial in men’s health by writing the editor everyday and saying, Hey, how can I get your job, bro? Like, these are the things I’m good at. And I mean that maybe that’s a very fresh approach. That’s not like what I did at all. But I love what you’re saying like, hey, does this match? What can I bring to your company? I just do not appreciate it. I don’t think anyone appreciates it when you come and say, hey, what can you do for me? I’m like, Well, you came to me. So don’t come to me with like, what the 10 things like I can do for you. Because what if I’m not even hiring at the moment, I really want you to show me that you have some interest in me. And you’re not shopping like five different companies. Because you know, you like how St. Charles team is different, like our dynamic. My mission. It’s not like so many of these big brokerages, like, like we’re very niche, very unique. I have like a mission that I want to create. And there’s a lot of growth for that right person. But if they’re starting out with a mindset of the opposite of growth, like what’s the most I can get at for the least amount of work? That immediately is just like such a turn off to me?

D.J. Paris 52:31
Yeah. Yeah, it is. And I’m curious. So it’s so funny, because on the recruiting side of this business, recruiting agents, it’s often a Okay, well, what do you offer? Meaning? What is your firm provide? What you know, splits leads, like we talked about leads for a second? Yeah, what shouldn’t shouldn’t agent, what is your opinion about when you’re interviewing firms, the importance of a firm providing leads,

Kelsey Charles 52:58
go get your own leads, like anyone that’s gonna teach you how to get leads, they’re gonna be the worst leads, they’re gonna keep you dependent. Your job as a salesperson is to get leads, okay. And if you’re getting leads, your value goes down so much. I mean, anyone can close a lead someone who’s like, hey, I want to buy a house. Sure, learn the humps, and make a million dollars, like learn to eat what you kill that the salespersons job that That’s crazy to me, like, No, I’m not gonna hand you all your leads on a silver platter, I will teach you how to do it, I’ll teach you how to fish. I’ll teach you how to speak to people and market is do it like me, but me feeding you leaves a short time. And when the market changes, those aren’t going to be as easy to buy, they’re going to be much more expensive, they’re going to be much more flaky. Let me teach you how to build a business. And I think there’s 1000 times more value in that.

D.J. Paris 53:46
Yeah, and also, there’s just a lot of lying that goes on with leads a lot of promises that don’t end up happening

Kelsey Charles 53:52
No, and leads lie, they’ll lead to your company’s gonna give you all the leads, and then you call and you’re like, Oh, hey, I saw you click on this. And we’re like, No, I didn’t like who are you? Why are you calling me? There’s so many better ways. And I can teach you and I teach agents for free, like, call me hit me up on social media. I’ll spend a couple hours with you on a call, we’ll get you a new system. And no, do not rely on a brokerage or team for leads. So

D.J. Paris 54:16
I could not agree with you more I 100% on the same page.

Kelsey Charles 54:21
I’m pretty strong. So I’m sure I’m glad that you do. Okay. No, I

D.J. Paris 54:25
think you’re speaking your truth. And I think your truth lines with aligns with mine. And I’m sure there are firms that provide great leads and you can have a good career I guess doing that but 99% of firms that I’m aware of really that’s probably not the way you’re going to find success by by someone else’s leads if you want to purchase leads on your own and you want to do your own thing great. Or, you know, generate your own even better. Let’s talk a little bit about what what the role of a brokerage brokerage is. So if it’s not leads, if splits and all of those things are relative big So what should people be looking for when they’re trying to figure out which firms the right match?

Kelsey Charles 55:05
So for me, personally, I’m not looking for something in the dark ages, I don’t want to see. And I don’t really care about slits as new agent, whatever, go get some deals, get some experience and you like any job start to negotiate as you go on, but prove your value first. But I’m looking for technology. Or do they have bundled discounts? Because they do have this buying power? Can they get me time for like, $25 a month, my brokerage does offer that that’s 500 bucks a month, anywhere else? You’re looking right? So I have time, which is awesome. I have an artificial intelligence chatbot that talks to everyone that comes to my site. It sets appointments, there’s always someone there on my site. And that’s because real has created with this partnership, which is what is the back end support, like Okay, so when I was at Coldwell Banker, I couldn’t log into a virtual workplace and talk to anyone in my company that you can do that with exp, you can do that with real, the thing that overwhelmed me a little bit with exp was the whole virtual world. And then there’s okay, there’s this workplace and Hey, you, if you’re not selling, it’s your fault. But it’s like information overload. That’s what exp felt like to me. So I wanted to support new producers, but they’re like, where do I start? Like, how do I navigate this abyss? All the information, sometimes it’s too much information. And that’s why I prefer real, it’s a little simpler. I look for tech forward, what are the apps like? Like I said, the backend systems that not even just leave them like on the agent side? Is it tracking my Commission’s like, my 1090 died, and can I get support within the app, I can go right into a chat and have them come into my computer and fix the problem. Through Time through the real back end app. I’m buying stock because exp made me like a nice six figure amount just being invested in the company. I see that real has this huge potential, they have this big vision, they’re acquiring escrow companies, they are wanting to change the face of real estate. And we are like, everyone has a different vision, right. But I really believe in what real is and what they’re trying to be in, I’m fine if they worked in Kinkos, because, well, they work some kinks out, because I’m gonna benefit like I have, like 30,000 shares, if that goes up just a little bit my failure failure. I’m a millionaire, you know, and that was the story for a lot of people at EXP and you know, I don’t even know if I’m allowed to talk about that. So real sorry, if I wasn’t supposed to. I don’t know Not even you I my company, I think they tell you not to like use that to recruit. But that’s not the recruiting that’s just sharing like, Okay, that’s a benefit to me. And we have this app that we can go in the backend of and if we want, they use artificial intelligence to determine whether or not we can get our payment. So if I, if I haven’t sold for a couple months, pretty rare. But let’s say I have 10 pending escrows. I can click in the app. Artificial Intelligence determines how likely it is to close they have knows they know I’ve closed a lot of deals, this one’s falling out. But sometimes it I can get my commission straight through the app like months earlier. Closing deadline. And I think that’s huge. Because cash flow is the biggest problem with even producers, right? We have a lot of expenses. It’s hard to manage it just having that one thing opened up to me change my business a

D.J. Paris 58:11
lot. Yeah, I’m a part owner and a commission Advanced Business because yeah, and really we just offered internally for our agents, but because the cash flow is so challenging,

Kelsey Charles 58:23
and I haven’t noticed it and she would like to be paid whether or not I’m paid because she doesn’t make as much as me, you know what I mean? So I’m like, Okay, well, let’s figure this out. And you know, where I come from, I didn’t learn to like save money or budget, I have no business background. So I’m kind of figuring this out as I go. I don’t want anyone to suffer, you know, because of like me not having perfect, like accounting or bookkeeping skills. That’s helpful for me. I think real is gonna be super dope. I think it’s gonna blow up. And just seeing the people that came to the company from exp different brokerages. Maybe they weren’t feeling exp, but really, really spoke to them. I love the founder. He like comments and likes myself on social media. He’s like, Oh, hey, Kelsey, killin it. And hi, I’m like, How do you know who I am? Like, that’s just so cool, right? So I’ve been doing a lot of PR recently to bring attention to real because the more legitimacy it has a better idea. And no one’s heard of real yet, at least in why they’re like, Oh, you’re with real broker? And I was like, Yeah, I know. You’ll you’ll know as soon away.

D.J. Paris 59:22
I want to really conclude this with a difficult question. So I’m going to push you a little bit. Because in and I think you’re the first person I will ask this question to, and you’re the best person to ask this question to. Where are you struggling right now? You’ve had a tremendous success. You came from this really adverse sort of early life. You’ve now you’re crushing it in real estate, you’re authentic. You’re obviously doing well. What what are the struggles of a $25 million producer right now?

Kelsey Charles 59:58
Okay, so I’ve been are solid like growing too fast. And as awesome as that looks on paper, like I said, I do miss those calls. I mean, I get hundreds of texts a day, my assistant tries to wade through the best we can, but we do lose people. I mean, we lose opportunities, because my tic TOCs, blowing up like my Facebook Messenger, like, all of these avenues that are great to get clients, once you kind of like, become the go to person, you just lose people. And I’ve had people delete me on Facebook, like, oh, Kelsey, Charles doesn’t care about me. She didn’t respond to my message. And I’m like, Oh, my God, yes, I do. You did try hard enough to get through my wall, you know what I mean? Like, come to my assistant, my phone numbers right on there, I cannot reply to every Facebook message. And I’m sorry for that. And I really have tried to have like a virtual assistant handle it. But we give so much spam, that we’re literally then paying to wade through spam. So that’s why if you go to my Facebook page, it says please, PM, please DM me at this number before you pm me on Facebook, because it’s very unlikely that I will see it. And those clients that do get through that they’re like, Hey, I’ve been watching you for months, I’ve been messaging you on Facebook, and nothing will you please consult talk to me. And I’m like, Thank you for like getting through my processes. And farther down my funnel, you’re showing me you’re pretty serious. And as much as I would like to engage with everyone, I can’t number one. And then number two is I have no business background. So I’m not good at like firing people, they say you should hire slow fire fast. Like, I’m not going to fire someone unless they like, punch me in the face and steal my money. I don’t know, you know what I mean? Like it would take a lot, I’m going to try to find a role for them a way for us to work better together. But that’s like my social work background. And the way that I see conflict resolution is a lot different than a business person does, right. So that creating like other versions of me, can’t, I thought that was the thing that you could do. But like there’s one you and not everyone wants to be you know, everyone wants to work 100 hours a week, they don’t have this vision, like you can do talk up your mission statement all you want. But some people really just want to have a life. You know, they’re like, I want to go surf on the weekends, especially in Hawaii. Like they don’t want to work like me. So learning to accept that. And then learning to manage the money. Like you think it’s cool to make $600,000 a year until you never have and you’re like oh shit, I literally spent all of it. Every course that person told me to buy I did it. I spent like 300 grand one year on like, personal development that maybe helps. I mean, maybe it did it, I don’t know. But as far as like getting ahead, like I’ve not heard, I still feel like I’m just kind of figuring it out. And that some of that it’s gonna be wasted revenue. But there’s no clear path, like for business for real estate, and everyone has a different idea. And they all want you to pay $20,000 to find out what that looks like. So it’s like a lot of trial and error and getting to know yourself and who you are as a business owner. And then eventually, like, what is success for you? Like, a lot of people would say I’m successful, like, they’re like, Okay, you’re rolling in like 25 million a year. I mean, obviously just unsold volume, you should be doing well. But I’m like, that’s not afraid me. Like, I want to have this income. I want to affect these people’s lives. And I want to turn my phone off and five. So those

D.J. Paris 1:03:09
and and you’re not finished yet. And, and and maybe you never maybe you never will be Yeah, I

Unknown Speaker 1:03:17
don’t know if you’re finished. Yeah. But the good news

D.J. Paris 1:03:21
is the problems don’t stop, but they’re a better quality of problem, right? So there used to be the problem of like, oh my gosh, I’m going into withdrawal. What do I do? How do I score methadone, Suboxone or whatever? And then how do I just stay alive? And normal to now it’s like, I still have problems. And I think that’s another really important thing is is your problems never go away? They just hopefully get a little bit of a higher quality of problem.

Kelsey Charles 1:03:54
Yeah, totally. No one that makes sense. And especially like bringing that to recovery is like, Okay, you’re always gonna have problems but like, at what level are you content? And I don’t know that I found that or if I’ll ever be content, but I’ve so to be completely honest, like I don’t have that peace in my life. Like I don’t have that Zen. Like a lot of people have like I don’t eat Okay, good. Because it’s I don’t know if that’s an added thing. I’m like always like chicken brain like a hamster. I don’t know. I’d love to have that someday and that means more to me than making $20 million. Me too. That might be something we never have and just have to be

D.J. Paris 1:04:27
okay with. Yeah, I’m to the point now where where I’m thinking like I’m very self critical and so I I’d never think I’m doing well even though you know and you might maybe you tell Yeah, you’re doing so well I don’t know if I’m killing it but but I’m certainly I’m certainly had some level of you know, a lot of people like are shown or grateful for that. And maybe I’ll always just feel a little bit less than and maybe that’s okay, as long as I have community and people to help prop me up. When I’m when I’m struggling. Maybe it’s okay to fall apart. And I think you know, you are, I think what really is coming through for me in this conversation is is this will this, this courage to be vulnerable? And and I almost think, not that I’m any sort of psychological expert. But if we look at the 12 step programs that exist, and they’re not just for addiction, they’re for lots of lots of instances of things that people struggle with. The big thing in there is surrender. Being finding community, finding supportive people who say I Oh, I’ve been where you are I, I love you the way you are, because I am you. And I think that’s one thing in real estate, you don’t have to feel alone, I guess is maybe the best part of the 12 step programs is this, this idea that we’re not alone, and there’s people that care, and you clearly care about your clients, you care about your co workers, you care about yourself, and you’ve taken steps to continue to increase the quality of your life. And I honor you, I am so impressed. Not that you need me to be impressed. And it’s not. Again, I’m hopefully that doesn’t come off as patronizing because you’re an incredible success. But I am, I am humbled by by your willingness to be vulnerable and say difficult things. Because there is a place for our own individuality within our real estate business, there’s a place for us to say, This is who I am, this is what I do. This is what I’m good at, here’s what I’m not good at it. Well, everyone has different boundaries around what they want to reveal. But this idea that you don’t have to go it alone is really important to find, find, you know, you know, I, as a marketer, I’m thinking, I’m always thinking like, gosh, you should start some sort of addict. You know, like group of Realtors, where you but but of course, that’s, you know, that’s why I love

Kelsey Charles 1:07:04
that. That’s what I wanted to do. So that next coming next is I want to open a sober living home and create like a sober living brand, where I connect all of the women with addicts, but successful, right, so like in AAA, but my own spin on it, because a wasn’t my thing. I don’t like to sit in rooms, they’re super boring to me. I don’t like all the attention. I’m like, oh, and everyone told me like, you won’t get sober that way. I was like, okay, like anything, I’m gonna find a way just whatever, leave me alone, I will find it. Right. And maybe that’s why I don’t have my serenity or my peace or whatever. But yeah, that’s my next thing is I want to find people like me, who think you know, knock on wood, haven’t committed felonies or anything. And that that’s my saving grace is like I did, but I didn’t get caught in if I had done I wouldn’t have the life I do today. But I think there’s opportunities for people in addiction to get the right people in their life, maybe console why? Which breaks them away from their living environment. Sure. And then I want to show them the way and I bet we’ll have like a huge success. Right? Yeah, totally.

D.J. Paris 1:08:06
Yeah, boy, I am so excited to continue to follow. You know what? Yes,

Kelsey Charles 1:08:12
yes. I hope we’re friends. And we stay in touch. And I wouldn’t really would like to keep in touch.

D.J. Paris 1:08:16
I yeah, I certainly hope so. I will, I will, I will hope to continue to learn more about what you’re up to, because I’m just so so honored and humbled by it. So on behalf of our audience, thank you. This was a long, a long conversation, but hopefully a very poignant conversation. And I think we provided a lot of value to our audience. So thank you, Kelsey, on behalf of the audience, for your willingness to share some hard things, and also to give some really great practical advice along the way. I mean, this really was kind of the full package and, and, and also just thank you for showing where they say like the Oliver Cromwell, story, warts and all, paint me with my warts and all right, like I this is, this is who I am. These are my battle scars. And we all have them in our own little way. And so on behalf of Kelsey and myself, we also want to thank our audience for sticking around to the end of this podcast, we honor you, you’re the reason that we keep doing this. And if you could just do speaking directly to the audience. Now, if you could help us in two ways that would be wonderful one is just tell a friend, tell somebody who needs to hear Kelsey story, send them a link to our websites, probably the easiest way just haven’t go to keeping it real pod.com Or, you know, there’s a lot of other ways you can find our show. You can just subscribe to keeping it real as well on any podcast app, but also so tell a friend and then please leave us a review. Let us know what you think of the show. This helps us get better helps us improve and also helps us get more in front of more eyeballs and ears. So thank you on behalf of all of us at the show with Kelsey and our audience. Thanks to everyone for helping make this a Fun show to do. Kelsey, thank you. And congratulations on your success. You’re a true inspiration to me. And I am excited to to build a friendship.

Kelsey Charles 1:10:10
Yes, please add me on Facebook. And if you ever want to do like a follow up or anything I’m happy to

D.J. Paris 1:10:15
and everyone should go check out Kelly’s website, which is Kelsey Charles homes.com. Hey, ELS, ey, Charles like, and then homes plural. Kelsey Charles homes.com. Link is in the show notes as well as her Instagram handle, which is Realtor in Hawaii. She’s amazing. She’s She’s honest, she’s vulnerable, and she’s very good at her job. So please reach out to her with any questions around marketing. Just any sort of realtor advice. She is a super generous kind person and wants to help so Kelsey, thank you so much, and we will see everybody You’re welcome. And we’ll see everyone on the next episode.

Kelsey Charles 1:10:53
I will talk to you soon.

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