Why I Still Practice Role-Playing Every Day • Kari Kohler

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Kari Kohler from Coldwell Banker talks extensively on the importance of coaching for real estate agents. She believes that coaching is more important for her now that she’s a top 1% producer than it was when she started. Kari also discusses the important of systems and how efficient and effective processes make it possible for her team to continue functioning at the highest possible level.

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

Kari Kohler can be reached at 630-673-4586 and KariKohler@TheKohlerGroup.com


D.J. Paris 0:00
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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 going to be speaking with Cari Kohler. Before we get to Khari. Couple of quick announcements first, we just launched our new website, we completely redesigned it from the ground up. After four years, it was time for a facelift and an upgrade. And I’m actually really proud of it. There’s a couple of things to mention, because most of our listeners never visit our website, they just subscribe to our podcast on a podcast app. And that’s awesome. And thank you for that. If you visit our website, there’s a couple things you may want to visit for, which is number one, it’s just looks a lot better. It’s easier to navigate, you can share episodes easier. But probably the coolest feature is now let’s say you’re really into one of our monthly series like the Monday market minute with Carrie McCormick and you want to just listen to all of those or the social bootcamp with gogo or Ryan de April’s coaching moments, you can now scroll to the bottom of the homepage and and actually look for just those particular shows. And all the episodes are right there. So we thought that was kind of a nice upgrade. Again, follow us on Facebook. I’m sorry. Also follow us on Facebook. But before you do that, check out our website. Let us know what you think. And if you see any bugs, you have to let us know because there’s probably a few bugs, but the websites keeping it real pod.com And then also follow us on Facebook facebook.com forward slash keeping it real guys thanks for all the continued support. Thanks for sharing this podcast with another real estate agent who could benefit from listening to these top 1% interviews and now on to our interview with Corey Kohler.

Today on the show we have Corey Kohler from the Kohler group at Coldwell Banker. cardi has over 14 years of experience selling real estate she has closed and this is so impressive, over 180 million in transactions. She has also been trained and coached by the mike ferry organization. She has exceptional exceptional market knowledge and intensely focused on her customer satisfaction. She currently manages a five member team. She’s been voted a top five star agent by Chicago magazine 2018 And last year, also Kane county top agent award, same 2018 And last year. She’s a Top Producing Team at Coldwell Banker Residential from 2018 through this year, and she’s part of Coldwell bankers President’s Club, which is the top 2% of producing agents in her area. She’s an absolute superstar. We’re thrilled to have her by the way before we before I let her speak her real estate goal I love this because we’ve been doing this for four years we have 160 some episodes nobody’s ever told me their real estate goals. I love that car is looking to open two expansion teams across the country, which is really exciting. Please visit Khari and her team at the Kohler group.com That’s Kohle are the Kohler group.com and cardi Welcome to the show.

Kari Kohler 4:13
Thank you so much for having me.

D.J. Paris 4:15
Well, we are we are really thrilled to have you you’ve been recommended by many of our guests, we always ask our guests at the end after their episode goes live. Who should we be talking to you next? Next and your name has come up multiple times. So we’re really got your so you have a lot of people that that are interested in hearing from you as well. But thanks for being on our show. And I want to mention at the very beginning that if you like what Khari is saying in this episode and you’re an agent in the Chicagoland area that’s maybe looking to join a team her group is is is growing, so please consider reaching out to her if you think it might be a good fit for both of you. I always forget to mention that at the beginning so I wanted to make sure to make a point of that but car Rick, tell us a little bit about how you got started. You’ve been in real estate for, you know, over 14 years. So love to hear about how you how you got into real estate.

Kari Kohler 5:07
Well, thank you for asking when my youngest son went to kindergarten, I decided that it was time to go back to work. And I decided to get my real estate license because I’ve always had a very strong interest in business and I graduated with a business degree. Prior to having children I was a teacher and then took a break to help the kids. And then went back when my youngest was in kindergarten, and got my license. I started at REMAX and I joined the mike ferry organization that day, it might even been the day before I got my license that I joined the mike ferry organization, because I knew how essential it was to have a coach especially I grew up in a family of business people yet, you know, I have been a teacher. So I was outside of the world of business. So I wanted to make sure I had the best guidance in the industry. So I went with the mike ferry organization,

D.J. Paris 6:04
when I first started recruiting, and I’ve not been a producing agent ever, but I actually also was part of Mike ferries training, they do a recruiting coaching thing. And it was it was fun. And the reason why I chose Mike ferry and he’s he’s a very polarizing figure, right? Like you love Mike ferry, or you’re like that is not me, because that’s the beauty of different coaching systems is you pick the one that you fit with boat, and I liked the mike ferry one because it was real discipline. And it was like you’re gonna do this every day. And I went, I love that because I need to be told what to do. So I loved it. And I had tremendous success with it. And I know agents who have who have also trained under Mike, under Mike are his coaches have had tremendous success. So it he’s been around forever. And he’s so good.

Kari Kohler 6:56
Yes, and you’re exactly right. It’s a it is a simple formula, but it is challenging to implement. So that’s what makes it a great training organization. They’re very, very consistent. And it’s a incredible foundation and place to launch your career.

D.J. Paris 7:16
Yeah, and you know, how essential I’d love to talk about coaching, and I know we’re jumping around a bit, but how important is coaching to you know, you even now, like you’re this amazing success, you you guys are top one, your one per top 1% producer is coaching still is as important as it was when he started.

Kari Kohler 7:34
It’s probably more important, although I thought it was critically important when I first started, but it has just just stayed such an integral part of my career. And the reason is because sometimes a coach can make, you know, a huge change, change you you know, one ad and you have a whole new world in front of you. And sometimes it’s just this little tiny little tweak that they do that creates another $200,000 in income and you’re helping so many more families achieve their real estate goals. I mean, it’s amazing. I don’t ever see myself outside of coaching, because there is always room for improvement. And I mean, I feel blessed that I have 14 years of experience, but I honestly just feel like I’m just beginning.

D.J. Paris 8:20
Yeah, well, that’s a great attitude to have. Because it probably means you’re always learning.

Kari Kohler 8:24
I’m always learning.

D.J. Paris 8:28
Well, tell us about it. So So you got started 14 years ago, you immediately jumped into coaching. And also I know there’s a lot of people listening who you have gone to, you know, Mike ferries website, they’ve looked into coaching or Tom Ferry, his son or Brian Buffini, there’s a lot of ninja selling. There’s a lot of different training and coaching systems, all of which are great for certain types of people. But a lot of times, you know, agents go, oh, gosh, it’s so expensive. And, of course, it is expensive. However, I imagine you probably saw it as an investment.

Kari Kohler 9:00
Yes, well, you know, my friends and I that I network with always say it’s expensive not to have a coach. That’s right. Because again, it’s that little tiny tweak that you make. It’s the wrong phrase that you say to a seller or a buyer or, you know, you say something wrong on a video. I mean, it messes up your career. I mean, you know, when you think of how much money we get paid in real estate, it’s a lot. You know, you’re my average commission check is approximately between eight and $10,000. If I say the wrong thing, I look at it as I just lost $10,000 It cost me $1,000 a month to have a coach. So the investment I must make and myself.

D.J. Paris 9:42
Yeah, and even if all coaching ever did was help you get one additional sale every three months, which of course it’s going to do way more than that. But even if it was one sale every three or four months, it’s still absolutely more than pays for itself.

Kari Kohler 9:57
Yes, and you’re still correct in saying different personnel All these styles, you know, do better with different coaching organizations. You know, I spend a lot of time when I’m relaxing in the evening, when that finally happens, just going through YouTube and listening to different coaches, there’s so much available at our fingertips for free. So if for some reason you’re brand new agent, and that just the economics don’t allow you to get a coach at this very moment, just get on YouTube and find a person a coach that you like, and you like what they say and follow them.

D.J. Paris 10:32
And I am I am completely agnostic. As far as what coaching system works the best, they’re all great. My opinion, I don’t have a personal favorite, because I’m not out there producing. But I will say one huge thing about Mike ferry and maybe other systems do this, but you were talking about for free. And I imagine he still has this, he gives away so much great content. I mean, he literally has dozens and dozens of scripts for free on his website. So if anyone’s just wondering, like, okay, maybe you can’t make the investment today, just go on the mike ferry website and download some of the resources that are available for free. It’s, it’s actually pretty impressive and generous. So I’m probably sounds like I’m doing a commercial for Mike ferry, and I’m not, but they really have great, great resources. So

Kari Kohler 11:19
they really do. And the one quick thing that I want to say is so many people have helped me throughout my career, and they still do so reach out to me too, because I’d love to help you like, you know, just match your personality style with a coaching system. That would be good.

D.J. Paris 11:34
So yeah, I wanted to ask about about systems. Right. So you just mentioned having I know, this is a big passion of yours is to develop systems, can you talk a little bit more about the importance of systems and what you’ve done in your business to help, you know, just streamline you know, different processes?

Kari Kohler 11:52
Well, I will tell you a flaw in my business to start off with. So you know, we’ve mentioned 14 years of experience, well, you’re 13 is when I decided to start implementing systems, which I’m not happy with myself, but that kind of thing happens.

D.J. Paris 12:11
How dare you be imperfect?

Kari Kohler 12:14
You know, I’m so happy though. So now that I’m implementing systems, and it takes time, when you have, you know, we run a big business now. So now implementing the system is very complicated, because you have to pull 40 listings into it. And you’ve got checklists that are a mile long. So you know, you have to you when you’re deciding to implement systems, you have to block out time to do it. And you can have your assistance and your team help you with it a great deal. But if you’re the leader of the team, you do have to get your hands dirty, and get into the systems and try to understand them and make sure you’re making the right choices. The bottom line is the systems help you leverage and then therefore you can split once you have them up and running, then you can spend your time doing what what my first coach called Green time, which is making money and servicing clients, and you’re not you know, working on closing dates and contract paperwork and lock boxes, you have a system in place, and you want your system to be so airtight, your checklists and your software that’s running it and your your team, your administrative assistants, your transaction coordinators, you want them to understand it so well that if they happen to need to go on vacation for a week, you can bring a substitute in and have them just go through the checklist so that it can bottom line is it can run without you. And if your assistant needs to be away for two weeks, it can even run without your assistant when you have checklists and systems that are so airtight.

D.J. Paris 13:55
Yeah, that’s a really good point. And for even for some of us that are listening that saying well I don’t I don’t have an assistant I don’t really have a team, I will tell you that you might be closer to than you think especially even if you’re newer and your resources are limited to develop teams to help you is there are virtual assistants available worldwide that are already trained in what you need them to do, they’re typically way more affordable than you might expect. And if you find yourself as a realtor going I am really good at x and I’m maybe I’m struggling with why you know why Z etc. A lot of times it just makes sense financially to make that investment in having a system obviously having systems but even having outside help for example we have agents even at our firm who are great at the face to face obviously client side of it the people side of it but they’re terrible at their paperwork side and they and we finally said hey, stop struggling with this hire avert you know, we can help them with some things but we’re like if you really want somebody’s just to do it all for you. It’s like, it might be 100 or $200. For, you know, to hire someone for this particular, like, that’s absolutely worth it. So you can focus on on, you know, the part that you know, the green time, as you were saying, yes,

Kari Kohler 15:14
it’s, it’s so true. And it’s just like we were talking about coaching, you can’t afford not to do it. Many times, you can’t afford not to hire that assistant, whether they’re part time or full time or a virtual assistant, you know, I would assume that, like you said, they’re trained, they’re ready to, as my coach calls it kind of parachute in and clean up for you. Yeah, and,

D.J. Paris 15:37
you know, I imagine that a lot of our, you know, a lot of our listeners are also probably, you know, controlling, and I don’t mean that in a negative way, but in a, this is my business, I know how to do things. And I, it’s, it’s challenging to relinquish some control to someone else. But if you train them, and if you, if you systematize, the training, and they have processes, like you were mentioning checklists, they’re largely going to, you know, want to do a good job, and it’ll just be so much it. Same thing with this podcast, I did it all by myself for three and a half years. And I was driving myself crazy with all the work it takes to do it. And finally, I said, I have to hire somebody. And I’ve hired somebody. And it was very difficult for me to relinquish some of the duties because I thought, I’m the only one that can do this. No one else can do this, which is the most insane thought. And now we’ve done an extra 30 episodes, in the last four months that I wouldn’t have got to simply because I have somebody on my team, who who’s able to do all the work that is challenging for me. So that’s a great, great point, Carrie. I also want to I want to learn more about about you and your team, you guys are out in the western suburbs of Chicago, you focus prominently in that area, although I’m sure you have listings all over. But I’d love to hear more about so. So all the way back to when you first got started. So you started working with a coach, because again, a lot of our listeners may be newer to the business, or they’re not quite at your level yet of production. And I’m just curious on what was the what was the the what were the big Act or the daily activities that you were doing that ultimately led you to the success? You know, you now have? Was there certain disciplines that you were developing back then that eventually paid off? I’m just curious if how that all started? Yes, well,

Kari Kohler 17:26
it is just what you mentioned about the mike ferry organization, they teach you discipline, they have a program that you follow, and if you follow, you will make money. So I learned right out of the gate, you get to the office at 7am. You start roleplaying at 730. And you prospect in the very beginning I prospected, from eight until 10. Now I prospect at least in from eight until 11. And I was talking to one of my former coaches earlier this morning, and I did admit this may not I may not want to advise it. But it does work very well. For my personality. I’ve moved my roleplay to between 11 and 1130. And the reason is because I’m so high strong that when I get to the office in the morning, from seven to eight, I need to like close up okay, I just left home. That’s That’s all taken care of. Now I need 45 minutes to get in my work mind, get some positive things on the you know, on YouTube while I’m gathering my notes for the day and getting ready for my scripts. So and then if there’s like any last minute thing that I have to take care of that didn’t get taken care of the night before. I need to get that out of my way so I can clear my head for prospecting. Mike says that you should prospect from seven Yeah. And that prospect roleplay from 730 to eight. And so that’s my little tweak in the system. But I am literally religious about prospecting I, I have to make money, you know, I have no choice. I like to make money. I enjoy success. I enjoy working with people. So it’s just like, you know, it’s kind of a strange analysis, but it’s like brushing my teeth, like I have to prospect Monday through Friday.

D.J. Paris 19:16
I was I was like what Brian Buffini had had a similar thought about he would call winning the day and one of his criteria is did you you know, look, you have to service your existing clients and that’s probably the bulk of the day because that’s what clients are need. But that’s not prospecting, right? That’s just doing your customer service and yes job. But he would say if you did that for seven or eight hours a day, it’ll feel like you you accomplished a lot and you did but did you move your business forward? The answer is not really. You didn’t prospect because you got caught up in in servicing and not that you shouldn’t service your clients. Of course you have to, but to make sure you carve out time ever Single Day, I know Mike ferry is big on that, too, is having that time blocking and say no matter what we are going to do, I am prospecting from this time to this time, and it just never changes. And that is it’s so easy to get caught up in, oh, my clients need X, Y, and Z. And I’m just going to focus on that because it’s urgent, and it’s important. And then all of a sudden, now it’s seven or eight o’clock, and I go, Oh, I didn’t do any prospecting.

Kari Kohler 20:25
Yes. And people may be looking at us right now and saying, you know, you can’t prospect every day of your life Monday through Friday. And they are right. So what we’ve been advised to do is at the beginning of the month, take a calendar and put it up in front of you. You know, let’s take July 4, for an example. Yeah, I think it falls on a Saturday this year. But you know, the majority of us Americans go on vacation that week. So you block it out, and you say to yourself, that’s the week I’m not doing it. Or if you say you know, I’m going on the field trip with my son on Friday, the 12, then that’s a day where you’re not doing it, you don’t have to beat yourself up, you will have planned for it. So I know it seems like well, I can’t do that every day. Well at least take a calendar and plan. And then that way, when you are on that field trip or you are taking a day for yourself, you don’t feel guilty. That’s not something I did in the beginning. And that’s something I highly recommend. I walked around feeling guilty for 10 years if I missed a prospecting day, but you shouldn’t do that you should allocate your prospecting time at the beginning of the month. Another amazing time to prospect is Sunday, late afternoon like from you know, four to six. Most people especially when it’s not laid out until nine o’clock they’re home, and they answer the phone. So if you miss a Friday, you could plug it into a Saturday or Sunday, excuse me or Saturday for that matter.

D.J. Paris 21:54
Yeah, it’s it’s, it’s such a such a great point. And you know, for everyone listening, it’s like, what they go, oh, gosh, I don’t have time. It’s like you need to make time, make at least an hour or more a day for finding new people that do not know you yet. Or who or you know, you’re calling existing clients and reminding them that you know, you’re always open for referrals or whatever it is to find new people I interviewed when I first started this this, this the show this is probably four years ago, I interviewed one of the top teams from Keller Williams here in the city, then and they’ve been about in business as long as you have as the the Weinberg Choi team. And I asked Josh Weinberg, I said, What are your this is I don’t ask this question anymore. Because I learned my lesson from from Josh by said, What were what are your production goals this year? He goes, Yeah, we don’t think about that. And he was serious. I said, What do you mean, you don’t think about your production goals. He goes, the only metric we look at is his partner, Tommy. He said Tommy’s job. I mean, aside from all the other things he does, but his main job, the thing that drives his their production is prospecting. And so he said, even though they’ve been doing this, you know, that 15 years or so, every day, he’s got to meet two people that he has not met before, and somehow say, Oh, by the way, if you ever need help, you know, and, and I said, That’s it. And he goes, that’s the only metric we look at, yeah, do that every day. We’re gonna hit whatever goals we need to hit. That’s not it’s like the moment we stop doing that everything falls apart. Yes,

Kari Kohler 23:20
my, my, I learned this phrase, and I use it nearly every day is a contact sport. You have to make contacts.

D.J. Paris 23:29
Absolutely. Let’s talk about challenges too. Because, look, you know, you’re a top producer. But it’s not like, oh, everything’s nice and easy. And you don’t have any problems. In fact, as you get more successful, the bigger the problems can can happen. And certainly, now you’re responsible for an entire team and you have more responsibility. So I would love to know, and I’m sure it’s a struggle for anyone who who’s managing at your level and also producing at your level. How do you work it all in? How do you find time for everything?

Kari Kohler 23:59
Well, um, so challenges, as you said, are so bright, you know, I kind of just use the simple phrase like the truck fell over, like we supplied the truck with this beautiful product and it started driving down the street and you know, tipped over. And then there’s the challenge. How do we pick it up? How do we deliver it in time? When I first got my license, which was approximately 2006 Though the financial markets were falling to pieces, and the only thing that was available was short sales. So not only did I need to like learn business and learn how to get contract signed and learn contracts, I needed to navigate how to do short sales. So you have a challenge in front of you. And you think this fence looks like it’s impossible to jump but it’s not. Nothing is impossible. So when you’re in real estate network with other with network with agents that have done it before you try to look for some guidance, not just with coaches, but just with a net work, I’m so blessed to have so many people throughout the country that I can just connect with and say, you know, I’ve got this problem, how have you guys solved this before. And you can do that with 10 different, like groups that are performing at a much higher level than you are. There’s, I mean, I’m like, you know, bottom of the totem pole with the people that I communicate, and I want it that way, because they’ve gone before me, and figured out how to solve problems. And that’s really what our job is. I mean, it’s a big pile of challenges, like everything that we do, I think, is a challenge. And, you know, oftentimes, it looks like it can’t be solved. But there are ways. So for example, with the short sale, I was thinking, like, well, who can give me the greatest guidance on this, and one was mortgage brokers, and the other one was attorneys, and we’re an attorney state. So I find out who’s the best short sale attorney here, who’s a lender or two or three that know a lot about this. And I just took him to lunch, and I said, feed me the information. Okay, now we’re gonna send our short sales to you, and then can you teach me how to do this, and they did. So you know, and for the last 14 years, while short sales have, you know, decreased tremendously, we’re always closing at least five or six every year. And I can do them with such confidence, because I know how to do it. And so I just tell that long story. Because whatever challenge you have in front of you, you’re probably going to face it many more times in your career. So just look at it, say I can do this, call other agents that have been there before you and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help. And I would be happy to help if anybody wants to reach out on something like that myself.

D.J. Paris 26:40
That’s very generous of you. I just this morning, I was on Facebook, and somebody invited me to a real estate mastermind group, and I kind of was like, I don’t really want to do that. Because there’s a lot of them. And I thought, I don’t know, this particular group, I didn’t recognize the name, but said somebody thought enough about me to invite me, I’m going to accept it. So I said, I should check out the group because I didn’t know if it had five members, or what. And I thought, well, I, you know, whatever. So I clicked on it. And it had 73,000 Real estate agents. And I went, Oh, and I was like, Oh, this is kind of interesting. And then I started scrolling through. And people post real estate agents are posting their questions. And they were getting like 20 to 50 responses from other agents. And I was like, This is so cool. Like, and there’s lots of these groups, there’s not just one, there’s lots of them. So if you don’t have a strong network of support, maybe you work at a smaller brokerage, where there just isn’t as much help, maybe there aren’t as many agents to bounce ideas, maybe you’re new to the business, you don’t know anyone. Boy, I mean, there are so many of these of these Facebook groups and other places online, that you can start, you know, getting opinions not just even from people in your local area, although that’s that’s great, too. But even from all over, and I thought and, you know, here I was, I kind of had a negative, like somebody else wants me to join some group and I looked at I was like, This is awesome. So there’s so many great resources,

Kari Kohler 28:04
there are so many great resources, and I think it’s fun to network with people outside of your own market, because then you learn the intricacies of different states. I mean, it’s just it’s a learning experience.

D.J. Paris 28:17
Well, that too. And then, you know, there’s possible referral opportunities, unless you’re gonna you have people that move out of state, you know, people move in state, St. Charles, where you are is a highly desirable suburban area to to live, it’s exploded, you know, in the last, you know, however many years, it’s a big, big deal. It’s very popular. I imagine that’s probably helped. I know, that’s not necessarily why you’re networking, but I’m sure it’s happened. And how wonderful to connect with agents who might end up going, you know, I have a buyer and they’re, they’re in your area, and you know what better than me, so? Yes, yes, exactly. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about your group. I want to hear about the Kohler group. And you know, sort of what you what you’ve done. When did you when did you develop? When did you realize I need to have more than just me? How long ago did you

Kari Kohler 29:07
establish the group? That was about in 2012. So about six years, I was by myself approximately, and then I started experimenting with a team. I did not take guidance from other people, which I should have. And, you know, lots of stumbling blocks, you know, lots of advice. Oops, I should have done it this way. Oh, I won’t do that again. Now, I have a team of five I love my team. I’m so proud of my team. And we do happen to be a group of women. Although we we still like to have a man or two on our team. We do happen to be a group of women. I think that we are all very dynamic. I think we’re all open to learning. We are very supportive of each other. So I have to offer of course I’m licensed in that I have two other licensed people on the team. They are primarily buyer’s agents. And they are training right now to be listing agents too. And so I like them to specialize in being a buyer’s agent and really understand that side of the business, it’s kind of the one thing, you know, you teach them that until they learn it very, very well, all the intricacies about that. And now we’re just, we’re just starting to teach the listing side of it, which I’m really happy about, because they’re going to be extremely capable in doing that. And of course, the listing side of it is a whole nother animal there, there really are two parts to our business. So they’re just they’re both just starting to learn about that I’m excited about that for it just opens up our world is basically what that does. And they’re doing excellent. And then I have two transaction coordinators that work side by side. And basically, they they, you know, they’re interCall to our business, we absolutely cannot run it without them. They are the they’re the absolute foundation, they hold us together and support us so much. And they basically work side by side and they work on you know, they both do the same thing. They both take the listing all the way from the beginning to the end. Yeah. And work through checklists and projects and plan client parties and all kinds of good stuff.

D.J. Paris 31:20
Yeah, it’s, it’s one of those things, I love that you said with your team that you’re like, let’s focus on one, back to the agents that are working with you currently. Let’s focus on one thing first. So let’s let’s get you to become an expert at what versus like a jack of all trades, master of none, let’s have you master the buy side. And let’s you know, and let’s do that for some time until you know that back and backwards and forwards. And then we’ll we’ll introduce the listing side, I think that is so interesting. I’m not sure that we’ve had other teams, and we featured a lot of teams on this episode from all over the country. I think this is the first time I’ve heard a team leader say, you know, we’re gonna start with one thing. And I actually really like that I think that’s very smart. Because if you try to do everything, you’re at once and you’re not, you know, you don’t have the experience necessarily, it’s going to create problems. And so I love that, hey, let’s get you started with with the buy side first.

Kari Kohler 32:20
Thank you, we really did identify it that they I mean, it’s almost two separate businesses, you know, it’s two different practices. The listing side is much more scripted. The buyer side is very scripted, too. But the listing side is even more scripted. And it’s not like we stay in this little box of scripts. I’m just saying it’s like you have to you have to have your scripts memorized and internalized a lot more on the listing side.

D.J. Paris 32:47
And I imagine you’re so right, you have to you have to know the answers to the questions that are coming. And you better know them so well, that it’s not that they’re scripted, necessarily, but they are well rehearsed. So that when somebody says, Hey, why are you worth X percent to sell my house? You’re like, oh, well, well, here’s the 10 reasons why. And you’ve practiced that and your case, you practice it every single day. And you just know it so that when those questions come, you’re like, oh, I have an answer for that, not the well. And then the client is thinking you’re not as professional. So this idea of of having, you know, teaching this and rehearsing and rehearsing, I, you know, I obviously I don’t have any data to suggest what percentage of full time real estate agents practice what they’re going to say before they say it. But if it’s like most sales, people, they don’t really take the time to do that on a consistent basis. I’m guilty of it as well in our business, and it would do me pretty, it would do me well to to have practice on a consistent basis. And it’s so nice to hear that even after 14 years, that practice has not changed for you, I’m sure a lot of our listeners would be really surprised to hear role playing is still an integral part of

Kari Kohler 34:05
yes, it will be forever. And the one other thing about starting off as a buyer’s agent, and then introducing the listing agent, you become a market expert, because you’ve been in all these houses, all these towns, you’ve lived through all these different kinds of contract experiences. So then when you do move over to a listing agent, and you’re presenting, you’re thinking to myself yourself, Well gosh, you know, in this one neighborhood, I already sold five buyers. I mean, I know this market and then you could talk like such an expert, so it’s really nice.

D.J. Paris 34:38
Yeah, it’s a really, really smart way to do it. And obviously a lot of our listeners go well I just want listings well sure a lot of a lot of our listeners would love to have more listings than then by our clients simply because you know for the work it takes is different. And but I think yeah, I think that’s really smart. Is is getting the buy side down first. And then being able to then have those conversations with sellers, when you’re ready to make that transition to say, Hey, I’ve been working with buyers in this area who are looking for homes just like yours for the past X number of years. I know what buyers are looking for. And that’s a really powerful, you know, thing to say, especially if you’re in competition with others, who they’re also interviewing. Yes,

Kari Kohler 35:26

D.J. Paris 35:27
I would, I would love to know what has changed. And I know you’re as busy as ever. Right now at the time we’re recording this. And who knows, by the time it’s released, maybe maybe things will have changed. But here in Illinois, we are basically still under a stay at home order. So real estate, thankfully, is deemed essential. So agents can can can practice. But of course, they’re limited in what they can do. closings of course, are different showings are different. I’m curious on I know, you’re so disciplined, I’m curious if your activity has really changed at all? Or is it just Well, I’m doing it from home instead of the office, has anything really changed for you?

Kari Kohler 36:08
The thing that’s changed is I’ve turned up the heat. Because I have no choice I you know, I I am coached now by a gentleman named Patrick James, he happens to be in with Keller Williams, and he happens to be in Colorado. And when this first started breaking, he said, what you do today is going to be what it looks like in 90 days. And when you’re getting your paychecks in 90 days. Well, that hit me like a ton of bricks, because in approximately 90 days, I have to send two boys back to college and write some big checks. Not imagine all the checks I have to write in between. And I was like I have, there’s nothing I can do but turn up the heat because I don’t want to look back at this time and say, Why did I take a vacation? They were like, Why did I take a vacation, nothing was open, I might as well have just been working. So I was like, I’m just gonna hunker down and do what I do best, which is just be disciplined. Turn up the prospecting. I mean, the calls are longer right now, you know, I am calling my sphere of influence I am calling people I haven’t talked to, you know, some, some people, you know, for six months. And they have stories, and they’re concerned about life right now. And I need to hear them for them. And so the calls are taking longer, so I’m not getting as many contacts. And so what does that mean? I have to spend more time doing it. And I’m, I’m so you know not not very often do I pat myself on the back. But for this one, I’m so happy that I’ve worked so hard during this time, because at least I’m not going to beat myself up in 90 days and say, Why didn’t you work you I’m going to say I worked as hard as I could. This is the result it is what it is. There’s nothing I could have done to change it because I worked.

D.J. Paris 38:00
I had a realization right before the stay at home order happened. I was planning on going on a trip out to California for this retreat thing. And I ended up not being able to go I got food poisoning, which is like, you know, a ridiculous thing that happened. And it was kind of good timing, because I probably it was on the cusp of maybe it shouldn’t travel now. And anyway, it just kind of coincided with that. And I wasn’t able to go and I was annoyed by it. And I was I was laid out for like two or three days, it was really bad, bad food poisoning. And I realized I was laying in bed, I couldn’t really move much I was laying there. Thankfully, I was only suffering from food poisoning and not you know, anything more serious. But I realized five years ago, I thought back five years and I thought, you know, five years ago, I really wanted to get in better shape physically. And I thought I just need to get the discipline going and schedule it and do it. And I really hadn’t done it. And so I was laying there in bed five years later, and I still would have gotten food poisoning that that was had nothing to do with you just bad luck. But I thought, Well, I remember thinking this five years ago, and here I am. It’s five years later. And and I thought boy, I don’t want it to go another five years, you know, and I laid there and I go at some point, you know, we’re going to be back to normal. And just like with my, you know, being food poisoning or whatever, the years are going to arrive. Yeah. And you know, it’s what you do today, that ultimately is going to determine how you feel in five years in your business and your health and your family and your relationships, you know everything. And now we probably have at least a little tiny bit more time most of us than we do just because we’re not running around as much we might be muting you know. Exactly. And now’s that time to develop those habits that we’ve maybe been going yeah, one day I’ll get to my physical health or one day I’ll you know, set up more recurring contacts with my friends or I’m going to call My sphere of influence or my past clients, all those things I, or I’m going to write handwritten notes or whatever it is that yes, no, I should do that. Now’s the time. And I will tell you to just I’m sorry to keep going on and on. But I want to make this point I’ve said it before, but I’ll just briefly mentioned it, you were talking about calling your sphere of influence in calling your clients and and listening to their stories and, and really empathizing with people are scared, this is a challenging time for a lot of a lot of us, and people need to be heard. And they need to be empathized with. And I will tell you, that very few professionals in any one person’s life, or ever going to reach out to them to ask them about that. They’re going to reach out from time to time to, you know, ask about business or just say, Hey, by the way, if you, you know, and I was thinking all the people that that I employ as professional service types of people, insurance, financial advisors, you know, accountants, the, and I thought, I wonder who’s reached out to me, I started thinking, I wonder who’s going to reach out to me just to see if I’m okay. And I didn’t expect anyone to I know, I’m just a tiny little one client out of maybe they have 1000s. And the only person that reached out to me in the last two or three months, is the person that cuts my hair. And I’m not in any way criticizing the people that didn’t I like, right, right? I thought, Well, what a unique opportunity you have as an as a as a real estate professional, to just check in with people, they’re probably not getting unless it’s friends and family, they’re probably not getting a lot of those those reach outs.

Kari Kohler 41:35
Totally. And I think this you know, I don’t know a lot about history. But I do feel pretty confident that this is one of the times, you know, in our universe, that we’ve all shared the same problem every single time we’re waking up, we’re all sharing it, you know, moms and dads and grandmas, and grandpas, and brothers and sisters and cousins, everybody internalizes it a little differently. But we’re all sharing the same problem. So it’s a perfect time to reach out to people.

D.J. Paris 42:03
Yeah, it is. And by doing that, not only will those you’ll you’ll help people feel heard. And they’ll feel a little bit less alone. And maybe they just need a little stress relief, and they’re going to feel cared for. But then you know, it’s going to it’s going to pay dividends. And that’s not the reason to do it. The reason to do it is because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s actually going to help your business substantially because they’re gonna go You’re not gonna believe my real estate agent who sold me a home three years ago. Who knows I’m we’re not moving anytime soon. Just wanted to see how I was doing.

Kari Kohler 42:34
It’s an amazing thing to do for humans right now. Everybody needs a touch right now.

D.J. Paris 42:40
Yeah, I would love to to totally shift gears, but I just got to hear the story. Because when you told us this, in a pre interview, I was like, I gotta hear the story. Because I have I have something sort of similar. Not in real estate related. But I want to hear your motorcycle story. from it. You had a client with lots of motors or you you had Yeah, well, yeah, it was a listing that had many, many motorcycles. Do you mind sharing that?

Kari Kohler 43:05
No, I think it No, not at all. I don’t mind sharing it. It was funny when I think your question was describe a funny or challenging experience you had in real estate. And I did not find this a funny one. But I’ve had a challenging one, an attorney that I didn’t know very well said, I have these two gentlemen that need to sell their home in West Chicago, can you go over there and do a listing appointment, I pre qualified them. And then I went on the listing appointment. Of course, like, every time I go on a listing appointment, I try to be dressed to the nines, because that’s the way I’ve been taught to try to really impress, and I get there and it’s a it’s a ranch on a nice piece of property. But it was kind of messy on the outside. But that’s that’s just feedback. And I opened up the door, which opened up into the living room and dining room and the hardwood floors had been sanded. It didn’t look like they were in the process of refinishing and then it just like, like, that’s how they were living. And there were at least 25 motorcycles in the house cart, and they’re dirty. And I don’t know much about motorcycles, but there was nothing fancy there. And there was like four or five guys like sitting on the couch just looking at me. And I’m just like, Okay, we need to sell this place. Um, do you gentlemen think we could, you know, after I talked about

D.J. Paris 44:27
maybe moving the motorcycles,

Kari Kohler 44:28
and they’re like, No, they weren’t like cracking a smile or anything. You know, they that was not going to happen. They were not going to move the motorcycles. They were not going on in the garage. They were staying in the home. And I just said well, okay, and so we gave him the next day with the photographers and we had I mean there’s there’s motorcycles everywhere. So we had to take pictures of this ranch home that had you know, dirty dishes all over the place that I tried to tell me, you know, it’s our job. To be honest, and tell people what they need to do to sell the home, I thought about not taking the listing, but then I thought, you know, these guys are all looking at me they need to get this home sold. It was, you know, it’s one of those things where mom and dad had died and they were the brothers and they needed to get the home sold. But they were insistent on not taking the motorcycles out, I always figured there was a reason they didn’t want to park outside, but I just decided not to pry on that reason. And so we took photographs of the inside, we tried to make it look its best. And then we just marketed as a beautiful ranch home. And you know, like, if you have, you know, if you’re a hobbyist of some sort, you can make the best of this. And when, you know, we got multiple offers on that home, and it was like the talk of the, you know, the the little area that it was in so

D.J. Paris 45:50
Oh, it had it had to be because as soon as anyone, whether they’re your they’re an agent or client sees the pictures of all these motorcycles inside, they’re like, What is it just grabs your attention? And in a weird way, from a marketing perspective, it probably helped get more eyeballs on it. I don’t know that everyone would have a positive response to it. But they’re like, Well, look at that. I really did.

Kari Kohler 46:11
And I don’t think we were putting stuff on social media back then. Because it was quite a long time ago. But just like on realtor.com. And that kind of thing. And, you know, my first notion was, this is not going to work. I’m on my element here, because usually most of the homes I list are like super clean. And you know, the styling is excellent. I thought this is like I don’t know what to do. But then I just, you know, I laughed, I thought let’s figure this out. Let’s present it in a cool way. And then what do you know, it’s assault?

D.J. Paris 46:40
That’s That’s what were the showings challenging? Or was it? Was it difficult to show the property with the motorcycles? Or are you just sort of worked it into the, into the presentation,

Kari Kohler 46:53
we do tend to do this with when agents make a showing appointment on our listings, we tend to call them and we say, hey, we want to make it a great experience. Do you have any questions before you go? And just try to introduce ourselves? Well, with that call, we just said, Hey, we think it’s important for you to know before,

D.J. Paris 47:08
you know, something really important,

Kari Kohler 47:11
a little different inside than most. But it was fun. It ended up being a very fun experience. So the message is just plow through those challenges, find ways to solve them.

D.J. Paris 47:21
So I want to circle back to something you said that we were just sort of laughing about this motorcycle experience. But it actually there was a lot of good lessons in this. But you just said something very important. And I’m curious to get your opinion on what, what percentage in your experience of other agents do this, which is, you just said something very, very critical, which is, hey, when when we have a listing, and a buyer’s agent contacts us, we reach out to them before the show and say, here’s a couple things you really should know. Obviously, not every home has, you know, 20 motorcycles parked in the living room, but even if it’s just hey, this is what you need to know about the first floor, the second floor, the exterior, etc. Just a couple of things to highlight or I mean, that’s a huge thing. I don’t know that most realtors who have listings do that. And I’m, I want to honor you for that. Because it’s really, really smart to do is to say, Hey, Mr. or Mrs. buyer’s agent, here’s everything you need to know so that you can have a great experience was what you said, what, what percentage of the time when you’re going to see listings? Do people contact you? Just when you’re seeing someone else’s listing? Is that is that a common occurrence? Or I know you guys do it? Isn’t that amazing?

Kari Kohler 48:28
Yeah, we are our goal on our team is to make this the best experience in real estate for our clients. So I always think, okay, if I’m selling my house, well, what I want the team to do. So isn’t you know, a lot of times you get their voicemail or whatever. But the bottom line is you want to start to build a relationship with that agent. Because if I’m the listing agent, I need that buyer’s agent to write a contract. So I want them to know out of the gate, that we’re super ultra professional, that we are here to answer questions. We’re here to overcome challenges. Let’s Let’s cross the finish line together. Well, it

D.J. Paris 49:05
is called a cooperative commission, right? Yes. Not every agent remembers that all the time. But But boy, you just just that tip alone is so huge, and I bet and again, you know, I don’t we don’t have any data, or maybe you do. But the idea of doing that I bet you that results in more more offers, and maybe even some cancellations, which is a good thing. If it’s not the right fit, and maybe the person the buyer’s agents. Oh, you know what, I’m glad you told me that because now it actually probably isn’t the right fit. And then you know, both both parties haven’t wasted any additional time so, but I’ll bet you just by doing that it helps the other agents show the home better. Wow, that’s really smart. I’m glad you mentioned that.

Kari Kohler 49:52
Thank you and you know, sometimes with buyer’s agents that may be their first home that they’ve ever First show. So then if they feel hear a friendly professional voice saying, Hey, I’m here for you, it’s going to make them think, Oh, I think I could work with this listing agent if my buyer wants to buy the home. And the goal is, was to bring these two together. So we try to we try to look at every week, how can we get our listing sold, and we brainstorm. And that was one thing we came up with.

D.J. Paris 50:22
I love that. And I’m not sure any of our other guests, and probably some of our guests have do that. Yeah. But you’re the first person to vocalize it. So thank you, because that is such a huge tip for our listeners. And, you know, look, it’s it’s going to help you develop, even if it doesn’t help the home sell faster, you’re going to develop relationships. And as as Carrie just said, you’re going to be seen as a real professional, because that’s what a professional would do, is to say, Hey, mister missus, buyer’s agent, I want to make this easier for you. And I want you to be able to have a good experience. So let me tell you, here’s five things you need to know. That’s awesome.

Kari Kohler 50:57
And by the way, I’m not to interrupt you. But whereas one more thing I was gonna say, just like in this challenging time that we’re in, we came up with a top point safety plan. So we make that call to agents right now. And then we shoot them attacks with that safety plan. And it’s basically like you as the buyer’s agent, be the only one that opens the door and the lockbox, try to have everybody else not touch anything, you know, because for both parties, we’re trying to keep everybody safe. So that’s an added thing that we’ve added on to and if anybody needs that, they can just email me and I’ll shoot it over to him or text.

D.J. Paris 51:30
Well, I am sold. If I was an agent, I would want to join your team. Oh, thank you. So so we have a lot of listeners here in the Chicagoland area that might be looking to see what other teams offer what other groups can can help them take go to the next level. But also, we have a lot of our listeners who are buyers, sellers, renters investors, who are also looking for a great agent. So whether our listeners are looking to work with you or for you, what is the best way someone could reach out to you and your team?

Kari Kohler 51:59
So our direct line is 630587 4700. My email is Cory Kohler at the color group. We are all over social media, just contact us we’d love to hear from you.

D.J. Paris 52:13
Yeah, and look, I mean, just the information you’ve provided in in our interview here has been incredibly helpful. So on behalf of our listeners, Carrie, I want to say thank you, I know how busy you are, I know you have your mom, you’re a business owner, your your individual practitioner, as well, you have a a team leader, you’ve got a lot going on and to take time away. And I know you’re doubling down on your efforts now. So you’re even busier, we really can thank you enough for spending a few minutes to chat with us here. So on behalf of the listeners, we say thanks. And on behalf of Carrie and myself to our listeners, we also want to say thank you. The reason we do this show is people like it and they listen and we just asked for everyone listening to do or watching to do two quick things for us. One is tell one friend, think of another agent, a broker or realtor, whatever it’s called in your in your area and think about who could have benefited that you know, that’s looking to get to the next level isn’t quite there and once some guidance and send them a link to this podcast, you can send them right over to our website, keeping it real pod.com We just redesigned it we made it much easier to find in everything. So you can always send them there or just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real shoot, it’ll shoot right up. The second thing is to please follow us on Facebook find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod two reasons. One is every day we find an article that somebody’s written online designed to help you grow your business and we post it. The second thing is we post of course links to all of our episodes and live recordings as we’re doing them so you can watch the videos in real time instead of having to wait several weeks for us to produce the audio. So please follow us again on Facebook. It’s facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pot and also follow Khari and her group that you know the Kohler Kohler group at Coldwell Banker just search for and we’re gonna be posting links to their, their social media as well follow them and carita something else really cool. And I forgot to mention this earlier, and I really want to honor you for this. on her website. She’s got a blog, and she has partnered, I wish we could almost spend more time talking about this. And maybe we’ll bring you on again to talk about this. But you’ve partnered with a lender and but in a very different way than how many agents have partnered with lenders as you and your lending partner actually do videos together providing content to your audience, and really good content and I watched some of your videos because I was like I’ve never seen that before. And that is so cool. So really everyone go to her website and look at some of these videos and realize strategic partnerships can help you both build your business, but her website again is the Kohler group.com Look for her blog. And look at some of these videos. There are only a couple of minutes long each. They’re short, but they’re super impactful. They’ve got Great content. And I forgot to mention that earlier. So I’m so sorry that we are we are good and you’ve given so much great content. Our listeners that heads are probably spinning with ideas. So thank you and everyone also who listening. We thank you for continuing to support our show, and also for telling a friend so Carrie, thank you and we’ll we’ll see everyone on the next episode.

Kari Kohler 55:27
Thank you so much true honor for me.

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