Thrive Not Survive Episode #52: Jeff Thibodeau Interviews Kerri White
TNS Podcast Episode #52 with Kerri White
Transcript from the Interview in the Video Above
Kelley Skar: All right, we are live. Welcome to the Thrive Not Survive Podcast. This is a show that we put together to help you, the real estate agent, put actionable strategies into place and help take your business to new heights.
Kelley Skar: Today's show is episode number 52. We've got a little bit of a different format, going back to a couple of previous episodes. Jeff has done a series of top agent interviews, and he has three people from his network that he's going to be interviewing in a series. We're going to call this episode number 52, and it is Jeff who is interviewing Carrie White an agent out of southern California.
Kelley Skar: Hope you guys enjoy the podcast. Again, as always, if you're listening to this on iTunes, it would be great, and wonderful, and good if you could leave a five star review. We've got about 16 up there now. As well, if you're watching this on YouTube or on Facebook, please leave a comment below. We do answer all of the questions that are asked. Hope you guys have a fantastic day and enjoy the listen.
Jeff: This is a first of a series of interviews I'm doing, not on any specific topic. I'm talking with veteran, experienced realtors from across North America who also happen to be friends of mine, about the real grit of this career. So many times on stage, on podcasts, on panels, we're all talking about the shiny penny moments, the shining times, the high points. Everyone's talking about their gross sales.
Jeff: I find there's this whole second layer to our industry that's hardly every talked about out in public about the real truth, that it's not that easy to succeed. We get punched around a lot. It's a very emotional business. It can be tough sometimes. So anyone who's made it ten years plus in the business, let alone in a crazy competitive market in an area like LA deserves a round of applause.
Jeff: On top of that, you're also ranking on some top agent lists, not just for your own brokerage but coast-to-coast. Things are going well for you, we'd say, right?
Carrie White: Yes. Very well, yes. It's nice to get the recognition. As you said, there's a lot of crazy moments. Stressful moments. Emotional moments. Wanting to give up, every day. It's nice when you see the numbers hitting and you get the recognition, and that side's fun. At the end of the day, you're the only one giving your selves an accolade.
Jeff: Right, you get the little trophy one day, then the other 365 you've got to give it to yourself.
Carrie White: Right, good job. Good job.
Jeff: Amazing. I think these conversations are probably going to hinge a lot on mindset. I want to go back. I was trying to think, we've known each other now for something like three-and-a-half, four years. It's probably coming up in January, we'll have known each other for four years, I think, right?
Carrie White: I think so, yeah.
Jeff: Yeah, and -
Carrie White: We were in [crosstalk 00:02:33] ... Oh, yeah, 2015. Holy cow.
Jeff: Yeah, it's going by really fast.
Carrie White: Five years.
Jeff: It also feels like that's too short. I feel like I've known you for a lot longer than that. I do remember the first time we met, because I had gotten pulled over to a little fireside, a real fireside chat, not like a fake one on a stage ...
Carrie White: Oh, yeah.
Jeff: ... by [Eric 00:02:57] and [Robert 00:02:58]. That's the first time I met you and [Tanya 00:03:00], right?
Carrie White: Yeah.
Jeff: I remember my first impression was like, "Oh, great. There's these cool, younger real estate women that are also sassy, and funny, and super-confident." It was kind of intimidating at first.
Carrie White: Oh really? Good to know.
Jeff: But then getting to know you guys, and obviously we've been in a Mastermind group for years now, so it's just been really cool. I want to go back to before I knew you. I know you've got a real estate lineage in your family. Your parents are in real estate. Your brother's in real estate in Australia. Take me back to the decision to actually like, "Okay, I'm going to try this out. This is going to be my career." Was it automatic for you, or was it like a plan B? How did this thing start?
Carrie White: It's really funny. I didn't even know this was the impetus, but I was working at Starbucks for like three months, waking up at 4 o'clock in the morning. One day, somebody threw their coffee at me across the bar, because their add shot didn't come in time.
Carrie White: It didn't hit me, thank God. The guy got taken out by the police, but this was a regular coming in every day. His add-shot got lost in the line. He was like, "All of you!"
Carrie White: I went outside and I called my ... I'd also picked up smoking, working at Starbucks, which I'm not a smoker. So there was all sorts of bad things, and I stopped. I called my dad and I was like, "Dad, someone just threw coffee at us because he didn't get his add-shot."
Carrie White: He's like, "Quit. Right now, quit. Come work for me." Then I just started as his assistant for a while. That was in 2004? 2004, yeah. 2004 and 2005. Then I got my license. Then I went to a Tom Ferry summit which had about a thousand people at it, which is crazy to think about, in August of 2008, 2009. 2008.
Carrie White: I came back, and I was like, "Dad, we're going to do scripts. We're going to do this. We're going to get a coach," and this and that.
Carrie White: He was like, "Nah, I'm doing my own thing. This is what I want to do. Been doing it like this, everything's fine."
Carrie White: I was like, "Hmm, if he's not going to join me, maybe I'll just go do some scripts on my own." I started working at different brokerages and moved over to the west side. My dad and I still worked together, and I owe him everything. I don't ever even want to say it like, "He didn't want to do what I wanted to do, so I left."
Carrie White: He's got the same mentality. He was very independent growing up. The youngest of five. Left New Zealand, went to London. Him and my mom live over here with all of our family down under.
Carrie White: I think that kind of energy of wanting to be your own boss, but also wanting to have the structure that you want to have doesn't mean the other person doesn't have structure. It's doing things your way, which you quickly learn you're doing things other ways.
Carrie White: I started on a team with somebody that taught me a lot, as well. Then I left him in 2013 and have been on my own since then. What is that? Almost 5 years. Like, own, own, with employees and the whole shebang. I feel like even though I've been doing it 13, 14 years, I really got into being a real CEO, entrepreneur, real estate agent in 2013.
Jeff : It's funny, right, because that's probably just before we had met. I feel like the same with me. I've been 10 years in the business now. The first three years I was still working a regular full-time job, hustling real estate on the side. Then I wasn't taking it too seriously. Success was coming accidentally, not by effort.
Jeff: Then same kind of experience. Diving into some real training, real mentorship, Mastermind groups. Now it's crazy to see our entire Mastermind group take a whole hockey stick over the last three or four years.
Carrie White: Oh my God. That's what is so powerful and almost emotional with our group, is where we all were back then, and now where things are. [Redline 00:06:36] and [Daren 00:06:38], he didn't even have that back then, so it's incredible-
Jeff: It's crazy.
Carrie White: ... taking over Canada.
Jeff: Well, yeah. Everybody's having such a good run. I wonder, because we see it behind business, something ... I have like three facts about you written down. I have no questions.
Carrie White: Oh.
Jeff: I was thinking back to, we have this little group that we chat almost every single day. As far as I know, you're still the same Carrie you were five years ago. I'm still the same Jeff I was. Our outwardly facing personas, or what people would perceive we've achieved is a lot different. [crosstalk 00:07:10] if someone looked at us five years ago and five years today.
Jeff: Do you find that with your other colleagues? Everyone thinks you've got to change so much, but ultimately it's just a few little tweaks and changes of your behaviors and actions. You're still the same person at the core. Now we're just a lot more successful. Do you know what I'm saying?
Carrie White: 100%. Still the same person. I actually don't wake up as early as I used to back then. I was like a 5 am-er, like, "Woo-hoo." After four years of doing that, I'm like, "I'm still doing the same amount of work, no matter what time I get up. I'm still working all the time. So screw it." Now I'm like 4:45, ish.
Carrie White: Whatever success looks like to you. I think the biggest feedback I get is my girlfriends, like my best friends, like [inaudible 00:07:54] and [Norma 00:07:55] for example. They have seen me really struggle in the beginning, like 2011, '12, when I was starting to get into being my own boss in 2013. They've seen my transformation fully.
Carrie White: Even my old roommate [Megan 00:08:09], who was in New York. She used to hear me listening to the affirmation CDs and all these things. Like literally CDs, even though it wasn't that long ago. People like that are really the ones that help me see and chart my progress, which is pretty incredible.
Carrie White: Some of my old-school clients are like, "Oh my God, you're doing so well. You're at the agency. Everything's ... "
Carrie White: I think the last five years, group I've been in, my colleagues, has only strengthened more together. We all feel like we're growing and in this together, 100%. It's always going to be goofy, silly, sassy Carrie.
Jeff: It was one of the best parts about, actually ... Like before actually flying to those conferences and really getting ... The first few I went to I just really stayed to myself. It wasn't until [Eric 00:08:51] and those guys pulled me into this friends circle that I started to actually meet people and consider them as real humans, not just people on a stage or on a panel.
Carrie White: Right.
Jeff: That was the first, it was a real shift for me, personally, to be like, "Oh my God, there's all these people making so much more money than me." But as soon as we all have a drink at the bar, we're all the same person.
Jeff: I'm not missing anything is what I came away realizing. I'm not missing anything inside of my to be successful. It's just more of a mindset and who you're running with and who your mentors are, right?
Carrie White: Exactly. It's who you're around, what you're doing everyday, the disciplines, the things you're learning, the output you have. A lot of people are like, "How do you do it? How do you do it?" It's honestly rinse and repeat.
Carrie White: It's funny, if you've been watching our friend [Tom Toole 00:09:33] when he's up there doing his scripts and everyone's like, "Oh my God, he's a god. He's so good. He's all this."
Carrie White: Tom Toole's like, "I wake up. I did my scripts for years. I wake up and I call every day. Just repeating a script. Just repeating a script. Just repeating a script."
Carrie White: He's a god. He's on a pedestal. Everyone thinks he's like, "Ah".
Carrie White: Tom's like, "I'm just Tom. Just doing my script."
Jeff: But to him it's just putting pants on.
Carrie White: Exactly.
Jeff: Yeah, that's crazy, right? That comes back to something I teach a lot here, which is frustrating for some people, but it's inspiring for others. A lot of this career, success comes through mileage, through experiencing. You can't really fast forward it. There's not a book you can read to become a ten-year veteran in this business.
Carrie White: God, no.
Jeff: You have to get knocked around, punched around, screw stuff up, screamed at. There are some shortcuts, right, to not have that take your whole career, or take 30 years. Thinking back to some, we already mentioned mentorship and having a father in the business, and things like that. What are some of the other things you've learned that have sped up that learning curve for you so you got here in 10 years instead of 20, say?
Carrie White: Well, definitely the conferences. Going to the conferences and hearing what other people are doing, and following them, and being around agents that are really making a change. I think we're so lucky to have been part of the Tom Ferry organization, or have been. I am right now, but I was gone for a couple years.
Carrie White: They really are ahead of the curve. They know what's happening. They know what's next. Or they're trying to. A lot of the other places I went, brokerages or coaches, I was teaching them things, they were so behind the 8-ball. Having that support system is like a step ahead.
Carrie White: Now, not that this gives me an edge, but because it feels like we do the same thing over and over again, that's why I've been starting my Carrie TV video series. I'm like, "I say this all the time. I get asked this all the time. I want to put it in video so I can just email it." Not that I can't explain it, but I'm like, "It's the same thing, every single day." It's the same thing.
Carrie White: I think really understanding that it is all rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat; and being open. So many things I go to, I'm like, "Oh, God. I know this all. I'm not going to learn anything." It's a reminder. You will always learn something. Always be patient. Always be listening. You'll hear something differently the next time.
Carrie White: Having that open mentality and taking the ego out of it. Oh my God, these people with such big egos. Some of these agents because they're older, and even though I'm 34, I've been doing this over 10 years, so people still think that I don't know some agent. I'm like, "Okay, I see you sold 5 houses last year, I sold 45." Like, "Don't treat me like that. I'm not treating you like that. Let's take it down a notch."
Carrie White: Just having that right mindset, the right people around you, always be open, will get you there a little faster. [crosstalk 00:12:12]
Jeff: Yeah, ego almost automatically closes your ears, right? It's like one and the same. The higher the ego, the lower the empathy, or the lower the ability to see someone else's perspective, right?
Carrie White: Yeah.
Jeff: We're in a weird, very ego-driven business.
Carrie White: So much. [crosstalk 00:12:28]
Jeff: Some super-ego people do make it to the top without this. I always had this perspective, and I guess like Hollywood ... Not Hollywood like I'm saying it like you, but the movies and TV perceive powerful, successful people, and a lot of time, very successful women as very aggressive, very cutthroat, very stab your neighbor in the back. It's not always that way. Or at least, it isn't here in Brantford, Ontario. Is it that way in the agency in LA where it's supposed to be as cutthroat as anywhere?
Carrie White: Not at all. There are instances with certain agents where you hear something like that. Definitely the women's community, we actually just put a video out about being women of the agency. I'm not sure if you saw that.
Carrie White: We were taking a stand because the women, WOA, Women of the Agency, we really do come together. We Mastermind, we share. We'll call each other like, "Hey, can you help me with this fire." Or, "This listing is a big one, can you go on it with me?" We're really, really collaborative and positive and, "Oh, hi honey. I love you. I'm so appreciative."
Carrie White: We're almost obnoxious we're so supportive and loving on each other all the time. We'll meet up for a late lunch, and have cocktails, and talk about clients, and make calls, and do workouts together. I think that collaboration is becoming more and more prevalent in LA.
Carrie White: There still are some terrible people. You find that actually, their track record decreases as time goes on, because people don't want to deal with that. We're in a different world. It's very transparent now. Everyone knows everything. Every agent knows every other person's client.
Jeff: The world's getting smaller and smaller and smaller all the time. We experienced that here in a town of only 100 thousand people and 300 realtors. Your business is everyone's business. You might as well be nice to people, or else word's going to get around.
Carrie White: Exactly. You have to be nicer to the agents, almost. My whole transaction, I feel like I'm just buttering up the agent, trying to be accommodating to my client. Poor Eric walks in the door and I'm like, "Baah."
Jeff: Yeah, he's gets all the ... you're bottling all the negativity in. Don't let it reflect out. Yeah, that's why we go to kick boxing or ...
Carrie White: Yes. I'm working on that. I'm really working on that.
Jeff: Now, you did mention this collaboration between the women. I also see it from afar. Daren and I have always really loved your company. We've kind of appropriated some of the amazing things you guys do in terms of culture in creating that when we designed the modern Redline brand.
Jeff: You were attracted to that company for a lot of reasons. I assume some of it's the reputation and glitz and glam, but that culture, it's almost intangible. You can't really measure it. What is different, without buttering your employers up too much? It is a different place you work than a traditional brokerage, right?
Carrie White: It's very, very different. I was at RE/MAX before, Prudential. What's the other one ... Keller-Williams? Yeah, basically Keller-Williams.
Carrie White: When I was moving, I was interviewing with John Arrow Group, [Tellis 00:15:24] ... can't remember now. They all bought each other. I kept saying, "I want something that's like the BRE, the Banana Real Estate." I want something that feels like a family where I can Mastermind and share and be open and vulnerable."
Carrie White: When I walked into the agency and I learned about them and was there first-hand, I was like, "I'm not going anywhere else." Like, "This is exactly what I wanted, what I thought didn't exist." It's turned out to be 10 times what I expected it to be and more. It really is like a family. Everyone does share.
Carrie White: It started so small. When I was in the Brentwood office in 2014, there was 19 agents. You didn't even see anyone everyday. You're like, "Where is everybody?" Now it's like our company's grown to like 12 or 13 offices and over 300 agents. It's fun. We have a lot of fun.
Carrie White: It really is about the sharing and the collaboration and no locked doors. When people post pockets, because pockets is a huge part of the agency, you're not worried that somebody else is going to go and steal your client when you post that. That's huge. Other real estate offices, you'd see a locked door. You'd never share it. You'd keep your listing all private, and then once it was on the MLS ...
Carrie White: That pocket system gives us an edge for our clients and people in the community that want to work with us. It's not really all about the flashy cars and the expensive houses. It's about the network and the connections. The expertise. There's no situation I walk into where I don't know what to expect or what I'm doing.
Carrie White: Of course, everything's different, but I know how to handle everything and everyone, for the most part. A lot just comes from my experience at the agency.
Jeff: Yeah, it seemed like ... I was so surprised to see that it was just the seven year birthday, or whatever, you guys were celebrating. I was like, "That company's only been around for seven years? Wow."
Carrie White: Yeah.
Jeff: I would have never guessed that from the outside. The fact that you've been with them ... I'm starting to draw some parallels here. Getting into a growth organization and coaching. Not only getting into coaching, but a company that's massively growing themselves in the coaching space. Getting into a brokerage that's on the up-and-up and-
Carrie White: Growing.
Jeff: ... massive growth and growing. Being around a bunch of colleagues, whether it's Mastermind, or locally in your office that are also ... Do you-
Carrie White: Growing.
Jeff: Have you just hopped into the whirlwind, or do you look for these situations to put yourself in to run with a faster pack? Is it just happened this way, or has this been on purpose?
Carrie White: I don't know if I came in with that mindset, that I wanted to be part of things that were growing. I think it just happened naturally, from my personality and what attracts me.
Carrie White: It's the same with assistants that have worked with me. If they have that growth mindset, we immediately connect. If not, then it doesn't work. Even certain clients of mine I've noticed that we click together because they're running a company, or they're in growth mode, or have employees.
Carrie White: I have some pretty impressive clients under 40 that have built companies, or are CEOs. When I look around at some of the women I'm with, whether it's at a happy hour or a networking thing, I'm looking around and I'm like, "Most of you women make over 500 grand a year and you're under 40, under 50." I'm fucking blown away by these women.
Carrie White: I mean, men, too. You're used to seeing men being a lot more successful, especially in real estate. Like our own [Santiago Marisio 00:18:42], they're selling three to four hundred million in real estate a year. Just all these other CEOs and entrepreneurs and women that are just taking over the world. That, I'm really gravitated towards.
Carrie White: If they're working at Starbucks and don't want to do anything else, it's hard for me to even have a conversation with people like that. Then I just end up leaving. Probably more so what it is, just a bond. Like, "Oh, what are you up to? What are you doing? Were you traveling this year? No. What's your goal in the next two years, three years. Nothing." That kind of weeds it out.
Jeff: Yeah, like everyone's got this aura of inspiration around them. You can tell whether someone's running hard or they're just, they're settled in. Your right, it is hard to converse when you're so full of energy and positive about the future.
Jeff: I tend to find people that have settled in and plateaued tend to almost flip really quickly and start to be cynical about the world, or start looking at what's wrong. For whatever reason, we feel like we've lost control or it's not in our hands to make a difference in our life anymore. We just want to make blame and excuses. I think that's, for my anyways, why I struggle in conversations like that, too.
Carrie White: Yeah, I agree. People that don't take responsibility for what's happening to them. Oh, this, this. It's like, "Hu-uh. Without you in your world, you make a difference." Positivity is ... yeah.
Jeff: I think we've all had to learn that. I remember being back of that mindset, and have to, of course, being around great people and great mentors and coaches. Now, for me anyways, I find that I can talk myself out of those personal excuse, or low moments a lot faster.
Jeff: At some point, we had to hire coaches for it. Then we get better at it ourselves. We do, actually, you probably do it for other people, whether you know it or not, around you. They'll be in a funk. You'll lift them up and get them back out on the races.
Jeff: Do you find, do you have a little technique? Can you self-identify when you're like ... We all go through it, right? It's not seven days a week you're running at 100%.
Carrie White: No, God, no.
Jeff: How do you get out of the self-talk, the doubt, and get back to level 10 Carrie faster in 2018?
Carrie White: I remember, one time at the gym doing tricep pushups. I was tired, annoyed. I wanted to leave. I was thinking of Tom Ferry, "Be the thing, have the power." That's one of the things I always remind myself when I don't want to do something.
Carrie White: Very rarely do I have a day with no appointments or nothing going on. I'm always, literally, running. Running to the car. Running. It's madness. Especially in heels with all this stuff in my hands and doing a video at the same time.
Carrie White: The days where I have nothing going on, I want to look at a wall. I want to do nothing. I just want to go, "Okay. No one's pulling at me." Those are the days I have to really push and say, "Do the thing, have the power. Get to work. Go to your to-do list. Reach out to some people you haven't chatted with."
Carrie White: It's just a reminder. I guess doing it so long, I know the sweet side of it. I know the sweet side of life and the sweet side of real estate. I know what it takes to get there. The moment I stop doing that, I won't have my beautiful life, and my traveling, and my friends, and my clothing collection and all of the above.
Carrie White: I know what it takes to maintain what I have and build more. I like that more than I don't like working, I guess. So to speak.
Jeff: Yeah, you know what I heard in there, it's just like an extreme lack of entitlement to your current situation. Do you feel that?
Carrie White: True.
Jeff: It's not a scary thing. It could, if we don't keep working at it, it's not guaranteed tomorrow. This industry could spit you out real hard. Have you seen that happen around you? Like don't drop any names or whatever, but someone's let their foot off the gas and then there career's just goodbye?
Carrie White: Yeah. It's like Tom used to talk about, the roller coaster, where you go up ... What is it? Cash Cow? Cash Cow ...
Jeff: Cash cow to fading winter.
Carrie White: Yep. Cash cow to fading winter. I used to be like that, a lot. So recognizing that. I definitely see people do that. They'll sell a couple of big homes and then they'll stop working. They won't think they'll ever need to follow up a prospect.
Carrie White: I've never been a big prospector, which nobody would ever want, no coaching program would ever want me to say that like that. I follow up like crazy, but I've never been big into prospecting. I know that if there's a day that goes by that I haven't followed up with people, past clients, referrals, etc., I'll eventually be out of business.
Carrie White: Do the thing, have the power.
Jeff: Do the thing, have the power.
Jeff Tibbido: You're also always growing, right? You haven't just hit repeat on a ten-year career, or even the last five, right?
Carrie White: Mm-mmm.
Jeff: What do you do to keep going for the next level? Here, maybe reframe it. This is the struggle I've had. Every time we achieve our goals, it feels good, but then we're just resetting. You never get to actually sit and enjoy it. At some point we have to kind of reverse our mindset that there is no end-game. That's how I've done it. The work is the find.
Jeff: Do you find yourself through hard work, enjoy it, hard work, enjoy it? Or is it just 24/7, Carrie all the time?
Carrie White: No, I definitely enjoy it, I think. It's really depressing at the beginning of January, when my sales sheet is completely empty. Like no closings. That is really hard for me to swallow every year when I see that and I'm like, "Oh my God, here we go again."
Carrie White: It does sometimes feel like a rat race. I'm being honest about that. In sales, you always have to be hustling. That's why I think growth and diversity is so key, like working and training new agents under you that you can help grow that can be a part of your team, working different areas or price points.
Carrie White: Then also, naturally, just my age range. The people I work with are selling and buying larger and larger things. Naturally, my price point goes up as we all grow together, which is super-fun to see my client's success, and growing families and getting married.
Carrie White: One guy I met when he was a single, crazy guy, bachelor, total. He's getting married this Saturday. It's just amazing to see his journey. And other clients that were single and then met somebody and had babies, and buying houses and that whole thing, when they could barely afford to buy their condo five years ago. Seeing that whole growth really empowers me.
Carrie White: Something I'm doing differently this year is getting into other investments, of course. So diversifying and also making things exciting, learning new parts of investing and real estate business. Doing the short-term rentals, and buying apartment buildings. Shaking things up a bit amidst all the other stuff. Then doing the video series is like a whole new thing.
Carrie White: I've definitely brought in some new things. I feel like every year I'm bringing in new things. [crosstalk 00:24:57].
Jeff: I think that's what I wanted to have everyone hear. I think earlier when you were saying, "Rinse and repeat," I think it's like, "Rinse, repeat, throw something else on the plate." Rinse, repeat, then add that on the plate.
Jeff: It's never, we never, as things get easier, we just add a new thing. It's not, at some point it's just going to get easy and we can just dial in a 10 year career after that. There's always going to be something else. There's always going to be more. Doing more learning. I don't know.
Jeff: When I started just embracing that instead of feeling that was the thing that was wearing me out, I think everything changed for me. I was just like, "You know what, no. I'm designed to run at this speed forever. Let's go."
Carrie White: Yes. I don't think this speed will change. I forget how much we add in new every year and we want to take over the world.
Carrie White: Oh my God, in August, at Tom Ferry's summit, he went through all those plans, I was like, "He needs to stop. He needs to stop because I want to do every single one of these." They were all so good. I was like, "Stop talking, I'm exhausted."
Carrie White: He's like, "Point 22," and I'm like, "Stop."
Jeff: Yeah. I need only five, max.
Carrie White: Yes.
Jeff: We're not going to 22.
Carrie White: Three, three. So incorporating those in every year. You need people. You need people to help you implement those. I could never do Carrie TV without Elaine and Lauren, and now Julia's doing it, and my editor Logan. It's literally a team of five people for that video. For a video to go out every week is a team of five people.
Carrie White: All the shit-show trying to organize it up front, like who's editing it? Oh my God, we got the worst edit back at first from Fiverr. Then trying to transcribe it. Then me doing it on my iPhone. It's been a journey. But that's the fun part. We look at how ...
Carrie White: I'm like, "We're going to do a video series. Here's what Tom said at the summit."
Carrie White: Everybody's like, "Well, what do we do?"
Carrie White: I'm like, "I don't know, let's figure it out."
Jeff: Figure it out, yeah.
Carrie White: Yeah. They're like looking for direction from me. I'm like, "All I have is the point plan. That's it. Let's go. Let's roll."
Carrie White: The first day, we actually posted it at 9. It was just like a circus going on.
Jeff: I think you touched on something important there, too, which is this faith to go ahead without already having things figured out. It's like the opposite of engineer's syndrome, like I used to have. I would have to have the whole thing dialed in before I would ever take the risk of step one. Versus, "That's a cool idea. Let's figure it out in the trenches, because we know we can, not because we know how, yet." Right?
Carrie White: We do not know how. That's the hardest part about transferring skills. People are always looking at me for answers, like, "How do I do that? How do I do that?"
Carrie White: I'm like, "I don't know." I really don't know a lot of [inaudible 00:27:22]. Like the client wants to see if these properties are worth more than this in this era, or something. They're like, "How do I figure that out?"
Carrie White: I'm like, "I don't know. Google it. Look at market ..." I don't know.
Jeff: Hey Amazon.
Carrie White: [crosstalk 00:27:32] their mortgage. Like, "How do you figure out our mortgage?"
Carrie White: Like, "Google it. I Googled it. I screenshot." I was like, "Google it." I think, yeah-
Jeff: So Good.
Carrie White: ... totally blind faith. Even talking to one of my very successful, good girlfriends last night. She was like, "How come you didn't come to me for that?"
Carrie White: I go, "I didn't know you did that. You don't advertise and promote that. I didn't know that was one of your services." She's been waiting to do videos until this is right, or that's right. I was like, "You just have to do it. You just film it and edit it. Stop being so critical. You look fine. Just put the information out there."
Carrie White: That faith, to jump in, I think is what stops most people, probably 95% of people from doing anything. They don't know what to do. You just have to do it. People admire your authenticity and your determination to put something out there.
Jeff: Yeah, because I think we grow up with school, like you have to hand it an assignment and it gets covered in red ink. That's not how life works, right? Life is like, you ship version one, you get feedback. You ship version two. If the guy who waits to ship the final product, it's already useless by the time it gets to market, right?
Carrie White: 100%.
Jeff: Dive in and figure it out. That fear like, "Okay, so what if the first one sucks? It's still better than not making one. Let's go." Now, 5 or 6 episodes in-
Carrie White: 100%.
Jeff: ... it's plug 'n' play, right?
Carrie White: We're getting better.
Jeff: You have a process and a system. You just have to make your video move on. It's so cool.
Jeff: I want to segue, because I don't want to take up too much of your time today.
Carrie White: Okay.
Jeff: I want to ask, just a moment ago I was going to segue when you were talking about running and doing all this stuff. I'm a big fan of yours online, and I watch your life through the lens of Insta-stories, and things like that. You definitely enjoy life, right? For someone who is 34 years old and is making a good income, but your also a workaholic.
Jeff: We always hear this fallacy of work-life balance. I think that's really a construct for people who have a job, that they go and they can leave. We don't really have that. We have a career and we are independent contractors in business for ourselves.
Jeff: What is work-life balance to you? Or do you even think of it that way? Is it all just one and the same? Do you get like burnt out for a week, "I need a break"? How do you keep the batteries full, daily, weekly, monthly, whatever?
Carrie White: That's a good question. I get super burnt out all the time. I deal with a lot of inundation because I have so many things coming at me, whether it's the team, or clients, or agents. It's just constantly.
Carrie White: That feeling of just wanting space is something that I struggle with, and being patient with people when I'm just inundated as all hell and someone's calling me. Just being like, "It's not their fault you're inundated." Be nice.
Carrie White: One of my things is, even though I work a lot when I'm traveling, the ability to have a cocktail, looking at the sunset, or be at happy hour and being on the phone with a client or sending an email, even though I'm still working, it's that environment. Like being in a beautiful place and having that piece of mind and enjoying life, or traveling, being at the beach, working on the computer. I like that flexibility to work anywhere.
Carrie White: I don't go to the office that much. I don't work from home. I like working out and about. In between appointments I'll stop at a hotel bar or restaurant and meet people. You just kind of feel like you're on the move, on the go. That's what I do for work-life balance.
Carrie White: I know that shutting the phone off is so important, especially during dinners. I'm pretty good. We usually just shut off our phones at dinners, or a birthday dinner. Giving your family and your friends that clarity.
Carrie White: I love spa days, so I do very over-priced, montage spa days with my girlfriends, with Tanya. I drag Eric, with my mom. Dropping a thousand dollars on a day at the spa is something that is like, "Ahhh ..." You can't have your phone at the spa. You're just totally out of touch for two, three hours. That, to me, is my sanity.
Carrie White: My morning workouts. I don't look at my phone when I workout. I get up, I workout. My own time. If I don't workout in the morning, I'm very cranky that day.
Carrie White: Those are kind of my pieces of sanity. And the right people. If I have the right people that can take care of things, I can get more space when I am traveling or doing things like that. So really trying to train all the right people to take over, which I know you've done and have a lot of good people in place.
Jeff: Yeah, I mean, it's that. I heard you say a bunch of things all under the same theme. You're like, "When I'm inundated," right? A lot of your response mechanisms to that are to slow that data input down, either turn the phone off for a while, or redirect it to an admin. I think that's something probably we all struggle with.
Jeff: You can only have so much stuff coming at you. Your brain really is only designed to focus on one thing at a time. The more and more balls we have to juggle, this stuff's just ... I find that too. Everything just spins, all the time. All the unfinished projects. All the openings.
Jeff: Somehow, for you the spa, or whatever. For me, when I walk out in nature or whatever, even if the phone's in the pocket. Something happens different with the brain and it doesn't do it in my house. Like in my house my brain still spins. I can't sleep at night.
Jeff: I think it's important for each of us to find those moments that really help us. I don't think any human's designed to sit in perpetual thoughts hurricane, I call it, or whatever, right?
Carrie White: Oh, it's terrible.
Jeff: That's really what I think we get burnt out from. You don't get burnt out from good clients and making paychecks. We get burnout from all this mental overwhelm. Anyways, I'm on a big tangent there.
Carrie White: No. It's true. That's actually a really good point. You want to get it out of your head and onto paper, because you just, you spin. That's why I don't work from home, because my home wouldn't be my sanctuary any more. My home would be annoying. [crosstalk 00:33:02]
Jeff: Oh, I've got to get better at that. Way better. I'm too much time in bed with my laptop, which is not good.
Carrie White: Oh, that's so bad.
Jeff: I don't have a TV in my bedroom, which is good. It's just comfy, right?
Carrie White: I know, I was trying to do that the other night. Eric's like, "No, that laptop is not allowed in this bed."
Carrie White: I was like, "I'm just so cozy. We're watching sports. Just let me finish."
Carrie White: He's like, "No. No. No." Every time I started typing, he'd be like, "Uh ..."
Carrie White: I'm like, "Your fine. No laptops in bed. You win. Fine."
Jeff: All right, all right. That's probably a good rule. That's probably a good rule for some engaged folks on the beginning of their life together.
Carrie White: Yeah.
Jeff: Okay, so a couple more questions. I know right on that theme of having other people support you can be a huge win. It's something we strive for, if you make enough income, to be able to hire some support system. Basically, I love the way Tom Ferry says it, "Buy your own time back."
Jeff: It's a luxury that we get to have at a certain level of this career. Obviously you've got to push your culture down, your expectations, the way you would treat clients. How do you communicate the Carrie White way to the people, either administratively, or licensed agents that you chose to have around you? Everyone struggles with that, right, at first when building a team?
Carrie White: Yeah, it's the worst part.
Jeff: What do you do to make sure that without your micromanagement, people are giving out the same experience that they could expect from you directly?
Carrie White: I have a lot of templates with how I communicate with clients. "After showings or open houses, here's the template that we give them, fill in the dots. Make a reminder." There's a lot of systems that they jump on.
Carrie White: Then in my escrow checklist, there's explanations on everything, why it happens. Just reading into the systems, and I have how-to videos. Everything is sprinkled with why it's important. I don't just say, "Do this."
Carrie White: Then, throughout the course, I have somebody new working with me now, and little things that she's doing. I explain to her, "Oh, so and so called me about this. That's why it was important that you took photos of the tub," or whatever. Or, "This agent called me about the listing, and that's why it's important that you called all of those people that came to the open house and got feedback."
Carrie White: I kind of explain to them why they're doing the task that they're doing. Then I also teach them the little things, like repeat and affirm. Anytime someone says something, you repeat it back and be positive.
Carrie White: Just the way I email, always make sure that they understand the way you blanket your words, and how you start with respect. You always repeat people. Lead with the positivity, "Thank you for your email." Training in those ways, and then just by example, just from being around me and seeing the way I treat people.
Carrie White: My crazy follow-up, because we all know me. I'm like a fly. Just crazy with my follow up and getting things from people, so teaching them that.
Jeff: They learn through osmosis, being very close to you. That's the natural way. That's just mentorship or leadership. The other side I heard was that you've kind of broken down how you do things. Do you remember actually going through that process?
Jeff: Most of us, at some point, we just are doing ... I'm just doing Jeff, and you're just doing Carrie. We're not doing it by our own playbook. Did you have an "ah-ha" moment where you had to go like, "How do I actually do things?" Do you remember that? How long ago was that?
Carrie White: Yeah. I remember your checklist systems. The Red is what I built my checklist system off of. I think I maybe even emailed it to you. I just said, "Everything I do in a day that I do every day, or once a week, I want in a system, in a checklist." So how to do it, how to write an offer, how to do crisp repairs, how to do a showing.
Carrie White: That was about 2014, '15. '15, when I was at the agency. Seeing all your systems, your systems are still the best. I'm always like, "Oh my God, so incredible." Like, there's a [inaudible 00:36:48] up there.
Jeff: It's just because I don't want to do it myself, that's why the systems are so good.
Carrie White: That's how I feel. I'm like, "You shouldn't have to ask my questions about this. Go read the how-to. Go read the template." But everything is the same thing, every single day.
Carrie White: We had a showing, the client should never ask you how it went before you ask them. It's different. It's not like an open house happens and you email them or you call them on Monday. That's not the world we live in anymore. They want an update at 5:05 pm. We have a reminder ... They do.
Jeff: 100%. Yeah, like 5 minutes after you're putting the sign away, it's like, "HOw'd it go?"
Carrie White: Or 4:55.
Jeff: It's like, "Still breathing." Yeah.
Carrie White: I'm like, "I'm trying to close up the house, get people out of here." I'm driving, putting signs in my car. I always send them a text like, "I'm wrapping up soon, I'll let you know if we're delayed. We'll check in with you in 30 minutes to an hour." So I always set that expectation, and let them know when we're set up. These are just reminders in the phone.
Carrie White: Just these little things, I always say, "The client should never come to you first. We should always be the first person to reach out, the first person to follow up."
Carrie White: Somebody should never check in, "What's going on with my offer? What the next step in the escrow?" That's like done deal, we're dead. We're out of business.
Jeff: Yeah, right.
Carrie White: We want to create seven star service, is what we want to create. Doing the extra. Face-to-face is super, super important. That's what I've learned a lot. Last year, last year was my nuts year. As everybody in my life knows, I did so much business last year. I had [Jamie 00:38:11] pass away last year. At the end of the year, Eric and I got engaged, and I was not present.
Carrie White: There was houses that I did not see that I sold. Clients that I never met that I sold to. All I was was just on the phone, delegating. I was nowhere. I was everywhere and nowhere. I knew, at the end of that year, that I didn't want that kind of year.
Carrie White: This year, I've been more into face-to-face connections, spending more time with clients, letting them talk too long at home inspections. It kind of changed the way, and I do feel more fulfilled than I did last year in taking this approach. Teaching the people that work with me to just be there more, face-to-face, which they don't know any different.
Jeff: That's really cool. I'm thinking it through my own little time, especially in the last couple of years, where the birth of this company, Redline, came out of those moments, too. We drove so hard growing our team, following a blueprint that was laid out to us. Then we got to this point and looked back and go, "Oh, I don't even know if I want what I've built."
Carrie White: Nope.
Jeff: Then real self-reflection. Back to what you were saying earlier in terms of training, where every step just isn't a step. It's not, "Do this." It's, "Do this and here's why I do it."
Jeff Tibbido: At the beginning, it can seem really micromanage-y, or you're like man-splaining stuff to people. It's all the nuance. I think at night, when I'm dealing with people and coaching them, especially people newer to the business, if you can't explain why you're doing every step, that means you don't even know it yourself. You're just doing stuff, or your just following somebody else's checklist.
Jeff: That's the first step, to ask yourself why on everything. You actually start to build a business that's 100% reflective of your personality and why you do each of these things. Why do we send this text? Because they're already sitting there waiting, wanting that text. We know they're empathetic and that they're stressed. If I don't do it, I know they're going to call me in an hour anyway.
Jeff: I don't think people know how much consideration goes into a true service-based business like that, when it's running at a level like you're having. Then, no wonder success comes when it's running at that level, right?
Carrie White: Very true. Yeah, people don't understand the little details of what it takes. On top of that, I also really drill into anybody new in real estate that it sucks. It's not fun and walking around mansions in heels.
Carrie White: It's very rewarding, extremely rewarding. Clients are amazing. All the other stuff, it's bullshit. It's stressful. People are always angry at you. You're always doing something wrong. You're always having to go about and beyond in your service. You're always depleted, almost, which sounds so negative but it's true.
Carrie White: It's a gnarly business. It's a lot of work and a lot of strong mindset, routines. I've worked with so many people that left real estate after working on my team because they're like, "It's too much. It's too much. I don't want to work that hard. I don't want to go through that." You have to have a real strong mind game.
Carrie White: It's not an easy business. People are flaky. They don't show up. They don't appreciate your time. They're rude. They don't buy after a year. There's so many things that happen. But the flip side is just knowing your amazing clients and people that are loyal to you, that have your back, the investments you can make, the vacations you can go on, the people you can inspire, the clients who appreciate you and look up to you.
Carrie White: Being able to take off and go do something with your parents, or if my brother comes to town, I can go pick him up at the airport. No one's telling me where I have to be. I may have a client calling me five times while I'm hugging him, welcoming him back to America. Still, there's so much upside, but if you don't understand the grueling work and the process, you'll never make it.
Jeff: Yeah, or you'll just be frustrated, constantly, right? You'll be sub-performing. Yeah, anytime we're putting our clients versus our life on a teeter-totter and think they're fighting each other, I'm always really worried about that with people. When they're like, "Oh, I've got to do this, but I can't do this."
Jeff: I'm like, "No, you can do both. You're in charge. You're the only one making that decision, right?"
Carrie White: Exactly.
Jeff: Yeah, what a fantastic-
Carrie White: [crosstalk 00:41:59] don't have to go to that home inspection at that time. That was your choice.
Jeff: That's right. Just owning that it was the choice. Sometimes you're choosing it because you want to get that paycheck. Don't complain, just own it, right?
Carrie White: 100%. Yeah.
Jeff: Like, "I've got to cancel dinner with my friends because I want that paycheck." That's fine, just own it.
Carrie White: Yeah.
Jeff: Awesome. Okay. Let's wrap it up with a final question.
Carrie White: Okay.
Jeff: I want to think back to maybe five years ago Carrie, pre-mindset shift to hockey stick Carrie, right? Maybe her, maybe someone just like her, walks into your office, and wants to get started in real estate. What kinds of tips, advice, or mentorship do you give them to accelerate through that rookie phase, so they don't have to necessarily go through the same steps of finding a coaching company, finding inspiration? They can kind of learn from your path.
Jeff: Say, "If I could go back and that first five years of my career, give myself some advice," what would you do differently? Or sooner, or more of, or ...
Carrie White: Yeah, you know, I was thinking about this yesterday. You just have to trust in the process and knowing that what you're doing is going to get you where you need to be, and being patient with it. You'll get there. It's so scary.
Carrie White: I did so many things, threw myself into situations with people I didn't know, clients, agents. I was nervous. I felt insecure. I didn't know what to do or how to act. I just kept showing up and I kept being there. The success came back with it. Don't be afraid to put yourself in situations where you feel this big.
Carrie White: It's okay to feel that big, like where you're still working on your mindset and your confidence. That's normal. No one really feels like they have it all or understand it all when they jump into it. Just trusting yourself and that knowing that you're going to grow and you're going to change once you keep doing these things. On the other side, it's a lot more fun.
Jeff: Wow. That is such good advise for the micro and the macro. You can see that in a day-to-day. Like, "Oh, I made my calls and nothing happened." Or, "I worked so hard on this deal and then it fell apart," versus, "I've worked all year and my business isn't any better." That faith that if you're doing the good work, if you're putting in the effort, if things are moving forward, that it is getting better.
Jeff: I think in this career too, more than anyone, you can have the faith that the change can happen. I mean, if you're just clogging the hours at a corporate job, there's only so much upside.
Jeff: That's one of the things that I ultimately love about this career, is that there is no ceiling, glass or otherwise. You can go as hard and as fast as you want. You're an awesome example of that, Carrie. Thank you so much for taking this time with me today.
Carrie White: Thank you so much.
Jeff: Yeah. I really appreciate it. I cannot wait to come down and see you again soon, and obviously down for your wedding and everything. It's going to be exciting.
Carrie White: I know. [crosstalk 00:44:36]
Jeff: Again, thank you for being on the call today and being my [crosstalk 00:44:41] top agent interview of the fall here. Yeah, any final thoughts for our Thrive Not Survive listeners, here?
Carrie White: Thrive Not Survive?
Jeff: That's the tagline of our trainings, yeah.
Carrie White: I love that. Just doing things like this. I feel a lot more invigorated and empowered about my day, now. It's been a long week. Just constantly reminding yourself of what you're doing, what your why is, talking about it, sharing it. Just constantly doing that and finding that push to keep you going every single day. That's how I feel right now.
Jeff: Amazing. If you do have any clients heading down to the LA area, or otherwise, Carrie is super-connected. Her clients would be more than pleased ... Or, your clients would be more than pleased to hang out with her and live a day in the life of Santa Monica with Carrie.
Jeff: Or, she is super connected to the agency pocket listings, anything like that. Definitely reach out to her. Follow her on social media. She's got one of the most fun Insta-stories. It's so raw in the life of a realtor, sharing all of those moments, like you said, of being behind, and files in your hands, and being at a red light. It's just so much fun to watch.