Episode 075 – Kristina McCann
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode #75 with Kristina McCann – Rebuilding A Real Estate Business from the Ground Up In the East Bay
Kristina McCann is a self-proclaimed real estate entrepreneur, a dedicated real estate professional in California offering alternative realtor services. She is working under a hybrid brand new technology that allows her to put her stamp of creativity in a conservative business.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Automation and technology are best used when it is supporting human creativity and human relationships.
- You can do something more with your marketing dollars that build presence, brand name, and credibility.
- The best way to grow your business as a real estate agent is to be the community connector.
- Real estate agents forget that you’re not in the business of selling homes, you’re in the business of moving people into communities.
- Everybody gives up before they succeed.
- You can’t always see their vision until you get to know them close enough so they can paint it for you.
- If everyone else is doing it, it’s probably wrong. Not necessarily wrong, but it’s not going to get the attention of the market.
- Just follow your heart even if you’re in an industry that feels standard because there are people out there who will appreciate it.
- Kristina is putting her stamp of creative self-expression in a conservative business.
Kristina mentioned the following book/s on the show.
- The Clan of the Cave Bear – Adventure of curious Ayla, a girl wandering through unknown lands found by people very different from her own kind.
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Kristina challenged Pamela to be a guest on The HERO Show. Kristina thinks that Pamela is a fantastic interview because she is an innovative entrepreneur and a big fan of classical music.
How To Stay Connected With Kristina
Want to stay connected with Kristina? Please check out their social profiles below.<br>
- Website: ChromaRealty.com
With that… let’s get to listening to the episode…
Richard Matthews 0:02
Hello, and welcome back to The HERO Show. My name is Richard Matthews and I am here live on the line with Kristina. Kristina, are you there?
Kristina McCann 1:14
I am here. How are you?
Richard Matthews 1:16
Awesome. I am glad to be here. Glad to have you here for those of us those of you guests who are following along with my travels, my wife and I are currently stuck in St. Louis getting our radiator worked on at a repair shop, super fun to do that to you know, live in a on a repair lot. But anyways, that’s where we’re all right now. And for those of you who don’t know, Kristina, let me take a couple of seconds and introduce you to her. So Kristina is a self proclaimed real estate entrepreneur. You’ve been a dedicated real estate professional in California for your entire adult life and you’ve sold in San Diego, Orange County, Santa Cruz, and apparently relocated to the East Bay and rebuilt your business from the ground up. So what I want to sort of start off within the interview is what is it that you’re known for now? Why do people come to you? What’s your specialty in the marketplace? What is it that you do? What makes you makes you, you?
Kristina McCann 2:11
I think, finally I’m getting known for what I want to be known for and that’s being a little bit different than other realtors. It’s taken me quite a while and I had to go out on my own in order to get that recognition but now that I’ve been kind of pedaling away at this for my first year, I have my first year under my belt. I’m definitely known as being just completely different alternatives from what people consider the traditional real estate to real realtor services.
Richard Matthews 2:44
So you said first year, and but you also said your entire adult life. So I assume you’re saying first year in this new market, is that right?
Kristina McCann 2:52
No, actually, so first year going out on my own 100% I mean, realtors –
Richard Matthews 2:57
So you’re not under a brokerage anymore?
Kristina McCann 3:00
Not technically, I’m under kind of a hybrid brand new technology centered white label brokerage. So they’re serving me, I’m not serving them, but essentially in my marketplace, I’m out on my own with my own brand, and my own plan and my own sort of vision.
Richard Matthews 3:20
Awesome. We actually have a lot of connections in the real estate space. My best friend and business partner and a few ventures work with his company’s called Real Estate Growth Hackers. And he does consulting for real estate agents. I know he works with some big names Kevin and Fred out of Next Level Agents, and Brett Tanner down in Arizona. Anyways a couple of people in that space. So anyways, we’re, it’s an interesting space to be in. And I know for you guys, particularly the changes in technology over the last 10 years or so, have really more for your business. So I’m just curious how that sort of been affecting you. Everything From Zillow coming in and trying to take over business and other things that have really changed the face of the realtor space. How have you been sort of taking advantage of that and morphing your business to fit with the times.
Kristina McCann 4:16
So I’m in the Bay Area. So, as far as a realtor being affected by technology, I think we’re right in the mix. I’m also pretty heavily involved. We’re in the mix. So we see everything first here. We’re the testing ground for a lot of companies first here and so for me, I love it. I think it’s fascinating. I don’t feel intimidated by technology, but I kind of try to just like pull it all in and just figure out like, what I can use and who I can talk to and it’s just actually been very exciting. I’m actually backed by a technology company. So I’m an independent broker, but I got kind of a very interesting brokerage model behind me called Side Inc. And I don’t want to get into too much because that’s a whole discussion on its own, but it was just named the second most innovative brokerage in America. And basically, it’s this invisible technology that supports top producers in their marketplace so that the top producer can own their own company without getting bogged down behind a desk, doing all the traditional brokerage stuff. So I love all the technology and I just try to maintain as many relationships as I can within the property tech community. And besides a lot of things I wish realtors would do, I wish realtors would get more immersed in what’s coming our way because it’s never going to replace the realtor with which is the big fear like the realtor is going to be replaced. I don’t see that happening at all. It’s just that the realtor needs to embrace it before being replaced.
Richard Matthews 5:58
One of the things that I talked about regularly on, I got a business that helps work, helps other businesses build systems and processes that it’s called Push Button Process but anyways we one of the things I talked about regularly is that automation and technology is used to – is best used when it is supporting human creativity and human relationships. And it never does well when it tries to replace human relationships or human creativity. At least not yet is probably a long ways off before it does. So it’s interesting to hear you say that in your space where you’re seeing a lot of these big disruptions in the marketplace saying there’s never going to be a replacement there’s still going to be room. Probably essential room for the realtor to stay and be a big part of that transaction.
Kristina McCann 6:48
I think it’s definitely going to separate realtors though. It’s going to make the cream come to the top in an industry where for $300 you’re in to a market and a lot of people Everyone has to claw their way to the top to get to the top. But you know, that’s a big 80-20 or 90-10 industry. And so I think this technology is going to help separate people. And so if you’re not ready for that, you might be kind of sinking under the bottom. And if you’re ready for it, then it’s moving you up to the top.
Richard Matthews 7:19
Absolutely. So you mentioned when you’re saying what you’re known for that you were you were really trying to be different. What are some of the things that you’re trying to bring to the table as to be a different type of realtor, be something that’s offering something unique to your marketplace?
Kristina McCann 7:34
So my primary drive and passion actually came from a near complete emotional meltdown. When I came to the East Bay, I mean, really, it really did. I came to the East Bay five, six years ago now and at the time I was getting married and I was pregnant and I was just looking around in a panic thinking, I have got to build this business faster than ever. So, I was like looking around trying to work hard, work smart. I’ve always built all of my businesses with handwritten letters. And to this day I do that. So I talk about technology, but I don’t have to remove the personal stuff. And I build my business just kind of in a pretty traditional way. And about a year and a half into it. Couple things happened, I can skip over those. But I realized that I needed to be with a luxury firm, a name brand firm, like a big firm. And I made the jump and after being a real estate for years, for me, it was a big deal thinking, Oh, now I’m going to be a luxury realtor. And I did it and I got in and I went to a good company and a very traditional company, family-based quite a large company, went to a regional company, and I was very, very, very disappointed and very depressed. I just got in. And once I was behind closed doors, I thought to myself, Wow, I can’t believe that this is the pinnacle, like in our industry. A lot of the processes weren’t working for me. A lot of the structures weren’t working for me. Like, there was no room for innovation. At one point I started crying and my manager told me, Kristina, you don’t even want to be that successful because you don’t want to have a payroll like so, and so. Or she told me Oh, this is a yacht. Sorry, this is a cruise ship, not a yacht. I mean, I was in tears. I was unhappy. I felt really stuck. And in our industry in real estate, all over the country. I feel like realtors really do feel like hey, I’m at this brokerage, and it’s not that great. But moving over is also not that great or moving here is not like it’s not always just the lesser of two evils in the brokerage world. So while I was sort of having these experiences, internally. I was very successful externally. But at the same time, I felt like the brokerage wasn’t supporting me, because they weren’t giving me a comfortable place to work while paying desk fees. And so I was working at a coffee shop while producing 28 million in sales in 2018. And that’s being new to my marketplace. I mean, that’s pretty healthy, no matter how long you’ve been somewhere, but that’s new to the marketplace. I mean, I was just working, working, working and I was working for a coffee shop and I was paying commissions. I’ll tell you that I paid $170,000 out commissions that year. So, the frustration was adding to that frustration, but then the final experience that I had when I started also looking at the real estate office, and I realized like this is so wasteful, like this is really wasteful. It’s always empty. Realtors will arrive on a Monday, they’ll drink coffee, they’ll listen to a presentation. That’s, I don’t know, maybe not that interesting, especially in the world of podcasts where we can listen to anything we want at any given time. And I noticed that this real estate office is also empty. And in the Bay Area space is at a premium. So things started really turning and cooking and turning and I wanted the real estate office to actually start serving the community. And by that I was proposing to this corporation, hey, let’s open up an office that the community can use. Let’s give it to the community and then that started to expand to not spending marketing dollars on wasteful projects, shopping carts, postcards, I mean, things that my industry has seeped in for 25 years. So I just finally –
I had no choice. I was backed into a corner and I was just so unhappy. But I went out on my own, and at the same time Side, kind of started coming up. And that’s a whole other conversation, but I joined Side which gave me some independence while allowing me to have brokerage structure. And that part’s pretty, pretty invisible. The Side portion of it’s pretty invisible. It’s amazing on its own, but what I did was I opened up a co-working space in my community, and I donate it to anybody in the community who needs it for free. So, anyone who comes and knocks on my door and needs a place to work, anyone starting a business, anyone starting a startup, anyone with a baby at home, anyone with like mompreneur, basically anyone nonprofit, anyone can use my space. No questions asked. No strings attached. It’s just an open door policy. And so that early got me thinking, Okay, the average realtor in a, in an expensive marketplace, if they’re good, they’re spending $100,000 a year minimum, and more. All the way up to much more. And I’m finding that a lot of it goes in the garbage. Postcard –
Richard Matthews 12:54
It’s always a spend.
Kristina McCann 13:20
It’s always to spend. And so now I’m paying for this office out of my marketing budget. Can I feel like okay, I’m really giving to the community. I’m doing something useful with my marketing dollars. And it just started to bleed over into everything that I’m doing. Kind of making myself ask myself, Hey, does this marketing spend benefits someone in my community? And if the answer is yes, I do it. And I’ve cut way back on, the shameless self-promotion dollars, like the postcards, and I really have sort of just started becoming passionate about serving my community in a really real way, but like maybe I can show other realtors, look, you can do something with your marketing dollars that builds your presence and build your brand name, and your credibility, and your sphere which is what a realtor should be doing in a way that really helps people.
Richard Matthews 14:19
That is ridiculously cool. by the way, because like I told you, we’re like, you know, eyeballs deep in the real estate market and one of my friend’s business, so we are we’re talking about that kind of stuff all the time. That is incredibly unique and very powerful. And one of the things that I know he coaches real estate agents on all the time is the best way to grow your business as a real estate agent is to be the community connector, to be that person that everyone you know that knows you’re there. That knows the area and that you know all the things that are going on here. The connector and the you know, he talks a lot about starting local podcasts and doing things like that. So everyone in the community knows that you’re the real estate agent to go to. But you’re taking that like, to a whole nother level where you’re just you’re actually providing for the community, which is super, super cool.
Kristina McCann 15:15
So right now, I’ve been open about a year and thank you because when I started it, I was in here painting walls, kind of crying, like pulling Amazon boxes from my house to the office and just thinking, what are you doing? You’re going nuts. Everybody’s going to be like, this girl went off the rails. And I do actually feel that way in my marketplace. I don’t think other realtors have really hopped on board to be like, Hey, this is so cool. The community has been like, they don’t know what I’m doing or they don’t get it or they’re jealous, but I’m not sure. But you know, there are times when I take you know, I still feel really alone in doing it. But then I’m also still very committed to doing it.
Richard Matthews 15:58
They say the people who are innovating or the ones that are out front. You’re by yourself, which is the way that goes, but I guess the million dollar question has that impacted your GCI, right? Has it actually increased the sales volume that you’re doing?
Kristina McCann 16:17
I would say immediately, the answer to that would be no. But in a very soft way. It’s a yes. Also, I’m in a pretty conservative market and a very, like old money type of community where the brands that are here have been here for a while. And then of course, any realtors listening like you know, Compass swept through just a mega Corporation, kind of gobbling everyone up. And I kind of went on my own right when the mega Corporation was eating everyone up. So like, wow, while the big machine became the popular thing to do, I just kind of stepped out on my own thinking like I’m gonna wait this out. I’m going to wait this out over here. Meanwhile, like my heart’s beating, I’m totally petrified. And now though, I mean, my doors closed, I have a sign on the door. There’s six people working; a graphic designer, an architect, a friend of mine, who’s a mom who just likes to get away from her kids. So my co-working space is full and busy every day. And you know, I come in and I see people here and I’m like, Wow, my idea works. And most people in the community I think, will tell you that at this point in time, like especially in my generation, I’m definitely the most famous realtor in the area. So I think.
Richard Matthews 17:38
It’s a longer play, right? You’re not you’re not playing for marketing dollars today, equal sales tomorrow. Well, we’re looking at dollars today equals –
Kristina McCann 17:49
And I’m very, very right and I’m very sensitive to not making people feel sold to. And so I think I’m hanging back a lot more than I would with you know. It’s like a very fine line like I want to be hospitable like food, ink,Wi-Fi, snacks, coffee, like everything is included like you come here and it’s like everything I have is yours. Everything, you can even sit at my desk because I’m not here. Everything I have is yours, but at the same time I don’t want you to feel very transactional, like you’re coming here and then I’m marketing to you. So I really like hanging back and just telling myself to be patient, like it’s working and things are starting to roll in. But I’m not rolling anything yet.
Richard Matthews 18:42
My first thought, and I don’t know how this plays out. But one of the things that Zach, who’s my guy does the real estate coaching recommends for like the local podcasters who are using podcasting to do something similar to become a name in the community is he just regularly has, you know, you have a message that just says, Hey, if you or anyone you know, looking to do a real estate transaction, make sure you send them my way, right? It’s a really soft call to action kind of thing. So people are aware that, that’s a thing that you do, which I’m sure with what you’re doing, it’s probably there already. But it’ll be really interesting to see how that plays out over the long term, because I imagine that’ll have quite an impact in the community.
Kristina McCann 19:30
I’m hoping it does. And I’m hoping that it provides me with proof of concept that I could start maybe regionally just opening up little micro offices where it’s like, Okay, let me open up a micro and in the Bay Area where commute is such a concern. And property values are such a concern. I mean, to join a co working space around here is $700 a month. I’m giving that away for free to people who need it. I would love to open more like little micro offices and just be like, Hey, you’re welcome to come in. And then I also started a moving guide for the area. So it’s been a very busy year just sort of thinking to myself, okay, if I’m going to claw out this space for myself, and I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do all the things, trying to actually be seen is like, hey, look at this girl, she’s doing this stuff, she cares about the community, like, all this stuff is being built, and then just kind of getting that momentum to getting it noticed.
Richard Matthews 20:29
Absolutely. So that’s a really interesting story of how you’ve gotten started in that area here. My next question for you has to do with your superpower. So this is the way I’ve been framing this recently. It’s what you do build your office really, really help solve problems for people. But if you look at your set of skills that you have, there’s probably a lot of things that you’re pretty good at. And what we’ve been talking about is your superpower. It’s the one thing that sort of connects them all together, the one that introduces all of your skills and – Curious, have you thought about that? Or if you have an idea of what you think your superpower is that one thing you bring to the table that really lets you know light everything up in your, in your business?
Kristina McCann 21:12
Okay, so I think that the superpower is that I’m really good at creating space for people, like as a realtor, like I don’t want to sell them the house and hand them the key. I want them to feel like they’re part of the community. And so it’s like, come in, come to this event, like forget about your house. Like, I’m so tired about houses, who really cares about your house, you’re a person and you’re moving and so like kind of creating space and making sure that people are connected socially. I’m figuring out where to pick up their dry cleaning and just stuff like, okay – Where do I go get my manicure? Or like, we know what’s the deal with preschools, like just really remembering that real estate is about people and it’s not about houses.
Richard Matthews 22:04
That’s the thing that I think a lot of real estate agents forget. You’re not in the business of selling homes, you’re in the business of moving people into communities.
Kristina McCann 22:13
Correct or out, for that matter.
Richard Matthews 22:15
Or out of communities into another community.
Kristina McCann 22:17
And that’s the thing. It’s like people always talk about well, I’m an expert on the neighborhood. I’m like, I don’t really care about the neighborhood because really, like this family, they have dogs, they have kids, they’re moving. They still have to work. There’s so much going on that has nothing to do with the house.
Richard Matthews 22:39
You’re going to be interested in more and like when you move to an area where’s the cool dog park that I take the dogs to? And like you were saying, here in St. Louis, what are the cool places we can take the kids? That kind of stuff.
Kristina McCann 22:53
I think there’s a lot of this discompassion. It stems from me being a military bride. So it’s like, I know what it’s like to move. And pack up and unpack and try to make friends. And first you feel alone and then you’re confused. And then two and a half years later, you’re like, Oh, I’m getting into the groove of this since like, well, I don’t want to
Richard Matthews 23:13
Do it all again.
Kristina McCann 23:14
And then you’re doing it all again. So, for me, it’s like just making sure that people feel included and connected. And that’s the superpower.
Richard Matthews 23:26
That’s a really interesting superpower. And it’s also one that I don’t think a lot of people have. Like the people really understand that. The relationship sort of background to what it is that you do and how you get in and actually really, because you like you can’t just know the things you have to like really care about the people and you have to get to know them and find out what it’s actually important to them so you can make connections that are going to help them build their life in this new place.
Kristina McCann 24:01
And even just a little bit faster. For me it’s like facilitating the speed of feeling comfortable where you are.
Richard Matthews 24:10
So I don’t know how common buyer’s remorse is in real estate because it’s such a big purchase but I’m curious if you feel like what you do for people and helping them get a community helps reduce that feeling of like, I can’t believe we just moved to this community or that we bought this house or that kind of stuff, do you think that really helps with with some of that stuff?
Kristina McCann 24:33
I’m gonna say I do. And then I actually have had prospects and friends who have called me after using another realtor and they had some remorse and they’re like, what do we do and I try to be the bigger person but usually I tell them that they need to call their realtor. But with my clients like I love buyers and I will always tell them I will drag them out to 20-30% more houses than they want to see. Because I’m like, Look, when you make this decision, I want you to know that you looked at this neighborhood and that neighborhood and that neighborhood and sometimes I’ll just take them some more wild like, hey, let’s just triple check that you don’t like it over here. So I actually love being out with buyers. So I’m going to say that buyer’s remorse is pretty low on with my clients. But it’s not infrequent that I get a call from someone who accidentally used another realtor and then they’re asking me how to fix things.
Which I obviously cannot.
Richard Matthews 25:43
That’s not uncommon when your superpower really hits that nail on the head for them. But it’s an interesting thing for us, especially because with real estate, it’s such a huge purchase and it’s such a life changing thing for people.
Kristina McCann 26:01
And just last week, I bought tickets to a comedy show, and I invited 10 clients, and they’re all friends of mine. There was a couple there that I sold a house to seven years ago. And I’m like, Hey, I’m still inviting you out. I still want you to get to know this person. I still want you to make friends here. Like, let me introduce you to these people. Like, I’m still with my clients, like even half a decade later if they want me to be there.
Richard Matthews 26:29
Well, that’s cool. And it’s probably one of my favorite things about the real estate profession is that it’s a professional relationship. You have to be really, really good at it. And so it’s interesting that that’s your superpower. So the other side of your superpower is your fatal flaw. So for our audience here, most of them are entrepreneurs building their businesses in some way or shape or form. Your favorite- like Superman has his kryptonite, something that you have struggled with in the growth of your business, and more importantly than how to fly is, but how have you been dealing with that yourself or other people who might suffer from something similar they might learn from you.
Kristina McCann 27:16
I answered this for myself on the very first podcast I ever listened to of yours. And so I really hate to answer it, because every time you ask the guy, I’m like, Oh, I hate my fatal flaw. And it really is like, I hate my fatal flaw, because every time you ask it, I beat myself up. It said, I’m like, I’m a visionary. And I’m so passionate about having my vision that when people don’t really see it the way I see it, I’m like, get on board you idiots. And it’s hard for me to really deal with people who don’t see my vision and that’s a lot. When you’re out on your own, I think for me to kind of maintain like my own cheerful attitude and to like, I can’t fault people, because they don’t know what they don’t know. That just sounds so presumptuous. But you know, that’s my fatal flaw is that when I see this vision and for me it’s so complete and beautiful and flowing and like big and like ever growing. That when other people don’t see it, I’m like, what’s wrong with you? And I don’t even stop to consider that maybe something’s wrong with me. I could possibly be a little off my rocker but it’s working now.
Richard Matthews 28:36
I like that, off your rocker.
Kristina McCann 28:40
My instant reaction is like, what’s wrong with you? Like, how come you don’t see all of this? And I have to remember that like, not everyone sees all of this, which is why I’m out here doing it and creating it and living it and risking it. But it’s so hard for me to kind of like rein that in and like sometimes I get a little testy about it.
Richard Matthews 29:04
No, I totally get that, you know, and it’s probably more common than you think for entrepreneurs because we tend to be visionary people. And like, I know for instance, my mom and dad, greatest people in the world, I love them to death and they love me. And I was definitely raised in a great home. But when I try to tell them things that I’m doing and how we’re doing them, I generally get either blank stares, or you’re crazy.
Kristina McCann 29:32
I do. I get so many people who are like, why don’t you just charge for your co-working space? I’m like, oh, should I charge you? And they’re like, what will it be? Because I can’t really afford it. And that’s the thing. People have my co-working space. They can’t afford to go somewhere else. They can’t afford to rent an office, they would be at a coffee shop like me. But that’s like one of the primary things. It’s like, well, why don’t you just charge. I’m like, so why don’t I just be raised like the primary part of the entire vision and I kind of I’m like, Okay, I’ll charge you. And they’re like, Well, I mean, I’m really enjoying it here. Like, I don’t want you to charge me, but I like maybe you could charge other people.
Richard Matthews 30:11
All that my friends that are next you can charge all of them. It’s that difference between someone who’s – And what’s interesting too, is even if you’re talking to another person who’s a visionary, they won’t always see your vision. Because they have their own, they’re working towards. So it’s that whole thing where it can be lonely at you know, lonely when you’re pushing for something and innovating in a space. So my curiosity then is what have you been doing to sort of help curb that, and make that a better response or not feel so lonely in the journey that you’re doing?
Kristina McCann 30:52
Well, I think finally now, it’s like it’s coming around and I’m getting a little more feedback that it’s working like I’ve had somebody approached me to buy, how to help their parents buy and sell. And I’m like, Oh, that’s a clear cut example of this working. And I’m starting to get more solid, clear cut examples of it working. But the first year for sure, I constantly have to remind myself, breathe and be patient and I don’t know who it was, maybe Einstein, like everybody gives up just before they succeed. So I’m like, look it out a little longer. You’re already invested this much. And then I also really struggle because I want to expand and I want the bigger co-working space and I want this and that. But I’m trying to just really tell myself like everything that I’m doing is working well. And that I should just enjoy it at this point.
Richard Matthews 31:53
For those of our guests who are listening, in case you missed it, one of the things that’s really important when you’re pushing towards a vision and you have that sort of Well, my feeling is to look at the early results and see them and remind yourself that, hey, this is what we’re doing, where we’re going. And you know, someone who’s been there myself. I mean, I’m 10 years into my business now and get a point where I’m pretty well known in my space. And people come to me and they’re like, Hey, I’m excited to get to talk to you right now, if you go back 10 years ago, the first couple of years, you never have any of that stuff happen. So it’s, it’s a lot easier as you get further into that journey to realize, you know, that people will start to see your vision eventually.
Kristina McCann 32:36
Well, and I do think if you’re on the cutting edge of stuff, which I kind of pride myself of being a lot of it by necessity is that when other people start to catch. it’s not that they’re not seeing what you’re doing. It’s like that they’re just they’re behind the curve, most of the people and so like, as people are sort of evolving themselves and like younger generations. I’m not that young. I’m not that old. I’m 42 but like to see kind of like this second wave of people that are growing up in technology and you start to feel less alone because you start bumping into each other like me and you.
Richard Matthews 33:15
Because you’re finding other people who are doing similar cool things in their businesses and making a change, making an impact. Great. So, next question for you has to do with your common enemy. So, common enemy has to do, is framed in terms of your clients. When you bring in a new client, you have either help them buy a home or sell a home. If you could wave a magic wand and sort of remove a mindset or something similar, that’s really holding your clients back that you feel you could really help them more if they could just change this things may use sort of, running your head into the wall kind of thing over and over again with your clients. What is it that you sort of run into that you have to fight against all the time within your business.
Kristina McCann 34:04
I think just that real estate’s a very social business. And so everyone has a friend who’s a realtor and maybe seven of them. But when it comes to choosing a professional, so many people will like choose their neighbor, or you’ll see somebody with an ethnic background, choose someone of another ethnic background that’s similar. And kind of the markers of how people choose their realtor. They’re not really based on reality. They’re not based on skill set. They’re not based on track record, I mean, a lot of time like a bulk of the time. And so kind of telling like a buyer or seller like no, you don’t use your neighbor because you’ve been getting Postcards from her for seven years. You really need to dig onto the internet and see what their presence is and see and I’m not the only good realtor in town, like by far there are lots of good realtors, but the number of people who use a realtor because they bumped into him in an open house. So they feel guilty because they’re in their daughter’s class, or they’ve been friends since high school or like, the parameters for choosing the professional are not in place. And I don’t know if it’s because the public isn’t educated on that. But that’s kind of the thing that I would like to see because I have had people call me and they’re like, I’m so unhappy. It killed me. And I’m like, I can’t help you. Now you chose another realtor in your contract. And it doesn’t really like becomes evident until you’re in trouble that you picked your neighbor because she’s consistently sent you postcards for the last six years. And she hasn’t sold any houses. That’s throughout my industry.
Richard Matthews 35:43
And it’s an interesting space too, because so many people, like the barrier to entry to become a real estate agent is not that high. Which means there are a lot of real estate agents, but the barrier to be a good real estate agent is really high. I can’t remember what the exact numbers are, but it’s something like in any given market only 1% of the realtors do something like 90% of the transactions.
Kristina McCann 36:13
In my market, 400 realtors are licensed and in 2018 only 63 of them sold more than two houses.
Richard Matthews 36:23
It’s insane. The disparity between being a realtor and actually someone who’s closing transactions. So to your point, as someone who is selling houses if you could get all of your clients to just understand, here’s how you actually hire a good realtor would be a major boon.
Kristina McCann 36:45
It would be. It really would be.
Richard Matthews 36:48
So my curiosity is do you deal at all with that in your marketing efforts on educating the public. So to speak, on what it looks like to be a good realtor, someone who’s actually got the track record of closing deals and getting people to move into homes.
Kristina McCann 37:06
So I think because I’ve taken such a medium hard stand on not producing junk marketing, it’s been a little difficult for me to do that, because I’m really trying to focus on demonstrating like, Hey, I’m doing it, take a look like, I’m supporting all of this and it’s with my realtor income. I actually, I haven’t been, I’ve thought about it or selling yourself against the competition, like, Hey, I’m an independent and private service versus the team name in town. But for me, I feel like putting that much money into what would equal garbage. And it’s 2020, we all care about the climate. It’s really hard for me to justify putting out campaigns like that unless they’re digital and that’s a really hard place to get clear through the clutter, too. So that’s why I really wanted to go back to this micro, because the people who are coming to my co-working space, I have like 75 of them now. They’re getting to know me in a real way. So now as a realtor, I know 75 people, personally and relatively, intimately in my community that I didn’t know a year ago, and that’s a pretty big ROI for a realtor to say. Like, you’re not getting that –
Richard Matthews 38:28
It’s like a sphere of influence on steroids.
Kristina McCann 38:33
And I mean, you’re not getting that from postcards. I mean, they’re gonna see your face, but I’m like, Okay, let me get these hundred and it’s like the whole shift in in into micro marketing. Let me get these hundred people, I really know them and they really know me for that sort of, rather than let me send out 20,000 postcards a month and it goes in the trash. When I get a postcard from a realtor. I just laugh and shake my head and I’m like, wow, that’s someone’s grandma.
Richard Matthews 39:09
And I’m very opinionated. But I think you have to be, to stay true to that vision.
Absolutely. So the other side of that then is if your common enemy that you fight against your driving forces what you fight for. Just like Spider Man fights to save New York or, Batman fights to save Gotham or, Google fights to index and categorize all the world’s information. What is it that you fight for? What’s your mission with your real estate company?
Kristina McCann 39:38
I really want people to start choosing the service provider who’s providing a service and I really want people to see if I’m serving the community that I should be serving the community and for me, I would love to just show that to other people to like, really start making a different kind of footprint on this industry just for climate stuff and logic and let’s just evolve an industry that really needs to be evolved. But it’s like just really showing people like, hey, you’re getting service, but you’re also getting service like as a community.
Richard Matthews 40:21
So changing, sort of changing the face of the real estate market where it’s not just someone who’s buying and selling homes, but it’s actually being a community service. Serving the community leader in that way.
Kristina McCann 40:40
And I think we have an obligation to, I don’t think this is something that I’m choosing to do. I mean, anybody with 100, 200, $300,000 budget, I think they should be answerable to what they’re doing with it. I just think they should. It’s time for that. And it’s time to take that dollar volume and really say this is what I’m doing with it. And it means something. It’s not shameful, selfish, shameful, shameless, at those are interchangeable.
Richard Matthews 41:08
Kristina McCann 41:10
Self-promotion, creating garbage at a time in history where, we’re all ready to be done with the garbage.
Richard Matthews 41:20
Absolutely. So just for my own personal future, I hope that goes really well for you, because I think it sounds like a glorious change in the real estate market. Because I again, it’s a space I know pretty intimately, and I know that it is ripe for change. And a lot of people think it’s going to come from technology. And what I’m hearing you say is that it’s going to come from servant leadership that’s powered by technology, which is, I think, a really cool, fresh take on that industry.
Kristina McCann 41:55
We might have to do some real estate growth hacking together.
Richard Matthews 42:00
Absolutely. So I want to transition a little bit more practically. This section of the show is called The Heroes Tool Belt. Maybe you got a big magical hammer like Thor or bulletproof vest like your neighborhood police officer or maybe you just really love how Evernote lets you organize everything. What are some of the practical tools you use on a daily basis to really manage and work your business? When it comes to either keeping track of leads, following up with them or making sure your deals get move through the stages properly. What’s some of the, something you just couldn’t live without today to manage your business?
Kristina McCann 42:37
I mean, I have to say, like everything I have comes from the internet. A, I’m one way shape or form, especially I have a virtual assistant, which is incredible. I was petrified to hire her and now I’m like, Well, I don’t know how anyone gets around without one. And really, it’s like, just Social media, the access to social media, I mean, it’s not free, you have to pay to play. But I mean, no one, especially me could build any of this. Like, I wouldn’t have even been able to get awareness out on any of it. Without social media, which, we all kind of love to hate. But really, it allows people who are passionate and consistent and driven to create something. And there’s like so many bumps in the road, and there’s so much crap you have to go through, and there’s so much trial and error, and it’s so wild west and you don’t know who you can trust like service provider, but like, if you do it, and if you slog through it, and if you’re reasonably intelligent, and just like keep tweaking and trying and pushing like, you can build anything you want. And I mean, I guess that’s the American dream, like going all the way back in time but like for us now with this, I think that that’s the toolkit to have is your social media skill set.
Richard Matthews 44:01
I call this the golden age of business because everything is so accessible nowadays. Everything from like, you and I are chatting, we’re halfway across the country chatting live on a video recording thing here, which is super cool all the way down to if you want to get a physical product business going and order, custom made products from China or India or here in the United States even, you can do that. Like, I’ve got a supplement company that we run into, our minimum orders for custom made supplements are like 12 bottles. You know, 10 years ago, it was 2000.
Kristina McCann 44:41
It’s incredible, and it’s still scary and it’s still confusing, and it’s still kind of a jungle. But you can do it from your home. You can do it with kids. You can do it pregnant, you know,
Richard Matthews 44:56
Or like us, you know, four kids and a forty foot RV.
Kristina McCann 45:02
And so let’s talk about the barrier to entry. In real estate, it’s pretty low. But online, if you’re smart and you’re dedicated and you really believe in what you’re doing, then the barrier to entry is also technically pretty low.
Richard Matthews 45:17
That’s awesome. So, I’m gonna talk about your own personal heroes a little bit. Alright. So just like Frodo had Gandalf, or Luke had Obi Wan, or Robert Kiyosaki had his Rich Dad, who were some of your heroes? Were they real life mentors, speakers, authors, peers who may be a couple years ahead of you? And how important were they to what you’ve accomplished so far in your business?
Kristina McCann 45:37
I have also answered myself, I thought about this listening to your podcast before. I don’t know if something’s wrong with me. But usually I find myself so far ahead of the curve, that the people that really drive me are the people that I become disappointed in, where I just finally, I can’t take this anymore. I’m going to do it another way and I’m going to do it a better way. I’m just – You push me to my limit, but I just can’t operate this way anymore. So I kind of find like that really like, the disappointment part will fuel me a lot faster than the inspiration part.
But – I just -I don’t know.
Richard Matthews 46:22
That’s actually, it’s an interesting thing – I’ve heard that before a little bit where it’s the thing that inspires you is like so. And this has come up a couple of times in discussions on the show that we’ll put people up as a hero in our lives because they’ve influenced us. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that person is infallible or perfect in any way. It’s just like, sometimes you realize it like, Hey, I’m looking forward to this person and you realize that like once you get closer to them, either in stature or in relationship or other things, you realize they’re just as human as you are and that can be a driving force, as well.
Kristina McCann 47:02
And I do. I mean, if you want to go all the way back, I want to go to one of my childhood. Did you ever read a clan of the cave bear or any of that series?
Richard Matthews 47:14
I did not.
Kristina McCann 47:16
There’s this series of Neanderthal girl and she loses her whole family in an earthquake and then there’s a series of like six fantasy realism type books. And she goes from being like three years old and she grows up and like into being a woman, but she’s just sort of out there like in the world, very innovative. And you know, I’ve loved her since I was a little girl and sort of identified with that. So I think that if anything, she might be my hero.
Richard Matthews 47:48
The Clan of the Cave Bear?
Kristina McCann 47:51
Clan of the Cave Bear. Do you have daughters, especially as reading I just,
Richard Matthews 47:55
I have three daughters, so –
Kristina McCann 47:59
Love it. I mean, I started reading them when I was about 10. But I really just admire people, which I may save for the next question when you asked me for a referral. I admire people who are just sort of innovative. And I’m like, wow, like what they’re doing hasn’t been done before. But a lot of times to figure that out about someone, you have to start to get to know them a lot better because a lot of us we’re all in our own world sort of like pushing forward for what we’re –
Richard Matthews 48:31
You can’t always see their vision until you get to know them close enough so they can paint it for you. Makes a lot of sense. So let’s bring it home. For our listeners. Talk a little bit about your guiding principles, top one or two principal actions that you use regularly on a daily basis that you think contribute to both a success and influence that you enjoy in your business today. Maybe something you wish you had known when you started out in your real estate career.
Kristina McCann 49:02
For me, it’s definitely so bold is the new neutral is one of my company mottos. And I spent so much time I like it, thank you. I spent a lot of time trying to fit into a box. In my industry, everyone’s painting houses gray and working for companies with serious logos and then I just really, at one point was like, I can’t do this career without being me. And so now it’s like, everything’s colorful and cheerful and a little bit in your face. And just, I’m like, very self aware about like, not putting myself into a box because it’s okay, I just want to go out and find those people who want that. And you know, it’s really scary because I’m in a conservative business. But the thing that I’m just constant asking myself is like, Is this good? Even if it’s a little bit wilder, more colorful than what people are accustomed to, if it meets those criteria of being good and like coming from a good place in my heart, then I do want it to have my stamp of creative self expression.
Richard Matthews 50:23
I really liked that whole bold is the new neutral thing because it was all the way back to like something Einstein said, right? It’s like, if everyone else is doing it, it’s probably wrong. And not necessarily, not necessarily that it’s wrong, but just that it’s not going to get the attention of the market. And so, if you look like an act like everyone else in the market, you are just part of the noise and you have to stand out a bit.
Kristina McCann 50:50
And I think a lot of it just comes from fear. Like we’re afraid that people won’t like it and so we don’t do it. But you know, at the same time, like I’m showing houses all the time and buyers are confused because every house is painted gray. But really like when it comes to decorating a house for market, someone’s afraid to paint a wall green because they’re afraid someone’s not gonna like it and it just sort of all boils down to, we’re neutralizing everything to the base level. And everyone’s just afraid to deviate from it because they feel like it’s just been proven to be successful. And I’m like, Oh my god, I’m going to – My head’s going to explode if I have to –
Richard Matthews 51:31
I have an interesting question for you on that just on that very specific topic of prepping a home for showing. In one of the things that my wife and I used to do just for fun because we thought it was cool was, we had a luxury neighborhood near where we grew up. And it was like, five acre buy ins and big mansions, all that stuff. And I always seen realtors, they always had open houses on the weekend with cookies and whatnot. So we always used to go to the big open house. And look at the mansions. And one of the things I noticed in one particular house, and this comes to your whole your whole idea bold is the new neutra, is the whole house, the decorations and everything we’re very, very I don’t know what the word would be there, they were very bold, and they were like custom paintings and like custom cut, like the the person lived there was an artist and with a custom tiles that they had put into the carved, into the walls and stuff like that. And my wife and I thought it was like, this is beautiful. It’s just absolutely gorgeous. But for me, I was like, it felt like you would never want to touch the house because it was like artwork. And I’m curious where the line is, you think between like, hey, I want to be able to show someone a future in this house where they can make it their own, versus making it better than just bland, and neutral, if that makes sense. Where do you sort of see that line?
Kristina McCann 53:00
I mean, you do have to be practical because not everybody wants – It’s very personalized and you want the blank slate. But so for me, what I’ve done is I’ve just begged the stagers that I have a relationship with and begged and like, hey, like a little brighter, a little brighter, still a little brighter, like, hey, let’s like add something fine. And so I’ve also started purchasing a lot of accessories on my own. And then also because you can’t always carry it over into the house, I just try to be sure that I carry it over into my brand and just let people know I don’t have to be serious in presentation to be good.
Richard Matthews 53:44
That’s true. So it’s interesting because you have a line to walk where I want someone to see personality and life and boldness in the house and the staging, by the same time be able to show them a future there. So you’re saying you can bring some of that in with your presentation. You send them with your personality as well.
Kristina McCann 54:03
That’s what I’m going for. And you know, just making sure that all of my events focused on community events are like we went out for a comedy show. It’s like, hey, let’s make it fun. Let’s make it light. Let’s make it lively. My co-working space, which, sorry, the video wasn’t working perfectly today. It’s very bright. It’s very vibrant. I mean, every room is a different color. But I still think it’s tasteful. And a lot of people walk in and they’re like, I wish my house is like this. And I’m like, well, we can get to work. Like we can do it.
Richard Matthews 54:38
-People will keep your house like it’s ready for sale in 10 years and like why not paint it now? You can always paint it neutral later.
Kristina McCann 54:47
I think that people just end up being a little bit afraid. So it’s like, hey, it’s not that serious. It’s not that serious. It’s okay to live in a cheerful environment. We don’t all have to live in gray houses.
Richard Matthews 55:01
Nice thing about paint too, is if you painted, you don’t like it, you can paint over it.
Kristina McCann 55:07
Richard Matthews 55:09
It reminds me a story of our last RV. We painted the inside of it and redid it. And I asked my wife, I was like, What kind of colors do you think we should do? And she was like, I trust you with colors. You’d be branding all time. So I picked out a color scheme that I really liked and painted as well. And she came back and looked at it was like, yep, shouldn’t let you do that. I can’t stand it. So, she went with me to the store and we picked up new colors and repainted it. But it’s not the end of the world. You know, if you don’t like the way it turns out, you can do it again.
Kristina McCann 55:41
You can do it again.
Richard Matthews 55:43
You can do it again. It’s not that big a deal. So that’s cool. So last, the last part of this. So this of our shows when we do another show I know you’ve already alluded to it is our Hero’s Challenge. It’s pretty simple basically. Do you have someone in your life or your network that you think has a cool entrepreneurial story, who are they? First names are fine. And why do you think they should come share their story on our show?
Kristina McCann 56:09
I do. So I met this woman, her name is Pamela and she runs something called Gold Coast Chamber Players in the Bay Area. And as you know, chamber music is heavily, you know, it’s an older demographic people that enjoy it. But she is one of the most innovative entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. I mean, I feel like she’s on par with me just with like, the scope and the breadth and the constant like, let’s evolve and try this and do that. And, I mean, I’m not even the biggest fan of chamber music. I tried. I’m like, why is this song 22 minutes long, like I really just have a hard time getting in the chamber music and classical music and I’ve attended and I still can’t figure out why the songs are 22 minutes long. And I’m like, did one end and another one start, what’s happening here? But she is such a fascinating entrepreneur that I would hands down recommend meeting her talking to her because I’ve just never met anyone like her. Like, to me it feels like a spirit animal. And that’s not something I say, very often ever in my life.
Richard Matthews 57:23
That’s super cool. So we’ll reach out after the show and see if we can get that contact details, maybe get her on the show. That’d be super cool. So last thing, thank you so much for coming on the show. Kristina. We really appreciate it. It’s been a fun conversation. Where can people find you if they’re interested in the Bay Area or looking to move to the Bay Area? Where can they find you. And then I guess more importantly, who were the sort of the right type of people to reach out for your services.
Kristina McCann 57:51
So you can find me on the first 10 pages of Google three different Instagram accounts all over Facebook, three different web pages. I mean, you know, I’m out there so if you’re looking for me. I’m not hard to find Christina McCann, but you know my brokerage is Chroma Realty, C-H-R-O-M-A, which is the Greek root word for color. Chroma Realty. And you know, I’d be happy to meet you for coffee or show you around or you know, I love getting in the car and kind of showing people the area. And the people that I wonder the people who are like, why is this so serious? Like, let’s go have fun and let’s spend a million bucks. It’s like, I don’t mean to say it so flippantly, but like now you want someone to show you around like parks and coffee and you know this and that and then also continue to show you around after you’ve moved here like I mean, I’m a very fun girl and that this is kind of why I’m like, this box has to go away. These limits have to go away, like let’s just all have fun.
Richard Matthews 58:57
Absolutely. I love it. So You heard her if you’re looking to if you’re looking to move into the East Bay or you’re looking to change houses in the East Bay or looking to sell, something to look, reach out to Kristina McCann. It’s ChromaRealty.com and she’s all over social media can look her up. And again, Khristina, thank you so much for coming on the show. Really appreciate it. It’s been a fascinating conversation. I really love what it is that you’re doing in your space. I hope it catches on.
Kristina McCann 59:23
Thank you so much. It’s been fun talking to you is listening to you, which it’s a lot of fun too.
Richard Matthews 59:31
Well, thank you. I appreciate it.
Kristina McCann 59:34
You’re taking me away from all my real estate podcasts because I usually log on and listen in my host footsies. He’s got another one. He’s got another one. I just like I love all the people that you’re choosing and I really like the vibe of you just kind of exposing people who are just interesting for no other states and being interesting. Like there’s no real rhyme or reason except for like, Hey, this is fascinating, and I really appreciate all of that
Richard Matthews 1:00:03
That’s what I’ve been going for and like, just incomplete. You know, like, honestly, I had no idea like I was like I, when we first started the show is like I’m not really interested in like a specific subset of entrepreneurs or, you know, people who are in a specific place in their business which I know a lot of the shows that are like this have like they’re looking for specific types of people. I’m not looking for the stories behind the kind of people who start businesses, right. And because it’s a very specific type of person and it you know, it spans the spectrum of people who are you know, everything from picking up trash to, to you know, starting co working spaces and big in big cities like what you’re doing right, that’s it, it’s just super cool to see all the cool things that people are doing. And you know, I do this show selfishly because I really enjoy talking to people, so I’m glad other people enjoy it.
Kristina McCann 1:00:57
I really do enjoy it. And you are sucking up most of my podcast time these days, but that’s okay.
Richard Matthews 1:01:04
That is good to hear. So do you have any final words of wisdom for our audience before we hit the stop record button?
Kristina McCann 1:01:11
I mean, please just follow your heart even if you’re in an industry that feels standard because there are people out there who will appreciate it.
Richard Matthews 1:01:22
Awesome. You heard her, follow your heart again. Thank you so much, Kristina for coming on.
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