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The Business Freedom PodcastEpisode

Rethink How You Measure Your Growth (And Four More Lessons You Can Learn From Christina Valkanoff)

By REBS Team


Rethink How You Measure Your Growth (And Four More Lessons You Can Learn From Christina Valkanoff)

REBS Team    May 21, 2020



Your passion for real estate can take you to some great places. But as Christina found out, it can also start to take over your life.
Fubbi 5.6

Most team leaders start real estate teams because they love what they do.

You love helping buyers to find the homes of their dreams and sellers get their homes sold.

It’s one of your passions in life.

One being the keyword here.

If you let it, real estate can start to take over. Your passion for what you do can lead to you losing sight of the other things that you love.

Christina is one of the most passionate real estate professionals I’ve ever met. And at one point, she was in danger of losing sight of what she wanted out of life.

How Christina Changed How She Measured her Growth

The entrepreneurial spirit runs through Christina’s family. Both she and her husband are business owners. And together, they have three beautiful children.

Christina has a burning passion for real estate. It’s all she’s ever done. In fact, she got her license at 18 right after graduating from high school.

She even sold real estate through college (that’s real commitment!).

Christina started selling homes full time as soon as she left college. Three years in, she won Realtor Magazine’s “Top 30 under 30 in the United States” award.

Her real estate business just kept growing.

And Christina’s passion really drove it forward. But it was that same passion that started to cause a few issues. 

The Challenges

Christina didn’t really know exactly what she needed when she started working with me. She was already doing pretty well.

Why would she need a coach at all?

But she wanted to grow her business. And at the time, she thought she wanted to get out of production.

It was only after working together for a while that she started to see some of the issues she had.

Christina says she focused a little too much on chasing numbers and accolades. Awards from magazines are all well and good. But they don’t mean much if you’re not happy with your life.

And Christina wasn’t happy. She says she didn’t even realize it at the time. Real estate was (and still is) her passion and she loved her work.

But she had almost no work/life balance. Her work had started to consume her and distract her away from her family life. She wanted to be an amazing wife and mother. Yet, she found herself feeling burned out and exhausted all of the time.

She’d stopped taking care of herself and it was her passion that had led to the situation.

The Solutions

I’m a big systems guy and I tend to talk a lot about the little systems and processes that you can build into your real estate business.

And we helped Christina in this area. In particular, we worked with her on creating new hiring systems to ensure she found the right people who shared her vision.

But the big breakthrough for Christina came from recognizing how her real estate business had eaten into her life.

For her, it was all about redressing the balance of her passions.

In the end, she didn’t move away from the production side of the business. That’s what she loves doing.

But she did take control of her time. She learned how to focus on her present instead of constantly thinking about the business.

And she surrounded herself with the right people who support her goals.

The End Result

Today, Christina’s less focused on the “traditional” idea of real estate success. She’s completely rethought how she measures growth.

Now, her real estate business serves her life, rather than the other way around.

That’s not to say the business wildly successful. In 2018, her team sold about $50 million in volume.

She’s found the balance between work and life. Now, she’s dedicating herself to both of her passions.

What Can You Learn?

Christina’s story shows us what can happen when you let your passion for your work take over. She was on the brink of letting her work swallow up her life.

But she pulled it back and took control of her real estate business. There are plenty of things that we can learn from her story.

Lesson #1 – Surround Yourself With the Right People

Christina admits that working with us helped her to understand that she had some bad eggs on her team. There were a few people who perhaps didn’t contribute to the greater good of the rest of the team.

Her focus on new hiring practices helped her to resolve this. She began surrounding herself with the right people, which benefited the whole team. Fubbi 5.6a

Remember that you’re the team leader, which means it’s your vision that your agents follow.

In an ideal world, everyone on your team believes in your vision and works together to achieve it. But bringing in people who are not such a great fit for your business can affect the whole team.

That alignment with your vision is something you must focus on when building your team. You can train skills but you can’t train someone to be a good cultural fit.

Lesson #2 – Be Present and Focus on Where You Are

One of Christina’s biggest challenges was that she no longer felt focused on her family. Work ate into the time that she spent with them. Instead of being present and enjoying the time, she’d check messages and keep working.

She’s completely flipped the switch in that regard.

Today, she’s extremely focused on where she is in the moment. When she’s at work, she gives 100% of her commitment to the tasks at hand.

That means she can give that full commitment to her kids and husband when she’s at home.

That’s a crucial lesson for you to take forward.

Your family time is exactly that – family time. It’s not time to be near your family while you send work related emails and messages.

Put the phone away, close the laptop, and get focused on where you are. When you make time for the people you love, make sure you’re actually spending that time with them.

Lesson #3 – Get Super Critical About Your Time Blocking

This lesson links with the last one in several ways. Christina says that she became super critical about her time blocking.

More specifically, she retook control of how she spends her time.

Christina likes to deal with all of the big rocks of the business in the morning. She handles strategy and deals with any major challenges. Then, she reserves the afternoons for appointments with clients.

That’s an example of blocking your time. She doesn’t take appointments in the morning because they distract her from focusing on her “big rocks.”

She’s doing the same at home as well. Christina blocks out her weekends and most of her evenings as time for her family. And again, she doesn’t allow her work to intrude on that time.

It’s basically a system for managing time so she does what she wants instead of letting others dictate how she spends her time.

Lesson #4 – Take Clarity Breaks

Christina also uses a couple of hours every Friday for a clarity break.

A clarity break is when you take some time away from everything to just think about your real estate business. You’re away from everyone and no-one can find you.

Then you start asking questions about your business.

Are you on plan? Fubbi 5.6b

Do you have people issues?

Are your clients happy?

It’s the stuff that really matters on a professional level.

Christina applied a bit of twist to the clarity break idea. She still makes sure that nobody knows where she is. But she might spend the time with her family or just doing little things for herself. And she usually takes an entire day instead of just 2 hours (not kidding!).

Either way, the time’s valuable for either your business or yourself.

Lesson #5 – Rethink How You Measure Growth

As I mentioned earlier, Christina used to measure growth by the numbers she put up and the pats on the back she received.

Now, she measures growth based on whether her business allows her to create the life she wants to lead with her family. She measures based on how happy she is at home, if she’s the mother that she wants to be, and so much more.

Real estate doesn’t control her life like it used to.

Get away from the traditional measure of “success”. It’s not all about selling more houses and getting mentioned in magazines.

Growth comes from achieving the life that you want to lead.

 The Takeaway

Christina’s been on an amazing journey with us. She’s made a lot of little changes that allow her to enjoy all of the passions in her life.

Now, she has renewed energy as a team leader. She’s still in production that she loves so much.

And she’s present and focused on her family.

I’d say she’s grown as a person as well as a team leader!

And I hope we can help you to do the same :)

PLUS: Whenever you're ready ... here are 4 ways I can help you scale YOUR real estate business and achieve true time and money freedom.


1. Schedule a FREE Business Growth Strategy Session

If you'd like to get on the fast track and find out what you can do right now to scale your real estate business ... schedule a FREE Business Growth Strategy Session, Click here.

2. Get My FREE 'Real Estate Business Growth Blueprint' Report

This 15 page report will give you the framework and step-by-step process I used to go from $0 to consistently selling over $3m per year in gross commissions working 1 day per week. Reading this report could be the most important thing you do in your real estate career, Click here.

3. Join The Business Growth Network

My favorite thing to do is talk with other successful team leaders about the good, bad and ugly of their real estate businesses. To join the conversation and connect with other Top Producing Agents and Team Leaders, Click here.

4. Get The REBS Online Toolbox

Want Instant Access? The Toolbox contains 30 tools with more than 170+ training videos and over 300 documents and templates that target the 6 key drivers necessary to scale your real estate business. To fully swipe and deploy all of my my tools and systems, Click here.

Much Love & Respect,

Lars' signature

Lars Hedenborg

Founder of Real Estate B-School

P.S. If you are struggling right now wondering what your next step is, here are a few ways I can help you right now:

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