#31 Time and Energy Hacks with Karen Briscoe
Karen Briscoe is a highly successful real estate agent and is the author of “Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day.” Her team and her company have done well over a billion dollars in real estate transactions, and Karen shares some fantastic insights about time, energy, and management. If you want to learn what building habits should look like, you need to listen to this one!
More about her – https://www.5minutesuccess.com/
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Itunes – www.TonyJavier.com/itunes
Welcome to today’s show, we have Karen Briscoe. She is a very successful real estate agent. She’s been doing this for a long time. Her team and her company has done well over a billion dollars in Real Estate transactions. She’s got a five minute success podcast as well as many books that she’s written. So she’s got a lot of experience, a lot of great stuff to share with you. And we’re probably going to talk a lot about time and how to manage your time better and just get more done in less time. So thanks for jumping on Karen.
Yes, Tony, and I’m delighted to be part of Real Estate masters and to share and visit with you over the next so many minutes we have to go.
Yeah. I love people that are doing great things that have a lot of experience, that think high level, that’s what real estate masters is all about. So tell us your backstory. So everybody knows where you’re coming from. How did you start? How did you get to where you are? Why did you create your podcast books, all that good stuff that you’re doing just dive right into it.
Well, so I like to say I started out in dirt. I worked for a real estate developer, Trammell Crow in Dallas, and that’s when we were putting in streets and utilities, buying land, putting streets, utilities, selling lots to home builders. And my husband’s career took us to the Washington DC, Northern Virginia Metro region. And because of the nature of his career with travel and, and such, I pretty much became the primary caregiver for our two kids for about a dozen years. So I was out of the workplace when I want it. And I share that because I like to tell people they can start at anytime. I think that there’s sometimes this thought that you’re going to miss out on opportunity. And so when I wanted to reenter into the full-time workforce, I really wanted to go back into commercial and I went to work for the Staubach company and had the next Hill account.
Well, that was in the early two thousands. I worked on the sales engineering, warehouse offices, what I discovered very quickly is what you see in one sales engineering warehouse office, you’ve see them all. And I, and it was also during the tech bust. So if you remember early two thousands and there’s really no money in, in disposition, I’ve discovered it’s, it’s pretty, it’s pretty much the drudgery of the business. And so I had my real estate license and somebody said, well, why don’t you try residential? And I have to say, there’s this perception that people on the commercial side, they deal with the hard skills, right? That negotiation and market knowledge and strategy and all that. And whereas the residential, they are dealing with emotions. And so I was actually skeptical, cause I’m pretty much a, you know, a hard skills kind of person, but I, I discovered very quickly, I actually enjoyed the relationship aspect and became successful at it really quickly.
I brought a unique perspective on valuing residential real estate. So I’ve made a niche for myself really quickly. That was success very quickly. And that is often happens, met with the attention of a top agent. And actually she was number 10 in the nation at the time, so I could be. And so she asked me to join her. I became her partner and that was in 2006. So in that, you know, we were all flying high in the market then. It was a very hot market and started to cool and soften. And then she passed away sadly in Oh eight, the market crashed actually the same month she passed away. Well, I set about to rebuild the company in a very challenging market and situation and brought on my current business partner, Lizzie Conroy who has been, we’ve been together since 2009.
And in that process, I had so many people ask me how I did it because again, many people, not everyone, but many people survived the correction, but not everybody had, you know, this double whammy. So that led to a lot of speaking, coaching and training, which led to me having in my view of voice, I was writing blogs for like Inman and other publications. And people said, well, your stories are memorable. And I mean, if you think about it, if you read something or you take a, do a seminar or webinar or some sort of training or coaching, and you don’t remember it or apply it, it’s just like, you know, that that is like just, it might as well just be entertainment, right? If it’s not going to be applicable and you’re not going to remember it when you need it. And so that had a lot of people saying, well, you should write a book which led to my, my first book real estate success in five minutes a day.
And you mentioned the whole idea about time. So that came out in 2016. And so I’ve kind of become a little bit of a time guru because people ask about, well, why five minutes a day? And then I have another book called flip time. And then there’s two other books that are, or 66 day challenge books under, underneath this real estate success concept. So, and then you mentioned the podcast, the five minute success podcast, which is now over 350 episodes of interviews with people in real estate, but also in other industries, coaches, authors, trainers, people that are thought leaders in their area. And we talk about how their business and life operates under the five minute success principles. So that’s a kind of a, you asked for my, my background that that’s a, in a nutshell.
Yeah, no, thanks for sharing that. So time that’s something that a lot of people struggle with. So I, I run virtual real estate masterminds. I, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of them are stuck working 60 to 80 hours a week and just don’t have time. They that’s like, that’s like their number one complaint. I feel like with any entrepreneur and it may just be, you know, most people in general, right. So I have my take on it on how you can potentially get more time. You can’t really buy time, but you kind of can in a way. So tell us what your top principles are for time that you would tell our audience right now that they could go use today.
Well, so if people say that they don’t have enough time, then one of the first kind of clarifying is there’s a quote by Lao Tzu, which says time is a creative thing to say, I don’t have time is like saying, I don’t want to. So I would really want to clarify what is behind that because people who are doing something they want to do, I’m telling you, they figure it out. And because time is relative, right? Einstein said that. So if you think about the relativity of time, if you’re doing something you don’t want to do, or you hate doing, or it’s laborious like, well, for example, think about being in a boring meeting or webinar or being in traffic, not that anybody’s in traffic anymore, but just think about that time stands still, right? When you’re doing something you love, you’re passionate about, it’s something that it gives you energy.
You’re in your zone of genius, you’re in your flow, then your time flies by. And so that’s what makes it relative. So what it is is it’s really not energy. I mean, not time it’s energy. Energy is the true fundamental currency of high performance. And it’s not really, there are many people talk about time, like work-life balance. If you think about it from that perspective, if you were saying it like being on a scale or like a teeter-totter will like, so it works up, then life’s down, down, life’s up, it works down. I mean, there is no real balance, right? So what I, and the other thing about the whole idea of time management, you’re not really managing time. You’re managing yourself, you’re your own energy. And so there’s a couple of strategies that I share with people on how to kind of break through because many people have, you know, they just have these beliefs, these limiting beliefs about it.
So when you say energy, that’s a big thing. There’s actually a book. I can’t remember what it’s called. I want to say it’s called manage your energy. I don’t know something like that. Or it’s, or it’s a time management book that talks about managing energy. I can’t remember what it is, but there’s a lot of people that I’ve I’ve had on the podcast that have talked about energy, which is a great subject, because you can spend a lot of time on something and get something accomplished very well and effectively. But at the end of the day, it may drain your energy, right? On the other side of it, you may spend a little bit of time on something, still get a lot accomplished and feel like you have a lot of energy because of what you worked on, how you liked it and that kind of thing. So talk about a little bit more about energy. How do you, how do you manage your energy and how do you feel like at the end of the day, you have more energy knowing what you know now about time and how to manage it?
Well, that’s where the whole idea of the flip time love life came in, which is a book. And it came out of a TEDx open mic talk and also a signature talk I did for the Halaal rod best year ever blueprint a couple of years ago, the idea of flipping time will comes from the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You know, that pyramid, you probably remember in your psychology class. So the basis of the pyramid is your physical needs. And it really is really true when people are in a time of crisis, they often go back to their basic physical needs. And so if you think back to the early days of COVID, what was it, everybody was in pursuit of toilet paper. You don’t get any more basic than that. Then you have next your safety, security needs. And that too has become very evident that that is a core human instinctual need, that people have a need to feel that they’re, they’re safe and secure in their environment and in their self.
And then you have your relationship needs, your esteem needs, and you have self-actualization. So Maslow called it self-actualization Gay Hendricks calls it stone of genius. Joseph Campbell calls it, follow your bliss. Some people call it flow. The idea is what is it that brings you energy, that when you do it, it actually creates, creates more. And it can happen in several different ways. I’ve found one is it could be like a ripple effect. Like you do it and it’ll have a ripple effect out in your life. Sometimes it knocks over a domino. Like you, you do that one thing and then everything else becomes easier or necessary or becomes more meaningful as sometimes it’s a snowball. So it builds on itself. Sometimes it’s exponential. Like you could do one thing. I mean, just think about what’s happened during the pandemic, the things that became exponential, right?
Like zoom. I mean, really did we all know that we, I mean, you and I did because I was, you know, running a podcast and I was, you know, already in that space, but most people had no idea what their capabilities were on zoom until they were put in it. And then it exploded. Okay. So you can have a truly exponential impact as well. So the idea is you want to do that first, wanna flip the pyramid. Most people work their way up the pyramid. And what happens is oftentimes they run out of time or energy to get to the things that would actually give them energy. So then they would have more for the rest.
So you said the basic needs, so you said the basic needs are on the bottom. So reiterate, or if you said it, the things that are at the top, if you said you were flip it around
So physical needs are at the bottom, then you have safety security. Then you have your relationship, esteem needs things that it gives you so forth and meaning in your life. And then you have self-actualization contribution, creativity, Joseph Campbell called it the call to creativity, the call to adventure, the call to those things that make you come alive, right? So the idea is you flip the pyramid, what I found, and when you do that first, then everything else becomes better. Because if you think about it, if you are living your highest and best self, you know, in real estate, we talk about the value of real estate, big at its highest best self. If you’re living at your highest and best self, what you’re called to do, what is yours to do, then you are going to be in your best relationship with yourself and with the other people around you, you’re going to have the highest esteem you can have because you’re living in alignment or intunement with yourself of what you’re you’re meant to do.
You’re, you’ll actually be more safe and secure because really true safety and security is only what you are what’s inside of you, right? I mean, you could just see in this last year, so much has changed that if you were dependent on exterior for your safety insecurity, you were shaky on thin ice. And then your physical needs. What I found is the more I focus on it, my business actually doubled. It doubled because instead of trying to figure out how to do more, I figured out how to do what I, yeah. What I’m best at and releasing the rest of it. And that is where you can really, you know, if you think about compound interest is, you know, one of the wonders of the world. Really creativity is really, truly the wonder of the world.
And you know, what happens though, is most entrepreneurs or just people in general are so busy with their lives and doing, doing, doing that they don’t take time to sit back and create. I can tell you right now, I, you know, I told you all the businesses that I’m, that I have I’m running and starting and all that kind of stuff. And I’m able to do that because I have time to be creative. I have time to think of those ideas. And once I’d come up with those ideas, I figured out how to put them in force and I will dive into them and kind of go back to where I was at the beginning of my business. But then quickly I try and free myself of those activities that I know that are not the best use of my time, because they drain my energy and,umaybe are very tedious and don’t serve the higher purpose. So, sorry to cut you off there. But you said that you said that word
No, you are perfect example, you’re a perfect example of it. And if you think about it, it really is. It is the way of the entrepreneur. What often happens is that I’m sure you’ve heard the E-Myth mastery. The book, the E-Myth mastery about, well, what happens with entrepreneurs is that they’re, they’re very good at what they do, right? So then they build a business around that, but then the business becomes almost in a way their prison, right? Because they’re the technician, they’re the one that does everything. And it’s when they can, you know, work on their business rather than in your business is when you’re actually going to be able to achieve at a higher level of success. Now, many people are like, Oh my gosh, this is just like too, I can’t do, change everything overnight. And I’m like, well then that’s where the five minutes came in, comes in.
So start small and build up is the proven method of habit formation. In fact, there’s a lot of research, tiny habits, mini habits, different people call it different things. But the idea is you want to break it down in a really small increments. So to break through the limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from doing what you say you want to do, and then build up. So start small and build up. That’s what I find is gets people because everybody really does have five minutes a day. So you’ll often start to experience the benefits of it and then you’ll want to do more. And then you’ll start to build from there in one of those ways that we talked about earlier.
So tell me about your business. So you talk a lot about time and time. It seems like we’re both on the same page with time. It’s like, we want to do what we love to do, which is usually create or sell or, you know, things that really, really drive the business or drive our lives. So tell us about your team, how you operate and I guess how you put those principles forward in place in your business.
So the team is actually for the amount of production we do is really not very big, so it’s myself, my business partner, and one other agent in 2020, we sold a hundred million dollars in Real Estate, residential Real Estate. And we sold about a hundred units. So you can do the math. That’s about a million dollars. We’re at a high cost of living area in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC Metro region. And we deal with a very sophisticated typically client, although we, you know, meet all people’s real estate needs, but we do tend to have a sophisticated client in this market area. And I’ve been residential, like I said, since 2002. So I’m the mega agent. I’m still predominantly the Rainmaker that being said, because I have been doing it so long, most of my businesses, a referral, and name ID, past clients, and that type of thing. And then Lizzie Conroe, my business partner she is kind of the other maybe say maybe 40% and then she does 30% and the other agent does another. So we, we all contribute. I have a staff. So the five minute success principles, you brought that up. And that again came out of people wanting to know how did I run a big team and how did I sell so many houses and at a high level. And that’s where I, I came up with these core principles and the first one is commit to get leads. So I, somebody asked me, you know, what was the best advice you received early on in your, your, or did you figure out early on? And I figured out early on the person who has the leads is the one that will always be valuable. Right?
So you’ve read, you’ve read the book. Go ahead.
No, it’s the book.
You read the book, The One Thing Right by Gary Keller.
Oh yeah, absolutely. Gary Keller, Jay Papasan. What’s the one thing you can do such by doing that, everything else is easier and necessary.
So it’s the same principle, right? You get enough leads. You can feel like you’re getting enough leads. You figure out how to convert them, sell them, you get commission income in, you can pay your expenses. You can live a life. So at the top of it it’s get leads, right? So it’s the same principle, correct?
Absolutely. And it really does make everything easier and necessary because when you have, you know, a flow of leads coming in, then you can top grade, you can refer out. You can, you have so many choices when you have a lack of business coming in, then that’s oftentimes when people are operating out of it as scarcity perspective. So I’ve always been an active avidly generation generator, very consistent and have been for, you know, since the beginning of the business then. The next component is consult to sell. And you mentioned that that conversion, so you get a lead, you get it through the process, turns into a transaction, turns into business. There are strategies to big success for that. What often happens is, not just in real estate, but other salespeople entrepreneurs, they get stuck on this hamster wheel. They get a lead or they get an idea, they get it to through the process and then they wake up and do it all over again.
And so the idea of connect to build and grow – the third principle of Five Minutes Success is that there are strategies for leverage and scale and systems so that you can create an ongoing sustainable enterprise. And that is the third component. And then what I found is is that successful people, they have this mindset, motivation component, they have success thinking, they have success thinking activities and visions. So they have a vision about what they want for their business in life. They think about how to put it into practice, and then they do the actions. They actually do the lead generation, right. They actually do the actions to put it into practice. So that encompasses these, these core principles. And I have had now, like I said, over 350 conversations with people on the Five Minute Success podcast, and this, these really have turned out to be truly universal principles for almost all businesses.
It sounds like you break it down to be very simple, because a lot of people look at things and they look at it from a big global perspective and they think it’s so big. And, and it, you know, it can be a big thing to get to a certain level, but it sounds like you break it down to be very simple, which is, you know, you, you start with getting the leads and then what do you need to do to get the leads? And then you kind of break it down to be, to be much more simple. And that’s kind of the way that you need to do it, right? If you look at a huge goal and you just try and hit that goal, and that’s it, that’s really tough. But if you look at the goal and you break it down into actionable steps and actionable, actionable items, and somebody, even somebody even recommended a book I listened to the audio book not too long ago, it’s called The 12 Week Year, I believe
The 12 Week Year. Yes. Brian Moran.
Yeah. Yup. And so he breaks it down. That’s a really good, I’d listened to it, an audio book, and it’s a really good book about breaking, breaking down your goals and how to break it down into 12 weeks instead of waiting this whole year to try and accomplish these goals, you break it down into smaller, smaller, actionable items. So that’s, that’s all good.
That’s a great planning tool. I use that with my coaching clients the, we, we base everything on the 12 weeks because that is much more manageable. And I’m, you mentioned actionable. I have always been a firm believer on activity tracking. Now there are those out there that talk about time-blocking, but you know, here I am, I’m telling you, there is no such thing as time. So what I found with people who time block is often, they have intentions of actually doing the activities, which is usually lead generation, but then they tend to figure out all sorts of other things to do and focus on that they don’t actually get to the lead generation. So I actually track still very old school, the actual number of contacts I make, and it gives me – for one thing, it’s great accountability, personal accountability. And the second thing is, is I can see what level of activities I need to do in order to generate the level of business I want.
Sometimes I have to double time, which is what I’m doing right now. Cause we’re so low on inventory. Supply is very low. So it also, it helps me with my conversion. I can see which type of leads are more likely to convert and where my leads come from, create a great avatar this way. So I’ve been a huge – rather than again, the time – setting aside time to do it. I set aside that I’m going to do a certain number activities every day or every working day. Sometimes I, I work ahead. I call that front loading. Sometimes I have to backfill usually for a load. But it, it really is a very powerful, powerful tool.
And do you track it every day? Every week? Every month?
Yeah, I use just paper tracking system and I, myself have pretty consistently done five leads a day is been my, what, what I’ve done in order to generate that
Five leads a day or find contacts where you call five people.
Right. I’m contacting five leads a day. Yeah. And that has led to the level of business that I’m at. Now, you know, if you ever want to go to the next level
And that’s not that many, if you think about it, I mean and, and that’s why you call it the five minutes. It’s like, it’s very short, very simple, like five contacts a day is not that much. You just have to dedicate the time to do it. Right.
And the thing is, is, you know, different businesses, you know, I we’re, like I said, we’re in a very high dollar average area, so I don’t need to sell as many houses to get to a hundred million as someone, maybe an Iowa or whatever. But the idea is if you know what it takes to generate a level of business that you want, then you just, you know, you know, reverse engineer it to what you need to do. And when you track it, you’ll have a much better sense of where your business is coming from. And, and that is another way, right? It’s, again, back to energy. To think about, well, who are your ideal clients, who are your ideal customers and how, what are their aspects of their life that you can then recreate with other situations? And it’s just a much, to me, it’s a much more effectively generation strategy for my business.
Yeah. And you mentioned the ripple effect or butterfly effect or whatever you want to call it. So like, if you do five a day, like, again, that’s not that much, but if you do that over months, years, I mean, that’s a lot of effect because, you know, you may, you may lead generate, get a transaction, but then they refer two or three clients to you. And if you do that over and over and over again, it just can completely up your business, which is small, actionable items every single day. So,
Yeah. And I find that many times people, you know, they bite off more than they could chew. Right. And so then they don’t do anything well, or they, you know, they get discouraged or whatever. So that’s why I’m back to that. You know, habit formation start small and build up is really very effective. And then if you want to add on to that, then go from there, but start, start small and get really, and the 66 days is another habit formation. Much research has been done on how long it takes to build a habit. And 66 days seems to, is in the one thing. So if you think about it in terms of the first 21 days, the first three weeks, most people are there, the habits new for them, they’re excited about it. They’re evangelists. I always tell people think about the person who just got a Peloton.
You know, they’re telling the whole world about it, or they’re really excited. Then the next 21 days or three weeks, people are often evaluating. Do I really want to do this for every day? You know, we’ve got all these other things to do or whatever we get distracted. And then that next three weeks or 21 days to get to 66, they often start to experience the benefits of it. Once you start to experience the benefits of a habit, be it exercise, or eating well, or lead generation, then you want to do more. And then it becomes a positive self fulfilling prophecy. The, the truth is any habit like lead generation is like flossing your teeth. You, you don’t stop after 66 days, right? You’re just want to jumpstart, get the, get the process in place so that you can you know, continue it. But this that’s where the 66 day challenges came about was to give people an opportunity to focus on the certain, these core components of their business.
Fantastic. Well, if you want to get a hold of Karen check out her Five Minutes Success podcast. Check out her books. Is there a website that you would want anybody to go to Karen to check out what you’ve got going on?
Yes, absolutely. It’s a number – 5minutesuccess, and all the books are available on Amazon, or you can reach out to me. And if anybody interested in coaching, I’ve got a few slots left, open for coaching clients.
All right. Fantastic. Any last words before we jump off?
Yes. By words are that if I can do it, you can too. And so just start today.
Awesome. Well, thanks Karen for your time. Congrats on your success and what you’ve done over the years, and thanks for your contribution to the world. A lot of people that are doing things like you’re doing, writing books and things like that it’s not nearly as committed as it should be because that’s, you know, a lot of time and effort you put into those things to get the word out and to help people so commend you for that. And thanks for your time. I look forward to connecting again soon.