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Property Management Mastermind Show

#151: Reignite The Fire For Real Estate With Cheryl Knowlton

Sep 28, 2022 by Brad Larsen

How do you avoid experiencing the “burnout” that takes down so many realtors and property managers? In this episode, we’ll help you find the fire for real estate and which pitfalls to avoid with renowned real estate guru and motivational speaker Cheryl Knowlton. Cheryl is a guest speaker at the upcoming 2023 PMMCON and explains how it all starts with feeling safe, knowing where your comfort zone is, and then learning how to slowly expand that. 

Cheryl also covers:

What scares you the most when it comes to real estate? 

What excites you the most? 

What are you doing about it?

Connect with Brad's team at www.rentwerx.com!

To know more about Cheryl, visit her site: cherylknows.com

BRAD: Everybody. On today's episode of the Property Management Mastermind podcast, I have Cheryl Knowlton, our lead-off speaker from PMMCON 2023.

ANNCR: Welcome to the Property Management Mastermind Show with your host Brad Larson. Brad owns one of the fastest-growing property management companies in San Antonio, Texas. This podcast is for property managers. By property managers, you'll hear from industry-leading professionals on best practices, new ideas, success stories, and lessons learned. This is your opportunity to learn about the latest industry buzz surrounding property management, as well as tips and strategies to improve your business.

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BRAD: Welcome, everybody, to another edition of the Property Management Mastermind Show. I'm your host, Brad Larson. Now today's guest. I am super excited to introduce Ms.. Cheryl Knowlton, and she's going to be the lead-off speaker at the Property Management Mastermind Conference in March of 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. Go to PMMCON.com to learn more. And you're going to be wowed by this interview because I just spent 20 minutes in the green room with her and I had to write down 20 things that she's accomplished or is doing now. So you are going to be blown away by Miss Cheryl and she's going to lead off our conference and set the tone for a killer event. So, Miss Cheryl, I got to introduce you. Please jump on and give us a few minutes.

CHERYL: Hi, Brad. Thank you so much. I'm very, very excited to be here and very excited to speak in Nashville. I love Nashville, Tennessee. I was just there a couple of months ago for our National Speakers Association Global Convention. I'm extremely involved in the National Speakers Association, near and dear to my heart, currently serving as president of the Mountain West Chapter. And I love Nashville, so I'll I'll even bring my red cowboy boots. How about.

BRAD: That? I love it because we're going to have a really good event at the Wild Horse Saloon on Friday evening. So hopefully if you stick around for that, you'll be able to attend because that's going to be one great party. And if you didn't know, if you didn't realize where the location is for the conference, we're on Broadway, so the hotel is right on Broadway. So we're literally walking distance down to all of the live music bars that are down there. There's got to be, I don't know, 30, 40, or 50 bars. And they all have live music almost all the time. So it's just a fantastic place for a conference. We're going to have a jam-packed venue and you're leading off the conference. And so I knew I hired the right person after this green room interview because you are fully ingrained into everything that we do as far as you are in real estate, you're in speaking, you're in property management, you understand US. You and I talked about what I envisioned for your presentation, but tell me more about the speaking gig. I mean, you've said that pretty quick because you're chapter president of the Mountain West for the for the speaker bureau. Please tell me more.

CHERYL: I am so. The National Speakers Association is an amazing organization of incredible individuals, aspiring speakers, experienced speakers, those who deejay, podcasts, authors. And it is it is more than a professional organization, in my humble opinion, having been involved for, I don't even know, 13 years now, loose track. I'm a graduate of California public schools and I'm also allergic to math, which I don't know how I got into the real estate industry. And like, I wait, there's math involved. This is this is not what I signed up for. But the National Speakers Association has become family to me, both on a global level and national level and certainly at the local level. The Mountain West chapter encompasses four states in the United States, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. And I love this organization because it allows us to hijack the learning curve. And I'm sure that's what your your conference is designed to do, as well as to help individuals come together and community and collaboration to really figure out how can I get from where I am to where I want to be and how can I get there faster and with a lot fewer costly mistakes?

BRAD: Now, your real estate acumen has just been over the top. I mean, you've got to go through that a little bit and tell me about the stuff that you told me earlier, and I had to write it down. I'm like, Wait, slow down. There's so much to it. Please tell me about what you've been doing in the real estate world.

CHERYL: Oh, I started 23 years ago in California, in the Bay Area, which is where I'm from. And I started on the mortgage side, actually on the retail side of lending, had to get a real estate license in order to be a mortgage loan originator in the state of California, which I found out like six weeks into my new career. I was not happy about that. Let's just get that real clear. I thought that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. But I made a decision early on that I wanted to make sure that I was compliant with all the rules, all the laws and regulations, because I did not want to get relocated to a federally gated community. And that decision has served me well throughout my career. Yeah, so got my first real estate license and did the retail side of lending for three years, then moved into the wholesale side of lending and it was actually there that I started speaking kind of a little bit by accident. People ask me, How did you start speaking accidentally? Actually, other than the fact that my my mother verifies that I was born with a microphone in my mouth and in my hand and right up to my mouth and my husband will verify.

CHERYL: I kind of never stop talking unless I'm asleep. So then I got a real estate license here in the state. Of Utah in a pivotal year 2007 and made the fortuitous decision to retire from lending in 2008. Y'all might remember that was not the best year for real estate values. Nationally, there was a lot of hot mess going on and I love speaking on compliance, actually. And most people detest that. Hate that my nickname became the Compliance Queen, and I hated that at first, but now I'm doing my very best to lean into it because I love teaching agents, real estate agents, property management professionals, how they can lean into laws, rules, regulations and statutes in their various states to actually be more confident and more competent. Those two things go directly together. The more we know, the more powerful we are. And the way we show up energetically and in service to our clients changes dramatically when we know we know what we're doing. Or at least that's been my experience.

BRAD: Yeah, because you're still a broker, correct? I mean, I understand. Yeah.

CHERYL: I still hold the broker's license here in the state of Utah. Not actively practicing, per se. My husband is also a real estate licensee. He has been since 2011 and he was in the mortgage industry with me on the retail side before that. So I still keep my finger very, very much on the pulse.

BRAD: Of what I wanted to. I wanted to paint that to the audience, because you're coming in with real firsthand experience of the real estate community as a whole, whether it's property management, whether it's sales, whether it's mortgage, it's all kind of blended together and they all go hand in hand. So part of that too is you are also a coach, so I want to hear more about that.

CHERYL: I love my coaching clients and right now I'm actually coaching. I'm learning myself. I'm becoming a certified coach through an internationally accredited program that's called ICF, the International Coaching Federation. And my program is called ACE, the Academy for Coaching Excellence. And like many journeys and many adventures, it has been so much harder and so much wonderful, more wonderful than I ever imagined that it would be. I'm looking to graduate in March of next year, hopefully right around my birthday, but allowing for for grace and space to let the journey happen the way that it happens. But currently I am coaching individuals who have a message in their heart who want to take their next big stage. That's the name of my program. And it's a it's a 12 week intensive where individuals can learn not only the stagecraft side of the speaking business, storytelling and speaking with confidence, everything from how you dress and your movement on stage, but also the business side. How do I set up an end to a legal entity and a lot of the copyright and trademark aspects of a speaking business and it's just like an airplane. It will not fly without both wings. We have to have them both. And so teaching individuals that and then we go deeper into that with with other adventures and fun things that I'm doing for my coaching clients, including an all day, three day retreat that I hold quarterly. It's a lot of fun and I am loving, loving, loving, seeing their growth, their progress, and helping them find their voice as they are taking their next big stage. I made them speak on Monday and I thought they were going to each have a medical event and they did it. And watching that transformation is so juicy for me. It's so exciting.

BRAD: Now you've even written a book, is that correct?

CHERYL: Three. Yes, I've read three books. Excuse me.

BRAD: Yeah, wow.

CHERYL: I've written three books. My first one was on Burnout in the real estate industry, and I actually am getting asked to speak on that quite a bit. My second book is called I'm Only Half Crazy. It was about my first 20. Yeah, you heard that right. 20 half marathons. I've now done 31 getting ready for number 32. And by the time I see you all in March, hopefully I will have done 35 or 36. My goal is to do 60 by my 60th birthday, and now that I have 13 grandchildren, I get to dedicate every one of those miles to one of those individual, beautiful, perfect humans. Copernicus called. They are the center of the universe, so at least they're the center of my universe. My third book, I just released it, it's called 246 Things That Can Go Wrong in a Real Estate Transaction. And the idea behind that book is to provide real estate professionals an opportunity to have a conversation with their clients so that that the public can see that the perception that they get on 30 minute TV shows like Property Brothers and other television shows that the public loves and adores. Thank you HGTV is that this is. So easy and so fun and so wonderful. And I'm going to make so much money. My phone is going to blow up and everything's going to be amazing. Yeah, that's not the way it works. I think we all know that by now. Spoiler alert. That's not how the real estate industry works, right, Brad? That's right. And just recognizing when I when I started teaching pre licensing, I opened that conversation. I opened the pre pre licensing schools that I've created with this. Real estate is the hardest job you will ever do in your life besides being in a long term, committed relationship and parenting. And for those of you who are parents, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you have teenagers, bless you. I promise it gets better and the joyful part is coming, so don't give up. Yeah, the grandchildren are the best part of the whole journey.

BRAD: So you split over this one really quick, the two pre licensing schools. I mean that's like two separate business entities that you set up. I mean, tell me a little bit more about that because that's kind of fascinating.

CHERYL: Yeah. In the state of Utah, it's required for an agent to have 120 hours of pre licensing education on a vast variety of topics before they sit for the exam, which they then get to take and pass and then apply for their license. I love it. I, i. I used to joke that I would rather shave my legs with a cheese grater, then teach pre licensing and it's so funny. I watch what you say kids. The things that we think that we hate as I as I lean into that and my mindset coach and yes I have a mindset coach always is reminding me how can I make this more fun? Especially if it sucks. The harder it is, the more I need to lean into how can I make this more fun? And so I tried to create a pre licensing school that was really, really fun and, and create more fun for the students because I don't know about you, but I learn a whole lot better and I retain more when I'm having fun, when I'm engaged and when I'm laughing and when I'm learning. So that's what we're going to do. And we're together in Nashville in March. We're going to laugh, we're going to learn, we're going to get strategic. We're going to get gritty, and we're going to have fun.

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BRAD: Now. You also are speaking at the NAR conference coming up.

CHERYL: I am. It'll be my third year. So honored to be speaking at the National Association of Realtors annual convention. It's in Orlando in November. And I you might be able to see behind me, I got a little bit of Disney stuff and you can only see about 10% of the crazy Disney ness that's going on in my Disney infused home studio. So the fact that it's in Orlando, I'm not sad. Not sad. Oh, not even a little bit.

BRAD: So I want you to comment a little bit about the opportunities for speakers. You've really gotten into that realm. And so in the Green Room, you and I were talking about our local trade organization and the National Association of Residential Property Managers have set up a distinctive training course for individuals who want to become more engaged in the speaking world. I want you to give a few few minutes on maybe some some stuff about that, some guidance, some some directions to go. Just talk a little bit more about that.

CHERYL: Oh, my goodness. I would love to. How long do we have? Yeah, you're going to get me off on one of my favorite subjects. Brad, I. I believe that each and every one of us has stories and experiences that are uniquely ours. That is our opportunity and, frankly, our obligation to share. Because you've walked a path on your hero's journey that someone else coming up behind you could really learn and benefit from the value of your wisdom and your experience. I remember when I very first started speaking publicly and like many of you, I it was a death sentence. I was terrified. They say that the two things that people are most afraid of in life are public speaking and death, which means that most people would rather be in the casket than the ones standing at the microphone delivering the eulogy. And that is so sad. And it is I can't help the death part, but I can help you overcome your fear. And it's ultimately it is confidence, confidence, confidence leading to practice. And with people that that love you care about, you support, you will create a community of support so that you feel safe. There is nothing going back to Disney. This is going to sound like we're going off topic, but it's not. When I take my grandchildren to a Disney theme park, which I absolutely love to do. When I ask an audience, What do you think that Disney theme parks number one goal and objective is? And people will throw things out like make money? Well, yes, they are a business. They do need to make money, have fun, create magic.

CHERYL: And all these great ideas and all of those are great answers, but they're not the answer. The answer is safety. You're not going to do anything unless and until you feel safe doing it. And so giving you that safe container of of love and support, frankly, so that you can find and share your voice. That's how it's done and that's how it was done for me. I was kind of thrust into that situation as very suddenly became president of the Women's Council of Realtors on the local level here in Utah, where I'm from, wow, it was 2008. And my my president had some massive, horrible things happen in her personal life, and she resigned. And overnight I became president. I thought that this was in May of 2008. I thought I had another more than half the year to follow in her footsteps, to learn from her, to go to Leadership Academy so that I could take that role and sit in that very big chair. And I it happened overnight. And sometimes that will happen for each and every one of us. And just being ready to take the stage is a skill. And just like any skill, none of us are necessarily born with it. I joked about being born with a microphone in my hand, yes and no, because I was still terrified. I felt safe developing plays that I would perform for my poor family who had to sit through that. And I still hear that about that all these years later. Like, thanks a lot for that.

BRAD: I think part of that, too, is overcoming the big objections, as you mentioned. I mean, in developing speakers, whether they're male, female or whatever, they always come back with a few distinct similar objections. One, I don't know what to talk about, meaning I don't have anything to talk about. No one wants to listen to me. Nobody wants to hear what I have to say, which is false. What would you say to that? And then to they talk about, well, I'm afraid to get up there, because what if I stumble? What if I fall? All this other fear and those two big things. And what are your comments on that?

CHERYL: No fear is is our biggest enemy. It absolutely is. It's preventing all of our dreams from coming true. You think about natural. Well, let's bring that into the conversation. How many of those incredible artists that we will get to hear from when we when we go to Nashville? Who what if they were too afraid to take the stage and you would never have been blessed and benefited from hearing their music falling in love with them and for them to be able to take bigger and bigger stages and to the point where they're cutting and creating albums and winning Grammys. I don't want you to put the cart before the horse, because sometimes that that overwhelms and overwhelm creates fear. And I don't want I don't want to scare you one step at a time, one audience at a time. And it comes from the belief that you do have something to say. And and then practicing, frankly, figuring out exactly what it is you want to say. And then practicing, practicing, practicing, practicing and rehearsing. You will get the performance that you rehearse for. And a lot of us like to wing it and that will come in time. But ultimately just slowing down, taking a deep breath and connecting with the message that you really want your audience to hear, regardless of the audience I'm speaking to. I try to connect with them. What are their biggest pain points? What is it that they need to hear? What is it I want them to feel and experience and then ultimately do as a result of hearing me speak. The same exact thing is true for you and just trying to get really clear about what is it that I would want people to know? And sometimes the development of that message can only come with with time and just allowing yourself to marinate on that, percolate on that, dream about it, journal about it, and sometimes it takes a while.

CHERYL: I look back at where I was 23 years ago and I'm certainly not in the same place and neither are you. So ultimately, one of the big secrets of this industry is speak to the person you were five years ago. What would you have longed for? Someone to come along and share with you, tell you, don't marry him. Don't go there. Don't do that. Don't take that job. Yes, take this job. And to focus more on what you do want, the outcomes you do want for people to experience and don't spend as much time thinking about what you don't want because that's when monkey mind gets in the way. A Buddhist term of all that that chatter that's there to protect you. Oh, what if you fall? Oh, what if you stumble? Oh, what if you this? What if you don't? What if you get up there and you crush it? What if you show yourself and prove to yourself that you have the ability to do that? And even if you do stumble or make a mistake, we all do. We're human. And your audience wants you to be successful. They're cheering for you. And if you stumble a little bit, you just get right back on track because you've rehearsed, because you're ready and you reconnect. What is it I want them to hear? What is that? I want them to know and. And you share it.

BRAD: Now, all these experiences you've had is going to tie perfectly into you leading off the conference. You and I have kind of kicked around a bit of a format or a bit of a topic idea, so I'm not going to give a lot of the magic away on this episode. So what we're going to do is I want you to let people know how to best research who you are, get in touch with you, talk to you potentially before the conference. And I think that'll be a great way to end this episode. So tell us how we reach you.

CHERYL: Beautiful. My website is www.cherylknows.com c h e r y l k n o w s. Cheryl knows a lot about Disney, a lot about real estate compliance, love, love, love that, and a lot about the state of the world and about opportunities that that are there and available for you. And just really learning to narrow our focus on what we do want. Speaking of what we do want, I want my website to be done. So if you go there today, it is under construction and some of the things are still being moved around. So don't judge it too much. That's a great lesson for all of us. More curiosity, less judgment. Thank you, Ted Lasso. My my social media. I am all over Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn. Cheryl Knowlton K n o w l t o n , reach out. Let me know that you're going to be there. And I'd love to chat with you about some of your biggest pain points so that I can tap into your brilliance as I prepare my presentation.

BRAD: I love it. Cheryl, your energy is going to be absolutely contagious and a great way to start off the conference. Super excited to have you coming in. I appreciate the time you've given us today and I look forward to seeing you in Nashville soon.

CHERYL: Can't wait. Red cow boots on.

BRAD: On. All righty. We'll talk to you then.

CHERYL: Thanks, Brad.

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About The Host

The Host of this Podcast is Brad Larsen from San Antonio, Texas. Brad is the founder and owner of RentWerx, one of the fastest growing residential Property Management companies in Texas that currently manages over 700 single family homes.