Amy Kushner's focus is to help realtors improve their performance. As Director of Business Development, she recruits high performing teams and agents to join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty family.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area and South Central and Southeastern PA. Today, Homesale Realty has more than 28 offices and over 1,100 real estate professionals. According to REALTrends, Homesale Realty is the #28th most successful Realtor in the country in the combined delivery of home services: real estate sales, mortgage closings, title closings, and home warranty sales.
- Success is on the other side of fear
- We all have blind spots, find yours because it is costing you a bundle
- Leaders are self-aware
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limit Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster, get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:36
Today I have the privilege of having Amy Kushner, the Director of Business Development for Berkshire Hathaway home sale in Maryland. Amy, welcome to the program.
Amy Kushner 0:44
Hi. Thanks for having me.
Umar Hameed 0:47
Amy. We met how many years ago now? 13 years? 13 years? I'm a 14? Yeah, almost 14. So right now you are at Berkshire Hathaway. And what you're looking to do is to get that team to perform on a much higher level. Tell me what kind of challenge that is.
Amy Kushner 1:04
It's an interesting challenge. So if you ever heard the story of that the the shoe salesman who arrives at the island? No, tell me. Okay, so shoe salesman is hired by a company to go to an island. He gets out there. And he sends telegram back to the headquarters and says, Get me out of here on the next flight. There's nobody here wearing shoes, I have no opportunity,
Umar Hameed 1:26
Right. That's brilliant.
Amy Kushner 1:28
They send they send him back and they bring in his replacement. The replacement, you know, lands on the island and walks around and sees no one's wearing shoes. And he sent the telegram back to the parent company and says send to shipment of shoes. There's nobody here wearing shoes. There's so much opportunity.
Umar Hameed 1:42
Brilliant. So so your mindset, how you see things is really important.
Amy Kushner 1:47
Yes. So I arrived in the company, I was presented with the opportunity to help them execute, and help them get from where they are now to where they're going. They want to be where they want to be right, which is very similar to how we are in our businesses and how we are personally. And they know very clearly where they're going. They were well, they knew where they wanted to go. They needed some help getting clarity on that. And they knew what their resources were now. So my job and why they engaged my help is to gather the resources to help them get from where they are to where they're going.
Umar Hameed 2:26
Brilliant. So you were a realtor before you started doing this, right. Yes. So tell me about your first deal.
Amy Kushner 2:32
My first deal was an investor It was a property I believe it was like in Glen Burnie. small house. Kind of a complicated transaction. I fumbled my way through I had a great and developed a great relationship with the agent on the other side. And we're actually still friends today.
Umar Hameed 2:51
Brilliant. What do you like about the real estate biz?
Amy Kushner 2:54
I enjoy the people. I enjoyed that everyone who comes to this industry has a servant's heart in some way, shape, or form, we're here as a catalyst to to help the buyer seller and help them you know, get where they're going. And we're here to provide service and to be someone that they can trust. So I enjoy that part. And then on the business side of it, I enjoy that there's unlimited growth, potential, unlimited personal growth and unlimited income growth.
Umar Hameed 3:21
As you think about real estate. in general. In any real estate organization, you have three groups of realtors, you have the eight players that are wildly successful, you've got the big players that do a good job and never, you know, achieve stardom, and you've got the C's and D's and E's and F's and all that kind of stuff. How do you see that? How do you coach people that are A's that are at the top of their game? What do you do to get them to see the next plateau
Amy Kushner 3:48
To see the next plateau so that people who are top of their game are typically the ones who are self aware, and see what's in their way, and then look for resources to get out of their way, or to get those challenges or obstacles out of their way. And so like the A players are the ones that that see that it's there and get resources and work to overcome it quickly.
Umar Hameed 4:07
So could you give me an example of a specific person change the name to protect their reputation? Someone that isn't a player that actually had a blind spot? They wanted to get better? And maybe they weren't seeing what they needed to see. And how did you help them?
Amy Kushner 4:27
Umar, it's hard to see when done blind spot. So rather than talk about a client, I'll talk about myself in my experience.
Umar Hameed 4:32
Sure. That'd be actually really useful.
Amy Kushner 4:34
Okay, great. And this one, I couldn't see my blind spot for a while the pain and the anguish actually went on for about a year. There was something that I my coach kept encouraging me to do, or reach out method or I'm sorry, an outreach method. I heard them and I listened. And I kept thinking like, oh, I'll do it this way. I would rather do it this way. I'd rather you know, approach it another way than what they were suggesting. And then at the end of the year, I still hadn't got To where I wanted and needed to be financially, and the coach had a tough conversation with me and said, what you've done is actually work 10 times harder by avoiding that thing that you needed to just do. And had you done it and faced it. And you know, felt the fear and did it anyway, you would be far past where your goals were. And when I realized that, by trying to avoid the pain, I was creating more pain for myself. And then what I really needed to do and what we did together was chart out the course of how to conquer that fear and what resources I needed. And once I did that, I actually enjoyed the process.
Umar Hameed 5:38
I was watching this TV show, I don't even remember what it was. But there was this one line in it that was so amazing. It was this kid who was like maybe 10 or 11 years old, and it was explaining to a friend, you know, if I see a pretty girl over there, every instinct inside me wants me to run the opposite direction. And I actually tricked myself into running towards her. Mm hmm. And when I get there, it's okay. Yeah. So it's human nature to you know, when something is uncomfortable, something seems dangerous, that we want to shy away, where people that are courageous, actually go towards it. And when you get there, you realize that there's nothing there.
Amy Kushner 6:12
Yeah. It really was on the other side of that fear on the other side of that challenge. And that obstacle was everything that I wanted. And so I learned from that experience, and from that coaching relationship, one that it's important to have the right coach, who knows, knows the conversation to have with you and will go to the places that you hide, and then also that whenever I feel that way, and this is something that I work with my agents to do. Also, whenever you feel that when you feel that fear, first being aware and acknowledging it and then realize that the gap in that the space between having the fear and not taking action is not having the right resources. So when you feel the fear the trigger, then is what resources do I need to be able to conquer this.
Umar Hameed 6:56
Brilliant. And if you can't figure that out, you can a ask me or B say what would Amy say? And what's interesting is when they asked that question, an answer pops up right away, that's probably going to be close to what you would have said anyway. Yep. And so that's what the you know, the gurus say the answers are within and we say bullshit, but the reality is, it's there.
Amy Kushner 7:17
It's true. And I think so you have the answer. Each person has their the answer to their own questions, they may not know where to get the resources to overcome it, or the resources to get the skills to develop the strength to conquer the mountains. But they know the answers we all do. And it's interesting yourself and interesting, the right coach to help you to help you get there.
Umar Hameed 7:37
So you've worked with many teams? What do you think the frustration is those B players that are on the team, that know how to do real estate, are making a living at it, but aren't quite doing what they need to do to kind of make an amazing living at it. So what do you think, you know, people have been doing real estate for a while, what do you think that missing link is that we can't get these people that know the mechanics of real estate, to actually leave their fears behind and and go to the next level,
Amy Kushner 8:05
You said it. It's the willingness to leave their fears behind, I think the thing that's missing the thing that they My belief is, for the B players, what's missing there is for the B players that are stuck and have the potential and the knowledge, what's missing and getting them past that and overcoming that challenge is it is a fire in the belly.
Umar Hameed 8:25
Amy Kushner 8:25
It's the pain of where they are, if their pain of where they are is not greater than the fear.
Umar Hameed 8:32
Amy Kushner 8:33
Umar Hameed 8:34
Amy Kushner 8:34
They're not going to overcome for the ones that have a more compelling lie, or have a fire in the belly or have some sort of sense of urgency, where not taking action is not an option, right, where their only option is to take action, they're going to sit behind the fear and be stuck.
Umar Hameed 8:50
Amy, one of the things I find that limits people is their expertise. And what I mean by that is this is that let's say building a real estate company from the ground up. If you've got all this expertise in, in what you've done, sure predisposed to do is do the same thing you did in all the other opportunities, in which case you can get similar results. So one of the things to do is to say, Okay, if I was leaving everything that I know, behind, and designing a real estate company from the ground up, that it would give you the permission to think outside of the norm, and actually build something significant that's relevant to the population. If there were five things that I know I'm putting you on the spot, what would be the five things that you would do differently to create a brokerage from the ground up?
Amy Kushner 9:37
Got to think about that for a quick second. One thing that you said in there one word that really triggered something as significant Yes, it there it has to be of significance of significance to you, and also of significance to your client and the community. So the client in that case, if you're opening a brokerage as the agent, yes, and that's, that's necessary when your client is not your Agent, then you're missing out on creating value everywhere. When you're creating value to the agent, you're also creating value to the community. So the first thing I would say, in line with that is having significance and creating value as know why you're doing this. And if your reason for doing it is, you know, just to collect a paycheck, or just to make things more simple for you, or to not have to follow somebody else's rules, then get out of the game.
Umar Hameed 10:25
What's interesting is this is that every single human being on Earth has a purpose. Like why they here most people don't know what it is, if you don't know what it is, then it's hard to know you're actually getting it because it's an unconscious level. And your number one step of really figuring that out, make sure you build something that actually feeds your soul every day. So even if you have the most horrible day on the planet, you go home and you tell your family. What an amazing day. Yeah, because you got to do what you love to do. So what's number two?
Amy Kushner 10:52
To go, pause for one quick second?
Umar Hameed 10:55
Oh, yeah, for sure.
Amy Kushner 10:56
So that's something that you helped me to uncover.
Umar Hameed 10:58
Hold on, listeners. That didn't mean you pause. It's me, pause.
Amy Kushner 11:03
So I want to Yeah, pause that conversation on a number two for a quick second. That's something that you helped me to get in touch with. And that has transformed my life, and the ripple effect the lives of the people around me. That's something that you you mentioned to me one time that you know, the race to the destination is not the wind, the wind is in getting there, the wind, and I realized this now for myself, is in enjoying the process. And I heard you know, you enjoy the journey, you help me to I was faced with one of the greatest challenges I've been faced with yet in my career, and I don't even know...
Umar Hameed 11:38
Amy Kushner 11:40
Actually, I'm good at math. And that was, you know, something that nobody else had done in the past. And we worked on the skills and the resources and removing the blocks and the mindset and limiting fears. We did all of that. But first and foremost, you helped me get connected to what was important to me about conquering that challenge. And when I got to the end, I won, like I, you know, broke the record that nobody else had done. And I did it in a shorter amount of time than anyone had considered even possible. The win for me wasn't the recognition at the end, it was that I truly enjoyed the process day in and day out of climbing that mountain and fighting to get there. And that was because you helped me get connected to what was important to me about doing it.
Umar Hameed 12:23
And I think that's why those you know, enjoy the journey seems hollow to a lot of people is because they're on the wrong path. Yeah. And if you're on the wrong path, it's harder to enjoy the journey. But once you figure out your purpose, you go on the right path. And then by default, you enjoy and savor that journey.
Amy Kushner 12:39
Yeah, yeah, I found to me, the difference that it made is that at the end of the day, like, there's to me that I see too, I see it two different ways. So without that, I feel like at the end of the day, without that connection to, to understanding my passion and where my passion connects to what I'm doing. It's bigger than just a Why yes, really like my lifeforce. So when I'm connected to that, at the end of the day, I will you know, get home be exhausted, and acknowledge to myself that okay, like I, I pushed, I climbed, I moved that mountain today, I'm exhausted, I'm depleted, I'm gonna go to sleep and in the morning, be ready to conquer again. Versus before I was connected to the my own passion understood why it was important to me, I'd get home and say, like, I have nothing left. Don't talk to me, I have no words, I've used my word quota for the day, I'm going to bed and hope that this you know, I have longer until the sun rises, then it feels.
Umar Hameed 13:37
Brilliant. So number two, what's number two?
Amy Kushner 13:40
Number two. So know what space you fit into there. You know, we have competition...
Umar Hameed 13:44
So you're building a brokerage know your space.
Amy Kushner 13:46
Know your space, know your why know your passion, know what it is, you're going to contribute to other people. And then also know what space you fit in, we have competition, it's not about eclipsing the competition in their space or doing what they do better. It's about doing what you do well, and then doing it and knowing, you know, why that's important.
Umar Hameed 14:05
And that's useful in two ways. Number one, it keeps you in the lane. And number two, it gives you something to strive for is like how can we be better at that? How can we be more relevant, in which case it focuses the company as well.
Amy Kushner 14:17
It does. And there's, there's plenty of room for everybody. The idea is to have your work your area of specialty, and then be the specialist and be the expert at it.
Umar Hameed 14:29
So number three?
Amy Kushner 14:31
Number three, I would say when you're anytime you're working with a group of people, you have a culture, know what culture you want to create and know what's important to you about that
Umar Hameed 14:41
Before you start,define that culture that you want.
Amy Kushner 14:44
Absolutely, because you're going to attract talent, you're going to attract people who connect to that culture and who identify with it or want a piece of it. So for me, I can share the important thing for me and I spend a lot of time on the recruiting side of building and I love that I'm very passionate about it. To me, it's playing matchmaker, I had the opportunity of making a career change after 18 years in my finance career, and didn't even know the opportunity was available. It was somebody it literally fell in my lap. And out of a wanting to pay it forward, I feel like it's important for other people to know the opportunity is out there. So that's my motivation in, in, in that space. And for me, I'm passionate about creating an environment and a culture where people are inspired to be their best where when they show up, they know they're gonna bring their A game because they want to and they thrive off of that energy. If you don't know what your culture is, then what do you what are you attracting? Here, you're attracting and what are you attracting too.
Umar Hameed 15:40
And worse than that, sometimes people adopt a culture, a we should be, and this is what people are doing, and that is an authentically who you are. And what you need to do is define what would make you shine, and then you attract a team that actually aligns with it. So different skills, and you want people to have different ideas. So there is some conflict, because you get the best ideas coming up. But you want people that really appreciate that culture, because in most cultures, you can have disagreement. It's seen as you know, you're attacking me and you want a culture that goes, Yeah, let's have some debate and figure out what we need to do. So it makes us all better. Absolutely. What's number four?
Amy Kushner 16:17
Number four, I would say four and five, are connected. So four, I would make the tools to support the agent's personal growth, yes. And five, I would say are the tools to support their business growth.
Umar Hameed 16:30
Define personal tools, and then we'll define business tools that would be highly effective.
Amy Kushner 16:34
Absolutely. I want to be specific to say that the personal growth is first. So your You are the lid to your business, your personal growth, your your mindset, your beliefs, your limiting beliefs, your you know, like all of the things, Your fears Your whether you are aware, and willing to lean in and run at it and challenge it or whether you're going to hold back. So knowing that you are the limit and the lid to your business. That's where I would I would put the personal growth first.
Umar Hameed 17:01
Talk to me about the business tools, what tools would you have for your agents that would allow them to be more effective?
Amy Kushner 17:07
The business tools or the personal growth tools, business tools? Okay, so once we've conquered mindset and limiting factors, yes. Okay. So business tools, skills, knowing there's, you know, five parts of real estate, lead, generating follow up writing offers attending appointments, I did it in the wrong order.
Umar Hameed 17:27
Which is fine.
Amy Kushner 17:27
Umar Hameed 17:28
As long as they're all there.
Amy Kushner 17:30
I would go back. So the business skills, I would say making sure that whatever is in the 20% of the agent's day, so anything that that 20% of our actions fuel 80% of our business, right, right. So whatever is on the list of that, you know, the top 20% of what an agent needs to be doing any skills to develop an increase their conversion in those activities. So lead generating lead, follow up attending appointments, sorry, scheduling appointments, attending appointments, writing offers, and then script practice and roleplay knowing knowing how to help your clients.
Umar Hameed 18:06
So they know the craft really well.
Amy Kushner 18:08
Umar Hameed 18:08
Before we part company, in your current position, how do you ensure that that you get the growth you need?
Amy Kushner 18:16
Really good question. It is imperative for me to have people around me who will hold me accountable to facing my fears, expanding my my thoughts, increasing my awareness. Because my job as a leader in this organization, is to open doors and create opportunities that you know, the agents aren't able to do themselves. So I have three or four coaches, and accountability with all of them in different aspects of both my professional and personal career to make sure that I'm doing that at all times.
Umar Hameed 18:50
Brilliant, Amy, thanks so much for sitting down with me.
Amy Kushner 18:52
Thanks for having me.
Umar Hameed 18:58
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro-linguistic programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.