The Alimond Show

Krissy Shellenberger Owner of Real Advantage Transaction Management Company

March 27, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Krissy Shellenberger Owner of Real Advantage Transaction Management Company
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever marveled at the resilience of military spouses, who repeatedly pack up their lives to support their partners? Our latest episode features an awe-inspiring journey of one such individual—a former real estate agent who, against all odds, shaped a flourishing business that knows no bounds. Our guest's tale is a masterclass in adaptability, revealing how she established a company that offers contract management to realtors nationwide. Learn how she cultivated a remote team that mirrors her values of transparency and respect, creating a beacon of service excellence during the most unpredictable times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there's more to this entrepreneurial odyssey than just business savvy. We delve into the fabric of our guest's upbringing, colored by the wisdom and support of a mother whose influence is nothing short of legendary. Her story is a heartfelt endorsement of kindness as a transformative force in the cutthroat world of real estate—and life. It's a narrative that underscores how a nurturing environment can seed the growth of a compassionate leader, one who understands that the true measure of success is found in the strength of our relationships and the authenticity of our interactions. Witness how embracing these principles can not only change the way we do business but also leave a lasting impression on the lives we touch.

Speaker 1:

Why aren't you on mom's team? I don't sell real estate and you don't care too.

Speaker 2:

I used to sell real estate. So that's kind of like my story. So I sold real estate out of college and then I got married and my husband was in the army. So we bopped around for like 10 years and I realized it was really hard to get like license and sometimes we were only in a state for like four or six months. So that's when I started my company and so I don't sell. We like manage contracts for realtors.

Speaker 1:

Military family as well. That we only did four years, so we didn't have the problem of like bopping around. It's hard, yeah, it is hard to like reestablish, because real estate is a relationship you have to be there for the most part Exactly yeah, whereas what you're doing now. You could be anywhere correct.

Speaker 1:

Mine is also relationships, but it's just grown and I've been doing it for 10 years now, but your relationships are with the agents, not with consumers. Consumers so like if you moved from here to like Georgia, you wouldn't have to worry about it.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and I only like built relationships with agents here. So even when I was in Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, North Carolina. I only worked here.

Speaker 1:

So I lived afar. But I said it's great because it doesn't matter about where you live anymore. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was so smart, I know. And then, like we got really lucky with COVID because my team I have seven people on my team. Holy moly, I didn't realize you had such a big team yeah. And we all worked remotely the entire time, and so now everyone's kind of getting pushed back into the office and we're just like sitting pretty at home in our joggers. That's it.

Speaker 1:

And how did you pick your team?

Speaker 2:

Experience personalities. Yeah, I try to keep my team small but full of, like, people with a lot of experience and people who mesh well. So building culture from afar is something I've really had to work on because I could get people who are great at what they do, great at the job. But that's not all that it's about. You know, it really is about a brand at this point. So we have a brand to our business. So getting people who kind of get along well we all get along but who share similar values but also have great experience in the work so that's really where it's come from.

Speaker 2:

Where would you say, your values? Are Values, integrity, transparency so important in real estate it really really is. So that is like our team word for 2024 is transparency, because I'm really big on transparency. I like to have hard conversations. I like people to come to me and say you know this is working, this isn't working, and then find a solution. But I feel like if you're not transparent and you don't know, you aren't aware of things, then it's harder to fix them. So I really value people who are transparent and who can come to me and have hard conversations to make things better.

Speaker 1:

Now why would you say, why do you believe you are so comfortable with having hard conversations? Because that's not something that is normal, especially for women, I think?

Speaker 2:

I have always been good at having hard conversations. I think, well, maybe, maybe, like I think I don't. It's not that I don't have emotions, but I'm a big problem solver, so I don't necessarily let my emotions lead the way or let my emotions taint my view. So I really yeah, I think having hard conversations and being able to be introspective and be like, yeah, I could be better there, I think my husband is really open-minded, way more open-minded than I am, so he's really taught me a lot about seeing other perspectives Maybe it's not the same as yours but being able to listen to it and learn from it.

Speaker 1:

I feel like that's so needed in our world, not even just our area or our culture, but just in the world, being able to see things from the other side.

Speaker 2:

You don't necessarily have to agree, but you can respect people. So that's another one of our values for sure is respect. You do not have to agree, you don't have to feel the same way, but you can respect one another and be kind. So that is a huge value respect.

Speaker 1:

So, in terms of growing your business of eight people now correct with you seven seven, seven with me. How? What are you looking at in the next year, five years, ten years?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a hard question and people ask that all the time. You know, where do you see yourself in three years? Where do you see yourself in five? It's a hard question to answer.

Speaker 2:

I want my company to Grow in a way, so continue to provide exceptional service, continue to build relationships. I Didn't start my company with the idea of it being more than just me. So seeing it get bigger and Seeing it impact other people's lives so my team members, seeing them living great lives because of a company that we've built together that has become a big priority for me. So I think, just watching my team grow and succeed, building relationships with not just agents, but vendors, home inspectors, lenders, people call us and have real life conversations and it's funny because it's really turned from just this service to a lifestyle and Relationship building. So I I see the company growing in that way, continuing its brand of amazing customer service and just service in general. And yeah, we'll see what, what happens. You know the market fluctuates. It comes and goes, highs and lows, so we'll see what it does, but so far we've been able to withstand, so I'm excited for what's to come now You're able to service additional agents outside of this area, right, or do you have to?

Speaker 2:

have special yeah, yeah. So contracts are so different in each state and that's kind of where I learned, you know, being in Alaska and selling real estate there and seeing how different it was here. So, yes, you can manage in different states, as long as you understand the contract, and I think it's really important. I mean, we are a knowledgeable resource for agents, so we really want to make sure we understand the contract, understand the process, understand what's needed, even having relationships with vendors in different areas. So we kind of slowly grow. We service Virginia, maryland, dc, west Virginia, and then we went into Florida this past year. So why Florida, florida? Well, interesting, a lot of people from here, during COVID, exactly. So we had some agents who were here and they went to Florida and then last summer or last winter I guess, I went down there for a couple of months to kind of feel the market and also get some sunshine, yeah. So it worked out really well.

Speaker 2:

Didn't get a second house out there. Oh, maybe one day I would love to. Yeah, I'm not a cold weather girl. Yeah, so I would love to go back south. We were in North Carolina for four years and it was perfect. I loved it. You kind of you know had some sort of season, but the month of February was a little bit cold. It never froze. I was happy there. So if I can get back down south, I would be happy, you'd be okay. Yeah, that's funny. Now is your husband here, is he out of he's the army, he's in the government now though.

Speaker 1:

So he does work in DC. Yeah, so we're here.

Speaker 2:

He actually got a job with a startup company during COVID, which was really cool, so we did that, and then he went back into the government, which was the plan. So he's in DC, working in DC. Okay, cool, so be here for a little while. Yeah, I don't have real plans to leave. Like you said, second house so I can get away from the cold, but my family's here and my work is here and, um, yeah, it's a beautiful life here.

Speaker 2:

So what do you do outside of work? I have a horse, so I have always been a horse girl. My whole life I've competed. I have a horse, I keep him out in round hill and I do the sport of three-day eventing, so it's like a triathlon for horses. So there's three different phases on one horse and I love it. It's, you know, a partnership. I love the journey. Um, I'm lucky enough now. When I was younger, we had 20 acres. My mom and I lived out on the farm. I did all the mowing, we did all the horse care. Now I'm really lucky. I keep him at an amazing facility with amazing people who take care of him, and I'm lucky enough to just show up and love him and ride him and train, but they take amazing care of him for me, so very lucky.

Speaker 1:

Horses are so beautiful.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that is my passion. It always has been so I love them. I love it yeah.

Speaker 1:

Um, we did a video for a horse farm and just like being around the horses was just like it does something. It's so beautiful.

Speaker 2:

I go to the barn and I'm like wound up and stressed and then by the time I leave it's like my blood. Everything is just totally chill. So I'm lucky to have it.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing. And what's your horse's name? Q, q, q, like the letter.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I call him Q-Cumber yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Q-Cumber Q.

Speaker 1:

So Q? What type of horse? Not that I would know, but he's a.

Speaker 2:

German sport horse. Okay, so funny thing about him is I found him online, so it was like a blind date. Yeah, he was over in.

Speaker 1:

Germany.

Speaker 2:

Matchcom, yeah, matchcom, german style. He was over in Germany and it was less expensive by about 50% to buy him and ship him here, oh wow. Then it would have been to buy a horse here, oh my. So I bought him, shipped him, he flew on a plane to get here and then he showed up and he is just lovely. So, yeah, he's been fun. That's amazing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I didn't know that she could buy horses from overseas.

Speaker 2:

Literally on a video.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I don't know if it's Russian brides but, Q is my Russian bride, sorry. That's funny In terms of like hard lessons that you've learned or challenges that you've learned. Do any pop up to mine?

Speaker 2:

Trying to think which one. There's so many in business. In leadership it's one thing kind of growing a business and I feel like you always learn by doing something incorrectly, like we truly have learned and grown and perfected based on doing something wrong and then fixing it. Leadership has been one of the more challenging pieces for me. I can kind of be a hamster wheel. I can just get on that wheel, just keep going, just keep working harder. But when you're leading other people you have to have different perspectives and you have to solve problems in different ways. So I would say the lessons I've learned from leading my team through challenges has been the biggest challenge, yeah.

Speaker 1:

The biggest challenge of all, do you think it was? Was it hard for you to move from one person business to team leader of six others?

Speaker 2:

It's kind of been a slow role in a way. I've grown my team over the year so it wasn't like a one time thing. I've had a business coach for almost five years, christy Grossman. She's incredible and I don't think my business would be where it is today if I didn't have Christy, because it was just shining a light in a direction. When you start a company, you don't necessarily know what it's going to be or where and how to get there, and Christy would just shine the light and help me learn systems, ways of thinking, ways of doing things. So she has really helped guide me to grow my team over the years.

Speaker 1:

That's great, especially because it sounds like you really number one because they're remote or they work from home, and then remote, and then number two you really have a sense of culture and you've got your values and Exactly.

Speaker 2:

Everybody needs to mesh well together, exactly so, having that culture and having those similar values from afar. It doesn't work for all people, so it's been a slow growth, but it has paid off because my team is incredible, so very lucky.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing. So have you always had a coach? It's always been her.

Speaker 2:

It's always been Christy, okay. So it's been a huge change I've had and I have worked with Christy for probably close to five years, five out of almost 10. So the first almost five I did not have a coach, but it really was primarily me, primarily me bopping around with the military. And then I think things really started picking up in 2019 and then 2020, covid real estate market went insane. So, yeah, I was really lucky to have her Any help.

Speaker 1:

She's show me how I have lots of clients, yeah, not enough people, yeah, yeah, exactly how much or how little has your mom played to smash for anybody who doesn't know?

Speaker 2:

Well, she's a legend. For starters, she's been giving her guidance personally and professionally. Yeah, I can't even explain. She radiates positivity where I don't always, so she kind of helps me keep that positive outlook. Her knowledge I mean her reputation in the industry speaks for itself. She's been doing this for 35 years, so she's been doing this since I was in the womb. So a long time I've been in the real estate world but I've learned so much more about her and who she really is through my business really, because I meet a lot of people who she works with and I now work with a lot of people who she has worked with over the years and she is a role model and truly just a legend in the industry.

Speaker 2:

so I have been so lucky to learn from her in all areas of my life.

Speaker 1:

I had to mention that because she is a legend in our area she is oh, I'm so proud of it and she's like a positive ray of sunshine everywhere.

Speaker 2:

And that is truly who she is and how she is. As my mom, I can say that.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, that's awesome, really lucky, because sometimes you see people and you're like there's no way they're actually like that all the time, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I know she is truly that way.

Speaker 1:

It is her core, and I've learned so much from her, so I love that and how lucky you are to have that, because most of us in business we kind of start from literally scraps and we have no idea what to expect.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and my role is a little bit different from selling. Well, it's very different from selling, but regardless, she's kind of helped me and gave me the baseline and then I've been able to learn over the years by doing it, adding onto it with experience.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yeah, a lot of experience. So to kind of wrap things up, if you had like one message to share with the world, what would that message be?

Speaker 2:

My message would be and it's kind of one of kindness. So I just have learned in business and in life you catch more bees with honey than vinegar, right? Is that the saying? And I just really believe that it just it takes no extra effort to be kind, to always come from a place of kindness. And that's something I've had to learn over the years too, because I've been so intense and I'm a competitor horses business and I've really had to learn not learn kindness, but to always come from a place of kindness. So that has been a big part of my life, I'd say, for the last couple of years, is treating people with kindness. And it is amazing to see the difference when I work with people who are kind of nasty and I work with people who are kind, the effect it has on everyone involved when people are kind. You can get to the same place and you can get there on a much smoother path when you're kind.

Speaker 1:

So so the real estate world is too small. You've got lots of characters and personalities involved in the transaction.

Speaker 2:

if you've got one, Well, and that's the thing, there's so many emotions and for us, this is something we do every day. We know the contract, we know the process, but your average buyer and seller, they do a handful of transactions their entire life. So it's really nice to just take a step back, take a breath and come at every situation with kindness.

Speaker 1:

Awesome, love it. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Speaker 2:

I appreciate your time so fun thank you.

Real Estate Business and Personal Growth
Kindness in Business and Life