By Susan Doran
Do you need a boost to your life and your business? Could you use help with setting and achieving goals? Do you dream of wearing a crown?
No worries. Assistance is available via the often-unconventional business and personal development coaching services supplied through Carol-Anne Schneider of Realty Executives Plus.
At the start of this year Schneider, manager/trainer for Realty Executive Plus’s five offices, was instrumental in opening a 3,000 square-foot agent success centre at the brokerage’s Mississauga, Ont., headquarters with the help of Scott Gilmour, broker/owner and regional developer for franchise sales in eastern Ontario.
The centre is open not just to the brokerage’s own sales reps but to the entire industry.
“All brands are welcome. Share and support is the mandate, aligned with my philosophy that there is enough business for everyone,” says Schneider. “We have created a really neat culture here. I love the idea of collective sharing.”
Schneider has taken a lot of master-mind training, particularly with speaker/coach Jon Cheplak. This popular form of success training inspired her to put her own twist on the concept when mentoring and training agents and connected her to a network of like-minded entrepreneurs. Eventually she suggested her brokerage start its own agent success centre, and “then the magic happened,” she says.
She strongly believes that being authentic and balancing health and wellness are just as important for business as making a sale. Many of the sessions she hosts focus on balancing work and personal life. Both one-on-one mentoring and group training for up to 50 or more people are available.
So far the success centre’s group offerings have ranged from the traditional to the wacky and wonderful. Schneider has brought in experts to coach agents about everything from goal setting, mortgage financing and cold calling to podcasting, nutrition, neuro-linguistic programming, feng shui, vision board creation and how to rid a house of ghosts.
Yes, you read that last one right. A paranormal expert provided tips on how to sell haunted houses and eliminate negative energy and spirits. The agents in attendance were sent home with a ghost-buster spray that contains essential oils – although word is that a bell or sage smoke might also do the trick.
“What can I say? I call them in and it works… There’s something wrong with some houses,” says Schneider. “My dad and son think I’m crazy.”
She doesn’t seem to mind and doesn’t elaborate on her family’s thoughts on another session that involved empowering agents by giving them a “royal day” complete with a tea party and crown.
Helping people balance mind, body and business is all part and parcel of what she refers to as the Carol-Anne Kool-Aid.
“When you believe in someone they believe in themselves. It turns things around,” she says. “It’s gratifying to watch someone go from making $30,000 a year to $250,000 or more. What we discovered is that the agents willing to be gutsy enough to talk with us about what they really want in life, they skyrocketed…Once you start feeling good about yourself, the business part is fairly easy. You just need someone to keep pushing you along.”
Schneider explains that she has always had a nurturing personality, been an avid learner and had an interest in topics that are outside the box and based on personal development.
“I lead from my heart. I wanted to be a social worker, but mom said I would come home with everyone’s problems. But I do the same thing with real estate!” she says. “I get to be a mother hen to all these Realtors.”
She came to Canada from Scotland as a toddler 50 years ago, at a time when her father was able to secure a mortgage with just a handshake. As a young adult she “stumbled” into real estate sales, following a job as a real estate secretary.
“The market was booming but the moment I got my license it died,” she says. She left for a bit to sell newspaper advertising to Realtors and then returned. For about 25 years she’s been a successful agent with the Realty Executives’ network, having worked over the years at various of the organization’s offices. Training, marketing and technology are key mandates of the Realty Executives International network’s flexible-fee structured global brand.
There has been a lot of heartache in Schneider’s life – several family members died young, including her sister. She’s well aware that she has been forever changed and shaped by these tragedies.
“It’s a club you don’t want to be a part of,” she says. “I have a different outlook on life because of it. It puts things in perspective. I try to live extra for them.”
For years she did grief counseling for young adults. Then as now, she was gratified to see the transformation and progress her clients made with time and support.
She recalls a recent Realtor client who was determined to work exceedingly hard so that he could make enough money to take the entire summer off to spend time with his young sons. With the help of the success centre he did it, Schneider says, tearing up.
“I told him he’s the greatest father on earth,” she says.
She is also impressed by the snowballing business success of some of the office millennials.
In her opinion the centre itself is inspirational, complete with lots of natural light and such amenities as spacious meeting, training and lounge areas.
“It’s got good energy,” she says.
While some people may not view personal growth as a game changer business-wise, Schneider is a believer. She has seen the results first-hand, she says.
“My highest reward is helping to make a difference in someone’s life and getting them to a place they didn’t think they could reach.”