Women’s Advancement in Real Estate: An Interview with Nikki Betz

  • Photos by:
    Nikki Betz
  • Published on:
    April 30, 2019
  • Reading time by:
    8 minutes
Women’s Advancement in Real Estate: An Interview with Nikki Betz

For years and decades, real estate was considered to be a man’s world. Breaking into the industry was difficult for women, so much so that up until the 1980s they could not even buy real estate without a male co-signer. However,  the sector has drastically changed and is getting more organised, competitive and accepting, there has been an increased penetration of female agents in the industry.

According to industry data, there are more female agents in all states across the US, outnumbering male agents by approximately 50%, putting the female to male ratio at 2:1, bringing an entirely new dimension to the traditionally male-dominated sector. 

However, just because there are more female agents at the moment that does not mean a career in real estate is a cake-walk for women.

Meet Nikki Betz, founder, and owner of Sarasota Home Specialists. Specializing in listings, is Betz’ target. Betz’ does not only sell homes, she advises people on the best features of their homes and how to extenuate those features to get them the best value! 

When you come across a strategy that you want to add to your business, how do you go about adding it?

Whenever we are adding any new process or source into our business we go through an analysis of do we need it? how are we going to manage it? Do we need a new system in place or does a current system work for that source? We always make sure that if we are adding anything that we are putting 110% into that source and watching it closely for 6 months to a year to make sure its providing an ROI. 

How do you improve your financial knowledge? 

Growing up with a financial advisor step-dad this has come naturally to me. I also love numbers and conversions…. Every entrepreneur needs to know their business numbers. Its what drives your business success. I also am in coaching through to get to my next goals of having more income sources and that all starts from knowing your numbers in your first line of income. 

How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives? 

This is all about your tribe… Who you surround yourself with AND who you date/ marry. It truly takes a special man to support a modern woman. I tell my husband this all the time because I know I am a strong personality and my goals are very focused. I set my mind on it and I don’t stop even when I reach it. Its also about accepting that you will probably have two or three tribes in your life for different areas. I have my business tribe, my #mombod workout tribe, and then I have my go-to for life in general. 

What is a skill you think all women should learn and why? 

Being financial stable on their own. Call it being raised by a single mom then later her getting married to my stepdad who also taught me this at a young age…. When I hear the stories of women being left in the trenches because of many reasons I have a strong motivation to help as many women reach their financial goals on their as possible. I raise my daughters the same…”Whatever you want is yours, GO EARN IT!” 

What’s the best advice you can give for those who are looking for a Realtor? 

We are not all the same. As a financial advisor, lawyer, doctor, dentist… We are not all cut from the same cloth. You need to interview two or three, and as I tell clients, it’s like dating I may not think we fit together either and I will be honest with you if I feel that way. My ultimate goal is to sell your house and get you to your next real estate goal and I will show you that value in enlisting with me. Moving, buying, and/or selling is a stressful time…you need to find that fit that will help take that stress away. We are not all the same nor are our values all the same. 

How did you actually start Sarasota Home Specialists and made it profitable enough for a living?

I always knew that I wanted to be in business for myself. After spending 7 years in corporate I am thankful for the skills and leadership training I received that ultimately has assisted in building my own team. When I learned early on though is that my goals are necessarily my agent’s goals… We all have our own financial thermostats. I started from making my goals reality by breaking down their first and helping them succeed which moves into my P&L. My P&L is the foundation of my business if that isn’t profitable my business is not profitable. 

What investment did you need to start Sarasota Home Specialists?

We took our savings from the sale of our previous business we owned (My husband and I) and poured it into basic sales principles of #ruleof100 we created. For every 100 solid real estate conversations a green sales agent will convert 1-2%, an experience 

Sales agent should be converting at 4%. We backed our numbers from there of getting realistic of how many contacts/leads we needed each month in order to make our yearly financial goal. We advise all agents that come to us getting into the business that following our processes and systems and focusing on that #ruleof100 they will start seeing their business succeeding in 90 days and 120 day is the true “Ah Ha” moment for every agent that follows the system. 

What 5 steps would you advise and give our ladies who starting their own business? 

  1. First, MASTERMIND. Always be leveling up. This is so crucial in life and business. I even remind my daughters “you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with on a daily basis” At the beginning you need the support of those who are already doing it! Especially if you are a mom/wife as well… This is even more crucial to find your tribe and read the next one 5 times. 
  2. Second, IT’S OK TO BE OUT OF BALANCE. “Balanced life” HA! I am going to be as real as real is with you right now… When it’s your own business you are writing your own paycheck. You will have seasons of needing to immerse yourself fully in your work to reach a goal. Or a time when you need to focus fully on your family. You need to have a 1, 3, 5, and 10-year plan. These plans are both business and personal. This plan should be diving your whole self into the business the first 5 years and years 5-10 you are scaling it so it can give you an income while you are stepping away. Those first 5 years are all about systems. So that initial stretch of growth and building you are going to be off balance and the guilt will consume some days. I’m talking mommy guilt, friend guilt, wife guilt… You name it. I am here to tell you to let all that shit go. Your kids will still look up to you even though most days you don’t feel it and then they bring home that one project that makes you cry cause they see why you are going after your goals. Your husband will be extremely proud of your successes, you’ll see it in the way he looks at you and talks about you. The friends that are equally proud will still be around and will celebrate your success. You will survive
  3. Third, Time block. If it’s not in your calendar it doesn’t exist. Build your workouts/ health and wellness into your schedule. This has been my sanity keeper of not only keeping me healthy to continue on my growth high-speed train but it also has trained my mind. Planning your vacations…your time of diving into your family, spouse, friends. Beginning of each year plan out when you’ll be going on a family vacation, a husband-wife vacation, and girl time…even if it’s happy hour monthly. Finally a quarterly weekend with your spouse or significant other. This does not mean work stops, at least not in my business. It’s a time when you are limiting that work to crucial items only and focusing your attention on your family and your spouse. Why? Read number 2 again. 
  4. Fourth, hire those that fit your culture and vision. You’ll still hire to just hire or hire and have a bad read on someone. I am forewarning you though, don’t make the mistake we all waste time and money on as entrepreneurs hiring to fill an immediate need. Hire to fill a need but hire the right person that supports your vision and culture… Who has a vision of their own and that vision fits into your overall vision. When this happens, it’s an amazing chain reaction in culture, leadership, and of course, favors that P&L as well. 
  5. Fifth, don’t do it for the money. I have seen this time and time again. When passion and drive combine it’s a beautiful thing in the business world. Of course, the financial growth helps as well but if you don’t have a passion for the business, a high from seeing your employees and team succeed not only for the business but for themselves…. The money won’t follow. The money follows passion and culture. 

Being an entrepreneur what are the cons and pros? 

Cons: You’re on call… 24/7. This is why I say do something you are passionate about otherwise you will hate your life. Your passion will also show in your work. If you don’t hit your goals there’s only one person to blame… That’s a hard cup of tea to swallow at times.
Pros: I get to fund the life I envisioned for myself, my husband, my daughters. I answer to me and my team…I am in control of my goals.

What are some common myths about working in Real Estate? 

We live this lavish life and just open doors. Most don’t see the back end negotiating, problem-solving, searching, etc. We buffer A LOT from our clients. We have a lot of personalities to deal with in transactions between clients, title offices, lenders, and other realtors….you have to know how to be a chameleon and focus on solutions not the curve balls. 

What sacrifices have you had to make during life as an entrepreneur? 

I am always on…this industry doesn’t sleep and nor do I expect my clients to suffer or lose a sale because I am occupied with something else. I know I’ve had a response to my kids at times I shouldn’t have. I have had seasons of not putting my husband forefront so I have to adjust that “balance in the next week to make sure that appreciation is given back. Relationships suffer in general, it’s acknowledging and communicating the goals and what the time and action needed to accomplish those goals are so those relationship can support and understand. 

What steps do you take when you want to get through a less of a good business day? 

For me, a good workout can reset my mind. Whether it’s heading to a cross fit workout or just heading out for a good run, I always feel in a new mindset afterwards. Real estate has a lot of curve balls…sometimes you can’t see them coming. I try to remember a simple phrase “Control what you can control… everything else there is a solution” 

What is the most rewarding aspect of Sarasota Home Specialists

I love coaching! Reaching my own goals is great but I truly get a euphoric high from seeing my team reach their own goals. I love seeing the process of them developing their skills and aiming for mastery. 

What marketing strategy do you use for your business? Have you tried a strategy that did not work at all in the past, what strategy would you advise someone to leave behind?

Branding, branding, branding… Translate into consistency, consistency, consistency. It takes a solid 3 years to build your brand and feel like it’s getting traction. Social media has been our newest strategy of delivering valuable content and awareness. After that, it’s old school… Referrals are queen! 

What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/ disagree with? Why? 

“Excuses are for those that don’t want it bad enough.” Fully agree with this! I hate excuses and when I hear them I’m digging deeper into that person’s truth. Do they not have a passion for what they are doing? Do they need to change the mindset? Have they set a scalable action plan to their goal? Who is their support around them? What is their financial thermostat? Is someone else setting that goal for them? 

What is your favorite aspect of becoming an entrepreneur? 

The confidence and empowerment that I not only achieve but the spark I ignite in other women when I share our success, trials, and how I have gotten to those successes. That is an amazing compliment when another women messages you randomly and tells you how you’ve inspired them to reach higher…I love that! 

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them? 

Not time blocking…its a constant struggle for all entrepreneurs. I am great at when it comes to my workouts and I relate that to it was a routine that I made into a habit like brushing your teeth. I find when I let me schedule control me instead of me controlling that schedule my team culture suffers. They rely on that accountability and coaching and that time in my schedule is usually the first to get shoved aside when business comes up. I have learned that I my communication with my team is what will always buffer that. If I know I am not going to be present in the office because clients are in town or I have back to back closing communicating this with my team so they know I’m here and only a call or text away. 

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