GAP 30 | Real Estate Success

 

Attitude is everything. It’s how you carry yourself, how you approach every moment of every day. That is what Elizabeth Riley has to say about attitude, and that’s her mindset as she navigated through her life, which later led her to be the only agent with her brokerage of 80,000+ agents to ICON 7X to date. Today, Elizabeth shares how she sees attitude as a day-to-day learning process as a woman, realtor, and visionary entrepreneur. With a mastery in the real estate realm, she shares her journey and the struggle she often faces in the market as a realtor. She shares how having the right attitude and approaches toward real estate problems can shape how your career turns out. Elizabeth emphasizes how your attitude can bridge the gap between where you currently stand and where you aspire to be. And in this episode, she shares how you can develop the right mindset to help you embrace your full potential. Tune in now and start your transformation!

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The Power Of Attitude: Secrets To Real Estate Success With Elizabeth Riley, eXp ICON Agent

I am here with my main man, Jason Aaron. He is our producer. Jason and I opened up our third Communicator Award for the show. GAPers, we could not do this without you. Thank you so much for all the support, all the letters of recommendation and all the votes that you’ve been giving us. We love what we do. Our hope is that we are truly helping you find and bridge the gap from who you are to whom you want to become and from where you are to where you want to go.

With that said, we have somebody that I know is going to help you with some answers on how to bridge that gap. We have a lady who is a leader and an innovator in the real estate space. I’m in her organization, which is fantastic. Her success is well known. I have a feeling she’s going to be very humble and not talk about how much success she has.

As a woman businessperson, as an entrepreneur and as a complete rockstar, this is somebody I said, “We have to get her in here,” and she’s here. Her name is Elizabeth Riley. She is with eXp Realty. She is the only eight-time ICON Award winner in a company of 88,000 people. GAPers, trust me, hold onto your seat. You’re getting ready to talk to one of the most powerful women in real estate, Ms. Elizabeth Riley. Elizabeth, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much. What a fun introduction. I appreciate you so much for having me.

I appreciate you for being here. We always love to start our interview by trying to get your definition of attitude. How do you define attitude? We’d love to know, who was your first attitude coach? Who gave you the drive to do what you’re doing?

Attitude is everything. It’s how you carry yourself and approach every moment of every day. You can have a negative attitude and that’s what you’re going to attract or you can have a positive. I’m always looking at opportunities and I want to attract that to me. I’m always open-minded and excited to explore and learn. Whether it’s fear or failure, I’m going to learn from that as well. I take everything as a learning opportunity. That plays into what my attitude and my focus are on a day-to-day basis.

As far as who has shown me what it means to have a positive attitude, I would probably have to go back to my mom. I’m sure a lot of people say that your parents but my mom is the ultimate servant leader. We grew up in a family that was very unique. We had 140 foster children in 20 years. If you can imagine the struggles and the challenges that you’re faced with on a day-to-day basis and seeing my mom lead with grace and lead with love, she’s the first person that I can think of or the first person that comes to mind when addressing attitude.

140 foster children, we have had a few guests who were from the same dynamic. You were there. You saw those foster kids come through. Is that correct? Yes or no?

I was raised in that environment and it was chaos. That’s why my life is as it is, I say organized chaos and I thrive in chaos, which is not always good but it’s never dull, that’s for sure. I’m the oldest of six and we grew up in a family with a lot of children, a lot of needs and a lot of challenges. It makes you grateful. Especially as an adult with children of my own, I have four children, it makes you appreciate life and what we have and not take things for granted. We have a lot of love to give. There’s a lot to go around.

When about 140, that’s over a span of time, I’m guessing. Did you guys have a big house? Did you have a big barracks for the kids? What was the fluctuation? You were 1 of 6 but what would you have 4 or 5 at a time? How did that work?

We grew up with nothing. We didn’t have a big house. We didn’t have a whole lot. I didn’t understand that growing up. You don’t understand that when you’re in that environment. We were all bunked up in rooms. The girls would be in one room and we’d make it a fun kind of adventure. The boys would’ve bunk beds in another room. We lived in Casper, Wyoming. It’s one of those things you take day by day. We were one of the only families that would take sibling sets.

In the foster care system, a lot of times, they’re separating the siblings and that causes even more trauma. We were one of the only ones in families that would take foster sibling sets but also brand new babies and newbies. There’d be times when we’d have a four-day-old baby and that was a crack baby and withdrawal. We’d have a set of three siblings. You never knew. It was sad and a lot of those memories are still with me. It changes how I choose to live my life and raise my children.

What you’ve done is a result of hard work but I can’t help but think there’s some energy, karma, grace or heaven dust that’s been sprinkled upon you because of the giving and the ability of your mother to do what she did. It’s so amazing. Was there a certain story or a foster child that came into your life that impacted you? It maybe had a great attitude or a horrible attitude. I’m sure there are many but I’d like to know 1 or 2 of the foster kids that came into your life that changed it for you.

I was one of the older ones for a while. There was this baby. He was six months old and his name was Larry. I remember I was 12 or 13 years old. I thought, “What a horrible name for this precious baby. Who would name their child Larry?” I asked my mom, “Can I be in charge of this baby?” She allowed me to have the crib in my room and I was responsible for him. She was overseeing but I decided Larry was horrible so I was going to rename him Sloan. I don’t know why that was much better but I renamed his baby Sloan. He was where I loved him. I had that nurturing.

He was one that was special. He was a failure to thrive baby. We got to pour into him and love on him. We get him back healthy and get him back to go home. He was one. There are other stories that are pretty heartbreaking that are seared into my mind. I love that my family had a lot of love to give. We’re able to love those children in a way that they didn’t experience before. Hopefully, they’re living and thriving better because of the role my family played.

I would have to guess when it was time for them to leave your home, that had to be painful. There are people reading this that are dealing with loss or separation and may be going through a divorce where the dad’s not going to see the kid for two months or vice versa. What’s your attitude about detachment? How did you make it through that tearing process?

I was still young, learning and growing. As adults, my parents probably had a much harder time. My mom still stays in touch with a number of them. My youngest sister was adopted out of the foster system. My mom’s very engaged. For me, I don’t know. If I look at who I am, I’m easily able to detach myself from situations that aren’t healthy, good or fruitful. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. That might be from some of my upbringings. If I’m in and I have somebody that is in and is supposed to be in my world, I’m going to put my all in. We’re going to build together. If it’s something that’s not healthy, then I’m able to detach pretty quickly.

I’m 1 of 5. You’re 1 of 6. I get siblings. I always love to ask this question. Is there one sibling in particular that you’re close to or that has an attitude or a story that’s worth telling on this that you go, “My brother and my sister, let me tell you about them?” Who would that be? What’s that story?

Probably my brother. He’s the closest one to me. He’s eighteen months younger than me. My other siblings are a lot younger. We were rough with each other, all of us. I would always pound on him and get on him because I’m the older one. Now, he’s 6’5” and an Air Force pilot. We joke about this. I still have a scar on my chin from when he got me with a belt once. It’s fun that I talked a lot of trash with him and that I was always going to be the big one. He’d always have to look up to me. The roles have quite reversed because he’s so much bigger. He’s got a heart of gold. He lives in Colorado so I don’t see him as much but it’s fun to see how we’ve both grown and evolved from where we were as siblings.

Is he still in the military or is he all done?

He is a pilot with United.

Has he ever flown you? Did you ever walk in like, “It’s my bro?”

No. That’s happened with my dad. He was a Navy pilot and then he flew for Continental for many years before he retired. I was in the middle of the Denver Airport of all places and I flew on passes because I could fly free. I was in college and I ran into my dad. He’s like, “Where are you going?” I said, “I’m going here. Where are you going?” He was like, “I’m working.” I’ve had my dad flying the planes that I’ve been on but not my brother.

In a lot of our interviews, I love the fact you can feel the family piece of this for you. I believe that great attitudes don’t only come from our parents. You’re right. Many of our people go, “It was my mom or dad.” Many times, when I dig deeper and go, “This can skip a generation too,” were you able to have a relationship with any of your grandparents? If you were, is there a story of attitude about 1 or 2 of your grandparents that hit home with you where you went, “Pretty awesome people?”

My grandfather, hands down, passed away at 104. He was still living on his own and was still driving. They took his keys away at 102, quite frankly. He would still drive and go to the gym. He remembered everything. He was on D-Day and remembered all the details. He was honored all around the state. He was an amazing man that not only I got to experience and learn from but my children were able to have a relationship.

I don’t think there are many people that have a grandparent that’s 104 that is that with it and involved. My daughter’s birthday was in October and that was the last card he sent to her. He sent all my children handwritten cards on their birthdays. He remembered them all the time at 104 years old. I’m so blessed to have the grandparents I’ve had. My grandfather, David Fleming, was incredible.

Here’s to David Fleming. The power of a handwritten note is crazy. People say, “It’s so nonchalant and overused. None of us do it.” Here’s a guy at 104 that’s able to do it. My father was much the same. It’s amazing how that hits. What else would you say attitude-wise? What was his attitude? What was his mantra, to honor him for a second? Being on D-Day, when you think of him and the people reading this, what would he be telling them? What is his mantra or spirit? What’s the goodness that we can give people from him?

He always had a smile on his face and he was so funny. I would say, “Grandpa, what’s the secret of living a long life? Tell us what your secret is.” He’d smile. He was like, “Keep having more birthdays.” He was so down-to-earth and witty. I sometimes forget that he’s still not here because he’s one of those that I thought was going to live forever. We celebrated his 90th birthday and we’re like, “How much time do we have?” We celebrated his 100th birthday and every single day that we had with him was such a gift. We didn’t take it for granted. He taught us that.

You’re a gift. This has been fun.

Thanks. I know nothing about business but this is fun.

The bottom line is life isn’t about business. Life is about the people behind the business. That’s what we try to do. We try to get successful people like yourself. Anybody can go to a business seminar but it’s the attitude inside of the person that we try to bring out to help people. You’re tall. Were you an athlete?

It’s not one that I would claim to be. No. I played sports in high school but nothing very exciting. My dad was an athlete. He played for Indiana State. He was a point guard. He played football for college. I never got that type of athletic ability.

I’m from Indianapolis.

I guess I did know that. My dad passed away years ago but he used to tell everybody he taught Larry Bird everything he knew. That was his whole claim to fame.

He wasn’t there when Larry was there.

Not at all.

He was before, I’m guessing. I have a dear friend who was the head football coach at Indiana State many years ago. I wonder if he knew your dad. How crazy would that be? I’ll ask him. His name was Coach Parika.

I have to give you my dad’s information. If he knew him, that would be a small world.

Have you ever been to Terre Haute?

I can’t say that I have.

We’ll get a couple of people down the line from Terre Haute and roll from there.

Let’s do it. Give me an excuse to visit.

Let’s talk about this thing called business. Ladies and gentlemen, this is an extremely successful woman. I don’t know that we need to go into all the numbers. I’m happy to. Some people feel uncomfortable but what did you do before real estate?

My background is in marketing. I went to Texas A&M University and studied International Marketing. My minor focus was going to be Russian because I had this big plan of doing international business. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I graduated and I got a job in Austin, Texas and marketing. My background’s always been in marketing. From there, it’s weird how the world works and the circles that you find yourself in. I went to Dell Computer and it was because of a connection there. They said, “You should come work here.” The role was fine. I was in finance, which was not exciting to me what I was doing.

When I was in finance, some people reached out and said, “You would be great in college recruiting.” I went over to the college recruiting side and that was my thing. I was working in the product group. I would recruit mechanical engineers, computer science, electrical engineers and everything like that. From there, I went to a startup and then the dot-com era. It’s weird. I was always in marketing but it was in different industries.

My husband and I were transferred to Atlanta, Georgia. My husband was at Dell for 25 years. When we were transferred there, I had been a marketing director for a law firm in Austin, Texas. I had always thought about going to law school and becoming an attorney in Child Protective Services. It makes sense with my upbringing. When I worked as a marketing director, I realized very quickly, “I don’t want to be a lawyer.” I had fun doing what I was doing but they saved me a lot of time and money. I followed that path and was doing marketing and law firms in Atlanta. Going back to the athlete thing, do you know who Stan Smith is? He’s a famous tennis player.

She has great shoes.

His Adidas shoes. He had a small company in Atlanta, Georgia called Stan Smith Events. There were about 4 or 5 of us. We did major corporate events around major sporting events. I worked with Stan and we were doing the Australian Open in Wimbledon and Greece, the Olympics and things like that. My husband and I had investment properties. My CPA said, “One of you needs to get your real estate license.” I was like, “I’m not doing that. I’m going to Greece.” My husband was like, “I have the job with the benefits and you’re going to get your license.” I went kicking and screaming, not thinking anything more than checking a box.

What I realized quickly with real estate is it pulled in everything I had done for so long. I loved the people. I loved helping them find and meet their goals. I believed in relationships because I wasn’t looking at it as a business. I had my business. I was doing things with Stan and we were doing other events like that. I don’t want to say side hustle but it was because I had to do it. What I realized is I was never treating it like a business. I was building relationships. When I built the relationships, the business would come. For years, I did that same thing. My real estate business flourished in Georgia.

Don’t treat it like a business. Just build relationships. And when you build the relationships, the business will come. Share on X

In 2008, for those that were in the market then, that was not a good time to be in real estate. The market crashed, especially in Atlanta. We were transferred to Austin, Texas. Everybody who I met here said, “You’re crazy for getting in the business here. Do you know what the market’s done? This is a horrible market.” You talk about attitude, Glenn. This is exactly the attitude I had.

I said, “The market I came from was horrible. This is an opportunity.” I put my head down and had to meet people. I didn’t know anybody here. I had one child at the time. We walked around the neighborhood and knocked on doors to get to know our neighbors. Business would come because they’d always want to know, “What are you doing? Why did you move here? Where are you going?” Relationships matter. I built my business that way.

I was with one company for the first ten years of my business. In 2014, we had 650 people in my office. I was number one. All because of relationships, I never followed my number. I never treated it like a business because when you’re doing something that you love and you’re having so much fun, it’s not work. I had to get my mind right and my mindset straight on. “This is a business. This is what I’m doing.”

I pivoted and made a change. That’s when I came over to the brokerage we’re at. It was life-changing. For me, I wanted to help each person. If I can help one person or treat each of my clients like they’re my one and only client, then everything else falls in line. They’re going to be thrilled and tell everybody about me. It’s much easier for me to build from there.

GAP 30 | Real Estate Success
Real Estate Success: If you can help one person, or if you can treat each of your clients like they’re your one and only client, then everything else falls in line. They’re going to be thrilled. They’re going to tell everybody about you. And then it’s just much easier for you to build from there.

 

I have a keynote address called 10 Reasons I Hope It Gets Worse. I love it when the market goes to hell. I speak to mortgage companies all over the country. I’m like, “I want rates to be at 10%.” The time to flourish is in a down market. In 2008, I sold 238 homes by myself with 1 assistant. Everybody else was whining and crying. I’m like, “You got to be kidding me. This is awesome. Nobody’s working. Everybody’s terrified.” I feel what you were saying about that. You crushed it in 2008 and 2009. You didn’t pay attention when it was all said and done.

The markets are always going to change but if you’re consistent and you know who you are as a business owner, a business leader, a real estate agent or whatever market you’re in, and you’re authentic, it’s all going to work out fine regardless of what the market’s doing. People are going to get in and out of the market all the time. The market, especially in real estate, is going to go up and down. You can weather that storm. If you are strategic and you know what you’re doing, whether it’s knocking on doors or it’s cold calling and building your sphere base, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Do what’s authentic to you and it’s going to build from there. I don’t pay attention to what the market is doing.

I do for my clients but I don’t put my head in the sand. The last few years weren’t fun, quite frankly. It was not fun for the sellers, buyers or agents. We were so tired. COVID hit. Everybody stopped except real estate. Not only were we crazy busy but we were also trying to navigate our concerns, fears and children at home, online schooling or whatever the situation was. We were taking on our client’s stresses as well. I keep trying to remind people you have to give yourself grace. We never slowed down or stopped. When the market changes, because they always do, this is the time to revisit what you were doing. Step back and make sure you have everything in alignment with what you need to be doing.

Make sure you’re building those relationships and reaching out with the script. “Hi, how are you?” It’s not hard. This isn’t rocket science. Some people overthink it. Agents chase shiny objects and compare themselves to others. I’m always saying, comparison kills joy. Focus on you. Surround yourself with the right people who are going to lift you and elevate you. Together, it’s so much better to lift others as you climb. That’s the right room. If you’re not in those rooms, then move rooms. It’s that easy for me.

Let’s go back a little bit. Did you ever meet Michael Dell? What was his attitude lesson that you maybe learned from? If it wasn’t Michael, maybe from a very successful company a long time back. I don’t know how they’re doing but they were the Dell computers. I owned a Dell.

Dell computers are great. My husband was with them for 25 years. I retired. My husband was from Dell years ago. It’s a pretty cool thing to do. I did that for our family’s sake. We have four children and they didn’t have a relationship with their dad because their dad was gone all the time. Our family is the most important thing. He’s home with them and their relationships are amazing. My family unit is together and that’s what this is all about. I did meet Michael Dell a couple of different times. He won’t know who I was. I was a little peon but I would observe him. One of the things that he did well was he knew he wasn’t the smartest in the room.

He is brilliant at what he does and at his skillset but he also knew that he wasn’t the one to do it all. He knew how to leverage. He surrounded himself with people who brought different skillsets and gifts to the table so they all would succeed together. That was something I always observed with him and something I always respected. That’s what I try to do. That’s what I love about Glenn Sanford in our leadership team. There are no egos involved. Egos get you nowhere. I have always watched Michael Dell, one of the most successful businesses and businessmen, probably in the top 10 in the world. You didn’t see arrogance or he was walking around better than everybody else. He was always still engaged and involved. That’s the type of leader I like to be.

GAP 30 | Real Estate Success
Real Estate Success: Egos get you nowhere.

 

Have you ever heard the difference between confidence and arrogance?

I have not.

Likability.

I like that one. I’m going to have to write that down for sure.

How likable are you? It comes out about every tenth episode. I know Jason’s like, “Glenn, are you going to use that line again?” It’s so good. That likability factor is huge and it sounds like he was likable. You also mentioned Stan Smith, a likable guy.

He’s so humble and amazing, the sweetest man you will ever meet.

Tell us what his attitude lesson was. What did you learn from him regarding his thinking and attitude?

He gave it his all. He didn’t make excuses. He’s very quiet and unassuming. When you’re an athlete, especially at that level and known worldwide, he had the shoes. It was so funny. We’d walk around. When we were in Greece, they’d point to the shoes. They knew who Stan Smith was because of what he had done. I don’t know. I’m drawn to people that are humble and who can do big things. It made me realize you don’t have to be loud to lead. You can lead from behind and in a whole bunch of different ways. Leadership and success look different for all sorts of people.

My dad was Navy. He was very intimidating. He was much older than my mom but sometimes that was scary. That was a form of leadership and that’s what I thought leadership was. You have in contrast, my mom, who’s more of a servant leader. I didn’t realize for a long time that that was leadership as well. I had to figure out what kind of leader I wanted to be. I learned from Stan and other people that I’ve been surrounded by that you don’t have to be the loudest one in the room and the one with all the answers. Leadership looks different in different ways. That’s what I’ve learned, mostly from him.

You don't have to be the loudest one in the room. You don't have to be the one with all the answers. Leadership looks different in different ways. Share on X

How many people are in your organization?

Not one of those that pay attention to that on a daily basis but I’m between 11,000 and 12,000.

Ladies and gentlemen, this lady has 11,000 or so, plus or minus people, that are contributing and participating in greatness in her organization. She talked to us about leadership on a couple of different levels. She has a podcast called Leadership From The Heart. It’s taking a little bit of a hiatus but if you want to check her out, it’s ElizabethRiley.com. You can Google her podcast. It sounds like she’s had some pretty incredible guests. I would love to know, as a podcaster, if anybody blows your mind. What are the 1 or 2 takeaways from doing that podcast that you got as leadership? I’m sure it’s everywhere you’d look for a podcast.

That podcast organically happened during COVID with one of my very dear friends, Renee Funk. What happened was Renee and I are such good friends. She’s an incredible team leader in Florida. When COVID hit, a lot of people were calling her. A lot of people were calling me trying to figure out and wanted answers. There was a lot of fear.

If we look back, there was a lot of fear, uncertainty and questions. We didn’t know how to lead or answer those questions. Renee and I got on a call one day and tried to figure it out. We said, “Who do we respect and admire? Let’s reach out and ask some people, maybe interview them on Facebook Live to see if that could be helpful.”

Glenn Sanford was the first person we reached out to. Glenn is somebody I admire for a very long time. I met him when his company had 400 agents. You want to talk about a humble, brilliant and visionary leader. Glenn Sanford is the same person with 400 agents in this company to a multi-international company with almost 90,000. I asked him one time, “When do you ride off into the sunset and say, ‘I’ve done a good job?’” He said, “Are you kidding me? Warren Buffet still works. He’s in his 90s. I love what I do. I’m creative. I’m never going to stop.”

We got on a Facebook Live with Glenn and said, “What can you tell us about leading in adversity? We don’t know.” That interview was so amazing. Many people reached out and we’re like, “What do other people think?” We interviewed Jason Gesing, Randall Miles and all these other amazing people. We did this every single day because what was everybody doing? Sitting at home, not doing anything. Your producer does rock. We did this every single day because we are like, “What else? What can we do?” We felt like we couldn’t do nothing.

Let me think. The person that stands out for me, Lee Cockerell was who was amazing. He wasn’t in real estate. He was one of the executives with Walt Disney World when 9/11 hit, the day that happened. To hear how to lead in that and learn from all of him looking back in hindsight 2020 and sharing with us, he was so incredibly impactful. Randall Miles was one that stands out because as we were talking to him, he lived in the center of New York and he’s looking down. He’s seeing ambulances, body bags and all these things going on during COVID.

I remember seeing his face. I will never forget that. We have tens and hundreds of interviews on our podcast from people saying yes. “Yes, we will get on your podcast because we can,” people that usually would cost a whole lot of money to get on a call but they can’t go anywhere. Stefan Swanepoel was amazing and Brad Inman. It was fun. It’s one of those things where then life goes back to normal, whatever normal is. Life gets back and kids are back in school. We’re back showing homes. It’s one of those things that filled our soul. We’re restructuring it and identifying some amazing leaders that we want to talk to. We’re going to relaunch it. I’m excited for you to see that as well. Glenn, we might have to have you as our guest.

I’d love to join. Glenn Sanford is certainly a member of The GAP alumni. As you can guess, my interview with Glenn was probably a lot different than yours. He talked about his grandparents, his childhood and how he started. I’m sure you know him well enough that you know the story but check out the Glenn Sanford episode. It’s an eye-opener. He’s such a sweet person. When it’s all said and done, it’s good.

It’s funny when people assume they know everything about you when they see you. You see Glenn doing what he’s doing and a lot of people think it’s easy. They don’t understand the challenges and the failures they had to encounter to get where they are. Glenn has got an amazing story. He’s very much an open book. I’ll go back and listen to that one because every time I hear him speak, I learn something.

GAP 30 | Real Estate Success
Real Estate Success: A lot of people just think it’s easy, and they don’t understand the challenges and failures people had to encounter to get where they are.

 

His family was from the cereal business. Did you know that?

Yes. I did know that.

He talked about that whole story. Brent Gove was amazing.

Brent Gove has a little bit of energy, doesn’t he?

Brent did tear up and choked up when we talked about his grandfather and what his grandfather meant to him, which a lot of people don’t know. We’re surrounded by beautiful people in our company. There’s no doubt about that. What I want to hit on very quickly is you’re a successful woman and mom. I love what you said about you retired your husband. I’m a father of 4 and a grandfather of 5. There are a lot of working mothers out there that are trying to bridge the gap between being a pro, a superstar and what they feel as a mother.

Let’s talk directly to those moms that listen to me and you on their way to a two-hour sales call. What do you wish for them? What advice would you give them as far as their attitude, if they don’t feel like they’re enough or they feel like they’re cheating on their family? I don’t believe in feeling guilty. This is an attitude that a working mom has to take. What’s your insight for those folks?

I agree with you that it’s an attitude but mom guilt is very real. I don’t want to say we but I usually feel like I am not enough. I am sacrificing one thing to have the other and that’s not the case. I have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. All they’ve known is me in real estate. I was pregnant with my first child the month I got my first license in Georgia. That’s all my kids have known.

My oldest trip would go to showings with me. I would have him in the baby viewer. I built my business based on the people that I was surrounded by. A lot of my clients were in the same stage of life that I was in. It’s like, “Let’s put the babies in the back and look at homes.” What I love about my kids is they’re also different. I see this entrepreneurial spark in them. My boys created a business in the neighborhood called Rent a Kid. They did door flyers and door hangers.

On the door hangers, their summary is, “I’m an upcoming senior. I’ll power wash. We’ll move furniture. We’ll weed and do all these different things.” On the back, it had testimonials from past clients. My one kid got $0.10 per flyer to put them all on the doors. They built this little business. In summer, that’s what they’re doing. They came back and are like, “We got another job. We’re power washing.” I love seeing this entrepreneurial spirit.

eXp has changed my life. It’s allowed me to make an impact on others. It’s not about income anymore. For me, it’s about impact. I paid off my parent’s home because they gave me so much more. My parents were still working because they had to, not because they wanted to. I wanted to thank them. How do you thank them when there’s no real way to thank them? That’s what I’ve done. My kids are pretty set. My kids’ colleges are funded. Everything’s set.

They don’t know this though because I want to raise strong, productive members of society that are thinking differently, are kind and responsible, can look an adult in the eye, go walk up to a neighbor and say, “I’m here to bid this project for you. No. My mom doesn’t have to be there with me.” Them watching me for all these years, that’s instilled in them. They’re good negotiators. I’m like, “Quit negotiating with me.” They’re like, “We got it from you.” There are so many things our children watching us.

You talk about Leadership From The Heart. We had all of our kids on there one day and had them all talking about it and hearing their perspectives. What I’ve had to realize as a mom and a parent is it’s my job to raise them the best that I can. Instead of me telling them, let me show them. They’re watching me and learning from me. As moms, we have a big role to fill but I watch my kids and I hear them speaking to adults. I hear them communicating with each other and it’s okay.

I’ve told my kids, “You all are Guinea pigs. I’m not perfect at this.” I ask my kids, “What can I do to be a better mom?” I ask my kids for grace but I also time block. I block after a certain time during the day. I’m like, “After 6:00, it’s family time.” You have to have boundaries. In this business, you also know that if you don’t have boundaries, people will run all over you.

By setting those boundaries, it allows your family to know, “You’re priority.” If there’s something that comes up after those hours, then I can ask for grace. “This came up. I need to handle this.” They know that they’re a priority and it’s an exception, not a rule. Until I did that, it didn’t go very well. After I started doing that, then it changed the dynamic.

Every family’s going to be different. Have those family meetings and communications sitting down on the couches together. My younger ones will say, “We need family meeting time. Let’s all have a family meeting.” It’s not perfect but we’re all in this together and we can do it all. We can have the best of both worlds. It’s setting expectations and guidelines.

We’re all in it together, which is good. I like the time blocking but you know this. I got wonderful readers who are real estate agents and they’re like, “Listen to this chick. If it’s 6:00 and I can make a sale and I don’t have money for my mortgage, I’m showing that home.” I’m guessing that that was probably your spirit as well.

Yes. Here’s the difference in the conversation. “I have to make a sale. This is great for our family so we can keep the lights on, have dinner, go to Disney or whatever it is.” We set a goal. “If I hit my goals of whatever it is, then we’ll all go to Disney or the coast together.” They’re invested. My kids are also part of my business. They help me with all of my mailouts.

I have the Luxe Property Group. They all have shirts that say, “Call my agent, Luxe Property Group.” They’re the Luxe Squad. When we do pop buys, they go put them on the doors for me and we make it a race. They make me pay them but that’s fine. They’re working. I pay my kids. They put the stamps on my little one. She puts all the stamps on all the mailers. They’re involved in my business as much as I am, then they feel like they’re contributing together.

Lady realtors, you got the trick right there. That’s some good stuff. Elizabeth, we’re going to have a little fun. This is what we do with all of our guests. It’s called Knowledge Through the Decades. What we do is walk you through your life and ask you what the attitude lesson is at a certain time of your life. We’re going to walk through from 0 to 10 to 20 to 30. We’ll only go to 40. When you think about birth, whether as a mom when you saw your babies or if you remember your birth, which some people do, what do you feel the attitude lesson is of birth, the beginning of life?

Responsibility.

How old were you when you had your first kid?

I was 31.

You waited a little bit. It’s very interesting.

We did wait. I had lived in Texas for a while and he was in Georgia before we got married. We were enjoying being newlyweds and traveling. We knew all that would change once we had kids.

I had a 13-year-old at 31. I had 4 kids at 31. That’s insane. I’m enjoying my life. We enjoyed it all. Responsibility is a very good attitude lesson. I want you to go back to 4th grade or 5th grade. You’re ten years old. Whether you were a bully or they were a bully, was there a story in 4th or 5th grade that you can remember that you can recall that affected your attitude and taught you a lesson? I’m curious if there’s anything around that time for you.

My youngest is in fourth grade. I was thinking about this. We had the tryout but I was in a children’s choir in Wyoming called Casper Children’s Chorale. It was a whole statewide thing. I was so excited that I made this choir and they were going to be traveling. We didn’t have a lot growing up and I didn’t realize that because my parents didn’t make it known. I remember we were traveling to Washington, DC or something for this performance. We couldn’t go because we didn’t have the money.

The reason we didn’t have the money is because my sister, who’s ten years younger than me, had leukemia. We had everything else going on but my parents had all the medical bills. I remember being angry. When you’re the oldest and you have all these kids that everybody’s taking care of, sometimes you get neglected. Their needs are more important and likely so.

They’re more important than what’s going on there. I remember feeling neglected and that I wasn’t valued. It was negative but I don’t like being in the negative. That was a time in my life when it was rough. Looking again as an adult and looking back and understanding everything else that was going on, it was very selfish of me but you don’t know that as a child.

Did your sister make it?

My sister did make it. She adds an interesting story there. She’s adopted a little boy and then a little girl from birth. Her daughter Kenzie was diagnosed with the same kind of leukemia. My sister had a different strain, which is crazy. I say God knew that she needed to be with that baby. Kenzie passed away at the age of 5. My sister has adopted another little boy since then. They’re healing and hurting but she’s doing well.

Big families are bound with me. I do believe that the oldest one does. I was the baby. There are a lot of oldest kids that feel like that. Did you say, “I’m not going to feel like that,” and move on or did you battle with that for a little bit? Give some advice to the 11-year-old that maybe got 3 little brothers or sisters going.

I battled with it even in adulthood. If you don’t deal with things and you suppress things, you have to be tough all the time. You don’t have to be tough all the time. I battled with it, not feeling like I was enough or valued. It wasn’t anybody else’s fault except that I kept that within me and I let it fester over the years.

GAP 30 | Real Estate Success
Real Estate Success: You don’t have to be tough all the time.

 

Were you a tough kid?

I was a tough kid.

Ask your brother. I’m sure he said you were.

I was extremely loyal, fierce and very protective. I remember beating up a little girl at the bus stop because she was beating up on my brother. It’s one of those things where my brother and I can beat up on each other but don’t you touch him. You’re going to have to deal with me. I’m very protective.

That’s past ten. That was tough but I like it. We’re at twenty. You’re at Texas A&M. As a twenty-year-old, I want to know your attitude lesson. Did you French kiss and make out with all the other Aggies at the Texas A&M game? Have you ever heard about that or is that the Texas fans that do that?

My dorm was the Moser and we were called the Moser muggers. Our t-shirt said, “We know what to do when the lights go out.” Aggies, at midnight, at Yale practice, you got a mug down with your date so yes. Texas A&M was an amazing time in my life. I was a bartender after school. It was one of those things too. Dad was paying for my college. I was very blessed that he paid for that and he gave me $300 for my rent each month but everything else was on my own. He’s like, “You need to work.” I did. I worked in the bars and I bartended. I was in the time of my life when I knew everything. That was my attitude.

Your attitude lesson was full steam ahead. “I’m going to enjoy this.”

College and one of the best schools in the nation, yes. It was so much fun.

Let’s go to 30. My guess is you’re at Dell. You’re almost pregnant. You’ve been married. What was the attitude lesson at 30?

It’s getting harder. It was easier when I was younger. I was determined and very driven. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I knew whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to do it well. I wanted to be successful. I didn’t know what that meant at the time. I still don’t know what that means. Success looks different every day. I was at the beginning of my career and I was trying to figure it out. Around 30 was when I was told by my CPA that I had to do something. Nobody likes to be told they have to do something. When it was going the real estate route, I was kicking and screaming on that and trying figuring it out what I wanted to do.

Success looks different every day. Share on X

My husband was successful and I’m very independent. He will say I’m very stubborn and strong-willed but he’s not on this show. I am. The plan was when we got married and had children, I was going to stay at home and be a stay-at-home mom. I realized I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom. I felt guilty about that. It’s not that I didn’t love my kids or want to love my kids but I had bigger plans. I didn’t know what they were but I wanted to do something different.

Even then when we did have kids, I stayed home for probably 6 weeks and realized I’ve got to go back to work. I’m a better mom because I work. Around 30, I didn’t have a trip yet and I was trying to figure it out. My business was going in a couple of different directions and I had to make a decision. Confusion and uncertainty were probably my attitudes. I still had stability and security because I was married and my husband was so supportive.

Let’s go to 40. Did you have a birthday party at 40? Tell me about turning 40. What was your attitude lesson at 40?

I was a little worried about turning 40. My husband threw a big surprise birthday party for me and he pulled it off because I had no idea. It was so much fun. I wasn’t excited about turning 40. I loved my 30s and I had a great time. I felt old. It’s funny because I’m not looking forward to getting to the 50s at all. I’ll probably have the same attitude going. It wasn’t so bad. My 40s have been some of my best years. It’s exciting. You have the financial stability you’re building. You’re not trying to figure it out. Your family is in the works. Some of the attitudes were more survival mode when the kids were little. It was fun. Every day was an adventure.

Elizabeth has given us some great insights into success, leadership and being a mom, a woman and an entrepreneur. You’ve brought the attitude and we appreciate that. We always like to close the episode with our guests to give a message of hope to the people that are sitting in their cars or walking on the beach, a real heartfelt attitude message for those people that are reading. We’re so grateful that you shared your time with us. Go ahead. It’s all you, Elizabeth.

I’m honored and humbled that you asked me to be here, Glenn. This is so much fun. I go back to comparison kills joy. If we start looking at everybody’s life, especially in the day of social media and how everybody’s perceived to be, it’s not reality. Figure out who you want to be. Enjoy your life and the people you’re around. Take it day by day. Don’t sweat the small stuff because life is too short. Make each day as it comes and enjoy it.

Make each day as it comes and enjoy it. Share on X

GAPers, that was the great Elizabeth Riley. Check her out at Luxe Property Group. She gave it all. She laid it out on the field for us. Gig them. We will see you in the next episode.

Thanks, Glenn.

 

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