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Crushing It in Real Estate with Karen Briscoe, 5 Minute Success

June 26, 2024

Potential clients are within reach, but how do you make them loyal customers? In this episode, I talk with Karen Briscoe, a mega real-estate agent, successful author, and coach who shares how personalized follow-ups and scalable systems help to convert leads into lifelong clients in real estate and beyond. 

About Karen Briscoe

Karen Briscoe is the creator of the innovative “5 Minute Success” concept, which simplifies the path to success in both business and life. Her entrepreneurial spirit shines through in her real estate career, where she leads a top-performing team and consistently sells over $100 million each year. Karen’s methods have proven effective not only in her field but as a blueprint for others in various industries, making her a sought-after coach and podcast host. 

Karen’s work and books focus on essential themes for business growth: generating leads, mastering sales, building connections, and fostering a success-oriented mindset. Each book, like Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day and Consult to Sell: 66 Day Challenge®, is designed to help readers learn and apply new skills daily in manageable steps. Her latest book, Flip Time / Love Life, expands on this by showing how to balance professional achievements with personal happiness, encouraging readers to succeed in business while also enjoying life. Well worth checking out.

How To Convert Leads Into Loyal Customers Without Breaking A Budget

Karen makes some great points on getting leads on a budget. I think they’re well worth paying attention to, as converting leads into loyal customers is crucial for any entrepreneur building a sustainable business, especially when resources are limited. Successful conversion maximizes the potential of each lead, increasing return on investment. Loyal customers provide recurring revenue and can act as brand ambassadors, attracting new leads through word-of-mouth, a cost-effective marketing method.

Here are a few ideas I found useful on how to convert leads on a budget:

  • Personalized communication: send tailored emails or messages.
  • CRM software: use software to track interactions and customize follow-ups.
  • Educational content: offer valuable content that explains your products or services.
  • Feedback loops: gather and act on customer feedback.
  • Loyalty programs: reward repeat customers to encourage continued business.
  • Demonstrations and trials: provide trials to showcase product value.
  • Follow-up schedule: Maintain a regular follow-up schedule.
  • Networking events: build relationships through industry events.
  • Referral incentives: reward customers for referrals.
  • Special offers: incentivize purchases with exclusive discounts.

These tactics make it simple and affordable to turn leads into loyal customers, all through consistent effort and real connections.

Key Insights:

  • Use your time wisely. Break tasks into smaller parts and set strict deadlines. Focus on one thing at a time and use time blocks to get more done to stay productive and less stressed.
  • Be ready to adapt. Stay flexible and open to change, especially in industries prone to fluctuations. Monitor market trends and customer feedback. Review your business strategy regularly to make changes and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Learn a bit every day. Spending just five minutes daily improving your business knowledge can go a long way. Read an article, listen to a quick podcast, or watch a short video—this keeps you sharp and creative.
  • Collaborate with others. Find other businesses to work with to boost your reach and offer better services. Partner up for joint promotions, events, or bundled services. Focus on collaborations that can help you tap into new customer bases.
  • Have a conversion strategy. Make sure you have a plan to turn leads into paying customers. Follow up quickly, personalize your approach, and keep in touch. CRM tools can make this process easier.

Karen’s best advice for entrepreneurs:

“Build the systems, the leverage to create scale, because until you have the ability to reproduce it, you’re always going only to be as good as your next deal.”

Connect with Karen Briscoe:

Follow Beyond 8 Figures:

Transcript

Today I have Karen Briscoe, the 5 minute success, on the podcast. And I’m really excited because she kind of takes this viewpoint from real estate and takes it into a broader entrepreneurial space. Karen, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Karen Briscoe:
Oh my gosh. Was such an exciting. I am thrilled to be here as part of your community and to share some value to the entrepreneurs that listen to your podcast.

A.J. Lawrence:
I’ve been going through your background and all amazing things you’re doing. Do you want to maybe share a little bit about where you are on your own entrepreneurial journey and maybe a little bit of how you got there?

Karen Briscoe:
I am what’s known as a mega real estate agent. That’s because I am part of the team, the team lead, the mega agent that is Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group with Keller Williams. And our team is in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC Metro region. And our team consists of agents and staff and we sell consistently over 100 million in real estate a year. Now, as you know, we’re in a high dollar market area, so our average sales price is in the million dollar range. So about 100 a year. So that is the foundation of my business.

The story that got me here is I came out of college in commercial real estate and then my husband’s career brought us to the DC metro region. And almost 30 years ago, believe it or not, and I was actually the primary caregiver for our children because his career meant he did a lot of travel. So when I re-entered the workforce, I thought I wanted to get back into the commercial space. And so I went to work for Nextel in technology.

A.J. Lawrence:
I remember Nextel, it was Staubach company.

Karen Briscoe:
So I did the real estate management of the real estate that Nextel had, like their sales, engineering, warehouse, offices. It was the most boring thing I’d ever done in my life. As a true entrepreneur, that was a day job and it was so boring. It was also the same time as when the dot-com bust happened. And the reason why that’s important is because I could have stayed at Nextel, Staubach lost the account, but I would have had to go work for Nextel. And the one thing I’ve learned in my career is there’s no money in disposition. So somebody said, well, you have your real estate license, why don’t you be residential agent? And I had this perspective, and a lot of commercial people do, that people who do the commercial side, they’re the hard skills, like the market knowledge, strategy, negotiations.

And those people in the residential side are doing all the soft skills. What I found really quickly is I am actually really good at both. And so that was success very rapidly in a very challenging market. They’re all challenging for different reasons. I can cite them all for how many I’ve been in five recessions, how many market shifts I’ve been through. And that led to one of the top producers in our area. She was number ten at the time, came to me, asked me to become a partner. And that was in the rising early 2000’s. So I became her partner in ’06. And then she passed away in ’08. Well, she passed away the same month that the financial markets crashed along with the real estate market.

A.J. Lawrence:
Yeah, that was a difficult period.

Karen Briscoe:
Yeah, it was a very difficult period. So I lost my business partner at the same time that I am dealing with very significant market changes. And I set about rebuilding the business and brought on at that time who is now my business partner, Lizzy Conroy, in ’09. Has anybody entered the real estate market in ’09? I mean, that was a lot of hope that there was going to be a future.

A.J. Lawrence:
People would still want houses, hopefully. Yes, I remember.

Karen Briscoe:
But there was short sales and foreclosures. It was a very challenging time. I look back and I go, wow. The good news is I really did discover that I work better, I perform better when I work in partnership. So having a partner brought back the drive and motivation and energy. And so we set about rebuilding the business. About 10 years later, I start to look around and I’m like going, this is all there is. I mean, I enjoy serving my clients and I enjoy the business aspect of running a team and be obviously the leader in the industry and a lot of fronts.

And I recognized that there was more for me to do and that’s what led to the other endeavors I call my creative endeavors, the books and the podcast. My podcast has over 400 episodes and I’ve probably been on 300 podcasts. And so it’s taking me, I always like to say my book took me places, all the places I’ve gone since then. So that’s the where I am now. And my journey is at both end. I continue to be a mega real estate agent and I’m also an author and podcast host and also do coaching of other predominantly mega agents. But those who want to be that want to have recognize that the skill sets apply to a lot of industries and how I can help them achieve a higher level success.

A.J. Lawrence:
Quite a few things you got going on there. I always find it interesting. I’ve come through a few different waves and definitely industry changes and I always find it funny where so often people look at their industry and are like, well, I can only learn from other people in my industry and going through a lot of your material, I was very impressed and saw a lot of stuff where, yes, it’s real estate, you deal in the buying and selling of homes, but the principles around having a partnership and organization and all that, and the sales process, the deal flow, supporting of that, it’s very relevant across industries. I would love to learn a little bit more about like how you help those that you’re coaching and kind of talking to deal with going from a regular agent to a mega agent. The complexities, yes, it sounds great, you’re going to make lots more money and all that, but it’s a lot more work. How do you help people deal with that increasing complexity that happens in trying to become that type of agent?

Karen Briscoe:
In a lot of ways there are two different skill sets. I mean, one, a good salesperson is an influencer in helping people to achieve what they said they want to do. And when you’re helping a team do the same thing, it definitely becomes more complex. I will say it is the next level, right, if you think about it. I mean, it’s one thing to be able to do it for yourself. It’s other than can you train, coach, lead people to do it for themselves and for others, and that’s where we talk about complexities. That’s where it becomes complex. There’s a book by doctor Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan called Who Not How, and I would say it is definitely a who, because when you have the right who, then the how figures it out. And so I’ve been through a few who’s through the years, that is one thing I have discovered in that process.

A.J. Lawrence:
Have you done strategic coach?

Karen Briscoe:
I have not. I do have many people that I know who have.

A.J. Lawrence:
It’s a really good program. I enjoyed it. I did it with my last business. I did a year of it. It’s very good. Lot to learn. And his books are always very useful. So in doing that, you’ve kind of helped people look at it that way.

But what about for yourself? What has helped you talking about Dan Sullivan and those, what has helped you deal with the complexity you have in running your business, the partnership, everything you have going on.

Karen Briscoe:
Again, what came about with the five minute success, because what I found was when I was doing the coaching and training and leading, there were basic principles that apply. One of the principles is personal business development. I mean, you’re doing the strategic coach as a perfect example and having coaches and doing other masterminds and mentors, what I found is many people said they didn’t have enough time to invest in their personal business development. I’m like, well, do you have five minutes a day? That was what I found helped people break down the barriers of what was stopping them from doing what they said they wanted to do. And because it also applies to the Parkinson’s law, which is limiting and restricting time often can help people be more effective and efficient. Best example I have for that is when you get ready to go on vacation, you get a lot of things done right because you have timeline. When you feel like you have a lot of time, then oftentimes you get less done than when you feel like you have less time.

So that’s where the 5 Minute Success came in, because it was epiphany that I had that I found really works for people. And then the idea actually was my book coach who actually lives at Great Falls, by the way. He said, well, you need to have a core principles to want to apply this. And I said, well, in my business, the first core principle is commit to get leads. And when you think about sales, that’s could be business development, lead generation. But you know, you’re a podcast host. You need podcast guests, really. Churches, they call it evangelism, dentist call patient.

A.J. Lawrence:
Everything starts with sales.

Karen Briscoe:
Everything starts with sales. So really when somebody is stuck, I’m like, well, let’s start with creating some flow here. The principles of getting leads into your business life, funnel ideas, whatever it is that you’re wanting to achieve. And then what I found is that people can have a lot of leads or a lot of ideas, but then they don’t do anything with it where they don’t know how to do it. And some people call that conversion. I call it consult a sell. So how do you consult through the process so that there’s actually something that happens on the other end? For a dentist, if they clean your teeth and do the x-rays. They have a process that go through with real estate agents. We help people buy and sell houses.

What often happens is people get on this, like, loop, if you will. Like, they get a lead, they get a customer, they get a client, they take it through the process, they wake up, they got to do it all over again. They’re really just stuck on this loop. So the next aspect to it is what I call connect to build and grow. And that’s where you build the systems, the leverage to create scale, because until you get to scale, until you have the ability to reproduce it, you have the who’s that do the things, you’re always going to only be as good as your next deal. And you have to go do something to create that. And then what I found is that all of this requires a mindset and principles. I call it success thinking, activities, and vision.

So you have a vision for what you want in your business and life, you think about how to do it, and then you take action. And so when I’m coaching people or helping people achieve, I help them work through those components. And the book does that as well. I do it on the podcast. And that’s by, if you will, breaking it down into the individual components. Then people can often see where it is that they, you have a lead generation situation, you have a conversion situation, or you’re not doing the things that you need to build and grow. Or you have a mindset blockage, if you will, or a shift that needs to happen. So that’s what I found, breaks down the complexity, and then we can really get into how we can help people move forward.

A.J. Lawrence:
I’ve seen that a lot, and I agree. A lot of it is like, okay, how do you look at this in such a way that you consistently do? I think what I found difficult with my last business during different periods of our growth was how could I transition my thinking to look at that next level. Because it’s like I would talk with a very intelligent coach like yourself and someone would be helping me and they would say that, and I would go, oh, that makes so much sense. And then I would turn around and go back into my office and talk to my team and be like, we are now going to do what she just said. But first we have to put out all these fires and then we have to turn around. So it’s like, how do you help people live the concept? You say you’re doing stuff, but it takes a while to get it to actually resonate, to kind of get to that next level, that thinking and that process of where you’re going. How do you help them kind of take it, make it alive for them?

Karen Briscoe:
Oh, absolutely. I mean, you just discuss the human condition. I mean, so, you know, there’s a saying, training without implementation is education. So, I mean, is entertainment.

A.J. Lawrence:
Well, education nowadays is kind of similar. No implementation.

Karen Briscoe:
Right? If you’re not going to implement it, then you’re not going to to make any progress. Oftentimes it starts with the way people think about it. First of all, you talk about what they’re thinking, and then frequently they’re feeling a certain way about why they’re thinking that, and then that’s leading to actions, which leads to the results. So the good news is everybody can change. So I believe that Jim Rohn has said, change the way you look at things and the way you look at things changes. So I found, myself included, that when I want the circumstances to change, the first thing I need to do is I need to change the way I’m thinking about it.

Sometimes you can change by taking action first. Sometimes that can come ‘act as if’. I think people have heard that, right? So you act as if until you believe it and achieve it, you know, those kind of things. Sometimes that works. Oftentimes thinking about it in a new way, changing what you’re thinking about is what’s powerful. And that’s why training, education, when it’s implemented into action, is where it’s powerful. And that’s also why coaching is so valuable, is because I would say many people, if they could change the way they thought about it, they would probably already be doing that, right? Like they’re stuck in this loop, continuing to think about it the way they’d always thought about it.

A.J. Lawrence:
Where did the podcast come from since you’ve done 400 now? That’s a lot. I’ve been doing this for about three years, and it’s a lot of work. Where did the concept of that come in?

Karen Briscoe:
So when I wrote the book, which launched in August of 2016, I thought one of the journeys was going to be speaking and going out and predominantly real estate offices and agents. And I realized really quickly, I didn’t want to travel like that. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to travel. I just don’t want to travel like that. What started to happen as an author, and I would just say as a woman author in my space, it’s still more unusual. I was getting asked to be guests on podcasts and I found, wow, that’s really easy. And you get a bigger audience and it’s more evergreen. Right?

I mean, think about it. When a podcast episode comes out, it’s not just that one two-hour training in Cincinnati. I mean, it lives. And I had this epiphany. I like to say my podcast, my book asked for a podcast for its birthday. I had this epiphany. I was like, well, I can have a podcast and then I could interview people.

And I saw very quickly that with my book structure, I had an outline, a format, if you will, five minutes on each of the key topics. It was all just plug and play. My idea came and the reality came so easily. So I do see that podcasting has both sides of the mic, right? So when you’re interviewing me, I’m speaking more about my business and my entrepreneurial journey, and you’re asking the questions. When I’m on the other side of the mic and I’m interviewing people, then I’m finding out about them. And the fascinating thing is, I like both sides of the mic for different reasons. All the guests I’ve had are 400, they all have something in their business and life that applies to those five minute success principles.

It’s been very interesting journey. Like I said, the best thing about writing a book for me is, like all the places my book is taking me, in terms of guesting and the people I’ve met on both sides.

A.J. Lawrence:
Yeah, it is fascinating. It’s just going through. Just all the different lives you’ve touched.

Karen Briscoe:
The people I met, the places it’s taken me, yeah, it’s been fascinating. And I’ve had guests that I’m not sure I would have been able to have a conversation with them if I hadn’t had a podcast. And that’s been amazing.

A.J. Lawrence:
Or I always find it sometimes, it’s just the people you didn’t expect to find so fascinating who come in and just you’re like, wow, I never thought of that. It is great to have that expansion within. As you look to do this, obviously as you did say, the McLean, the Great Falls area, from a real estate point of view, the middle of the market is like 1.5, 1.6. And it’s like if you’re slumming it, you’re in the low ones and many, many houses going up. This is a wonderful market, obviously, because of that takes a lot of work. As you look to what you’re building from your partnership, being this mega agent, looking at the podcast, and then in your consulting, what’s success gonna be for you?

Karen Briscoe:
Oh my goodness. Well, the exciting thing is it is a journey. I do think that as I’ve grown on this journey success, it drew people really truly for me. Because I really do find that impact in it improve people’s lives is very, very rewarding and also helping people to achieve success. I see what they’re capable of and I help them achieve that and get there. That is very rewarding. Beautiful thing about my profession is that really, truly, there is no retirement age. I will say that’s one of the best benefits at the same time is challenge in this market. Many markets are challenging, I’m not saying that ours is the only one, but it is a very sophisticated clientele. It is, to me, what is so invigorating about it. It’s simply not boring because it is not flipping burgers here. We are not flipping burgers.

A.J. Lawrence:
High consideration purchase. Very high consideration purchase.

Karen Briscoe:
Yeah. And on both sides, you know, the sellers, when they’re selling, they are often very sophisticated clientele, and they have expectations as they should be, because it’s like if you go anywhere, you have high expectations of your professionals in your world. The idea is that I find that to be, and I enjoy the first time homebuyer too and I certainly want to meet their needs as well. What I have found is that being in this market and doing it at this level is very commitment to excellence and commitment to constantly sharpening the saw and improving skills. Taking everything to the next level. I mean, just went through complete rebranding and the industry is constantly changing. I’m surprised you haven’t brought up the lawsuit.

A.J. Lawrence:
I hear about it.

Karen Briscoe:
The industry is constantly changing.

A.J. Lawrence:
I have family members in real estate, so I hear about it quite often.

Karen Briscoe:
So, you know, as soon as we think that there is no resting on the laurels here because the market is constantly changing. The industry’s constantly changing, the profession’s constantly changing. And at minimum in Virginia, the contracts change twice a year because legislature is always tweaking our practice.

A.J. Lawrence:
Virginia is interesting.

Karen Briscoe:
It is. But to me, that’s the good news. I find that invigorating. Because to think that not changing really isn’t an alternative. Right? Everything is changing. Some industries change faster than others and more rapidly.

And I always like to say, I like to think like Wayne Gretzky. I always like to skate to where the puck is going or where the market is going or where the industry’s going or where the profession’s going or where I need to go. I look at it as the growth part of it, the opportunity. It’s really exciting business to be in.

A.J. Lawrence:
I actually think what will happen is similar to a lot of times when you have an increase in competition. The best players actually increase the amount of money they make. They may make less incrementally, but they’ll do more. It’s the middle and lower end of the space, which is very, very crowded. In all likelihood, people like yourself will actually find more opportunities. Yes, transition is always fun. You never know what’s going to happen. But having gone through a few different 2008, 2009 was a very, very interesting business period, no matter what industry you were looking at.

But if you were able to handle it, you came out much better on the other side. You probably were in better position than those who didn’t participate in that period. And I think not as much as the lowering of the rates, but the idea of it will increase. The transparency just means better players will come to the fore.

Karen Briscoe:
I wanted to say transparency for the consumer is always what we should be. Virginia is actually always happy. Now, whether people practice it properly is, I can’t speak for everybody, but we did. And I believe that it will ultimately be good for the consumer. And whenever something’s good for the consumer now, it is going to take a little bit of change. Well, not a little bit. It is changed and it will change.

We’re still waiting on the DOJ to tell us what we’re changing, but we are practicing as if it’s happening. And like I said, Virginia law always require it. So some of the other states are coming at it from a different perspective. What I will say is that the industry was probably ready for some disruption. Commercial real estate has always operated this way and residential real estate operated this way when it came to off market properties and for semi-owners. So it’s always happened. It’s just not happened to this level to this degree.

So that’s where a lot of this is happening and that’s why it’s having such an impact. And I look at it as an opportunity to be of service, to help people understand what our requirements are, as usual, and how we can serve their needs in being in compliance is what our objective is.

A.J. Lawrence:
I’m very curious to see because I know you will do well in this transition. How can people find your podcast, learn more about your consulting and if you happen to be here in the DMV area, though, I’d never like to talk about Maryland. So I’ll just call it Northern Virginia. If you happen to be in Northern Virginia and you’re looking to discuss real estate, how can someone find out more about you?

Karen Briscoe:
Well, so the real estate front really, Karen Briscoe. Google it. I think I have the whole first page. HBC group at Keller Williams. And on the what I call my creative endeavors, so the podcast is the number 5 Minute Success, the books are on Amazon as well. And if somebody is interested in discussing coaching, would just like to see if that would be a good fit, there is on the website, you can sign up for a call and have a consult to see how I can help you achieve success at a higher level.

A.J. Lawrence:
Sounds wonderful. Thank you, Karen. This was a lot of fun. I look forward to it and it’s always great to meet another Northern Virginia person on the show.

Karen Briscoe:
Yeah, such a pleasant surprise. Like I said, I thought you were in Australia for some reason.

A.J. Lawrence:
Good day, mate. I can’t do that. I’m not going to even try because I’ll just sound silly.

Karen Briscoe:
I think it was the way you say entrepreneur.

A.J. Lawrence:
That’s the New York pronouncing it. I got very lucky. I’m from New York and then I did an exchange program down to Ecuador as a kid, as a high school student, I did a semester in Budapest in university. I lived for a year in Copenhagen during grad school, and I’ve worked a little bit in London. So my accent has just been flattened except for a few New Yorker – water, library, there’s a few leftovers. I can’t flatten everything, but most of my accent’s been flattened.

Karen Briscoe:
Well, there you go. Well, this has been a pleasure.

A.J. Lawrence:
Thank you, Karen.Hey everyone, thank you so much for listening to this episode. I really appreciate it. Like I said, we’ll have all the links for Karen’s brokerage, her podcast, and the consulting. We’ll have them all on the show notes, in the email when this episode comes out, and of course on our socials. So thank you everyone for listening and I’ll talk with everyone again soon. Bye-bye.

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