From car dealership to founding her own real estate brokerage, Kathy has always had loyal clients and dedicated partners by building relationships.
— Kathy Helbig Strick
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA, November 16, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — As a newlywed and new mom, Kathy Helbig-Strick thought she would change paths and “mingle” in real life. The idea came to her as she was preparing to sell her own home, after attending a local St. Louis broker’s seminar in 1997. Little did she know she would have a huge impact on the real estate market in St. Louis over the next 25 years. .
“At the time, there wasn’t really any training for agents, and training on how to run a real estate business was completely non-existent. Once you got your permit, it was pretty much like, hey congratulations, you passed, now sink or swim,” says Kathy. “Fortunately I can connect with people easily, I had a real passion for helping people solve problems.” Kathy recalls, “It was never about money for me. I loved what I was doing and I think that’s what drew people to me. That and her previous sales experience as one of the few women selling cars at just 19 certainly didn’t hurt building a foundation! “I felt lucky to have business right away,” Kathy recalls.
Eventually, with a toddler and a new baby, the drudgery of being a solo realtor became too much and she started thinking about growing into a team. His first attempt was a partnership, with two other women, which didn’t go as planned. “I learned a lot of lessons,” she says. “Besides having 3 cooks in a kitchen being a bad idea, the other things I learned were to not take partnerships lightly, to put everything in writing, to hire a lawyer for paperwork and, above all, to plan the exit, even before entering!
After parting ways, Kathy reorganized and launched one of the first true multi-agent team models in the St. Louis area. After leading this team to become the top selling team in the area, Kathy was approached to open a newer real estate franchise in the St. Louis market. It became another hard lesson learned. “It was one of the most productive offices in the area, but it wasn’t the right fit for me,” she explains. “The new leaders made a good culture toxic, with sexist, bullying and bullying tactics that made it unbearable to tolerate. So, I didn’t tolerate it. I pushed back,” Kathy says. “I tried to talk and look for solutions, but to no avail,” she recalls. “Of course, it caused a lot of internal conflict, and suddenly, for the first time, I felt a ceiling of glass invade me”, she recalls.
She knew she couldn’t make it there under the circumstances, and the experience nearly caused her to quit the industry altogether, despite being one of the most successful agents in town. But she didn’t want to disappoint her team, who were still breaking sales records and had supported her throughout those dark years. It took her five long years to settle her franchise ownership contract, but once she did, she was able to open the doors to her independent brokerage firm Experience Realty Partners in Chesterfield, MO. “I was a little nervous about going up against the national brokerages in town,” she says. “But if I haven’t learned anything else over the years, I’ve learned that people care who their agent is and their background, not necessarily what brokerage brand they work under.” This once again proved true as Kathy’s Indy Company doubled its business that first year and increased production every year thereafter! “My team and I had new energy after breaking free from an environment that had been working against us for so long, and it felt like a whole new beginning.” Kathy grew to such an extent that she needed to expand again, so in 2021 Kathy merged her independent brokerage with the fastest growing global independent real estate company, EXP Realty, to offer equity benefits to its agents and increase their reach around the world.
Kathy is inspired to mentor other women she never had herself. “After many women approached me to help them get started in real estate, I realized that I truly enjoy teaching and supporting other women and helping them find fulfillment, excitement and passion through real estate,” she says. “My team model has helped a lot of women (and men) who were at different crossroads in their lives, just like me. Getting into a 100% commission-based job that usually requires spending a lot of money before you start doing it isn’t an option for most people. That’s where the team model works well,” says Kathy. “It’s a way to get started with no real cost, with little risks, and with built-in support and systems to shorten the learning curve.” Kathy thinks, “This model has opened the door for a lot of people who wouldn’t have been able to give real estate a chance.
Connect with Kathy on her website: experience-re.com. She’s also on Facebook as Kathy Helbig-Strick and on Instagram @WhattheHelbig, and be sure to subscribe to the Kathy Helbig group on YouTube for all kinds of real estate advice. There’s also plenty more of her story and hard-won wisdom for working women in the fascinating new book. The women who lead in Real Estate, a collection of interviews with brokers, agents and landlords who are breaking the real estate mold and ready to inspire the next generation of women to succeed in this fast-paced yet flexible and highly lucrative industry.
About the Women Who Boss Up Book Series
Whether you’ve been leading for a while or looking for support on your journey, the Women Who Boss Up book series is your chance to get inspired and inspired by the advice of women like you. These women come from all walks of life, walks of life, and disciplines: STEM, healthcare, finance, real estate, coaching, nonprofits, and more. You’ll discover women who left Corporate America to pursue their dreams of business ownership, women who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges but learned to move forward, women who followed their intuition to create lives of fulfillment and financial success, and much more. Learn more at bossupbestseller.com.
Kathy Helbig Strick