Krista Schrader is a Realtor who co-owns Schrader Group, Keller Williams Realty alongside her husband, Luke, as a team. She is a top producing agent in the Greater Kalamazoo, Michigan area and bought her first home when she was just 20. Now at 25 years old she helps dozens achieve the same dream of obtaining their very own home. She believes the human mind and body are very capable of accomplishing nearly anything for those able to achieve high accountability and a determined mindset. She shares what she has learned along the way in her own life in hopes it shows others that they are not too far from living the life they’ve envisioned, and that mistakes truly are just a stepping stone that is needed to get to success. Many times we look for solutions everywhere, but never realize that most of the answers we need to solve our problems as entrepreneurs, lie in our own actions and methods. Furthermore, in the spirit of community over competition Krista enjoys brainstorming with other entrepreneurs because she believes strongly that the only way to reach the goal of having a clients best interest in mind, is done together as an industry.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I am in business with my Husband and we are growing a team so the name itself is straightforward. However, a reoccurring complaint we’ve heard about Realtors from community members over the years is how they had felt their agents didn’t communicate with them during their time as their client. We wanted to show people we were there to advise and help them through the process, and that we wanted them to be involved and educated on what was happening. This is when the subtle speech bubble in our logo was born. We wanted people to know, from start to finish, we would be “in conversation” with them so they were never left in the dark! It also compliments our involvement in the community, we are always looking for more ways to spend time with our great community!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up and meditate, on the way to my office I roleplay scripts over the phone with fellow agents before hitting the phones at the office. Once on the phones calling people out of the blue can get rough, so to keep my positive mindset protected I listen to my customized Spotify playlist that includes Eric Thomas speeches. After lunch its appointment time until I have to go pick up our kids! I make sure I am productive by time-blocking my day, I designate each hour to one activity but I also include family time and when I am returning calls, and if I didn’t finish everything I needed I wait until the kids go to bed. We do not live to work, so I make sure I am still spending time with those who matter to me, time blocking helps me do that, because I know I don’t need to panic about what I didn’t finish yet – because I’ve time-blocked for it to get done!
How do you bring ideas to life?
So many people think there is a time they will have a clear sign to do something. That “the sun will come out, with a rainbow, and a plane is going to spell in the sky that I should try this now”. Here is the truth! Try your ideas now. There isn’t a perfect time. The reason the successful people you hear about succeeded was because they failed, and if you really learn about them you learn they failed a lot more than you’ve heard. But you know what they don’t have in common? Waiting for the perfect moment – because there is no such thing, because that moment is always now! Have a good idea? Start planning to make it happen, learn along the way!
What’s one trend that excites you?
Social media! I believe its allowed us to connect better with our clients! I think the age of suits and serious headshots has ended, I think in our era everyone just wants to be understood and connect with like minded people. If you make relatable posts about your life, you’ll find your clients start to see you as who you really are – a person just like them! Showing your true shelf shows you are unique from your colleagues, in a sea of suits the only tool you have to stand out is your uniqueness – USE IT! They will remember you and want to converse with you every time, and it’ll make their transaction with you feel so much more comfortable!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Accountability, it is huge and essential. One of my favorite lessons on this entrepreneurship journey was learning to stop fearing looking in the mirror and saying “this is your roadblock, and it needs to be addressed right now”. Building that ability to be honest about yourself and your methods actually allows you to grow, as you are able to then problem solve your habits or methods. But if you’re in denial about it? You will always be held back by the same problems, and you guessed it, that means you’ll never get to that level you’ve dreamed of. To get to a place you want to go, you need to be a person you’ve never been! A great coach of mine tells me you will not always be motivated so you will have to have discipline. Have enough discipline to hold yourself accountable, and one day you’ll find you welcome your challenges because you know its solution will launch you another level until the next challenge.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t listen to anyone who isn’t in a position you actually want to be in yourself. Trust your gut, and find the honest friends that aren’t afraid to point out when you need to change something – and for the love of all things holy, there is no perfect time to get started!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Aside from pineapple going on pizza, it would have to be that connecting with people as an entrepreneur on social media matters. Yes, you can still have business offline, but we are pioneers and we all have story that needs to be heard and seen by the next generation of people who were in the shoes we once were in!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Check to make sure the circle you surround yourself with is positive, and community over competition. If someone is speaking ill about others and its always a bad day, thats not a yard that green things grow, distance yourself. The only way you’re going to grow, is by people who are fertilizing your yard.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Always having the attitude that when I walk into the room I know next to nothing! If you think you know everything you will only ever want to speak, and if you want to speak you are not listening, and when you aren’t listening you are missing something new you can implement. I’ve learned things from people of all stages, so always have a mindset that you are there to learn or your own business will humble you when you don’t learn the things needed to adapt!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I came in hearing that clients can not be a good fit and there was nothing to look at when the “bad fit” left that I can improve. Totally untrue! I now look to see if I set the right expectations, if I communicated enough, and if I gave them enough knowledge to avoid any confusion. If I did and still had red flags? Well my broker once told me some of the best deals are the ones you never take. Not everyone will be your client, and that is ok to tell those people from the get go that you’re not a good fit. For every bad fit there are five more people totally ok with your methods, don’t waste your time trying to make something work with someone who started out with unrealistic expectations!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Identify a problem you see often in your business and address it! If you hear clients complaining about an issue in your field and there is no solution, be the first to make one! When I hear someone complain about an event our community lacks, guess who puts it on? Us! Give value to the community and they’ll remember you when its time for your business forever!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a bike attachment for our youngest to ride along with me! I believe kids should be outside in nature and exploring more. If more people allowed that for their kids, I think we would actually have more entrepreneurs!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Albert, which is a budgeting app. It has a bit of an AI and notices trends in my spending so it will actually alert me if I’m going a little overboard in a certain area. I guess you could almost call him my finance coach!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Gary Keller’s One Thing! I think so many of us feel we have to be focused on multiple things, but we don’t. We should really pick one thing, and stick to it if its working! This dives much deeper into that aspect.
What is your favorite quote?
“To be willing at any moment to sacrifice who you are, for what you will become” – Eric Thomas
- Mindset is where you decide if your day will be a success or failure from the moment you wake up, pay attention to it.
- Plan for not just your work life, but your personal life, or you will lose the life you imagined having as a result of your work.
- If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, embrace it as a learning opportunity to grow into an even greater role in your field
- Be honest about who you are with your clients, and they will reward you with their trust and time for you honesty
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.