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Book review: The Top 1% Life

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Kathleen Black felt that there was a better way to deliver top quality in the real estate business. So, she sat down and wrote a book that she hopes will help Realtors. Most of her clients are already in the top one per cent of salespeople nationally. Now she wants all Realtors to take home the message that they can have the “Top 1% Life” too.

Black’s book starts out with a personal narrative exploring her own personal “eye of the storm” or moment of clarity when she realised that the way she was doing things needed to change. She wanted to get her “top 1% life” and be able to do her business her way – as one of her chapters mentions, “Your Values, Your Standards, Your Reputation, Done Your Way.”

The book says when you are a top Realtor, “It makes sense that we are so conditioned to jump and react, to fear the day we do not hear the phone ringing or have a client that needs us, leaving us to sit in mental scarcity without noticing the world shifted around us. We fail to notice the bank accounts growing, the clients referring and the time sliding away from us. We miss the moments when we dreamed of making this much. No champagne. No celebration. We were naive when we set those goals, naive to think this would be enough to risk pulling back or slowing down.”

The book is about recapturing the best moments in business and celebrating success while achieving more than you thought was possible. Says Black, “One of the challenges of writing the book was finding the time. It’s like the vacation we always say we’ll take. Then a year, two years goes by and we haven’t. I’m a busy mom with two kids at home, and while I needed to do it I never seemed to have the time. But I managed to carve out and commit to the time, and the accountability. Some days I worked for 15 hours sitting in Starbucks.”

In 2010 Black started the first team-specific coaching company in Canada, she says. She talks about making sure content and retention were strong before making any moves to grow the team. In her book she notes that, “Cash flow is king, but client experience is queen, and if I know one thing about sales, it is that people sell what they believe in, both to potential clients and to themselves.”

Black was selling more than 60 houses per year while maintaining her new coaching business. One of her secrets to success, to performing as well as Realtors who worked twice as long, was that she was doing something she really loved. It was the coaching she hoped to expand as opposed to the home sales.

Doing what you love and are good at is a common theme through Black’s book. For Realtors, that means joyful interactions with clients and successful house sales. Black talks about the right mindsets for success, how to get help without hiring more sales agents, and many of the common day-to-day issues Realtors face when trying to grow a business while still making time to have a great life.

Black’s book is available free online. In July 2020 it will be available on Audible and by January 2021 it will be available in print through a New York publisher in most major bookstores.

“The book is an expression of helping Realtors. Anyone can do it. I hope it gives more confidence, the joy of doing what they’re great at. It can transform entire lives and entire businesses,” says Black.

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