Building a team culture that fosters fulfillment and growth is no easy feat in today’s business climate. Kris Krohn, a real estate and breakthrough mentor, talks about developing a repeatable process in business that enables you to live with independence. Kris’ business success led him to build a “second home environment” in the workplace that greatly reduced employee turnover. Learn why accomplishing this required his resignation as the manager to become the fun boss instead.
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Kris Krohn on How To Build A Team Culture & Make Big Bucks
We’re trying to talk to thought leaders and people who can move the needle with their actions in developing cultures. We’re going to be talking with Kris Krohn who is a Jedi Knight of the real estate world, real estate investment and trying to help people figure out how to earn their own independence. Kris, you started your business while you’re at school, didn’t you?
It all started when I was in college. I had thought I was going to be a doctor. That didn’t pan out like the way I had hoped and I thought I got to find a way to get out of here. I started young.
Did you have a mentor that helped you do that?
I did. Before I found a mentor, I realized that part of what I was looking for in life wasn’t going to be found at university. I was like, “My mother in law is going to kill me if I don’t get a degree, so I’m going to get the same degree that my brand-new wife that I just married is getting, family counseling. That will help our marriage.” I picked a degree that I knew I could ace in case I wanted to go back for an MBA. Maybe backup plan but it freed up some time for me to focus on doing something different.
What pulled you into real estate though?
My father was a contractor growing up and so being a German immigrant come to this country, hanging around houses, helping them work in the summers, I liked how tangible. I liked how real it was. I had confidence in how I could change the look of a property but it wasn’t until I met my first mentor. I met him at this financial conference on teaching budgeting. There was something strange about him. I went after him. I got to know him a little bit and found out that this young man hadn’t worked the last ten years. I said, “How come you haven’t worked in the last ten years?” He said, “I’ve been traveling the world with my wife and kid.” He acted like that was normal. I’m like, “That’s not normal. I would like that. How did you do that?” He told me that he cracked the code on this real estate investing thing. In that moment, I caught this bug that said, “I want to figure that out. I want to be in charge of my own life and I don’t want to have to rely on a degree or a job to have to figure things out for me.”
When you started that, you were working yourself. How did you get to where you’re hiring people? Did you develop a repeatable process first or did you hire people first?
I do know that in your book, that is one of the seven steps of building an amazing culture. After I had my own financial independence at 26, after graduating, I quit my job and I started building my own portfolio with repeatable systems. It got to a point where almost every day I had someone knocking on my door or getting ahold of me on my phone and calling me and saying, “Will you help me?” I’m like, “This is weird. I don’t know these people. They’re not even family or friends or strangers. They’re not that old.” The whole thing about it was weird. Finally, I took a bet on one of them and said, “Sure.” It was my piano tutor and six months later he had a bunch of properties. He had residual income. He was loving it and I’m like, “There might be something here,” so I started helping more people.Be in charge of your own life. Don't rely on a degree or a job to figure things out for you. Click To Tweet
The more people I helped, the more frustrated I got. There was this adage that they taught me in school, they said the only dumb question is the question never asked. I’m like, “No, I feel like every question is dumb.” I’m getting always getting bombarded because I didn’t have repeatable systems for people. That’s what I realized, “If I keep answering the same question, I’m the dummy. I need to find a way. I hadn’t codified it yet.” I wrote a book and I put a team in place. I never got to have to answer the same questions over and over again and my clients loved it. Repeatable systems, I don’t know if it was the beginning of a culture but it was the beginning of having time to build a culture.
As you started bringing in more people, when did you decide that you needed somebody to help you in building the culture to keep the people together so they didn’t fragment off and start their own companies or disappear on you?
There are a lot of things I’m good at and there are some things I’m horrible at. I found that I’m good at growing business, rainmaking, scaling business. It turns out I’m a pretty horrible manager. I had this awakening one day where I realized, “My team needs way more attention, way more care and way more love. I enjoy doing business for the sake of business so I can put my head down and I was trained to love hard work and I go to work. It turns out a lot of people don’t mesh with that as a culture.”
You like the hunting, not the gardening.
I had this awakening one day where I realized the best thing for me to do is fire myself and to put someone in place that can be the manager these people deserve. I did that. I remember leaving this one conference with this bright idea. I called up my next in command and I said, “It’s Friday. On Monday when I come into the office, I’m putting in my resignation. I’ll keep the vision of the company and doing business development, but I’m naming you in charge. Prepare your acceptance speech and I’m going out with a bang. Your job is to help give these people this amazing culture. Empower them with tools and resources. Make this place fun. Make it life changing.”
You have a lot of young people working where you are, a lot of Millennials who have a tendency to want to move on.
They do, figuring out how to keep them is a bit of an art.
What we found is if you can distract them a little bit with some fun activities and some other things in work or outside of work, all of a sudden they’ll wake up and they’d been there three years and you’ve hooked them. Are you able to do that?
Even beyond distraction, it got to the point where for me it was learning how to care at a new level. I got to start spending my time with my team not being a manager. I got to be the fun guy. I got to be the boss that would bring presents, gifts and activities. I took my whole team to a business conference that was fun but then also I took them to Disneyland for a day. We got so much mileage on investing in our people and saying, “This is about learning how to care about you as much as we do our clients.” That was new to me. I got to be honest, I wasn’t good at it at first.
The thing that it does is it’s a small investment but reducing that turnover is a huge win for your bottom line. Did you find that worked out for you?
Since we’ve changed their culture, we had to fire a couple of people, but people have not voluntarily walked on their own since then. The retention has been absolutely amazing.
How do you find new people? Are your people recommending them?
I will tell you that we’ve changed our standards. In my early days, I was a little bit of a skinflint. You increase profits by having minimum expenses. I learned that salaries to the right people are an investment, not just an expense to the company. We’ve started paying our people a lot better, but we’ve demanded a lot more talent. It’s been a lot more fun to work with talented people, paying them well and taking care of them.
You connected them tighter together as teams. They do sales more as a team instead of as individuals.
We now have them in different pods and groups. They sit next to each other. We’ve created an environment that it’s easy for them to collaborate and in a relaxing way too. The office now has couches and sectionals. We’ve got breaks for them for the Millennials to play their Nintendo as I still call it. We’re also listening. What do they want? How can we create the work environment that speaks to them? They’ve got pneumatic desks so they can stand and work if they want. They have chairs that recline fully back. They can chill out. There are couches to sit on, drinks are always in the fridge. It’s now saying, “If you’re going to spend that much time away from home, which is usually everyone’s first priority, then let’s make sure that this office is not an office and feels more like a second home.”
You’ve moved beyond real estate and you moved into this Have It All where you’re trying to help people look at the different circles of their life and get a little bit more balance in that. Can you talk a little bit about what you’re doing there?People tend to be happier when they set and achieve goals in health, wealth, and relationships - a balanced life. Click To Tweet
A lot of my career and influenced journey has been about giving people what I think they want, which is most people want more money, time and they want to travel. I’ve hit that money and time piece a lot by helping people invest in real estate. I’ve systematized it. I’ve automated it I’ve made it easy for people with money or 401(k)s or IRAs to learn how to put that into real estate and get the money paying them, creating high performance. That’s what it started off as, which is having the freedom to create the life that you want. We started putting a lot more energy now into the psychology of a fulfilling lifestyle. Have It All, the new podcast, is about a balanced life. I find that if people are making goals and achieving goals in their health and their wealth and the relationships, for me at least, those people tend to be happier people because they’re not getting stagnant. You could have one person succeeding in money and struggling with their health and some point that catches up, you’d trade all your money to get your health back.
Those things also come right back into your business. If you can get people balancing their life, they’re going to be much better at work. They’re going to be more of a team player. You’re tying it all back and forth.
We’re finding a way to help them find fulfillment in all areas of life. They also get to attend a lot of our seminars and events for free. They get access to a lot of free resources to help them get some of the coaching, additional things that they’d like that will help them frankly have a happier life. I believe a happier team connect with our clients at a different level. They say that so much of our communication is body language. In business, you can do all the right things technically and still transfer a less than optimal energy. The people feel it. How do people want to feel it? If you have a team that loves what they do, then the clients pick up on that.
We’re talking with Kris Krohn who’s developed not only a repeatable process in business, but also for people’s lives to help them. One of the things that we’re doing is we started a Culture Code Champions Hall of Fame. When we put you in there, what would you like to be most remembered for doing with your life? What’s your legacy that you want to leave?
That’s a thought-provoking question, one that everyone should ask and I found myself during different chapters of my life asking, “What is that legacy? What do I want to be known for?” My wife and I are a lot more effort into giving back or charity work. We’re involving the team and the company on a lot of those projects. We’re at a level now where we get the team, my personal family and my friends involved in the community. How we can help the community get the tools and resources that needs? One of our big initiatives is there’s a brand-new private school on the East Coast that is building a superior approach to education that they can then give to the public school system and private sector. We’ve donated tremendous resource into helping that organization learn emotional breakthrough techniques and things that help improve quality of life. I honestly think that’s probably the bigger component here because you can always make more money. At the end of the day, we only have so many needs. When you produce an abundance and an excess beyond that, the real question is what’s worthwhile to you and what do you want to do beyond that? That giveback has been huge.
It’s improving the lives of the people that you touch within the community and through other organizations. One of the things about this is we’re all about making heroes. Kris Krohn is about making heroes. We’re also about making your culture count, which you can hear and see that he’s done. You can contact and see him at KrisKrohnShow.com. It’s been great sitting with Kris Krohn, learn about his culture and how you too can have it all.
About Kris Krohn
Kris Krohn is a business coach, best-selling author, world-class speaker, and life-changing breakthrough mentor.
For over a decade now, Kris has empowered people to grow their wealth, health, and personal power. Through his innovative approaches to real estate investing and his powerful Limitless Belief Breakthrough, Kris helps people bridge the gap between where they are and the results they want—the results their potential demands.
Learning to break through the beliefs that held him back is central to all of Kris’ successes. Sharing his knowledge has become his life’s passion and purpose. His second and third books (The Conscious Creator and Limitless: Reclaim Your Power, Unleash Your Potential, Transform Your Life, respectively), teach people the mindset behind creating the life they want. With these principle-based teachings, Kris’ live experiences have been transformational for thousands of people.
Before creating his unique live experiences, Kris mentored thousands of people in creating, managing, protecting and growing wealth through innovative real estate investment and other strategies. Kris is an expert wealth coach with his greatest expertise found in real estate, cryptocurrency, and the blockchain.