Leadership? The Question You Need to Ask Yourself with Candice Schott

At 23, Candice Schott landed a job right out of school at IBM — a company she thought she would be with for her entire career. After spending a handful of a years working in various departments with the corporation, she began to get an entrepreneurial itch.

“I decided to take my real estate license while I still worked there,” Candice said on the Leading With Nice Interview Series podcast. “I was doing that at night while I was working full time at IBM during the day.”

She would eventually leave IBM to pursue real estate — her ticket to becoming an entrepreneur. But it wouldn’t be easy.

“I was one of those people that thought if I tell everybody I’m in real estate, they’re going to use me, and of course, six months goes by, I have no idea what I’m doing, and I end up basically running through all the money that I saved to leave IBM,” she said. “I actually had to get back into the service industry and started bartending again to make some money while I was trying to figure out real estate.”

Seventeen years later, Candice is now a partner at Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices, Toronto and has enjoyed a rewarding career as a realtor. And although her career path wasn’t linear, it was her passion for the real estate business that kept propelling her forward.

“People that just look at [real estate] from the money perspective, they’re never going to win,” she said. “It’s not about the money. It’s about helping people and truly being passionate about what you do. Are people going to play professional baseball if they hate baseball? Well, no, they’re professional baseball players because they’re passionate about actually playing that sport.”

Candice stopped by the podcast to chat about taking chances and pursuing dreams, her experience in the real estate industry, and a whole host of tips for small business owners. Check out the episode below.

[00:00:00.130] – Speaker 1
People that just look at it from the money perspective, they’re never going to win. It’s not about the money. It’s about helping people and truly being passionate about what you do. Are people going to play professional baseball if they hate baseball? Well, no, they’re professional baseball players because they’re passionate about actually playing that sport.

[00:00:28.950] – Speaker 2
Good day and welcome to the Leading With Nice Interview Series podcast. My name is Mathieu Yuill, and we want to help you inspire others, build loyalty, and get results. I’m not going to preamble too much because I want to leave as much time for today’s guests to talk and share some wisdom. Candice Schott. I’m going to let her do a little mini LinkedIn in a second. I often find myself when somebody asks me for advice, I’ll often say, oh, I learned this from Candice. We do lunch about four times a year, and I always come back with mental notebooks worth of ways to approach things. My favorite thing is, I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on how to bring clarity to a workplace. I did a Master’s focusing on that in particular and talk to candidates, and she’ll be explaining a business problem. And I’ll say, oh, here’s a potential processor system you can work through. And then she describes how she’s already actually implemented that just better. And I love it because then I learn it’s great. Then I go home and I take it to other clients. It’s so great. So, Candice, welcome to the show.

[00:01:27.060] – Speaker 2
I’ve been so looking forward to having a chance to share your wisdom with our audience.

[00:01:31.120] – Speaker 1
Thanks, Mathieu. I am so excited to be here because you know how much I love you and your family. Of course. And I was really touched when you asked me to do this.

[00:01:39.620] – Speaker 2
So can you just describe what you’re doing today, like your current role, and then just give a little mini LinkedIn, because I think that will help people understand that journeys aren’t always linear. Sure.

[00:01:48.830] – Speaker 1
So I currently am a partner at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Toronto, which is an incredible opportunity to sell. I am also the broker record, which means I am basically the person who keeps agents out of trouble if they do come across trouble within their real estate career. And I also myself and my husband are a real estate team. So we’re full time practicing agents under broker record. And I’m a partner, so I have like three hats right now. So I originally started when I was 23. I got a job out of school at IBM. It was the most exciting thing, of course, being that young and being hired directly out of school at such an amazing company. I was over the moon. I thought I was going to be at IBM forever. While I was there, I was there for seven years. I did different types of jobs because at IBM they want you changing departments. So you learn a lot about the business so I got some amazing training from IBM. I will forever be thankful for being there. And about six, seven years into my career, I was just getting a bit of an itch because I always thought I was going to own my own company and I wouldn’t be doing that if I stayed at IBM.

[00:03:00.930] – Speaker 1
So I decided to take my real estate license while I still work there. So I was doing that at night while I was working full time at IBM during the day, and then I ended up winning a sales award. This one quarter. It was August. I was in software sales at the time, and after I won this award, I was like, okay, I’m done. I literally quit the next day. My boss couldn’t believe it. He was like, what can we do to keep you? And I said, this has nothing to do with being here, but I need to pursue a career as an entrepreneur, and I really believe that real estate would allow me to do that. So I left IBM. I got into real estate. I was one of those people that thought if I tell everybody I’m in real estate, they’re going to use me. And of course, six months goes by, I have no idea what I’m doing. And I end up basically running through all my money that I saved to leave IBM and actually had to get back into the service industry and started bartending again to make some money while I was trying to figure out real estate.

[00:03:59.020] – Speaker 1
So for the first four years of my real estate career, I had another job. I was in my early thirtys. I was back in the service industry bartending at night and doing real estate during the day. It took me about four years to figure out real estate where I could finally feel comfortable in leaving that comfy bartending job where I was a cash job and actually depend on myself to make a living out of real estate. It was an incredibly scary thing because as a Realtor, what people don’t realize is that they think all we do is sell houses, but actually we’re business owners and we have all this stuff in the background that we have to do in order to get to show that house. Showing houses and selling houses is the smallest part of our job. And it took me four or five years to figure that out, that actually you’re a business owner and your product happens to be homes. Once I figured that out, it allowed me to really grow in the industry. And here we are 17 years later, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

[00:04:59.550] – Speaker 2
I want to talk to you a bit about this mindset of real estate as a business, because I knew that being an entrepreneur is what drew you into this arena. What are some of the things in owning your own business and real estate being the product that attracts you because you could also be an entrepreneur and open like a retail store or become a tradesperson or any number of things. So what is it about this particular that really attracts you?

[00:05:23.710] – Speaker 1
I wanted the ability to create my own future, create my own destiny. I know that might sound cheesy, but I wanted to be able to control what my future looks like versus working in a Corporation that controlled my future. For me, working in a Corporation would never be a guarantee. My job may not be there 20 years. Who knows? My income would be limited working for somebody else. So I thought, why not combine my love for being an entrepreneur with something that I’m going to love to do, which then will have money follow? Because I’m a big believer that if you do what you love, money just will naturally come. And when I was 23, I sold my first condo. I owned my own condo at 23. And the agent had said to me, you should really be in real estate. You’d be awesome. And I was like, no, I’m at IBM. I have the best job in the world, which I did. I just never saw that happening. So that sale of my condo is what really made me think, well, it’s actually kind of cool. I could get into owning my own business, sell real estate, which looked at the time incredibly interesting and not have a cap on my income.

[00:06:33.340] – Speaker 1
I wanted the ability to make as much or as little as possible, all while having my own schedule. If I wanted to work seven days a week, I could. If I wanted to holidays, six, seven weeks a year, I could, because now I work for myself. So I love the idea of being able to just control your own destiny. Basically, it just was really attractive. And I feel really fortunate to have chosen real estate because even though it took me incredible amount of time to really figure it out and own the business that I really want to own, it was worth every minute.

[00:07:07.950] – Speaker 2
I think one of the lessons I’ve learned from you that you use in real estate that a lot of entrepreneurs are small business owners. So if you’re listening right now, here’s a tip. Number one is boundaries. So you are really good at setting boundaries for yourself, but also very tactful when somebody is encroaching on those boundaries, which I think is great. So I don’t want to give away to any of your secrets or anything, but I would ask candidates. I’m like, oh, man, I’m getting calls from clients at 07:00 p.m.. And they’re like, oh, can we talk for 2 hours? And I want to sit down for dinner. And one of the tips can’t escape. And she said, just tell them you’re already booked. And I’m like, yeah, I am already booked for dinner. It’s pasta night. That’s priority number one. So I really love the idea that instead of having to say to somebody like, well, no, you’re infringing on my time. That’s not good customer service.

[00:07:57.430] – Speaker 1
No. Like you, I believe, and I’m going to service you with white gloves. Right. I really believe customer service is the basis of any incredibly successful business. But at the same time, if I am overworked, I’m not going to provide that service. So I believe in the balance of being able to do both, provide incredible service, but still have balance for family and friends and travel, which everybody else in the corporate world has. So why wouldn’t we have that?

[00:08:29.150] – Speaker 2
Totally right.

[00:08:29.820] – Speaker 1
So I’m a big believer in balance and I truly believe it exists. And you can protect your schedule and protect your time. But at the same time, when I’m working, I am working like I am all over it. But when I need a break, I definitely take one.

[00:08:42.510] – Speaker 2
Okay. So somebody is listening and they’re like set up my own hours, being able to set boundaries, make as much as I want. I want to be a realtor. When somebody says to you, I want to get into real estate, take us through your end of that conversation.

[00:08:58.290] – Speaker 1
My first question is why? I want to get to the why do you think real estate is for you? I think that the general perception in the world when it comes to real estate agents is that you sell a house, you make a lot of money. And so a lot of people who say they want to do their license, that’s all they see. They go out and sell a house, X amount of dollars, make X amount of Commission, and all of a sudden my life is great. What they don’t realize is that in order to sell one house, it could take six to eight months to get there. Sometimes two years of client nurturing. First of all, getting that client nurturing, creating a relationship, connecting with that person that you want to help, and then all the back end that happens. We are still business owners who are doing administration, marketing, HR, sometimes counseling our clients. All those things all take place when it comes to dealing with clients. So the people that just look at it from the money perspective, they’re never going to win because all they can see is money. They don’t look at it from okay, so I really, truly want to be a business owner.

[00:10:03.780] – Speaker 1
I want to make a difference in people’s lives. And I think I could do that in real estate. So if you’re getting into this career thinking, just, I’m going to make a whole bunch of money. That’s not what this career is about. There’s only 1% of the agents in Toronto, one to 5% of the agents who actually truly run a business and run a profitable business. The other got 80% of those agents are lucky to sell a couple of houses a year because they got into it for that for that selfish reason of money. You got to get into this career thinking you’re going to be a business owner and you’re super passionate about wanting to own a business and helping people. This is the largest investment of people’s lives. They’re not looking at it from, oh, when you’re done, you’re going to make a bunch of money. They’re looking at going, how are you going to help me achieve my dreams and do it in the best possible way, right? It’s not about the money. It’s about helping people and truly being passionate about what you do. I mean, are people going to play professional baseball and say, hey, baseball?

[00:11:01.320] – Speaker 1
Well, no, they’re professional baseball players because they’re passionate about actually playing that sport. If you’re a volleyball player, you’re not going to join a baseball team. So if you’re somebody in one career thinking, I’m only going to join this team, technically real estate to make that kind of money. Wrong reason, because it will be the hardest career of your life. If that’s what you’re in it for, you have to look at the bigger picture and truly look at it as an entrepreneur and understand that the amount of hours that you’re going to spend building this business is more hours than you would possibly imagine. You are Starbucks, Tim Hortons, IBM, whatever, Joe Fresh, you’re any of these business, you just happen to be in real estate. It’s no different. We’re just on a smaller scale as one person. But the work is there. And I think that people get in and not realizing just how much work there is.

[00:11:49.630] – Speaker 2
If you’re listening to this now and you’re like, well, I don’t want to be a realtor take out real estate from that and put your career, your employment place into that and ask your question, is this what I’m passionate about, Candice is passionate about helping people. Also, one thing I love about our conversations is your time and transition. And because you’ve had a handful of them, you worked at one brokerage for a decade. You left there and joined Berkshire. You moved from a small piece of that pie. You were just going to be one piece of a cog to like a partner and really helping move the business forward. Do you have three tips that you’ve used yourself when you’re going through these transitions and pivots? What are kind of some things you should be thinking about regardless of the other side of the pivot.

[00:12:33.870] – Speaker 1
So this opportunity to become a partner here was by far the most exciting part of my career. I spent my career knowing that I wanted to have some ownership and move into a different direction of real estate. I wanted the ability to, after all my time in real estate, help shape other people’s lives who are getting into real estate. So being a partner and being able to help agents build their careers successfully was something I always wanted to do. I was very passionate about that and I vocalized it year over year. So when I was at my old brokerage, I spent time helping the agents build. When I came here to Berkshire, I had the opportunity presented to me to do that. So I think that it’s really important that you focus on, even though you’re in your career right now, where do you want it to go? And I spent years wanting to be right here and I can’t tell you I am so excited about it, but I’m passionate about it. I’m working three jobs right now and I’m not like, for me, I’m like, I’m so excited and I can’t believe I’m here.

[00:13:39.430] – Speaker 1
And I think it’s really important that you sit back and be grateful for the opportunities that come your way, because they come for a reason. I think being passionate is one. I think being hardworking. I think that when people are in real estate or they own their own business, it’s really easy to step back and go, I need a break. I’m going to not start work until twelve. I’m only going to work a couple of hours. Being entrepreneur afford you that, but if you don’t put in the hard work, you won’t get to where you want to be. So I think passion first, hard work second, and then I think the teamwork aspect is huge. We have six partners here. We all have a common goal to build this business into something that we couldn’t even fathom five years ago. And right now the team that’s working towards that and it’s incredibly cohesive and they’re all passionate towards the same goal. So I think it’s really important that you’re passionate, that you’re hardworking, because you’re going to have to put in hard work to plan for your retirement, to do all the things you want to do with your life.

[00:14:40.600] – Speaker 1
And then, of course, having a team that is cohesive and just love what they’re doing. And I’ll have a common goal, I think those three would be the most important.

[00:14:48.150] – Speaker 2
So the one takeaway for me there is that actually transitions don’t just happen. The opportunity might appear and you might have a short period to make a decision. But you’re saying you should be prepping for that well in advance, yeah.

[00:15:00.420] – Speaker 1
Like you should be always looking ahead, going, yes, I’m in real estate, yes, we have a real estate team, but what is it that you want to do ten years down the road? Is it the same thing? If it is great for me, ten years down the road is I want to be in ownership and I want to be affecting people’s lives. And this is where I am now. I’m 46, I’ve been in the business for 17 years and I am now in a position where I have the opportunity to help other people build and foster and grow their businesses. And I am so excited this has been the most amazing career opportunity of my life.

[00:15:38.310] – Speaker 2
The end goal for you, if I can speak your words and you might want to refine it, the end goal for you is like, a really healthy relationship that speaks to you and your life, as opposed to, like, can I help you make some dollars?

[00:15:51.610] – Speaker 1
Yeah, it’s not about that for me. It’s about, like you said, the relationships and the connections. It’s the special people you meet throughout this process that become friends. I’ve traveled, I’ve had clients turn into friends, and we’ve traveled together. We’ve been to weddings, we’ve been to funerals. You connect on a different level when you’re dealing in real estate for two reasons. You’re dealing with their most biggest, expensive investment of their life. That provides a lot of trust in each other. And you spend a significant amount of time together so you get to know each other. How can you not want to have a relationship after that, right?

[00:16:27.790] – Speaker 2
Yes. And not everybody is going to be your BFF, but you really approach it with a posture that this could become one of the most important relationships of my life. You don’t know that at the outside.

[00:16:37.640] – Speaker 1
Well, look at you and I. You and I met, oh, my gosh, what, ten years ago?

[00:16:42.010] – Speaker 2
I think 2005 ish maybe.

[00:16:44.930] – Speaker 1
Oh, my God, even longer. Yeah. Crazy. And we’ve been friends ever since we disconnected. We’ve never bought and sold a house together because your family hasn’t moved. But look at the relationship we fostered, which is amazing.

[00:16:58.530] – Speaker 2
In the early days, when we first met, we had asked you to look at a property we were going to sell. We already had a realtor, and he was a friend of yours. It was okay. And I was like, hey, would you mind coming in with your eye and just telling us what we need to do? And you told us what to do and you told us what it would sell for, and I think it sold it in, like, $3,000 of that. And that’s at a time when, if you could get within 15,000, you were like, hey, bullseye. And my friend and I, who owned the place together, like, this is crazy. And I did text you in mid 2021 and be like, here’s a house listed. We love it. And you just texted back, It’s too good to be true. It’s going to go for like, 350K more. And then it went for like, 345 more. Like, it was so bad, I took a picture on my phone anyhow, okay, so people are going to want to be a part of your team. Now, tell me who should when they look in the mirror and if they see this, they should reach out to you.

[00:17:50.910] – Speaker 1
If you are somebody who is incredibly personable, because, let’s face it, not everybody’s personalities are meant to be in a sales type role. At the end of the day, if you’re a real estate agent, you’re in sales, which means you need to be able to connect with people. You need to like people. Not everybody likes people. Not everybody’s introverted. You want to be home and behind a computer, data like that type of that’s not a realtor. A realtor has to be willing to put themselves out there. They have to be willing to take rejection because there’s a lot of it. They have to be willing to nurture relationships for a long period of time. They have to be willing to provide a customer service level that will have people work with them and not the other 65,000 Realtors we have in Toronto. So if you’re somebody who’s passionate about people, passionate about the sales process and really want to build a career with having and owning because you are the owner of your own career, those are the people that should be in real estate. I often will come across people in different companies and if they have one of those Genesis Quad type personalities, I’ll tell them, have you ever thought about getting real estate?

[00:19:00.790] – Speaker 1
Because you would be awesome. There’s a few times when I’ve been on the phone, like my car just got hit a couple of weeks ago. The TV rep that’s been helping me get the car fixed, his personality phone is amazing. And I told him that I’m like, I don’t know if anybody’s ever told you this, but if you’ve ever thought of another career, you would be amazing in real estate. And like your customer service is a one. Your tone of voice on the phone is incredible. You have a way of connecting with people without seeing them on the phone or out without meeting them face to face. This guy was amazing. I’m like, if you ever think of a career real estate, call me.

[00:19:33.990] – Speaker 2
Where do people find out about what’s the website where they find you?

[00:19:38.920] – Speaker 1
Well, for us, we’re at Shothomes.com. They can Google Shot homes or the Shot team. We are all over Google. If people are interested in real estate as a career, I believe the courses are now with Humber College. Some people are able to fast track that. Otherwise, if you have another job, fast tracking may not be the way to go because you have obviously have another job. It might take you a year and a half to finish. But I do know some people have fast tracked in under a year and then I would suggest that they go and sit down and talk to a few Realtors. Chances are, if you’re thinking of getting the business, you know people in the business before you sign up and pay for that course, it’s really a great idea to pick a couple of Realtors and say, listen, I’d love to take you for coffee so I could pick your brain and see if real estate is for me. Real estate is not for everybody as much as everybody out there thinks it is and everyone’s taking the real estate course. I promise you this career in this industry is tough and it’s definitely not for everybody.

[00:20:38.780] – Speaker 2
Yes, 100%. Candice, thank you so much. Man. This is one of those episodes I’m sure we’ll be relistened to a few times. Only you can pack an hour for the great insight into 20 minutes. I so appreciate it.

[00:20:51.830] – Speaker 1
I got stuff to do, baby.

[00:20:54.510] – Speaker 2
Listen for you at home. I never asked this and my producer always gets mad at me. If you like this, if you find it valuable, would you leave a review for us on itunes that really helps other people take notice of it and have the chance to listen. And ultimately we do this because we want to help others be at their best. So if you can do that, that would be really helpful. Also, a handful of people help put this together. Naomi is our assistant. She helps schedule, helps write questions. Amber is if you’ve heard like slack notifications going off, Amber is like taking care of clients in the background, letting me hang out and chat with friends. Jamie Hunter, if you see this on social media, he’s the guy who put it all together. Jeff Anhorn if you see video of this, he’s our video person and he’s done a great job. And Austin Pomeroy who has been like since day one on the podcast, making it sound awesome. Dude, I’m so appreciative for all you do. And of course, Allison upstairs. She the unofficial employee of leading with nice. That lets you down to the offers.

[00:21:50.980] – Speaker 2
So thank you to all of them. Candice, thank you so much.

[00:21:53.330] – Speaker 1
Thanks for having me say Hi. Alex. Listen for me.

[00:21:55.390] – Speaker 2
I will do all right. We’ll talk to you next time. Have a great day. Bye.