Boss Mom Spotlight – Marki Lemons Ryhal
Why we love Marki:
Marki is all about getting things done no matter what. Her energy and smile are contagious in the best possible way and she is constantly showing us that we can do whatever we put our mind to. During the shutdown, she took a situation where most of her normal way of business (in-person speaking) was not possible and created a completely new revenue stream for her business. She is a beautiful light in this world doing amazing things for her business, her family, and the community and we want to share her with you.
And look at all she has accomplished:
Marki Lemons Rhyal is a Six-time REALTOR® Conference and Expo featured attendee, one of 100 speakers selected out of over 500 speakers to speak at the REALTOR® Conference & Expo six times with high program evaluations, and an INMAN Closing Keynote Speaker.
Marki Lemons Ryhal is a licensed Managing Broker, REALTOR®, avid volunteer, Major Donor, and International Best Selling Author of The Modern Real Estate Professionals Guide to Success.
In 2019 Marki was nominated as an RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmaker and inducted into the REBAC Hall of Fame. She is dedicated to all things real estate. With over 25 years of marketing experience, Marki has taught over 300,000 REALTORS® how to earn up to a 2682% return on their marketing dollars.
Marki holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Chicago State University, a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Xavier University, and over fifty real estate related licenses, certifications, and designation.
Marki’s Boss Mom journey:
How did I get here? I am a proud Chicago, fifth-generation entrepreneur, a third-generation restaurateur. I was born and raised in the restaurant industry. My family owns Chicago’s second oldest black restaurant and its oldest barbecue restaurant. So I was raised as an entrepreneur. I earned an undergrad degree in hotel restaurant management.
I went back into the family business and increased our sales by 54% in 12 months. However, I would say that my goals and my family’s goals weren’t in alignment. My aunt, my father’s biological sister, sued me because I owned the trademark rights for our barbecue establishment.
So on July the 31st, which was actually my 29th birthday, I left the restaurant business and came into the world of real estate as a loan originator. I instantly realized I didn’t know anything about loan originating. And therefore I started to take classes and then was promoted to a sales manager within a year.
Fast forward a couple of years, I realized I had the credentials to become a licensed broker at the time without having to go back to school. So I became a licensed broker and, in my first full-time year as a broker, I closed $12 million in volume. And so I earned $240,000.
I had met my goals and I was actually grateful that my family had sued me because they actually freed me to do what I was supposed to do.
In 2006, I transitioned to the education side of real estate. And then in 2012, I realized I wasn’t happy. I was unhappy. I was all over the place. I read a book called The One Thing and I had to ask myself a serious question. I said, “Marki, at what point in your life did you earn the amount of money you wanted to earn with the highest level of happiness?
Because a lot of people can earn a lot of money. It doesn’t mean that they’re happy. And my response to myself was “Marki, you earn the most money with the highest level of happiness when you focus on one thing.”
So there’s a quote in The One Thing book, that says, “Be like a postage stamp, stick to one thing until you get there.”
And in 2012, I made the decision that I would focus on social media education for realtors. And it was the best thing that I’ve done for my career in the past decade. I got here because I became laser beam focused.
Normally I’m on the road 100 nights per year. I’d let everybody know I am the shortest, darkest, roundest person in the room with the least amount of hair, but I will say that I’m probably one of the most visible African American females on the residential side of real estate.
I traveled so much and I have a strong web presence, but I would not have been able to do that, had I not gotten focused because oftentimes as women, we believe that we should serve everyone. And that is just simply not the truth.
Also as women, it’s okay for us to earn the most amount of money per hour, working the fewest hours possible so that we can be available for our family. So I had to shift my mind, but I was born and raised an entrepreneur and I treat everything like a business, probably sometimes too much for most people.
One piece of advice for moms who are starting a business:
One piece of advice I would give boss moms on this journey is to have a calendar and live by it. If it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t happen. And even though I am very much a tech person, I still keep a paper format of everything, a paper calendar, and a journal.
I realized that when I stopped having paper, I wasn’t accomplishing my goals at the same rate. There’s something about writing it down and looking at it. It’s definitely psychological, right? You’re more likely to accomplish it.
So if there was one thing that I could tell anyone is you have to have a calendar. And I have had a calendar since high school and people joke. But even in college, I pulled that planner out. And my family, even my sons, my husband, the first question they will say, even while being quarantined, “uh, check your calendar because we want to do something.” And so, they are conditioned that I need to check my calendar before I can tell you, I will do something because I don’t want to be overwhelmed.
I’ve been overwhelmed on numerous occasions. It’s the one feeling that I absolutely don’t like. And one way to overcome that is to make sure that everything is on the calendar, starting with your top priority?
As far as real estate goes…
People joke that I am the world’s greatest self-promoter, and I don’t get offended by it because I am. That means that I’m doing my job.
I tell people in real estate all the time, secret agents don’t get found.
It is your responsibility to develop your online presence because 67% of real estate related searches start with location and real estate is a location-based business. They’re going to search for your city, but more importantly, they’re all going to do it on Google, Yahoo, whatever their preferred browser is going to be. So with that being said, because people tell you all their business, and in real-time, I believe that real estate professionals should hang out on the platform where buyers and sellers in their communities actually hang out. And that will not be a one size fits all.
I want to live in a world where… we erase all the isms. But I wish I lived in a world where there wasn’t any racism where oftentimes people judge you based on your color and I know that it is often a taught behavior. And so I want a generation of people today to not teach the next generation that ‘ism’, because I know that the world could be more inclusive if it didn’t exist.
One thing I can’t live without… I can’t live without the need to be a lifelong learner. To learn something new every single day; it fuels me.
Marki is busy creating…
Being quarantined made me pivot from face to face events to virtual events. And when I pivoted to virtual events, I realized that I could actually grow my global business because I don’t have the two days of travel before the event then come home, and get reacclimated.
So I am officially a global virtual keynote speaker and presenter, and I’m able to do that from the comfort of my home. So I’ve been to Serbia. I’ve been to Australia all from the comfort of my home.
Also, I have a t-shirt that says, “how can I help you?” So what I’ve realized is that if you wear a t-shirt that encourages people to ask you questions, whether it’s a tee-shirt, button, then people are likely going to ask you the question.
So the philosophy came from wearing some buttons about my book, that say “ask me about my book.” And every time I wore the button, people physically stopped me to ask me about the book.
Make it easy for people to ask you a question about your brand. So I came up with a line of t-shirts, journals, and planners around that. So that long to-do list that normally when I’m traveling, I wouldn’t ever accomplish, I’ve accomplished that list. My goal for being quarantined was to emerge better than I came in.
We’re doing a social selling challenge. So I’ve launched the Social Selling Journal. I came up with a line of journals under Be ReMarkiTable Notebooks to actually help fund a scholarship that I am launching. So I’m putting things together now to actually come back and be of service to others because my time at home has been well spent. I did not necessarily feel the financial impact of the Coronavirus, where my house is still running. I’m not earning as much money, but I was able to pivot and still earn a living.
I’m from the Southside of Chicago and we’ve experienced extreme riots and looting. I decided to do a video on behalf of the 77 communities of the city of Chicago. I personally raised close to $50,000 for the 77 communities, within a week. So then I said, well, let me talk to my association because I realized I could have my own scholarship fund. So that’s when I came out with the line of journals to have the funds offset the costs that all benefit the community.
Hang out with Marki:
Here is a link to my Amazon Store where I include all of my book: https://bit.ly/shopwithmarki