Thinking beyond the sale... to Love
DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL THAT YOU’RE TOO COMPULSIVE IN YOUR PURSUIT OF THE NEXT DEAL, that your personal life has dwindled to almost nothing, and that you’re basically turning into a crazy person? This new book might be your salvation. Beyond the Sale — For Real Estate Agents: How to Create a Great Business and a Life You Love hit the shelves on April 12. It’s basically a workbook, the text peppered with exercises with titles like “Visualizing Your Goals,” “Looking atWhat’sWorked for You” and “Getting Great at Delegating.”
The authors, Jerri Udelson and Ken Tutunjian, have deep roots in the Boston real-estate scene. But how applicable is what they have to say to Santa Fe’s unique market and people? “The principles that I cover in the book are the same whether you’ve been in the business for a year or 20 years,” Udelson said. “They have to do with a lack of focus on your envisioned outcome, both in your life and in your business.
“And often it’s easier for brokers, particularly women, to focus all their energy on work if they’re not successful in the love relationship domain. They really don’t focus on creating a life that they love. Work becomes a substitute for having a family. All their friends become clients, their clients become friends, and their world becomes just real estate, which is fine, butmaybe they wake up and say, ‘I’m 50, 60, and I don’t want to be alone the rest of my life.’”
Udelson and her partner, Jeffrey Kosberg, a retired attorneywho is nowa sculptor, have been in Santa Fe for 12 years. She is a business coach (with her own company, Entrepreneurial Coaching and Consulting) who works mostly remotely with longtime clients in Boston. Beyond the Sale co-author Ken Tutunjian has been the vice president and manager of two Coldwell Banker residential brokerage offices in Boston for more than two decades.
The book’s early chapters include “How to CreateWhat YouWant: Inner Actions” and “How to CreateWhat You Want: Outer Actions.” “That’s right. We talk about what you want to create in your business and what you want to create in your life,” Udelson said during a recent visit. “Another major issue has to do with boundaries, that you’re available 24/7. And it’s gotten worse with cell phones and international clients. You need to tell people when you’re available and not.” There are services, after all, that will answer your phone around the clock if you have international clientele.
The authors make the distinction between those time boundaries and task boundaries. “Task boundaries are like, No, I’mnot going to make beds in the house, I’mnot going to clean your sink before a showing. You don’t say it exactly like that, but I’m also not going to supervise the contractors that are fixing your property while you’re at your other home. What I’m happy to do is get you some contractors and find you a property manager.
“You’re a Realtor, trying to put a transaction together. You’re not a social worker. You’re not a professional organizer. You’re not a contractor. You’re not a landscape architect. You’re not a stager. People turn themselves into pretzels for clients, which is both good and bad.”
An excellent way out of that tangle is to assemble a list of recommendations of contractors and other professionals. Some people, unfortunately, would rather make request after request of the Realtor standing in front of them. “Sometimes you need to fire a client,” Udelson stressed. “If the price is totally unreasonable or the client is just totally unreasonable and making you crazy, you have to figure out if it’s worth it. Sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not.”
The new book, though, is not about selling techniques or how to negotiate. It is about “how to develop a business plan, a marketing plan, and a life plan,” she said.
“We have a lot of questions. Some are easy, likeWhat’s the biggest stresser in your life? And in the exercises, the readers get to look at what they’ve done in the past that works, what they love to do, what they’re great at, what their strengths are and what their values are, and come up with answers.”
Back in Boston, she and a cohort coached the top 58 agents in a local company of 5,000. The insights from that experience show up in the last third of the book, titled “Tips from Top Producers: Seven Keys to Success.”
The other main sections are “Creating a Great Business” and “Creating a Life You Love.” At the end is a “Blueprint for Success” in which your exercises and thinking as you went through the book come to fruit with an individualized business plan. There is also a resource guide offering lists of books, websites, apps, and podcasts that are applicable to each section of the book.
Is Beyond the Sale more for Realtors than the general public? “The book can also be used by people who have their own businesses, and many of the concepts throughout the book are applicable to anybody,” said the native of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
“There’s a chapter, ‘How to Create an Intimate Relationship’ about the qualities you’re looking for in a partner and creating a space in your life. Some people have no space in their life, no time in their calendar, no space in their drawers. They have six cats and they’re never home, running around like lunatics.
“Too many people are getting up at 4:30 in the morning to crush it — you know, this whole thing about crushing it: Ready, Set, Go! It’s testosterone-fueled BS. You cannot have any kind of normal life if you’re up at 4:30 and you’re a newlywed going to bed at 9 and you’re on the phone texting people until you’re in bed, and then you have your phone in bed, which we tell people not to do. What’s the point of making another $50,000 or $100,000 if you have nobody to cuddle with?”
For more information, see jerriudelson.com .
Jerri Udelson at home in Santa Fe