The Art of Collaboration - Episode 46
Oscar: Hey, Christian, where is my mic? Why is there a couch up here? Hey, John, do you have a mic?
John: No. I want my mic quick.
Oscar: Hey, John, I think I know where the microphone was.
Melina: Welcome to "Flippin’ Off," a purpose-driven podcast about flipping houses and making a difference.
Melina: I don't know if everybody can see actually that Frank and John and Oscar...
Oscar: Are hiding.
Melina: ...are hiding apparently, they thought they were gonna go live. And we've decided as the women of NWAC, the lady leadership, we've decided that we are going to hijack Will and Sam, I guess Sam is more comfortable in his bed. I don't know, can everybody see Sam? I don't even know. Anyway, we decided that we were going to hijack the 12:12 today. Yay! Woman power. Woo! So...
Kathy: Men in stage left.
Melina: Yeah, woo! Exit stage left. So for those of you that don't know, I am the Melina Boswell, co-founder of NWAC, and to my right here is the lovely Catherine Luna who is married to one Frank Luna. I'm not gonna say lovely. This is clearly the better half of Frank Luna. And then to my left is the beautiful and lovely Celine Slater who was married to the Brit.
John: Is that it?
Melina: That's it.
Kathy: Is that it?
Melina: Yeah. No, married to our very own John Slater. And so today...and then Sampson Boswell who is our dog and kind of a mascot and is my baby and even though he's like a really old man. So today we thought it would be fun to hear from the ladies. And let me be honest, this was decided like, I don't know, 45 minutes ago. Would you say that's about right?
Melina: Yeah, about 45 minutes ago, we decided that we would hijack the 12:12 training today so that you could sort of get to know us. I don't really have an actual agenda in terms of what we're going to be talking about. And just so we're completely transparent and authentic, neither do they. Now, both Kathy and Celine were like, "We were having a meeting?"
Kathy: "Doing what? Talking about what?"
Melina: When I said we're gonna hijack the 12:12 today from the guys, they said...
Kathy: "No, that's not happening right today."
Melina: Yeah. But...
Kathy: Here we are.
Melina: Here we are. It is. So I thought that it would be kind of cool for you guys to hear about real estate investing and real talk about real business from the women's perspective. You know, I think it's probably not discussed enough. And I think everybody agrees with me that in my philosophy, and at some point, it is you get to watch us and be around me enough, you'll hear me say this, which is, I believe that women rule the world.
Kathy: We do.
Celine: Pretty much.
Melina: Which everybody kind of knows that's the truth, right? So women rule the world and, well, in banks. I just believe that women in banks rule the world. And I feel like that is just an absolute truth. So I thought, why not take the time to get to know us and we rule the world and we do business very differently than men do. And in my mind, so much of the time, it's that difference isn't necessarily embraced, right?
Like women, you know, I think so much of the time it's like, oh, you know, we're in a man's world, real estate is very much male dominated, right? We have very few, I don't even know what the ratio is, but I'm gonna guess, it's probably three to one, male to women. Yeah. Would you agree?
Kathy: I think so.
Melina: Right. And so I think that hearing from the women is important in how we have success in the business and what we do to create success. Well, the guys were talking about negotiations, right? Their conversation was about negotiations the last couple weeks. And today they asked me, "Hey, do you want to come on 12:12 and talk about negotiations?" We're going to walk through the conversation of negotiations with homeowners, sellers, and then obviously, into the next phase of negotiations, which is negotiations with banks. Yeah, yeah, banks, lien holders, those kinds of things. And I'm good at that, right? It's what I do a lot of times. But I just felt like, I mean, that's exciting stuff I suppose. It's not exciting. It's not exciting, right?
Celine: But it's important. It's an important subject since we don't really acknowledge that part of what is happening here in this community. And I think it's really important because there are many people that they are a little bit afraid, and speaking from my perspective, because I remember that I used to feel like that because you're always so afraid that, "Oh, I don't know if at some point I'm ever gonna be able to handle all that or, you know, know all those, acknowledge that you need to know in order to, you know, like you say, not only go and negotiate in the beginning with the homeowner, but, you know, make it happen, make it happen and negotiate and do what you need to do with banks. And just for them to know that and talk about the amazing thing that you have here and all the negotiation that you are like taking care of, I think it's key to give them a little bit of, you know, encouragement to not worry about that."
Melina: I appreciate that. It's funny because this was the conversation. When we talk about negotiations and Kathy was like, "Are you joking? Like why do I..." Right? And Kathy said, "I'm not gonna talk about negotiations. Don't ask me about real estate." And I said, "But, Kathy, like you go door knocking." And Celine goes door knocking. And you guys both have great success at door knocking. And it's not because you have some kind of honed in, deep down, awesome negotiation skill set and training, right?
Kathy: Zero. None.
Melina: Okay. So I know the value that both of you bring to the conversation, specifically at the door. And I appreciate the plug that I have a good team and I'm pretty good at negotiations. But here's the truth, I've been in business for 30 years, right? I've been in business for myself for 30 years, and so I've had 30 years of negotiation from the school of hard knocks, which is, you know, not necessarily a fun school, but it's a good school. It's a good training ground. And if I look at my own life, I can realize that now...and I started negotiating when I was very, very young, just to be able to survive in the business world.
You know, my negotiations start with my position being firmly planted in the business world and specifically in law firms, right? I had to learn how to hold my own and it wasn't for lack of challenge and adversity, I had a lot of it, right, but over the years, I've just learned how to take a stand and keep my position firmly rooted. But I think that that's an important thing. But for me, more importantly, is that women maintain our very specific role in the world and in business. And I think the thing that makes women so different, and especially in like in our business is our heart. Yeah, right? It is how we were created, right? We were created to be different from men and we negotiate from a completely different position, right? Like, when you talk about that, for example, would you say that door knocking and conversations, that that is a form of negotiations?
Kathy: I guess. Now that you've said it that way, it is.
Melina: So if I were to ask you like, Kathy, for example, when you go out door knocking, right, because let's face it, like you and Frank are business owners together, and you guys have very specific identified roles in your business, right? And so you...why don't you talk about that? Why don't you share kind of what each of your roles are in your business and how you guys have really made that work in terms of like, you know, taking advantage of your skill set, and then, you know, using Frank for everything we can?
Kathy: I would say Frank does all of the hard work. I do all of the people work. Like he does the technology part and the researching and the learning and everything that you need to build a business and I'm more there for people. That's why I like door knocking because I like to interact with people. Like, you know, I can get a homeowner to want us to help them solve their problem. And I'm just gonna bring them to Frank.
Melina: It's great. So you said...
Kathy: I'm gonna talk to people, and then I know there's the team here at the club including Frank that I can bring them to help solve the problem.
Melina: So that's really great. Because I think, like, that's how so many people...like that is such a place of rest.
Kathy: Oh, it's complete rest for me, you know, because I don't like school. So I don't wanna learn...I'm not a textbook person, you know, so I love interacting with people.
Melina: Okay. So when you said he does all the hard work...
Kathy: In my opinion, it's hard work.
Melina: Which is so great. Because many people would say what you do is actually the hard work.
Kathy: Yeah. No, it's very natural for me to deal with people, you know, to have a conversation and get to know somebody. All the rest of the details that we do here at the club, it's all hard for me. It's complete art. That's why when you said we're gonna do this, I'm like, like literally, I feel like we're speaking a different language when we start talking about negotiating and short sales and contracts. And I'm like, "I think I'm in a foreign country." But when we're talking about just having a conversation with somebody, I'm for that.
Melina: Yeah, I think that's so important. I felt like when we were having this conversation earlier before we came on, she said pretty much exactly that. And I said that is exactly what everybody else needs to hear and know, right? Because it can be intimidating.
Kathy: It is very. It is very. But I go, "You know, I only have a couple of door knocking partners, well, Frank is one." And then I go door knocking with a student here named Nancy and a student named Adrian. And they make me comfortable because they're, you know, textbook smart. Like they come to class. They've studied. They do what they do and I'm there to help support through a conversation and a smile. I like being there. So they allow me to be with them.
Melina: Well, anybody who has a brain knows that, Kathy, you're great at the door because you literally show up with like no expectations. You know, one of the things that I teach all the time is that when you're working with a homeowner, you need to not be tied to the outcome of that conversation. You know, everybody can go, "Yeah, that makes perfect sense." Except for we can unknowingly be completely tied to the outcome of a conversation because, well, let's face it, we need to make a buck. So it is, it's a fine line learning how to live in authentically not being tied to the outcome of the conversation. So having you there as a door knocking partner can be, I'm sure, incredibly reassuring to people because you truly do show up with no tie to the outcome.
Kathy: I show up with my two-word core purpose statement.
Melina: So why don't you share? That's really key. So why don't you share what that is?
Kathy: I really do. You know, I learned my two-word core purpose statement here in the club which is inspiring hope. And I just, I literally work throughout the club, you know, in that inspiring hope. So I show up at the door and I knock and I'm like, "Here is hope. I'm hope." It's so good. You know, so it's really easy for me. It makes everything not so scary. So students here in the club, if you operate in your two-word core purpose statement which you learn like immediately joining the club, it makes things a lot easier.
Melina: That's so great. You know, it's one of the things that I think breaks my heart is that people do go through the training of learning their two-word core purpose statement and then they get excited, but then actually living into it is a different ballgame, right? Wouldn't you agree?
Celine: I 100% agree with that. It's not even easy because it means to be true to yourself and not everyone is in that mindset. You know, it's the best space to live in but not everyone is fortunate enough to actually live it, like live in that space.
Melina: Yeah, that's totally true.
Kathy: I think what makes it easy for me to live it or for anybody to live into it is if you remember what it feels like to live the opposite of your core purpose statement. You always wanna be in your core purpose statement. Because you don't wanna ever or you don't want as much as possible not experience. Like for me, inspiring hope, I don't wanna not experience what not having hope is like. So for me, it's almost natural for me to just say that.
Melina: It wasn't natural for you in the beginning though, right?
Melina: So I think that's good because, you know, it's kind of like, "Well, dang, I wanna grow up and be like Kathy and just have it naturally come." Some people could think that. But could you kind of expand on? Because, you know, you learned your core purpose statement years ago with me, right? And so you were like one of the first guinea pigs and so you've been going through this for a few years. So would you speak to that maybe a little bit about what your process was like and how it's now more natural for you? Like if you were to share with somebody because, you know, think about this, there's people out there watching us maybe that are like, "A two-word core purpose statement, like is it even possible to take your life's activities and literally like narrow it down to two words? Like is that even a possibility? How do you do that?" Right? And so could you maybe speak to that a little bit, like what your journey was like? Did you fall often? You know, did you get it and then fall off and then...?
Kathy: No. I think I got it and it's just been increasing for me, but every day I purpose myself to find people...well, I'm a Christian so I pray that the Lord would bring people in my life that I can inspire hope. So every year for me it's just grown. You know, it literally is easy for me. I've never really fallen off except for days and I guess I don't discourage for you not having a bad day. I can't say that I don't have bad days, I do have them. But then I get back on real quick because, again, I remember what not having hope feels like. So I know there's people out there that need hope. So I cannot live it and not share hope with somebody who needs it.
Melina: That's awesome. So my two-word is imparting wisdom. So, which has been an interesting journey for me, and really understanding what wisdom is and where wisdom comes from, right? And wisdom, for me, I think, you know, I recognize now that wisdom is simply applied knowledge, right? It's taking knowledge that I've learned, and it shows up very differently for me in my life and maybe than it does for other people. But what I learned is once I identified that was my core purpose, then it became very simple for me to live from a place of rest, right, because it's not something that naturally happens, I think, but I think it's the most powerful thing you can ever experience. So Celine, what's your two words?
Celine: Mine are inspiring freedom and...
Kathy: That's interesting.
Melina: Isn't that interesting?
Kathy: I didn't know that.
Celine: You didn't know that?
Celine: For me, I didn't know before, right? Never heard about it, so I'm glad that I identify it like, I identify it and I can stick to that. But I can tell you that I always live my life based to those two words. You know, it's always been like something that it's coming from inside of me. It's like, since I ever remember it's in a very different ways or different meaning it's...I'm so into the freedom of...the mind freedom, like the freedom of the people. You know, that freedom that we all need to allow us to be who we are and to be content with who we are, accept our self and accept the others. You know, it's more into that context and I can tell you like since I ever remember, I know that I always meant that to the people who always surround myself like either my family, my best friends, my kids, everyone. If they get something about me, has always been that.
Melina: I would say it's interesting. So you've never heard that from her?
Melina: Can you see it then?
Kathy: And it's crazy because you were afraid to come up here because of your English.
Melina: Not even so good.
Celine: Oh, yes.
Melina: Yeah, it's better to acknowledge.
Kathy: So I can see how you have to live in freedom. Like live from being constrained to...
Celine: With this that I'm saying right now, I allowed myself to identify on how many things I'm not good at it and I allowed myself to be okay with that. You know, for me, it's such a, like, when you say that give me rest, and that give me peace too, hey, I don't need to be 100% good on my English and in my accent and in my this and that because it is okay. It is okay, you know, I do my best, the best thing ever is that I can communicate every day with my loved ones which is my husband and my best friends in another language that I never thought that it's going to be part of my daily life. So I actually gonna sound like a little bit cocky, but I feel proud of me.
Melina: Good. That's not cocky, it's confidence.
Celine: I know, I think it's not that I have to work very hard for me to get into this, you know, mindset because I'm always saying I'm shy and I need to work a lot with, "Oh, I'm not confident on this and, hey, wait a minute, you can't really like do things and get nowhere with that mentality, and, you know, the freedom that I allowed to myself and always allowed to other people," you know, like who you are, if that's bringing happiness to your life, stick to that. That's always what I'm trying to, like get into everyone's world.
Melina: Yeah, that is what you exude. You do exude, like, I know, you know, being your close friend, right? I know that, for me, like in our personal relationship, you create an environment for me that allows me to be free, right?
Kathy: It's weird. I've never known her core purpose statement, but you do.
Melina: She does, right? She really does and so...
Celine: Oh, really?
Melina: Yeah, you really do. And so that's really where all your power comes from. That's where all of your power comes from, is because you are that. You are inspiring freedom. So you inspire freedom for yourself, it shows up first in you, and then you turn around and you create that exact space for other people to live in.
Kathy: Especially your homeowners. You're free and I'm from...
Melina: Hundred percent.
Kathy: ... issues.
Celine: I 100% agree on that one.
Kathy: That's why door knocking comes easy for you and being a coach, that's why you are a coach, and I'm not a coach.
Melina: Well, but, you know, Kathy and I were just thinking the same thing about you.
Celine: You coach people in a different way, Kathy. I can tell you that you coach people in a different way. I think that the role that you play in this club, it's like a key because I remember since I started almost...I don't remember, it's like four years and a half or...
Kathy: Almost four years, will be five years this year.
Celine: ...five years and a half, I don't even remember anymore, but I remember having conversations with you because, you know, in your wave in your life when you are on the downs and I don't know how I remember or end up having conversations on the phone with you about me being on the lows, not really feeling good, and I remember you giving me a lot of like encouraging words. And I was like, "Huh." So that's like...
Melina: She does more than just this.
Celine: That's why I started relating with you because you always have good things to say, you know.
Celine: Yeah, hope, hope. So...
Kathy: I figured, like here at the club, if I can set up a student to have hope, then I hand them off to you guys and you can coach them and do teach them real estate, teach them how to run their business, then they got the best of both worlds. You know, I guess I am kind of a personal coach. Yeah, but my whole intention is to set them up with their mindset that they would feel that they have hope here, you know, and then the hope can get lived out through you guys being their coach.
Melina: Yeah, I think that's like really great. So funny, we had no idea we were gonna talk about our core purpose statement.
Kathy: Yeah, well, that's all I know.
Melina: I think it's really important, you know, one of the things that we know is vital to success in this business, is the personal mindset, right? That's why we spend so much time talking about mindset, training on personal development and things like that. And it's not necessarily something that everybody wants to just talk about, "Oh, let's talk about," you know, it's not the same as like, "Oh rah, rah," you know. "There's coals and fire, everybody run through," it's not really that, right? It's more, you know... It's not all that, I mean, that's cool, who doesn't want to be that. But, that's fine for a weekend. But ultimately, we want to actually live our lives that way. Like we really want to be, you know, inspiring hope, inspiring freedom, and imparting wisdom. And I believe that that is the cornerstone of the club and why people have the success that they have. Because you can get all the information in the world, and the information is very important, but the truth is, if you can't keep your mind in the game, then you're gonna fail, right? And you're going to fail, why? Because people quit. It's not because real estate investing doesn't work. We all know it works, right? We know we have tons of success, too much track worker to show that it works. It's just a question of, will you continue to stay in the game?
Celine: It's a discipline.
Melina: It is a discipline, and I think that it becomes not so much a discipline when you can live in that space from a place of rest. And I believe that you live in a space from rest when you can really get clear on your identity and your purpose. And so, I think that's awesome. Well, so that was fun, guys. We don't have other meetings to go to. I feel like I gotta go get a contract signed or anything. I do actually have some contracts to go get signed. So, boys, how are you? Are you guys good? I wish we had a camera, you know, we need we need like a film crew to be able to film you guys. We should have brought our own selfie sticks up here, so we could see you guys. Where's the stick? All right. So is there any questions or any comments or anything that we need to address at all? Anybody?
Woman 2: Kind of people loving the conversation?
Melina: They are?
Woman 2: Mm-hmm.
Melina: Good. So, you know it'd be great, is if when we're hearing people, if you're loving this conversation, we'd love to get your feedback. We'd love to know, what do you want more of? What do you want to hear more of? I know it was fun. I told them, I'm like, "You guys are beautiful and you're intelligent and you are inspiring and you're real." And I think that it's so important to maintain an authentic conversation about this business, about our clubs specifically, and the relationships that exist here in. And I will just say this from a very personal place in my life, these ladies are incredibly important to me and on top of, you know, the boys, I'm just unbelievably grateful that we have this sort of motley crew of misfits. It's just like my favorite thing in the whole wide world. It's just so awesome. Yes, Johnny.
Johnny: There's a question from Anita.
Melina: Hi, Anita.
Johnny: It is...
Melina: Curly hair, Italian sisters.
Johnny: ...on the art of negotiations and she asks, "Do you believe the homeowner should be presented with two to three offer options or just give them one offer and then supply the others, if that first offer is rejected. It depends.
Melina: Frank couldn't help himself but answer that question. But he's giving me the answers so that's good. So I think that's a great question. And I think that it has everything to do with the relationship that you've actually built with the homeowner. So I don't think that there is a straight answer. I personally, am a fan of at least two options, always. That is my personal style in terms of negotiations. I'm always about offering...specifically if I'm talking an offer. So the way I approach negotiations with a homeowner is very simple, like they have a problem, there's solutions. So I'm all about just listing out all the solutions are. And I can authentically come from a place of, I don't really care what option they pick because I don't need to buy their home, I don't need a deal, I don't need anything.
So I come from a very authentic place of, here's the actual truth. And because I don't have a tie to the outcome, I can say specifically if...and this is the truth, how I view, every homeowner I sit with, I actually look at them, and I listen so hard that it hurts. And one of the ways that I've trained myself, is to look at that person and I find similarities to them, of somebody else in my life that I actually love. So this is a little trick I do in my mind, I look at them and I get to know them. Once I get to know them, I kind of recognize where they are. And I go, "Okay, this could easily be my sister, or my brother, my best friend, my parent, my aunt, my uncle, and how would I want them to be treated? And if this was my aunt, and I have a new conversation what would I really tell her?" Because I'm gonna come from an honest, authentic place, and when I do that, then the conversation just flows. And I might even...there's a very good possibility that I will tell them my personal opinion, like, "Hey, here's all of your options. Now if you're my sister and we're having this conversation or I'm in your shoes, this is exactly how I would do it. And here's the two best options and my opinion for you."
So it's kind of an answer to your question Anita, I hope that helps but I don't think it's ever going to be the same. I think it's always going to depend on the relationship and the circumstances, you know. Sometimes I've met with homeowners and I've actually had them say things to me like this, "I was so offended..." I actually had a homeowner, I've had several homeowners say this to me, "I was so offended at an offer that somebody made to me, that I'd rather give the property back to the bank than give them to them at that, than give this property to them at that price." So like low balling offers is a not good negotiation tactic, you know. So I'm not...Oscar is giving me the, "What?" Yeah, I really believe that, but, see, that's just the way I do business. And you know what, if you talk to Oscar and Tim, you're gonna get a completely different way of approaching negotiations.
And I think that's valuable because let me tell you something, there's been times in my business where I need Oscar and Tim to step in because I don't have the ability, right? That's not my wheelhouse. And when I try to step out of my wheelhouse, I'm ineffective and I know it. I'm self-aware enough to go, "Yep, that's not gonna be my skill set, not gonna be my wheelhouse." So I will call them and be like, "Hey, I need you guys to come in and do this," and vice versa. There's times they invite me to come in and be like, "Hey, Melina, we need you to look at this situation." Maybe I have a different perspective just based on experience. That's the power in this business, is the art of, instead of negotiation, I'm gonna say this, I'm gonna say, "the art of collaboration" because that's what I really believe this is. And that is, only works if we all are not attached to the outcome. So people can't be a dollar, right? They can't represent a buck.
Kathy: They can't.
Melina: Yeah, so hope that helped. Another one?
Melina: Paul, do you feel when you're building rapport with a homeowner that you're also negotiating with them as well?
Kathy: That's a great question.
Celine: We're always negotiating since we born.
Melina: You're either buying or you're selling.
Melina: It's totally true. And usually, like think about your relationships with either your parents or with your children. Like those are the most intimate relationships and we're either buying or selling in both of those. So I think that's always a negotiation. I hope that helps Paul. It almost sounds a little...does that sound...I don't know, what's the word? It's not inauthentic, it's just the truth. Maybe it's not flowering and beautiful, like, I wish that we would live in a world that is completely altruistic, but that's not the real world, right? Just because I put a person I had of a dollar sign doesn't mean I'm not trying to make money, right?
Melina: So understanding that balance is completely the truth. I just don't need to make money in every conversation I have.
Celine: Yeah, right?
Melina: And so that really comes down to. So I guess the answer is, you are to a certain degree. I believe that negotiation and selling, if you will, and even gonna take it another level, is nothing more than a transference of belief. And you can't really transfer your belief of what is the best option of somebody, if you weren't really getting to know them and their situation. So how's that? Good? All right, anything else? Okay, so we are going to wrap it up. This was totally fun. If you guys have any feedback like the girls, let us not pretend that we don't live off of or...let me say not live off of, that we don't completely love your feedback, we do. We like likes, loves, laughs, encouragement, we 100% do, so anything that you can say to encourage us or any feedback of further conversations you'd like us to have, we'd love to hear from you. But, from the ladies of NWAC and one dog, we are cut off.
Celine: Bow on us.