The latest True North Podcast features Genevieve Concannon with Advon Real Estate. In Part 2 of our interview, she describes getting over the rough spots on projects, why we end up on "the roller coaster" in our work, and the parallels that exist between homebuying and building or renovating a home.
Listen to Part 1 of our interview with Genevieve here.
We are also now pleased to provide a transcript for our True North Podcast interviews. Read on for Part 2.
Beth: Hi. It's Beth Offenbacker, and welcome to The True North Podcast. This week, we're delighted to feature part two of our interview with Genevieve Concannon of Advon Real Estate. We talk about getting over the rough spots on projects, the rollercoaster experience, and the parallels that exist between home buying and home building or home renovation. If you missed week one of our interview with Genevieve, please visit our True North blog at www.waterfordinc.com/true-north-blog to listen to part one. Enjoy.
Beth: You talked about the roller coaster, which I think is a wonderful metaphor, and I think it's applicable to pretty much every industry, right? Because there are always happening on the outside. Some things you can control and some things you can't, right? And so yes, I'm curious about that. What are some techniques that you use to help people through those times when, you know, that roller coaster as going down the hill or people can't see it going back up the hill? How do you work with your team on that, Genevieve?
Genevieve: So, I'd have to say that we all experience it, and if we didn't, we wouldn't be human. I still work on that. When I'm working on it with my team, I would have to say that we sit down, and if there was an individual that was having that sort of experience, I would have to say, "What are you experiencing, and how can I help? What is there that you are actually ... What have you not been doing, or what have you been doing?"
Genevieve: So, first we would assess, "Okay, so what is your day looked like? What have you actually been doing?" and we would start to basically poke holes because there's a certain level of accountability within the real estate world. Well, in any industry, is exactly what you said, so it's quite interesting because there are very basic things that we all have to do within a sales sort of industry. There are some things that are very fun, like having meetings where you go and you talk with people that are amazing that know, like, and trust you. And then there's the super unfun things like making phone calls. That's unfun. Who wants to be on the phone nonstop? But guess what? Those are the things that move the needle forward, and it's very interesting when you sit down with people and you're like, "Okay. I know you're having a down month. Let's talk about what you have been doing," and you start to look at their calendar and you open up the calendar and you're like, "Okay. So, I see that you've been getting up at 11:00 o'clock. Tell me about that."
Genevieve: One of the first things that I like to do with my agents is talk about time blocking because there is a certain level of discussion about we all have the same amount of hours in the day, it's just a matter of what you do with them. It's also very interesting when someone decides to actually be accountable for that. "You know what? I've been getting up at 11:00, and I've been having two, maybe three appointments in the week, and I haven't been making my phone calls." So, the discussion through the rough patches is, "Okay. I know it's hard right now, but these are the times that we need to get back to basics and do the things that give us the power to move the needle forward. And I know it's not fun, but we'll get through this if we do the things that we're supposed to do." Whatever it is that you don't have for me, let me know because I'll get it for you so that we can do what we're supposed to do.
Genevieve: I always find it very interesting when people are saying that they're having a rough time and then I see what they're actually doing. I, within the accountability that I have for myself because I have a business coach, it's always interesting to go back and look at what the last 60 days look like. And it's like, "Oh. Well, the last 60 days, I was moving. I was on a vacation, so I wasn't making my phone calls." So, guess what? My pipeline for my forward 60 days or the time that I'm in, they're going to be lower, so I'm going to triple down, and I'm going to do more work, and I'm going to move myself forward.
Genevieve: Those are the types of discussions through rough patches where we have to hold ourselves accountable and know that if there's something that's not being done well, can we do more of, or what can we do better?
Beth: Got it. Got it. Well, and I want to talk about a parallel track here too, Genevieve, because one of the things that I so appreciate about you is you have a background in the building industry, so you have the whole awareness and expertise around the transaction of getting the house, right? But you also have awareness around what it takes to create that product for a family. And you've written a book, I think, right, that helped-
Genevieve: I did.
Beth: ... people think through all of these pieces. And building a house, I can't imagine. There are rough spots there as well.
Genevieve: Yeah. Oh, yes. There are. Yes. I wrote a book last year. I actually self-published it, which I wasn't expecting to do, but was one of my ... You know, we're talking about fear and just doing the thing at the very beginning, and that was one of the things that I took that jump last year. It's called "The House Wife: A woman's homebuilding companion." But truly, anyone can use this book to build a home, renovate a home. It has all of the ins and outs. It's a very tactile book that can be written in and on. It's not really meant to be an online sort of book, but actually take it with you, write all of your notes and ideas and concepts within it.
Genevieve: It's been very helpful to a lot of my builder clients and friends that were thinking about building a home and walking through that process. It's funny because when I've delivered it, I didn't want it to be a heteronormative discussion of a housewife. No. It's literally meant to be a true home building companion.
Genevieve: And you hit the nail on the head. There are times that it gets truly rough in some home building situations, whether you're renovating or building a home from the ground up, but the ways that you can avoid those pitfalls are by understanding process and by knowing who the integral parts of your team are and by doing your groundwork to really set the stage for understanding what that will look like. That was truly the reason that I wanted to put The Housewife out there for people to utilize as a resource and a tool. Over the course of, like I said, nearly 17 years in this industry and working with and for builders and helping people work through selection stages and every part of the process in between, I really felt like as much information that I was holding in my own head and had done for others, I really felt like it was something that could be put to paper and that could be used as a really great tool and guideline.
Beth: Wonderful. Well, and so I also know that you have a real passion around sustainability. I know you have a pretty active blog where you think about some of these dimensions as they relate to real estate. Could you talk a little bit about that focus of your work as well?
Genevieve: You caught me. I'm an absolute nerd, self-proclaimed, and probably told multiple times as well, which is fine. I love it. Yeah. When I first started working for some builders back in Texas, which is where I grew up, and really started working with the home builders, I was a liaison for the City of Austin's Green Building Program to my home builder there, which is fantastic and where I really got my background and knowledge and understanding about high-performance and energy efficient homes and really took that knowledge with me, obviously, everywhere because when you're passionate about something, you bring it to heart.
Genevieve: When I moved here to Northern Virginia, I started working with builders to help clients understand what it's like to live in a home that's going to be healthier and more sustainable for both on the building side, but actually for the client to live in a home that will cost them less to live in it. And comfort is hugely important. Obviously, when we're living in our house, we don't want to be in a drafty inefficient home, so that's something that I'm very, very passionate about. When we're working with our clients here through Advon, we try to kind of add it as a gift with purchase, if that makes sense, to help our clients understand those things, but not really ever use it as like a finger wag sort of thing because nobody likes that, but just help people to move forward if they want to know more about efficiencies and sustainability.
Genevieve: One of my agents is working on a really great project that's a pocket community, and it's even about having less of an impact on land and things of that nature. So, we love working on things like that where density can be maximized and people understand what it's like to utilize lands in a different way because not a lot of people get it. I think that that's a real value to understand what you can do with a smaller space and how people can work together through that.
Beth: Wonderful. Well, a very inspiring discussion. Genevieve, how could people get in touch with you?
Genevieve: Oh. Thanks for asking. So, Advon Real Estate. We're based in Falls Church City. Our website is advonre.com or advonhomes.com, and you can call 703-663-7171. we're always happy to answer questions that you might have about real estate, what the market's doing, or just anything that we can do to help. We love to be a resource and help move the needle forward for people.
Beth: Genevieve, are there any other points or observations that you'd like to share with us before we wrap up?
Genevieve: I always feel like I want people to know that I love what I do, and I love to bring people into our company that do great and valuable work. I love that I've been able to create a company that does a great amount of business in an area where there's so much ... There's so many agents and people can choose from. We started ... It's been a little over three years, and we're doing a fantastic amount of work with some wonderful ... We are so appreciative of our clients. I think that we can only do more and better with the people that we work with, and so I just want to say that I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to work in this area where we're working with such great people.
Beth: Thank you, Genevieve. This has been a real pleasure.