Colleen Wood: Hello, and welcome to Leading Ladies of Montana Real Estate, a show about buying and selling homes in Montana, and the power realtors and power lenders that make that happen. We are your hosts, Colleen Wood. 

Alicia Rutz: And I'm Alicia Rutz. Each week we will discuss the housing market, how to navigate it, and what questions you need to be asking yourself along the way. But that's not all. 

Colleen Wood: We will also dive into how to navigate the ins and outs of being leaders in business and how to build a robust and dynamic team within that business and navigating the world as a career driven professional, all while raising a family. 

Alicia Rutz: Join us as we share our highs and lows in real estate, business ownership, and motherhood. 

Colleen Wood: Oh my gosh, Alicia, I just had to be on the phone with this crazy agent that was just like cutting throats and not just invested in getting the deal done. He was just crappy. 

Alicia Rutz: Was it more like he was attacking you and not trying to find the solution to the problem? 

Colleen Wood: Right. He just was just mad, and I don't even know really what he was all mad about, but it was things changed with the person's income. They did not file their taxes the way that they had said that they were going to and income was significantly less and we had to do restructure. And I'm here to tell you, he just wanted somebody to be mad at. And I just go into full all out negotiation mode. 

Alicia Rutz: Exactly. And how you negotiate really truly is such a skill. I've seen people do it different ways. For me, it's truly finding common ground and killing with kindness, because people want to get the deal done. 

Colleen Wood: Right. 

Alicia Rutz: So where's the solution? 

Colleen Wood: And to me, it's super important. And I tell my team when they're in the ones that are having conversations where we need to come to a consensus that it's like, "We have to come as leaders. You cannot go into the conversation meek and mild ready to get run over, but you have to be respectful." 

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: So, I will often, if there's something like that, number one, I will definitely prepare. I will not show up to a conversation with something like that without having educated myself with a solution and figuring out a way forward. 

Alicia Rutz: Yep. 

Colleen Wood: So I will wait to have that conversation until I'm ready for it. And then when I do come, I come as a leader and say, "So this is what I can offer." Hearing the way that I'm speaking, it's important. "This is what I have to offer. This is what I think we can do. This is what it's going to cost in order to get there. And this is what I'm willing to do in order to help." 

Alicia Rutz: Exactly. And sometimes it's putting money into it. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: And just thinking outside the box and it can be a fun part of it. Sometimes I hate the negotiations. I just want everyone just get along. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: And there's so many different sides of negotiation for us. It's with our own clients. It's with agents. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: I don't feel like there's much negotiation with lenders. It's more just communicating with the lenders. 

Colleen Wood: Well, I mean, negotiation with the lender could definitely be like, "Hey, things look different." 

Alicia Rutz: Yes. 

Colleen Wood: "I need your help. These people are short on cash. Can you now go to the seller and see if you can get a seller credit in order to keep this on track?" 

Alicia Rutz: And keeping the close date drives me fricking nuts. We have those extra days built into our buy sell.  

Colleen Wood: Right. 

Alicia Rutz: And they constantly use those. And they'll use that as their argument for, "Well, we had these extra days."  

Colleen Wood: You should have been closing on time.  

Alicia Rutz: You should have been closing on time. There's no excuses right now not to close on time.  

Colleen Wood: No.  

Alicia Rutz: Appraisers are coming in. Us, agents, are still putting in about those 45 days. And if it's a really tight close, we call them immediately, say, "Is it possible to get it done as quickly as we're asking for?" 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. We just picked up a jumbo loan because somebody wasn't able to get it done inside 30 days. I mean, they only wanted a 30 day close. It wasn't like they were looking for a 12 day. I mean, if it was a 12 day, I mean, we probably would've tried to make that happen too. It's like, "well, it's just going to be a $2,500 appraisal. Let's rock and roll."  

Alicia Rutz: Yeah. Yeah. 

Colleen Wood: Like they just got to throw money at it. 

Alicia Rutz: And you also have negotiations, I mean, negotiations kind of sounds like a tougher word than it is, but within your own team, just figuring things out, what works, what doesn't work.  

Colleen Wood: Yeah. We're constantly adjusting.  

Alicia Rutz: Yes. 

Colleen Wood: Constantly adjusting and when you're negotiating, everybody comes to the table with their viewpoint and what they think needs to happen. And so really identifying, number one, what the issue is. And number two, what all the options are, the pros and cons, what's the most important thing in order to get out of it in order to move forward? And I think that's how it is like when you're talking to your clients about what are your priorities? 

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: Can we negotiate? You're asking for a three bedroom, two bath, and you want an acre lot and you want to be able to not have any covenants or something like that. 

Alicia Rutz: That sounds like every buyer in Bozeman right now. 

Colleen Wood: I can find you a property, but you're not allowed to have chickens. Can you negotiate on that?  

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: Are you passionate about having chickens or are you just want to make sure that you're able to park your boat on your property?  

Alicia Rutz: Right. And so you got to find like where the non-negotiables are, where people are not willing to move. 

Colleen Wood: Right. 

Alicia Rutz: But also where you can find the middle ground. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: That's really the skill. 

Colleen Wood: And really what it is leading. 

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: It's leading, It's you don't have to, when you're negotiating, I don't have to be right. I mean, there's people with brilliant ideas. I didn't think of it. 

Alicia Rutz: Right. And there's also, I think one of the biggest skills is reading people. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah.  

Alicia Rutz: There is a lot of tough agents out there that have been there for a long time. And I realize the only way I can get a deal done with them is if I'm harsh with them or at least a little bit more curt and a little bit more and a little bit more- 

Colleen Wood: Do they think you're bitchy? 

Alicia Rutz: Yeah. I rarely get that. But there's some agents that are just straight bitch. 

Colleen Wood: They are. 

Alicia Rutz: And they only respond back with when you're just more direct. 

Colleen Wood: That kind of energy. 

Alicia Rutz: And you give them the same energy back. And that's hard for me, but it makes it the deal so much easier than me trying to win them over, trying to get them to like me.  

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: I'm like, "That's just not going to happen. That's fine." So what I need to do is just give you the same energy back, read them, and get the deal done that way. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of times like for clients that need to have an out of the box solution. I've got somebody right now who went under contract, golly, in March and for a July 1 closing, it was way too early for them to close, or for them to lock in their rate. Well, interest rates are much higher right now. So we have to negotiate how it is that we're going to figure it out because her interest rate is going to be higher. She didn't really want her payment to be higher than what it already was, but rates are dramatically higher and it's going to cost some money. She has limited funds and she did not want to have to ask for any money from her mom and dad, but we're going to have to come to a negotiation.  

We're going to have to come to a compromise. It's like, "Do you want to buy a home? Or do you not? Because if you have limited funds, we have to fill in this blank, somehow. This is what I'm willing to do. I'm going to do this concession for you to make it a little bit more affordable for you. This is what I can do. Are you willing to ask your mama if she can loan $10,000? That's what it looks like." 

Alicia Rutz: Yeah. And we're seeing a lot of people that have to borrow from their parents. I would say pretty much- 

Colleen Wood: It's gifting. 

Alicia Rutz: Gifting, yes. 

Colleen Wood: Gifting. 

Alicia Rutz: Gifting. But almost every first time home buyer, that's what they're having to do.  

Colleen Wood: Yes.  

Alicia Rutz: Yeah. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. I mean, we're just seeing a lot of people having to pull efforts together. 

Alicia Rutz: Yep. 

Colleen Wood: And negotiate a new living strategy in order to make that doable situation. 

Alicia Rutz: Yeah. I'm in like some crazy deals right now with all these lawyers are involved, not because of me, but with they have lawsuits happening. 

Colleen Wood: Shoot. 

Alicia Rutz: And in order to get these deals done, there's like liens on properties, and trying to figure it all out. And one of my deals, we've had to delay our due diligence period multiple times because of our end. We finally kind of get things figured out. And basically they were just kind of snapping at me that this one part of it wasn't done yet. And it was like 12 hours from the time they gave me this paper that needed to be signed, but they have been the reason everything's been delayed. It's been also like another four month close. And I finally had to just be like, "You're the reason that this deal hasn't happened yet." 

Colleen Wood: Yes. 

Alicia Rutz: It's been all of these lawyers and happenings and you have to keep pushing the due diligence period. And so sometimes, again, standing up for yourself and letting them know where they were wrong. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: Is really important as well. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah, no, we have to talk about where the bear shit in the woods. 

Alicia Rutz: Exactly. 

Colleen Wood: Literally, that's part of how we have to communicate with people. There has to be accountability. It's not just about protecting everybody's feelings.  

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: We obviously we try to be respectful. That's important, but it is to talk about, "This is where you messed up." 

Alicia Rutz: Yep. 

Colleen Wood: "This is where I messed up. And this is how we're going to figure it out together." 

Alicia Rutz: Yes. And if I mess up. 

Colleen Wood: It's okay. 

Alicia Rutz: Being accountable. 

Colleen Wood: Yes. 

Alicia Rutz: Being held accountable is best thing I can possibly do. 

Colleen Wood: Yes. 

Alicia Rutz: "Oh my gosh. I'm so sorry. I didn't realize that that happened." 

Colleen Wood: Yep. 

Alicia Rutz: And obviously trying to stay in front of that as much as possible. 

Colleen Wood: Of course. 

Alicia Rutz: But owning yours is a huge way to also just get past hurdles. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah, absolutely. And then you can come to a consensus and then we can all move forward. 

Alicia Rutz: Right.  

Colleen Wood: And then we've gotten to the goal of whatever the good, well, for us, it's the goal of home ownership.  

Alicia Rutz: Exactly.  

Colleen Wood: It's like, "What do we need?" That's the most important thing. So if that's our biggest goal, then this is what we need to do. And this is what I'm willing to give. This is what you're willing to give. And then we can come out at the end of it and hug it out.  

Alicia Rutz: Yeah. 

Colleen Wood: Move on to the next one. 

Alicia Rutz: I have a feeling you're really good at negotiating. 

Colleen Wood: I'm really good at negotiating. Unfortunately, my husband will tell you that I think it's a downside being married to me. I don't ever lose an argument. And, I don't know, that's not a good thing when you're married. I just adamantly see my side of it and I just keep working and compromising and edging and kind of getting it where it needs to be, into some sort of semblance of happiness on the other side of it. And I don't know, I try to make it work. I just try to make it work. 

Alicia Rutz: But good for you though.  

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: Because you know what you believe and you stand for it.  

Colleen Wood: I'm not a doormat. 

Alicia Rutz: You're not a doormat.  

Colleen Wood: I'm not a doormat. I just am not. 

Alicia Rutz: I've been a doormat and am getting way stronger in myself and understanding my power and what I can do and what I'm capable of. So I've definitely grown a lot there. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. Yeah. It's a humongous growth period.  

Alicia Rutz: Yep. 

Colleen Wood: I think back like when we were in our early '20s. 

Alicia Rutz: Oh. 

Colleen Wood: Can you imagine? We were just like little limp noodles. 

Alicia Rutz: Well, yes or no, because also when I was younger I thought I knew everything.  

Colleen Wood: Yeah. I thought I knew everything. 

Alicia Rutz: And like I knew all the answers to everything and now the older I get and the more I know, the less I know. 

Colleen Wood: I just remember just being super intimidated by somebody else's status or their accomplishment. 

Alicia Rutz: Same. 

Colleen Wood: To the point that I would try to talk and my throat would actually feel like it was closing. You know? And then I would just like- 

Alicia Rutz: And now you talk to the most important people all around you and you just dominate. 

Colleen Wood: I love talking to big, especially high producing women. I just love it. They're my people.  

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: They're my people. I get excited about it. I'm not scared about it anymore, at all. 

Alicia Rutz: And I've heard about your public speaking. I can't remember who I was talking to, someone in the industry and saying that you were the best public speaker they've heard in years. 

Colleen Wood: Oh my God. You have to think back who that was.  

Alicia Rutz: I know, right? 

Colleen Wood: Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. 

Alicia Rutz: Because I've never heard you do public speaking, but I heard your absolutely- 

Colleen Wood: Oh, that makes me so happy. Thank you. That's all I need. I'm good for a month. 

Alicia Rutz: You're done. You're good. 

Colleen Wood: I'm good for a month. I'm going to fly on that for a while. 

Alicia Rutz: Oh, that's so cool. 

Colleen Wood: You know what? The thing about public speaking and speaking in front of anybody or even going and talking face to face to a high producer or anything like that. Number one, folks out there, the high producers are the ones you want to talk to anyways because they're really, really good people.  

Alicia Rutz: Yeah.  

Colleen Wood: So don't be intimidated by somebody who's a high producer. They're the ones that, number one, know what they're doing. You can learn from them. You should just sit down and shut up and learn when they're talking to you because, and that's the most important thing to do anyways when somebody's talking to you, especially somebody who's been a producer, is shut up. You don't need to explain to them how amazing you are. You don't need to like say, "Yeah, yeah, me too, blah, blah." You just need to shut up and most high producers will literally give you the keys to the castle. 

Alicia Rutz: Right. And that's also true with our negotiating. Sometimes just letting somebody else vent, give their whole point out, get it all out.  

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: And then just allow that to happen.  

Colleen Wood: Yeah. 

Alicia Rutz: And then from there, once they've really just spewed all over you, then you can start to process from there.  

Colleen Wood: Yeah. Exactly. 

Alicia Rutz: And you don't necessarily have to get to your point across to make the negotiations. 

Colleen Wood: No. 

Alicia Rutz: Let them get it out and then figure out where the common ground is. 

Colleen Wood: Exactly. That's a really good point. Yep. Just sit there and listen. We're so frequently when we're communicating with people, we are looking for the opportunity to respond.  

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: Like we think we got to respond really quickly and you can really tell people who are really good listeners because they will actually pause when they respond. Like our husbands are really good listeners, when they pause, and you and I are like- 

Alicia Rutz: Oh, 100%. Always on to the next, next, next. 

Colleen Wood: We're ready to respond and it's really important just to sit back and listen and process and think about what it is you're going to say. Circling back to public speaking, any one of us that are in this industry or even in any industry, but I only know this one so I'm going to talk on that. It's really, really important for you to hone your public speaking skills. And for me, it was, number one, identifying the fact that I don't do well in a scripted situation. I don't do well with that. 

Alicia Rutz: So you speak more off the cuff? 

Colleen Wood: Completely off the cuff. 

Alicia Rutz: Really? 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. I cannot script anything. No, no, no. I can't script anything. I will mess it up. 

Alicia Rutz: Okay. Interesting. Or are you just too robotic or are you actually- 

Colleen Wood: I don't ever want to read something. The only time I'll ever like prepare anything like that is if I didn't really have much time to prepare, like Prospera speaking or anything. You saw me speaking? 

Alicia Rutz: Right. 

Colleen Wood: I mean, that was just like, da, da, da, da, da. 

Alicia Rutz: Oh, you did do a great job. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. Well, but I mean, I put some things together, but most of the time I work off if bullet points and I'm generally talking about things I'm talking about all the time anyways so I'm well versed on it. 

Alicia Rutz: It's easy. 

Colleen Wood: But you have to get it out of your mind, the anxiety. I remember just getting pissed at myself, like, "Stop screwing yourself over." Because I would get so nervous that I couldn't speak. I literally couldn't have, the words would not come out of my mouth, and my heart would be pounding. And it was like, "You're literally cutting your own throat." You need to think about public speaking as just having a conversation with one person in the room. 

Alicia Rutz: Right.  

Colleen Wood: But we have to, especially as leaders, and with you now leading a team, and you have to be able to get up and demonstrate to people, to your team, that it's okay to get up and speak and lead. And I'm responsible for all these people and I am frequently asked to speak in front of people and I have to do a good job of it. 

Alicia Rutz: And you do. 

Colleen Wood: I really want to know who said that 

Alicia Rutz: I'll have to rack my brain. I know it was some like sort of networking business thing. Yeah. 

Colleen Wood: Yeah. Well, I have just figured it out. You just have to figure it out. I definitely was not good at it growing up at all. 

Alicia Rutz: Well, I'm proud of how far you've come. 

Colleen Wood: Oh, girl. Me too. 

Alicia Rutz: Yes. Yes. 

Colleen Wood: Me too. We just keep negotiating our way higher. 

Alicia Rutz: That's right.  

Thank you for joining us today. 

Colleen Wood: Tune in next week for another episode of Leading Ladies Of Montana Real Estate.