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Welcome back to the NEGOTIATEx Podcast ! We are continuing our conversation with J.B. Andreassi, co-owner of Andreassi Development and a Nest Seekers luxury real estate agent. If you haven’t listened to Part A of this series, we encourage you to do so now as J.B. and team discussed the different styles of negotiation a realtor has to employ in order to successfully manage clients and subcontractors. Today, J.B. shares more stories on how he embarked on his negotiation journey and the difficulties he faced as he improved his emotional awareness.
Last time, J.B. had given a shout out to his former football coach from Dartmouth, whose on-field advice on improvising when preparation is inadequate helped him tremendously in his career. Once he became a professional, there were a couple of other personalities whom he can credit his success to:
Brian Cole, the head of partnerships at the NHL, was J.B.’s first professional mentor and the one who taught him boardroom etiquette and the art of making business deals. As a newcomer to the negotiations world, J.B. learned from Brian how to conduct business and cultivate partnerships with massive brands like Honda and MillerCoors. He also recognizes the influence of Eddie Shapiro, the CEO of Nest Seekers, where he has been a really good boss and coach; handling day-to-day issues professionally while bringing his enormous real estate experience to the team.
In the past, J.B. has struggled to keep emotions out of a deal, which for him is one area where he feels he needs to improve. As an “emotional Italian”, J.B. finds himself in good company on the podcast with Aram, whose nickname back in his army captain days was “The Fiery Armenian”.
Sometimes when a situation gets heated, J.B. keeps a level head by understanding the narrative from both sides and coming to a decision which he believes is fair. When dealing with millions of dollars and the most successful people in the industry, it’s important to keep a level head while negotiating.
As a professional in the glamorous but stressful world of luxury real estate, J.B. makes sure that he practices yoga, meditation and regulated breathing to decompress. He speaks about the importance of learning how to deal with emotions and letting them out and one of the primary ways of doing things is to meditate and focus on the positive by pushing out the bad parts of what may have happened throughout the day.
A highly motivated person like J.B. is self-aware of his reactions to deals and everything going on around him. While negotiating a deal, a person who is pushing to get their interests to the farthest extent can likely kill the deal altogether. Therefore, it’s essential to have a tactical pause and to take a deep breath when an interaction with a counterpart isn’t going according to plan.
Playing up the emotions and firing back is an easy option but J.B. chooses to stay on track and keep low and not let emotions get the best out of it by figuring out a middle ground. He discusses an incident where represented the seller of a four and a half million dollar home with a lake-view. The buyer had asked for certain alterations which the seller didn’t agree to. Instead of getting frustrated or dusting his hands and letting the deal slip by, J.B. got the modifications done on his own dime. And now, he’s made a strong personal relationship with the buyer, who he wasn’t representing in the first place!
By going out of his way, and engaging the services of his family and friends, J.B. managed to turn a potentially emotionally unpleasant situation to a win for all parties involved.
It can be tough to establish standards of legitimacy when dealing with the value of homes in the Hamptons real estate market. For Andreassi Development, J.B. employs comparative market analysis and external evaluators to correctly identify the value of the property and by keeping files with analyses of its history.
J.B. also shares his views on technology and how it is playing an important role in the public lens. One of the most important outcomes of this is technology that cuts out the third parties like brokers and realtors and connects buyers directly with sellers.
J.B. admits that in the coming ten years, technology is going to be a major part of the industry and might even disrupt it. At the moment, he tries to stay humble about his success and achievements in life even after getting the most of it. Also the ability to adapt to a better chance, a chance to prove himself as a level head and how to calmly assess situations and not let things get too emotional.
J.B. and your NEGOTIATEx team go into a lot more detail, illuminating the world of luxury real estate negotiations. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know, what are your preferred tools for achieving greater emotional awareness?
Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, thanks for joining us on the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with J.B. Andreassi. He's the co-principal of the resident luxury development company, Andreassi Development, and a Nest Seekers luxury real estate agent. If you haven’t already checked out part A of this series, then make sure you do that first. Now let's jump into the conversation with J.B.
Aram Donigian : I wanna steal a question that was was gonna be Nolan's. But you were talking about yourfootball coach at Dartmouth, and just I'd love to know others! As you look at the way, you talked about negotiation style that while players may change, but your style's consistent, you were talking about your brand- who else has had an influence J.B., on the way you approach negotiations, problem solving, whatever you want to call it- but who else has been influential and impactful for you?
JB Andreassi : One person I think back to, he was the head of partnerships at the NHL (National Hockey League). His name is Brian Cole, and that was my first experience in the working world, dealing with clients and sitting in boardrooms and figuring out you know, whether it was Honda or Miller Coors, or we're trying to pitch the idea of partnering with the NHL; really hearing him and the ability to communicate and really get through to people that had the choices of going to other leagues or other teams, but he's one. And then the other is my current boss and CEO of Nest Seekers, Eddie Shapiro. And he comes from a sales background. He to me gets really, probably too in the weeds on some day-to-day things, but that's kind of his style and making sure he can touch everything and really being a coach and being a teacher. Cuz he knows if he's gonna come in and help us land a 30 million deal out in the Hamptons, he knows because of his experience and because he's been through it a lot of times.
Us being exposed to that and us hearing him is a way for us to learn and then go out and kind of enact it for years to come while we work for him. So, those are two individuals that definitely stand out. And I think we'll probably, we might get to this guys, but one thing I'm still working on is I have trouble not being too emotional in a deal, right. And, and trying not to be impulsive and hearing the other side, even though you want to get angry and stomp your feet, it's how do I remain level headed and, and hear all different perspectives and narratives and try and figure out a solution for that? And it's something that I know I've identified as a weakness of mine. I think I'm better at it now than I was, let's say two or three years ago, but it's something that I know I have to continuously work on because it's in me, I am an emotional Italian guy [laughs] so it's something that when you're dealing with, you know, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars and some of the most successful people in the world, you have to remain calm and just levelheaded. Yeah, something I work on every day.
AD : Well, I'd love to go down that rabbit trail just for a moment. I love talking about the role of emotions in negotiations. They're there, whether you're a fiery Italian guy or they used to call me the fiery Armenian. [laughs] It was TFA when I was a captain in the army, I think it was the fiery Armenian, not the effing Armenian [laughs]. But anyways, listen, no one has ever been in a meeting and anyone said, “you know what this meeting needs right now is more emotion.” No one's ever been there and yet emotions are present. Whether they're bubbling up or they're under the service, our emotions are there and they really do show up in negotiations. Can I ask, do you have an example that you can share even in a general terms of when an emotion came to the surface and how you were or were not able to kind of manage it and maybe we can talk some more about how the advice we give.
JBA : I have a few different, very blurry- I try to block them out of me- [laughs] Not throwing off the deal in anyway, but really just me feeling. And it's usually me with attorneys, the business and the legal side of things sometimes butt heads. I can't think of, I can't give you an exact example. I know if I think about it, I probably can. Yeah. It's one of those things that it's just, to me, it's just so important. Just trying to figure out how to kind of just hold them in a little bit or at least, you know, do what I do is I have exercises around that, right? Whether it's, you know, my yoga that I do a couple times a week and I swear, it's so cliche, but I meditate. I meditate and I learn how to just push out these things that are coming in your head and you wanna be so emotive, but learning how to deal with those is so important.
And I think those types of activities really help and breath work and things like that. And certainly for someone that is highly motivated like myself, and at least I'm self-aware of that. I think a lot of times people, they aren't and they're stubborn and they're arrogant and they want to keep pushing. And that always kind of ends up going in the wrong direction, in my opinion, in a deal or when you're negotiating. So, yeah. I don't know if you guys have any advice too, I'd be really open ears to hearing from your side of things.
AD : I mean, I think you're, you're hitting on the head, you know, it starts with awareness and, and being able to be aware of that emotion and the source. Right. So, you know, is it frustration? Is it anger? Is it disappointment? And is it because somebody broke their word? Is it because they’re delayed? Is it because there are things that are just out of our control because they won't respond? I mean, there's any number of sources that lead to any number of emotions. And I think just being aware that that's happening saying, okay, it's happening. I think there's stuff what you're describing in terms of getting ahead of it. Yeah. We can anticipate that. And I think that's something that catches people by surprise is like, why am I so emotional about this? Well, because we're human and emotions are part of what makes us who we are.
So anticipating it even expecting it, being able to name it is a pretty good start. And we have to deal with both our own emotions and then I think the harder one sometimes is allowing others to bring their emotions to the table too, and engage effectively with them. And that means being able to name their emotion and take the time to understand, what's so frustrating or anger causing or disappointing, whatever it might be for them. And being able to say, I can see where that would be frustrating. Right? Doesn't mean, I agree with the underlying cause- we may have very different perspectives and we can get to that. We can get to problem solving. I think sometimes though, especially when we're Type A personalities, we're highly successful, we wanna get right to problem solving. And the truth is you can't problem solve with someone when either we're emotionally triggered or they're emotionally triggered, it’s just not possible. So yeah. You gotta be a little patient there.
NM : Yeah. And I think to kind of give you something, now it's a different framework for this J.B. and something to help kind of explain to clients is the tactical pause. So just quick story on my end. So in the military, I was very fortunate to be able to spend some time with special operations. We were doing this large training event where we're gonna get on helicopters ahead about 40 guys underneath me at the time, get on helicopters, fly to the objective. We're gonna go through some actions on the objective, but this is a kind of organization that always has multiple curve balls that they're gonna throw at you. And it’s my first time doing this with this unit. And you know, we're on the objective when things start going crazy. And I'm buried in my map. Really not fully understanding everything that's going on around me.
It's really hard to understand what's going on. And so I had this senior NCO just kind of grab me and like, “Sir, you need to take a tactical pause. You need to just take a second, collect yourself. Let's look around, get your head out of the map. You can see where your units are and what they're doing. Then let's come together, come up with a plan and move forward.” And so that always stuck with me because every single mission I had after that, where we’re trying to train any of my junior leaders below me. Explaining the tactical pause, we call it, “step into the balcony”, getting that far view of everything. So you're not sucked into anything has helped me out tremendously. Maybe at least thinking through that and how you can apply it. Maybe it could be something for you as well J.B.
JBA : It's really interesting. You say that because without terming a tactical pause, I think that's something that I've really employed over the last year or two is- and both in business and in personal life- is just taking a deep breath instead of playing up to the emotions in the room and firing back. I think our instinct as humans and Type A personalities, is you wanna fire right back. You have, everyone has an ego. Everyone has pride and no I'm right. You're not. But instead taking, taking a second, taking a break, Aram, you said a line, I'm trying to remember the line you just said, but oh, “I can see where that can be frustrating for you.” And you say that you kind of bring down the tempers in the room. You take a second to pause.
Sometimes I even, you know, instead of getting hot with an attorney, I'll just be like, “Hey, Mary Jane, let's just take a second. I'm gonna take five minutes and I'll give you a call back”, because I know that's the only way. And it might not, the continuity might get lost a little bit, but that's okay. Because if you don't do that, you're gonna ruin the relationship or ruin the deal anyway. So just take a second. And most people actually I've found they like that. They like that you have the ability to be self-aware, and do those types of things and types of exercises to try and figure out a middle ground, or at least just calm down and be more level headed going forward. So that's, that's awesome. Tactical. I love that. That's cool.
NM : Yeah. And I don't know if you read Gary Noesner’s “Stalling for Time”, but in there he also talks about taking the same kind of steps in a hostage negotiation situation. It definitely has application to business as well.
JBA : Talk about a time where you're just, you need it more, more than ever. right. Oh my goodness. I can only imagine.
AD : You mentioned Eddie Shapiro as both boss and influence for you. There's another Shapiro- the Shapiro name, there's a number of Shapiros involved in negotiations- Dan Shapiro wrote a great book with Roger Fisher called “Beyond Reason”, and they talk about emotions there and they categorize, 'em kind of in five different blocks: appreciation, affiliation, autonomy status, role and understanding, which is kind of being triggered or which one needs to be addressed for us or with our counterparts. So it's another helpful sort of framework.
JBA : Can you guys send me these book recommendations after I'm like, oh wait, no, I'm not kidding. I'm always about, yeah. These new reads, so that's great.
AD : Yeah. Happy to do that.
JBA : Thank you.
AD : Hey, listen. You talked about kind of the, the negotiation, well kind of a problem solving situation was going awry and you had to get really creative. How about something that just like, if you have an example, like something you can consider to become like your best negotiation success and example, and how were you able to get that win?
JBA : Yeah. I think one that I can definitely think back to is a home that I represented the seller on a NOAC road where it was a four and a half million dollar beautiful, modern home on the water. And it had a lot of issues, meaning that there was, uh, a shared driveway that wasn't completed by, by the builder. There was a road noise, there was issues with how close it was to the water and what I had to do to step in and try and help facilitate a deal and make sure that the buyer kind of came through and wanted to buy it: I told the buyer that “look, I'm representing a seller here. You have a buyer's representative. It's not me, but in order to get this done, I promise you, we're gonna write up a little document of all your wishes and wants in order to get this deal done.”
And it was outside the money thing that the price was already negotiated, but it was some things, for example, like he wanted less of a gradient on the driveway because it was a super steep driveway and he was worried with his kids when they're either biking on it or they plow the driveway. He wanted a gradient done. My seller wouldn't agree to it because he felt like he was already taking a cut on that negotiated transaction price. And then there was another thing where he wanted- this Dan, who was the buyer- he wanted trees trimmed in front of the house. So he can have a little bit of better views to the water, that his family could enjoy. Seller wouldn't budge on that one either.
So I told Dan, I go, “Dan look”, I go, “I have a contracting company.” I asked the seller if I could do this. He said, “yeah, sure J.B. if it's on your penny, fine”. So I talked to two D I talked to my brother first and I said, “Chase, we're gonna have to just eat this one. I'll pay you for your time to come out and do the driveway over slash hire your tree guy for, you know, 5,000 bucks to come and trim down the trees.” But, you know, the commission on that was, was $65,000. So if I didn't do those things, the house had been sitting there for a year. I don't get that deal done, but because I've had the resources around and because I was able to sort of leverage the fact that this is really what the buyer wanted, just a little bit of compromise and middle ground, because those things really weren't taken care of and they probably should have been. And the ability for me to get that done for him got the deal done. So I think it's, again, it kind of goes back, ties in what we're talking about with relationships and just, making sure that you're resourceful and accountable and just, trustworthy. And, and I follow through with those things and Dr. Dan, I'm going over Dr. Dan's house for Memorial Day weekend. So that's the type of thing, you know, you just go above and beyond sometimes.
AD : That's right. Yeah.
NM : I think we have a podcast that you need to take a listen to. We had Brian Rodriguez from the Lana Rodriguez group. He's also a realtor out of Colorado and he sold a large hotel in Colorado. And a lot of the things that you were saying, being creative, building these relationships, especially with commercial property, where it takes a long time to build that relationship and to figure everything out. He said a lot of things that are very similar to what you're saying. And so definitely recommend listen to that podcast and grabbing a few things from Brian as well. Definitely
JBA : Definitely will. And I found that the really good ones like Brian, they go above and beyond. The people that just kind of sit back and wait for things to happen, they're never very successful. And I think that that transcends all industries and careers and yeah, you gotta be a go getter. That's a pre-req.
AD : Hey, J.B. Let me ask you one other question. You've talked so much about relationships, understanding interest concerns and needs of clients or contractors. You know, one of the elements when we think of elements of negotiation that we often talk about is fairness, standards of legitimacy. So we think about examples would be industry practice, precedent, those sort of things. How does that show up in a unique market? I imagine in the Hamptons; you're not talking about apples to apples between property and property. How do you try to establish, like what's fair and reasonable, whether it's around price or it's around any of this additional sort of work that you're doing, how do you find that standard when there's not like an obvious industry average or maybe there is some standards you regularly use?
JBA : Great question. It's tough. It's tough to establish those things. What I usually rely on is what we call appraisals of homes to just try really, or more generally from a macro standpoint, really try and determine the fair value of a home or a fair value of a property. And the way I do that is whether I have an appraiser that can come out and give that knowledge. And sometimes the buyer investor will pay for it. Sometimes we split it sometimes I'll take it on. And other times it's going through what we call a CMA or comparative market analysis to really understand where this property has transacted over the years where the, you know, the Street's over, where those comps have traded to come up with a number. And of course, you know, that's before emotion comes into it, that's really just trying to find like a number and that's the starting point.
Okay. But then there's things, you know, Aram, I have times where owners will come in and my usual pitch is my start out with the investment opportunity or the rental revenue that they can accrue if they buy the saw more, or the potential appreciation rate over the five to ten years, I have people that come in and I'll start with that. And they just go, “J.B., thank you. And it's great. You have that knowledge. It doesn't matter.” Cause they just want the home that bad [laughs] I just go, wow. You know, either it's for their family and they, they have a dire situation, they just need to get out of the city. Or some people are just fortunate enough in the world that I'm in, that they just don't care about those things. And I'm not, it's still kind of eye opening every day when I run into that. But yeah, I think it's truly through identifying, like trying to figure out that number and then going from there and knowing that there's gonna be other elements and factors that come in, but that's usually my starting point is that analytics and that diligence that goes into what I do.
AD : Thanks.
NM : So circling back to what we started talking about earlier in the episode, and that was how successfully you're able to apply this in your personal life? You're obviously having a tremendous amount of success in the business aspect of things. So how good of a negotiator are you in your personal life? And then I'll share with you what some of our other guests are saying.
JBA : I have more trouble in my personal life. I do. We
AD : We all do.
NM : For sure, we all do.
JBA : You know, I don't know what it is guys and I don't know if I'm just taxed from doing it all day every day, usually with my clients and my business. And I just don't have the energy to kind of really talk through some of the steps that we've already touched on, which helps us become really good negotiators. Man, I love the people around me. I have really amazing human beings that are my family and my significant other, her name is Victoria, but God is she stubborn and it's
NM : 😃
JBA : And it's like, you know, it's man, it's a day to day battle and struggle. And that tactical pause that came from her. We've been seeing each other for three and a half years and really close to making the next step. But we found that when we take that pause instead of riling each other up and going head to head, it usually helps. And we can come back and be more level headed and approach the situation from a different perspective and angle. But that's where it's funny, that's where that originated. And I've taken that and used it in my business life and it's helped tremendously. So yeah, it's an ongoing thing guys. Little sister is the same way. You know, very, very stubborn Type A. And I think, you know, we're all, we're all pretty young, so we're twenties and thirties. And I think it's just about working at it every day and just trying to figure out, you know, it's not the end of the world if we disagree, but why do you disagree? And trying to hear everyone's, point of view.
NM : Like you're off to a better start than Gary Noesner or Brian Ahern, myself, Aram we all can't seem to make it work. So [laughs] you found a good one. You better lock her down quick.
JBA : So yeah. Oh man.
AD : Just, just challenging. Right? My wife, more than once said, you teach this stuff. Why don't you try practicing it?
NM : 😃
JBA : No,
AD : I'll tell you one of the best things and that he comes to either from beyond reason or, or difficult conversations in other book is this idea of suffering I impact versus intent, right? Our intent, especially with those that are closest to us, it's good. And the truth is we know that, and we know their intent is good too. They're not out to get us right. But the impact, the impact can sometimes be really damaging and harmful. And I think it's easier sometimes to separate those two things in sort of the very formal business arrangements when we're on, we're sharp, we're on edge. And we let that down a little bit. We let our guard down a little bit when we're dealing with these closer relationships. And I think sometimes we, we know they're intent’s good. We need to give them benefit of doubt there. We still need to be able to talk about impact and then be able to talk about it and say, Hey, the impact of those words, or, not listening or whatever it is that we might be doing. By the way, it's interesting right? They're always the stubborn ones, we're never the stubborn one, right?
JBA : Oh yeah, that's right. No, but Aram, it's funny you say that because I think sometimes I sort of, I let my foot off the gas pedal in a sense, like I get home and I just expect it to be easy because I've had such a crazy day of doing this all day. And I just expect that. Can you just gimme the benefit of the doubt? Can I just be right here, but that it takes work too at home. It takes a lot of work there too. And you can't take that for granted. And I've found that same thing, negotiating shows up. It's like, you know, “Victoria, I have to take out a client Friday night. I can't go to dinner with you, but on Sunday I'll take you to lunch or I'll take you to brunch” and there's always a sort of a give and take and a compromise to find. So that's so funny. you guys say that, I love it.
AD : So JB, you are a leader in this industry. If we could take a step to the 30,000 foot view and just look at real estate, especially with a negotiation lens- as you look out 10 years into the future, do you see opportunities for innovation or disruption within the real estate industry?
JBA : I think that it's a good question Aram. I think that technology is playing more of a role. On the public lens, sort of diminishing some of the value that myself and some of my colleagues bring to the table and you see it where, a company- we don't have to name companies- but there's companies that people think you can just go online and look up how to buy a home and these homes pop up and that's it. And they can schedule an appointment electronically. There's sort of like a robotic answer. And they think that that's the way to do it because you're cutting out someone and you don't have to pay someone commission or whatever it is. And I just think that model where a lot of these companies are trying to make a quick buck there, it's not, I don't think it's gonna work going forward, just because of what some of the things I mentioned here, which is like, you need someone to really know the local attorneys, you need someone that can schedule an inspector on a 10 minute notice, just so you get in and get that home in front of the 10 other people looking to get it.
There's things like that, and there's areas where we bring value. But I think the biggest thing is the technology piece. And maybe, you know, in 10 years, Aram, that gets more efficient and that could really disrupt things. I don't see that happening, but it perhaps could. So it's gonna be interesting to keep tabs on, but I feel like everyone's always gonna need a home, everyone, you know, the building thing. And we don't just build homes too. I wanted to mention this, we build schools out here. We're building a new ambulance department, my company. So there's always gonna be a need for that. And I'm glad that I'm on that end as well, where I can really provide, I think like a really wholesome experience for the people of this town and the people that hopefully, you know, I'll be in other markets when I'm 40 years old and I can do the same there. Another thing we built was the South Hampton Youth Services, which is a 55,000 square foot facility in South Hampton where kids can go after school instead of doing, God knows what they do- they're playing basketball inside and going to work out and learning how to interact with their friends and other students outside of the classroom in a wholesome matter. So, I think that's pretty cool.
AD : Thanks.
JBA : Yeah.
NM : This is a podcast that is all about how to elevate your influence through purposeful negotiation. So J.B., just first wanna say, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today, had a blast talking to you and everything like that and sharing some stories. I'm gonna kick it over to Aram now to roll out the highlights from this episode.
AD : Well, listen, JB, first of all, you know, you talked about your brand. I think you live your brand. It's what impresses me. So very genuinely. I think you're a humble person with all the success you've had. You're a great demonstration of the values you espouse: accountability, trust, relationship. And I think that's such an important thing as a negotiator to negotiate from a place of authenticity. And I think you demonstrate that really well. And you know, again, so much I could probably go back to in terms of being prepared, being able to know the details, know properties, know people really well. I liked what you said about what coach Ted would talk about, about being able to adjust and improvise. And I think that negotiators who can apply those things in addition to everything else that JB shared with us today, uh, are gonna find tremendous amount of success going forward.
NM : Yeah, absolutely. So that is it for us on today's podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. Had an awesome conversation with J.B. today. If you haven't already, please rate, review and subscribe to the NEGOTIATEx podcast and that's it from us. We'll see you in the next episode.
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