I turn, I see, it’s too late! The knuckle sandwich already delivered to my nose, BOOM!! The perfect punch landed. It would have been textbook for a slow motion movie scene. Fittingly named a sucker punch, when you have no idea the vicious unsuspected blow will strike you. One of the best sucker punches ever. Okay, I could be exaggerating a little bit. I haven’t seen every sucker punch, but my nose was repositioned to the other side of my face. It was broken so badly I was told, “Do not look at yourself in the mirror, you may faint.”
You go to a 7th grade dance to have a good time with your friends. Everyone remembers boys on one side of the room, girls on the other. Midway through the dance after a couple of fruit punch drinks, the liquid courage enables the boys to ask the girls to dance. We have all been there before. The dance held at Veteran Acres in Crystal Lake, is a perfect place for kids to work off some teenage energy. After dancing the night away and hearing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to close out the night, all the kids congregated outside to find their rides home. Walking with a group of friends, we see a girl we know. Shouting distance away I yelled, “What’s up Julie. How are you getting home?” She replied, “My brother is picking me up.” Little did I know her brother is about to become my four-year perpetual nightmare! As Julie responded her brother came out of nowhere screaming and yelling at us. Julie’s brother thought we were teasing/harassing her so his reaction to defend her is understandable but he lacked all reasoning skills. The explicitly laden rant was completely uncalled for. The situation was quickly escalating and her brother became more agitated as he started to come at my friend Chris.
After more than two years of extensive research, I have broken the mold and created ‘The Value Driven Approach’ to selling Real Estate.
“Do you know great minds enjoy excellence, average minds love mediocrity and small minds adore comfort zones?”
Chris, even in the 7th grade could hold his own, so he was able to stop this guy’s attempt to fight us both. It was like her brother was possessed, like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth, throwing haymaker punches that weren’t landing because we were able to pin him up against a car to restrain him. A parent sitting in the car nearby got out to break up the scrum. “You boys knock it off. Go get your rides and beat it”, the man shouted. As the situation defused I turned around to my friends and said, “This guy is f**king nuts”. As soon as I turned back around to the frothing mouthed maniacs fist met my nose with a blow that knocked my nose to McHenry. Julie’s brother immediately took off running as fast as he could to avoid the consequences of his actions. My nose as if it were a spigot was turned to the “on” position, gushing blood everywhere! I turn to see nothing but scared looks on all of my friends faces. Some even with blood on their clothes from the vicious punch.
Good people always make things better.
As the scene calmed down, Jesse Denk, a friend of mine at the time said, “My mom is on her way. She is a nurse and will drive you home.” Jesse’s mom was amazing that night. One thing I will never forget her saying to me was, “DO NOT LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR, YOU MIGHT FAINT”. I thought holy sh*t, it’s that bad?! Mrs. Denk dropped me off at my front door and my mom literally almost passed out when she laid eyes on me. She let out a scream I will never forget! Mrs. Denk told my mom “You must get Steve to the ER right away to get his nose repositioned back into place”. My dad and I got in the car and drove to the emergency room immediately. The nurses brought me into a room laid me on a table and told us that the doctor will be with us shortly. Little did I know the doctor was going to cause me more pain than I have ever felt, even to this day. Doctor ‘Hurt my Nose’ came in the room with his white coat and his surgical gloves. It was just another day at the office. He said “Just relax, this is going to hurt, it will only last a minute.” Yea!! only a minute, like a NFL minute at the end of a game. Three timeouts and a bevy of commercials. He positioned himself over me, cupping my nose with his hand he pushed it back into place. I screamed like William Wallace from the end of the movie Brave Heart while as he was disemboweled.
My dad summed it up with the line of the night, “Wow, that had to hurt! your toes curled up bigtime”.
Have you ever had a four-year long nightmare? Mine is about to begin…
I had to get a plastic surgeon to reconstruct my nose. We happened to live right down the street from one so we figured might as well have him perform the procedure. We didn’t consult with other doctors and just decided to have him perform the reconstructive surgery my nose required. After the surgery was done I had to wear a cast for a few weeks. A big plaster thing on my nose was not flattering to say the least. Walking through the halls in school was down right awful as Jr. high kids are relentless. Thank god I have thick skin or I would have been crying myself to sleep every night, LOL! When it was time to take the cast off we thought things would gradually get better. To the contrary, it got much worse! I started getting mind numbing headaches with very little ability to breath through my nose. I spent many days in a dark room trying to rid myself of the pounding that was in my head. This is what happens when you don’t do your due diligence and get a second opinion from surgeons. This doctor really didn’t perform the surgery I needed nor did he do a good job. To top it off he had no guidance or answers for me when I started experiencing my headaches.
By my sophomore year of high school, 3 years later, I could no longer handle the headaches. We started seeing
ear, nose and throat specialists in Chicago. After having consultations with three physicians, we knew Dr. Jones was the guy who could get me the results I needed. He put me through a series of tests and was able to properly diagnosis me. When we met with Dr. Jones the second time he laid out his diagnosis and the steps we needed to take to rid myself of these debilitating headaches. We felt at ease with Dr. Jones because the plan he put forth made sense and it was explained in great detail. The procedure changed my life immediately. I could breath again and my headaches subsided. If I could find ‘Dr. Make My Nose Feel Good’ today, I would buy him dinner and a nice bottle of wine.
In real estate I have the pleasure of working with many of
my friends and family on a daily basis. They call me up
and ask if I can list their home or help them find a place to buy. I then send them a copy of my book, ‘The Value
Driven Approach’ to show them my documented process.
I recently sold my friend, Matt Stodola’s, condo in Lincoln Park. Matt read the book and was sold on the process I had laid out for him. The next Tuesday he called me, dropped off his keys and said, “Go to work”. I had the condo professionally photographed, cleaned, and scientifically staged. My team’s result, the highest two bedroom, two bath sale in the building and it only took 23
‘The Value Driven
Approach’ is my version
of a Dr. Jones’ office visit… come in for your diagnosis, go through the necessary steps to get a
treatment plan, and then provide a service with minimal pain and no unexpected complications. In the medical community there is a saying, “Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice”. I work the same way. Perform a
“diagnosis” of the home, then put the plan of operation to work. Sometimes a diagnosis can take as much as 90 days to complete. Don’t you think your biggest investment needs proper care? When you have an operation it can take months to heal. Most homes take two to four weeks for the plan to be implemented, 90 days are for extreme circumstances. I feel coming into your house and giving you a price an hour later is laughable! I probably have never been inside, so how do I have a price 30 minutes later? To top it off I always ask the seller to convey to me what their thoughts were when they bought the place. The art of story telling is crucial in selling a home. My goal with every home story I write is to get the buyers in an emotional state. That same feeling when Matt purchased his condo. I feel if we can capture their imagination our job has been done.
My clients retain my services to Drive the ‘VALUE’ of their homes higher. This means I have to come up with the most effective prescription possible. Most Agents will surprisingly go into your home, show you some graphs with comparable home sales, and then push a contract in your face to sign. I see a migraine coming on… I want to avoid the headaches, don’t you? Be prepared when you talk to other agents because their treatment plan is simply to show you four comps, and quickly divide by four to give you a price. In most instances when the home doesn’t sell and “expires” the client has been put through a lot of pain and presented with a ton of misinformation. The next pill prescribed to you, the home owner, is to “Drop the Price”. The processes I have implemented in the book and for my business will produce the proper treatment plan. When our neighbor performed my surgery we thought he would get the the job don’t right, we were wrong. We failed to do our due diligence, hence the four years of headaches. Make sure you don’t have an agent who’s only treatment is to SUCKER PUNCH you with a price drop!