We had the good fortune of connecting with Deirdre Salomone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deirdre, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance…it is ALL about balance-coaching on our team. Terry and I have been working in real estate for awhile now, and we have seen the burn out of agents all around us. There is this idea that you need to be available 24/7 in this business, hogwash. Why? What business do you need to be available 24/7? Here’s a secret…there are very few real emergencies in real estate. If a client needs me 24/7, we are not a good fit. Look, we give our clients all of us, when we are on the clock, hyper-focused, counseling, problem-solving, but having our downtime to ride things on two wheels (we love both rode bikes and motorcycles), and travel (Yeah! Travel is back!). We run a team, and it is one of the ideas that we drive home to our team, that you need to take care of yourself first, before you are able to care for and be of service to your client in any meaningful way, or you will burn out. We encourage our team to take weeks off to reconnect with loved ones; feel the sand and sea; get out of the bubble.
Early on, I subscribed tot he 24/7. When Terry and I formed our partnership, I was very much in that idea, answering phones and emails at 11pm, 2 am. After a dealing with the disruption and seeing how it affected my and our quality of life, we had a talk. It was a slow-ween process of shutting off my devices at a certain time, except for family and close friends. It was life altering. I slept! My anxiety went down tenfold! Then, we began taking longer, and longer downtime with our travels, after training our team to step in, we trust them implicitly, they are all amazing individuals, we know we are so fortunate. Whenever a team member leaves, we all take over and cover for them. We all get to disconnect and rejuvenate so we are able to give much more during our work hours.
What should our readers know about your business?
I and my husband Terry Saltzman are the team leaders of the L34 Group (Latitude 34), a real estate team focusing in on the Northeast Los Angeles area. We are located in Highland Park on N. Figueroa in the hub of it all, and serve the surrounding areas. We are a collaborative team of 10 (and counting). I think what really sets us apart, the feedback we continually receive, is that we are not “transactional.” We are a very high-touch, full service team. We get in there with our clients and the nitty-gritty of their lives. We are so fortunate to have built up the reputation that we have, as we get to work with so many referrals, and people that feel like they know us already, there is a trust that is there from the beginning. I began as a solo-agent about 20-21 years ago, and early on knew I preferred working as part of a team. Terry had moved to Los Angeles to join my daughter and I, and we started working together, butting heads until we began coaching with our wonderful mentor, Gary Reavis. Soon we began to get extremely busy, and I brought on talent, a woman I mentored, (who is still with us, 8 years later!) Shannon Reed. It grew from there. The most difficult thing for me to do was let go of control, you know that idea, know one is going to do it as well as I do, or care as much? That’s simply not true. There are people with a skill-set that you don’t necessarily have, that LOVE the details, LOVE supporting, Once I got that, I nervously hired our first admin, and never looked back. Our business grew once we had the right person in that position-WOW, what a game changer. Our current admin, Catherine Stephens, we call our “unicorn.” She is absolutely amazing with our clientele and all the details, so I am able to focus on counseling, and contract negotiations. Most of our team is now trained to take on listings and do it in the very caring, empathetic, strategic manner that we are known for.
There have been growing pains along the way, but really have such a system down and we are surrounded by such talent we count our blessings daily. We have remained coachable, and whenever Terry and I need, we seek out smarter people than us to guide us to the next indicated step. We are dreamers and encourage our team to continue to co-create their lives, and reach for whatever it is that makes them happy. Gratitude is our number one discussion at our team meetings, then we move on to the business of real estate. We are grateful we all get to do what we love, with people we love, in the community we love.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my bestie was visiting from out of town, we’d start with some of the best coffee in the area at Abloc on York, hang out for a spell and maybe have a quick nosh outside people watching for a sec. She is a designer from the Bay Area, so we’d dip into the vintage and retail stores between N Ave 50 and N Ave 52. After, depending on the time of year, we’d hop in the car and drive to Pipe’s Canyon for the weekend, bouldering, and hiking, later we’d go eat and listen to music at Pappy n Harriet’s. If it were summer…well that’s our jam, same scenario for coffee, then head to San Diego where Terry and I are from, and our family still lives. We’d take our ole Lab to the Dog. Beach for the day, later meander through Balboa Park. Now…if it were Terry and I, we’d bring our bicycles to San Diego and ride miles and miles along the coast. If it were winter, we’d bring our motorcycles to the desert and ride for miles, maybe packing for overnight camping.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shout out to Gary Reavis, who mentored Terry and I for years! Without his support, early on, would never have a team, and we would have likely been divorced, long ago. Early on in our partnership, when there was a power struggle, Gary looked at us and said to me, “Why do you want him to do just what you do? Why not let Terry be the wind in your sails and support what you do best?” The lightbulb went on, and our business partnership became more and more defined, I was the negotiator, Terry does everything else (now with a lot of help from our amazing coordinator!). We both coach our team. Gary has been such an instrumental part of our success and lives together that he married us years ago. We expedited our marriage as my mother was passing, and we wanted her to see us get married before she died. This is the kind of person Gary is…we told him on a Monday, and he was licensed as a minister and had tickets to meet us the very next weekend to marry us on Hanalei Bay with a few dear friends. Also, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, summarized Toltec wisdom getting past our limiting beliefs. I review this often, and do my best 🙂
image #2 Photographer, Mariss Alves