Do Over? Or The Next Logical Step!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Napa Consultants

www.napaconsultants.com

By our 20th year in commercial real estate, the Internet was taking shape. We had been first adopters of technology. We were one the first companies in Los Angeles to have computers and a CRM system that we used. We saw the future and the evolving promise of the Internet.

 

Along with a friend who was finishing his PhD at UCLA’s prestigious Anderson School of Business, we started researching everything regarding this new media. We immersed ourselves in the subject, we listened to lectures, talked to people who were doing start ups, websites and writing code. We decided to have weekly meetings and discuss how we could apply what we learned to a business we would all love to be part of.

 

When we came up with an idea that was a “Hell, Yes!” for all three of us, we were advised to talk to an attorney. Our attorneys loved the idea and wanted to be investors in the project. They recommended that we write a business method patent. The patent writing process is an arduous one. You have to prove that every word of your idea is original, and it does not resemble any prior art.

 

In the meantime, we also decided to wind down our commercial real estate practice and make the move out of Los Angeles. We sold our house and moved to the Napa Valley. Most of our days were spent in writing and research, and on Fridays we would go wine tasting. Our attorney was tough as nails. He would often send back our work with the statement, “you have nothing new, here!” And all of us would go back to the drawing board.  It took 2 years to write and 5 years to actually get the patent.

 

In the process we became experts in branding and Internet marketing, which we immediately applied to the luxury real estate industry. We were hired by a Napa Valley real estate firm to create a luxury real estate brand and leverage our knowledge of lead generation via the Internet. This ultimately resulted in our client selling her company three years later. The high six figure valuation was based on the business that was generated by the website we built and the reputation of the brand we helped establish in the marketplace.

 

For us this adventure was the next logical step in our evolution. And the Hell, Yes, evolved into another business we love.

 

This post is an entry in Grant Schneider's Active Rain Contest: Who Says, There are no do overs?

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Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International specializes in the art of local niche marketing in affluent communities and they are the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  Working exclusively with entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership, they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

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Rainmaker
480,755
Kathryn Acciari
RE/MAX Professional Associates, with offices in Sturbridge, Charlton, Auburn, Spencer, and Shrewsbury - Sturbridge, MA
RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA

An inspiring evolution! The journey often takes us off course and leads us to a better destination. Great story.

Dec 13, 2016 05:54 PM #16
Ambassador
930,248
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I loved reading this. You decided on the life you wanted to live and used a business pla among other things to back it up. Van Gogh said he dreamed the painting and then painted the dream, and you followed his dicates.

Dec 13, 2016 06:23 PM #17
Ambassador
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Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Very impressive and very forward thinking at a time when we all would hear that phone dial-up tome to get connected to the Internet.  Prodigy had a different meaning.

Dec 13, 2016 06:47 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,141,891
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Ron and Alexandra Seigel - Thanks so much for your entry. That is an impressive story of three serial entrepreneurs.

Dec 13, 2016 08:13 PM #19
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Ed Silva that dial up system made us insane.  We had to have a sattelite dish installed in Napa, as we were part of that last mile that they would eventually get to.  A

Dec 13, 2016 09:10 PM #20
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Joe Pryor thank you for your kind words, and your inspirational story about Van Gogh.  I had no idea, and I am going to read up on him further.  I have seen some of his works in person, and now I am inspired by that quote.  A

Dec 13, 2016 09:12 PM #21
Rainmaker
2,204,651
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Alexandra & Ron I think of you two as the Queen & King of Re-Do's you manage always to grind and find your way back to the top more than once or twice that I know of, Endre

Dec 13, 2016 10:45 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,975,337
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning A.  While I stay focused waiting 7 years to get something accomplished is way beyond me.  That young lady is what I call total dedication.

Dec 14, 2016 03:07 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,422,641
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such amazing people!  I feel so lucky that I got to meet you and spend time with you both!

Dec 14, 2016 05:11 AM #24
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Grant Schneider our partner and close friend in the venture is now a professor at the Anderson Business School at UCLA.  He is also active in executive coaching and is considered one of the top executive coaches in the US.  His client list includes Cisco, Nike, and other Fortune 500 companies, he has also worked with NASA and the Air Force.  He has written four books on the topics of management, motivation, etc.  He also is part of our weekly Mastermind.  

So serial entrepreneurs are great friends also.  And at the present we are doing our own ventures.  A

Dec 14, 2016 06:46 AM #25
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Endre Barath, Jr.  Stephen Covey said, "Begin with the end in mind"  which is being where you went to be.  It has never been a grind, it has been an interesting journey with interesting folks we have met along the way..  A

Dec 14, 2016 06:49 AM #26
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

James Dray it is easy!  It is who we are.  As Stephen Covey said,

"All things are created twice, first mentally: the physically.  The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind , with a vision and a blue print of the desired result."  I am sure you have done that in your own special way.  A

Dec 14, 2016 06:51 AM #27
Rainmaker
404,371
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Amazing story of true dedication and hard work. Very motivating story, Ron and Alexandra Seigel

Dec 14, 2016 08:08 AM #28
Ambassador
2,747,763
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Ron and Alexandra- what I love about this is that you jumped in early but only after doing the kind of research that many don't do!  

Dec 14, 2016 08:56 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,166,045
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Ron and Alexandra, your patience and brilliance paid off. I consider myself lucky to be on the same platform(ActiveRain) where you share so much of knowledge with us. Thank you both!

Dec 14, 2016 01:00 PM #30
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Beth Atalay Thank you, and I am glad you are on this platform.  I appreciate your posts and life affirming thoughts.  A

Dec 14, 2016 01:45 PM #31
Rainer
96,321
Carol Wilson
Your $imple Home - Toronto, ON

I have a lot of respect for your self-respect, Alexandra.  Doing the research is what most would skip...and most don't have your success, either.  You earned every bit of it.  Thank you for sharing your story.  I have wondered how you got into your line of work.  Life can be quite the mosaic, can't it?

Dec 14, 2016 08:26 PM #32
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Carol Wilson for us life is a mosaic and we both like it that way.  In commercial real estate one of our specialties was high end retail and we often found tenants in Europe for our listings, and we worked with high rise and retail center owners who were well versed in what brands they wanted and why.  So it has been an exciting journey, and I love the term mosaic.  Thank you for your kind words.  A

Dec 14, 2016 09:08 PM #33
Rainmaker
589,746
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Alexandra

I realize that Ron wrote this entry, but you are responding to the comments.

I find your story very intriguing. To move from Beverly Hills to the wilds of Napa-Sonoma just for the love of wine is a major move.

If I thought that I could afford your service I would be first in line to "hire" you.

And I am looking forward to coming to Santa Barbara to meet you and Ron at your favorite Mexican Restaurant.

Until then...

Bill Roberts

 

 

 

Dec 30, 2016 02:25 PM #34
Rainmaker
2,986,916
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Bill Roberts actually I was the one who wrote it.  Ron did a tiny bit of editing on this post! We moved because the city was getting more and more crowded, the traffic unbearable, and it was time for a new adventure.

I am looking forward to meeting you one of these days soon!  All the very best ot you and yours in the new year.  A

Dec 30, 2016 03:09 PM #35
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