Two hundred and fifty.

That’s how many leads I had to call that day. Good problem to have, right?

Wrong. Before I tell you why, let me set the stage.

My husband Yves and I had started a real estate business together, and business was good.

I was hunkered down in my dungeon of an office (the window was blocked by a huge billboard), the fluorescent lights overhead buzzing away.

I had three computer monitors running at the same time, tracking leads from my CRM and going through my calendar and emails like a day trader. My phone headset felt fused to my head as my day had been nothing but cold-calling cold lead after lead.

You can imagine how often I was hung up on. People yelled at me. They even swore. Sure, sometimes, I was lucky enough to book an actual appointment, but they were few and far between. My poor success rate didn’t stop me, though. In fact, it made me even more focused and determined to call every lead on that list. Before I knew it, I had forgotten to eat lunch. There was nothing but coffee in my veins. 

One of the leads who didn’t hang up said they were at work and asked if I could call them back at seven that evening. I checked my calendar, and that’s when my heart dropped into my stomach.

Yves and I had a date night scheduled for seven. I had totally forgotten.

Instead of saying no right away, I told myself, Maybe I can swing the call. We’d just get to dinner a little later than planned. Then that other voice in my head—the angel—told me, No! You can have boundaries. That voice was louder—but only a bit.

“I’m sorry, but I’m not available at seven,” I said. “Can I call you back tomorrow?”

I heard the response I expected: “I don’t know. I’ll get back to you.”

There was no doubt that I’d lost them. But I’d drawn a line in the sand for myself, and it felt good.

Sort of.

After we hung up, I sent a text to Yves, whose office was just down the hall from mine. I asked him if he’d made a reservation for our date night (as if I’d never forgotten about it). He said yes, and that he was so excited to get to spend some “real” time with me. 

But our date was not the most important thing on my calendar. Not only that, but even when I remembered the date, I wasn’t excited like Yves was.

Our main course came, and we dove in. Of course, because we were eating, we didn’t talk as much. Then it happened—a different kind of buzz on my watch. Not a message. A phone call. 

Without thinking, I spit my mouthful of spaghetti into my cloth napkin. Then I picked up my phone and, with no explanation, walked out of the restaurant without even a look back at Yves.

Outside, I answered the call—a completely useless lead. They weren’t interested in an appointment at all. 

I stepped back into the restaurant, and before Yves could see me, I watched him. He looked miserable, as though someone had punched him in the gut. The man who had stood beside me, who had tolerated my lack of focus and presence in our relationship with kindness and a smile, sat there alone. On our date night. 

Oh my God. What did I do?

When I came back to the table, Yves had completely pulled back. Who could blame him? In the middle of a heart-to-heart about our future, I had walked out. Ashamed, I sat back down, facing his disappointment and a napkin full of disgusting chewed-up spaghetti. 

And just like that, a switch flipped.

I knew that I needed to make a change. I became obsessed with running my business like a business and doing things that were sustainable and scalable.

It took a lot of time, effort, and care, but it worked. I built a 7-figure team with automated and scalable systems. We knew exactly how to get from one level of income to another.

And we were able to go on vacation.

In 2017, we were on vacation in Hawaii, and I had another powerful flip of the switch. “I don’t want to sell real estate anymore. It doesn’t feel right,” I say through  tears.

“I want to do something else, but I don’t know what.”

My poor husband! We have this hard-earned successful business, and suddenly I’m saying I don’t want it.


But inside, I could feel a genuine inner knowing that I was meant to do something else that would utilize my gifts and talents more.

Yves was wonderful. He said, “Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out.”

It wouldn’t take long.

We left Hawaii, and one day, Yves points out, “Jess, the happiest you’ve ever been is when other agents knock on your door and say, ‘Hey, can you help me?’”

It was kind of a “holy shit!” moment because it was so true. Whenever I helped other agents improve their business,
I felt my very best. 

This realization started the wheels turning.

Yves and I knew so many struggling agents, and we knew we could show them how to thrive. Suddenly it felt perfect – we had this gift that we had to give! I had a vision of a real estate coaching/consulting business that would give me back my passion!

That’s when The Listings Lab was born.

Today, we’re a family of 15, and we have over 2,000 clients. We’ve helped people go from chasing to attracting, a completely different way of running businesses.

Everything that we do is about consistency, sustainability, and unlimited scalability because we want people to “Work to Live” instead of Live to Work.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m grateful for the hardship I suffered when I was 27.

Being abused by someone is never good, but after I got out of that situation, I found a fire in myself and became very clear on what I wanted, where I was going, and what wouldn’t be acceptable in my life. These are great powers within me that afford me the life I love. And through The Listings Lab, I get to share my greatest gifts with others.

If you’re ready to build a scalable, sustainable real estate business, book your call below to talk to our team about how we can help