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Jean Taylor Burgdorff
IT'S NOT THE MONEY:
How I Built A $2 Billion Real Estate Business Based On The Golden Rule

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" I absolutely fell in love with the real estate business. I mean, I had loved teaching, but this--this was bliss. Like the first time a young couple, one on each side of me, took hold of me and said, "How did you ever find this house for us?" The highs were so high. It was so exciting, it was so thrilling, and it was so satisfying." --Jean Burgdorff

Jean and Doug Burgdorff started Burgdorff Realtors® in 1958 in Murray Hill, New Jersey, and it grew to over 30 offices and $2 billion in sales as well as becoming the #1 ERA franchise in the world. Jean continued to build the business after Doug's passing in the 1970s and sold it twice, once in 1986 and again in 1996 after re-purchase in 1991. In addition Jean co-purchased and continues as vice-president of another multi-office ERA Showcase Properties franchise in Florida. In this biography, she also explains the how and why of recruiting and retaining real estate salespeople who become loyal over the long term. 154 pages. Paperback 6x9.
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Contents
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Preface
Introduction
Big-picture
Nice neighbors
Schooling…and Education
Doug Burgdorff
Baby boys, and a business is born
Expansion, disaster, rebound
Training + bonding make the difference
Ambitious?
The Golden Rule: more than a tool
Corporate identity breakthrough
The First Woman
Real estate industry consolidation
Son Peter's Homecoming
Sale…buyback…resale
Doing well by doing good
Burgdorff ERA Named #1 Company Franchise
What works
Be careful what you wish for

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PREFACE
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Having some visibility in my industry, my region, and my other worlds, I'm asked for a lot of things-mainly funding! But also endorsements, speeches, jobs, tips. I enjoy responding, cultivating lives and enterprise. Also over the past several years I've often been asked, "Why don't you write a book?" When three grand-children, Katie, Laurie, and Matthew, graduated from college in the same year, I had made a book for each of them with my favorite quotations, poems, and inspiration gathered over the years. When a colleague heard me, in a speech, refer to the book, she requested, "Couldn't you put together such a book for those of us who don't have grandchildren? Do one for us?" I've been in no rush, especially since it seems fashionable today for anyone with five minutes of fame to offer memoirs-even people at mid-life.

Though you'll soon see the sentimental aspect of this book, my great hope is that you will find it to be motivating. The world does need--as have I through eight decades--books of instruction and inspiration. A lot of parents and grandparents pass through without setting down lessons learned, wisdom received, ignorance enlightened. So I'm flattered to have been urged to record such things, and have enjoyed doing it. But you'll see from the many quotations included that I've had some splendid teachers-evidence of the abundance referred to in this book's title.

I tend toward the motivational because the world, understandably, always wants to know the "Secret of Success." Of course, it's hidden in plain sight: One has to be motivated. What moves you: Gold? Or the Golden Rule? Maybe your choice will relate to what has moved me in serving and teaching, and I hope you'll enjoy and profit from my story.
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INTRODUCTION
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This book includes some select thoughts on success, and, of course, the world offers thousands of recipes for it. Many prescriptions are very goal oriented, and maybe that works for some people. But not for me--I never set out with real estate as a career goal, nor with a monetary target of building a company toward $2 billion in sales, beginning in my rec-room.

Maybe you can see patterns in my experience in the pages you've read. You might ask: "Jean's life has been abundant--but how about luck?" My answer is in the truism: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. And my main preparation has been (and is) the Golden Rule. That's the pattern.

I think the Golden Rule demands trust, and trust is very difficult to define, but you always know when you have it. My trust has always been in God--Love, Truth, Principle-that's something I really know.

In my life in real estate, I have trusted God for everything. Absolutely everything. And when I speak of trust in God, I mean trust in truth, and honesty, and integrity; trust in love through compassion and unselfishness; trust in the divine Mind as the source of all intelligence.

Others have put forth useful corollaries to the Golden Rule better than I could have, so I hope you have enjoyed what I collected, alongside the experiences which show the pattern. And I'm not done yet!

If I had to put it on the back-of-my-business card, here's what's been useful to me as Life Laws:

Going the extra mile,
Never giving up,
Always grateful and expressing it, and above all,
The Golden Rule.


It's a little hard to write a book about a successful life and be humble. But I feel success comes from a willingness to turn to a higher source in a childlike way. I hope some of my experiences at least illustrate that these precepts work, and can for anybody.

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