Gail Johnson – Restaino & Associates Realty

It can be tough deciding where to live.  Typically, many people have been ruled by where they have roots currently, where the good schools are for their children and where they work.  Many places offer great jobs and schools.  But what about life outside of those commitments?  Can you choose a place to live based on the quality of live at that location?
Listen as Gail Johnson, Corporate Relocation Manager and Concierge Director with Restaino & Associates Realtors tells us the things to look for and be aware of when choosing the place you want to live.

Authentic Business Adventures Podcast


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My name is James Kademan entrepreneur,

author, speaker and helpful coach to small
business owners across the country.

And today we are welcoming/preparing

to learn from Gail Johnson,
the corporate relocation specialist

and concierge’s director
of Restaino and Associates.

Gail, how are you doing today?

Hi, welcome.

Thank you for

the opportunity, James, to talk with you today.


right, right.

This is going to be fun because I’ve
known you for oh my gosh, a long time.

And you’ve been doing
this for a long time.

Well, I’ve been in Madison for 17 years.

I moved here from the northeast corner of

Iowa, and got to know a lot
of people.

Yeah, very cool.

So what is a corporate
relocation specialist?

So my role at Restaino and Associates is
for over the last 30 years,

they’ve added a value program and it’s
the illegal relocation division.

And ultimately what we do
is we take off the plate.

Well, I like living in Madison.

And we do that by offering no fee.

So it’s added value.

And so there’s a team of the three

dedicated professionals with over
30 years of experience.

And we ultimately will email,

learn a little bit about their criteria,
what are their interests, their needs.

Have they ever been here before?

We’ll set up a tour.

We will introduce them to schools
and faculty and provide information.

If school is important for their family,

if they have a significant other that is
moving here and doesn’t have a job,

then we will
take their resume and work with them

and put them into our network
making introductions.

I would say that’s one of the fun things

that kind of evolved here about the last
five years of work that I built,

being able to connect people
that are looking for a job.

And then we also on our team, Mickey,
will help people find rental.

And so she’s very well connected

to the rental market, whether that’s
a rental home or an apartment

fit to their criteria.

And then if they want to purchase a home,

then we match them,
introduce them to a Restaino Realtor

that most knowledgeable,
knowledgeable in the type of home

that they’re looking for, whether
that’s a condo, lakefront property.

They want to be downtown.

They want to live rural.

So it’s it’s

it’s an awesome fulfilling position

that gives you the opportunity to impact
people in the most difficult time when

one, they’re starting a new job,
you’re moving to a new city

and there’s a lot of steps
to the transition that we help them

through and help them settle
in to call Madison home.

That’s interesting.

So it sounds like you’re essentially
covering two major areas,

one for employers and they’re
trying to get talent.

And it’s essentially your job to convince
them that Madison is a cool place.

Madison’s a pretty cool place.

And the people that have already decided
you’re trying to help them

find the home and then just get the things
laid out that have to be laid out when you

move. Right, especially, you know,
there’s there’s multiple levels of it.

So even when they’re candidates

and they’re maybe
entertaining to different towns,

what does Madison have to offer not just
for a job perspective,

but what are they have where I’m going
to live for my family and perhaps retire?

So you’re talking about restaurants, food,

entertainment, parks, stuff for the kids
to do, schools, all that jazz. Right.

And so depending on the different age
group that they are, if they’re coming in,

they may want to know about the craft
beers and the downtown scene.

And some may want to know about

the Overture Center and the farmer’s
markets and the different grocery stores

that we offer and the green
spaces that we have.

Medicine has been recognized
over the years for being the food city,

the walkable area, the biking friendly,
the place ranked for the fittest city.

So we try to provide all those different

accolades to them and then point out all
the different state parks and biking

trails and so forth to introduce
them that they may not know.

We have never, ever been here before.
That’s cool.

It’s very cool.

I’m going to ask you the question
that is always looming over my head.

When you talk about what you do,

how do you convince people
in January to move here?

Yeah, OK.

Well, that’s a good question.

So one really we don’t try
to persuade or convince.

So I guess our role really is,
you know, we’re in the Midwest and we’re

four seasons and there’s
plenty to do in four seasons.

So in January,
if you want a snow shoe, which I enjoy,

there’s snowshoeing, there’s downhill
skiing, there’s ice fishing, there’s

the outdoors.

You can go visit the Olbrich Gardens,
has the planetarium inside,

and then hopefully if things keep opening

up there, there’s the Overture Center
and so many places that you can go

and be dining, theater,
the arts, children’s museum for kids,

the trampoline park.

So there is we know there’s there’s things

to do here in four seasons where in some
areas where you’re at and you don’t get

the luxury of having fall,
spring, summer and winter.

Very interesting way to look at it.

I keep thinking, man, I want to move.

So if there’s just something warmer.

But, you know, it’s interesting.

I was running this morning and I saw
the sunrise, which is magnificent.

I’m like, we got some pretty cool sunrises

here that I mean, other places
have beautiful sunrises.

But I don’t know, in Wisconsin,

maybe it’s just
because that diversity in the seasons that

every every day is different and super
cool or most of the time is super cool.

And those those things I mean,

when people have an idea what medicine has
to offer, when we start talking about

the biking trails that we have,
Devil’s Lake, the state parks,

the walking trails, the the unique
coffee shops that are around the corner,

there is a lot of splash parks,

You know, there’s so much more than they

realize, we use destination medicine quite
often, so Edison does a great job with

constantly filling it up with yours,
things to do, single family couples.

And so we try to just provide all those
links and videos and websites to people.

So they give it a good
feel about what we have.


So are the individuals coming to you or is
it the companies that are trying to hire

these individuals
or who more or less reached out to you

and says, hey, Gail,
take these people around?


So my role is to reach out to H.R.

companies that are hiring talent, whether
that’s in the health care biotech.

I could be mortgage lenders
with First-Time Homebuyers.

It could be sitting at a networking event.

The librarian next to me says,
hey, I want to purchase a home.

Can you help me find a Realtor
that could sign on for me?

Although I think it could be my neighbors

down the street saying, hey,
my son’s looking or we’re going to sell.

So it really can be any transition

of a home sale, whether
you’re selling or buying.

But ultimately,
it can be someone that the candidate

exploring a move here
could be someone that already accepted

position and now they’re
relocating in their family.

And so we take a look
at everyone that’s coming here.

So not just the candidate that’s going

to be in this job, but how does the
significant other and their children,

so they might be interested in sports
and clubs, then

someone else might be interested
in their church or volunteering.

And so we try to we try to help everyone

in the family unit, unlike when
I was younger back in the day.

I mean, it was where you would
just learn we’re moving,

And you’re going.

But now we

know it’s the family unit.

And so the kids come.

And sometimes our focus is even just

trying to help the kids, whatever age they
are, and trying to see them living here.

Because you want the whole
family happy, right?

Yeah, that’s easier said than done.

It’s funny you talk about
back in the day with moving.

We were fairly nomadic when I was a kid
every five years or something like that.

Just jobs change, businesses changed
hands and all that kind of stuff.

And it was interesting how
just all of a sudden one day you’re like,

that’s we’re moving to this town,
new town and hope you like it.

I’ll be like your neighbors.

Try to just explore and figure it out.

Sometimes it was small town,

sometimes those bigger cities
and just figured out it’s tough.

It’s challenging because
had no idea where to start.

And it was pre Internet.

So there were, you know, to look right.

And even just walking into a new school,
depending on what age you are

and even just trying to find a school.

You know, so many times people it
could be a deciding factor for people.

So if they’re coming here and they have

a special needs child,
they want to know everything about what we

have or resources
or if there is a school and their kids

have been taking classes and by biotech
or they’re really into a language or

the arts or music, they want
to know about these schools.

Now, sometimes we’ll get a dad that’s

really into football and they want
to know about the football team.

So I mean, that’s where we
customize it to everyone.

What is important to you?

What are your interests and needs
and how can we make those connections?

Very cool.
Very cool.

So let’s downshift a little
into what you have going on.

How did you end up in this position?

So Restaino I when we moved here,
I used we we sold newspapers

in the northeast corner of Iowa,
moved here, and I used to sell advertising

over at Restaino and Associates,
a newspaper print.

Oh, wow.

And I remember saying to me,
you’d be a good Realtor.

And I’m like, I don’t even know this area

first thing about real estate.

But over the years, he had purchased ads.

I was in newspaper and magazine and then

television and got
to know different people

at the real estate office.

And I liked what they were about.


one day the position came open and I

interviewed for it and eleven
years later I’m enjoying the ride.

So, yeah.
Eleven years.

Eleven years.
That is impressive.

That’s extremely impressive because
we’re hiring and I’m seeing resumes.

People are putting jobs down that they’ve
been out for less than a week.


we’ve seen people that have
been in jobs for a long time.

There’s just I don’t
think it’s the groove.

There’s a loyalty there
and presumably they like what they do.

So it’s super awesome.

Yeah, well, I think, you know,

the thing that aligns with me is,
you know, when you’re when you’re picking

a career that you want,
you know, first know what your beliefs

and your values are and what
do you really enjoy.

And I really liked when he said
you’re out in front of people.

And I really liked how I could impact
people because I had relocated here.

I would have loved to have had people
directing me and schools where to live.

I would have loved to know

what the city had to offer because
I had to unpack that by myself.

And it was many trips here
visiting and coming back.

And and so

I like the fact that I
get to work with people.

I am a person that likes
to work with people.

I’m curious about people
and their stories or experiences.

How did they get to where they are today?

And, you know, with this job, as I hear,
people are like, hey,

they just hired a new for instance,
a director and she’s moving

in from wherever she is and then become
the FBI agent trying to find them.

And so then I’m emailing and figuring
out and then I tell them what I do.

And the response back is like.

Oh, my goodness, this is you have just

taken so much stress off of me, right,
because we don’t know the first thing

where to even begin
and that just feels so good.

And then you really help them through
every step of the way and to settling in.

We even have a settling in program so

that they can get to know the community
because they’re in there working.

And if you’re here, you better we want you
to know, hey, there’s a farmer’s market.

There’s our in the square,
there’s concerts on the square.

There’s, you know, so we’re kind of like,

oh, you told us when you
moved here, you love hockey.

The Badgers are starting to play.

And so we fill them in.

And here’s what’s going on.

And they’re like, thank you.

We’re some packing boxes
and we want to get out,

That’s cool.


So I’m going to say I’m in a lot of real
estate agents, but I’ve never come across

a company doing essentially well
Restaino is doing in this regard.

So is this a new thing or is this
specific to you guys or

I guess just tell me about that,
because I don’t I’ve never met anyone

that is really doing this whole
corporate relocation thing.

Well, I don’t think it takes a commitment.

And I will say.

It’s really supported this division
to make it happen because.

Like, he allows me to attend the greater
medicine chamber, the downtown medicine,

you know, the different Chamber
of Commerce, says an and investors quite

a bit for me to be networked
within that network.

You know the game, Sherman.

I mean, there’s so many, as you well know
well, places the network in Madison.

And to be able to build
that network of trusted partners.

And and you do that by helping them,
which they want to help you.

And when I have someone that comes

in with a need, I have this
great network to reach out to.

And that doesn’t come on your own.

That comes to the support of our broker.


And the training that goes
on and the family that’s built within our

organization, I mean,
we’re there to support one another.

So also, I’m the concierge director.

And what that means is,

you know, over the years
we would have someone like I need a VA

loan or I need a physician’s loan or
who do you recommend for a mover?

And I’m like, I don’t know,
what do we recommend?

So in this network, again,
I reach out between our realtors

and the network like
we have built up probably seventy seven

different categories of core painters
who are movers, who are Restaino.


Who can power wash someone’s house,
who could put on a screen porch,

who can go do mold remediation,
who is the electrician.

And we can provide all that.

Very cool and so and especially for people
that relocate in,

they don’t have a network, no,
but when they come here,

they could clean my house or
paint these walls, you know, who can make

our touches into this house and you
become this trusted voice for them.

And so that’s been fun to compile this
list of our professional

certified licensed professional
providers in the Dade County area

that ultimately have the last touch
a lot of times to our clients.

That’s super cool.

That is interesting.

You say that because this sounds like

after the sale is done of them buying
a house, whatever, they get settled,

you guys may still be on their
speed dial in case they need someone.


I mean, we’re there to not
only if they relocate in

to be there so that they get acclimated
into the community and or should they need

a service provider, they absolutely
we stay in contact with them.

Like, if you need someone,
here’s where you can go and look.

And there are times when somebody might be

settled into a place and their
family hasn’t come here yet.

It might say to you, look,
I’m I’m struggling because I’m alone

or I don’t or their or their family,
let’s say, in another state.

And they’re coming in or they’re like.

He will not know what for us to do.

Could you help us come up with what we
should do when we come in this weekend?

So it’s fun to be on those

communications because, like, OK,
you’re coming in here when it’s all going

on, you just load it up and and,
you know, and then they’re happy.

That’s the name of the game,
a super ownership.

You had a great Segway
here about the network.

So you have a huge network.

And I guess I didn’t realize
that you weren’t from this area now.

So you came in here and I imagine there

weren’t a lot of people
from northeast Iowa hanging around.

Now, more or less build
your network from scratch.

So for most business owners or to be

business owners, having a network
is an incredible thing.

So can you tell us how you built
yours from scratch? Sure, I will.

And I will tell you a long time ago.

I remember when I was coming here,
someone said to me, Gail, the people here,

I’m I’m originally from Chicago,
the Chicago land area and Iowa, and

people that are here are no
different than people in Madison.

And all you have to do and I know this
sounds like Dale Carnegie and I have taken

the Dale Carnegie class, but you just have
to generally be interested in people.

And it’s not about me.

It’s you learn about them, you know,
and I’m a very curious person anyway.

So I like to know people’s stories.

I like to know their experiences.

And I have a great follow through.

So I may meet you, but I’m going to follow
up with you and I’m going to up with you

LinkedIn right now for today.

Anyone listening if you’re
not using the LinkedIn tool?

That tool has been phenomenal.

I had I didn’t have that when I first

but not only can you meet somebody
and then reconnect with them online, then

you can stay in touch with them and you
can see what they’re posting about and you

can comment on it and like it and share
it and maybe even engage in it.

Or maybe they know someone that you see

in their connections that you’d like
to know and you to get to know them

could say, hey, would you be interested
in making an introduction for me?

So I think getting involved, too.

When I first came here, I got involved
in nonprofits, OK, I wanted to give back.

And so even today, my mission is,
is this is a community that serves us.

We also want to give back our company
back in a lot of ways.

And myself, personally,
I like to be involved.

To help other people in what they’re

trying to do in impacting other people’s
lives and so

I think if you just put yourself out there
a little bit, ABC always be connecting.


And always,
you know, not about you,

even when you meet somebody and learn
about them and don’t regurgitate

everything about yourself,
because, honestly, we.

We don’t want to hear it.

All right, then first meet,
but you do want to hear who they are

and what brought them here,
what motivates them?

And then you see where you have
a connection and then work off of that.

Yeah, it’s interesting that you mention
that I had to learn

how to network just trial by fire,
because I guess I’m the same as you are.

I’m just really interested in people.

And I would go to a networking event
and not really have a sales pitch.

I just want to meet people is fun,
is so much fun.

And then eventually you find the financial
planners and stuff like that that they’re

trying to sell you life
insurance at the moment, like.


I was just kind of cool
knowing your story.

And, you know, the other thing, too,

is I’ve learned over the over time, as
have your business card on you totally.

Because you never know.

Like I was at a flower shop just the other
day and someone was talking about

I’m looking for someone
that can this or that.

And I was like, oh,
my gosh, I’m not going.

And I’m overhearing your section.

But I knew somebody that did
exactly what they were looking for.


We exchange cards
one time with in Home Depot and a lady

stood there and she said,
could you help me pick up carpet?

I’m very good at this.

And I’m like, I’m not very good at it
either, but I’ll give you my opinion.

And then later I’m like, well,
what are you buying perfect for?

She said, Well,
eventually I’m kind of sprucing up

my house because I’m going to sell it,
like I say.

So I mean, thank goodness that occurred
on me because she went a card on her.

And so I was able to give her my card.

But I did ask for her contact information

just to make sure that I could
definitely connect with her.

But it’s what you do after
you’re at networking.

I would think that really counts.

It’s going to networking events

and knowing why you’re there
and maybe looking ahead of time to see

who’s going there,
who do you want to know?

And then it’s the follow up.

It’s reaching back out to them and it

takes time for back up, go on LinkedIn,
learn a little bit more about them.

I found myself during covid
is taking the time.

I may have a connection with this person
and I know them about business and I do

a lot of work and transactional
things with them.

But I don’t know their family story.

I don’t even know them what
they’re interested in.

So I really took time this year, but
during covid to do two or three a week.

Hypothesizes, I just want to have coffee

over Zoom and get to know
just who you are.

Well, that’s cool, and I can’t tell you

how much I learned about
people and their story

that and it’s
to me there was a game changer.

That’s cool.

You know, it’s interesting you say that
because I was going through LinkedIn.

What was I looking for?

I figured I was looking for,
but I’m like, I got a huge network.

Someone’s got to be able to know
someone or something, whatever it was,

something to do with commercial
property, whatever it was.

I was just going through the list and I’m

like, I haven’t talked to this
person in three years.

I haven’t talked to this person
couple of years, whatever it was.

And so they’re just rabbit hole
evolved into me.

Just send in emails like,
hey, how’s it going?

Haven’t talked to you in a while.

Just checking to see
if is interesting how many people have

switched jobs or had started
a new something or other.

One guy phone started a whole new business

that was a 180 shift from what
he was doing before.

It was cool.

I would never like it
didn’t even dawn on me.


Trying to pursue my network to even
explore what do they have going on right

now and some of the things
that you do in that moment.

Means so much to the other person.
Mm hmm.

And the other thing that I learned over
the years that I would recommend is,

you know, it was not always easy,
but I literally and I don’t do it.

I write a card to someone every day.

What really?

Every day I actually paint.

And then I take the little
painting and I make them in the car.

So I have tons of cards.

Wow, that’s impressive.

If I don’t get it done every day,

I make sure by the end of the week
I may look nice.

But I do it generally because

I try to reach out and you may or mail
the card with a handwritten note,

because when we don’t do that very
often and when you get one.

I know I love receiving them totally.

And I try to make it.

You know what resonated with me
when we were in a conversation?

Mm hmm.

And again, it’s just another way
of showing that you care, right?

Yeah, that is impressive.

It’s interesting you say that because we
were when I moved my office this past

weekend, I came across a stack
of thank you cards and just whatever.

And I was trying to purge, but I could not
get myself to get rid of those things.

Good for you.

I felt so cheesy, like we’re moving a lot
of stuff, like we need to get rid of some

stuff, but I could not
get myself to do that.

I just like them.
Hung up on my desk was cool.

Is just a reminder about why
you’re doing what you’re doing.

Yeah, I’m glad you kept them because

there are times that I regret that I
didn’t there that sticks out to me.

So when I was at the newspaper office,

I wasn’t there very long and the post
office was close to my office.

And so I in the morning sometimes when I
would do whatever I was doing,

I would just zip over to the post
office, get a box there.

I’d get either the mail or whatever,
and I’d drop off whatever I was doing.

And this one lady,
I saw her on the way there.

Not nothing of it knowing me,

because I think this was more of my
mother’s I was just like, good morning.

You know, like little Miss Bubble, right?

I prize’s my coffee, whatever

andwhatever I said.

And then went back
to the office was working.

And later that day I came back
to the office, but actually was the next

day and there was this
receptionist that I contacted.

This lady dropped this note off for you
and she thinks that you work here.

And when she handed me the note I wrote it
and I’m like, oh, that was totally you.

And I’m like, OK.

So I read this little note and it said

how joyful you were just to say hello
and share your smile with me

when she was having a hard time, whatever
happened and that meant so much to her.


And I wish I would have saved
that because that was a small gesture.

Made an impression to her to even
write a note and try to find me.

And leave it at the.

That’s cool,

and that to me is
I think that’s one of the things

that sparked me to think
a little now goes a long way.

Mm hmm.

That’s interesting because that speaks
volumes about you,

but it also speaks volumes about
the rest of the world, right?

Yeah, I get when somebody smiles
and says hello that were like, whoa.

That’s right.
That’s very cool, very hurt.

How do you find the time to to him
write a note every single day?

That’s cool.
I don’t do it every day.

So I try I mean, there for a long time.
I did like it.

That’s how I ended my day.
Oh, very cool.

At the office.

My last thing I tried to do was stop
close everything up.

What am I going to be doing tomorrow
and then who today.

Do I want to write a note to.

And I ask that I keep a lot
of cards in my office, so

sometimes I don’t and I don’t like that I
don’t, I think it’s just something that I

like to do, although I won’t come
up to people like I know you.


Notes, I heard you write notes, and I
don’t think I ever got a note for you.

Oh, no.

You gotta be careful out there.

So but it’s a good way.

You know, I had someone give me this book.

A long time ago, and it was

the miracle morning, all right, and it is,
yeah, it’s a life changer.

Yeah, this book gives you and you
don’t have to do everything in it.

But this book kind of gives you a.

Recommendations on how to begin your day,
but then I ended up in time doing how

to begin my day, but then
also how to end my day.

So I closed the book end,

and it’s like starting your day
with you sleep for seven hours,

but you don’t drink water.

So I wake up in the morning and drink some

water and maybe do some
meditation or write.

What do you thankful for?

So I do my day of when am I thankful for?

And in my day with gratitude of my day.

So it’s kind of the bookend.

And then the book kind of just gives you

a little bit of a routine
that becomes habit.

And it’s such a good start
that I really miss it.

If something busses it up and,
you know, I don’t get to do some

of the things that I really
look forward to in the morning.

And then I recently read
the book Atomic Habits.

It was a book that American family or

American family Greenbank
had as a book club.

But I didn’t get to do the book
club with them virtually.

But I read the book and that’s
creating your environment.

So if you’re on a diet,

then have things like apples in front
of you or have things that you like water,

then have water all around
or lemons all around.

So it’s creating your environment.

In-line with the habits you want to create

or is clever,
a good book to go back to back with.

Yeah, that’s cool.

I’m going to add those I know I’ve heard
of atomic habits before

and I’ve read The Power of Habit, which is
a very good book to recommend to anybody.

Well, look, that’s cool.

Yeah, same on that book,

the power of habit was interesting because

it’s essentially talking about how
we will either consciously or

unconsciously create
rituals or create habits.

And it’s essentially pointing out that

you have a habit if you consciously decide
your life will go a certain direction.

If you don’t consciously decide, your life
will probably go a different direction.

But either way, we’re
just habitual beings.

So we’ll get in a routine.

And it’s essentially

pointing out the fact that you can decide
to make a habit

to turn it into a ritual rather than
it just kind of accidentally happen.


So which is interesting with with you

talking about the morning stuff and before
you walk away from work kind of thing,

that you have the bookends,
but that’s very I guess I hear stuff like

that from a lot of successful people,
but they’re very.

I’ll call it organized,

have it that they know this is kind
of triggering their mind, like

we’re turning it on and now we’re turning
it off and I think it really helps people.

Yeah, it probably it’s
a game changer, I think.

And, you know, when you say turning it

on and turning it off,
at least that’s just kind of segway,

to my mind, into learning to turn on,
like for me with work.

Prie covid, it was
leaving your home usually like seven seven

thirty to get to networking
and then your daily activities and then

maybe there’s a lunch client meeting or
a lunch meeting,

or then if your daily and then after work
there was networking, then you come home.

And then later before I go to bed,

I would be checking my email to make
sure I didn’t miss anything.

And then there’s the nonprofits you’re

involved with and you’re
answering things and.

I think I did that for many, many years

and it was really learning.

I lost.

Time in the calendar for myself, oh,

they’re totally fair
and so I think one of the things of wisdom

that I people say, if you had to change
something, what would you do?

I say, watch your calendar and know that.

No, with a complete sentence.

Oh, my goodness gracious.

I could talk for hours on that.

This little section in my book about

the power of knowing how it’s easy for
someone to ask you to do something right.

Do you want to be on this board?

You write it takes them
nothing to ask you.

But if you say yes, you just committed

hours, if not months
or years of your life.

Know, I was presenting to this group
and this woman is like, I can’t say no

if my boss or if somebody asked
me a question, I can’t say no.

Like, you got to say no.

Then you say yes.

So that when you say yes, you can actually
be there and be present.

There’s interesting conversation.

So mind blowing.

You know, it was funny.

I met with somebody.

They were a coach, and we were going over
like, who do you know?

Who do I know?

And we were sharing leads
and then we kind of closed down.

You’re going to have a drink
afterwards then and.

I said to them,
you know, if I sent you my calendar.

And I broke up not who it is or what it
is, but these are not these are

nonprofit hours, these are work hours,
these are not working hours.

You know, this is what my life looks like.

This is about three, four years ago.
All right.


come back with some recommendation on.

How do we get this little under control

self gun right now to what
you’re saying he came back with?

Do you know how many things you’re
involved in in volunteering?

Off the charts, he’s like,
you’re like almost 17 hours a week.

Yeah, yeah, at that time.

That’s I mean, I think
you feel like a little bit networking was

in there, too, when we
are breaking it down.

Like what?

But to your point.

You really a.

What do you really want to make an impact

on what you really want to be
involved in at that time?

I mean, there are so many things
that I wanted to do and be a part of.

And I have no regrets about it.

It’s just that at the time I lost sight of

of I think what happened to all my kids
who graduated and gone on to college.

Oh, yes.

Some time ago I was like, yeah,
I can do that.

Look at all this time.

And then all of a sudden I was like, wow,
I don’t I’m not finding time to exercise

or I like to go to yoga and I like
to paint or actually even haven’t

my friends there are calling me
late, you know.

And so my siblings are like, gosh, I don’t
see you are, you know, prepack.

And I was running here and there and
but anyway, getting my calendar under,

you know, being able
to make it manageable,

a little calmer.

That’s cool.

We are very good at building
a prison for ourselves.

Extremely good.

So it’s interesting.

To realize that because there’s probably

some people that have not
like they’re in the same boat where you

were four years ago and they
haven’t realized it.

It’s like where’s all the time going?

They’re spinning all of those plates
without maybe stepping back and saying.

Maybe we can get rid of those.

Right, right, and I did learn someone said

to me once, you know,
if you do step out of that game,

you’re actually opening up a spy
for someone else to learn and grow.

And that has really made
it easy for me to say.

I think my I’ve completed my time here

and now I’m going to help
someone else step into this.

As for

the soldiers here,

yeah, of it’s tough because I think, well,
any nonprofit would be lucky to have you.

But in the end,

if you are donating essentially so much
of your time that you can’t really,

really commit to any one of them,
you’re kind of spread out too thin

and it’s tough to really
complete what they want completed.

Yeah, although when I was down there,

I did make sure I did nice and I
just didn’t have time for myself.


And so then I look back and I go, OK,

when I had given him my calendar is like,
wow, you got to get this under control.

And so and then when people say to me,
why are you on Facebook?

Are you on Instagram, are you.
And I’m like, heck no.

Because I don’t know where
you find the time or time.

So I’m not I’m there.
I’m not on Twitter.

I’m not on Instagram.

I don’t do Facebook.

I don’t.

But I do like LinkedIn.

Yeah, LinkedIn is cool.

I do this.

Well, there’s less battles
there, so that’s cool,

that’s cool.

You talk about more about the concierge’s

director portion of the Restaino,
an associate said you do.

So, you know, over the years,

I had a marketing background
in advertising sales.

So that’s pretty much
what I spent a lot of time doing.

And I got to know a lot
of professionals through.

Helping them,
writing up their advertising,

their campaigns, and I I knew who they
were and what they were doing, and

and so through that,
some of them, I even reached out when I

was on and for the years
pulling together a list.

But ultimately, it’s really the realtors

are out there, too, and they know
who they’re using, who they recommend,

who does a nice job,
who provides the customer service

that we’re seeking,
who is a professional at it,

treat people like you want to be treated.

And so from that list,

you know, we always try to give
two or three recommendations

and we compile probably about 70,
80 different categories.


And then what we also try to do,

we didn’t during covid, but twice a year,
spring and fall,

we have a networking event and we try we
invite the concierge with our realtors.

You meet us, we meet you.

And just kind of we all
get to know one another.

Oh, very cool.

So it’s not just a number

or a company name or something like that,
you can actually place a face and.

It’s interesting because I mentioned
some stuff like that, if you’re talking.

Home improvement.

Generally speaking, stuff
that there when you have a face

or a connection,
a relationship with that person.

Inevitably, there’s going to be a problem
of some kind and you can get the the real

answer versus getting the
the canned or tap dancing answer

that sometimes you have to deal
with with remodelers and stuff like that.

For instance, we had

H.R. director coming from Chicago.

This has been a few years ago.

And he called me on a Saturday and said

their truck broke down and I don’t have
a window because I work on Monday.

Can you help me?
And I’m sure.

So I called up.

I knew who was call them up and
I wondered if I’d hear from you.

That’s awesome.

And so I’m like, what’s what’s going on?

And I’m like, we already
have someone in row.

We already got another truck coming.

Or maybe going to bump two
hours, maybe three hours.

Please, I hope we can stand your country.

She was all worried about that,

and I said it’s not the problem,
it’s how you react to a problem.

And usually you handled it.

And so I called them back and told them
and he said, just got off the phone

with her before you called me
and and everything was smooth.

So it’s really nice when you do know them.

You don’t you know,
you’re able to call them and say,

you know, he’ll get to find out what’s
going on and no answer, you know.

Yeah, that’s interesting because
you have that relationship.

And it’s interesting because then you guys

have some poll where you can just say,
like, solve the problem.

Well, they were on it already, right?

She was on it, and, you know,

I think that that’s the benefit
of when you do get network,

you have all these different
people that you can tap into.

But then when you dove in and get to know

them a little bit more and they know you,
there’s a lot of loyalty there.

Totally fair.

Yeah, this is definitely well,

arguably any business is a relationship
business and you can just get so much more

done when people know you or know who you
are, even if it’s not crazy in depth.

But you’re not just some random person.

I call them out of the blue.
All right.

It was funny during covid,
I was right up the say.

I think I think with March,
maybe April, but I think it was March and

coast space coast space where
you can rent office space.

Oh, yeah, we’re still open.

And she said, hey, I’ve got these two guys

in here from Iowa and they’re
wanting to open up another.

Office space here in Madison,
because they have a couple of clients

and they want to see if they can grow it,
but they cannot figure out

like rental or home finding or like
schools when they’re driving all around.

And I was like.

I’m going to I’m going to give you Gayle’s

number and she can get
you through all of that.

So they called me up and I said, OK,

we can meet outside on our
company patio and met with them.

Long story short,

not only that, I help them load them up
on what medicine has to offer,

that they took back to their
owners to get to come here.

They ended up opening an office.

They both moved here once in Toronto.

The other one,
we’re helping him find a home currently.

And his wife was looking for a career

in the sciences field
where I contacted our recruiter,

gave him the resume,
those to connect that.

And she got a job there.


Is that not just fulfilling or,
you know, super cool?

And then right now we’re helping them.

Like, here’s where the schools are
that you’re interested

in and the proximity to where you were
going to work here as a community.

And then I will try to bring them so they

can get a feel of here’s what these homes
are in the proximity of work and proximity

to your school,
no matter your little angel for them.

So that was fun.

That’s cool.

That’s super cool,I guess.

What is your favorite part
of doing what you do?

You know, so many things are fun, I mean,

you know, I’m in this one networking
group where one lady relocated in.

She was a top executive and I introduced
her to this woman executive group and.

Three years ago, she was the president
of the organization and wow.

Yeah, and so she’s like how I found out

about this group was meeting,
relocated me in

and that feels good.

Like, you see how they prospered here
is you can help them find their way.

Another experience, what I remember about
five years ago, Jamie Pollachi,

the owner of Chick fil A,
was moving here and we helped him.

And he’s like,
can you help me meet people?

Like, we really want to get
engaged in the nonprofit world.

What do you recommend?

And so I would meet with him and go like,
here’s the thing that and and it just kind

of helped him fast track getting to know
people now with the Salvation Army.

I think he’s involved in all
these different places.

And I see him there.
And it’s nice to know

that at the beginning when he was here,
you got to help them,

you know, guide them through what they
to try to figure it out on their own.

Yeah, it’s really fast tracking you,
getting stuff done rather than

just them piecemealing stuff or
apprehensively looking, I suppose.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

What is your favorite thing about Madison?

For me, with the Four Seasons outdoors

I love trails, walking, snowshoeing,


So I really and I love the farmers
markets, like the coffee shop.

Yeah, I enjoy all of that.

That’s cool.

What’s it all about?

You all along.

State Street is always cool.

I really liked Madison when we first came

here, we’ve been here twenty one years
and I liked that there were kind

of touristy things you could take people
that were visiting you two

that were still interesting
for me as a tour guide, so to speak.

Like the Capitol is always cool,

Ella’s deli was cool,
little stuff like that,

but the bike trails,
we just recently got into a mountain

like aggressive, maybe not psycho mountain

biking, but fairly
aggressive mountain biking.

I had no idea that they
had all these trails.

And so that’s super cool.


I would say the the friendliness we
still have that Midwestern friendly and

for the most part, so that’s cool.

When I first came here,

I was told by a boss of mine that you
will never be bored in medicine.

You may go broke, entertain yourself
like there’s concerts all the time.

There’s comedy, there’s like if you
want to see people any day of the week.

You can find his

endemics, so I’m sure
that will come back, but yes.

And, you know, even even as you
were talking like even the union.


Mm hmm.

And in the union school,

we didn’t know about the union until a few
years ago, we like what is the union?

What does the union, it never
dawned on me that it was anything but a.

I don’t know.

I know I didn’t picture a bunch of cool
chairs, outdoor beer garden on the lake.

That was not connected to the union.

And see, that’s why we help people
like will mail them each month.

Like, here’s things to do when this is
the summer season, the fall season.

It’s so fun, too, when you
talk about your supper club.


You know, when people move here,
they’re like, what?

The Supper Club.
Oh, really?

Oh, smashing lots of cheese curd.

It’s funny.

my mother and father in law of Minnesota
didn’t know what a cheese curd was.

You go to Minnesota,

you you’re like Wisconsin junior or
Minnesota junior, one of the two.


But see, that’s that’s the fun of it

because then you explain what
that is and fish fries on Friday.

And so then for sure, in the summer,
all the activities around the Capitol.

Oh yeah.
Always something going on.


Madison has made our jobs easy.

I suppose that’s true.

I suppose that’s true.

How I guess in the 11 years that you
were doing this, was it 11?

Yeah, what have you seen change over the
course of that decade plus one mobility?

This last year is going to be interesting.

So as you all know, I mean,

as you’re recruited to do what you do,
mobility has opened up during covid where.

We had people that were hired,

but then they were told,
but our offices are open

so you can work from where you’re
at or you could relocate in

somewhere like now we’re going to relocate
in and somewhere like, yeah,

I think we we’re going to stay
here and we’ll see how that goes.

And then, you know, I’ll relocate in.

So I think the mobility of.

Working remotely.

It’s going to be interesting to see how

this unpacks, yeah,
to see what will the workforce look like.

Will it be a hybrid of virtual

and interoffice?

Yeah, that’s tough,

I would love to say that I have
an answer there, but I do not.

That’s a tough we just changed our office

to completely virtual,
I gave the crew the option to come back

and nobody wanted to,
and they’re doing arguably better remotely

than they were in in the office,
which I would have never guessed.

All right, I just a little into this
is working out really well, right?

And we and we do hear that.

I mean,you hear that.

I mean,
you hear during covid,

we are all on the same storm,
but definitely a different folks.

The younger people were trying to manage

young kids at home,
which probably is still going on,

whether that looked like daycare or school
and a computer, I can’t even imagine now.

And we had elderly parents
that were in nursing home.

One was living on their own.

So we had that on the other
scale of helping elderly.

We needed to stay safe because
we were going to be around them

and everyone had some paperwork remotely
and they were completely by themselves.

How do you engage with the workforce from
remote and keep your culture education?

How do you know what’s going

on with someone personally right now,
unless you ask?


It’s keeping a culture that was

the biggest
I feel it was the biggest challenge for us

because culture is just going to happen
if you don’t meet regardless.

But if you consciously make decisions

and hire people with personalities that
fit together, that’s much easier to do.

And you can interview someone in person
and they can meet the crew and all that.

Now we’re relying on Zoome, which is

it’s OK, but I don’t know if it’s
necessarily 100 percent replacement.

But so far, it’s going on, so I
can’t even imagine what a large company is

trying to do on a scale this much larger
than us to keep the culture going.

It’s going to be tough, right?

Thank goodness for Zoom.

For me, it actually opened up
new opportunities.

So the micro groups that I
really wanted to be a part of.

But by the time I would get there and then
that would be done to get to something

else or to get this quiet meeting
or it was just adath on each side.

This is on the west side of downtown.

You’re looking to get there
right now with Zoom.

I’m like, yeah, I can I can get in on some
of this conversation and meet new people.

That I didn’t didn’t get to before.

Yeah, it’s fair when you
remove that windshield time.

That’s probably not accomplishing as much
as you could when you’re

when you’re face to face,
even if it’s in front of someone.

That’s fair.
That’s a very good point.

And, you know, it’s funny because I work
two days at home

and then three days at the office
and the days I go to the office,

you don’t think about it,
but I literally have a note in my car.

So my water, my coffee,
my work bag, my phone, my purse.

I mean, all these things, my computer,

in case something goes down at work,
I have this for backup or zoom or

whatever, and how much time it
takes you to prepare your lunch.

Oh yeah.

There are all these things and then I’m

making trips into the car
and out of the car.

Forget something.

And I look at my shoe one more time in
the car to make sure I don’t go back and

time when you work from home,
like I get up, I make coffee,

I turn my computer over and I
can get through something.

Then it just seems a little more relaxed.

If it’s like it, it’s back to back back

zoom like it opened up
my glass sliding door.

Step outside for like five seconds.

Just get fresh air and then come back in


Yeah, I think there’s a lot to be said,

it’s going to I wonder if it’s going
to turn into a work like mix,

maybe because I don’t know if balance has
ever been correct,

if you can balance the two, but we’re
just going to learn to mix them together.

That’s fair.
Yeah, I would.

I would think so.

And it’s interesting because it’s not

something that I would have
thought that could happen.

I would like I was adamantly opposed
to having people outside of the office.

So I thought it’s way easier to manage

when they’re in the same building
is way easier to form a culture.

It’s way easier.

I thought.

To cover, if any hazard comes along,
like we had multiple pipes of the Internet

coming in, one of those goes down,
we have another one.

It was backup upon backup so we could
always answer phones for people.

And now people are separate.

So one person’s Internet goes down,

doesn’t affect anybody else
for the most part.

So it’s interesting how we’re so against
it and it’s actually working better.

So isn’t that something?

Yeah, it’s crazy.

It’s worse than totally,
totally for us to handle.

And it’s actually it’s a positive thing.

And even from that, like

I haven’t thought of who are the people,
I still really want to stay around

who is my core.

And so I just emailed the mom, I said, OK,

why don’t we just do it on network,
organize it,

we’ll have type the same format we used
to do when we would see each other know

and and we resumed right on through it,
through covid and continuing on now.

And and it’s actually stronger because

nobody messes because no
one has the drive to.

I can’t because I got a death.

I can’t because I’m
going to have a meeting.

You know, that’s where I’ve got bad now.

It’s like

everyone can make it very cool.

Well, that alone is huge.

I like it.

They all share their own.

They share insights and their industries

that I’m not thinking about
how it affects all of us.

Yeah, I have a group that I meet with
every month that’s like that as well.

It’s interesting to get
other people’s perspective.

I got a friend in retail and then another

one that’s still in B to be,
but just in a different realm.

And it’s interesting,
like when I talk about my hiring pains,

when I talk to the person in retail,
I realize I don’t have any problems.

She’s got problems.

But it’s just interesting to get

that other perspective and they can give
you their perspective or their opinion

on what you have going
on different ways to grow.

So, yeah, very cool.


Well, Gail, before I leave you here,

is there anything that you
would like to leave with us?

There’s something that you
wish I would have asked you.

No, I think you did a great job.

I didn’t really know if I covered
everything you had hoped for.

Oh, my gosh, we’re just chillin here,
learning what you have going on.

It’s impressive
all that you’re doing for people.

Yeah, well, we enjoy it.

I’m glad to have the opportunity
to get to do what I do.


and I love what you do because I will say

Calls On Call is important because when we
need somebody especially Realtor

for probably maybe the worst,
because when someone needs someone that we

live in a world that we want it right now
and that person needs to answer their own.


Know this is really important because
you don’t answer the phone.

We go to the next one because
we got we need a response.


They’re not in love with anybody.
Right down the list.


Thank you.

Well, thank you, Gil.
I appreciate you being on the show.


This has been

Authentic Business Adventures the business
program that brings you the struggles

stories and triumphant successes
of business owners across the land.

We are underwritten locally
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My name is James Kademan
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across the country, on the web

As well as Draw In Customers Business

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for growth, on the web

And of course, The BOLD Business Book,

a book the entrepreneur in all of us
available wherever fine books are sold.

We’d like to think you our wonderful

listeners, as well as our guest,
Gail Johnson, the corporate relocation

specialist, and concierge
director of Restaino and Associates.

Gail, thanks for being on the show.

Thank you, James.

How can people find you?

I guess the best would be if you look me

your on LinkedIn, Gail Johnson and Restaino, or they
could email me,

Alright and that’s G-A-I-L, is that correct?

Awesome. Past episodes can be found

morning, noon, and night at the podcast
link found at

Thank you for listening.
We’ll see you next week.

I want you to stay awesome.

And if you do nothing else,
enjoy your business.



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