It is not often you get to work with people who break all the rules.
Rule #1 - Don’t let go of something good Rule #2 - Don’t sell property to friends Rule #3 - Don’t rely on “faith” when making financial decisions or spreadsheets Rule #4 - Don’t let buyers and sellers move in together
I was honored and shocked at the request to sell BeLove Farm. So much of what Matthew and Terces have built on their farm resonated in my soul. Regenerative farming, biodynamics, composting, healing food, healing people. Their mere presence put Vacaville on the map. People from all over California, the US, and the WORLD have come to explore their calling. As the world turns away from globalization and the damage it is doing to our planet, and away from the political noise that is damaging our souls, and away from the lies that have been told about our food and medicine, people are hungry for a new way. BeLove Farm offered refuge and even answers, possibilities, and understanding. Matthew would often end his tours with “It all comes back to the individual journey of choice, the power of where you chose to spend your dollar”.
They also believed in the power of Gratitude. The mindset of always seeing the good first can transform a life, birth a dream, give courage to fear.
They nurtured the idea that we can do things on our own, we can live without the systems, we can become a food-sovereign state in our own homes, we can forgive, give grace, and manifest dreams. One by one.
A place where you could learn how the systems of nature worked, and how they are intertwined into our own biological and aetherial systems.
This type of empowerment can change a community. And it has changed our community.
Rule #1 - broken- Don’t let go of a good thing.
It was hard to believe Matthew and Terces were able to come to the decision that their time here was done. I felt a huge burden to do right by my clients and to find a good steward for this impactful farm. Was there a conflict between getting the highest dollar and the best fit? Do we just release this treasure to the highest bidder? What would be the sales strategy? Was this a financial sale or an emotional one?
Matthew and Terces thought it best to offer their farm to family, friends, and the BeLove network first. If that did not produce a buyer, then we would go on the MLS and look for the highest bidder.
The reaction from their network was overwhelming. Dozens of interested parties, dreamers, and hopeful people wanting to be a part of continuing something so beautiful, but many did not have the financial means or the timing was off. We were able to narrow it down to 5 very qualified and wonderful offers. But one stood out among the rest, not because of its financial brawn,, but because of the interpersonal connection and friendship they had with Matthew and Terces.
Rule #2- Broken- don’t sell property to friends
Let me introduce Loren and Rachelle Ditmore. This is a family that exudes courage, faith, and love. The first thing Rachelle said to me when we met was, “Shea, are you a believer?” This question stumped me. Like a believer in what? Yes? Yes. I believe in everything. And now I believe that sometimes breaking the rules breaks down conventional thoughts that can be limiting. I believe in the power of intention, the power of love, and the power of courage to walk the path you were born to be on.
Her simple question is what sent our transaction into a rule-breaking phenomenon.
I have not met anyone with faith as strong. I mean faith in the kind of universal phenomenon that doors will open when you are on the right path, faith that if you give up your attachment to things and give it all away, it will come back in abundance. Yes, they are passionate Christians. Yes, they are fiercely loving. Yes, they trust when many can’t see. However, this is not how I was taught to make business decisions. How does the saying go? “Without a plan, there's no attack. Without attack, no victory” or "I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful." — Warren Buffett
This was not the mindset in this transaction.
Not to say there isn’t a plan, but the plan is to lean into faith and trust the process. To keep doors open that seemingly should remain shut. To remain humble and in servitude to people who ask. And to always invite the unwanted. There are no formal spreadsheets, asset statements, or business plans, at least in the traditional sense.
We have all felt a shift in the real estate market, stocks crashing, inflation on the rise, and appraisals coming in lower. From an outsider looking in, it looks like Thelma and Louise in a car driving off the cliff.
Rule #3 broken- Don’t rely on “feelings” when making financial decisions or spreadsheets
The calling for Rachelle towards BeLove was magnetic from her first visit. She told her husband that she would write a book here someday. She already knew there was a connection before it existed. They quickly connected with Matthew and Terces about all the things. Both spiritual pioneers carving their life's purpose; maybe they each saw a familiar reflection in the other or maybe Be Love had found its twin flame.
Rather soon after accepting their offer, I learned that Loren and Rachelle had moved to the farm with Matthew and Terces. Against all of my known habits and rules regarding traditional real estate transactions, the idea of them moving in together before closing seemed CATASTROPHIC. Please don’t. You never know what can go wrong. What if they don’t end up closing? What if you find differences in how you want the farm to run? What if they get here and hate the farm?
What if, what if…..
And yet, there they were, making bread, cooking soup, hosting dinners, making donuts, and learning from each other. The Ditmore’s children running around with the farm dogs and greeting people as they arrived. The symbiotic relationship was undeniable, and really, I don’t know how anyone else could have stepped so effortlessly into this place of service. Not just service, but service with the most immense gratitude one could imagine.
Rule #4 -broken - Don’t let buyers and sellers move in together before closing
The heart of the Ditmore family has made an impact on me. I am challenged by their surrender, I am inspired by their desire to help the broken ones around them, and I am humbled by their gratitude for all they have.
Last Saturday the symbolic passing of the torch took place in the form of donuts- a seamless transition of the guard. Dozens of new family and friends filled the working areas, cooking, cleaning, helping, smiling. On a brisk January morning, a new community was forming as each child and adult bit into a warm, mouthwatering, glazed donut, and all the “what if’s” were just a distant memory of my past and seemed to melt away. The magical sounds of laughter, singing, and guitars filled the air as the new stewards of the dream- that was not let go, just transformed.
Sometimes breaking the rules leads to the wonderful unimagined creation of something new and profound. I’m deliriously exhausted from this unorthodox transaction and yet so grateful, with a glazed donut on my face.