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KEVEN STIRDIVANT Executive Agent of the Month


Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

Valerie Dawson Finance of America Mortgage

Carol Escobar New American Funding

Kathe van Hoften First Team Real Estate

Jibid “Jay” Knajian Keller Williams Realty

Corey Schumacher Kinecta Federal Credit Union



Jeff Moore Branch Manager San Clemente

Dusty lloyd Branch Manager Mission Viejo

Tom Briggs Branch Manager Huntington Beach

Brian Keranen Branch Manager Newport Beach

NMLS #324123

NMLS #247106

NMLS #303474

NMLS #483697


Eli Fairfield SVP, Regional Manager LA West and OC NMLS #411752

Brenda Dintino Branch Manager Irvine - North

Rob Briggs Branch Manager Huntington Beach

Daniel Perez Branch Manager Anaheim

Christopher Paliska Branch Manager Anaheim

Matthew Moore Sales Manager San Clemente

NMLS #239946

NMLS #171371

NMLS #255550

NMLS #1076530

NMLS #324114


(310) 227-3359

W W W. N E W A M E R I C A N P A R T N E R . C O M

NMLS ID#6606. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Corporate Office is located at 14511 Myford Road, Suite 100, Tustin CA 92780. Phone (800) 450-2010. 10/2017

Executive Agent of the Month Keven Stirdivant Keller Williams Pacific Estates

21 19

Professional Profiles

34 Adriana Bacelic Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

28 Kathe van Hoften First Team Real Estate 4

32 Valerie Dawson Finance of America Mortgage

10 Jibid “Jay” Knajian Keller Williams Realty ExecutiveAgent Magazine

6 Carol Escobar New American Funding

14 Corey Schumacher Kinecta Federal Credit Union

December, 2017 - S. Orange County

Editorials 26



Five Ways To Attract (And Keep) Great Staff -Mark Gordon




Fred Arrias Executive Publisher PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Ph: (949) 297-8323 Fax: (949) 266-8757 Fred@eamag.net www.EAMag.net

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Arthritis Foundation...............................................30 City of Hope....................................................38 Eagle Home Mortgage.....................................27 Finance of America Mortgage.........................31 iPhotography Studio...............................................25


Be A Top Producer Without Sacrificing Home Life -Jesse Loader

Kinecta Federal Credit Union...............................13 loanDepot®.........................................................................9 New American Funding.....................................................2

PWAOR...................................................................39 The Termite Guy......................................................3



Ticor Title Company...................................................40

Be Your Own Best Client -Walter Sanford

Photography: iPhotography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy Van Writers: Haley Freeman, Shannon Hartsoe Editorial Writers: Linda Brakeall, Bill Brooks, Tamara Dorris, T Scott Gross, Chris Widener, Dirk Zeller, Zig Ziglar © Copyright 2017 Executive Agent Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy of published materials, Executive Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors.

Problems vs. Opportunities -Zig Ziglar

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Carol Escobar Written by Haley Freeman


he legendary Zig Ziglar is known for saying, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

This quote has long been an inspiration to Carol Escobar, Branch Manager at New American Funding in Cerritos. She is a leader committed to helping families in her community achieve the American Dream, while also helping industry professionals reach their personal and professional goals. “You have to take the time to ask people questions and find out what their goals are,” she says. “Where are they now, and where do they want to be? Then offer all your skills to help them be successful.”

Carol found her passion for finance early in her career, when she boldly took a job in car sales at only 19 years old. Motivated by having no limits on her earning capacity, she persisted in the male-dominated auto environment for several years. Finding it difficult for a young woman to transition from auto sales to finance, Carol chose, instead, to use her talents to help people finance their dream homes. “I fell in love with the home lending business. It’s still the coolest thing to pick up the phone and tell somebody their loan has funded. It’s an exciting conversation I’ve had with a lot of people during my career, and it never gets old.”

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Helping and Elevating Others

In 2013, Carol joined New American Funding for its make-sense underwriting, tech-forward infrastructure and human-centric culture. “Working for other lenders, I felt limited by costly overlays and underwriting add-ons that made it hard to get borrowers into homes. Then I ran into New American Funding and found out about owners Patty and Rick Arvielo and their vision. Their core values really aligned with mine. Here, we’re all about doing sustainable loans. If someone comes in with difficulty qualifying, it’s not really a no, it’s just a not right now. Helping people get to a position of home ownership is my job. I call myself a professional problem solver.” Two years ago, Carol was promoted to Branch Manager, and she loves being part of a company where so many strong women participate in leadership. “Because our COO is a woman, there are many other women in management. I feel like the owner of our company saw something in me and decided to give me an opportunity. I’m on fire to do that for other women, as well. It’s wonderful to be part of a company where women are not overlooked for what they can contribute. I recently called a woman Loan Consultant I was wanting to join my team, and she told me it was the first time another woman had called her. That blew my mind and made me want to jump on the phone even more. We have such a positive environment here. The guys and the girls work together to help each other succeed.” A producing manager, Carol is in the trenches every day working tirelessly alongside her Loan Consultants. “I think it’s important to know what it is like to hit the pavement. It’s important for me to be able to understand my Loan Consultants, what they’re going through and what it’s really like out there. I want to make it as simple as possible for them to do their job. Most of our Loan Consultants have an assistant to help out with the tedious things so they can be out networking and selling. We also have a marketing assistant who can help them put up videos on social media and create marketing materials for themselves or cobranded with real estate agents.”

Agents value doing business with this team of reliable, upfront problem solvers. “Realtors® often come to us with problem files, and we jump all over it to help in every way possible. We’re very passionate, and we want to see them grow their business, too. We’ll sit down and review their business plans, help build databases, and provide marketing support. We’re here to work as partners and elevate both games.” Carol and her team also participate in generous community service, assisting battered women and families in need, helping them transition from crisis to independence. No matter who Carol and her team are serving, their mission is always the same - to help and elevate others. “My first broker, Frank, taught me that to be successful in this business in the longterm, you can never forget your goals and why you’re doing this. I want to help people attain their American Dream. It can be challenging, but I can’t imagine doing anything more meaningful.” Carol Escobar, Branch Manager New American Funding 17871 Park Plaza Dr., # 125 Cerritos, CA 90703 Tel: 562-387-1608 Email: Carol.Escobar@nafinc.com Web: http://www.newamericanagent.com/carolescobar NMLS ID 251119

Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, NMLS #6606. Corporate Office 14511 Myford Road, Suite 100, Tustin CA 92780. Phone (800) 450-2010. 12/2017.

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Five ways to attract (and keep) great staff


ccording to one Gallup poll, 50 per cent of employees leave their job because of their bosses. Other studies have shown that employees leave for several other reasons such as opportunity, better pay or more responsibility. Regardless, attracting and retaining quality staff is not only good for the bottom line, it’s good for customer service. So here are five ways to best attract and retain great staff. 1. Be a coach, not a dictator. We all know being a manager or owner is not an elected position. Maybe that’s why so many managers are prone to bark orders and rely on negative reinforcement. Instead, become a coach. Team coaches are still the boss, but understand that like athletes, staff need to be instructed, encouraged, praised, appreciated and when necessary, dis-

ciplined. The key is to prioritize your energy towards the positive tasks first. 2. Be flexible – to a point. Regardless of what some bosses think, employees do not live to work. They have lives outside of the company. A sick parent, a dentist appointment or a child’s class field trip can all conflict with a pre-set work schedule. Setting policies that give freedom within established boundaries can reduce stress and allow staff to better focus on their jobs when at the office. 3. Understand the job. Managers often have a hard time understanding what employees go through on a daily basis, especially if it’s a job they’ve never held themselves. Being yelled at by customers, meeting tight deadlines, hard physical labour – these can all impact mood and productivity. Understanding how daily tasks can affect staff well-being will result in more empathetic and thoughtful bosses. 4. Be a problem solver. Managers need to understand that they and their staff are all on the same team. And anyone who feels part of a team naturally wants to contribute more. Helping staff solve work related problems not only reduces down time, it can present opportunities for ineffective processes and procedures to be updated 5. Empower others. An employee who is not sure what they are allowed to say will always say no. This can result in angry customers, lost sales or missed opportunities. Staff that are empowered to make decisions within a framework of guidelines will usually make the right ones. Empowerment will also lead to pride and ownership of their positions – two traits that employees will likely not want to give up. Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert, speaker and strategist. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit marcgordon.ca or his online show at marctv.net for more business tips.


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JIBID “JAY” KNAJIAN Written by Haley Freeman


s a teenager, Jay Knajian fell in love with the beautiful homes and the remarkable lifestyle in Orange County when she accompanied her

parents to look for a home. She took her first job as a receptionist at a real estate office when she was 17 years old, and she was so eager to become an agent, she began studying for her real estate license while she was still in high school. She could hardly wait to turn 18 and become a Realtor®. Jay started selling homes the summer after she graduated from high school, but she was determined to become a true expert in her field. While beginning her career, she attended California State University, Long Beach, where she earned her business degree with an emphasis in real estate finance and law. Today, Jay is a buyer’s agent with one of Orange County’s most distinguished real estate teams, the Stepanian Group at Keller Williams Realty in Irvine. Her lifelong connection to the community and depth of industry knowledge are assets to a team known for its local expertise and unparalleled standard of service. “I’ve lived in Orange County since 1979, and in the Irvine area my whole adult life,” Jay says. “I lived here when Columbus Grove was not built yet and was still old military housing, and I remember when many neighborhoods were still orange groves. I’ve watched this community being built.”

“Local Expertise Lifelong Passion”

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While she is personally familiar with all of OC and will work with buyers wherever they need her, Jay focuses much of her real estate practice in Irvine, Tustin, Newport Beach and South Orange County. A stakeholder in the Irvine community, she can advise clients on more than just current inventory and price-per-square-foot. “I’m a resident, homeowner, business owner and mom here. I have a son in the Irvine school district, and a daughter in a local preschool. My husband, Razmig Knajian, also owns a business in Irvine, Vision Experts Optometry. Because of these associations, I have personal insight into information people can’t find on the internet. This is where a Realtor® brings true value to a real estate transaction. In this digital world, people are losing their personal connection to the communities where they want to live and raise their families. I bring that one-on-one contact and advice that you can’t get from a computer.”

Jay has never lost the passion she felt for real estate when she was just a young woman beginning her career. Today, when her clients hire her to help them select the perfect home in Orange County, they get the benefit of both her enthusiasm and her experience. “I love the feeling I get when I help someone find the right home, whether they are a first-time buyer experiencing the thrill of buying a home of their own, or an investor purchasing their 10th property and knowing they made a good investment. Either way, I have the satisfaction of knowing I helped them achieve it. I’m excited about what I do, and I look forward to the future.”

Jay’s prior industry experience also includes office management, so she is detail-oriented and proficient in reviewing contracts, maintaining compliance standards and marketing. In her dealings with buyers, Jay is known for her honesty and patience. She is never pushy, and she takes time to fully educate her clients about their options. When a transaction is challenging, she keeps communication open and works with her team to create solutions. “I treat my clients like family. I wouldn’t sell a client something that I wouldn’t sell to a member of my own family. Fred and Esther Stepanian have a wonderful system in place, and our transactions close very successfully. When unique situations come up, it’s a growth opportunity for me as a professional. Communication is key, and it makes anything possible. I’m excited to be working with such a professional team.”

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Jibid (Jay) Knajian Stepanian Group Keller Williams Realty 4010 Barranca Parkway, #100 Irvine, CA 92604 Tel: 949-421-8707 Email: jibidk@gmail.com Web: www.kwirvine.com CalBRE # 01082064

Problems vs. Opportunities B

e grateful for your problems. We all frequently deal with people who complain about the trials and tribulations of their daily lives. Life seems to be one big problem for them. I would like to take a common-sense, realistic approach and address this mindset. If there were no “problems” on your job, then your employer would hire a much less capable person than you to do the routine things that don’t require much thought. In the business world, those who are able to solve complex problems are the ones who have the most value to the employer. Many times the problems or challenges we face force us to grow and become more capable. The runner who trains for the mile run in the Olympics by running downhill will have no chance of winning the medal. The runner who trains by running uphill is far more likely to develop the speed, mental toughness and endurance which it takes to win the medal. The best thing that ever happened to boxer Gene Tunney was that he broke both of his hands in the ring. His manager felt that he could never again punch hard


enough to be the heavyweight champion. Instead, Tunney decided that he would become a scientific boxer and win the title as a boxer, not a slugger. Boxing historians will tell you that he developed into one of the best boxers who ever fought. They also will tell you that as a puncher, he would not have had a chance against Jack Dempsey, who was considered by many to be the hardest hitter in heavyweight history. Tunney would never have been champion had he not had the problem of his broken hands. Message: The next time you encounter a difficult climb, obstacle, “problem,” you should smile and say, “Here’s my chance to grow.” Develop that kind of an attitude and I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP! Zig Ziglar is a beloved author and America’s motivator. He is the author of 25 books and offers training and consulting to organizations all across the globe. To learn more about Zig and his business visit his website at www. ziglar.com.

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We’ve got feet all over the streets of OC. Hello neighbor! Tired of the big banks? Experience the difference of having a trusted credit union in your lending corner. Partner with us and see how your business will benefit. Pair your clients with one of our experienced team members. Erik Jenner, NMLS# 38025 Manager Mortgage Loan Sales direct: 949.253.5337 | cell: 949.293.1237 Erik.Jenner@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/ejenner Andy DeLuca

George Deekrich

Debbie Grant

Jake Kim

Mary Van Dorn

Tracy Williams

Corey Schumacher

Eldin Serrano

NMLS# 440903 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant tel: 310.297.4528 | cell: 949.291.7189 Andrew.DeLuca@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/adeluca

NMLS# 644587 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant tel: 949.726.2394 | cell: 949.413.8669 Debra.Grant@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/dgrant

NMLS# 1034211 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant cell: 949.275.8838 Mary.VanDorn@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/mvandorn

NMLS# 491690 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant cell: 949.306.1304 Corey.Schumacher@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/cschumacher

NMLS# 194556 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant tel: 310.643.1353 | cell: 949.293.7359 George.Deekrich@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/gdeekrich

NMLS# 346847 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant cell: 714.679.3710 Chae.Kim@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/ckim

NMLS# 762891 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant tel: 949.253.5350 | cell: 714.333.5932 Tracy.Williams@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/twilliams

NMLS# 287457 Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant tel: 424.634.0384 | cell: 714.476.4373 Eldin.Serrano@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/eserrano

Visit www.kinecta.org/home-loans for info.

All loans are subject to credit approval. NMLS #407870. Intended for mortgage professionals only and not for consumer use.





Corey Schumacher Written by Haley Freeman

Kinecta is one of the nation’s leading credit unions, commanding more than $4 billion in assets on behalf of its 285,000-plus member-owners across the country. But Kinecta strikes the perfect balance between big institutional value and small neighborhood service. “I heard great things about Kinecta, and I was interested in coming here because of the more service-focused environment,” Corey explains. “I worked for big banks for so many years, and everything was built on volume. I’m more of a relationship Loan Consultant, so moving here was a nice change for me. I can spend more time with my clients and give them the service they deserve.”

Corey has always focused on nurturing long-term relationships, and now, the majority of his business comes from referrals and past clients. People appreciate


any years ago, Corey Schumacher interviewed for a restaurant management job. As he was leaving the interview, a woman sitting in a nearby booth stopped him. “I want you to come work for me at Great Western Bank,” she said. Corey told her he didn’t know anything about banking. “Here’s my card,” she persisted. “Give me a call.” He did, and it was the beginning of a lifelong and gratifying career. Today, Corey is a senior mortgage consultant at Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Newport Beach.

both his expertise and the time he willingly invests in their success. “I don’t mind being on call for people seven days a week. I know most people are working Monday through Friday, and they need someone to be available when they are. I’m always accessible, and they can count on me for honest answers. If it doesn’t make sense to do a loan today, then I’ll be the first to tell them. Trust comes when people know you have both the product knowledge and their overall financial best interests at heart.”

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Corey prides himself on working with Kinecta as a promoter of home ownership. “Helping people get a home makes me feel like an important person in my community. There is no asset more coveted, and nothing more personal than owning a home. I still love working with first-time homebuyers. The fact that I get to promote home ownership to somebody who hasn’t felt that exhilaration before is especially satisfying. I take part in a lot of the events we sponsor, and I do a lot of homebuyer seminars. I have no problem working with somebody for a year to get them ready to make a home purchase.” As someone who has remained in the industry through many ups and downs, Corey’s motto is, “Its’ never a bad time to buy a house.” He says, “People ask me that question all the time, but I believe it’s always the right time to invest in your family and future.” A SoCal native who is also a world traveler, Corey brings an international perspective to his mortgage practice. “I’ve visited 28 different countries so far. My wife is from Tokyo, so she has opened up a whole other side of the world for me. Typically, we go there once or twice a year to visit family. I think my years of travel have helped me deal with all types of people from around the world. It’s important to me to connect with people and find some-

thing I have in common with them. A lot of times, it’s that I’ve been to their country and understand their culture.” Italy, Spain and Japan are among Corey’s favorite destinations. Looking back, Corey is grateful for that woman who flagged him down in a restaurant and offered him the chance at a new career. These many years later, connecting families to the American Dream is more than a job - it’s a calling. “It’s something I truly believe in,” Corey says, “and I think that radiates in the service I provide. I love working in the positive environment at Kinecta, where we truly want to do loans and help people. It’s part of our culture, and it magnifies the quality of our service.” Corey Schumacher Kinecta Federal Credit Union 4041 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 100 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Tel: 949.306.1304 Email: Corey.Schumacher@kinecta.org Web: https://www.kinecta.org/cschumacher/ NMLS ID 491690

Connecting Families to the American Dream

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Be Your Own Best Client


s real estate agents, we work as purveyors of the most profitable, long-term investment opportunities in North America. Every day, we talk with our clients and prospects about the wonders of owning real estate, but we don’t buy enough investment real estate ourselves! For most of us, no matter how rewarding and fun it is to work with homebuyers and sellers, we really are not planning on working in the real estate business until the day we die. At some point in time, we all want to retire comfortably; living off our real estate investments is a wonderful way to be able to retire comfortably. If you’re looking to effectively retire in ten or fifteen years from now, it’s time to make a decision for financial freedom today by making a commitment to build your own real estate investment portfolio. The no-hassle, no-time-involvement way to build your portfolio There are several innovative ways to build a real estate portfolio. Remember, we’re the professional selling this commodity every day. In fact, one of the easiest, most secure ways to acquire properties for your own portfolio is something you do everyday, despite the fact that its methods are rarely used! This system is based upon finding listed, free-and-clear properties. Here’s how to do it: 1. Research all currently listed properties that are or close to being free and clear or properties that have assumable loans. This can be done on a daily basis by looking at each day’s new listings or by surfing the current MLS database for the above parameters. Some MLS systems are easier than others to find the current free and clear listings. If it is hard for you, then ask your title rep to help you match current listings with old mortgages nearing payoff!

B. Subtract 40% from that gross income; this will allow enough to pay taxes, insurance, vacancy and maintenance factors, utilities, management and all other operating expenses. C. Take the remaining 60%, by using your calculator of choice or a common amortization chart. Determine how much of a loan this 60% income will service, based on a fully amortized loan of 30 years, at let’s say 7 percent. D. Once you determine the amount of debt this 60% income covers, divide that by .90 (or 90%); this will give you the sale price or your offering price (it’s divided by .90 because you will be putting up to 10% down). 2. Make an offer on these listings. This is where your computer comes in handy, by keeping a template of your state’s offer form on your computer, you need only fill in a few numbers, addresses, and boxes on each offer. In the offer, ask the seller to carry back 90% financing at 7%, fully amortized over a 30 year-period. Do not put in a “due on sale” clause. 3. Fax your offer to the cooperative agent so that agent can present the offer directly to the seller. 4. If the offer is accepted, do the walk-through and make a final determination as to whether or not you want this property in your portfolio. 5. Keep the property and let the tenant pay it off! Yes, sometimes it takes thirty offers to obtain the perfect match for your portfolio and meet the seller’s needs. With a fill-in-the-blanks form, email, or a fax machine nearby, you’re not investing a lot of time or effort into these acquisitions. It’s very easy to acquire five or six new properties a year by using these simple methods. Long-range benefits of these portfolio investments: When you start acquiring property with sell carry-back financing, some wonderful things happen. First, the sellers or mortgage beneficiaries may try to re-negotiate the loan to obtain more cash.

Once you’ve found one such property: A. Determine what gross income can be produced from the property.


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This is to your benefit, since you will be asking for discounts for early payoffs and interest rate re-negotiations for agreeing to make larger payments. Since these are private loans, there are no restrictions on their re-negotiations. Moving loans to other properties, re-negotiating payment terms, and paying off early for discounts are all accomplished if it is a win-win situation for you and the previous seller! You don’t have to apply to a bank, go through horrendous credit applications, pay points, or explain your intentions to sometimes-stringent bankers. Best of all, you obtained terms that were unavailable in the current marketplace through institutional lenders. The seller has received a much higher than currently available rate of return, which is magnified because it may be an installment sale, so the seller is earning interest on money that may have been paid to the IRS. The safe rate of return, tax benefits, and annuity nature of the loan are part of the seller’s motivation to be the lender rather than be crushed out. So what’s next? Now that you’ve acquired the property, what do you do with it? Manage it! In fact, since you are managing for the long term, you should be making improvements to the property, constantly increasing its cash flow, and moving it to higher, positive cash flows. Why not just sell the property and take the profits? It’s possible, and done regularly by investors. Remember, whenever you sell, you subject yourself to the market and its current price level, taxes, anxious tenants, costs of sale, and take your investment “off line.” If you choose instead to hold, to manage, to consistently increase the value of the property, and to obtain positive cash flow, you can build the surety of an annuity. Use this positive cash flow to reduce the underlying loans. This quickly moves amortization from thirty years to as low as seven to twelve years. Your cash flow may increase every year, allowing you to make further principal reductions and allowing the loan to be paid off much faster. While you’re still in the middle of your real estate career, you’ll have

your first building paid off free and clear. Because you’re still earning commissions, why not tackle this philosophy even more aggressively? Take all of the positive cash flow from your now paid off building number one that you own and apply to building number two that you own. You may already be making principal reductions on building number two from your positive cash flow, therefore moving an already reduced amortization down to an amortization of five to seven years. Very soon, you’ll have that building paid off, allowing the positive cash flow of two free and clear buildings to pay off building number three even more quickly. With all three paid off, you can now start paying off number four and so on! It works like a great, big snowball! In the last years of this formula, you’ll be able to pay off many buildings quickly and effectively. Start today by making smart cash flow offers. Once you know how many units you want, you’ll know how many units you have to acquire within certain time frames, then you will know how much to serve from your commissions for your 10% down payments. Buy them correctly . . . no balloon payment, no financing problems, and at positive or break-even cash flow. Use the positive cash flow to pay off your underlying loans, and you, too, can easily join the membership of just 3% of American citizens who retire with financial independence. Walter Sanford was one of the top real estate agents in North America for nearly thirty years, and now, he is one of the most requested speakers, trainers, and coaches. He has authored twelve systems and books on checklists, pro-active lead generation, affiliate lead generation, plus others mentioned in this article. You can hire Walter or buy his products by visiting his website for more details at www.waltersanford.com, by calling 815-929-9258, or emailing Walter at walter@waltersanford.com.

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Nomination Form Nominate a fellow REALTORÂŽ to be featured in one of our feature stories; on the cover as Executive Agent of the Month, or as a special feature story. All candidates must be nominated by a real estate professional. The selection process includes a questionnaire, personal interview, reference check and final approval by the Advisory Council. Candidates are evaluated based upon professionalism, length of service and uniqueness of story, as well as industry and community involvement.

I Nominate: Name_______________________________ Company___________________________ Address____________________________ _____________________________________ City, State, Zip_____________________ _____________________________________ Phone______________________________ Email_______________________________ Submitted By: Fax/Email nomination to: Executive Agent Magazine PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Fax: 949.266.8757 Email: Info@eamag.net Tel: 949.297.8323

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Cover Story

KEVEN STIRDIVANT Executive Agent of the Month

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KEVEN STIRDIVANT KASE GROUP Written by Haley Freeman - Photography by Quinn Stirdivant & Kevin Prudencio


even Stirdivant came by his passion for real estate in the most unconventional way. Like many boys growing up in SoCal, he was a consummate skateboarder. Always on the hunt for ledges, steps or abandoned swimming pools, Keven noticed the anatomy of buildings

everywhere he went. “There is no way to know a neighborhood better than being a skateboarder,” he says. “You are truly in the streets observing architecture every day.” From that youthful pastime came an appreciation for the flat lines and boxy look of modern architectural design. When his single mother raised them from poverty by becoming the number one sales person for the nation’s largest real estate training company, Keven saw homes as something greater than an artful assemblage of angles. “We were able to move to Orange County and buy a home, and it changed our life.” After high school, Keven joined the same company, and two years later, he bumped his mom from the number one sales slot. As he entered his twenties, he was earning a six-figure income and hanging out with some very successful people. “I couldn’t have asked for a better real estate college. I had to learn all of our training scripts, and part of my job was studying top-producing Realtors®. By 21, my really good friends were all top producers.” With the very best mentors and tools of the trade at his disposal, Keven was inspired to begin selling real estate himself. But he had such a zeal for personal development, he decided to combine the professions of coaching and selling. Keven enjoyed some phenomenal successes along the way, and also some failures. “My worst year ever was 2011. I only sold about $1.5 million. My best friend and my dad died that year, but my third child was born at the end of the same year. She was that extra glimpse of inspiration to push on. I went into 2012 with the spirit of, ‘It’s on. I’m doing this for my kids.’”

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Keven drew upon his reserves of extraordinary personal awareness and determination, and in 2012, he began redefining his professional goals. Along with his increased production, he also began assembling a group of other motivated young professionals, and by 2014, he had established a powerhouse team: the KASE Group at Keller Williams. But in late 2016, Keven adjusted his vision yet again. “At the end of 2016, I had about 65 agents, and I noticed the culture being lost. This entire year of 2017 has been about defining the type of business I’d like to have and the type of individual I’d like to coach. We are down to about 23 agents now, and although we’ve decreased our team size by about 60 percent, we’ve increased our volume by 25 percent. We’ll finish this year at over $200 million.”

energy and inspiration. “We are a group of visionaries,” he says. “To be successful in real estate, you have to be able to see past where you currently are and let go of the how. We get stuck in the how, and we think we’ll never have the energy to do that work. At KASE, we see the future and where we will be in 2020. We can see it, feel it and taste it, and we’re inspired about it.”

The key to his increasing success? “I’ve learned to choose team members that operate from a place of ‘cause.’ A lot of people operate from a place of ‘effect,’ meaning they wait for things to happen to be successful. Our entire team are top producers, with an Orange County group operating out of Long Beach, and an LA County group out of the Beverly Hills office. Last year, we ranked number 81 in the Wall Street Journal’s top 200 teams.”

For Keven and the KASE Group, 2020 looks bright. “Our goal for 2020 is to keep improving, become stronger, and reach our first billion. As great as that is, what we’re really passionate about is working with people on their big dream in life - we want to know what their big dream is all about. If that involves a home, cool. If not, that’s perfectly fine. We’re both a real estate and a personal development company, designed to uplift and inspire - it’s a part of who we are. Our passion company within KASE is called Project Mindset. Our aim is to see goal setting, affirmations, positive belief systems, and the seven equities - mind, body, soul, family, friends, business and money - taught in every school in the world. We’re all about helping people at every level break through and achieve that huge, ridiculous dream in life.”

Coaching and development remain foundational to KASE’s culture, and Keven infuses his organization with

Keven illuminates some of the pillars of his award-winning real estate philosophy:

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Practice, Practice, Practice “Together, we generate roughly 20,000 door-to-door and phone contacts every month. We also practice role playing, scripts and presentations about 10 hours a month. If you don’t practice before the game, you practice in the game.” Share What You Know “I generally work closely with agents for the first five deals. After that, my goal is for them to surpass my production.” Create Value “We only have 90 seconds or so to create value when we meet a potential client. The best way is to know the mar-

ket well and have some exciting insight to give to people quickly. We believe in education-based marketing.” Show Them You Care “People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. The key is to join people where they are and then elevate them to where you are. You have to listen and understand their worry, fear and anxiety before you can help them see something else.” Be of Service “Be unattached, and help people unconditionally. We’re givers, and we get that this game is not about us. We’re inspired to make a difference, and that makes it easy to put others before ourselves.”

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Be a Closer “Sales in general is an art form, and you have to know the art of closing. It begins with the power of intention. You must have a clear vision of the outcome from the first engagement. One of the big lies in the industry is that this is simply a ‘contact sport.’ Forget what you’ve been told. Sales is NOT a numbers game.” Honor Your Roots “Never forget where you came from and who showed you the ropes. People become successful, and they often forget what it was like when they were new and struggling. Any chance I get, I acknowledge my very first mentors, Derek Oie and Thach Nguyen. My biggest inspirations have been my mother, Corinne, and my best friend, Jonas Bevacqua.”

In Keven’s personal journey through life and real estate, he says he’s learned to dance with the struggle, since breakdowns are an opportunity for collaboration and growth. He advocates authenticity in business and encourages people to find what inspires them and put it to use serving others. “Take a look at your community and what’s going on in your industry. Figure out what you could add and how you could make it better. Who you are is more important than your production.” KASE CLOSED.

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Keller Williams Pacific Estates 2883 E. Spring Street # 100, Long Beach, CA 90806 Tel: 949.545.8588 - Email: KS@kaserealestate.com Web: www.KaseRealEstate.com - CalBRE # 01434793 ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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hy are so many new ideas a tough sell? Isn’t it true, as the old saying goes, that if you invent a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door? No, that’s baloney! In fact, it’s never been less true. For a variety of reasons. For starters, people everywhere have become more savvy, skeptical, even cynical. We’ve all become more jaded about advertising, more suspicious of political claims, and less trusting of those who bring us a message, any message--even one that may be in our best interest. Second, and most important, many people just aren’t skilled at the art of persuading. No matter how brilliant your idea, no matter how technically advanced or economically sound it may be, it’ll go nowhere unless you get others to go along with it. And the only way you do that is by persuading them, by communicating clearly why they really should want to do what you really need done. Learning to improve our persuasiveness is both easier and harder than it used to be. Easier because we’ve now got E-mail and voice mail, CD-roms and cellular phones, satellites and skywriting, and a vast array of other tools for communicating. But it’s also more difficult in that the deluge of messages and ill-equipped messengers cheapens them all. So nowadays, it’s more crucial than ever to hone the skills that heighten our power of persuasion. Here are some ideas, big and small, for making yourself more persuasive: 1. Ask yourself: What do I really want? Sure, we all want security, happiness, health, love, and fulfilling work. Digging a little deeper, we might find further shared values, such as recognition, power, freedom, and serving others. But what’s unique to you? What do you think about alone at three in the morning? What really resonates within your soul? What would you, in a perfect world and freed of family, fiscal, or geographic constraints, most like to be doing? Think about these questions as a means of searching for your great “because-- the difference between your current situation and your desired situation.” 2. Shift your focus to others. There’s an old story of a young lady who was taken to dinner one evening by William Gladstone and then the following evening by Benjamin Disraeli, both eminent British statesmen in the late nineteenth century. “When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest


man in England,” she said. “But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.” If you practice attentiveness to others, you’ll find it does wonders for both of you. They’ll enjoy it; so will you. And together you’ll accomplish much more. 3. Train yourself to remember other people’s names. The sweetest sound, it’s said, is that of your own name being spoken. And calling others by name is an important first step toward building rapport and, thus, persuasion. Roger Dawson, in his book 13 Secrets of Power Persuasion, gives numerous techniques for overcoming this problem. One of the best: When you shake hands with a new person, note the color of his or her eyes. That forces you to make eye contact and, after a while, will also send a signal to your brain to store that person’s name in your short-term memory. Use the name soon afterwards, and you’ll have a lock on it. Try it! 4. Empower others. Skillful persuaders send out the message, spoken or unspoken, that they appreciate others’ abilities. For example, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (3M), the $15-billion-a-year firm famed for its innovation, leaders still utter--and follow--the maxims of William McKnight, its legendary leader for half a century: “Listen to anybody with an idea.”...”Encourage experimental doodling.”...and “If you put fences around people, you get sheep; give people the room they need.” 5. Hone your sense of humor. While being wheeled into the operating room after being shot by a would-be assassin, the ever-persuasive President Ronald Reagan got a chuckle when he wisecracked, “I hope the doctor is a Republican.” We may not all be so cool in a crisis, but we can all profit by not taking ourselves too seriously. Dr. Tony Alessandra, CSP, CPAE has authored 13 books, recorded over 50 audio and video programs, and delivered over 2,000 keynote speeches since 1976. Dr. Tony Alessandra is recognized by Meetings and Conventions Magazine as, “one of America’s most electrifying speakers.” Copyright© 2004, Tony Alessandra. All rights reserved. For information about Tony’s keynote presentations, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@frogpond.com; http://www.frogpond.com.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine




Written by Haley Freeman


ne of Kathe van Hoften’s former clients dubbed her “the Realtor® with a heart” after Kathe spent three days painting her entire kitchen. “They were out of the area and had no resources to do the work after a tenant had beaten it up. I’m always willing to do extra things to help out. I think it’s the little things that set my service apart. Anything I suggest or do for my clients is in their best interests, always.” Kathe was born on the East Coast and moved to Newport as a teen, but she loves Southern California like a native.

“Being from the East helps me understand where a lot of buyers are coming from, especially if they’re moving in from out of state. It can be upsetting for them to come into the California marketplace and realize what they can afford. I can help them to gradually understand our lifestyle, and that our weather means you don’t have to be stuck inside all winter. I sell the community when I’m selling homes. That’s what SoCal is all about. Our yards may be small by comparison, but we have the beaches, parks and mountains all within an hour. You don’t have to be trapped inside or stuck mowing your acre lawn.”

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The Realtor® With a Heart

Kathe’s relatability comes from more than her bicoastal roots. With her degree in psychology and easygoing nature, Kathe is attuned to the sweep of emotions people experience during a real estate transaction. She is artful at identifying the methods of communication that make them most comfortable and providing the kind of straightforward, professional representation that puts them at ease. Prior to becoming a licensed Realtor® in 2003, Kathe’s first career was in advertising and marketing. Her passion for interior design and architecture, combined with her talent for creating effective marketing campaigns, are beneficial assets in real estate. She goes beyond the ordinary to prepare homes for sale and attract multiple buyers. While many agents charge for home staging, Kathe provides this service to every seller, free of charge. “I’m a firm believer in the value of home staging,” she says. “I have a huge arsenal of my own staging items, including furniture and decorative elements, and sometimes I hire a professional stager to work with me. I’m staging for what looks good in a photograph. You have five seconds or less to capture the attention of buyers and agents looking to show properties. If the home doesn’t look spectacular in a photograph, you’re losing an opportunity.”

the sellers and talk about what they appreciate about the home.” The heart Kathe brings to her real estate practice is also evident in her generous community contributions. With every sale, Kathe donates a portion of her commission to a local charity of her clients’ choice. “If they don’t have one in mind, I will pick one based on top of need. It makes me feel good and makes my clients feel good. I have a long list I’ve donated to on behalf of family and friends who have faced things like breast cancer, autism and leukemia. I try to support them by helping out.” Kathe encourages potential clients to visit Yelp for an unbiased and uncensored evaluation of her caring, ethical and professional service. Her reviews prove that she is, indeed, a Realtor® with a heart. Kathe van Hoften First Team Real Estate 27451 Los Altos Mission Viejo, CA 92691 Tel: 949-235-3011 Email: kathevh@hotmail.com Web:http://www.kathehomes.com CalBRE #01389647

Kathe’s compassion helps her connect with people and makes her an effective negotiator. She frequently helps her buyers negotiate better terms or win out over multiple bidders. “It’s the extra touches. I have all my buyers write a personal letter to the sellers, and I write one, as well. Selling a home is also an emotional experience for most sellers. I try to hone in on what’s important to them and help my buyer get chosen by helping them relate to

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Jolly for a Reason Become a Champion of Yes Join the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run! On December 3rd, 2017, you and your real estate team can become a Champion of Yes when you join the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Jingle Bell Run at Laguna Niguel Regional Park. Hundreds of your neighbors from Orange County and the Inland Empire will unite in this fun, holiday-themed 5K run with a goal of raising $150,000 to help cure America’s number one cause of disability. This is a chance to wear wacky costumes, capture fun photos and create memories with your friends, family and coworkers, all while generating goodwill in your community. Participants, sponsors and volunteers are welcome right up to the day of the event. This year, the Arthritis Foundation of Orange County & Inland Empire is honoring these local champions who are raising awareness and funds to conquer arthritis: • Corporate Honoree, Robert A. Freeman, Esq., is the President and CEO of OC Kick-boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (OCKMMA) in Irvine. Dedicated to empowering people through the timeless practice of martial arts, Robert and his fight team are “On the Mat Together” with the Arthritis Foundation. • Adult Honoree, Chikayo Rattee was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2008. The indomitable Chikayo has turned her pain and adversity into strength, working at Mission Heritage Medical Group and spending time with her grandson. • Youth Honoree, Amelia Sheldon, was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in 2011. Amelia triumphs over her pain daily and works selflessly to help other children with JRA and other childhood diseases feel better about their circumstances. The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes, helping to conquer everyday battles with life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections.

Register today for the Jingle Bell Run and learn more about the event by visiting www.JBR.org/OCIE or contacting Candice Henry at 949-585-0201.

NEWPORT BEACH 3501 Jamboree | Suite 200 | Newport Beach, CA 92660

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We offer in-house agent marketing support providing the following services: POSTCARDS | FLYERS | VIDEO | PHOTOGRAPHY Š2017 Finance of America Mortgage LLC is licensed nationwide | | NMLS ID #1071 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | 300 Welsh Road, Building 5, Horsham, PA 19044 | (800) 355-5626 | AZ Mortgage Banker License #0910184 | Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act | Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee #15499 | Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee | Kansas Licensed Mortgage Company | Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance | Licensed Mortgage Banker -- NYS Banking Department | Rhode Island Licensed Lender.




Valerie Dawson Leveraging Teamwork and Technology Written by Haley Freeman


hen she was 20 years old, Valerie Dawson answered a newspaper ad for a receptionist position at a mortgage company. The broker observed her phenomenal people skills and self-motivated spirit, and he hired her as a Loan Consultant instead. “I’m customer service-oriented, and I enjoy helping people,” Valerie says. “That’s what attracted me to this business in the first place. It’s amazing to be able to help people reach their financial goals and buy homes, while also providing well for my own family. I don’t know what could be more rewarding.” After a long career in the industry in roles spanning

retail Loan Consultant to wholesale account executive, and for organizations ranging from small brokerages to the largest banking institutions, Valerie has joined Finance of America Mortgage, where teamwork and technology are raising industry service standards. The supportive team environment at Finance of America Mortgage allows Valerie to focus solely on the needs of her clients and business partners. “In the past, I’ve worked for companies that required me to do a lot of my own loan processing and all of my own marketing. But here, they don’t want us in the office. They want us to be out in the field networking, meeting new people and always available to Realtors®. I have a whole team in the office taking care of the details so I can focus on sales.”

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If Valerie has an industry niche, it’s her ability to meet a total stranger and find instant rapport. Her easy going nature makes it easy for people to trust her with the most important financial transaction of their lifetime. She is a direct communicator who delivers good and bad news promptly, and who strives to keep all parties up-to-date as the loan progresses. In this information economy, knowledge is power. Finance of America Mortgage provides technology tools that enhance Valerie’s ability to educate homebuyers. “I don’t know any other company that uses Mortgage Coach. The app provides so many tools to help facilitate clients in the home buying process, like letting buyers run a data analysis on what it costs to rent versus a mortgage, showing them how to use a mortgage to their tax advantage, and what it would look like if they refinance their loan in five years. This is just one tool that helps us serve clients better than our competitors.” Videos are sent to borrowers via email throughout the loan process for the purpose of educating them during each phase of their loan. “A lot of times, borrowers get confused about what is happening, and they start backpedaling. This gives them more confidence about the loan process and makes it more likely they will stick with it through closing. We retain more clients, and they have a better experience.” For Realtor® partners, Valerie loves having a dedicated marketing staff with the ability to create and co-brand a variety of materials. “Agents don’t even have to worry about it. They can tell me what they want, and my marketing team will get it designed and printed. It makes me excited to get out there and show other industry professionals what we have and how we can help them expand their business.” As a busy single mom of two, Valerie enjoys doing activities in her free time that help her unwind and find a healthy work/life balance. “I love to wire-wrap crystals, and I also love practicing yoga. I’ve been told many times I should teach, so I’m getting my instructor’s license now. It’s something I’m doing for myself and others. I want to spread education about taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.”

Valerie is leveraging Finance of America’s Mortgage unique combination of teamwork and technology to help people achieve home ownership. Motivated by a genuine desire to be of service, she makes her clients and business partners this heartfelt promise: “I will do everything in my power to get them whatever they want and need in their situation. They can trust me to get the job done.” Valerie Dawson Finance of America Mortgage 3501 Jamboree Rd., Ste. 200 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Tel: 714-864-8088 Email: Valerie.Dawson@financeofamerica.com Web: www.FOAmortgage.com/VDawson NMLS ID 1552910

©2017 Finance of America Mortgage LLC is licensed nationwide | NMLS ID #1071 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | 300 Welsh Road, Building 5, Horsham, PA 19044 | (800) 355-5626 | Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.

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ADRIANA BACELIC Written by Haley Freeman

In 2010, Adriana joined her mother and began her career as a Realtor®. “Everyone in her office had known me since I was little, and one day we were talking about it, and she suggested that I may want to try going out on my own. I really wanted to establish myself and know that I could do it.” Adriana knew she wanted to remain in her home community of South Bay, preferably near the beach. And as a member of a multinational family, it was also important to her to find a company with a strong international presence. Then she met with Vista Sotheby’s International Realty in Redondo Beach and learned they were opening an office only a block away from the sand. “I think it was meant to be,” she says. “Sotheby’s has an interconnected global network, and we get phone calls from all over the world from people looking for properties, especially in the affluent South Bay. It’s nice to have offices in so many locations throughout the world where we can send out and receive referrals, or go meet with clients in person.”


driana Bacelic grew up knowing real estate was in her blood. Some of her earliest memories include sitting in her mother’s real estate office after school or helping out at open houses on weekends. She recalls, “One of my favorite games she played with me was guessing the square footage, and I would get a little prize. At a really young age I realized what real estate could do for people. It’s not just about a house. It’s a home and an investment. I learned to appreciate the importance of that, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

This year, Adriana traveled to her family’s home country of Croatia and did just that. “I just had a baby and wanted him to meet my grandma. I was also excited because Sotheby’s had recently opened an office in the city of Split. It was kind of like a dream falling into place for me when I was able to meet clients there this summer and begin building a relationship with that office. My husband is from Italy, and there is a huge Croatian and Italian community in San Pedro. Developing business with this community is really driving me right now. I’m bringing my two great passions together.”

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Adriana’s lifetime of real estate education, local expertise and international reach are further enhanced by her genuine desire to see that her clients have an outstanding real estate experience. “Even though I’ve been around the business my entire life, nothing compares with going through the process yourself. After my husband and I purchased our first home, I gained a whole new respect for what my clients are going through. I realized firsthand how stressful a real estate transaction can be, even for a Realtor®! We have all the same problems anyone else does when we’re buying a home. I learned how important it is to do everything you can to relieve your clients’ stress. It’s great to be able to say to them, ‘I’ve been there. We’re in this together, and we’re going to take these steps to get this done.’” Straightforward and honest, Adriana faithfully communicates throughout a transaction, providing guidance without being pushy. She would rather help a client purchase a home they can comfortably afford, than one that costs more and will feel like a burden later. “I want them to love what they’re buying and be able to enjoy it without the stress of worrying every day about how they’re going to pay the mortgage. One of the lenders I work with, Corey Schumacher at Kinecta, is amazing, and he looks at it the same way.”

bly evolves into lasting friendships. “It’s important to me that when people think of me, they say, ‘This is my friend. She is also a Realtor®.’” Adriana’s husband, Dominic Agrusa, is a contractor and owner of Agrusa Construction. They share a passion for homes, and he is a great resource of advice about property renovations. “It’s nice to have him there sometimes to go through open houses and look at properties with me.” Adriana brings the best of her local expertise and global perspective together in real estate, and she strives to serve every client with the same level of excellence. “I think when people hear the Sotheby’s brand, they automatically think of luxury. I provide luxury service to every client; the price point isn’t what matters. To me, luxury consists of the way we treat people, not what the home is worth. Everyone deserves the best service.” Adriana Bacelic Vista Sotheby’s International Realty 1801 S. Catalina Ave. Redondo Beach, California 90277 Tel: 310-283-4900 Email: Adriana@vistasir.com Web: www.AdrianaBacelic.com CalBRE:01881787

The trust Adriana builds with her clients inevita-

Local Service, Global Reputation

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Be A Top Producer Without Sacrificing Home Life


ork/life balance…. that phrase holds a lot of power. How you execute this can be the difference between success and failure, between extraordinary and mediocre, or even the difference between a happy marriage and divorce. We all know how demanding this industry is so I won’t ramble on about specific examples to illustrate that. At some point in your career (if you are aspiring to do more than you currently are), you will run into a problem where your daily schedule simply doesn’t work anymore. The amount of time you are spending at work seems to creep longer and longer as the weeks pass and before you know it, you’ll feel as if you missed a decent chunk of your home life.

We all know or have heard of someone who is successful, but has zero relationship with their children, or has been divorced three times, or is continually chasing that happiness they think is at the end of the next sale, the next project or the next business deal. I truly believe that you can have it all. I do not and refuse to believe that it’s simply one or the other. You can be successful at your craft AND be an amazing, supportive partner and parent. I have a wife of nine years and two children, ages seven and five. They are my everything. I’m not saying that because that’s what I should be saying. Every decision 36

I make is with those three in mind. When you become a top-producing Realtor®, it becomes difficult to maintain that balance, so here is a few tips to strive to have it all. 1. Shared calendars. We have amazing technology – make it your friend. I put everything in my calendar that I share with my wife. I really mean everything. I have a recurring appointment late in the evening labelled, “Uninterrupted wife time”. No joke. I found that when I had friction in my relationship, it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I was working, it was that I didn’t communicate it properly. 2. Limit your time for set appointments. Currently I have Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and one day on the weekend available for showings or listing presentations. That’s it. I am flexible on which days I choose to fill depending on my client’s availability, but not on the amount of days per week. These days also change as my kids’ extra-curricular activities change throughout the year. Kids come first. 3. Teach your clients how to communicate with you. If you are available at the drop of a hat, you will be taken advantage of. I tell my new buyers which days I am available, and when I am not. So far, not one single person has stood up and walked away because I am not available 24/7.

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Written By Jesse Loader

4. Wake up early. By getting up early, it allows me more time in the evenings to spend time with my wife and kids. This point is always controversial because I hear this all the time: “I just work so much better late at night, I can’t do mornings.” Okay, but I believe that most of the time that is a BS excuse. I do understand that some people work better and are more productive late at night, but I think it’s the minority. Your body has limitations and when it’s taxed all day I can’t imagine it’s running at peak performance at 1 am (but I’m not a doctor). I get more done in the 90 minutes before anyone in my house is awake, than I do the rest of the day in the same amount of time. No phone calls, no texts, no emails, no notifications, just work. You would be absolutely stunned at how much you can accomplish in 90 uninterrupted minutes. 5. Go on vacation. Seriously, this might be the most underused tactic to becoming more productive. Have you ever noticed how busy you get right before going on vacation? That’s not a coincidence. You have a set deadline that you sure as hell aren’t going to miss, so you become laser focused on the top priorities and you ignore the stuff that can wait. Either learn to do this daily…or go on a lot of vacations. I choose the latter.

6. Prioritize with a family-first mentality. No one will care how many houses you sold, how much money you made, or what awards you won when you’re on your death bed. Family is truly the most important thing in anyone’s life, and although it’s hard not to care about the materialistic things in the moment, try to think about the bigger picture. Plan vacations, hockey, dance, anniversary getaway and other family events first. They take priority in your new shared calendar. If you plan on spending the evening with your kids to just hang out at home this Wednesday, put that in your calendar. When someone calls and asks to see a house Wednesday at 7 pm, your response needs to be, “I’m sorry, I already have an appointment at that time, but how does Thursday at 6 pm sound?” Work/life balance, time management…these are topics that we all struggle with and I’m definitely no exception. This topic is an evolution for me always. I hope to share new tips with you in the future. I have found though, that since I made a conscious decision to prioritize my family first, everything improved, including my bottom line. Jesse Loader is a licensed Realtor® in the greater Edmonton area and also offers real estate mentorship through his group, Reach Your Peak Coaching and Consulting.

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Our bone marrow transplant reunion is now standing room only. Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the “Celebration of Life” event. It’s a joyous time during which survivors of blood cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma embrace their health, their life and each other. It began more than 35 years ago when City of Hope created what is now one of the largest and most successful bone marrow transplant programs in the world. In fact, we’ve completed over 11,000 transplants and, according to national reports, our outcomes are among the best in the nation. The goal of curing cancer isn’t just something we work at. It’s what we live for. If you have cancer, make us your first call. Or ask your doctor for a referral. We accept most insurance. 800-826-HOPE

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