Page 1



Heather Stevenson Executive Agent of the Month

Inside Features: John Binder RE/MAX Tiffany Regina Dabich imortgage The Fowler Team CENTURY 21 Award Barbara Gustavsen Harcourts Prime Properties Ziad Najm Cedar Real Estate, Inc. Realty ONE Group Company Profile Dustin & Leah Wise Keller Williams Realty

Let Let your your buyers buyers lock lock intoday’s in today today ’slow ’low s lo Let your buyers lock in rates rates while while they they shop shop forfor home a home rates while they shop for aahome .. Finding a homethe for Lock-N-Shop your clients can take longerprogram than expected. And while you’re looking, Introducing Introducing the Lock-N-Shop program from imortgage… from imortgage…

the threat of rising mortgage rates can add another twist and turn to the rollercoaster ride ● Lock ● a Lock low-interest a low-interest rate today ratewhile todaycontinuing while continuing to shopto forshop a home for a home of buying a home. ● 120 ● and120 150-day and 150-day locks available locks available But what if your buyers could protect themselves from adverse rate movements while ● they’re An accepted ● looking? An accepted home-purchase home-purchase is not necessary is not necessary Not only would contract they getcontract immediate peace of mind, they’d also be to● maintain critical focus on the task at hand: Finding Their Dream Home! ● able If rates drop, use a one-time float-down feature to get an even lower rate! If rates drop, use a one-time float-down feature to get an even lower rate!

Introducing the Lock-N-Shop program from imortgage…

Call C all im ortim gaogrtegto agdeayto! day!

● Lock a low-interest rate today while continuing to shop for a home


● 120 and 150-day locks available Julie Day Julie Day John J.John ReedJ. Reed ● An accepted home-purchase contract is not necessary (949) 297-1407 (949) 297-1407 (949) 705-0555 (949) 705-0555

NMLS ID NMLS 174457ID 174457 NMLS ID NMLS 869516ID 869516 ● If rates drop, use a one-time float-down feature to get an even lower rate! Sales Manager Branch Manager Branch ManagerSales Manager

Your buyers enjoy protection from rising interest rates along with the flexibility to capture an even lower rate, if available. Use the imortgage Lock-N-Shop program to remove interest rate worries and get happier, more-focused buyers.

Find out how our Lock-N-Shop program can help your buyers!

Alan Cipolletti Alan Cipolletti Edna Austin Edna Austin Chris Black Chris Black Eric Cazarez Tom Chioles Tom Ch Ryan Grant Ryan Grant Marc Bui Marc Bui Eric Cazarez (949) 705-0558 (949) 705-0558 (949) 705-0543 (949) 705-0543 (949) 705-0567 (949) 705-0567 (949) 705-0595 (949) 705-0595 (949) 705-0607 (949) 70 (949) 705-0582 (949) 705-0582 (949) 705-0587 (949) 705-0587 NMLS ID NMLS 653005ID 653005 NMLS ID NMLS 283761ID 283761 NMLS ID NMLS 275073ID 275073 NMLS ID NMLS 1022434 ID 1022434 NMLS ID NMLS 335252ID NMLS ID NMLS 118767ID 118767 NMLS ID NMLS 380219ID 380219 Sales Manager Sales Manager Sales Manager Sales Manager

Call today!

(949) 705-0555

TommyTommy Evans Evans Aaron Hanson Aaron Hanson John Davis John DavisCory DeCory PassDe Pass KaarinaKaarina Jo JoNipper Nipper Kory Clifton Kory Clifton Larson (949) 705-0572 (949) 705-0572 (949) 705-0593 (949) 705-0593 (949) 705-0576 (949) 705-0576 (949) 705-0584 (949) 705-0584 (949) 705-0560 (949) 705-0560 (949) 705-0589 (949) 705-0589 (949) 297-1405 (949) 29

NMLS ID NMLS 1015000 ID 1015000 NMLS ID NMLS 382768ID 382768 NMLS ID NMLS 341251ID 341251 NMLS ID NMLS 259274ID 259274 NMLS ID NMLS 796742ID 796742 NMLS ID NMLS 1042912 ID 1042912 NMLS ID NMLS 273037ID

Marlene Veal Branch Manager (714) 422-1852 NMLS ID 450765

Mark Martinez Sales Manager (714) 422-1856

Wendy Buettner (714) 422-1858 NMLS ID 485094

Holly Frost (714) 422-1863 NMLS ID 483931

Laura Neves (714) 422-1840 NMLS ID 267679

Teresa White (714) 422-1870 NMLS ID 209710

NMLS ID 302745

imortgage ● 2400 E. Katella Avenue, Suite 150 ● Anaheim, CA 92806 Brett McDonell Brett McDonell Lynn Nelson Lynn Nelson Mina Roditis Mina Roditis Matthew Matthew Miede Miede Connie Connie Wick Wick Marty Noronha Marty Noronha (949) 705-0577 (949) 705-0577 (949) 297-1406 (949) 297-1406 (949) 705-0586 (949) 705-0586 (949) 705-0573 (949) 705-0573 (949) 297-1404 (949) 297-1404 (949) 297-1403 (949) 297-1403 NMLS ID NMLS 303085 303085 NMLS NMLS 653022 IDby653022 NMLS ID NMLS 392977ID 392977 NMLS ID NMLS 470783 ID to470783 NMLS ID NMLS 223268ID 223268 NMLS ID ofNMLS 1112456ID 1112456 Rates, terms, ID and availability of programs are subject change withoutID notice. Licensed the CA Department Business Oversight CRMLA 4131040. Corporate NMLS ID 174457. All rights reserved. 01012014.

imortgage Newport imortgage BeachNewport 1301 Dove Beach Street, 1301Suite Dove 101 Street, Newport SuiteBeach, 101 Newport CA 92660. Beach, imortgage CA 92660. Laguna imortgage Hills 24442 Laguna Avenida Hills 24442 de la Carlota, AvenidaSuite de la Carlota, Suite


ow E e.

Southern California’s Publication for the Real Estate Professional




Febuary, 2014

N. Orange County

Cover Story


Fred Arrias Executive Publisher PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Ph: (949) 366-3349 Fax: (949) 266-8757

36 - T. Scott Gross: One Brand. One Rule.

40 - Mark Victor Hansen: Having Faith And Trust Will Lead To Success


32 - Mel Kleiman:

City of Hope......................................39

Are You Lazy Enough To Be A Great Manager?

Eagle Home Mortgage......................43 Evergreen Realty...............................16

38 - Kevin Nunley: 21 Heather Stevenson

How To Trade For Advertising

15 - Wendy Weiss:

imortgage.......................................2 i Photography Studio........................27

Call-Killing Phrases

Executive Agent of the Month

Greenpath Funding............................17

Kinecta Federal Credit Union...........7 Prominent Escrow.............................44 PWAOR......................................10

hioles 05-0607

Realty ONE Group..............................6


The Termite Guy................................42




The Fowler Team

Barbara Gustavsen


John Binder

Regina Dabich

RE/MAX Tiffany


CENTURY 21 Award Harcourts Prime Properties

r Larson 97-1405

D 273037

8 Ziad Najm

Cedar Real Estate, Inc.


11 Realty ONE Group Company Profile

Dustin & Leah Wise Keller Williams Realty

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Photography: i Photography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy Van Writers: Lalaena Gonzalez–Figueroa, Shannon Hartsoe, Haley Freeman, Julie Brown © Copyright 2014 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.




Regina Dabich

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

By Haley Freeman

“She has the Trust of her Colleagues”


egina Dabich was named imortgage Employee of the Year in 2013. Regina humbly says that she was “completely shocked” when the award was issued and was touched to learn how her colleagues regarded her. “For me, I feel that one of my biggest assets is that I am a compassionate person. I feel that is important in this business. I’m glad I have that asset and can understand people no matter how stressful it can be.” Regina is a loan processing manager at imortgage. According to Regina, compassion is an important, daily component of her job. One of the reasons that Regina chose to work for imortgage is that the company’s philosophy is to look for ways to make loans work, rather than turning borrowers down on technicalities. “I feel blessed in the sense that I have built a relationship with upper management and feel like they trust me. They know that I’m not just trying to get every deal through if it doesn’t make sense. I am always looking for new ways to document the loan and tell the borrower’s story. I feel like my colleagues have respect for me. They trust my judgment. If I say I believe in the file, we begin looking for options together that may be out of the norm.” Regina grew up in the Diamond Bar area and has lived nearby ever since. In the beginning of her career, she worked for Harry Buyikian at Diamond Bar Financial Services. “He was one of my strongest mentors. I was still a young girl in my early twenties. He was hard on me, even though I was a pretty strong and organized person as a young girl. Sometimes I was on the verge of tears, but he just really wanted me to do well. He would explain everything to me. I carry that with me when I train others and tell them if you don’t understand something, you can’t explain it to someone else. I learned so much from him.” “I started as a receptionist and worked into processing. In 1995 I went to work for a mortgage company where I drew docs, funded loans and worked as an underwriting assistant.” Now Regina supervises nine employees, including six loan processors and three assistants. “Having been in the front, middle and back end of it all I have a very good knowledge of how a loan works, so when it comes to putting fires out, I know exactly where to go,” she says. “My team comes to me with questions on challenging files. I manage pipelines to keep loans moving through the system and review lock reports to make sure locks are not expiring and evaluate my

team’s workload balance to make sure that loans are closing on time.” “This is not an easy job. It can be very stressful. I feel good knowing that I’ve given my best at the end of each day, and that I’ve helped to give good quality service to everyone in the transaction. Customer service is a priority for our business partners, too. We want everybody to have the best experience possible.” The company’s core values include providing deliberate and efficient service and delivering on exactly what is promised. “One thing I love is that the two founders of the company regularly get all of the team leaders together from every department. They go back to teaching us about the core values so we never forget that we need to deliver the promise. I think we are over-achievers when it comes to customer service.” “If I am not at work, usually you can find me at a baseball, basketball or football game.” Regina has had the privilege of “raising two wonderful young men.” Her sons are 15 and 21. “I love watching my kids play no matter what sport it is. I love watching them grow and gain confidence. My oldest son and I are very close, but I never thought there would be a day when my 21-year-old would want me there at his games. I feel like I did such a great job raising that kid!” Regina spends much of her free time volunteering to support her sons’ sporting activities, and is an active booster at her younger son’s high school. According to Regina, trust and cooperation are at the heart of every successful transaction. “We all need one another, and we need to work together instead of against each other. In this industry, we get a lot of people blaming one another when something goes wrong. There are so many people involved in a transaction. I want us to have a trusting relationship with each other so we can get the job done. In operations, we do care about every loan that comes through here.” Regina Dabich imortgage 2400 E. Katella Ave., Ste. 150 Anaheim, California 92806 Tel: 714-422-1847 Email:

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

imortgage is licensed by the California Department of Corporations CRMLA 4130969, NMLS 3096. Equal housing lender. 12/2014

Get out from under that Rock... Full Commissions

Full Service

Zero Compromise

Some companies pressure you to perform. We give you the support to help you excel. It's just ONE of the many reasons to join us.


ANAHEIM 714.478.5600

CORONA 714.767.4471




LAGUNA NIGUEL 949.297.2020

MISSION VIEJO 949.783.2499


Kinecta can help your buyers… It’s a smart move when your homebuyer purchases a home with a Kinecta mortgage. As one of California’s leading credit unions with local mortgage consultants and processing, we provide a wide range of competitive mortgage products from conventional to jumbo to FHA and much more. And you benefit, too. SMART MOVE Program Benefits:

• Purchase Ready Pre-Approval – Saves you time by showing the properties your clients know they can afford • 21-Day Closing Guarantee – A fast closing means more time you can devote to other buyers. • $500 off closing costs – A value-added bonus your buyers will appreciate • VIP Gold Club Membership – Another bonus with extra financial services for your buyers that will reflect on your dedication to their future.

Contact me for more info! Eric Jenner Mgr., Mortgage Loan Sales cell: 949.253.5337 | tel: 949.293.1237 | NMLS #38025 Orange County Mortgage Center 4041 MacArthur Blvd., Suite100 Newport Beach, CA 92660

The Kinecta Difference: Not-for-profit • Member-owned • Over 70 years in business Information intended for mortgage professionals only. Certain terms and restrictions apply. Visit for program details or call 800-853-4501. Terms and conditions subject to change. All loans subject to credit approval. NMLS # 407870. Program offer is valid through 12/31/2014 and all offers may be modified or canceled by Kinecta at any time. Mortgage application and funding must occur during offer period. 13665-01/14



ExecutiveAgent Magazine

By Haley Freeman


Ziad Najm

Cedar Real Estate, Inc.


he path to doing what he loves led Ziad Najm in an unexpected direction. He obtained his undergraduate degree in political science and was preparing to attend law school. “In planning for law school, real estate seemed like a natural fit. I earned my broker’s license at the same time I was doing my law school orientation.” Then things changed. “On my third day of orientation, I knew law was not going to be it for me. I opened the doors the next day for Cedar Real Estate and never looked back.” “After six months, I obtained my first listing, which led to the listing next door, and both buyers’ listings. By doing a good job for one client, I learned I could grow the business organically. This philosophy has paid off over the last 15 years. A foundation built on highly satisfied clients sustains the ups and downs of the market.” Ziad works with his wife, Kassy, who handles the administrative and marketing functions for what he describes as a “boutique firm.” Ziad and Kassy set a high standard for the agents they select to work with them. “We like to work with people with a like-minded philosophy. The Golden Rule is how we do business.” “One of my first jobs was pumping gas at a fullservice station when I was 12. I established an instinct for the service industry. Really all of the other jobs I have had since had a major component that was service-related. Real estate is fundamentally a people business.” Ziad is committed to making sure that every part of a transaction goes smoothly. “We want clients to know that our outlook is long-term and don’t look at it as just one transaction. We hope to have a lifetime relationship. I speak candidly about flaws in the property or any deal killers I see. Sometimes it costs money in the short run, but in the long run we have trust and credibility with the client.” As a result, Ziad estimates that 98% of his business comes from referrals. “We are proud of this statistic because it means we’re doing many things right.”

our business. Their performance reflects on me as an agent. It’s so critical.” Relationships with family and community are at the core of Ziad and Kassy’s life. Ziad moved from Lebanon to Orange County with his family when he was only ten years old. He has lived in Mission Viejo ever since and feels fortunate to be surrounded by his three siblings and extended family. “My dad and mom were my biggest influence. They taught me a hard work ethic, seeing things through, establishing character, and that how you treat people is a critical component to this or any kind of work.” “I love being out and about in Orange County and being outdoors. I like to see what’s going on in the community and apply it to the needs of my clients. Recently, my wife and I picked up surfing. It has been one of the most fun and most humbling things I’ve ever done. I just wish we’d have taken advantage of it earlier.” Ziad and Kassy have three children, ages 6, 7 and 10. “The kids look at us from the shore and root for us. They’re also starting to participate. We love it!” “Our whole family is quite involved with our church.” They help out with a church-sponsored outreach program for families in need of food, clothing and other items. They have also assisted with disaster relief efforts. “My wife and I often talk about how blessed we feel to be in this community.” When he was contemplating law school, Ziad says, “I talked to other people I knew who were attorneys, but they didn’t seem to be having much fun.” His advice? “Find what you enjoy.” ZIAD NAJM CEDAR REAL ESTATE, INC. TEL: 949-300-4373 - 949-859-2000 EMAIL: ZIAD@CEDARREALESTATE.COM WEB: WWW.CEDARREALESTATE.COM BRE # 01243424

Ziad has spent years developing relationships with other business partners like lenders, credit specialists and property inspectors. “We have wonderful resources that have taken a long time to find. We trust them 100%. They are a great complement to ExecutiveAgent Magazine

WHY are these PWR Members so thrilled?

RED – Rapid Ethics Delivery has arrived! No dealing with unethical agents. No lengthy complaints process. PWR’s new RED (Rapid Ethics Delivery) program takes the burden off of members who are reluctant to file an ethics complaint due to reasons such as lack of proof, insufficient penalties, or just not having enough time. RED doesn’t replace PWR’s existing Professional Standards program, it enhances it by making the process much easier and far less time consuming – providing members with a faster yet still effective resolution of the problem!

PWR Leading the Way. RED is an exclusive PWR benefit and is the first and only REALTOR ® association to offer this innovative and unique expedited ethics program.

Pacific West Association of REALTORS® •



uba Jewgieniew, Founder and CEO of Realty ONE Group, was a former stockbroker and computer programmer who entered the real estate market in 2003. Though he achieved great success during his first year in the business, he realized that something


By Haley Freeman

was missing in the marketplace – a truly agent-centric company where agents were provided with cutting-edge tools to succeed. Kuba opened his innovative real estate firm in Las Vegas, NV, in 2005 and has since expanded his vision into a multi-state phenomenon.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

“Having been an agent, I know what agents need -- and that’s an unwavering focus on the tools that allow them to do their jobs better,” Kuba says. “That’s why I am continually looking for ways to help them succeed, from a compensation plan that puts more money in their pockets, to top-ofthe-line marketing services, to technology such as a new personalized app, and a proprietary paperless transaction system that streamlines their processes.” Another important component of building a better real estate company has been to build a better culture. “I love hearing from others who have joined us and realize how we are different. We recently had a top professional join from a competitor. He knew right away that we were different, and he told me that the culture Realty ONE Group has built is unlike anything he’d seen before. He could see that it was so important to us, and remarked on how refreshing it was, when you’re working in an industry that’s been around forever, to see the innovation and support we provide to the people here who are all working together to achieve the same goal,” Kuba explains.

with their teams. She also invested in training with Brian Buffini’s organization. “I started to get traction by working my own sphere of influence. Eventually I grew my own business so much that I started developing my own team,” Tina remembers. “I wanted to volunteer and train new agents. I participated in the Agent Leadership Council at my office and began studying leadership because of my burning passion to lead others.” Tina provided training and leadership for several organizations. She was a Brian Buffini trainer, created and implemented a successful program for Zip Realty and developed the coaching program in place today at Keller Williams Realty. “When I met Kuba, we clicked,” Tina says. “I felt at home the minute I met him. Past leadership teams I’ve worked with were about control and command; at Realty ONE Group it is empowering and inspiring. This is the very first agent-centric company that succeeds at what they claim to do. I can’t tell people enough about the amazing opportunities we have to offer.”

Realty ONE Group has continued to grow since its inception in 2005. “We are always analyzing new markets to see where we should take the company next,” Kuba said. “San Diego County was an obvious choice; it will be the perfect complement to our growing Southern California offices in Orange County and the Inland Empire. Our first challenge was to find the person to lead the region, but it didn’t take us long to identify that superstar.”

Technology is a crucial component to the infrastructure that Kuba has developed for the company. “We pioneered technological innovations this year that are especially exciting and client-focused,” he says. “Our agents are focused on personal relationships, and we support them with an app they can customize, marketing materials they can brand, etc. Today’s technologies make it easier than ever for REALTORS® to promote themselves.”

Tina King, Regional Manager of San Diego, has joined the team to contribute her exceptional coaching and leadership skills to further enhance the company’s culture. Tina has always had a fierce entrepreneurial spirit, but when she first entered the real estate business, she was disappointed by the lack of training and support that companies provided. She tenaciously sought out top-producing agents and learned by working

The company is providing the personalized app to each agent at no cost. The app “allows each agent to better support their clients and emphasize our focus on local communities,” Kuba explains. “The app’s lifestyle search allows clients to filter down to the lifestyle and community that best suits their clients’ home-buying need and reinforces the agents’ intimate knowledge of local neighborhoods.”

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

We provide our associates with a commission structure, proprietary tools, expert education, and a level of teamwork and support that tips the balance in their favor

“Of course, we are masters of all the other important tools that are necessary to attract clients, from a robust social media presence that further personalizes us and our service, to brand exposure on industry leading websites like and Homes. com,” Kuba said.

industry has been eager for and has allowed us to select only the prospects that share our vision, culture and work ethic,” Kuba says.

To underscore its goal of being a lifestyle brand, the company this year launched both a TV channel, RealtyONEGroup.TV, which showcases videos of the company’s vision, agents and new initiatives; and a glossy lifestyle magazine called ONE Magazine, which focuses on providing lifestyle and market information for both agent and client. Realty ONE Group also knows the importance of leading in the community and recently launched Realty ONE Group Cares, its own 501c3 Charitable Foundation. The focus of Realty ONE Group Cares is to support Realty ONE Group Employees experiencing hardship while also supporting different causes throughout the year through financial contribution and events to raise awareness. Kuba feels strongly that together, Realty ONE Group can and will make a difference in their local communities. The company is looking forward to more growth through the introduction of its franchise model. “In the first nine months of franchising, we had an overwhelming number of successful brokerages eager to convert and jump on board. This response – from over 1,000 interested candidates – proves that our model is something that our

Tina King, Regional Manager, San Diego

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Realty ONE Group Carlsbad, CA office 2701 Loker Ave., W. #150 Carlsbad, CA 92010 According to Tina, she is looking forward to inspiring people in her region. “I am a person who genuinely has a care and concern for the person sitting in front of me…I am in a company that can absolutely enhance that experience and make it bigger than anything I could ever do myself. Our office environment is about productivity, trust and fun! I feel like everything in my career and life are in perfect alignment with where I want to be. Everything I put out there many years ago and what I dreamt of has come to fruition.” That is exactly the kind of experience that Realty ONE Group is trying to provide for each of its agents. Kuba explains, “People who choose to work here

‘get it. They know we are creating something different and important, and they are eager to be a part of it. They are results-driven and don’t stop until it’s finished. This is what fuels our growth.” Realty ONE Group Kuba Jewgieniew, Founder and CEO Tina King, Regional Manager, San Diego Tel: 760.445.1702 Web: License: CA 01704625

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Call-Killing Phrases


ow often have you started a call to a friend, family member or business associate with the phrase, “How are you?” I’m willing to bet the answer is a lot. I know I say it frequently. It’s commonly used as a greeting, as a “hello.” Because “How are you?” is so commonly used, how often have you started your introductory calls with this phrase? If you do use this phrase as an opening for your introductory call, please stop immediately. It’s an introductory call-killer, and this is why: 1. If you ask this question, you must be prepared for the answer. What if your prospect answers, “I’m having a lousy day. My back hurts, I have a cold, I hate my job and my wife left me yesterday?” Do you really care? Is this the reason for your phone call? 2. You lose control of the call. (This is probably the most important reason). If your prospect does respond, “I’m having a lousy day. My back hurts, I have a cold, I hate my job and my wife left me yesterday,” how are you going to get the call back on track? 3. It’s a set up, a tip off to your prospect that you are making a sales call. It gives your prospect the opportunity to say, “I’m busy. What do you want?” (See number 2 above.) Similar issues apply with the introductory call-killing phrases, “May I have a moment of your time?” and/or “Is this a good time to talk?” With both of these phrases, you lose control of the call right at the beginning, before you’ve had a chance to say anything at all. If the prospect answers, “no,” the call is over. These are also both tip off phrases. Friends, family and important business colleagues would probably not say, “May I have a moment of your time?” or “Is this a good time to talk?” Only someone making a sales call would use this language, and it’s all too easy for your prospect to respond negatively. I know that many of you reading this will argue, “Wendy, it’s polite. It’s polite to say, ‘How are you?’ as a greeting and it’s polite to ask permission to speak.” There are, however, many ways to greet a prospect saying “hello” works just fine. It is also equally polite to simply introduce yourself and get to the point. This is not only polite, it’s respectful of your prospect’s time, it’s more effective and it allows you to retain control of the conversation.

In order to be truly effective prospecting or selling by phone, it is imperative to control the conversations you have with prospects. You want to set yourself up to have the best possible conversation that you can have with any given prospect. While it is true that not all prospects will respond badly to the above phrases, why take the chance? Why risk blowing a lead at the beginning of the call if something as simple as not starting out with, “How are you?” can totally eliminate that possibility? Say hello. Introduce yourself. Get to the point and say what you have to say. Then ask for what you want. This is the formula for a successful introductory call. Save the “How are you?” question for those whose answers really interest you. Wendy Weiss, “The Queen of Cold Calling,” is a s.ales trainer, author and s.ales coach. Her recently released program, Cold Calling College, and/or her book, Cold Calling for Women, can be ordered by visiting http:www. Get Wendy’s free e-zine at http://www. Copyright© 2007, Wend Weiss. All rights reserved. For information contact FrogPond at 800.704.FROG (3764) or email;

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Evergreen Realty HomeSmart Welcomes

ssss sssssssss

Tony Faulkner has been in the real estate industry for over 19 years in Orange County. Tony has managed two thriving real estate companies and has taken both from ground level, flagship offices and turned them into top producing sales offices. An excellent coach, he is skilled at helping agents plan their business to achieve their real estate sales goals. He is a great motivator and emphasizes the importance of professional growth and training to stay ahead and remain on top in the industry. Serving in the United States Marines Corps for 14 years, Tony retired with the title Aviation Operations Chief where he supervised over 150 U.S. Marines in operations and administrative duties, classification documents and flight logs. Following the Marines, Tony spent 7 years in the United States Air Force Reserve where he retired. Tony has served on the OCAR board of directors and is active in the community working with at risk kids.

w1 Top Workplace Years in a Row ww Fastest Growing Company yy Support and Technology yy Leadership, Vision and Retennon

Irvine Corporate Office 949.753.7888 Dana Point 949.463.1200

Laguna Niguel 949.230.1597

Huntington Beach 714.465.2000

Brea 714.990.0770

Mission Viejo 949.463.1200

San Clemente 949.492.4868

Upland 909.527.8252

The Premier Purchase Lender • Purchase focused lending • Turn times unmatched by other lenders • Mortgage solutions to meet your buyers needs Brian Liebman President 949-860-3495

Brian Fraser Sales Manager 714-488-2245

Josh Lander Sales Manager 619-602-1587

• Experienced local professionals who deliver exceptional service

NMLSR ID 519190

NMLSR ID 653793

NMLSR ID 766437

Doc Spaulding Sales Manager 858-750-9110

David Gaylord Sr. Mortgage Consultant 949-939-6011

J. Horacio Herrera Sr. Mortgage Consultant 619-646-5800

Daniel Healy Sr. Mortgage Consultant 760-271-8243

George Radlick Sr. Mortgage Consultant 760-579-1998

Joel Berman Sr. Mortgage Consultant 619-279-2935

Carol Krock Sr. Mortgage Consultant 951-634-4807

Jim Gordon Sr. Mortgage Consultant 949-632-4347

Mark Joplin Sr. Mortgage Consultant 619-368-1294

Jenna Tolman Mortgage Consultant 949-702-0532

Dreama Brown Sr. Mortgage Consultant 619-890-3037

Cathy Sabater Sr. Mortgage Consultant 619-846-2675

Edie MacGray Sr. Mortgage Consultant 760-802-0142

Teyon A. Johnson Sr. Mortgage Consultant 619-408-3433

Charlie Burkett Sr. Mortgage Consultant 858-254-5774

Margarita Georgieva Sr. Mortgage Consultant 858-699-2396

Steve Meier Sr. Mortgage Consultant 619-890-4103

Bryan Schurter Sr. Mortgage Consultant 714-442-2650

NMLSR ID 657535

NMLSR ID 284599

NMLSR ID 301415

NMLSR ID 257383

NMLSR ID 329512

NMLSR ID 874149

©2013 Greenpath Funding, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NMLSR ID 996608.

NMLSR ID 347564

NMLSR ID 653792

NMLSR ID 240342

NMLSR ID 340107

NMLSR ID 999566

NMLSR ID 346669

NMLSR ID 681674

NMLSR ID 512330

NMLSR ID 450464

NMLSR ID 653795

NMLSR ID 373470

NMLSR ID 1098850



By Shannon Hartsoe


hen Michelle Fowler entered the real estate profession the first time, she admits she didn’t really know what to expect. “I wanted a job I could do part time while my two daughters were young,” she says. “Real estate turned out not to be it!” Michelle learned that though she enjoyed her job, it wasn’t something she felt could be done well working only part-time hours. Her clients, she said, deserved her undivided attention. If she couldn’t give them that, she decided it was better to let other agents handle the work. “I went back to staying at home with my children.” But in her brief time as a Realtor® Michelle learned something else about the industry – she loved it and knew that when the time was right, she’d go back to selling homes. In the meantime, Michelle’s husband Sid was working in the transportation industry. Here, he says, he was a highpowered go-getter, setting sales records and exceeding the expectations of both his company and his co-workers. His friend, who had once been in the same industry, had started CENTURY 21 Superstars which later became

CENTURY 21 Award and a top-producing agent. “We ran into each other one day and he said, ‘Sid, you can run circles around me in transportation sales, I know you could do much better in real estate!’” Sid recalls. Michelle had already gone back to real estate full-time and was enjoying her new career. It was everything she knew it could be and more. “Once I had the time to devote to it, I just hit the ground running,” she says. “I really enjoyed interacting with my clients and helping them find the perfect home or sell their property.” One powerful difference was the amount of coaching she received at CENTURY 21. Daily, she and a trainer would work on scripts, talk about how to overcome objections and work on the finer points of selling. Most people, she says, don’t realize how much work goes into learning how to be a salesperson before success actually comes. “I think some people think it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s not that easy. Selling real estate – at least selling it correctly – takes some training and working with CENTURY 21 really helped take my career to the next level.”

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Sid & Michelle Fowler “From Dynamic Duo to Formidable Team” Sid saw how much Michelle enjoyed her job and decided to join her. “It only made sense,” he says. “With my sales background and her knowledge of the market, we knew we could make it a success.” Today, Sid and Michelle run one of the most successful Southern California real estate teams, where the customer always comes first, service is 24-7 and there’s no sale too large or too small for this dynamic duo. Every year since they joined forces at CENTURY 21 in 1995, they’ve earned the Centurion Award, Double Centurion and have been in the top two percent of CENTURY 21 agents worldwide. “Everything we do, we do for the clients,” says Sid. “And that has translated into a tremendous amount of repeat and referral business. This is an industry where people remember the little things you do for them, and it matters.” In addition to Sid and Michelle, the team now includes Rhonda White and Ann Pearce. Sid and Michelle expect to add even more agents to the team in 2014. But unmotivated people who aren’t willing to go the extra mile need not apply. “Each person on our team is exceptionally good at what they do,” says Sid. “When Michelle and I started working as a team, it became clear that she had her strengths and I had mine. I am very much into the technical side of the business – running the websites, handling social media and marketing – whereas she’s very involved with our clients. As the team has grown, we’ve consciously added people who are complementary to each other, helping to strengthen the experience for our clients.” With each person focusing on their core strengths, nothing gets left to chance and clients get the benefit of a full-service team behind every transaction which includes our affiliates such as Greenpath Funding, Escrow Network and Chicago Title Company.

try to be the best we can be at everything we do and let the rest take care of itself.” Do the two ever get too much of each other? Absolutely not, they say. When they’re not working, the two can usually be found in their RV travelling the coastline with their two dogs, or visiting their two daughters and four grandchildren. “We work together, we live together and we have fun together,” says Sid. “Life doesn’t get any better than this.”

With their three websites and impressive social media presence, the team makes the most of marketing opportunities for each and every listing. And, says Michelle, no listing is too small to get the star treatment. “Some agents shy away from smaller listings,” she says. “But we work with any seller no matter how small the listing. And every client gets the same great service and attention to detail whether it’s a mobile home or a multimillion dollar home.”

Sid & Michelle Fowler CENTURY 21 Award 160 N. Riverview Dr., Suite 350 Anaheim Hills, CA 92808 Office: 714-779-4370 Cell: 714-290-5015 Email: BRE # 01236724 - BRE # 00594943

“There are a lot of agents out there,” adds Sid. “We just ExecutiveAgent Magazine




Nominate a fellow REALTOR速 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: Tel: 949.366.3349

Name:___________________________________ Company:________________________________ Phone:___________________________________ Email:___________________________________



Cover Story

Heather Stevenson Executive Agent of the Month

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Heather Stevenson By Shannon Hartsoe - Ian Wiant Photographer


hen you can sell an $8,000 robe made out of gold, everything else is easy. Heather Stevenson says she’s a “natural born salesperson,” but when she helped a customer decide to purchase the Donna Karan designed luxury bathrobe while working at Neiman-Marcus, she knew she could sell anything. It wasn’t really a surprise “I was always the one who sold the most Girl Scout cookies, or the kid in class who sold the most of whatever fundraiser we were doing,” she says. “I’d get out my little

red wagon and go door to door hawking my wares.” She also had a head for business, subcontracting her chores to other neighborhood kids for a cut of her allowance. “It worked for awhile until my parents found out, but for a little bit there I had a really nice thing going on,” she laughs. “Though they probably appreciated my negotiating skills, my parents thought instilling a work ethic was probably more important!” The Family that Sells Together Today, Heather is team leader and broker of one of the top-producing teams at Prudential California Realty Inland Empire and her 93 closed transactions for 2013 helped earned her a spot in the Chairman’s Circle. With a unique sales style– a rare combination of innovative, out-of-the box thinking paired with impeccable market knowledge and sales acumen – Heather’s clients turn to her again and again for help with their real estate needs. That’s the type of skill, she says, you either have or you don’t. “I think there are some technical aspects of the real estate business that can be taught,” she says. “But I think as far as the drive and the desire to go above and beyond, that has to be innate. It takes a certain type of personality to want to be successful.” Heather believes she inherited her drive from her parents. Her father was a successful real estate developer. At one point he was regional president for Richmond American Homes. Today, he’s chief operating officer for Lewis Community Developers. Heather’s mother had her real estate license and sold new home developments alongside her husband. She was also a gifted interior designer – a skill Heather also inherited and uses extensively to help market her listings.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Mark & Heather Stevenson “One of my first jobs was hosting special events at new home communities,” she says. “I worked alongside my parents and developed an aptitude for real estate very early on.” After putting herself through college at Arizona State, Heather decided to go back to what she loved – and knew. In 1993, she earned her real estate license and went directly into new home sales. She went on to earn two contractors’ licenses – one for engineering and one for general contracting. From New Construction to Resale

standard, and she reveled in helping take her companies to new heights. Her secret was in knowing her customers, and helping them find exactly what they wanted. “Like in any business there were great years and there were years that were more challenging,” she says. “But even in the challenging years, I always found a way to be successful. I had a way with the clients and some of the people who bought new homes from me many years ago are still in those homes and still my friends today.” But something was missing.

Heather worked for several new home developers, including Lennar, Ryland Homes and Shea Homes, working her way up to vice president of sales, twice reaching 120 percent of her goals all the while reducing costs for the company. Breaking sales records was the

Her success as a salesperson enabled her husband to be a stay-at-home dad to their two children for more than 14 years. It was a system that worked well for them until Heather began to want something more.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Selling Dreams in Southern California “I really wanted to be more involved in management and in coaching other agents,” she said. “And new home sales were not something I could see myself doing forever.” Her husband, Mark Stevenson, was also ready for a change. “I’d come home and he’d be saying, ‘let’s go look at open houses,’” she recalls. “He really likes real estate too and I knew with his skills he’d be a natural fit. So we hatched a plan to go into real estate as a team.” But as any good engineer will tell you, a good foundation is everything.

“We didn’t just rush into it,” says Mark. “We knew that if we were going to do this we were going to do it right.” The couple drew up a business plan, built a complete website and even had professional headshots taken before their official launch in December of 2010. Once everything was in place, they knew the time was right. “I remember opening a bottle of champagne when we decided to officially launch the Stevenson Team as a full time business”, says Heather. “It was like a precelebration of our success. I knew we were going to make it work.”

The Stevenson Team: Rose Beltran, Manuel Beltran, Heather Stevenson, Mark Stevenson, Christina Clark, and Sam Martinez ExecutiveAgent Magazine

The Stevenson Family The Future’s so Bright The Stevenson Team is now one of the most successful real estate teams for Prudential California Realty. With six team members and plans to add more in 2014, they cover most of Southern California, from Orange County to the Inland Empire, Hollywood and Corona. “Coming over to Prudential was one of the best things we ever did,” says Mark. “When Heather came to me and said, ‘we’re joining Prudential,’ I was hesitant. We were successful on our own and I thought we didn’t need any help. Once I met Rich (Cosner) and heard his philosophy of business, I knew this is where we were meant to be.” The difference, says Heather, is in the marketing. “My new home background helps us market our resales in a way that makes them competitive with new construction. We do a full analysis of market pricing so that when I tell my clients what their home will sell for, it’s not a shot in the dark or priced just to make them happy. We price it accordingly and we price it to sell.”

design – and a full-artillery marketing and advertising package that includes upgraded listings on and placement on all major social media outlets. The average response time for one of Heather’s social media updates is six minutes. And, because the office phone rings on all six team members’ cell phones, no call ever goes to voicemail. “In this day and age, people want answers instantly, if they can’t reach you, they’ll just go to the next agent,” says Mark. “We’re here to answer questions, to show a house or to give information whenever our buyers or sellers need us.” They also have a plan. By holding quarterly business meetings with Rich, the team has been able to take their business to the next level and with the backing of Prudential California behind them Heather and Mark say the sky is the limit. “As successful as we are,” says Mark, “We’re really just getting started.”

Every listing gets the star treatment – professional staging courtesy of Heather’s penchant for interior ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Heather Stevenson The Stevenson Team Prudential California Realty 1181 California Ave., Ste. 175 Corona, CA 92881 Tel: 951.818.7583 BRE # 01478413

ExecutiveAgent Magazine



ExecutiveAgent Magazine


John Binder By Haley Freeman


ohn Binder made his own way in the world at an early age. He grew up with his father in Southern California, and when circumstances moved his father out of state, John remained in California and finished high school. He had a love of cars, and spent time scouring neighborhoods, looking for old cars that he could buy and fix up for sale. John tenaciously completed a four-year carpenter’s apprentice program and obtained a good job in the construction field. He continued to make a steady side income buying and selling cars along the way. “A few friends I grew up with had parents in real estate. I always wanted to be self-employed. One of them told me, ‘If you do what you have done with classis cars in real estate, the sky’s the limit.’” When the economy took a downturn, the construction field also became unstable, and John went back to school for some business classes. “I realized that working for a company, I was just a number. In 2008, I decided to get into real estate and got licensed. Walking away from my other career was the best thing that ever happened to me.” “Everybody I knew was trying to talk me out of doing what I did, but I’m happy I made the decision.” As John entered real estate during turbulent economic times, his friend Johnny Salas counseled him that it was a great time to make the transition, since he was getting in when everyone else was getting out. “Johnny told me, ‘When the market turns, you’ll make it.’ He introduced me to real estate and has been a mentor to me. He opened my eyes to what is possible in real estate and gave me books to read and showed me how he did it.” John knew that finding the right company would be crucial to his success. “RE/MAX is the right place for me. I have a very good broker who gives me good advice. RE/MAX has great web training, and our broker provides weekly meetings and coaching.” “The first couple years were tough. My first year, I sold four homes. It was a lot of work. The end of 2012 is when my phone was really ringing. I’ve been busy since then. This has been a very good year for me. I sold 32 homes this year. During the holidays a lot of agents are slowing down, but I’m getting busier and receiving more and more referrals from past clients.”

to be successful, you’ve got to be honest and ethical. He gave me some good business values. When I grew up, if I wanted something, I had to go out and get it. I try to apply a hard work ethic, honesty and integrity. Then everything else falls into place.” Since he was in high school, John has had a gift for talking to strangers. This skill has been a great asset to him in real estate. “I knock on doors and hand out flyers and talk to people. I used to knock on doors in neighborhoods to buy old cars when I was a kid. I’m one of the few agents who doesn’t mind going out prospecting.” John was once out canvassing a neighborhood when a woman yelled at him to get off her lawn and sprayed him with the water hose. He took it in stride, and the next time he was in the neighborhood, he met her husband. After a few interactions, the husband called to say that his wife was interested in selling their house. “I sold the house for more than I estimated and got the highest sales price in the neighborhood and sold it in only two days. Then I took them out to see a brand new house. They bought it and have since referred two people to me.” John’s construction background is also a benefit to his clients. “When I look at a property I can identify a bad property, like if there is termite damage or the foundation is no good. I can also tell if a problem is minor.” “I truly love my job. It’s not just about getting a check. I enjoy getting to know people and educate them. I am goal-oriented, and don’t like to over-promise and underdeliver. I always try to put other people’s needs first. People know if you’re acting in their best interests or not. Selling them a home is very rewarding.” John Binder RE/MAX Tiffany 5925 Ball Rd. Cypress, CA 90680 Tel: 562-882-2940 Email: Web: BRE: 01908284

Early lessons have stayed with John and contributed to his success. “Mitch Kelly mentored me at a young age. He was a business owner, and instilled in me that if you want ExecutiveAgent Magazine



By Haley Freeman

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Dustin & Leah Wise

Building on a Solid Foundation


ustin and Leah Wise were newlyweds when they decided to enter the real estate business. They were looking forward to starting a family and saw the chance to work together, make a good living and have the flexibility to spend time with their children. They entered the business during the boom years of the early 2000s. Together, they leveraged their considerable people skills and enjoyed great success in real estate lending and sales. Leah gave birth to their first daughter in 2007, just before the market crashed. As the economic climate shifted, Dustin and Leah found themselves caught in a reversal of fortune. Their son was born in 2009 and they welcomed another daughter in 2011. During the intervening years, they faced challenges including foreclosure and bankruptcy, while trying to manage the needs of their growing family. True to their personal values and positive spirit, Dustin and Leah prevailed over their challenges and rebuilt their careers on a new foundation that they believe is a stronger one. “We learned a lot that we can use in our business today,” Leah says. “We take a very personal approach to real estate based on our experience. We share our own mistakes to help clients avoid some of the same trials that we went through.” “We often hear from clients that we are good communicators and seem like we really care about them. It comes from a lot of the pain we have gone through personally and in the industry,” Dustin says. “In 2010 we saw the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and adapt to the market. We treat every transaction like it’s our own purchase. Every time we walk through this with someone, it’s like it’s our own. We want them to have a favorable experience and make a good decision.” Dustin and Leah strive to connect personally with their clients and then to remain in touch with them over time. Leah finds outlets for her creativity by hosting themed parties and by making hand-made greeting cards. “I like crafty, Pinterest things,” she says. “I love planning parties and have a passion for entertaining. I like incorporating that into our business. I make handmade and handwritten business cards and send them to clients every week. We try to stay in front of mind with everybody.” The couple has also created community pages together on Facebook. “One is about our passions in community events, new restaurants and what we love most about where we live. It has been very well received. It’s really a recycled real estate page that we rebranded with light sprinklings of

real estate information,” Dustin says. “I like deals and what kinds of things are going on for the kids. We went from 10 to 1800 likes in two weeks,” Leah says. “Everybody says they love the page. It reflects how we run our business in other venues. We are trying to find a genuine way to connect with people through what people like and what they want to do.” Dustin and Leah take full advantage of the exceptional training tools that Keller Williams provides. They are now working with a mastery coach to further refine their skills. According to Dustin, “We just put our 2014 business plan together. Having a written plan keeps us accountable to where we see our business going and where we want to be.” “Our mastery coach doesn’t let months pass by to find out if something is working,” Leah says. “He checks in every week and can identify problems quickly and where it needs to be fixed. We are always making adjustments…. Sometimes it is just a matter of moving the pieces around. He also cultivates a friendly competition between us.” Dustin and Leah work hard to maintain a work-life balance. Leah says, “Lunch is our only meal where we sit down with just the two of us. Our time in the office is very focused. Stepping out to lunch is our time to take a break and talk.” Dustin and Leah look back on their difficult times with gratitude. “After we lost everything,” Leah says, “we realized our kids would be raised differently. It is a time we will never forget, and our clients benefit from it. What if someone loses a job? What does the house payment look like then? We are always looking at the long haul for people. It all turned out to be a blessing in disguise.” According to Dustin, “We realized that a few aspects of our life didn’t have a strong foundation. Our marriage stood the test of time, and ultimately so did our business. The track we were on before was just not sustainable. We have readjusted our business to match our values.” Dustin & Leah Wise The Wise Team Keller Williams Realty Tel: 714-875-3667 Email: Web: BRE # 01520106 - BRE # 01762984

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Are You Lazy Enough Written By Mel Kleiman


hen you first see them together, the words “lazy” and “great manager” may not look like a logical fit, but believe me, they are!

Think about this: When your employees are so well trained that they can do whatever needs to be done when it needs to be done without your intervention, you can be lazy. When your store runs so smoothly that problems don’t arise or are easily and immediately handled, you can be lazy. And when crises don’t happen, you can spend the time you used to spend handling them being lazy! (Of course, in this context lazy doesn’t really mean lazy. It means having more time to do the things you want to do and excel at doing.) Reaching the point at which you are lazy enough to be a great manager is simple. Just teach everyone who works for you how to do every job there is to do. You’ll expand your employees’ skills, boost their confidence levels and reduce the amount of time and effort you need to spend managing them. Why should you make a practice of training every employee to do every job? Because studies repeatedly show that most people, when offered the choice between making more money and doing more interesting work, unhesitatingly choose more interesting work. And the simplest way to make work more interesting is to make it more varied, which also frees you from over managing! Managers sometimes tell me they’re concerned that training their employees this extensively will cause them to leave for better-paying jobs. Though once in a while this may happen, the fact is that well trained employees tend to stay, not leave. And if they do part company with you, it’s likely to be because you’ve trained them so thoroughly that


they are leaving to become managers at other stores—or that you’re moving up the corporate ladder yourself. Help people to get what they want and they’ll help you to get what you want is more than a nice sounding saying, it’s a very practical truth! Training doesn’t cause employees to leave, but having to perform the same limited tasks day in and day out can cause them to look for greener pastures in a heartbeat. It’s the under-trained employees who are most at risk to leave because they want more interesting work. Besides, if you don’t invest the necessary time and effort in training, what will you have? A bunch of poorly trained employees, that’s what! So which would you rather do, keep them ignorant and working for you or teach them what they need to know to make your business more profitable—and your job a lot less stressful? Getting to the point at which you can be a great “lazy manager” does require some extra effort on your part initially. And even when everyone who works for you is trained to do every task there is, you must still remain alert to what your employees need from you. But these things are a small price to pay for the rewards of a store that runs smoothly and well–and for the ultimate reward of being lazy! Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally recognized consultant, author, and speaker on strategies for hiring and retaining the best employees. He is the President of Humetrics, a leading developer of systems, training, processes, and tools for recruiting, selection, and retention of the best hourly workforce. He is also the author of four books, including the best selling “Hire Tough Manage Easy”. Copyright© 2004, Mel Kleiman. All rights reserved. For addition information, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email;

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

to be a Great Manager?

ExecutiveAgent Magazine




Barbara Gustavsen ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Sharing Her Experience with Colleagues and Community By Haley Freeman


arbara Gustavsen began her industry career working in escrow just after she finished high school. It was a different industry then, when computers were just being implemented and real estate contracts consisted of only a few pages. “I used to type escrow instructions on a typewriter. I had a fabulous manager and got to learn every aspect of what has to happen to close an escrow and the terminology of the business,” Barbara says. Eventually, Barbara decided to get her real estate license. She initially worked with a local real estate agency, where she met Barbara Meyer, an agent and trainer. “She has a ton of experience, highly intelligent and open-minded. She was my mentor when I started in the sales field, and I adore her.” “When I obtained my license, I had never seen a real estate contract before. I had so much to learn, and most things you just can’t learn except through experiencing it. I was scared about whether or not I could make it in this business.” Meyer gave her both the training and confidence to succeed. “She was an encourager. When she transferred to another company, I followed.” Eventually, Meyer chose Barbara to teach new agents, and Barbara found that she benefited almost as much from teaching as she did from being mentored herself. “I taught contracts and disclosures. New agents who are afraid to ask questions are so dangerous. In this business, no one should be afraid for their superiors to know what they don’t know. There are just so many legal ramifications when you make a mistake. I love that things change in real estate and there is always something new to learn. I learn when I teach. I go back to the basics, and they ring true forever.” Today, Barbara works with Harcourts Prime Properties. During the past year, she partnered with Dean Welsh, owner/manager of the Harcourts office in Carmel Valley. She is busy working with him to handle all Orange County acquisitions for one of the largest investment groups in OC, in addition to her regular book of referral and new business. “Our company has very high ethics. One of the core values of the Harcourts system is to put people first. Give service and people will come. I try to always do what is best for my client, even if it means there is no commission in it,” she says. Barbara demonstrates these values in the way that she deals with the needs of her individual clients. She remem-

bers, “I had buyers who had very specific needs. They were taking care of a mom with cancer, had a son in high school and wanted a big lot and 3,000 square feet on a single level. It was going to be hard to find in that area. The next day a property came on the market. There were 13 offers. I immediately made an appointment with the agent and seller to deliver my clients’ offer in person.” Barbara was able to negotiate the deal. When the seller gave Barbara the keys at escrow, he shared with her that the reason he agreed to sell to her buyer was that she had brought along a picture of the family and told why this was the perfect house for their needs. “Whenever I make an offer, I take a picture of the buyer and sit down with seller and tell them about the person who is interested in their house. People want to know who is going to buy their home. It’s important for people to understand what the buyer likes about the house. I find out the sellers’ history too and try to find out as much information as I can instead of just submitting an offer.” Barbara’s care for people carries over into her free time. She works with a community program where she mentors other women. “People are often acting out of fear. I like helping people to talk about their fears and address them. When you can get them out they’re not so big and unmanageable. I love studying human behavior, it always helps me to help someone else.” Barbara has three grandchildren who live nearby. “Now part of my life is giving back to the kids and doing the little things that bring joy.” She describes herself as “an outdoor person” who enjoys taking advantage of the beautiful weather and outdoor activities available in Orange County. “It’s fun to meet people and find out what their needs are. Barbara Meyer told me, ‘You will attract what you put out. If you are attracting difficult people, then look at what you’re putting out.’” According to Barbara, she has put this philosophy into practice and knows that it works. She says, “I have the best clients in the whole world.” Barbara Gustavsen Harcourts Prime Properties 377 E. Coast Hwy., Suite 250 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Tel: 714-875-9763 Email: BRE # 01265283

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


One Brand. One Rule. Written By T. Scott Gross


ou’ve got a great brand. Plenty of equity. Why not spend a little? Why not? Well, go ahead and spend but only so long as you don’t violate the first and only rule of brand extension: honor the values. On the far edge of my desk, just close enough to reach in a moment of emergency daydreaming is the Craftsman tool circular from Sears. Page 63 is dog-eared, a sign that I am waiting for an excuse to call for the 336 piece Mechanics Tool Set plus 6 FREE fully polished wrenches. What’s the brand? Craftsman 336 times over. What’s a Craftsman? Incredibly durable shop tools backed by a lifetime guaranty. One brand, 336 mechanics tools. So long as you don’t step on the brand values, extend all you like. Could Craftsman build a vacuum cleaner? Yes, and they have. But they’ve built shop vacs, see page 32. Could you use a Craftsman shop vac on carpet? Yes, but perish the thought! Could Craftsman build a carpet vacuum. Yes, but it would violate the values that are Craftsman. Show me a Craftsman carpet vacuum and suddenly my turbo-charged shop vac would look a little wimpy. Then there was Coke. Actually, Coke wasn’t the problem, it was New Coke that violated the values. After decades of telling us that ‘Coke is it’ and ‘Coke is the real thing’ someone failed to notice that the value of Coke lies in a unique taste, that “I can’t get this anywhere else” feeling that defines every true brand experience.

And what is it that makes Krispy Kreme a brand worthy of protection? Fresh, hot, and sweet are three values that come to mind. So what would you say to Krispy Kreme dinner rolls? Probably not. Krispy Kreme gravy mix? Definitely not! Just remember, honor the values and you’ll be fine. Ford F-150 brings to mind three key values: authentic, tough, pick-up truck. So long as you honor the values you can do what you want. Ford has. You can order an F-150 in a thousand permutations but you can’t get an F-150 lawn mower or an F-150 station wagon. If you could I’d be looking to trade my old gray ranch truck for something a tad more manly. When you have a strong brand the best move is not to do anything that would undermine its strength. On the other hand, if a brand has an attribute that is negative don’t wait until it is too late to take action. As I was heading to the office this morning the local news anchor ended the half-hour saying, “When we come back, a former Dallas Cowboy is arrested on drug charges. And it isn’t Michael Irvin. Brands are powerful. Be careful. T. Scott Gross is more than the creator of MicroBranding… he lives it! His best known MicroBrand, Positively Outrageous Service, puts him in front of nearly 100 business audiences each year. Read his books, try his ideas, and you’ll become a MicroBrander too! Copyright© 2002, T. Scott Gross. All rights reserved. For information about his keynote presentations, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email;

Want to extend the line? Diet Coke makes sense. Cherry Coke is alright. Even caffeine free Coke works. Why? Because each is true to the one value that makes Coke Coke… it tastes like Coke.


ExecutiveAgent Magazine


ExecutiveAgent Magazine



How To Trade For Advertising


hat do you do when you don’t have enough cash to advertise? You trade! Trading products and services for advertising is one of the hottest marketing topics in business discussions. And for good reason. Bartering for ads can give the small business person excellent opportunity and value. One radio station owner, who never forgot his pennypinching beginnings, is always on the lookout for businesses wanting to trade. When he needed extra storage sheds behind the studios, he got a carpenter to build them in exchange for free commercials on his stations. When the station promotional vehicles required regular detailing, he traded commercials for custom car washes. A big snow brought a private snow plow purchased with traded on-air mentions. The station owner figures he has a few commercials that his sales reps won’t sell. Why not trade them to other business people who have extra products and services they can’t sell? It’s a classic WIN-WIN arrangement. And lots of media managers welcome the situation. Joan, who owns a very successful donut shop, bases her advertising entirely on trade. She gives boxes of her highquality donuts to select radio stations for daily giveaways. In return, they speak highly of her donuts on the air. It’s not unusual to hear a morning DJ go on and on about how wonderful her product is. She has a rock solid reputation in the community as a result. The cost? A few boxes of donuts that might be surplused anyway. A newspaper editor reminds us that radio isn’t the only fertile ground for trade. Newspapers frequently need traded items and services to give away as prizes to readers, advertisers, and employees. He advises to check with the circulation department. They often need prizes to give to paper boys and girls. A TV exec recently emailed me to say that TV stations in many medium-sized and small cities like to trade advertising for products or services. “You’d be surprised at how flexible some TV stations are on this,” he said. Be creative. Got a book store? It’s trendy now days for TV weathermen to publish their own books on local weather stats. Call the manager at your favorite TV station and offer to do a cooperative promotion with the station. They can place the books in your store, AND have their weatherman do in-store appearances, in exchange for


mentioning your store’s locations. Offer to help them write and publish the book. “But I’m a Realtor®,” one man told me. “How would I trade real estate services to a media outlet?” There is a Realtor in my town who solved the problem. He does his own real estate show on talk radio. Enlisted sponsors pay his on-air fees. For the Realtor® who doesn’t have that show biz zeal, appearing regularly as a real estate expert on someone else’s show can be just as effective. Not all media outlets do trade. Some welcome trade some times of the year and not others. Many will do a part trade, part cash arrangement. A great many will bonus a certain number of free commercials or mentions when you buy ads. No matter what you do or sell, there is probably a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, TV station, cable system, radio station, or on-line provider that needs you. Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses and organizations. Read all his money-saving marketing tips at © 2008 Kevin Nunley. All rights reserved. For information contact FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email;

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

City of Hope’s Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Team Pictured from left to right: Sagus Sampath, M.D., Jae Y. Kim, M.D., Karen Reckamp, M.D., M.S., Dan Raz, M.D., Arnold J. Rotter, M.D., Marianna Koczywas, M.D. Not pictured: Frederic Grannis, M.D. (surgery), Mihaela Cristea, M.D. (oncology), David Horak, M.D. (pulmonary medicine), Argelia J. Sandoval, M.D., Anna Kim, M.D., Mordecai Dunst, M.D., Brian Tiep, M.D., Tommy Richard Sun Wing Tong, M.D. (pathology) and the nurse practitioners, Tami Tittelfitz, Dewi Miranda, Carrie Christensen, Rachel Dunham

CITY OF HOPE IS KNOWN WORLDWIDE FOR ITS COMPASSIONATE AND COMPREHENSIVE PATIENT CARE. From diagnosis through treatment and follow-up, our world-class, multidisciplinary team of lung cancer and thoracic oncology experts is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality, personalized treatment to lung cancer patients for the best outcomes and the fewest negative side effects. To learn more, visit, or call 800-826-HOPE.




Having Faith And Trust Will Lead to Success am a big believer in goal setting. I know for sure that when you set a goal, and believe in your heart of hearts that it’s going to come true. This Universal law has been proven to me over and over again throughout the years – basically it is “ask and you shall receive.” The thing you desire the most will eventually come to fruition. But it’s the “eventually” part that can be frustrating.


So, how do you keep the faith when it doesn’t seem like anything is happening? Stay focused. Stay focused. Stay focused. Keep your mind focused on your goal. Don’t allow present circumstances to fool you into thinking that this is your future circumstance. You know your future. You know what you’ll be doing. It’s manifesting itself right now. You just have to meet it and be ready when it arrives.

What do you do when you have been wanting the same thing for so long – maybe waiting for years – and you still don’t get it? Just hang in there, knowing that what you want is already yours.

One way to do this is by “acting as if”. Act as if you are already living in your dream home. (After all, you will be). Act as if the promotion or new job you desire is already yours. (In reality, it is.)

When you know what you want and have done everything you can, the only thing you can do is have faith and trust that Infinite Intelligence is working to make your dreams a reality. Sometimes it takes a while. We have to know our dreams were ours the minute we decided we wanted them. They are manifesting themselves. We just need to be patient.

When you wake up in the morning I want you to close your eyes and see yourself living your dream. If a new job is what you really want, see yourself arriving at that new job, smiling and ready to go to work. If a new home is your dream, watch yourself as you walk outside to retrieve the morning paper. Turn around and look at your dream house. It’s there. It’s yours. You dreamed about it. Now it’s a reality.

Is being patient an easy task? Not always. Sometimes it can even be depressing waiting for what we want to show up in physical form. But we have to realize if we weren’t supposed to have what we dream about then we would never have had the dream. We just need to believe in our dreams and ourselves and allow the Universe to work in its own divine time. You need dedication combined with perspiration moving toward a destination to get your ideal realization. In closing this week, I’d like to offer an exercise to complete in the week ahead:


Do this 10 minutes every day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. “Act as if” until you’re living your dream. Mark Victor Hansen, “that Chicken Soup for the Soul guy®”, inspires NEW VISION that generates innovation, productivity and profitability. markvictorhansen. com. Copyright(c) 2003, Mark Victor Hansen. All rights reserved. For information about Mark’s Keynote Presentations, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704. FROG(3764) or email; http://www.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Written by Mark Hansen ExecutiveAgent Magazine


More Control. More Deals. At Eagle Home Mortgage, our world revolves around the relationships we’ve cultivated with the real estate community. Our culture is geared toward support and empowerment of our loan officers, in order to provide the best possible service to you and your clients. Everyone at Eagle Home Mortgage is focused on the importance of closing loans and closing on time. Unlike other lenders, we process files locally, use in-house underwriters and have our own appraisal management team. This results in more control, improved communication and a faster, more efficient process; so as partners, we can make more deals happen.

Four Southern California locations: Torrance NMLS #804830

Phone: 310.602.3900

NMLS #839289

NMLS #849059



Scott Criss

Brett Smith

Karen Virgil

Branch Manager / Sr. Loan Officer

Branch Manager / Sr. Loan Officer

Branch Manager / Sr. Loan Officer

Phone: 619.929.0102

Phone: 949.892.2422

Phone: 951.750.7952

San Diego

NMLS #210975

NMLS #483930

NMLS #944511

NMLS #613337

Member of the Lennar Family of Companies

Universal American Mortgage Company dba Eagle Home Mortgage. Universal American Mortgage Company of California dba Eagle Home Mortgage of California. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. RMLA #4130443, NMLS #1058. Copyright 2013 Lennar Corporation. Lennar and the Lennar logo are U.S. registered service marks of Lennar Corporation and/or its subsidiaries.

February n orange county  
February n orange county