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Denise Arledge Executive Agent of the Month

Inside Features: Kirk Engel Finance of America Mortgage

Cherie Lucas First Team Real Estate




Finance of America Mortgage Westlake Village is Southern California’s premiere mortgage lender. Our goal is to create value for the community while bringing families home.



• Fannie • Jumbo • Freddie • VA • USDA • Ginnie


Steve Haddad

Branch Manager | Mortgage Advisor NMLS-238275


• • • •

Fix & Flip Line of Credit Fix & Flip Single Property New Construction Rental Portfolios



• HECM • HomeSafe

c: (818) 207-4889 f: (855) 495-6882 shaddad@financeofamerica.com SteveHaddad.com

Scott Engel

Branch Manager | Mortgage Advisor NMLS-260965

c: (310) 739-6243 f: (310) 903-4352 sengel@financeofamerica.com FOAmortgage.com/sengel

FOAmortgage.com/WestlakeVillage ©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 | 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. This is not a commitment to lend. Prices and guidelines are subject to change without notice. Some products may not be available in all states. Subject to review of credit and/or collateral; not all applicants will qualify for financing. It is important to make an informed decision when selecting and using a loan product; make sure to compare loan types when making a financing decision. 1. Product offered through Finance of America Commercial LLC | your advisor for details.

| NMLS ID #1133465 | Product not offered in all states. Product not directly offered by Finance of America Mortgage LLC. See

2. Product available through Finance of America Reverse LLC | | NMLS ID # 2285 | Finance of America Mortgage LLC is affiliated with Finance of America Reverse LLC. This affiliation may provide a financial or other benefit to Finance of America Mortgage LLC. Finance of America Mortgage LLC offers reverse mortgage products as a mortgage broker only. This document is provided by Finance of America Mortgage LLC. Any materials were not provided by HUD or FHA. It has not been approved by FHA or any Government Agency.


Denise Arledge COMPASS - Westlake Village





06 Cherie Lucas

Kirk Engel


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Fred Arrias Executive Publisher PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Direct: (949) 297-8323 Cell: (949) 702-9577 Fax: (949) 266-8757 FArrias45@gmail.com www.EAMag.net

How To Be Street Smart On And Off The Street -Tony Alessandra


The Five Minute Rule -Rory Aplanalp ADVERTISERS’ INDEX - MW City of Hope.......................................................34 Finance of America Mortgage.............................2


Do You Have a Plan for Your Life? -Jim Rohn

iPhotography Studio......................................15 & 23 Kinecta Federal Credit Union.........................................36

NAHREP...................................................................9 The Termite Guy......................................................3




Photography: iPhotography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy Van Writers: Ben Angel, John Boe, Haley Freeman, Jim Rohn, Walter Sanford, Dirk Zeller, Zig Ziglar


© Copyright 2018 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.

“I Endorse My Agent Because . . .” -Walter Sanford

What Is It That You Do -Chris Widener

The Talent You Already Possess -Zig Ziglar

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Written by Haley Freeman



xperience is the spark that drives service excellence at Finance of America Mortgage, Westlake Village. Sales Manager Kirk Engel leads a group of sea-

soned industry professionals who have succeeded through shifting markets, while maintaining strong bonds with clients and continually earning the respect of their peers.

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The Benefits of Experience Kirk brings 13-plus years of experience in high-volume purchase transactions to his role as sales manager. After graduating in 2001 with a degree in business and history from University of California, Berkeley, Kirk leveraged his talent for numbers at First Capital Mortgage. There, he became an award-winning, in-house Loan Consultant for agents at Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Pasadena. He was part of a dynamic lending team that generated the company’s highest marketshare in Southern California. After the mid-2000s financial crash reshaped the mortgage landscape, Kirk began searching for a company with all the elements necessary to maximize efficiency and client service in the new lending environment. He and branch managers Scott Engel and Steve Haddad found that at Finance of America Mortgage. Together, they have reassembled a talented group of colleagues with whom they have succeeded before. Now, they are delivering seamless service inside Finance of America Mortgage’s nimble and responsive framework. The team is galvanized by experience and mutual trust. “We have the staff we want, and the confidence that comes with knowing we are working with professionals. I feel like my processor is the best in the business, and she is one of the people I was able to bring here. Our office has great teamwork. We don’t have many stations a loan goes through to completion, so we’re able to move fast.” With his background of closing numerous, complex purchase transactions, Kirk is a valuable resource to his team. “A lot of the guideline questions come to me. I’m a big research guy, and I like to put deals together. I’ve worked with some of my top real estate agents to test the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to unique properties or borrowers with complicated income or assets. We’re able to save a lot of deals because of our collective experience.” Kirk and his team work with remarkable efficiency and speed. “Often, I’m pre-approving a file while the agent is writing the offer. I run credit, do the analysis and get it directly into underwriting. At that point, we’re just waiting for the appraisal. If a loan needs to close in 21 days or less, we have the means to do it. We don’t do preapprovals we can’t perform on. We have the advantage

of being supported by Blackstone, which is a huge player in the market and gives us the flexibility to compete with the big guys. But we’re still small enough to do things quickly, and we have authority at the branch level to make judgment calls on loans we believe in.” In addition, Finance of America Mortgage offers competitive pricing on an array of aggressive lending products. “We have our own proprietary products for reverse mortgages, construction and jumbo loans. We also have a line of credit for investors to fix and flip. That was unheard of just a year ago.” While providing support to his team, Kirk continues to originate loans. “I think if I were not doing sales and just managing, I would lose perspective on what’s important to Loan Consultants and in our relationships with borrowers and agents. I keep my hand on the pulse of the market and what’s going on with rates and guidelines.” Communication and accessibility are fundamental to service. The team provides their mobile phone numbers to clients so they can be reached at all times of the day and night. “We realize we have to be most accessible during weekends and vacation periods to meet deadlines. We’re there for our clients and our Realtors®. It’s part of being a professional in this business.” Kirk extends an open invitation to neighbors and colleagues to stop by and meet the team. “Anyone who walks in will be welcomed here,” he says. “We want people to visit us. When they do, they’ll see familiar faces of professionals who have been working in the industry for many years.” Kirk Engel – Sales Manager Finance of America Mortgage 5655 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite 120 Westlake Village, CA 91362 Tel: 310.924.5283 Email: kengel@financeofamerica.com Web: http://www.foamortgage.com/kengel NMLS ID 261071

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The DNA of Top Achievers


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Written By Chris Widener


f course by now we are all becoming aware of DNA. It is the source code that determines who we are. When we look at DNA we can see what a person will look like, what diseases they may come down with, etc. This has been a tremendous breakthrough for scientists and will continue to be so for some time, I think. This got me to thinking about what makes up those who are top achievers. Is there a “DNA” to them? Obviously, all top achievers wouldn’t have the same literal DNA but what about a figurative DNA? Is there a common “gene” that they all have? Are there common “genes” perhaps? I think so! If we could get right down to it, I think these are the genes we would find in the DNA of top achievers: A predisposition to setting high, lofty goals. Top achievers are people who won’t and can’t settle for the status quo. They see average as a place they want to keep in the rear-view mirror. Instead, they continually look for ways to stretch themselves, to get better, to do better, to be better! They set their sights on goals that others have never even thought of. They want to shoot so high that even if they miss, they go higher than everyone else. This is what makes them top achievers. An ability to focus intently upon reaching their desired destination. Many people can set high goals, but just as many people get sidetracked by one thing or another on their way to those goals. High, lofty goals usually take a while to get there so there will always be plenty of time to be tempted to stray away from the road that is taking you to those goals. Often, those things that sidetrack people are good things, but not the best things. Top achievers do not get sidetracked. They stay focused. They know where they are going. They have an ability to say “no” to the good things in order to get to the best things. The willingness to personally sacrifice in order to get to their goal. When the going gets tough, many people quit. When the going get tough personally, most people quit. When the going gets tough for top achievers, they remind themselves of the high.lofty goals they have set for themselves. They remind themselves of what an accomplishment it will be for them and that the reward is worth pushing through the momentary trials. They are willing to sacrifice personally in the short-term in order to get the reward and the prize long-term. Keeping their eyes on the big picture enables them to persevere through any personal pain they may experience.

A predisposition to tenacity. Tenacity is the ability to “keep on going.” Tough times? Keep on going! Financial troubles? Keep on going! People are suspect? Keep on going! You look like a dreamer? Keep on going! Tired? Keep on going! Want to quit and take it easy? Keep on going! Just remember this: Keep on going! The prize is ahead! Many people quit just before they were to get the reward, so keep on going! The ability to see available resources and to use them accordingly. Those who are top achievers know that they cannot be lone-rangers on the way to the top. No one makes it by himself or herself. Top achievers recognize their weaknesses – the weaknesses that if they don’t cover will keep them from becoming a top achiever! They see their resources and they work to get them into a helping position so they can continue the route to becoming a top achiever. And they don’t use them, they utilize them. There is a big difference! People, finances, etc are all brought in to help by the top achiever. A desire to help others achieve more for themselves as well. The top achiever knows that they can make a difference for others by becoming a top achiever. They know that the wealth they make can feed the hungry. They know that the position of influence they achieve can open a door for someone who may not normally get a chance. True top achievers look at how they can bring many with them, not how they can leave many in the dust. People are helped by the top achiever, not trampled upon! I think if we could get to the DNA of top achievers, the things we talked about above would be at the core and fiber of their beings. What about you? Did you recognize yourself at all? I hope so! The good news about the DNA we are talking about today as opposed to real DNA is that you can go out and work on top achiever DNA whereas you are stuck with real DNA. So if you lack a little in the above-mentioned areas, take heart – you can get better and work on them so that you can become a top achiever!Go get ’em, tiger! Chris Widener is the President of Made For Success. He teaches leaders how to become Extraordinary Leaders. Chris’ speaking and consulting services have challenged the best to become optimists, to pursue excellence relentlessly, and to dream big dreams. Copyright© 2001, Chris Widener. All rights reserved. For information about Chris’ speaking and consulting services, please contact the Frog Pond Group at 800-704-FROG (3764) or email Susie@ frogpondgroup.com; http://www.frogpondgroup.com.

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The Five Minute Rule


ixteen years ago, I was flying home from a speaking engagement reading the results to a survey about how much time the average father spends each week with his children. There were two criterias: It had to be one-on-one conversations and those conversations had to be done in a normal tone of voice. The national average? Seven minutes a week. That’s not seven minutes a day; that’s seven minutes a week! This same survey also tracked the amount of time a husband spends talking to his wife-again, one-on-one and in a normal tone of voice. Twenty-seven minutes- for the week! Sixteen years ago I only had two children. So, I decided to keep track of how much time I was spending with my children and my wife, one on one, quality time. When I tallied up the minutes, I was blown away. I was very close to the national average. I decided in that moment to do something about it. I created The Five-Minute Rule. The Five-Minute Rule in a nutshell is this: Take five minutes every single day to be alone with a loved one and tell them why you are grateful to have them in your life. Five minutes. Very, very simple. Very, very easy. And very, very important. More important than eating supper, picking up email messages, talking on the phone or watching the news. The first time I practiced The Five-Minute Rule with my son Brandon he was 10 years old. He was skateboarding with his friends across the street and I called him over. “Son, have I ever told you it was my generation who invented skateboards?” He said, “What do you mean, dad?” “Well, they didn’t cost $197 like yours. We took our old steel roller skates apart and nailed them on the bottom of a two-by-four board.” “Dad, how come you’ve never told me this before?” “Oh, I’m sure I have son, you probably weren’t listening.” “No, dad. I would’ve remembered. I love skateboards.” So, I told my son about the games we played with our skateboards. How we pretended we were in the Olympics. How we created a course and timed each other with a stopwatch. Whom ever had the best time out of two runs got to keep the trophy in their bedroom window for a whole weekuntil the next Saturday. “What a great idea, Dad. Do you have anymore stories?” Brandon and I sat on the curb and talked for another 20 minutes. Then I told him to go

back and play with his friends. But before he left, I told him about The Five-Minute Rule and how it was going to become part of our lives. I watched my son pick up his skateboard and cross the street. A lump formed in my throat. I was standing in the middle of my driveway, tears streaming down my face and my boy turned around, saw me wiping tears away, ran back across the street and gave me a hug. That’s when the power of The Five-Minute Rule hit me full force. I knew I had to repeat it right then and there with my daughter Natalie. So, I knocked on the door to her room and said, “Natalie, lets go for a walk.” I knew I had to get her away from the telephone and her homework. “I want to talk to you. “ “What’s the matter, dad?” “Nothing’s the matter. I’m just very happy about what’s going to happen.” We started out around the block. It took us about fifteen minutes and when we got back to the front door she said to me, “Dad, did mom talk to you?” “No, princess.” “Then Dad, I need to talk to you about something.” Natalie and I walked around the block three more times. I learned more about my daughter in those 45 minutes than I had in the last 45 days. It’s called The Five-Minute Rule. Take five minutes each day with each of the people that are important in your life. At home. At work. On the telephone. Fives minutes to tell someone you love how much you appreciate them and how important they are to your life. Rory Aplanalp has impacted the lives of more than one million people across the globe. He then founded his own company, Human Resource Development, a leader in the sales training field. For more than fourteen years, Rory was affiliated with Franklin Quest/Franklin Covey and was distinguished as their top seminar and keynote speaker. Copyright© 2001, Rory Aplanalp. All rights reserved. For information about Rory’s speaking and training programs, please contact the Frog Pond Group at 800-704-FROG (3764) or Susie@frogpondgroup.com; http://www.frogpondgroup.com.

Written by Rory Aplanalp 12

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“Take five minutes each day with each of the people that are important in your life.�

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The Installation of Cheryle Ushkow as President and the 2018 Board of Directors Portofino Hotel & Marina 260 Portofino Way Redondo Beach, CA 90277 Wednesday, January 10th 11am - 12 pm “Magical” Champagne Reception 12pm Comedy Show, Lunch & Program Magic & Entertainment Not To Be Missed! Tickets are $35 and must be purchased before 1/3/18 www.SouthBayAOR.com or call 310-326-3010


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

Denise Arledge Executive Agent of the Month

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Written by Haley Freeman - Photography by Ian Wiant


uring her 25-plus years in real estate, Denise Arledge has served three generations of Southern California families with the belief that “excellence is expecting more than others think possible.” That’s because as the wife of Bruce Arledge, the mother of Britany and Sara, mother-in-law to Eric and Sara’s partner Daniel, and grandmother of baby Wyatt, nothing is more important to her than family. In the same spirit, she believes that when it comes to helping someone find the home where they will create treasured memories, build wealth and establish a legacy for future generations, there can be no limits on caring service. Denise grew up in the San Fernando Valley and has been a resident of Agoura Hills for nearly 30 years. After giving up a career in the stock market because she “didn’t like selling an intangible item,” Denise turned her talents to real estate, where she has used her tenacity and business

savvy to help real people achieve one of life’s most important milestones. Since those early days when she toted her first daughter, Britany, along to the office, Denise has been a top-producing agent, representing buyers and sellers in the Conejo Valley, San Fernando Valley, Ventura and Santa Barbara. Today she is recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the Top 1000 Agents in the U.S. It is no wonder that Denise captured the attention of real estate entrepreneur and industry pacesetter Robert Reffkin. As the Founder and CEO of Compass, Robert has assembled a team of outstanding professionals from across the business and technology spectrum to create a new kind of real estate company, one dedicated to “pairing the industry’s top talent with technology to make the search and sell experience intelligent and seamless.” Robert is constantly on the lookout for exceptional real estate professionals who will contribute to his company’s mission of helping everyone find their place in the world.

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Here is what Robert had to say about Denise and why he asked her to head up the opening of Compass’s Westlake Village office in July, 2017: “When Denise walked through the door, she brought with her the same energy and passion that I imagine is what makes her such a successful real estate agent. Incredibly poised and well spoken, Denise gave off an air of authority and rightly so as she delved into the nuances of her market and how much she values her clients.

What sets Denise apart from other agents is not only her tenacity - she won’t take no for an answer, but it is also her empathy that wins you over. Denise has been an incredible addition to the Compass family and an invaluable founding agent in our Westlake market. I look forward to seeing how Denise will continue to push herself to deliver exceptional client service while reminding you that it’s ok to also have some fun in the process.”

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“Excellence Is Expecting More Than Others Think Possible” With Robert’s resounding vote of confidence, Denise and The Arledge Group are using Compass’s groundbreaking technology and revolutionary service model to deliver unsurpassed service to homebuyers in Westlake Village and beyond, and they’re loving every minute of it. “Robert has strong morals and is an incredible man,” Denise says. “He represents everything I’d want in a partnership, and he sets the tone for the wonderful team of professionals I have the privilege of working with every day. Joyce Manocchia is my business partner, my backbone and my best friend. Over 16 years ago, I asked her to work with me, and without her, I could not do what I do. She is a licensed Realtor® and runs my office. We also have an amazing transaction coordinator, Sheri, and our marketing people, Nick and Cathy, are wonderful. There is a whole tech group that develops our tools and provides us with unfailing support. Everybody is the best at what they

do, and we all work well together. Compass is far beyond any other real estate company nationwide. When you’re working for a company that cares, it’s a whole different story.” At Compass, Denise has found a working environment where her personal and professional values align. “They care about agents the way I care about my clients. How you treat people is the most important thing. Our technology elevates the quality of the service we provide. Each client has a portal I can use to communicate with them. I don’t just shove them into the MLS system. I handpick the houses I put into their portals and then pick up the phone and ask them what they think. I use technology for efficiency, but I always follow up live, and I spend one-on-one time with all my clients. I want to show them we’re always here to support them. I give 110 percent to every transaction, and the tools I have allow me to do that.”

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Whether she is representing a buyer, seller or experienced investor, Denise’s service exceeds expectations. “We listen to the client. If someone wants a house at $1.2 million, I won’t show them properties at $1.5. And I’d rather have a client give a fair price on a great house than get a steal on one that will fall apart. I take time to do inspections, and either Joyce or I am always present. I walk buyers through the process step by step. I want them to have the knowledge to feel comfortable with what we’re doing. If they ever want to walk away from a deal, that’s okay. Then that house wasn’t meant for them. For sellers, I educate them about the market and what the right price for their house is. It takes approximately two weeks to get a listing on the market, because I make sure it is priced right, and staged and marketed properly.”

An astute investor commented: “We have purchased or sold over 20 properties in the past 30 years, and The Arledge Group has out-performed every other real estate agent we have used in the past. We now use The Arledge Group exclusively for all of our real estate needs!”

And after the sale? “If a client has a problem with a house, I want to know about it. I tell them if they’re going to use their home protection plan, call me and tell me when they’re coming. I want to be there to make sure the problem is resolved and the work is done right.”

Joining Compass has affirmed Denise’s passion as an entrepreneur in a business and community she loves. She says, “If you want to be in real estate, you should do it because you care. I’m lucky to work in the community I live in. It’s easy to sell here because I love the community. A home is a family’s largest investment, and I want to make sure they get the right one.”

Clients from first-time buyers to longtime investors have the highest praise for Denise. A new buyer said: “We knew very little about the area, and Denise took the time to educate us and show us a wide array of houses. She’s honest, responsive, detail-oriented and a pleasure to work with.”

Another client said: “Denise helped us to buy our new home and also to sell the home we were living in. I have never met anyone who works harder than Denise. She was involved in every single detail with both houses - huge things like staging and marketing down to tiny details like putting WD 40 on window cranks. I know she had other clients but she always made us feel like we were her absolute first priority. I honestly can’t imaging anyone else being so involved and proactive.”

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DENISE ARLEDGE Compass - Westlake Village 2945 Townsgate Rd., 3rd Floor, Westlake Village, CA 91362 Tel: 818.519.4429 - Email: Denise@thearledgegroup.com Web: www.TheArledgeGroup.com - CalBRE # 01040071

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The Talent You Already Possess... By Zig Ziglar


any people do not realize that Nat “King” Cole started his musical career as a piano player. It was while he was on a trip to California, performing in a night club, that his singing career got a jump start. The singer who was to have performed that evening was taken ill. When Cole showed up the club owner asked about the singer. When he learned the singer was sick, the club owner responded, “No singer, no check.” That’s the night Nat “King” Cole launched his career. Actually, he had always been a singer but had never recognized and used that talent. Those of us who remember him as a person and as a talent consider him one of the true greats in all of entertainment. His music was spell-binding, soft, melodious and heart-warming. Unforgettable titles are “Unforgettable,” “Ramblin’ Rose,” “The Very Thought of

You,” “L.O.V.E.,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Mona Lisa,” “When I Fall In Love,” “Too Young,” “Sweet Lorraine,” “Nature Boy,” “Love Letters,” “For All We Know,” “The Very Thought of You.” I tell this story because you might be like me, unable to carry a tune. I certainly can’t, but I’m convinced that you have a song to sing, and here’s hoping you will take a different view of what you can do with the talent you already possess. 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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Cherie Lucas “Your Mobility Specialist” Written by Haley Freeman


herie Lucas grew up in the cosmopolitan Long Beach community, and she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Long Beach. With a mother of German

estate, where for many years she has assisted people from around the world in making Southern California their home. As a longtime mobility specialist at First Team Real Estate, Cherie has helped hundreds of professionals and their families find the perfect home in one of the vibrant communities from Orange County to Los Angeles County. Cherie has met and maintained the rigorous training and continuing education requirements necessary to be a certified relocation expert, and the world’s leading corporate mobility companies SIRVA, Aires, Cartus, Weichert and RELO Direct - trust her to move their personnel with seamless efficiency.

ancestry and a father who descended from the Delaware Lenape Indian Tribe, Cherie enjoyed a multicultural upbringing in this embracing port city. Her global view and love of people inspired her to pursue a career in real

Cherie has assisted employees and executives from many prominent companies, including Boeing, Tesoro Refineries, the California Teachers Association and Toyota, to name a few. “In order to work as a relocation specialist, you have to be accredited and keep up on the training,” Cherie explains. “You have to work with the relocation company’s affiliated lenders and get the transaction closed in a timely fashion, or the employee will lose their moving benefits. There is a lot of additional paperwork you have to adhere to, and the specified forms are different from a standard real estate transaction. For instance, you have to do a Broker Market Analysis (BMA), and every two weeks you have to report what is happening with the sale by entering it into the relocation company’s portal. There is a lot of responsibility and accountability in this kind of transaction.”

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Being a mobility specialist means that Cherie also assists corporate personnel who are exiting California. With her lifelong ties to the community and many years of experience selling Southern California real estate, Cherie is skilled at marketing homes for sale and helping her clients maximize their return on investment. On her own time, Cherie is a global adventurer. She has traveled to more than 30 countries, from China, to Belize, to Turkey, and many places in between. “One of the things on my bucket list is to hit 50 countries before I kick the bucket. So far, I think Spain is my favorite destination, but it’s hard to choose. I also love the exotic places. My husband and I were married in Phuket, Thailand. We are scuba divers, as well, so we dive whenever we can. I still want to go to Australia and on an African safari. In the coming year we plan to go to Peru and down the Amazon to Ecuador.” Cherie never slows down, whether she is enjoying time with her three grandchildren or playing pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. She has also adopted an orphaned elephant from Nairobi named Milama. Milama is now a year-and-a-half old and is being fed and monitored by humans until she is old enough to be released back into the wild. With her first-hand understanding of cultures from every compass point, Cherie is quick to connect with people of all heritages. “When I’m working with clients from different countries, I spend a lot of time explaining how purchasing a house and going through escrow works here. There are a lot of cash buyers, but the paperwork is still daunting. I don’t have an assistant because I like to be hands-on, and I want to explain everything so my clients fully understand the transaction they are entering into - especially if there is a language barrier.”

purchasing if I think it’s a bad investment. My dad was an attorney, and he taught me to be very careful with contracts and disclosures. I’ve never been in a lawsuit, and I never want to be.” Cherie’s zest for life and passion for her work come through in all she does. Her warmth and enthusiasm add sparkle to her expert real estate representation and inspire her clients to return for future home transactions and refer their friends. “When the transaction is done, I want my clients to feel they’ve made the right choice in their Realtor® and their home. Seeing their satisfaction is my motivation.” Cherie Lucas First Team Real Estate / Christie’s International 19021 Goldenwest Street Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Tel: 714.206.6332 Email: cherilucas@aol.com Web: www.FirstTeam.com CalDRE # 00928384

Cherie’s clients appreciate her conscientious attention to detail and unfailing honesty. “I’ll talk somebody out of

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“I Endorse My Agent Because . . .” 28

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Written By Walter Sanford


s you know, third party endorsements really can be a valuable tool to help you build credibility and value in a competitive real estate market place. Remember, you have to have lead-generation tools in place, implement them, prepare a CMA, make a presentation and, with all that, if you don’t get the listing you can lose thousands of dollars. Testimonials are someone else saying you are good at what you do. This becomes the truth. Having endorsements in writing makes this tool even more valuable and, when presented in the pre-listing confirmation package, it provides the necessary impetus to push you over the top. If you serve your customers well, a few will send you letters every now and then, but you can be pro-active in your sales efforts by learning to ask for letters by saying, “Would you be willing to find a couple of minutes to put what you just said to me in writing and send it to me on your letterhead?” Seldom, will anyone refuse to write such a letter. However, getting them to follow through on that agreement is another issue. If you just leave it at that simple request you get a small percent of the letters promised. People don’t mean to break their word, they are just busy. So to keep the process going, send them a note thanking them for their kind words and thanking them “in advance” for the letter they will be sending. This is a subtle reminder to keep their word. If you haven’t received the letter within a month or so, and the person is an important influence, call him or her on the phone. The client often brings up the letter first and apologizes for not getting it out to you yet. Say, “That’s OK. I know you are really busy. Here’s an idea. Would it be helpful if I put a few thoughts on paper for you? You can edit or rewrite all you like and then send it to me on your letterhead, OK? People usually agree to this. I have collected dozens of letters this way. You may feel this is a very gutsy question to ask, and perhaps it is, but seldom does anyone refuse. The letters customers write themselves are usually better than yours, so resort to helping them only when it’s

a letter you really want and they are dragging their feet. Remember, always work off a closing checklist. Mine requires that I receive a testimonial letter before I can put the file away. Let me say that again: You cannot take the file off your desk until you receive a testimonial letter! There are a few things I like to include in a testimonial letter and these are some of the most important points. You might want to even give your seller a primer on how to write a testimonial letter. This really may be going the extra mile. It always worked for me. Here is mine: Dear Mr./Mrs. Johnson, Thank you once again for putting your thoughts in writing about our business relationship. In the past, some of the best testimonial letters I have received include some of the following points. One of the greatest favors you could do for me would include some of these points. Please remember, the most difficult task I have in this business is replacing clients such as yourself. #1. Please outline the nature of the challenge or problem you had prior to your meeting me. #2. How professional and effective were my presentations of options? #3. Could you discuss your satisfaction with me and my team? #4. How easy and pleasant is it for you to work with me and my team members? #5. Do you have any present plans for further or ongoing use of my realty services? #6. Could you please explain either the high value, appropriateness or importance of any insights I might have brought to light at our first meeting? Thank you so much for your help. I can’t tell you what your endorsement will do for my business? Walter Sanford is a top producing real estate agent and speaker who travels the country delivering systems and strategies to top producers for higher productivity and client satisfaction. Copyright© 2000, Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. For information about Walter’s keynote presentations and training seminars, please contact the Frog Pond Group at 800-704-FROG (3764) or email susie@frogpondgroup.com; http://www.frogpondgroup.com.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine



ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Do You Have A Plan For Your Life?


hen you are a person of character, you know who you are and where you want to go. You’ve already spent a great deal of time thinking about it. You’ve been working on the parts of your personality that will make you better—your attitude, your health, your time-management skills. You’ve been putting it all down on paper. And you’ve developed positive self-direction. As you talk with yourself every day, how often do you ask, Is what I am doing today getting me closer to where I want to be tomorrow? Because here’s what you don’t want to ever do: kid yourself. Kid your neighbor and kid me and kid the marketplace if you want to, but don’t kid yourself. You can’t wait around with your fingers crossed hoping you’ll arrive at a good destination when you’re not even headed in the right direction. You say, Well maybe the wind will take me. There’s a chance, of course, but it’s about as likely as winning the lottery. You’ve got to take charge. Ancient scripture says that hope, if it’s delayed long enough, can make the heart sick. You’ve got to ask yourself often, Am I performing the disciplines that are taking me in the direction that I want to go? I don’t want to delude myself and think I’m on the way to financial success when there’s not a prayer. I don’t want to delude myself into thinking there’s someone else who will take care of it. Nobody else is going to take care of it. Nobody else is going to take care of me. What if all of your negative-thinking relatives turned positive? What would that do for your fortune and your future? Not much. If prices came down a little, what would that do for your sophistication and your culture? Not much. If the economy gets a little better, what would that do for you? Not much.

morning counting on this “not-much” list. And that’s all they have: not much. Not much hope. Not much promise. Not much progress. They’re driving what they don’t want to drive, living where they don’t want to live, doing what they don’t want to do. Forget the thief waiting in the alley to snatch your purse. What about the thief in your mind? He is tempting you to become lazy, not stimulated by thoughts and questions. Don’t become a victim of yourself. Ask yourself these questions: • Is this the direction that I want for my life? • Is this someone else’s direction? • Is it a goal that has been ingrained in me since my childhood? • Is it my parents’, my spouse’s, my boss’s or my children’s? • Is it mine? Ask yourself these questions. Get into the debate of your inner mind. • What am I doing that works? • What am I doing that doesn’t work? Debate it all. Work with your mind to figure out the best possible direction for you. This is your self-direction. Jim Rohn knows the secrets of success - in business and in life. He has devoted his life to a study of the fundamentals of human behavior and personal motivation that affect professional performance. He can awaken the unlimited power of achievement within you! Reproduced with permission from the Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine. Copyright© 2006, Jim Rohn. All right reserved. For information about Jim’s keynote presentations and seminars, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@ FrogPond.com http://FrogPond.com.

If you don’t make plans of your own, you’ll fit into someone else’s plans. And what do you think they have planned for you? Not much. Most people wake up every

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


How To Be Street Smart On And Off The Street


ExecutiveAgent Magazine


thief looks at two houses on a street -- both are large and well kept, so he is assuming there are great steals in both houses. Both are dark and empty -- all the neighbors are at a block party down at the end of the street. Both houses are exactly the same -- except that the house on the right has an alarm system, and the house on the left does not. Which house do you think this thief is going to go for? Same thing for muggers. Do you think a mugger is going to go after someone walking confidently, paying attention to her surroundings, aware of where she is going? Maybe, but he’d more likely go for the person shuffling along; wearing heels so high they’re hard to walk in, let alone run in; distracted on a cell phone; scanning a map worriedly. Call it awareness; call it survival skills; call it Street Smarts. Whatever you call it -- have it! Street Smarts is not just for keeping you safe --it is an essential business tool. Street Smarts-borne skepticism will allow you to negotiate will ease and skill. For example, once I was in negotiations for a project with a publishing company about my royalties. From conversations with colleagues, I knew that 3% was an accepted target, so that is what I went in expecting. I could tell right away that these guys were people I could joke around with, so my first offer was 50% -which made the publishing guys look at each other, speechless, before they started laughing. So, they countered me at 10%! I guess they thought I was serious. So, I paused, moved my head back, and squinted, really considering their offer. “Hmmmm, is that fair?” I asked. After much deliberation and some hesitation, which made them feel better that they were playing hardball, I accepted their offer. I walked out of that office ecstatic. I got 10% royalties just because I was able to use my Street Smarts to analyze the situation and interpret the best way to approach it. “In any pursuit in life there is a formal knowledge base and an informal knowledge base. The formal knowledge is what you are told. It is what you get in the manual when you start a job. It is what you get in the course work in college. Informal knowledge is everything they do not bother to tell you. Moreover, usually that is the stuff that makes the most difference. It is the stuff they cannot say and would not say

if they could. That is why we call it tacit knowledge.. It is what you learn from your environment. You might say it’s the unwritten rules of life.” According to Dr. Robert Sternberg of Yale, this informal knowledge, or Street Smarts, is a far better predictor of managerial success than academic performance. He even said a very high I.Q. could be a detriment to managerial success. “I don’t think Street Smarts has anything to do with big cities or small cities,” Sternberg said. “It’s no longer a negative term that conjures up images of street gangs or con artists. There is no denying that street smarts has its roots in the impoverished areas of inner cities, places in which people had to develop certain abilities just to survive physically; but just as blues singers are no longer slaves, street smart people are no longer just city-dwellers. They are born, raised, live, and work in all types of environments. “So how do you learn to be street smart? One of the critical things is just your attitude. You must have an attitude that this is something that matters -- something you can use to your advantage. So a big part of learning is motivational. It is almost a prerequisite for developing it. Then you have to seek out the information from other people, from your environment, and from within yourself. The first is done by observing Street-Smart people and asking questions of mentors. The second is done by paying attention, both inwardly and outwardly. You have to let the knowledge you already have come out-and we all have more than we might give ourselves credit for.” Above all, it takes experience, constantly adjusting your attitude to make the most of every situation. 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© 2006, Tony Alessandra. All right reserved. For information about Tony’s keynote presentations, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com ; http://www.FrogPond.com.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


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

COH-0726_BMT_Hem_fp_4c_ExecAgt.indd 1

WE LIVE TO CURE CANCER. Science saving lives. cityofhope.org/bmt

11/25/13 6:02 PM




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