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INSIDE FEATURES: Joseph McGreevy Kinecta Federal Credit Union

Claudette Milan Realty ONE Group


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Cesi Pagano Keller Williams Realty



Inside Features




Joseph McGreevy

Claudette Milan

Kinecta Federal Credit Union

Realty ONE Group ExecutiveAgent Magazine






4 Signs Stress Is Negatively Affecting Your Well-Being -Karima Mariama-Arthur


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ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Why a Safe Life Is a Mediocre Life -Christopher Cook

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iPhotography Studio...............................................23 Kinecta Federal Credit Union...............................11 loanDepot®............................................................26

Pit-Stop Of Success: The MidYear Review -Bob Corcoran

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The Termite Guy......................................................3 Ticor Title Company...................................................36 VAREP............................................................................31

Is Technology On The Web Just Another Poorly Planned Open House? -Walter Sanford


Successful Practice -Dirk Zeller

08 ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Photography: iPhotography Studio, Michelle Fairless Photography, 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 Craig Harrison, Simma Lieberman, Chris Widener © Copyright 2019 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.





Written by H. K. Wilson

“Building Relationships That Last a Lifetime�

Claudette Milan


hen Claudette Milan made the decision to transition from the garment industry to real estate 14 years ago, she resolved to serve her clients with extraordinary passion and professionalism.

By bringing these traits to her award-winning real estate practice at Realty ONE Group in Mission Viejo, Claudette is creating exceptional results and relationships to last a lifetime.

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A SoCal native and 20-year resident of Laguna Niguel, Claudette’s deep connection to South Orange County enhances her ability to help families find the perfect neighborhood and home in one of the area’s unique enclaves. “I think area knowledge is important in terms of knowing what each neighborhood has to offer to new homeowners coming into the community. Different people are seeking different lifestyles, and I want to give them options. In addition to sharing my own knowledge, I also direct them to resources where they can gather more information and get a broader perspective.” Claudette’s husband, Alex, recently joined her practice, and together they are creating an elevated client experience. “He is super organized, and he handles all of our operations and marketing. His background is in tech, so he does a great job managing our database and online presence. I totally trust him, which allows me to do the things I’m good at, like meeting people. My role is sales, prospecting, communicating with clients and negotiating the best outcome for them. There’s no better person than him to help me.” Her diligent communication and strong advocacy create an atmosphere of trust between Claudette and her clients, and they frequently comment on these qualities in their glowing testimonials. “I read my clients’ reviews regularly to remind myself why I do this and what is most important to people. The most important thing to me is building relationships and earning my clients’ trust. I want to do everything I can to reduce stress during a transaction and make the whole process easier. By the end, people are more than clients, they’re friends.” One seller commented: “Claudette is a fantastic Realtor®! She is experienced, highly knowledgeable and extremely trustworthy. We had what could have been a difficult sale of our home, but with her guidance, the sale went smoothly without any problems. She guided us through the entire deal and educated us on the process which helped relieve any anxiety we might have felt. Her motto is to work hard for her clients, and that is exactly what she did for us. If you are looking for an effective negotiator who has your best interests, Claudette is definitely the person. Highly recommend her for any real estate needs.”

Another client said: “She was fair yet dogged in her commitment to have our experience be as easy as possible throughout an obviously stressful process. She was a friend prior to this working relationship and has solidified herself as a true and lasting member of our family. Thank you, Claudette, for all your help. To any and all who are buying or selling a home, my praise of her could not be higher. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Claudette sees every interaction with her neighbors as an opportunity to bring value. Her positive peer and community connections translate to an array of relationship-based resources that make life easier. “We have created a spreadsheet of all my referral partners, from contractors to attorneys, who have made my list because I know they are reputable to work with. This has become an important reference guide for my clients and potential clients.” Now that Claudette and Alex’s children are approaching adulthood, Claudette is excited about having more time to devote to community and professional causes she is passionate about. She recently began volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a program designed to assist abused and neglected children. Claudette also devotes time to reading and personal development. She recently originated a real estate mastermind group that is bringing professionals together to share knowledge, support and accountability. For Claudette, real estate is not just a job, it’s an opportunity to build community. “I meet so many amazing people in real estate. At the end of a transaction, I want people to walk away feeling they made a new friend and had a great experience.”

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Claudette Milan Realty ONE Group 27401 Los Altos, Suite 100 Mission Viejo, CA 92691 Tel: 949.637.3227 Email: Web: www.CMREALTORS.COM DRE # 01490788


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Successful Practice


e all have a fundamental choice when we fall short of our goals and dreams. We can choose to modify our goals and dreams or magnify our skills needed to reach them. These are the only two solutions to this quandary we are in. Which are you going to choose? We must focus on acquiring the skills to create abundance in life. The mastery of the skills will create a life full of rewards. To acquire the skills in sales in order to create abundance, we need to break it down to two components.

The first is we must talk to a lot of people. Great salespeople talk with more people than mediocre salespeople. By talking to lots of people daily, we insure victory. Mediocre salespeople let their feelings dictate their success in prospecting. When they don’t feel like prospecting, they don’t. Great salespeople cause their minds to control their actions in a positive manner. George Patton, the famous general, said, “You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired—morning, noon and night. The body is never tired if the mind is not tired. You’ve always got to make the mind take over and keep going.” Which is winning daily in your life? The mind or the body? Resolve to control your body and talk to lots of people daily. The second solution is practice. Daily practice is as valuable as making the sale. To develop a high level of skill in life we must practice. I spent hours in my youth practicing on the racquetball court my variety of shots. If I had not I would never have won any tournaments. For me to be able to be able to play at the professional level in racquetball, I hit hundreds of thousands of cross-court, backhand shots. This allowed that shot to be automatic under tournament pressure conditions. What do you need to practice on to become a world-class Realtor? Is it your

prospecting, qualifying, listing presentation, lead followup, negotiating? Each one of these areas needs practice. To achieve mastery of these skills it will take thousands of opportunities to improve your skills. Do you want to make the errors on “live” buyers and sellers or do you want to practice on partners where it is cheaper? Which do you choose? Let me share another example. Your child is learning to ride a bicycle. Do you send your child out on the busiest street for their first day or do you keep him or her in the back yard? I am sure the answer is obvious. Practice in a controlled environment gives us confidence and the skill to compete. It allows us to create wins in practice before we have to play the game. Make sure you adopt these philosophies and make a concerted effort to talk to a lot of people. You then need to practice daily so you improve your ability to execute in the moment. Dirk Zeller, President of Real Estate Champions, is recognized as the premier coach for the real estate industry. He has developed a system that takes “regular” agents and “regular” managers and transforms them into “top gun” agents and managers. Dirk’s coaching systems are built around his incredible success in the 90’s as one of the top agents in all of North America. He closed over 150 transactions annually while working Monday through Thursday and taking Friday, Saturday & Sunday off. Copyright© 2000-2001, Dirk Zeller. All rights reserved. To contact Dirk about his availability to speak to your group, please call the Frog Pond Group at 800-704-FROG (3764) or email;

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WHY CHOOSE PWR? Some of the LOWEST Fees in the area

The Only Full Member Support Call Center in California Direct “Single Sign-On” Access to REALTOR® Tools: Matrix MLS, RPR, and PWReports Flexible Dues Payment Options Including Online Bill Pay Professional Standards Enforcement and RED – Rapid Ethics Delivery Program FREE Education - Easy Registration Through the PWR Mobile App and PWR Website TWO Convenient Locations to Serve You – Anaheim & Long Beach FREE Informational & Networking Events / Meetings FREE PWR Mobile App & Technology Tools: Everlance Mileage Tracking App, FHA Pros, MLS Touch, ShowingTime Political Advocacy to Protect YOUR Rights Supra Key and Keybox Support PWR Charity Foundation With Grants For Your Military Clients and First-Time Buyers Broker Outreach Team with Free Onsite Training PWR Store for ALL Your Real Estate Needs


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We Open the Door to Your Clients’ Success As one of Southern California’s leading direct lenders, Kinecta streamlines the purchase process, and our competitive line of products is designed to meet the needs of your buyers.

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Partner with the Experts - Contact us. Andy DeLuca Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant cell: 949.291.7189 NMLS# 440903

Chae “Jake” Kim Mortgage Loan Consultant cell: 714.679.3710 NMLS# 346847

Membership requirements apply. NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Lending Service) ID: 407870. Information in this flyer is intended for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals only and not intended for consumer use as defined by Section 1026.2 of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth-In-Lending Act. Any expressed underwriting guidelines are subject to change without notice and are subject to Kinecta Federal Credit Union guidelines and all applicable federal and state rules and regulations. 1 Minimum credit line is $20,000. Maximum credit line is $500,000. 10-year draw period followed by a 20-year repayment period. Homeowner’s property insurance is required. Flood insurance may be required. Credit line together with any other mortgage(s) cannot exceed 85% of the property value on 1-unit owner-occupied properties. Non-owner occupied properties are not eligible. Line of credit requests over $250,000 require appraisal. Applicable appraisal fees may vary and range between $450-$650. Consult your tax advisor regarding deductibility of interest and charges. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to credit approval. 23023SB-04/19




Written by H. K. Wilson

Joe McGreevy


oseph McGreevy is a SoCal native who has dedicated two decades of his career to financing some of life’s biggest dreams. After graduating with a degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara, he entered the banking sector and found his calling in mortgage lending. At the pinnacle of his successful career as a topproducing loan officer, he joined Kinecta, where putting members first means turning dreams into reality.

“At Kinecta, I love the way we work everything for the benefit of the member,” Joseph says. “Customer service is paramount to me, and that’s the most important thing here as well. We find out what our members’ needs are and educate them. That fits in with my personal core values and the way I’ve always thought about my clients. I don’t ever want to do a loan just to do a loan. There needs to be a real benefit for the client.”

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Financing Life’s Biggest Dreams While representing some of the industry’s largest lending institutions, Joseph found his niche working with purchase and construction loans. Over the years, he has had the satisfaction of helping hundreds of people to buy and build their dream homes. Now at Kinecta, he is helping members utilize the credit union’s bold jumbo loan products to realize their dreams in some of the region’s most sought-after communities.

Having built two homes himself, Joseph is a knowledgeable guide for clients who are embarking on what can be a daunting process. “If building a home were easy, everybody would do it. It’s not easy. What I want to do is at least make the loan portion as easy as I can. I explain all the intricacies of how the loan works up front, and then the borrower can relax, since someone else is doing the draw, paying disbursements and getting the lien releases.”

“Instead of trying to find the perfect home out in the marketplace — that needle in a haystack — agents can help a client identify a neighborhood or a street where they want to end up, and then utilize the construction loan to build or redesign a house in that community. The alternative can be a frustrating, never-ending search for that perfect house that may never come up on the market. Why not go find the neighborhood that is special to you, or the one you live in now, and identify a property to remodel or build from the ground up? When you’re spending a million dollars or more, you definitely expect to get everything you want in a home.”

Joseph’s dedication to client service complements Kinecta’s member-first mission. “Typically, when people build their dream home, they will be there for a significant period of time, maybe the rest of their lives. This is an important event, and I owe it to them to be available throughout the process. If someone is trying to get a hold of me, it’s usually because they have a question or concern that can’t wait. I want to get back to them as soon as possible to alleviate that concern or answer that question so they can get on with their day. Open communication is probably the most important thing about being a professional, that and keeping your word, doing what you say you’re going to do.”

With Kinecta’s construction-to-permanent loan, buyers enjoy a locked interest rate and a one-time close of escrow with a single appraisal based upon future value of the property. “There is a lot of peace of mind that comes with a one-time close. You know at the time of closing what your interest rate will be during construction and what will happen when you convert to a permanent loan. It takes the uncertainty out of the interest market while you’re remodeling or building your home.”

Joseph McGreevy NMLS ID 66072 Kinecta Federal Credit Union Tel: 714.396.1619 Email: Web:

Peace of mind also comes with the loan’s extended construction period, which allows you time to remodel or build a home. “This gives people some flexibility for the ‘what ifs.’ If they are in the middle of designing and realize they need to make significant changes, there is time for them to do that.” Membership requirements apply. NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Lending Service) ID: 407870. Information in this flyer is intended for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals only and not intended for consumer use as defined by Section 1026.2 of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth-In-Lending Act. Any expressed underwriting guidelines are subject to change without notice and are subject to Kinecta Federal Credit Union guidelines and all applicable federal and state rules and regulations.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

4 Signs Stress Is Negatively Affecting Your Well-Being


tress is a normal part of everyday life. Our minds and bodies go through a great deal of it just to execute daily tasks, but this kind of stress doesn’t usually negatively impact our mental or physical health. There are different kinds of stress, some good, some bad. In fact, there are at least three different types: eustress, acute and chronic: 1. Eustress is our body’s response to excitement and euphoria. It’s normally referred to as “good stress.” Think of your first kiss or getting invited to have dinner with the president. 2. Acute stress is our body’s response to an immediate trigger (positive or negative) and subsides after we address it. Think of walking through a dark alley and hearing fast-paced footsteps behind you. 3. Finally, chronic stress is constant and intense, which makes us feel trapped and overwhelmed. Think of a strained marriage or workplace bullying. Being able to identify the symptoms of negative stress is critical to your overall well-being. Have you ever experienced the following scenarios? 1. Your stress does not subside.

that’s a red flag. While stress is a natural part of our lives and some types are unavoidable (acute, for example), if you’re consistently bombarded by feelings of doom, overwhelm and anxiety, your health could be in serious jeopardy. Tips: Take a break from your normal routine. Prioritize self-care and talk to someone about what you are experiencing. Some simple shifts are probably in order and can help to manage your sensory overload. 2. Stress is negatively affecting your livelihood and relationships. When stress becomes toxic, it can affect your ability to effectively function at work or in your relationships. Because it impacts your work ethic and your interaction with others, you’ll likely get some unsolicited feedback based on your behavior. Tips: Watch for signs of decreased or poor performance, and notice if you seem negative or irritable when dealing with others—don’t be defensive if you receive feedback (because you probably will). Increase self-awareness by paying closer attention to triggers during your interpersonal interactions and notice any impact on your verbal and nonverbal communication. Finally, take a moment to view your behavior objectively and be open to positive ways that can help you address it.

If you’re constantly feeling stressed over long periods,


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3. You’re not sleeping well. Sleep is an important part of overall mental health. If you’re not getting enough, your body is probably not producing enough neurochemicals (progesterone, estrogen, serotonin and melatonin, for example) to get you into a healthy sleep zone. This means that your sleep cycles are irregular—you’re likely waking up throughout the night and feeling unusually tired when awake. Without restorative sleep, you’re not prepared to effectively engage the day. Tips: Create a wind-down routine that helps your mind and body unplug from the outside world. This may include a hot bath or shower, getting into bed earlier, and turning off your cell phone, electronics and other menacing distractions. 4. You’ve stopped engaging in self-care. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to ignore the daily routines that help you feel good about yourself. This may include hitting the gym, preparing a healthy lunch, getting up early or even engaging in standard hygiene practices. If you discover that these routines have been placed on the back burner because of stress, acknowledge and address it immediately before their absence begins to reverberate into other areas of your life.

Since you’re already overwhelmed, trying to reincorporate all the bells and whistles of your daily routine would end in disaster. Start with the easiest one and build from there, and then reward yourself for reincorporating each one. You’ll feel better immediately, and you’ll also be well on your way to increasing your overall health and wellness. Hopefully you’re not feeling negative stress. But if it is, don’t be discouraged. Use these tips to help you identify and navigate the symptoms so that you can position yourself for greater success. As the founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport™, Karima Mariama-Arthur brings more than two decades of comprehensive, blue chip experience in law, business, and academia to the field of professional development. A leading authority in cutting-edge adult education, Karima is distinguished by her commitment to excellence and extraordinary talent for elevating executive brands. As an expert facilitator, executive communications consultant, and strategic leadership advisor, she trains, coaches, and consults individuals and organizations on the dynamics of complex communication and high performance leadership competence.

Tips: Get yourself back on track, one routine at a time.

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

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

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Cover Story

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Written by H. K. Wilson - Photography by Ian Wiant


esi Pagano’s love for the design and artistry of the varied dwellings people call home is a legacy she inherited from her father and grandfather, both Architectural Engineers and Home Builders. She earned her degree in architecture with a minor in interior design from California Polytechnic, Pomona, with an eye to putting her creative talents to work designing beautiful and functional living spaces, but her engaging personality made it inevitable that she would eventually step out from behind the desk and into a more people-focused role. During a lifelong and successful career spanning architecture, construction lending, and new and traditional home sales, Cesi’s passion for homes and relentless pursuit of excellence have yielded exceptional results.

As the leader of Cesi Pagano & Associates at Keller Williams Luxury in Laguna Niguel, Cesi has assembled one of the most dynamic teams in California real estate, from her talented executive team to her award-winning sales associates. The team’s unrivaled reputation among both clients and peers arises from an uncompromising commitment to client care. “Coming from the corporate world, I run my business like a corporation,” she says. “I make sure everybody on the team has one job, so they are masters and do it well. Unlike most real estate teams, we don’t all wear a lot of different hats. We focus on our best skills, so our clients are better served. I am careful to hire individuals who are people-centric, with nurturing and serviceable personalities.”

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Cesi holds numerous professional designations that set her apart from her competitors, among them, Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR); Certified Sales Professional (CSP); Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE); Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource (SFR); Pre-Foreclosure Specialist Certification (PSC); Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS); Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS); and Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). She and her team are dedicated to continuous personal and professional development designed to raise the standard of service they deliver to clients. “As part of our ongoing commitment to our clients, as well as maintaining a top position in the industry, our team is continually educated and updated on the latest market updates, statistics, technology, marketing trends, data analysis and any educational tools.” The indispensable professionals who so diligently attend the many details that accompany every real estate transaction are Katie Gould, Director of Operations; Tony Pagano, Leasing Manager and Listing Support; Gordana Cucuk, Open House & Showing Coordinator; Pam Pearson, Listing &

Transaction Manager; and Julia Alty, Director of Marketing. Nelson A. Strickler; Brittany Stewart; Jackie Homrighausen; Margaret Shepherd; and Zach Tietz make up the sales team. Cesi says, “They are all high-level, experienced and caring individuals who are dedicated to their careers and clients. They are more like partners, and I attribute my success to a team effort, not an individual accomplishment. Our reviews speak for themselves. Clients love our team.” In their numerous heartfelt testimonials, clients express in detail the reasons why they love working with this extraordinary real estate team. One stated: “Cesi and her team were amazing. From our first meeting, Cesi made us feel at ease with her knowledge of our area and the detailed information she provided us on what we could expect from her in the process. Communication is important to me, and Cesi and her team exceeded my expectations. We always knew what was going to happen and when, and recognition of our busy schedules was always taken into account. Cesi sold our home in record time and we got a wonderful selling price. We highly recommend working with Cesi Pagano and her team. You won’t be disappointed.”

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Mastering Every Challenge Another said: “When you sign up with Cesi, you truly have her entire team working for you. She is the team leader and your primary contact, but everyone is there to support you. We’ve probably bought and sold eight or nine homes over the past 40 years, between corporate moves and purchases of second homes. Cesi is absolutely the best

Realtor® that we have ever worked with. She is a great communicator and advisor, and a real professional. Thank you Team Pagano!” Although Cesi is often recruited by other companies due to her proven real estate success, she has remained at Keller Williams throughout her 18 years as a resale agent because of the company’s dedication to its agents — a focus that ensures positive client outcomes. “I think all companies say they care about their agents, but this company truly does. I’m fortunate enough to be in the top echelon of Keller Williams’ highest producing agents, I get to meet and mastermind with top groups throughout the nation. I get to meet with and know the “real” Gary Keller. I see him walk-the talk by reinvesting in not just people but in technology and infrastructure. This equates to continued success for his loyal agents. As a team leader, it’s also important for me to help my team members grow their businesses, the same way Gary does with the leaders in his organization.” Cesi’s high-profile status in the real estate community means her clients benefit from her network of other leading industry professionals. “We are connected with top Realtors® throughout the globe, and we help connect a lot of clients who move out of the area with agents who will serve them as we would.”

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Cesi is a world traveler who is conversant in both Spanish and Italian. She and her team place a high value on understanding and honoring our diverse society who make up Southern California’s multicultural population. “As a group, we are well-versed in international cultures, not only in some languages, but in understanding the nuances that dictate how to market to them, behave with them and speak to them cordially. We want everyone to feel at ease and well-represented when buying or selling a home with us.” While Cesi is a notable figure in Southern California’s most elite communities, she emphasizes that she enjoys working with clients at every price point. “My passion is just real estate. Period. No transaction is too small or too big for us. After being in the business as long as I have been, we are now helping our clients’ children buy or lease their first homes. Our goal is to help everybody achieve their dream of homeownership, regardless of the price tag.” Cesi and her husband, Dan Ysseldyke (who holds a Regional executive position with a large International Corporation), have a blended family of five grown children. Anthony Pagano is the oldest, also a Realtor® on the team as well as Leasing Manager; Andrew Pagano is a successful business owner of a Film/Video Production

Company (Livelihood Co); Lauren Ysseldyke is a Director of Global curriculum for a large Medical Company; Jennifer Ysseldyke is an Entrepreneur and business partner for two companies in Bermuda; Gina Pagano is studying for her B.A. degree at Morehead University on a full athletic scholarship in cheerleading. She is also the captain of the multiple-world title cheerleading team. Cesi and Dan enjoy the luxury of travel abroad, as well as engaging in the many outdoor activities that make living in California so special, from hiking, to biking, to camping. Cesi is also a great supporter of community who donates a portion of every transaction to KW Cares, donates regularly to local schools and giving back to the community. Keller Williams asks its agents to define their “Big Why.” Cesi defines hers this way, “For me, it’s not about the money; it’s about successfully assisting clients achieve their real estate dreams and goals. One of our many objectives as a team is to help our clients achieve wealth through real estate. We consult them and provide them all the necessary information with their best interests in mind, whether it means them keeping their homes, or not purchasing one. Our clients appreciate our honesty and consultative style. Ultimately, the greatest reward for me is when people refer me to their friends and family. That’s when I know I have achieved my own ‘why.’”

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Cesi Pagano & Associates – Keller Williams Luxury 23807 Aliso Creek Road, #100, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 Email: - Web: Tel: (949) 370-0819 - DRE # 01043716 ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Pit-Stop Of Success: The Mid-Year Review


know you Realtors® do a lot of driving so here’s a driver’s ed question for you: When you’re driving, how often should you check your rear-view mirror? A. Once every three minutes. B. Once every five to seven seconds. C. Once every 10 minutes. D. Never. You should always watch the road in front of you. If you said B, congratulations. Now, how often should you check how you’re doing on the road of real estate -your business plan? If you just said, ‘What plan?’ keep reading. You have some work to do. Believe it or not, 2019 is officially half over. This halfway mark is a great time to stop and check how you’re doing in your business. Stop and take a look in the proverbial real estate rearview mirror. After all, if you don’t know how far you’ve come, you don’t know how much farther you have to go. Think of it as a strategic pit stop. And these pit stops are just as important as your end-of-the-year assessments. Why? Because if you’re veering off track, it’s best to catch it early before you hit a tree or something worse. But what do you do in a mid-year pit stop? I’ve shared a few tips that might help you make sure you’re still on the road to success for 2019. 1. Check your sales numbers. How are your sales figures looking compared to last year at this time? If they’re less, identify what’s happening to cause that trend. I have a sales tracker I like to use with my clients. Shoot me an e-mail at and I’ll send it to you free of charge. 2. Review your profit and loss statements. The profit and loss statement can be a valuable planning and a management tool because it can help you estimate expected monthly and yearly income (based on reasonable predictions of monthly sales, costs, and expenses). Record your estimates on one copy of the profit and loss statement. As actual numbers come in, record them on a second copy of 24

the statement. Then compare the two pages to find discrepancies between the estimated and actual figures and correct problems as needed. I typically ask clients to send us their profit and loss statements every month because they are such a good management device. 3. Track where your business is coming from. Take a few minutes to jot down exactly what parts of your marketing plan are working and which are not. Don’t hesitate to shift funds from a mediocre medium to one that’s working better for you. 4. Commit to be more focused on dollar-productive activities. If you’re not making headway toward your goals, look at how much of your day is spent on what I call the four dollar-productive activities: listing, selling, negotiating and prospecting. If you’re spending time outside of these four tasks, you may not reach your 2019 goals. Adjust your schedule and get help so that you can concentrate on these items. Don’t rule out getting an assistant. It doesn’t have to be a huge expense. Hire a part-time assistant just to give it a test run. You might find, like many of my clients, that you’ll soon want a full-time assistant. Let me hear from you. Have you spent time with this question of what is success to you? Do you have a clear definition of success that feels right to you? Do you feel you’re making progress toward that definition? Please send any comments or questions you have to Article@ or CorcoranCoaching. Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the broker’s or agent’s existing practice. © 2011, Bob Corcoran. All rights reserved. For more information about this article or author, contact For the most current local Housing Trends, go to http://www.

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ell you guys, It’s happening again. We’ve got a new spider web for real estate buyers and sellers. You know, one more to add to our long list of up-time, open houses, non-solicited personal referrals and walk-ins. There will be many that will argue with me that all of the above mentioned lead generations have been profitable one time or another, but one thing is true with all of the above and that is they require a decision of the client to interact with you and not visa versa. These are all methods called passive prospecting or passive lead generation. Basically you build your web and you wait for your client. In fact, the new vernacular is to make your web site sticky! For 25 years I have tried to add value to every client-agent relationship. Whether the lead was pro-actively obtained or passively obtained. I have found that the dividing line between top producers and low producing real estate agent is usually that the low producers depend on a passive form of lead generation without good interaction skills and have no pro-active methods to obtain leads. I am worried that the web will become just another poorly planned open house. I believe it is the brokers’ and managers’ responsibility to hold their real estate agents at a much higher competence level. They must make sure that there is a business plan in place to effect the client’s lives for the better not just order takers. Remember there are web sites much bigger than any of us will hope to be that are going to be professional order takers. What we must learn as we have in the past, is we must turn our passive lead generation activities into client pleasing activities and supplement the business with more pro-active activities. We have taken the open house and shaken it up over the last few years. My students have learned how to:

• We have added additional advertising sponsored by affiliated lenders so that more people will be able to find the open houses. • We have had multiple open houses in the usual time of 12:00-3:00 so that each open house is shorter but more people will be able to see different homes. • Lastly, we have implemented follow-up campaigns including thank-you notes and search systems supplied to the potential buyers. This takes the usual passive open house and turns it into a pro-active prospecting client pleasing and helpful activity. We are doing the same with the Internet. No longer should a real estate agent be encouraged to have a web site that does not pro-actively change the client’s life. It’s no longer good enough to build your web site, have pretty pictures and have your listings on there and hope that someone will contact you. It is time that we built complete business plans around our web sites. For instance, maybe have a section on absentee owners. The real estate agent would call and write to absentee owners and direct them to the web site for copies of rental applications and other services supplied to people who own real estate in the real estate agent’s town but do not live there. Or maybe a section on alternative agent compensation programs that will educate the clientele on different ways that they can pay for a real estate agent’s services. The bottom line is the days of waiting for an incoming phone call from an ad, a walk-in, or someone at an open house is over. The Internet and a real estate agent’s personal web site should not be just more of the same. Let’s build ancillary services around these contact points and fill them with value.

• Notify all of the clients surrounding the open house, including the agent’s database so they will all be excited about the open house.

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Why a Safe Life Is a Mediocre Life Written by Christopher Cook


egendary author Steven Pressfield said, “Writing isn’t hard. Sitting down to start is hard.” And so it is with most other areas of life. That’s precisely why you and I must commit to being a finisher; someone who is dedicated to not settle for 80% but one who closes deals and projects and completes personal goals. But what about those of us who just wish we could get going and take the first step? Maybe you’re eager to finally step out of the boat and walk upon uncharted water, but taking that first step is all too intimidating, so instead of risking failure, you decide to stay safe and settle for mediocrity.

Fear will burn your dreams to the ground. Fear will jade your relationships. But most of all… Fear will keep you from taking the most important step: the first step. Taking the First Step There’s a lot of risk and mystery in taking the first step. The inherent risk in taking a first step is found in embracing when you’ll fall, not if you’ll fall. And often, the mystery in taking a first step revolves around how long will it take to develop a stride.

Apply this to any area of life: • • • • •

Watch the development of a toddler.

Personal goals Relationship growth Financial freedom Career advancement Parenting skills

Does this sound a lot like your life? Maybe you can relate to this reader’s recent email in which he said, “Chris, I feel uninspired and am lacking courage. After a series of disappointments, I’m really timid about taking another risk. So, I’ve settled to just wait and see what happens.” Believe it or not, those emails arrive in my inbox more than you’d suspect. And I believe that the culprit lurking behind this common intimidation is one thing: fear. Fear will stunt your growth. Fear will shut down your potential.


Can you imagine if a parent was so gripped by the fear of their child falling and getting bruised in the process of normal development that they insisted upon carrying the youngster wherever they needed to go? Needless to say, instead of developing their own stride and building muscle, the toddler would never be able to support his own weight, develop motor skills, and would ultimately atrophy an otherwise healthy muscular system. And that’s just what the fear of stepping out into the unknown does to our development in life. The fear of embracing the risk and mystery of the unknown will hamper your ability to take steps forward into your future. But unlike a lot of people today, my hope for you is that your uncommon willingness to risk added to uncommon determination will yield an uncommon result.

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So the question begs an answer: Are you going to live your life safe and stuck in cynicism because of past disappointment? Or will you take the first step even with the risk of failing? Point being, you cannot reach your life’s potential while putting “safety first.” Step One: Step Out Really, the first step in learning how to step out into the unknown is taking full responsibility for your life. If you’re sick and tired of living a life that’s dripping in mediocrity because of the safety of familiarity, here’s a step-by-step process to taking… the first step: 1. Take responsibility for your life.

At some point, you will run out of motivation. The initial excitement will wear off. So, know that going in and then commit before the bell rings. We were never designed to make choices from a place of fear. And trust me, I get why the temptation to do so is enticing. But I’ve recently come to a place in my own life in which I would much rather fall flat on my face than look back to this day with tears of regret clouding my vision. Taking the first step is often the most difficult, but it is the most necessary. Do you believe it?

Don’t allow your emotions to control you. Learn to discipline and contain your emotions. Don’t believe what you feel. Allow your emotions to catch up to your right beliefs and corresponding actions. 2. Seize the opportunity. There will always be a logical reason and a good intention to justify mediocrity. But overcoming this temptation requires embracing risk and mystery.

Christopher Cook is a leadership coach and business consultant to both Fortune 1000 and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, he is the host of “Win Today with Christopher Cook,” a popular weekly podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and other outlets. Through his work at WINTODAY. tv and as a contributor for SUCCESS magazine, he serves as a guide to help people design their road map to wholeness from the inside out.

3. Dump the excuses and act. Don’t wait until all your ducks are in a row before you start. In the same manner, don’t squander your future successes because of past failures. Get up and get going again. 4. Expect to need a recharge.

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