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INSIDE FEATURES: Danny Gascon Harcourts Premier Properties

AJ Mearig

Pablo Salcedo

Casa Bella Realty Group

Executive Agent of the Month

New American Funding

Chris Smith Meital Taub First Team Estates

Jane Tittle Tittle Realty

Tarah Walker Team Nationwide Real Estate Executives

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

Build a partnership with a direct lender that offers exceptional service.

John J. Reed Branch Manager NMLS-869516

(949) 398-3655

Alan Cipolletti

Jill Coss

Carrie Diaz




(949) 394-1757

(949) 791-7901

(949) 500-6927

Doug Davis

Therese Franklin


Senior Mortgage Advisor

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Brandon Garcia



(562) 673-0376

(949) 394-4624

(949) 375-5566

Mark Martinez

Jeffrey McVey

Argie Nastasi




(714) 863-8470

(949) 677-1001

(714) 878-9934

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Lynn Nelson

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Jim Thiel

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Senior Mortgage Advisor



(714) 412-8608

(949) 521-0039

We offer in-house agent marketing support providing the following services: POSTCARDS | FLYERS | VIDEO | PHOTOGRAPHY Š2016 Finance of America Mortgage LLC is licensed nationwide | | NMLS ID # 1071 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | AZ Mortgage Banker License #0910184 Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act

Executive Agent of the Month Pablo Salcedo First Team Real Estate

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Professional Profiles



Danny Gascon

AJ Mearig

Chris Smith

Harcourts Premier Properties

Casa Bella Realty Group

New American Funding

28 Meital Taub

First Team Estates 4




Jane Tittle

Tarah Walker Team

Tittle Realty

Nationwide Real Estate Executives

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

March, 2017 - N. Orange County

Editorials 12

A Team Is More Than A Group Of People -Patricia Fripp


One Brand. One Rule. -Scott Gross




Fred Arrias Executive Publisher PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Ph: (949) 366-3349 Fax: (949) 266-8757 Fred@eamag.net www.EAMag.net

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Finance of America Mortgage...........................2 iPhotography Studio...............................................25 Kinecta Federal Credit Union...............................13


Want To Sell More? -Ron LaVine

New American Funding.....................................................9

PWAOR...................................................................38 The Termite Guy......................................................3 Ticor Title Company...................................................40




Wells Fargo Home Loans.............................................39

How To Trade For Advertising -Kevin Nunley

Photography: iPhotography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy Van Writers: Haley Freeman, Shannon Hartsoe Editorial Writers: Linda Brakeall, Bill Brooks, Tamara Dorris, T Scott Gross, Chris Widener, Dirk Zeller, Zig Ziglar

Better Is Something You Become -Jim Rohn

© Copyright 2017 Executive Agent Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy of published materials, Executive Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors.

WORRY -Zig Ziglar

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THE TARAH WALKER TEAM Written by Haley Freeman


arah Walker is a person of extraordinary passion and purpose. She grew up with her grandmother in West Long Beach and worked her way through college to become the first in her family to not only earn a college

an asset to my real estate business and I believe it’s one of the reasons that I’ve experienced so much growth from referral business. It’s truly the highest compliment a person in this line of business can receive.” One of Tarah’s favorite quotations is attributed to Vincent Van Gogh: “Your profession is not your job, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and intensity that it becomes a spiritual calling.” Tarah found her calling in real estate. “I wanted a career that would allow my passion for people, strong integrity, attention to detail, standard for excellence, and love of learning and creativity to be put to use,” she says. “I followed my passion and found my purpose. I am deeply fulfilled by this career.” Recognized in 2016 as the top-producing agent among her peers at Nationwide Real Estate Executives in Laguna Hills, Tarah is thriving in this forward-thinking firm that is “reinventing real estate” and has been named by Inc. 500 as one of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. “Nationwide is entrepreneurial and progressive, and I am constantly inspired by them. They have a commitment to never-ending improvement, and the technology and service we provide is always evolving so that we can better serve our clients.”

degree, but to do so with honors. “I am extremely grateful for my humble beginnings. I learned early on that success isn’t given; it’s earned. I had to be focused and relentless in the pursuit of my goals, and I apply this to my career today when it comes to my own aspirations and those of my clients’.” Multitalented and self-motivated, Tarah went on to work for a prominent law firm where she contemplated careers in psychology or law. “During the five years that I worked at the law firm, I served individuals who were experiencing extreme trauma in their lives. My position required me to be extremely meticulous and attentive to every detail, while maintaining a people-first approach. This skillset has been

In 2016, Tarah obtained her broker’s license and began building her own real estate team. She describes herself as a “side-by-side leader. I believe in synergy and that the right partnership can more than double what you can alone. When I met Jorge Mercado, I saw such good qualities in him and that he is an action-oriented, go-getter like myself. Recently recognized as Rookie of the Year, he is a Marine veteran who honorably served our country for 12 years. He served in Iraq. He’s a fighter with the heart of a champion, and that’s someone I want on my team. He has an unmatched work ethic, dedication to service and a level of generosity that speaks to his character. Having Jorge as a reliable teammate is expanding my ability to provide quality service to more people while achieving greater work/life balance.”

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A career in real estate allows Tarah to make time for her life’s greatest passion, her family. “One of my greatest longings was for the nuclear family that I lacked growing up. Foremost, I wanted to be a wife and mother. My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and our two daughters are both social and confident little girls. They are proud of my career, and they both want to be Realtors® when they grow up! My husband is a former college and professional athlete, and is now an entrepreneur, so we live busy lives. The time we spend together as a family is very precious, and we are members of a church in Irvine where we go as a family every week. To us, family and faith are everything!” Tarah’s approach to real estate is governed by her high integrity and uncompromising pursuit of excellence. Because she is more active in the marketplace than most agents, she has garnered tremendous professional experience and insight, honing her ability to avert complications and creatively solve problems. Her legal skills are also a great asset, as she is adept at crafting and negotiating bullet-proof contracts. But it is Tarah’s balance of high-tech and high-touch that truly distinguishes her as a professional. “A real estate transaction is a significant milestone in a person’s life. It’s a keystone of wealth, financial affluence and emotional security. To be entrusted to guide the process is a tremendous gift and an honor, and I treat it as such. While the real estate and finance industries are becoming more automated, I feel there is a lot of value in being willing to sit down with someone face-to-face and get to know them. It’s important for me to understand the scope of what they want to accomplish, and for them to understand their full range of options.”

her life purpose of “connecting with people at the heart level. We are here to bring value to our customers, clients, prospects and community. Every person we encounter deserves the highest level of service.” Tarah Walker Nationwide Real Estate Executives 24422 Avenida de la Carlota, #450 Laguna Hills, CA 92656 Tel: 949-424-3604 - 714-375-6430 Email: TarahWalker@ournationwide.com Web: www.TeamNationwideHomes.com CalBRE # 01928992

Tarah is passionate about this career in which she fulfills

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Better Is Something You Become


wise and resilient old gentleman who used to dine every month in his club downtown—sitting at a long table covered with a white linen tablecloth and sporting silver candlesticks, and served by tuxedoed waiters—loved to regale companions with the fruits of his many years of experience. After dessert and coffee were served, he would push back from the table and light an enormous imported cigar. “This cigar is the only indulgence of an old man,” he would say with a chuckle as he struck the wooden match against his thumbnail, and then he’d launch into one of his stories. They usually began with a question, such as, “Did I ever tell you about the time when I was setting up factories for the Giant XYZ Corporation in the backwoods of Georgia and was compelled to teach them a little lesson in business and good manners?” Although the stories always started out the same, no two stories were ever alike, and there would always be a wealth of wisdom through example, a veritable mother lode of remarkable instruction. And this man who was so old, so wise and so flexible had one ironclad rule for dealing with other people. This rule involved learning and growing from every experience, so the negative ones need never happen again. He said, “If a man fools me once, I think, That’s not nice, and I remember it. If the same man fools me a second time, I think, Shame on you. If the same fellow tricks me a third time, well, I have been warned and should have changed my ways and didn’t, so I think, Shame on me.” If you’re not changing your responses to the situations and circumstances that make up your life, you’re not being flexible, and you’re throwing away the greatest asset as an individual human being. None of us can completely control external events, but we can always control and adapt our responses. None of us can know which cards fate is going to deal out, but we can always control how we play them. None of us can completely control external events, but we can always control and adapt our responses. I once did a seminar for a group of oil company executives during their convention in Honolulu. While we were sitting around the conference table, one of them asked, “Mr. Rohn, you know some important people around the world. What do you think the next 10 years are going to 8

be like?” I said, “Gentlemen, I do know the right people. I can tell you.” So they all listened very carefully. I said, “Gentlemen, based on the people I know and from the best of my own experience, I’ve concluded that in the coming 10 years, things are going to be about like they’ve always been.” I said that to make a point, but also because it’s accurate. Things are going to be about like they’ve always been. The tide comes in, and then what? It goes out. That’s been the case for 6,000 years of recorded history, and probably long before that, so it’s not likely to change. It gets light and then what? It turns dark. For 6,000 years. We are not to be startled by that now. If the sun goes down and someone says, “What happened?” he must have just gotten here, I guess. It always goes down about this time of day. In rotation, the next season after fall is winter. And pray tell, how often does winter follow fall? Every time, without fail, for 6,000 years that we know of. Of course, some winters are long and some are short, some are difficult and some are easy, but they always come right after fall. That isn’t going to change. Sometimes you can figure it out, sometimes there’s no way to figure it out. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it gets in a knot. Sometimes it sails along, sometimes it goes in reverse. That’s not going to change. That last 6,000 years read like this: opportunity mixed with difficulty. It isn’t going to change. Someone says, “Well, then, how will my life change?” And the answer is: When you change. Whether I’m talking to high school kids or business executives, my message is always the same. The only way it gets better for you is when you get better. Better is not something you wish for; better is something you become. 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. © 2008 Jim Rohn International. All rights reserved. For information contact FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com; http://www.FrogPond.com.

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Branch Manager Huntington Beach

Branch Manager Huntington Beach

Branch Manager Mission Viejo

NMLS #303474

NMLS #171371

NMLS #491660




Branch Manager Mission Viejo

Branch Manager Newport Beach

Sales Manager Newport Beach

NMLS #247106

NMLS #483697

NMLS #508732




Branch Manager San Clemente

Branch Manager Anaheim

Branch Manager Anaheim Hills

NMLS #324123

NMLS #255550

NMLS #1076530



Regional VP Orange County NMLS #290023


Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. NMLS ID#6606. © New American Funding. New American and New American Funding are registered trademarks of Broker Solutions Inc. dba New American Funding. All Rights Reserved. Corporate Office is located at 14511 Myford Road, Suite 100, Tustin CA 92780. Phone (800) 450-2010. 01/2017




Written by Haley Freeman


egendary UCLA basketball coach and inspirational leader, John Wooden, is widely recognized for his Pyramid of Success. He stated, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in

“I coached at San Diego State for a year and joined a company called Sports World, where I became the director of basketball putting on sports camps all over the U.S,” he says. “The biggest was our John Wooden basketball camp. I got to know “Coach” and his family, and he was the one man other than my dad who really had a positive impact on my life. His Pyramid of Success is based on character and ethics, and it carries over to any profession. It’s how I’ve patterned myself in terms of becoming a loan consultant.” Eventually, Chris followed his father’s path and entered the banking industry. He spent many years as an independent mortgage broker, and when he decided to close his own business and join a lending company, Chris began looking for one with an outstanding reputation for service and a wide array of loan products. He found that winning combination at New American Funding. “As a direct lender with in-house compliance, marketing and servicing, we have the technology tools and a great loan process with the communication in place to keep everyone up-to-date on the status of a loan. All along we provide lots of opportunities for co-branding with Realtors®, and after closing, we stay in close contact with borrowers. It’s great to have so much support in place and to be able to take advantage of the expertise the company has hired that keeps me in front of clients and available to take care of their needs.”

Chris Smith knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” Chris Smith, senior loan advisor at New American Funding, has built his successful lending career by putting Wooden’s timeless wisdom into practice. A native of Fullerton, Chris played basketball through high school and college, and after graduating from San Diego State University, he parlayed his love of the sport into a gratifying first career. ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Even though he has many years of experience in the industry, Chris emphasizes the need to continue learning. It’s all part of achieving “the best of which you are capable.” “No two borrower profiles are alike,” he says, “and I still learn something new on every file. Experience in our industry adds to the service the customer gets. It’s important to be able to educate borrowers up front so they can learn the pros and cons of the programs available to them and then select the one that best fits their needs. I take a great deal of pride in educating people about their choices when they’re buying a home.” As a lifelong resident of the Fullerton community, Chris is deeply invested in making it a better place for people to live, work and worship. He is the longtime chairman of the Fullerton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast committee and serves on the local board of directors for an industry-supported charitable foundation.

Chris enjoys coaching others through the home-buying process, whether they are clients or fellow professionals. He has a well-earned reputation throughout the region for his lending expertise, matchless service and for simply being a nice guy. As he continues to draw upon the Pyramid of Success as his guide for providing the highest level of service of which he is capable, Chris says, “Success isn’t about wins and losses; it’s about being true to yourself. I’m dedicated to what I do, and I enjoy it. There is no greater feeling than helping a family buy a home.” Chris Smith New American Funding 14511 Myford Road, Suite 100 Tustin, CA 92780 Tel: 714-401-5921 Email: Chris.Smith@nafinc.com Web: www.newamericanagent.com/chrissmith NMLS ID 253394

The most important thing in Chris’s life is family. His son and daughter have filled his life with five grandchildren that he says keep him “smiling and proud.” Basketball season remains a celebrated event at his house, and March Madness is observed like a national holiday. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. NMLS ID#6606. © New American Funding. New American and New American Funding are registered trademarks of Broker Solutions Inc. dba New American Funding. All Rights Reserved. Corporate Office is located at 14511 Myford Road, Suite 100, Tustin CA 92780. Phone (800) 450-2010. 03/2017.

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A Team Is More Than A Group Of People


hen John Amatt led the 1982 Canadian team on a successful Mount Everest Expedition, only three people reached the summit. Many climbers who were part of the team, whose lifetime ambition was to stand on top of Everest, made the conscious choice to stay in the base camp. Why? Because they knew the effort was likely to fail if everyone tried to make it. They chose to forego their individual dreams in favor of helping the team succeed. This wasn’t John Amatt’s first time to plan an Everest expedition. Ten years earlier, with one of his friends from Norway, he had gathered a team of world- class climbers from many different countries, for the challenge. But at the last minute, he backed out. Officially, it was to get married. “But that was just an excuse,” he said later. “I knew that, despite having the best climbers in the world, this expedition would not succeed. Everyone wanted to reach the top for their own glory or that of their country. No one seemed willing to make decisions for the good of the team.” His fears proved founded. Not only did the team not cooperate to make it to the top, at one point these sophisticated expert climbers even indulged in a rockthrowing fight. A “team” is not just people who work at the same time in the same place. A real team is a group of very different individuals who share a commitment to working together 12

to achieve common goals. Most likely they are not all equal in experience, talent or education, but they are equal in one vitally important way, their commitment to the good of the organization. Any group of people -- your family, your workplace or your community -- gets the best results by working as a team. I believe that all of us want to be part of something bigger than we are. Team relationships fulfill that basic need. They are an immensely powerful force, yet they always need to be nurtured. Be sure to show each team member exactly how far reaching his or her contribution can be. The team, each member, and the larger organization will enjoy greater enthusiasm and ultimately greater success. What makes a team? Individuals who are not equal in talent, experience or education, but equal in commitment. It is not realistic to think we can live or work with others without some conflict, but by communicating about the differences, focusing on the common goals and not throwing verbal rocks, we will make great strides. Patricia Fripp, CSP,CPAE is a professional speaker on Change, Teamwork, Customer Service, Promoting Business, and Communication Skills. She is the author of Get What You Want! And, a Past-President of the National Speakers Association. Copyright© 2006, Patricia Fripp. For information about Patricia’s Keynote presentations, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com http://FrogPond.com.

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rsonal. e p ng tti e Now we’re g

A mortgage lender with the magic touch? More like the personal touch – See for yourself. What members say: ¬ “Alex and the Kinecta team are quick to respond to needs and trustworthy during a time in which you need someone looking out for you most. They are great!” ¬ “The service we received from Kinecta during our home purchase was absolutely amazing. Everyone that was involved in the process was incredibly professional and responsive.” What Real Estate partners say: ¬ “I recently successfully closed an escrow with a 30 day time frame, which these days is not an easy task! Thanks to Todd Hull and his team at Kinecta for keeping myself and my buyers informed every step of the way - we were able to pull it off!” ¬ “With Mr. Van Duser’s help we were able to close in less than 30 days, and everyone involved were kept well informed at all times. I strongly recommend Kinecta to everyone looking for a mortgage loan.”

Let’s talk! Erik Jenner, NMLS# 38025

Mgr. Mortgage Loan Sales direct: 949.253.5337 • cell: 949.293.1237 Erik.Jenner@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/ejenner All loans are subject to credit approval. NMLS #407870. Intended for mortgage professionals only and not for consumer use.





Written By Haley Freeman

Jane Tittle W

hen Jane Tittle, broker/owner of Tittle Realty, made the decision to put her name on the company, it was not a matter she took lightly. She knew her name would be forever linked to the public’s perception of her company’s integrity, professionalism and service. Jane has built a flourishing boutique brand that is synonymous with her values and driven entirely by referrals from a community of satisfied clients. This dynamic Orange County business woman was

born to immigrant parents and grew up in a large family in North OC. She learned early the importance of hard work seasoned with integrity, values that have defined her throughout her life. An industry professional since 1992, Jane has first-hand experience in virtually every aspect of real estate, from mortgage lending, to escrow, to real estate sales. In 1999, she opened a boutique real estate and mortgage company in Laguna Beach, and three years later was named Peak Performer of the Year among more than 5,000 top-producing agents nationwide.

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After the market downturn of the mid-2000s, Jane scaled back her large real estate practice in an effort to find greater personal balance while delivering the same white glove service she is known for. Today, she and her business partner, Natalie St. Croix, are focused on providing clients throughout Orange County with extraordinary real estate representation and unparalleled personal service. They are supported in this effort by a carefully selected team of marketing, advertising and social media specialists. “I have built my business around my values and my mission to serve the community,” Jane says. “My company is based on relationships first. Buying or selling a home is more than a transaction. We become part of someone’s journey. I want to learn about a family and their business, their desires, hopes and dreams. Building a relationship by referral takes a lot of nurturing and time with the client. Most agents spend 50-60 percent of their time prospecting for new business. Since I work exclusively by referral, I’m able to spend that time helping my clients with their real estate needs, before, during and after the sale. We put our energy and focus on our relationships with our clients and how we can continue to better serve them.” Jane is a full-time professional whose credentials include Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations. Her breadth of knowledge and experience are vital to her service model and enable her to provide the same quality representation to clients from first-time buyers to savvy investors. She has thrived through both prosperous markets and challenging ones by maintaining a consistent and reliable presence in the marketplace, guiding her clients with expertise and care. According to Jane, it’s the little things that people appreciate: answering the phone when it rings, returning messages in a timely manner, and doing what you say you will do. Her clients describe her as “an integrous agent that cares about her clients, (who) will design a plan taking on the challenges of the market to create results,” and “a oneof-a-kind agent,” who is “very professional.” Those who refer her services are confident in her conscientious follow-through. One said: “When you refer to Jane Tittle, you get a lot more than just selling a house. She has so much value and goes above and beyond to help you sell your home.”

Another declared: “It is such a great feeling to know when a referral will be treated well, and I know that feeling when I refer anybody to you.” Jane lives with her husband, two children and their two rescued Labs in Anaheim Hills, where her personal connection with the community enhances life for her family, as well as the experience she creates for her clients. She is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in Orange County and has been an active fundraiser for charitable causes. “Every year I do a client appreciation party, and I always involve a local charity. Last October, it was Working Wardrobes. We are a faithbased family, and our faith helps to keep me grounded in every aspect of my life.” When people choose a Realtor® who will walk with them through one of life’s most profound journeys, they want to know exactly who will be taking care of them. Jane says, “At Tittle Realty, Jane Tittle is taking care of them. At the end of the day, it’s my name on the sign. I made a commitment to name my company after myself knowing that everything comes back to me. When people hear my name, I want them to think of service with integrity.” Jane Tittle Tittle Realty Tel: 714-337-4155 Email: JaneTittle@gmail.com Web: www.tittlerealty.com CalBRE # 01182745

ExecutiveAgent Magazine




Written By Haley Freeman

doing a real estate transaction does either. My goal is to listen to what’s going on in their life, and then work with them to develop a plan that will work for them.”

This strategy has helped AJ establish herself as a trusted real estate advisor in South Orange County, one who is dedicated to helping people find the right fit in a home while creating lasting community bonds. It AJ Mearig grew up in Alaska, met her husband in high school, and the two set off on an adventure that led them to all four corners of the country. Wherever life has taken her, AJ has always followed her passions. A lover of people, food and entertaining, AJ thrived in the hospitality industry as an event planner and caterer in the corporate sector and as an entrepreneur. When her path led AJ and her family to Southern California, she decided her next adventure would be real estate. As an enthusiastic agent at Casa Bella Realty Group, she is doing a phenomenal job of serving people during the momentous event of buying or selling a home, and she is succeeding by making real estate personal. “It’s not a transaction for me, and it’s not for my clients either,” AJ says. “It involves families and all kinds of life situations, some of them pleasant, and some of them unpleasant. Just like I don’t fit in a box, nobody else

means doing more than simply being proficient in the mechanics of real estate, it means understanding people on a fundamental level and then customizing a transaction just for them. AJ’s first two listings demonstrate the effectiveness of her approach. “The homeowners were very private people and felt anxious about putting a for sale sign in their front yard. At first, I wondered how I would sell their property without a sign. But, I sold both properties in record time by being innovative and marketing in other ways. It reinforced for me how important it is to listen to my clients and respect their wishes. It has to be right for them.”

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Making Real Estate Personal Another way AJ makes real estate personal is by looking for opportunities to build community within neighborhoods. She frequently helps to fund housewarming parties for her clients. “If it is a family with young children, I like to do an ice cream party so the children can meet other kids. In another instance, a couple moved into Mission Viejo and didn’t know anybody. I threw a ‘meet the neighbors’ cocktail hour with wine and appetizers. Thirty-five people showed up and didn’t want to leave! Many were original homeowners in the area who said they’d never done anything like that before. I asked people for their contact information, and the next day, I typed a neighborhood directory and walked the neighborhood with them. It was a great success.” Together with her lender, AJ is engaged in an eightmonth marketing campaign that involves co-branding with local businesses. “By helping to support local entrepreneurs, we’re strengthening the business community, which has a direct relation to home values. So far, we’ve partnered with a dog groomer, a baker and a hairstylist. We’re bringing back Americana. People want to work with people they trust and who seem authentic. This is a way to bring people together organically.”

home buying experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible.” AJ’s passion for real estate, commitment to excellence and zest for life shine through in her first-class service. She serves from the heart, motivated by a genuine desire to make real estate personal.

AJ lives in Ladera Ranch with her husband, Ben, and their two daughters, and she focuses most on this close-knit community and its surrounds. “We chose to live here for the community and good schools. I love the area, getting to know my neighbors and welcoming new families to the neighborhood.” Clients have high praise for AJ’s methods. One first-time buyer described their experience: “She was professional, responsive, highly knowledgeable of the area, supportive and protective of our interests. AJ worked with us for several months to help us find the perfect fit. Even after moving into our new home, AJ continued to check in with us to make sure we were happy and even offered to help us throw a housewarming party to meet our new neighbors! She truly went above and beyond to make our first

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AJ Mearig Casa Bella Realty Group 22362 Gilberto Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 Tel: 949-656-0003 Email: AJsellsOC@gmail.com Web: www.AJsellsOC.com CalBRE # 01981013



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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: 949.366.3349

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Cover Story

Pablo Salcedo Executive Agent of the Month

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Pablo Salcedo Buy with Confidence, Sell with Success Written by Haley Freeman - Photography by Ian Wiant


ablo Salcedo is a North Orange County native, who from an early age, took his father’s work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to heart. He started his first profitable business while he was still in high school, and then in college, a friend introduced him to mortgage lending. Just a few years later, he opened his own successful mortgage company. When the home market crashed in 2008, Pablo did what all savvy entrepreneurs do; he adapted to the needs of the customers in his marketplace. Rather than leaving the industry, he obtained his real estate license and became REO and CDPE certified so he could help families through the distressed market. Today, Pablo is a top-producing Realtor® at First Team Real Estate with more than 16 years of industry experience. He is well-equipped to help families in Orange County and beyond to buy with confidence and sell with

success. As a family man, homeowner and lifetime resident of the region, he understands the market and knows how to connect people with the right home for their family and lifestyle. “I love what I do,” he says. “I can talk real estate all day. Even if somebody isn’t ready to buy or sell, they can always call me with questions. I pride myself on always being easy to get a hold of and easy to talk to. If they get my voice mail, my commitment is to get back to them within two hours or less. The process of buying and selling real estate is such a huge investment for most people, and it’s exciting, but there’s also a lot of anxiety which it is my job to make it as smooth as possible. I want to keep them informed and educated so they feel secure and certain about what they’re getting into.”

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When working with homebuyers, Pablo regularly draws upon his lending expertise to help them buy with confidence. “A lot of times a client wants to find a house before they have been prequalified for financing. When buyers come to me with questions, I can help them get a good idea of what type of property they can qualify for, as well as closing costs and payment breakdowns. I can advise them on how to take care of their credit, whether it’s reminding my clients not to co-sign for someone else’s loan or open new credit lines. If they’re having issues with their lender, I can step in and look at the program guidelines and make suggestions about where we may be able to ask for an exception or how to resolve the lender issue.” In his listing-focused real estate practice, Pablo is more than just a Realtor®; he is a marketing specialist. He is constantly adapting with changes in technology to provide greater exposure for his clients’ properties, and he has engineered an immense online presence through his stra-

tegic use of websites, social media and real estate search engines that help clients to sell with success. “I keep track of what I do by using online tracking systems. I know how many hits my advertising is getting, and I share weekly reports with my clients regarding the activity on their property.” When Pablo takes a listing, he creates a detailed marketing plan designed to generate excitement around the property. “I spend time going through the property, taking notes and discussing what color to paint or what remodels the homeowner may want to do before we take photos. If the house needs staging, we’ll do it, or if it’s vacant, we’ll put some furnishings in. Picture day is a big event. I show up for the photoshoot with my team and we spend several hours at the property moving furniture, creating open space and making the home look its very best for a successful sale.”

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Professional, Genuine, Passionate An open house is a major event in the marketing of a home for sale. “I think of it like a brand-new restaurant opening,” Pablo explains. “I love the excitement of the build-up. Two weeks before the open house, I send out mailers and start online advertising with a property website and social media advertising focused on the demographics for the area. A couple of days before, I go door-knocking and leave door hangers inviting people in the neighborhood.” While most of his business is in North OC, Pablo draws clients from all over the region through his online presence and the many referrals he receives from satisfied clients. Pablo’s down-to-earth, family-friendly approach to real estate helps him form lasting bonds with people as

he plays an important role in their life journey. A first-time homebuyer said: “My husband and I had the pleasure of working with Pablo during the purchasing process of our first home. His professionalism, responsiveness, genuineness, and assertiveness made this stressful process seamless. He was clear on our likes, dislikes, wants, and needs and always had our best interest at heart. He is a man of his word and regardless of his work load always made us feel tended to as though we were first. Pablo has earned our respect and trust and that is why we’d recommend him to anyone in the market. He has become a family friend and even helped us celebrate this huge milestone at our housewarming party. Thank you, Pablo!”

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And a recent seller reported: “Pablo sold our house in only 32 days, from the first open house, to close of escrow! The marketing was amazing, and he timed the sale in our neighborhood perfectly. I really appreciated how we always heard back from him right away, even on the weekends and evenings. If you want to get top dollar for your house, hire Pablo!” Pablo speaks English and Spanish, but to better serve clients in multicultural Orange County, he is now studying Korean. “I’ve been learning the culture along with the language, and I’m really enjoying it. The biggest challenge is practicing. I try it on my kids and when I meet people who are Korean. The first thing I ask is, ‘Are you from Korea?’ and then I practice simple phrases like introducing myself and asking, ‘How are you?’”

Pablo and his wife, Diane, have been married for 10 years with 4 beautiful children. “She has a doctoral degree in organizational development, and she made the decision to be a home school mom. She’s a great mom, and seeing what she goes through teaching our children is inspirational. She helps to keep me organized so I can do my job. I’m so blessed to have her in my life, and if not for her, I wouldn’t be where I’m at.” Pablo enjoys his personal time attending his kids’ sporting events and participating in church and community outreach programs. Pablo’s consummate professionalism and his practice of going above and beyond in caring for people have earned him the trust and respect of families throughout Orange County. Because of him, they know they can always buy with confidence and sell with success.

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Pablo Salcedo First Team Real Estate 1400 N. Harbor Blvd., Ste. 100, Fullerton, CA 92835 Tel: 714-315-0704 - Email: Pablo@sellcedoteam.com Web: www.PabloSells.com - CalBRE # 01778864 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 26

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 high-quality 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.

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Written by Kevin Nunley

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 instore 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 http://DrNunley.com/. © 2008 Kevin Nunley. All rights reserved. For information contact FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com; http://www.FrogPond.com.

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Written by Haley Freeman

Meital Taub M

eital Taub earned her degrees in business and law, and then traveled abroad working in the biotech and medical device industries. Fourteen

years ago, she moved to the U.S. She soon fell in love with her husband and embraced life in his home community of Laguna Beach.

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Making the Right Match Charmed by the natural beauty and unique lifestyle of coastal Orange County, Meital was inspired to begin helping other families find their dream home in this exclusive enclave, and she has since become known as the area’s Coastal Premier Property Matchmaker. “I’m passionate about Laguna and selling coastal luxury real estate. I believe everyone comes into this world to make a mark, and I believe mine is to help people move on to the next stage of life by helping to match them with the right property. It’s huge when people trust you to help them with the things that matters most, like sell their house or helping them find the right house for their family and get settled in a community or invest their funds and develop real estate. Being a hard worker I handle every transaction like it is my own home and my own funds. I put my heart and soul into every transaction. Moving is a life-changing event, and helping people with integrity is something I’m really proud of.” In her pursuit of professional excellence, Meital strategically aligned herself with First Team Real Estate and Christie’s International Real Estate, companies known for service with distinction. “First Team Estates is a well-known brand in our high end and luxury real estate market, and Christie’s is recognized around the world. Our collaborations with Christie’s and with Luxury Portfolio, the number one website for the affluent international buyer, make it possible to market homes to buyers all over the world and beyond just the national level.” These resources aid Meital in providing a level of service that surpasses the competition. When listing a home, Meital creates extensive, custom marketing plans designed to attract buyers from points around the globe and net sellers the highest value for their home. “Our marketing is top-of-the-line, and I have a full marketing team behind me. I keep in touch with sellers constantly, and they get a weekly report from me that shows where their property is being advertised and marketed, and how many clicks and impressions they had through all of the online exposure.” But more than that is necessary in this exclusive market. Meital’s knowledge of the area and deep connections in the community give her an edge. “This is not a place you can simply value a property by price-per-square-foot. Valuation is tricky and requires that you know the area well. Part of my expertise is my local knowledge of the properties, and the individual characteristics and locations that determine their value. I also have good relationships with local and out of state agents. It takes time to prepare

a property to go on the market. When I get a listing, I don’t wait. I start working immediately, calling agents and telling them what’s coming. It’s a creative way of finding the right buyer before a property even hits the market.” Meital draws people with her extraordinary personal warmth and vitality. Her international perspective helps her to understand the needs of people from diverse backgrounds and match them with the right property for their family and lifestyle. As a negotiator, she is skilled at working with buyers and sellers to reach a harmonious agreement. Clients are sincere and eloquent in their praise of Meital’s service. She is described as “knowledgeable, thorough, communicative, organized and warm,” as well as “present and available.” One client said that buying a home with Meital was “completely effortless.” Another summed up his experience this way: “Meital is in a league of her own amongst the OC high-end real estate community. Her intellect, confidence, trustworthiness and professionalism during the purchase of our Laguna Beach dream home provided us with a profound sense of security during what otherwise would have been a very stressful transaction. My wife and I endorse Meital 100 percent.” As residents of Laguna Beach, Meital and her family are involved in local schools, sporting activities and community events. Meital supports the School Power Laguna Beach Education Foundation and other initiatives that promote the health and prosperity of this vibrant community. Meital is passionate about making the right match between people and property. “Every person and every house has their own story, and it makes every day exciting, interesting and challenging. Each transaction has its own heartbeat, and I find joy in the time I spend helping people with this life-changing event.” Meital Taub First Team Estates 900 Glenneyre St. Laguna Beach, CA 92651 Tel: 949.922.9552 Email: MeitalTaub@gmail.com Web: www.MeitalTaub.FirstTeam.com CalBRE #01871040

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orry has been described as “interest paid on trouble before it comes due.” One of America’s worst enemies is worry. Worry is like a rocking chair; it requires a lot of energy, and it gets you nowhere. Leo Buscaglia said, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” . Question: Are you a worrier? Americans take more pills to forget more worries about more things than ever before and more than people in any other nation in history. That’s bad. According to Dr. Charles Mayo, “Worry affects the circulation and the whole nervous system. I’ve never known a man who died from overwork, but I’ve known many who have died from doubt.” Doubt always creates worry, and in most cases, lack of information raises the doubt. Life is much like Christmas. You’re more apt to get what you expect than what you want. Mathematically speaking, it really doesn’t make sense to worry. Psychologists and other researchers tell us that roughly 40 percent of what we worry about will never happen and 30 percent has already happened. Additionally, 12 percent of our worries are over unfounded health


concerns. Another 10 percent of our worries involve the daily miscellaneous fretting that accomplishes nothing. That leaves only 8 percent. Plainly speaking, Americans are worrying 92 percent of the time for no good reason, and if Dr. Mayo is right, it’s killing us. One solution that will reduce your worry is this: Don’t worry about what you can’t change. Example: For a number of years I’ve flown in excess of 200,000 miles a year. On occasion, flights are canceled or delayed. As I write this, I’m sitting on the runway waiting for my gate to clear. If I worry or get angry, nothing will change. If I take constructive action and finish this article, I’m ahead of the game. That’s a positive way to use the energy that I would have wasted on anger, frustration, or worrying. The message is clear: If you don’t like your situation in life, don’t fret or worry--do something about it. Worry less, and act more. 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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Written by Haley Freeman


ealtor® Danny Gascon comes from a long line of enterprising Californians. He grew up in Laguna Niguel and earned his business degree from Chapman University, all the while learning real-life business applications from his father, a chemist and

But once he had maximized his potential in that business, Danny was ready for a new challenge. “I wanted to remain in sales and in an industry where I could continue to develop and maintain my own clients,” he says. “The owner of the company always invested in real estate, and I had friends in real estate. I made a plan, got my license and spent the remainder of that year shadowing other agents so that I was fully prepared when I made the transition.” He joined Harcourts Premier Properties in Irvine, under the leadership of Landon Miller and Brandon Hobbs, professionals with whom Danny shares roots in Orange County and at Chapman University. Danny was a perfect fit with this group of dynamic, young OC Realtors®. During his first year in real estate, his entrepreneurial drive and immense talent for customer service came to the fore, earning him the Rising Star of the Year Award. “Right away, I fell in love with the culture here,” Danny says. “This is a true people-first, customer serviceoriented and tight-knit environment. Everybody works together to help everyone else succeed, and we all have the same drive and ambition.”

manufacturer of skin and hair care products. Danny went on to join a start-up hair care company, where he worked directly with the CEO and developed a strong sales territory among elite salons throughout Orange County and Beverly Hills.

Danny’s enthusiasm for service excellence makes him a masterful communicator and builder of relationships. He prides himself on being available whenever people need him and always ready with answers to their questions. A couple that Danny helped with the purchase of their first home described him as “patient, steady, and knowledgeable through the whole process from start to finish. He always reported back any updated news to me seconds after finding out, and he always answered my calls or returned my calls right away! I named him “The Vampire,” because I said he never sleeps! He would even get back to me late at night! We were blessed that he was the one that could ride along this adventure with us, and we are grateful. I love writing reviews for people that truly deserve the world to know they’re great!”

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Harcourts is an international brand with more than a century of success representing clients from points around the globe. In Southern California’s culturally diverse marketplace, Danny is well-equipped to help people from around the world find their dream home. He speaks fluent Spanish, French and Italian, as his own heritage extends beyond the borders of the U.S. “My parents are originally from Venezuela, and my family all speak Spanish and French. They taught me both growing up. In college, I studied abroad in Italy and traveled all over Europe. The best way to learn a language is to be in the country. My mom is also an Italian instructor at Long Beach State. We come from a multi-cultural family and are all very openminded. I think it helps me to make people from other places feel comfortable and better-connected through the process of buying or selling real estate.” A believer in planning and preparation, Danny works with a private business coach who challenges him with greater accountability. He also sets daily and yearly goals, and constantly seeks inspiration through professional education and personal reading. “I like to be up-to-date on everything and sharing ideas about what does and doesn’t work with other good agents. I’m also a big believer in having a positive attitude. I work on starting every day fresh, staying healthy and continuing to learn so that I always have something of value to offer my clients.”

Danny’s love for his home community comes through in the time he spends giving back. He is an active member of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, and he has taken the lead in supporting Caterina’s Club, a local charity that provides meals and assistance to underprivileged families in Orange County. It is no wonder that since applying his entrepreneurial fervor to real estate, Danny has become an award-winning top producer and trusted advisor to many who are seeking the perfect home in beautiful Orange County. He says his greatest reward comes from the satisfaction of helping a seller to effectively market and sell their home, and also from knowing he has helped someone acquire the home of their dreams in this vibrant community. Danny M. Gascon The Gascon Group Harcourts Premier Properties 2600 Michelson Drive, Suite 110 Irvine, CA 92612 Tel: 949-370-4069 Email: danny@harcourtspremier.com Web: http://facebook.com/dannygasconrealestate CalBRE # 01965646

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Want To Sell More?


ometimes sales reps lose track of the basics. What do the coaches say when you’re in a sports slump? Go back to the basics.

What do you think the person on the other end is thinking? “This person likes our company’s products and therefore likes me. I should try to help them.”

You can be a greater presenter or a fantastic closer, however if you lack good solid prospecting skills, who will you be presenting too or what sales will you be closing?

Ron, that sounds real corny. I know it sounds corny but it works. Try it before you judge it.

Probably no one unless you have someone doing the prospecting for you in which case they are building the relationships, not you.

Call on the account you have always wanted to call on but never have. What’s the worst that can happen on the phone? A person can hang up on you. They can’t punch you through the phone.

First, get out there and do it! Stop making excuses or putting things off. If it is cold calling, then make cold calls. If your presentation needs work, then practice presenting. There is no time like the present to get things done.

People are people wherever you go and good manners transcend all borders. Guess what, Lou Gerstner or any famous person for that matter and you both have the same color blood, “red”.

Set aside time to get the most important things done first by asking yourself this question. “What do I need to be doing right now that will make me the most money?” “When do I need to have it done by?” “How much time am I willing to commit to make what I want to happen, happen?”

There’s nothing to be afraid of they’re just people be it the CEO of CISCO or a Janitor. Some maybe a little old, smarter and wiser and yet that can work to your advantage.

Pick up the phone. Make one more call. Pick up the pen and write one more sentence. Get to the keyboard and type one more line.

People love to teach other people. It is very rewarding, spirit energizing and is the main reason I do what I do. People are often amazed at people who are friendly and yet that is what they crave.

Push yourself a little further each time than you have before and watch the improvements take place in your life. Make a extra effort to be nice and complement someone. Complements are free and people enjoy hearing them. So boost your sales by using them. When is the last time you complemented a prospect? One of the first things I do when I call on a corporation whose products I use and like is to immediately let them know just that.

People crave other people who are interested in them and their problems and what they have to say. Want to sell more? Be interested not interesting. Ron LaVine is president of Intellworks, Inc., a sales training firm located in Oak Park, CA which specializes in teaching technology salespeople how to cold call into the Fortune 1000. Sign up for his free weekly Sales Tips for Selling Success email newsletter at intellworks.com. Copyright© 2004, Ron Lavine. All rights reserved. For information about Ron’s training programs, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@frogpond.com; http://www.frogpond.com.

If it’s GE, it might start something like this. “Hi there. You know I’m a big fan of yours. I love the GE Refrigerator I bought. Maybe you can help me.”

Written By Ron LaVine 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 susie@frogpond.com; http://www.frogpond.com.

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.


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