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Southern California’s Publication for the Real Estate Professional



Mary Lee Swearingen Executive Agent of the Month


RE/MAX Premier Realty

A NNA BENNETT First Team Real Estate

K IM COLE Coldwell Banker Residential


TERESA WHITE imortgage

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imortgage ● 2099 S. State College Blvd, Suite 102 ● Anaheim, CA 92806 Rates, terms and loan program availability are subject to change without notice. Consumer is subject to specific program qualifications. This is not an advertisement to extend consumer credit as defined by section 226.2 of Regulation Z. Licensed by California Department of Corporations CRMLA 4130969. imortgage NMLS ID 3096. All rights reserved. 2012. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Teresa White (714) 422-1870 NMLS ID 209710

contents ExecutiveAgent


MARCH, 2013

VOL. 5 NO. 49

Cover Story


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

14 - Rory Aplanalp: Try Vs. Do...

36 - Maya Bailey:

Stop Being So Hard On Yourself...


28 - Frank C. Bucaro:

Eagle Home Mortgage.......................39

Rocks, Ripples, Decisions!

Evergreen Realty...............................19

34 - Craig Harrison: 5 Mary Lee Swearingen Executive Agent of the Month

First Team Real Estate.....................27

It’s Time For Plan B Brianstorming!

imortgage.................................2 i Photography Studio...............11 & 25

16 - Zig Ziglar: Survival Tactics

Kinecta Federal Credit Union...........13 Prominent Escrow...........................40 PWAOR......................................38 Realty ONE Group............................12 The Termite Guy................................15

22 Travis Baron

RE/MAX Premier Realty

26 Anna Bennett

First Team Real Estate


20 Kim Cole

Coldwell Banker Residential


Cheryl Coleman Star Real Estate

30 Teresa White imortgage

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage...........18

Photography: i Photography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy van Writers: Lalaena Gonzalez–Figueroa, Shannon Hartsoe © Copyright 2013 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.


Nomination Form




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

I Nominate: Name:___________________________________ Company:________________________________ Address:_________________________________ _________________________________________ City/State/Zip:____________________________ _________________________________________ Phone:___________________________________ Email:___________________________________ Submitted By: Name:___________________________________ Fax/Email nomination to: Executive Agent Magazine Fax: 949.266.8757 Email:

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Cover Story

Mary Lee Swearingen Executive Agent of the Month

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Mary Lee Swearingen The MLS Team “Your Brand For Real Estate” By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa - Ian Wiant Photographer


poised professional with a wealth of real estate experience, Mary Lee Swearingen has cultivated an accomplished career thanks to her unwavering commitment to success. She shines - as much in her natural abilities as in her pride for her business. But while she makes it look effortless, there’s no denying that hard work is the foundation of her achievements. Mary Lee earned her real estate license at 18, accompanying her father as he embarked upon his own career in the field. Though she enjoyed the coursework and was interested in the industry, the energetic young woman was eager to pursue other opportunities. She studied business and law, earning a B.A. Degree in Liberal Studies from CSUF. While completing a post-graduate teaching program she also earned a Juris Doctorate (JD) Degree from Western State University of Law. She supported her studies by working as a hostess of operations foreman/trainer at

Disneyland and also managed to pursue her private pilot’s license. The crowning glory to her academic and community pursuits was when Mary Lee was twice named Miss Yorba Linda. After marrying her high school sweetheart Mary Lee dedicated her efforts into helping run his successful Sunny Hills-based chiropractic office and to raising the couple’s three children. When the time was right, she sought a new professional challenge. Real estate, she determined, was the right path. “At that point I was already helping others invest and build their real estate portfolios, even explaining complex issues like 1031 exchanges,” she recalls. And the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, she realized, was her calling. In 2000 she joined Prudential California Realty and embarked upon a remarkable professional journey.

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Mary Lee with son Stephen Throughout the course of her career Mary Lee has navigated the challenges of cyclical markets, utilizing an adaptable approach and a sense of purpose and determination to consistently achieve her clients’ goals. “When someone moves the cheese, you move with it,” she smiles. “There’s no sense in fighting the nature of the business; instead, it’s critical to understand and address the issues that are impacting our industry.” Time and again, that’s exactly what she has done. “I like to keep a close watch on the markets, to maintain a sense of the pulse,” Mary Lee offers. “As inventory, price points and trends change, I’m better able to position my clients to take advantage of opportunities.” An astute negotiator, she readily strategizes creative solutions to regularly overcome challenges and achieve her – and her clients’ – goals. Her attention to detail and pursuit of ongoing education and training have allowed Mary Lee to represent a

range of transactions including traditional equity sales, investment opportunities, REOs and short sales. She’s also well-versed in 1031 exchanges, probate sales and property tax base transfers. Mary Lee serves the counties of Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino and surrounding communities, and has earned recognition as a Fine Homes and Relocation Specialist through Prudential. This enables her to extend the initial contract transaction when her clients leave the area. “They remain my endeared clients, regardless of where they live,” she states. To adhere to her commitment to consistently providing an exceptional level of client care, Mary Lee has leveraged the support of a close-knit team of professionals. The Mary Lee MLS Team includes her son Stephen and an administrative and showing assistant. Together the group provides personal care tailored to meet the unique wants and needs of each client they represent.

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“There’s a lot of inspiration to be gleaned from the process of overcoming challenges and assisting people in realizing their dreams.” Mary Lee and her team enjoy working with buyers as well as sellers; she notes that she loves the opportunity to be a part of the real estate process for a range of clientele. “Sharing the joy of the unknown, helping to neutralize fears, or supporting families in change is so rewarding,” she explains. “I try to keep it positive, and to find the humor in our business. It can be stressful, but it can also be pretty funny!”

In over a decade of transactions, adds Mary Lee, she has experienced situations that almost defy belief. “I’ve considered writing a book about it,” she reveals. “Every transaction is incredibly unique, and the scenarios that arise- funny moments, interesting developments – are pretty entertaining. Really, though, there’s a lot of

inspiration to be gleaned from the process of overcoming challenges and assisting people in realizing their dreams.” Those moments, when her clients accomplish their deep-seeded objectives, are the ones that matter most to Mary Lee. She appreciates the opportunity to work with individuals from all walks of life, and to help them better themselves through real estate investments. Perhaps her greatest joy comes from helping her clients find their homes. “Knowing that I had something to do with the place where people will start a new phase in their lives, start their families or live out their dreams, is just amazing,” she declares An empathetic and consultative approach allows Mary Lee to establish a solid understanding of each client’s unique wants and needs. “It’s so important to me that they’re comfortable throughout the process,” she asserts. “By providing them with the information and choices they need to make their best decisions, I’m better able to foster that sense of comfort.”

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The Swearingen Family “Our experience with Mary Lee was very holistic and positive. By holistic I mean that Mary Lee saw us as a total family... multifaceted. She took the time to get to know us individually which helped her help us find the perfect home for our family. We needed a home in a particular geographic area to meet our family’s needs and she helped us acquire just that! We also had a home to sell and she was masterful at letting us know what we needed to do in order for it to have the best showing possible. Mary Lee sold our home within 2 weeks for more than what we were asking! We were blown away,” says Melanie Hays. “We affectionately call her the ‘Velvet Tiger” because she is the perfect balance of aggressive, savvy business woman and patient friend. We fell in love with a home that needed some TLC and had some challenging issues on the sellers end. Mary Lee fought for us while representing herself with integrity. If we ever needed to buy or sell another property, there is no question who we would use....Mary Lee Swearingen!” Much of her business stems from repeat and referral clients; Mary Lee attributes this to her positive outlook along with her dedication to meeting or exceeding her clients’ expectations. “A successfully closed transaction is my ultimate goal,” she explains. “During the process I maintain communication, always keeping my clients informed. This helps me to earn their trust and confidence, and to continue working with them on subsequent transactions.” She views her extensive knowledge of real estate marketing trends,

diverse neighborhoods, economic impacts and market shifting adaptation as one of her strongest skills, and notes that her associates, the support staff at Prudential, her affiliate service providers and clients have all contributed to her team’s success. “We have been able to consistently guide clients into making good choices,” she offers. Her enthusiasm isn’t limited to real estate. Mary Lee is a loving wife and mother who revels in family time. She attends the Calvary Chapel of East Anaheim Hills and says that giving back to her community is an important part of her life. Mary Lee supports a number of charitable causes and sponsors local youth sports teams. Real estate is, by nature, an industry of change. Markets shift, trends come and go, but for Mary Lee there is one unwavering constant: her absolute love for her profession. “I will be a REALTOR® until I die,” she proudly asserts. “It has been a wonderful career for me, and I live, breathe and sleep it.”

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Mary Lee Swearingen The MLS Team Prudential California Realty 22800 Savi Ranch Parkway, Suite 120 Yorba Linda, CA 92887 Telephone: 714.777.8777 DRE # 00431273

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Looking for a Good Fit? Kinecta can help you find the right home loan for your client.

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The Kinecta Difference: Not-for-profit • Member-owned • Over 70 years in business Terms and conditions subject to change. All loans subject to credit approval. Information is intended for Mortgage and Real Estate professionals only and not intended for consumer use as defined by Section 1026.2 of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth-In-Lending Act. The guidelines are subject to change without notice and are subject to Kinecta Federal Credit Union underwriting guidelines and all applicable federal and state rules and regulations. 11654-01/13



vs. By Rory Aplanalp


f at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” Mom and Dad were wrong about this one. Now I know that their motives were good, and the principle, in and of itself had value. They were teaching us to ease into what ever it was that we were struggling with. I know the lesson they were teaching us was pure and sound but when we get to be adults we should get away from the ‘try’ and get into the ‘do.’


area and opened the door, he looked out and it appeared to be a lot higher than he thought it was going to be, so he asked them to close the door. I said, “You mean you did not jump out?” He said “No, but I tried skydiving.” I countered by saying, “You didn’t ‘try’ skydiving, you simply went on a plane ride with a parachute on!” To this day I don’t know if he got the message, but the rest of the class did.

There is one very important thing lacking behind the ‘try’ word. Commitment, anytime you use the word ‘try’ it lacks commitment. Here is an example most of us see at least once a week. How many times during the course of the week do you have someone come up to you and say, “Hey, I’m going to ‘try’ and get in touch with you sometime next week.” Whenever I hear that I always reply, “What do you mean, try?” Does that mean if you’re in the mood, or if you remember my number, or if you’re by a phone and have 35 cents?”

Do this, for the next week, stop using the ‘try’ word. If you catch yourself or another person use it, ask yourself or them if that really was what you meant. You see, I have more respect for someone who will say, “I’m not going to do that” and then tell me why, than someone who will say, “I’ll try,” and then not deliver. On the first hand, I know where I stand.

Do you notice a difference between, “I’m going to ‘try’ to get in touch with you next week” and “Tuesday at 3:00 in the afternoon, I’m going to call you at this number. Are you going to be in?” Do you see the difference? One is committed the other is not. Some people use the ‘try’ word just to get out from under the task at hand or to be polite. Either way, it lacks integrity. Here is another example. How many of you out there have ‘tried’ skydiving? You know jumping out of a plane with parachutes on. I had one guy in my seminar say, “Well, I have.” I stated that he didn’t ‘try’ he actually ‘did’ the skydiving thing. He countered with, “No, I tried it!” I asked him to explain. He proceeded to tell me how he went up in the plane and strapped the parachute on. When they came to the drop


I’ve got to do it myself or get someone who will. It’s not hard, simply replace the word ‘try’ with ‘do’ and see if you notice the difference. Here is an important question. Do you want to ‘try’ to be happy? Do you want to ‘try’ to be a good Father or Mother? Do you want to ‘try’ to do a good job at work? It is more than a semantics issue; it ties directly into our level of commitment. Rory Aplanalp has impacted the lives of more than one million people across the globe. He then founded his own company, Human Resource Development, a leader in the sales training field. For more than fourteen years, Rory was affiliated with Franklin Quest/Franklin Covey and was distinguished as their top seminar and keynote speaker. Copyright© 2002, Rory Aplanalp. All rights reserved. For information about Rory’s speaking and training programs, please contact the Frog Pond Group at 800-704-FROG (3764) or;

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Survival Tactics


ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Written By Zig Ziglar


he giraffe is the largest mammal that gives birth while standing up. I don’t speak “giraffe,” but I can imagine what the baby giraffe must think when he bounces on the ground from that great height. He just left warm, cushioned quarters in which all his needs, comforts and security were provided. Now he finds himself bouncing off (comparatively speaking) hard, cold, unwelcoming ground. Almost immediately thereafter, a new trauma occurs in the baby giraffe’s life. As he struggles to his knees, Mama Giraffe gets busy “persuading” him to stand up. She does this as he wobbles to his feet by giving him a swift kick to prod him to faster action. No sooner does he reach his feet than Mama delivers a booming kick that knocks the baby giraffe back down. . . . I can well imagine the baby giraffe thinking, “Well, make up your mind, Mom! First you kicked me to make me stand up. Then you kicked me back down!”

That process is repeated several times because Mama Giraffe loves her baby. . . . Mama Giraffe knows that the only chance for survival her baby has is to be able to quickly get up and move out of harm’s way. Yes, kicking the baby up and down seems like a strange way to show love. But for a baby giraffe it is the ultimate expression of love. Caution: That approach definitely won’t work in the “people” world, but the principle will. Real love is evidenced when you do what is best for the other person, whether or not they appreciate it at that moment. Think about it and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP! Zig Ziglar is a beloved author and America’s motivator. He is the author of 25 books and offers training and consulting to organizations all across the globe. To learn more about Zig and his business visit his website at www.ziglar. com

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1. Home equity loans and lines of credit are available through our affiliate Wells Fargo Home Equity Group, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. This information is for real estate professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers. Information is accurate as of date of printing and subject to change without notice. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801 AS978213 2/13–5/13



Kim Cole ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Integrity, Knowledge, Passion By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa


he is at once unconventional and highly professional, a juxtaposition that suits the demands of a career in real estate. Kim Cole is honest and thoughtful in her communication, genuine in her approach. A well-rounded businesswoman driven by the spirit of entrepreneurialism, she meets challenges head-on and maintains a commitment to success. Long interested in real estate, Kim first launched a career in radio and TV advertising sales before establishing her own advertising agency. The learning curve was steep but she remained undaunted, focusing instead on her intense desire to succeed. “I felt it was important to have some knowledge on the legal aspect of the business,” she explains. “So I enrolled at UCI and earned a Paralegal degree.” Kim notes that the education provided her with a terrific subset of knowledge and experience, which she successfully parlayed into a position in the corporate sector, working with a managing partner in real estate law. When the time was right to pursue a sales opportunity she made a seamless transition. Remarking that she’s an original homeowner within the Newport Coast neighborhood where she currently resides, Kim recalls the opportunity to witness firsthand the community’s evolution. “I’ve watched this region grow,” she says. “It’s a wonderful place to live, to raise a family and to enjoy an idyllic lifestyle.” Early in her real estate career, she adds, she was motivated to assist others in being a part of the community she so loved. And while she remains extremely well-versed in the local inventory, trends and changes within Newport Coast, Kim notes that she has dedicated herself to acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the regional marketplace as well.

face to face communication is, I believe, so important.” This is true of her professional relationships as well. Her network of collegial partnerships allows Kim to better position her clients – buyers in particular- when market conditions pose certain challenges. A polished professional, Kim observes that she has had the fortune of meeting “illustrious individuals” throughout her life. Her uncanny ability to connect with a range of personalities is of note; she works as well with international clients and high-level professionals as she does with firsttime buyers. “Ultimately, I’m excited to assist people in finding the right home, and to facilitate transactions that run as smoothly as possible,” she explains. There’s never a dull moment in the life of this busy professional. Kim creates balance outside of work by spending time with her son, who recently graduated from the prestigious Marshall School of Business at USC, and her cherished red poodle Sir Benjamin Button Cole. “He’s my super agent,” she quips. She’s an avid fitness enthusiast who loves to embark upon half century bike rides, as well. Kim looks forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of her clients through knowledgeable and trustworthy representation.

“I’m up to date on the market on a daily basis,” she asserts. “There’s never a point where you’ve ‘got it.’ As people continue to buy and sell, it is critical that I am aware of what’s happening, and able to accurately gauge upcoming trends. That’s how I provide my clients with value-added service.” She’s technically adept, incorporating a solid system of tools and systems into her business to allow her to maximize efficiency and improve communication. But Kim’s personable nature can’t be captured in e-mails alone; she appreciates the opportunity to nurture the one-on-one relationships that have contributed to her professional success. “I strive to maintain a good balance between the two,” she offers. “Technology is a great platform for business, but

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Kim Cole Coldwell Banker Previews International 4 San Joaquin Plaza, Suite 260 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Telephone: 949-466-3703 Email: Web: DRE # 01363188



Travis Baron A

n astute business professional with an entrepreneurial spirit, Travis Baron is honored to carry on the tradition established by his father Tom. The family’s commitment to excellence is reflected in their brokerage, RE/MAX Premier Realty, and in the loyalty of clients and agents alike who appreciate the value-added services that the Barons provide.


Growing up around real estate, Travis had the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry and the challenges associated with the business. Armed with this knowledge and a determination to succeed, he launched his career in 1999 and has never looked back. “In the back of my mind, I always knew I’d pursue real estate,” he reveals. “It was, it turns out, the best move I ever made.” As the Baron’s herald their 40th year in the industry, RE/MAX Premier Realty’s” solid foundation becomes more apparent than ever. “We value our agents and encourage them to pursue their entrepreneurial spirits,” notes Travis. “In an industry known for high turnover rates, we’re particularly proud of the longevity of the agents in our office; our agents are supported in cultivating long-term success through vision and planning.” Indeed, RE/MAX Premier Realty’s support includes annual financial seminars designed to assist agents in achieving true wealth through real estate. “It’s a career-minded move that pays off in so many ways,” notes Travis. “In addition to securing better futures for themselves, our agents have access and insight to sound financial planning information that is translated to their clients.” Travis is a non-competing managing broker who enjoys utilizing his own experience to serve as a resource for active agents. An active member of his professional community, he has cultivated an in-depth knowledge of the business of real estate and maintains his finger on the pulse of local, regional and national market trends and changes. He thrives in the opportunity to dialogue with agents and to assist them in creating strategies designed to meet the ongoing challenges faced by professionals and consumers alike. “It’s exciting,” he acknowledges. “I’m inspired every day to stay on top of my game, to be at my best so that I can act as a go-to resource to our agents.”

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


A Legacy of Success By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa

In tune with the changing needs of real estate professionals and their consumer clientele, RE/MAX Premier Realty has distinguished itself as an adaptive, forward-thinking brokerage. The company has expanded through thoughtful and sustainable growth; in addition to its flagship office in Irvine, the firm now offers locations in Mission Viejo and a Chinese language office in Irvine. With over 125 agents and counting, says Travis, the business is poised for ongoing success. “We’ve employed a nimble approach,” he explains. “But we’re also careful in the process of identifying opportunities and taking advantage of them.” A solid technological platform has further enhanced the experience for agents and their clients; Travis notes that RE/MAX Premier Realty’s virtual reach allows for expedited processes and streamlined systems. “Our agents love the ability to conduct mobile business,” he says. “Virtual offices, a comprehensive intranet and paperless document capability enables us to serve a new generation of tech-savvy consumers.” An established network of ancillary service providers adds significant convenience for agents and their clients, who can take advantage of long-standing affiliations cultivated by the office. “Everything we’ve done is designed for convenience and efficiency,” Travis explains. “We want our agents and their clients to enjoy transactions that are as seamless as possible.” For all its innovation and progressive models, RE/MAX Premier Realty is firmly rooted in its successful past. “I’m committed to upholding the legacy of leadership that my father established,” says Travis. “He has consistently made – and continues to make – smart decisions based on a clear long-term vision, and I want to follow in those footsteps.”

Travis Baron RE/MAX Premier Realty 5299 Alton Pkwy. Irvine, CA 92604 Telephone: (949) 451-1200 Email: Web: DRE# 01263780

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Advisory/Selection Committee


Executive Agent Magazine would like to thank the Advisory/Selection Committee for selecting the cover Agent of the Month and inside Feature Stories. The Executive Agent Magazine 2013 Advisory Selection Committee members:


Jim & Marcia Brashier Teles Properties 949.734.6228

Sue LaPeter Prudential California Realty 714.369.4689


Bob & Gayle Gottuso First Team Real Estate 949.533.3009

Elizabeth Do Keller Williams Realty 714.317.7243

Spyro Kemble Surterre速 Properties 949.717.7248

Chris McKeen Prudential California Realty 714.921.9457

David & Avarelle Silver-Westrick Keller Williams 949.248.1310

Barbara Amstadter Prudential California Realty 949.500.0155

Jim Mecklenburg Prominent Escrow 949.825.5125

Gerold Grosso Evergreen Realty 714.396.5514

Lynn Wong First Team Real Estate 714.414.8809

Janice Eckles Eagle Home Mortgage 949.275.3005

Fred Arrias Executive Agent Magazine 949.366.3349

Ryan Grant

Marlene Veal



By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa

First Team welcomes Anna Bennett


irst Team Anaheim Hills agents welcomed their new Branch Manager Anna Bennett. In addition to her drive and enthusiasm for the business, Anna Bennett brings diverse experience in real estate to the job. As a former District Manager for a National Real Estate company Anna oversaw operations for 7 counties and grew her district from 80 agents to 200 agents. Driven to succeed, she leads by example: “I enjoy thinking outside the box and putting ideas into play. When my agents need support, I’m thrilled to be out by their side, door knocking, cold calling and practicing scripts designed to enhance and improve their businesses.” Anna aligned with First Team after relocating from Northern California. She initially joined the brokerage as a Career Development Specialist where she was able to attract top producing agents to the company. In her new role as branch manager, Anna is excited about the opportunity to directly impact agent growth and development. Anna excels at recognizing and building upon agents’ strengths and abilities for optimal career growth.

“I am incredibly supported in helping agents respond to the needs in the market with innovative tools and systems that offer real solutions to today’s market challenges, for example: Sneak Preview which allows First Team agents to share advance information on hundreds of soon to be listed properties. “Working closely with my agents allows me to experience the market from their perspective thus allowing me to guide them to work with the market to leverage opportunities they might otherwise miss. I am always in tune with providing my agents everything they need to follow their path to success.” Anna looks forward to continuing to build her established network of agents, and notes that she appreciates individuals who operate with specific goals and objectives in mind. “I’m thrilled to work with agents who are coachable,” she says. “I’m looking for highly committed agents regardless of where they are in their career, who are willing to come to the office every day and approach their businesses with a sense of purpose and direction.” Anna recognizes that her objective, to continue to build market share and momentum, can only be achieved through helping agents grow to their full potential. She believes in fostering a culture that is conducive to teamwork and agent support and development while at the same time driving exceptional service and value to consumers.

“I love my new role which allows me the opportunity to think outside the box and work closely with agents to help them find creative solutions to the challenges in the market. I specialize in helping agents work smarter not harder to achieve their goals.” Anna has mastered in the use of technology to accelerate lead generation, lead capture and lead conversion. She offers training and coaching to help agents gain and keep a competitive edge by the application of technology to their business. As a First Team branch manager, Anna has the support of First Team’s home office consisting of nearly 200 employees who provide marketing, relocation services, IT support, online and off line marketing and advertising support services, online lead generation, Luxury Division, Client Service Center and agent concierge services.

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Anna Bennett Branch Manager First Team Real Estate 5500 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd., #150 Anaheim Hills, CA 92807 Telephone: (714) 974-9191 Email: DRE # 01271227



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T E A M®


Rocks, Ripples And Decisions!


while back, when I first started presenting programs that included a section on making decisions, I struggled to find an analogy that would help explain the importance of discernment in the process of making a good decision. One day while watching a group of kids throw rocks in a pond the idea came to me. Making a decision is a lot like throwing a rock in a pond. No matter how large or small the rock is, water is displaced and there will be ripples. Likewise, no matter how big or small the decision is, people might be affected as ripples will flow out from the rock. So when is the best time to think about those ripples? After you’ve thrown the rock or while it is still in your hand? Maybe you can recall a time when you had to make a decision; you thought about it, and figured you had all the bases covered. After making the decision something happened that you had not considered, and you were accountable nonetheless. Maybe as a kid, you threw something in the water and it actually splashed back on you; unintended, but there you were, a wet mess!


Examples of unintended consequences are easy to come by just about anywhere. But in my home state of Illinois two separate events took place this summer that really got me thinking again about unintended consequences. In June, within hours of the verdict finding previous Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich guilty of 17 out of 20 charges of corruption, Lura Lynn Ryan (wife of former Illinois governor, George Ryan) passed away at the age of 76. Although Mr. Ryan was allowed to be with his wife in her final hours, he is currently serving 6 ½ years in federal prison for racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. During this particular news cycle I found myself reflecting a bit less on the public impact of their deeds, and more on how some of their actions had a direct, and I am sure unintended consequence, for their loved ones. Mrs. Ryan, in ill health near the end of her life, was unable to enjoy the close comfort of her husband. Mr. Blagojevich has yet to be sentenced, but speculation is that he may be facing at least as much prison time as Mr. Ryan. He faces the possibility of being away from his family, specifically his two young daughters for several years during an important time in their lives.

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Written By Frank C. Bucaro

I do not think either man set out to negatively impact their loved ones when they made decisions that contributed to their convictions. But like that rock in the pond, once things are set in motion, it is difficult to control who will be affected. About that rock….here are a few ideas that might help when considering a difficult decision: 1. When a decision needs to be made, hold the rock, and pause….until you are confident that you have evaluated the possible “ripples.” Be sure that you can and will deal with what flows from your decision. 2. Don’t let emotions dictate when to throw the rock. There may even be times when it is a good idea to seek wisdom from a few trusted colleagues or friends who know you well. Reason should drive decisions but sometimes we get stuck rationalizing, or we get angry and want to react immediately. A trusted colleague or friend who knows you well, and has your best interest in mind, might be able to offer insight.

3. The bigger the rock (decision) the bigger the ripples (consequences). Ask yourself, what does my gut/conscience/intuition tell me about this decision? 4. Do a self-check to make sure that what you are about to decide is in line with your values. This is no guarantee that everything will turn out well, but knowing that you made a thoughtful decision, in line with your values, will help to minimize regret if things don’t go exactly according to plan. Frank C. Bucaro, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations that want to integrate ethical standards of excellence with solid business practices. He also presents keynote and seminar programs on the relationship of ethics and values to long-term success. He is the author of two books, Taking the High Road: How to Succeed Ethically When Others Bend the Rules and What Happened to the Good Guys in the White Hats? Lessons in Ethical Leadership. © 2011, Frank C. Bucaro. All rights reserved. For more information about this article or author, contact For the most current local Housing Trends, go to http://

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Tere sa White By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa


he has been in the lending industry for nearly three decades, dedicating her professional life to the opportunity to assist others in achieving their real estate goals. And today Teresa White continues to run her business with the enthusiasm and positivity with which she launched her career. A creative approach and a willingness to meet challenges head-on have earned Teresa the appreciation of a diverse clientele that includes builders, real estate agents and consumers. With experience in retail lending, new construction and builders, and branch management, Teresa is highly adept at managing a range of transactions. After plying her skills with big box banks and as the owner of a local brokerage, she aligned herself with imortgage in 2011. The move, she says, made sense for her clientele. “imortgage has maintained what so many large institutions have lost,” she reflects. “A personal touch. We’re able to tailor transactions to our clients’ individual needs; our organization is structured to ensure that, top to bottom, people are accessible. When my client’s file presents a potential problem, I’m positioned to communicate with the right people and to do whatever possible to resolve the issue.” Teresa’s empathetic nature balances her analytical strengths. She is diligent not only in determining the right products for each client’s unique needs, but also in facilitating a process that runs as smoothly as possible. “Buying a home is, for most people, one of the most exciting and significant times in their lives. I’m here to help them focus on their long- and short-term goals, alleviate fears and provide them with as much information as they need. I take their loans personally, and I believe that my colleagues at imortgage do, as well.” imortgage offers a full array of lending products and packages designed for a spectrum of real estate consumers, investors and builders. FHA, VA, USDA and conventional loans are available, as well as specialized state and local programs such as CalHFA for first-time buyers, Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Tax Credit Program, jumbo loans, and products designed specifically for builders and investors. Teresa maintains a thorough knowledge of the opportunities and restrictions associated with these products and more, ensuring that her clients have access to the funding options that may best suit their needs. She is also certified to manage

203K loans, which allow buyers to improve their homes without exhausting their personal savings. Accomplishing her clients’ goals may mean more than finding the right products; when challenges arise, Teresa is a fierce advocate who dedicates her efforts to ensuring that nothing is lost in translation. “I think like an underwriter,” she explains. “When I’m putting together an application with my client, I’m proactive, putting myself in the underwriter’s place and ensuring that I’ve got everything in order.” A loan, she adds, is about more than financial formulations. “I want to ensure that my clients are seen as people, not files,” she says. “By focusing on the strengths and addressing concerns up front, we can often alleviate a major disappointment further in the transaction.” Supporting Teresa’s efforts are the exceptional professionals within imortgage, who adhere to a driving, client-centric philosophy. The company prides itself on maintaining a solid technological platform which allows for streamlined processes and communication. “I’m able to conduct business on my clients’ terms,” she says. “Whether we’re meeting face to face in my office, connecting out in the field, or simply conducting business via telephone and e-mail with electronic documents, imortgage provides me with wonderful tools and systems.” In person or online, Teresa connects with her clients, establishes relationships steeped in trust and respect, and she says that these are the driving forces in her career. “I’m here for my agents, builders and consumer clients,” she asserts. “When I’m needed after hours, I’m available. When information – good or bad- must be communicated, I do it. And whenever possible, I’m closing transactions so that my clients can realize their dreams and achieve their goals.” Teresa White imortgage-Anaheim Branch 2099 S. State College Blvd., Suite 102 Anaheim, California 92806 Telephone: 714.422.1870 NMLS ID 209710

imortgage is licensed by the California Department of Corporations CRMLA 4130969, NMLS 3096. Equal housing lender. 05/2013

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By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa


Cheryl Coleman A Passion for Real Estate


he purchased her first home at the age of 18, launching a lifetime of enthusiasm for the real estate industry. A driven professional who’s motivated by her clients’ success, Cheryl Coleman utilizes a background in marketing, management and business development to assist others in achieving their goals. Her positive and personable approach allows her to connect with consumers and professionals alike; Cheryl has achieved notable industry success thanks to her skills and diligence. Cheryl’s interest in real estate was piqued early on; she took coursework in college before launching a storied corporate career that took her across the country and around the world. Her dynamic presence earned her a wealth of professional options; in 1999 she accepted an offer to relocate to Huntington Beach, where she later went on to earn her real estate license. A saturated market posed challenges, but Cheryl’s tenacity propelled her to succeed. And when the industry began to show signs of change, she was prepared. “I saw the advent of foreclosures,” asserts Cheryl. “In fact, I was one of the first agents to start working with them in Huntington Beach a few years ago.” Those transactions, she acknowledges, were difficult. “It’s hard to navigate the emotionally-charged situation of a homeowner who’s in distress,” she says. “My objective is to maintain a sense of calm and focus, to provide solutions and to help others see the light at the end of the tunnel.” That approach has made a difference; Cheryl has been tapped as a go-to professional by major lenders, who appreciate her thorough attention to detail. Cheryl has earned the respect and trust of her consumer clients as well, thanks in large part to her consultative and education-based business model. “Ultimately, we’re working together to accomplish a goal,” she explains. Supporting her efforts is a team of professionals whose commitment to excellence parallels her own. “We want every home to look like a million dollars,” says Cheryl of her listing business. A professional interior designer, staging assistance, professional photography, and comprehensive advertising and marketing ensure that home sellers receive the assistance and exposure necessary to maximize visibility to prospective buyers.

Her team includes specialized buyer’s agents, who work diligently to find the right homes for their clientele. Though Cheryl is hands-on during the process, she acknowledges the importance of business leverage. “With my team, there’s always someone available to answer our clients’ questions and address their concerns,” she explains. “They appreciate that.” In addition to a thriving base of repeat and referral clients, Cheryl has also earned professional accolades for her solid and consistent performance. A top-producing agent, she has earned Star Real Estate’s President’s Award, an honor bestowed to the brokerage’s most accomplished salespeople. Cheryl is an active member in a number of organizations including the Women’s Council of REALTORS® and state, local and national Boards of REALTORS®, where she pursues ongoing education and training as well as opportunities to network with like-minded industry professionals. Her tagline says it all: “Helping People Live Happily Ever After” isn’t just a slogan; it’s the inspiration for Cheryl’s professional endeavors. Every successful closing is the story of a real life, a real vision accomplished with the careful guidance of a dedicated real estate Realtor®.

Cheryl Coleman Star Real Estate 16875 Algonquin St. Huntington Beach, CA 92649 Telephone: 714.717.1728 DRE # 01428040

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It’s Time For Plan B Brainstorming! By Craig Harrison


ur workgroup was in the middle of a spirited brainstorming session – a free form session where creativity is encouraged, judgment is suspended, and the best ideas often come after ten or more minutes. The ideas were flying fast and furious, as they should, when the group gets momentum. The energy was intoxicating. And, in a fit of inspiration, one employee suggested, “Why don’t we reverse the order of the deliverables!?” While nine other people energetically accepted this offer as worthy of inclusion on their flip chart of ideas, their manager scowled “That will never work!”

and epiphanies to cross-pollinate each other. Think of brainstorming meetings as magnificent melting pots, a veritable giant stew bowl where bouillabaisse bubbles and bursts, unleashing new, exciting and innovative initiatives. Consider a skilled facilitator for best results, though this isn’t a requirement. The B-List: Preparing for Your Meeting The following recommendations will insure a successful session, whether it’s a stand-alone brainstorm or part of a larger meeting or event:

By definition, brainstorming is unlike your typical meetings. It’s unbounded by traditional rules where predetermined people speak on pre-determined subjects for prescribed times. Like a jam session of Jazz musicians, all you need to do is begin recording and let the sounds begin. Remember, the key is to record it all. Later you can go back and edit out that which might not be considered beautiful music.

• Adorn your environment with art, toys, games, crayons, colored markers or other stimuli to get the juices flowing and invite fun, free thinking and playfulness. • Consider special written invitations in advance to set the tone, expectations and goals for the session. • Create a mental and/or physical ice breaker to loosen everyone up. • Consider lava lamps, beanbag chairs and even bubble-gum and bubble makers to loosen everyone up. • Encourage participation by all. • Language is key. Use sentences such as “What if we…”, “How about…”, “Let’s try...”, or “Suppose we...” • Check your skepticism, negativity and ego at the door. It’s not about whose ideas are embraced. All ideas should be received, for the benefit of the group. • Employ the “Yes, AND...” approach instead of a “Yes, BUT...” stance in response to others’ ideas. • Remind people to suspend judgment throughout the session. • Assign a scribe or tape record the meeting. Consider a graphic recorder. (Visit http://www.graphicrecorders. com/ for one I recommend.) • Allow enough time for people to loosen up. Often the best ideas occur once the group has gotten over any self-consciousness and gathered momentum.

In Brainstorming sessions everyone is equal, all ideas are worthy of consideration, all judgment is suspended and a person’s rank or status is irrelevant. The goal is to fill the air with ideas, depart from conventional thinking, and allow the smorgasbord of strategies, ideas, inspirations

Remember, like mastermind groups, brainstorming sessions rely on the reality that when multiple brainpower is applied the results are greater than the sum of their parts. You will generate great results from the blend of talent, experience, ideas and perspectives that naturally result

Thus ended a productive brainstorming session. Sadly, the manager was unclear on the concept at play. She replaced a brainstorm with a brain fart and stunk up the entire process. A Different Kind of Collaboration Brainstorming is a special type of meeting, with its own ground rules, tempo and ethos. It’s also an invaluable tool for idea generation, problem solving, innovation, teambuilding and creativity. Whether you are tasked with creating new sales contests, new strategic initiatives or simply trying to break the doldrums of your day-to-day routines, brainstorming carries the day. Rules That Rock!


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from giving everyone equal footing and freeing them of the usual restrictions of time, structure and rules. By the way, what if...? Craig Harrison is an instructor with the University of California at Santa Cruz Extension’s Business department, has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and cited in

Business Week. As a manager, consultant, publisher and curriculum developer, he developed his digital dexterity, helping the technical world train and communicate more effectively. CopyrightŠ 2007, Craig Harrison. All rights reserved. For information contact FrogPond at 800.704. FROG(3764) or email

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Stop Being So Hard On Yourself... By Maya Bailey Ph.D.


o you have to be hard on yourself in order to succeed? When I coach real estate agents in creating their multiple six-figure incomes, I often hear this misconception: “I need to be hard on myself in order to succeed.” When I ask about the origin of this belief, I often receive stories of being conditioned by well-meaning teachers and parents in a controlling and rigid way. Since we learn to treat ourselves the way we were treated, my clients are just carrying on the legacy because they don’t know how else to motivate themselves in order to succeed.   Unfortunately, however, their strategy actually works against them. Studies have shown that when we are hard on ourselves, and beat ourselves up, we actually lower our energy. This leads to decreased motivation and eventually burnout.   So what is the answer?  If you’re not going to be hard on yourself, then how do you motivate yourself to succeed?   Fortunately, there is a positive solution. Research indicates that if we choose a positive and encouraging way to get ourselves focused and on track; that this can be a very efficient motivation technique.   So here are some tips on how to change your motivational strategy.   1.  Awareness - Start becoming aware of the words you say to yourself every day in order to get up to speed. Do they have a positive or negative tone? Do they build you up or tear you down? 2.  Observe – Observe your energy when you hear these words. Does your energy increase or decrease? If you have an inner tyrant, do you also have an inner rebel?

Here’s how it goes: Say the word “STOP” when negative voices arises in you, Then take a deep breath, interrupt the pattern. Finally, put in a positive new thought   What kind of positive new thoughts should you install? I recommend thoughts of positive self talk, such as: I now motivate myself in a loving and encouraging way I inspire myself with the enthusiasm and energy I treat myself with kindness and respect   Create your own phrases of self-talk. They can be as simple as saying to yourself:  “Good job” or “You are on the right track.”   When you start treating yourself with more respect, you will notice your energy level increase. Use that increased energy to prioritize your day, and implement what you planned.   Remember, you don’t need to work harder; you just need to work smarter.   Dr. Maya Bailey, Multiple 6 Figure Income Business Coach for Real Estate Professionals, integrates her 20 years of experience as a psychologist with 14 years of expertise in marketing. Her powerful transformational work creates a Success Formula for Real Estate Professionals ready to create a Multiple 6 Figure Income. To get your free report: “7 Simple Strategies to More Clients in 90 Days” and to apply for an Initial Complimentary Consultation, go to © 2011, Dr. Maya Bailey. All rights reserved. For more information about this article or author, contact For the most current local Housing Trends, go to http://www.

3.  Intervene - when you become aware of how often you are being hard on yourself, it’s time to intervene.  The best way to break into your own thoughts is to use the “Stop Technique.” 36

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