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EXECUTIVEAGENT MAGAZINE

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CHERYL LYNCH Executive Agent of the Month

Inside Features: Matt De La Cruz The Winning Minds Group

Mike Ferry

Professional Profile

Debbie Marie Teles Properties

Lia Marie & Stephanie Coldwell Banker Beachside

Sandi & Debbie First Team Real Estate

Steve Mino Coldwell Banker Beachside

Elizabeth Willahan CENTURY 21 Award


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contents

Southern California’s Publication for the Real Estate Professional

ExecutiveAgent

Magazine

May, 2014

S. Orange County

Cover Story

Editorials

30 - Patti Brotherton: The “Secret” Site

34 - Peggy Morrow:

Getting Customer Feedback

16 - Marylyn B. Schwartz: Profit Is Not A Four-Letter Word!

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

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Eagle Home Mortgage......................39 Evergreen Realty...............................11 Greenpath Funding..............................7 imortgage.......................................2 i Photography Studio........................25

19

Kinecta Federal Credit Union..........29

Cheryl Lynch

26

Executive Agent of the Month

Matt De La Cruz

Matt De La Cruz ..............................28 Mike Ferry .........................................6 Realty ONE Group............................40 The Termite Guy...............................38 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage...........10

04 Mike Ferry

12 Sandi & Debbie

32

36 Debbie Marie

Lia Marie & Stephanie

8

14 Steve Mino

Elizabeth Willahan

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Photography: i Photography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy Van Writers: Lalaena Gonzalez–Figueroa, Shannon Hartsoe, Haley Freeman, Julie Brown, Juliet Meredith © Copyright 2014 Executive Agent Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy of published materials, Executive Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors.

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E XECUTIVE AGENT MAGAZINE

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ccording to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were more than 162,000 real estate agents in California in 2012 – the last year for which statistics are available. With a median income of roughly $52,000, most agents were on par with the average income for other industries in the state. But who wants to be average? The number one goal of any real estate agent is to be a success. And while there might be any number of ways to define success on a personal level, one thing is for sure, if you’re not bringing in income you need, you’re not a success on a professional level. Put another way, agent success is determined by agent productivity. But what exactly is meant by productivity? To Mike Ferry, founder and CEO of the Mike Ferry Organization, a real estate training and coaching company, productivity is tied directly to listings. “If you take two agents and both are working the same amount of hours, the one who represents sellers has a higher productivity level than the ones who represent buyers,” he says. “The problems arise because it’s easier to go out and show houses than it is to list properties.” It doesn’t have to be this way, he says.

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For more than 40 years, Ferry has helped agents create a detailed plan for success that includes step by step suggestions for increasing productivity. By following his methods and utilizing his scripts, Ferry says he’s seen some agents grow their business from 20-25 listing transactions per year to 245 a year after just four years of using his system. “I tell my students, everybody has the winning ticket to the lottery,” he states. “It’s called a real estate license.” But all too often, Ferry says, agents who obtain their licenses and begin working with a broker are simply told “hello and good luck.” “The biggest challenge we face as an industry is a lack of understanding on exactly what ‘real estate sales’ is,” he says. “If a person goes to work for IBM or some similar company in sales, they are very clear on what the function and job is when they accept the position. It’s very detailed and they’re trained accordingly, real estate is not that way. The leadership in the industry is afraid to tell people exactly what to do, and until we get over that fear, we’re never going to have high producing agents.”

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Agent Success is no Accident By Shannon Hartsoe

Mike Ferry is not afraid to develop agents into top producers. Typically, Ferry says, an agent can develop new business in one of three ways – they can buy it, they can wait for it, or they can prospect. Prospecting is where the most productivity comes from, but it’s also the most work. Ferry believes that although some agents may have some sort of sales background, they’re not usually trained specifically in real estate sales. “So they’ll usually take the path of least resistance, which is either buying business in some way or waiting for it through things like floor time rather than going out and getting it,” he says. “What we should be asking agents is ‘how much business do you want and how soon do you want it?’” From there, Ferry says it’s possible to generate leads and increase production year over year by following six simple steps. • Create a schedule • Understand lead generation and make it work for you • Utilize effective lead follow-up and closing for appointments • Prequalify appointments to avoid wasted time • Perfect a strong listing presentation so potential clients are convinced of your ability to sell their property • Handle objections and close to signature. Ferry says that from a production standpoint, success begins with effective lead generation and time management. Agents should be setting aside at least an hour a day to reach out to potential leads and they should be making 10-12 contacts in that hour. Potential leads can be people in your sphere of influence, past clients, for-sale-byowners, expired listings or more. But he says if you’re not doing each and doing them well, production will suffer.

they’re happy with their production, maintaining that momentum takes work. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I still put time in each day to do the things I teach my agents, but from a little bit of a different standpoint,” he says. “I still prospect, I still perfect my presentations and I still organize my day around a consistent schedule. If you don’t, eventually the work dries up and you have to start all over again.”

“If you prospect effectively but fail to follow-up, you’re not going to be a success. If you’re really good at presentations but you don’t prequalify, you’re never going to have the type of business you want to have,” he says. “Set aside time each day to work on each one and don’t forget to factor in time for administrative tasks and organization.” And, he says, there’s no time to rest on past success. Though real estate agents might get to a place where

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

The Mike Ferry Organization 7220 S. Cimarron Road, 3rd Floor Las Vegas, NV 89113 www.MikeFerry.com


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E XECUTIVE AGENT MAGAZINE

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Elizabeth Willahan Stellar Customer Service For Two Decades and Counting By Shannon Hartsoe

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hen Elizabeth Willahan decided to become a Realtor® in 1987, it wasn’t the result of a mentor, a desire to make a lot of money or other common influence. The reason was simply to meet a need -- a goal that continues to motivate Elizabeth. “My friends and family seemed to have a lot of issues when trying to buy or sell properties,” says Elizabeth, a Realtor® with CENTURY 21 Award in Rancho Santa Margarita. “They encouraged me to get into real estate so I can help them through the process. Since I am a people person the architecture, layout and interior space of a home has always intrigued me, it only seemed fitting to go into real estate as a career.” And there was an added benefit: “It also had a flexible schedule that would work with raising kids and my husband’s fireman schedule.” Today Elizabeth is a top producer at CENTURY 21 Award, serving areas that include Huntington Beach, San Clemente, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach. Her clients quickly find that when they work with Elizabeth, they benefit from an experienced professional who has never lost that initial spark that led her to real estate sales: to make the sales process the best it can possible be. “My integrity as a professional is extremely important to me. My clients don’t need to worry if they are being taken care of in a transaction with me,” says Elizabeth, who is on her way to becoming a broker. “I make sure to treat my clients as if they were my own family selling or purchasing a property. Although I have a full team of assistants, transaction coordinators, lenders, title and escrow personnel, I make my clients feel as if I am the only one working on their file and that they are my only client at the time.” She prides herself on always being available, on following through on every transaction and ensuring only a top-notch personal experience for her clients.

Elizabeth started her real estate career with CENTURY 21 in Huntington Beach in 1987. After some time in the business,she realized she couldn’t provide the exceptional service she wanted to offer to her clients by working part time. So she decided to put working outside the home on hold so she could raise her children at home full time. “It was the best decision I ever made, as both my children are thriving with their college careers,” she says. Daughter Blake is studying journalism at San Diego State University, and son Jason is playing Division I volleyball at Long Beach State University. “I am blessed to have my husband, Kenny, of 22 years support my career, even finding the time with his busy fireman schedule to help me when needed.” Elizabeth also credits a large part of her success to working for such a high-profile company, especially as the use of technology has become such a major component of real estate sales and marketing. Even after so many years in the industry, Elizabeth says her primary goal remains the same: making sure her clients get the best service possible. “Buyers and sellers are very picky about who they want representing them,” she states. “I approach prospective sellers and buyers with the same respect and honesty I would expect. I make decisions based on what is best for my clients not what is best for the agent.” She adds: “It’s not about the money; it’s about honesty and integrity. Most of my clients are referrals from past clients, friends and people I meet. I have a ‘Nordstrom’ way of thinking -- the customer comes first, always!”

“My business is based on word of mouth and the experiences my clients have gone through with me,” she says. “I have been told by my clients that it is so refreshing that I actually pick up the phone when they call. In fact, other agents tell me the same thing. I really try hard to make my clients feel like they are the only ones I am working with and am always available to them with any questions or issues they are concerned about before, during and long after we close our transactions. I am their ‘Realtor® for Life’ and actually become friends with many of my clients.” ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Elizabeth Willahan CENTURY 21 Award 22342 Avenida Empresa # 150 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 Tel: 949.293.2401 EWillahan@cox.net www.HotHomesInTheOC.com CalBRE # 00966984


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This information is for real estate professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2014 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801. AS1013525 Expires 4/2014


E XECUTIVE AGENT MAGAZINE

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Written by Shannon Hartsoe

Sandi Clark & Debbie Miller ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Embracing Change To Build A Solid Foundation

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andi Clark and Debbie Miller believe that building the perfect partnership is a little bit like building a house; it all starts with a good foundation. For this mother/daughter duo, that means playing to each other’s strengths to form a team that has helped hundreds of Orange County families realize their dreams of home ownership since 1999. “Both of us are extroverts,” says Sandi. “But we each approach this in different ways according to our experiences. Debbie is a master at scheduling and planning, while I love the marketing and aspect of sales and putting a house together to make it shine! Between the two of us we can meet the varied needs of our clients and we do that with a BIG sense of humor. I believe that work needs to be fun!” The women had different but complementary backgrounds when they entered real estate – Sandi in 1999 and Debbie in 2006. By the time each had entered real estate, they had seen plenty of obstacles. With a degree in business from USC, Debbie had a high-powered career in public relations, marketing and sales. Though she loved her job, she always thought there had to be more. “My ‘a-ha moment’ came when my then boss asked me to work late on the night I was scheduled to go on maternity leave,” she laughs. “Less than 24 hours later my daughter was born and I finally decided to take my mother’s advice and go into real estate.” Sandi, also a USC alumni, taught high school history and, for a time owned her own business. The company, Image Works, a personal style and development center helped women transition to new careers. “My favorite part of that time of my life was helping empower women to be all they could be,” she says. “But when the recession hit in 1996 I realized that though I had told others that they were NOT their job, I discovered that was how I viewed myself. When the job was gone, so was I.” Sandi worked through an intense time of transition and went on to become a life coach. As an extrovert she found working alone frustrating and decided another metamorphosis was in order. Both women found real estate was just what they were searching for. Since joining forces, the women have become Hall of Fame producers with First Team Real Estate and have co-authored a book chapter on creating a thriving real estate practice. Using their more than 30 years of combined real estate experience, they created the Clark Miller Marketing method. The unique 30-60-90 plan expertly moves a

home from pre-sale to close using things like professional staging (including Feng Shui, in which Sandi is being certified), expert market analysis and a marketing package that includes holding a “grand opening” for each listing. Often, these grand openings attract upwards of 70 potential buyers in one day. And they do it all with verve and energy! “My mother was a philanthropist and dynamite speaker,” says Sandi. “She coached me to feel comfortable speaking in front of small groups or audiences of 1,000. As a result I am still a bit of a ham seeking a group. Marketing presentations provide me with that outlet. We like to have fun and engage our clients.” Skilled in commercial, residential and investment properties as well as short sales and REOs, they describe their philosophy of customer service by comparing taxis to limos. “Too many real estate agents are like taxi cab drivers—spending 80-90% of their time searching for new clients,” says Debbie. “The goal is to sell or buy as soon as possible so they can go onto the next deal. You are dumped off at your destination and you never hear from them again.” “We are like the limo driver. We want the process to be as comfortable as possible—we return phone calls, ask the hard questions so we can do a better job for you and when the goal is attained, we celebrate and continue to interact with our clients whether they’re buyers or sellers.” On a professional level, the two will continue to grow their business through planning, examining the market and responding to changes appropriately. But on a personal level, the women say even though they work together, they could never have enough family time. Sandi hopes to spend more time travelling and that includes a possible cruise with the entire family. “That would include Debbie, her husband, Paco and my granddaughters, Natalie and Ava and my son Michael and his wife Andrea, plus grandsons, Austin and Wyatt and granddaughter, Amanda,” she says. “Sounds fun, huh?” And somehow you just know it will be. Sandi Clark & Debbie Miller First Team Real Estate 4040 Barranca Parkway, #100 Irvine, CA 92604 Tel: (949) 293-5139 Email: Debbie@sandianddebbiehomes.com Web: www.SandiAndDebbieHomes.com CalBRE # 01264896 - 01734292

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E XECUTIVE AGENT MAGAZINE

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Written by Shannon Hartsoe

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


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Steve Mino

Efficiency and Hard Work Pay Off

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teve Mino is not a person who wastes time. To live up to this principle, Steve gave himself 90 days to prove to himself he could make real estate sales a career. He already knew he could sell, but how would his past success in other industries translate into the housing market? Through hard work -- and worn out shoes -- he quickly learned he had what it takes. “I was fortunate to have a lease and a sale in the first two months, which allowed me to ‘reset’ my personal clock and continue with my goals,” he says. “I took EVERY opportunity to see homes, I sat at the up-desk and did double shifts five days a week, I begged to do open houses and walked my way through about five pairs of shoes while door-knocking communities. My first year was successful and I have been growing ever since.” Today Steve is a top producing agent with Coldwell Banker Beachside, leading The Mino Group and achieving honors including 2012 International Elite President’s Club Member, TOP 10 Agent Regionally, Certified Previews Agent, and Multi-Million Dollar Producer. Selling properties in areas that include San Clemente, Dana Point, Mission Viejo and Newport Coast comes naturally for the Southern California native. He’s a selfdriven professional who loves challenges, architecture and helping people. Steve’s background as a salesperson includes climbing the ladder as a regional electronics distributor, starting when he was 21. By 23 he was a general manager and by 25 rose to vice president. He has worked for Coldwell Banker Beachside since 2009. Prior to that Steve worked in the new-homebuilding market and served on the Trade Council for companies such as Lennar Corp., K. Hovnanian, DR Horton and Pulte Homes, among others. “Selling is just a small part of any real business,” says Steve. “To be good at selling you have to understand how to get from point A to Z, efficiently.” Part of his success in sales, he says, is to maintain your integrity, which he learned from his father, whom Steve considers his mentor. He told me, “if you want to find out if it’s a good deal, find out who you have to take it from in order for you to benefit, if you have to take it from someone, then it’s not a good deal.” The point is that a good deal is when both parties mutually benefit and it must be something you earned fair and square.

A strong business background and exceptional selling skills will only take you so far in real estate. Steve knows this, which is why he doesn’t rest on his laurels. ”I maintain my success by expanding my goals but still keeping the core beliefs of my business practice. I continue my education at CAR and within Coldwell Banker. I religiously preview inventory and call my lender, title officers, escrow agents and vendors to keep myself updated on the market’s pulse so I can be the best resource for my past, present and future clients.” Another plus for his clients is Steve’s emphasis on using technology to improve the sales and buying process. It’s a tool he and Coldwell Banker emphasize. “Real estate has evolved in so many ways,” he says. “It used to be hard copy paperwork and Realtor® signs were the main sources for finding a home. We started transitioning toward using computers and the Web and professionals that implemented this were offering their clients an advantage.” “Today our clients have access to many third-party sites and do a lot of browsing on their own. While we utilize better tools we also need to make sure that we implement the basics required in our industry – know your inventory, understand the CURRENT marketplace and communicate it efficiently to your client base.” Even though Steve has established himself as a premier agent, he has no plans to slow down, but to expand and grow. “My goals for this year are to keep our steady growth. We will expand by adding buyers’ agents and continue to move forward with continued education for both our benefit and for our clients. I’d also like to add another consecutive year as a member of the Coldwell Banker International President’s Elite Team and as a member of the Top 10 Quality Service Award within Coldwell Banker Beachside. Last year out of 680-plus agents, I ranked No. 4, and I’d love to improve that, too!” Steve Mino Coldwell Banker Beachside 501 N. El Camino Real San Clemente, CA 92672 Tel: 949-300-7412 Steve@theminogroup.com www.TheMinoGroup.com CalBRE # 01856243

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Profit Is Not A Four-Letter Word!

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here was a time not so long ago (relatively speaking) that a bunch of well-educated agents got together in Philadelphia and created a “little” document called The Declaration of Independence. Oddly enough, as history would have it, even those gentlemen with lofty principles managed to give their collective thumbs up to the value of education, labor and the accumulation of honestly earned wealth. If those pursuits were good enough for the framers of our venerated Constitution, is it safe to presume they are more than good enough for us sales professionals who nobly endeavor to feed, clothe and house our kin with the money we earn through the listing and sale of real estate. One need only walk a week in the shoes of a productive, successful agent to know how truly challenging, stressful, exhilarating, frustrating and fulfilling the profession of real estate is today.

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Most everything that’s done day-to-day to assist clients is done “with the promise” of compensation. While many people have careers equally challenging, for most there is a paycheck waiting every week (or two) to take a lot of sting out of the inevitable ups and downs of the daily grind. Some might say, “All she did was market the home for two weeks, and look at that big, fat payoff.” The fact that ten other properties took months of wrangling, wringing of the hands and feats of marketing genius to get sold and closed is lost on the uneducated observer. In most other corporate businesses, once a fee for services is set (unless stipulated otherwise in an agreement,) that’s what the client pays. If one client’s project turns out to be a seamless transaction that succeeds to culmination as smoothly as glass, that’s just a bonus for the service provider.

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Written By Marylyn B. Schwartz

By the same token, had the project been fraught with every unforeseen, hellish problem imaginable, the service provider would have to “suck it up.” That’s just the cost of doing business. Some days are diamonds and some are stones. Realtors® of the world unite and quit being put off, insulted or intimidated by people who expect you to “donate” your time (that’s your life, too) to them in exchange for a wage they wouldn’t accept under the same circumstance. Let’s always be mindful of our obligation to be clear about the extent of the services we provide. It’s incumbent upon each Realtor® to step up and be prepared to defend the skills of the profession. Provide exemplary service, know your market and product 110 percent, be wise in the ways of win-win negotiating, be of the highest integrity, dress and always conduct yourself as a professional and hold your heads high. If you do these things, you’ll be in demand.

Cost issues diminish as value rises! This article first appeared in Realty Times. Marylyn B. Schwartz, CSP, is a noted expert in real estate and corporate sales training and team development. She is president of her company TEAMWEAVERS and a trainer for the most successful real estate sales training program to come along in more than 20 years, Leader’s Choice®. She is an author, real estate monthly columnist, meeting facilitator and Business/Life Coach. In 1999 she was awarded the prestigious designation of Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association. Fewer than 7% of the 6,000 members worldwide achieve this level of excellence. Marylyn’s presentations and keynotes are dynamic, content filled and fun! To book Marylyn, please call 1-877-211-6472 or visit www.BrokerAgentSpeakers.com. Contact Marylyn at teamweaver@aol.com, 203-798-8031 or www.marylynbschwartz.com.

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EXECUTIVEAGENT EXECUTIVE A GENT Nomination Form Nomination Form

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

I Nominate: Name:___________________________________ Company:________________________________ Address:_________________________________ _________________________________________ City/State/Zip:____________________________ _________________________________________ Phone:___________________________________ Email:___________________________________ Submitted By: Fax/Email nomination to: Executive Agent Magazine PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Fax: 949.266.8757 Email: Info@eamag.net Tel: 949.366.3349

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Cover Story

CHERYL LYNCH Executive Agent of the Month

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Written by Shannon Hartsoe - Ian Wiant Photographer

Additionally, divorce real estate has implications far beyond a traditional purchase or sale – both financially and legally. That’s why working with an RCS-D is an increasingly popular option for those experiencing a marital dissolution. Change For the Better Cheryl knows something about change. She was working in Internet marketing at the height of the dotcom bubble. When that bubble was about to burst, she had the foresight to prepare for a new career. Her neighbor was a real estate professional, and based on Cheryl’s personality and past sales experience she encouraged Cheryl to give it a try. She did, and within a year Cheryl’s business was up and running. By using the skills she honed as a former Educational Trainer/Director and Marketing Specialist for major international firms, she quickly adapted systems and marketing strategies to fit her new career. Initially, Cheryl held open houses every Saturday and Sunday, enlarging her sphere of influence week after week and creating her client base.

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ivorce is never easy, but the pain and upheaval that often accompanies divorce may be minimized by surrounding yourself with knowledgeable, courteous professionals like Cheryl Lynch. In addition to the more traditional aspects of the real estate industry, Cheryl is one of the few REALTORS® certified in divorce real estate, having earned her RCS-D (divorce real estate certified). Working closely with major family law firms, Cheryl is a trusted advocate in turbulent times. “I come with a sympathetic ear and unconditional support for my clients,” says Cheryl. “Their goals are to preserve their integrity, walk through the transaction smoothly and work on building their financial future. This goes so far beyond what they teach you in real estate school – the human side of business.”

Today, Cheryl is one of the highest producing Realtors® with the Realty One Group and leader of her own highly successful team – The Lynch Group. Her integrity, compassion and knowledge have earned her numerous accolades, including OC Magazines’s 5 Star Professional for the last 3 years, Top Real Estate Agent in Orange County in 2013, as well as Centurion, Grand Centurion and Double Centurion on multiple occasions for a previous organization. Additionally, she has been a multi-million dollar producer since starting her career 15 years ago. “I learned at an early age how not to treat people,” she says. “At one of my first jobs, I had a manager who was very harsh and didn’t treat people with respect. It shaped my character, and since real estate is a people business, I treat people how I would want to be treated.” Her commitment to people very often extends far beyond the close of a transaction, something she finds surprises most clients.

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Lori Miles with Cheryl Lynch ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Putting The Real Back Into Real Estate “We enjoy blowing our customer’s minds with things they never expected from a traditional Realtor®,” she says. “Our philosophy is that once the transaction is closed, it is only the start of our relationship with our clients. We want to be ‘everything’ real estate-related to our clients, friends and family.” Cheryl and her team are extremely adept at finding a client’s needs and then meeting those needs. By providing exceptional customer service, from staying on top of current marketing trends to finding her niche, Cheryl is proving that savvy Realtors® are the ones who go above and beyond what other agents are doing. One of the ways she does this is to be one step ahead of the market.

“Today’s client is very technology focused,” she says. “They’re researching what’s out there before they even pick up the phone to call. Now you have to know what is coming on the market before the clients do. Clients these days are very savvy due to the availability of real estate information on the Internet, and I never want a client to call us and ask us about a home we don’t know about. We network with local Realtors® to find out if they have properties coming on the market BEFORE they hit the MLS.” By eliminating the time spent waiting for properties to arrive on the open market, Cheryl and her team create a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers, helping to shorten days on the market by bringing the buyer and seller together sooner.

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Ron Gardea and Cheryl Building the Perfect Team

sistently earns high marks for her professionalism, skill and knowledge.

That experience didn’t happen overnight, nor did it happen by chance. Cheryl has meticulously vetted team members for their experience (over 60 years combined), drive and personal commitment to her clients. The result is a team that is not only focused on the overall customer experience, but is always looking for new ways to implement marketing strategies to fit the clients’ needs. In addition to buyer’s specialists and transaction coordinators, the team includes a dedicated Web and e-commerce director, just one example of Cheryl’s dedication to staying ahead of market innovations. Pattie Kelleher, who has been a member of The Lynch Group for three years, appreciates Cheryl’s hands-on approach. “Cheryl is a seasoned professional who has made my real estate business bloom,” she says. “She’s always there to answer questions and to support me through any transaction.” The result, she adds, is a team that is well-prepared to serve the client and guide them through any challenge that may arise. Kacey Baker, another team member, believes that Cheryl’s ethical, knowledgeable philosophy of business is at the heart of what she does. “It’s amazing and refreshing, even after all her years of being in real estate,” Kacey says. “She never loses sight of the end goal – and that’s the well-being of her clients.”

“Cheryl was with us from start to finish, which obviously simplified the process and made every professional courtesy toward our happiness as our agent. I would recommend Cheryl to the first-time buyer or to the seasoned ‘pro.’ I look forward to our next purchase with Cheryl and her team,” says one happy client. “Cheryl is just amazing! She has an infectious personality and really cares about getting you exactly what you want,” says another. “She helped me find our home and when making changes she likes to see how it turns out. If you are looking for a professional Realtor® with excellent follow through, call Cheryl!” Looking Ahead The Lynch Group is already implementing a new marketing strategy and has a long-range goal of adding three agents. For her part, Cheryl hopes to one day transition to a manager-run team, allowing her to focus on training and mentorship. “But really, I just try to take things as they come,” she says. “I put people before money and thank God for everything I have.”

If her zilow.com ratings are any indication, her clients certainly agree. With a solid five-star rating, Cheryl conExecutiveAgent Magazine


Cheryl Lynch The Lynch Group 25910 Acero, Ste. 100 Mission Viejo, CA 92691 Tel: 949-842-5340 Cheryl@CherylLynch.com www.TheLynchGroupOC.com CalBRE # 01314572 ExecutiveAgent Magazine


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The Winning Minds Group Written by Shannon Hartsoe

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att De La Cruz wants everyone to know – if he can be a success, anyone can. Growing up near Huntington Beach, Matt had everything against him. Poverty? Check. Low self-esteem? Check. Dysfunctional home life? Check. With no one to guide him toward higher education, and no personal goals, Matt found himself drifting after completing 12th grade. “When I graduated from high school it was only because I had cheated or done just enough to get by,” he says. “I’d always been told I would never amount to anything, that our family could never be anything and that I was a loser, so that’s what I internalized and that was my reality.”

Uneducated and unmotivated, Matt took the only job he could find. His meager paycheck as a dishwasher and a busboy at a local restaurant went to help support his five siblings and his parents. He assumed he would end up like his father, working menial jobs making just enough to get by but never enough to enjoy life.

Then something happened. “I like to say great fortune came my way,” he laughs. That “something” came in the form of Zig Ziglar, famed motivational speaker and business coach. With his help, Matt began to see himself as something greater than the sum of all he’d been told growing up. After hearing one of Zig’s tapes and then meeting him in person, Matt’s thinking began to change. Suddenly he had someone in his corner, someone who said he could where others had said he couldn’t. “He became my directional piece and gave me focus,” says Matt. “And the fight began to rise up within me. I realized that if I wanted real change, it was going to have to come from me.” Matt took his first sales job selling home security systems. But for all his new-found confidence and focus, he was still one of the poorest producing sales people in the company. He needed another breakthrough. Fortune smiled on him again when he met Tom Hopkins. “Where Zig had given me the power to change my thinking, Tom gave me the tools I needed to prospect, qualify and close a sale,” says Matt. For the next three years, Matt was the highest producing security system salesperson in the company and in the nation. He went on to work alongside Tom, teaching others how to replicate his success, and in 1991, Matt decided to open his own company.

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Matt De La Cruz Changing Lives by Changing Minds Today, as CEO of The Winning Minds Group a personal development seminar company, Matt has coached, trained and educated nearly a million students from megacorporations like Apple, IBM, and more, as well as agents from real estate companies like CENTURY 21, RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams. That’s a million lives changed, a million careers launched and a million average people turned into finely tuned sales machines. Not bad for a former dishwasher. “My message is simple, your past does not have to define your future,” he says. Where some coaching and training seminars focus solely on positive thinking or on the power of systems and scripts, The Winning Minds Group is different. “This is my story,” says Matt.

“I want people to know that you control 100 percent of what you think, how you feel and what you see. Combine that with the systems to prospect, qualify and close, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination.” Matt and The Winning Minds Group offer workshops, programs, seminars and personal coaching programs that provide the proven tools necessary for people to grow and prosper in all areas of their lives. On June 3rd, Matt and Kinecta Federal Credit Union will bring his message to Southern California. The four-day-only seminar is expected to garner much attention from real estate agents looking for tools to take their production to the next level. The biggest detriment, Matt says, is negative thinking. “The average human being has nearly 4,000 thoughts each day, or roughly one thought every 14 seconds,” says Matt. “For adults, the overwhelming majority of those thoughts are negative. They’re ‘I can’t’ messages rather than ‘I can.’ One of the things I teach people is that by training, conditioning and disciplining the mind, you can control the outcomes in your life.”

But that process is not without obstacles. Without mincing words, Matt says that the biggest one is usually the salesperson’s own negative personality. “There are four traits to a negative person and those are laziness, complaining, excuses and procrastination, and there’s very often a fifth one as well and that’s an overarching sense of entitlement,” he says. “That’s the bad news. The good news is that those negative traits can be overcome.” “If you can talk yourself out of success, you can talk yourself into it,” he says. “But don’t wait. If I can do it, you can too.”

Matt De La Cruz – CEO/Founder The Winning Minds Group Tel: 248-465-9952 – 800-781-1118 Email: Matt@winningminds.com Web: www.winningminds.com Fortune is determined by our own actions... It is in our minds that we decide to win... Winning Minds is all it takes

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You are Cordially Invited TO ATTEND A FREE SEMINAR

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Matt De La Cruz

How do we navigate the road to happiness and find fulfillment? It starts by defining your goals and gaining an understanding of what success means to you.

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The “Secret” Site onder why you haven’t had any inquiries on your new web site? You are not alone. Many agents feel that having a web site is a waste of time because they have felt and seen no value in it yet. The reason for this is that they haven’t done their job in promoting it-they have a “secret” web site!

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A Realtor® asked my audience at one of my recent seminars if anyone in the audience has had a good response to their web site. Before I would let anyone respond I asked the Realtor® a few questions and that was all I needed to do to make the entire room see that having a web site on the Internet is just the first step. The rest is up to you. Just like any good marketing program, you must advertise. Most of your inquiries will come from your local area, but if you don’t tell them about it, your money for the site is wasted. Make sure that you list your web site in every advertisement that has your name; that includes the company ads. This is your chance to not only sell one listing, but also others. Advertise your web site on your business cards. Do you know that the general public expects you to have a web site? When you hand your card to someone, they immediately have the impression that you are “up with technology” just by the fact that you have a web site. A psychological plus! Advertise your web site on your voice mail. When people are leaving you a message and they hear that they can see all your latest listings on www.yourname.com, they just might go there to see what is new; this includes other real estate agents.

think there may be another on your site that they want to see as well. Advertise on all your marketing pieces-property brochures and flyers, postcards, open house invitations, etc. Everywhere that you put your name, put your web address. The more people that see it, the more will log on. Remember to put your web address on every single advertisement; that includes the Chamber listing, your stationery (both letterhead and envelopes), magazine ads, organization directories, etc. From this point on your web address is part of your name and telephone number. Register your site with as many search engines on the Web as possible. There are several companies who will do this for you. Patti Brotherton is President of PAB Performance Partners. Patti’s company was formed to reach a broader base of agents, managers and companies to help them in any way possible to do more business, to improve their business, to help them balance their business and generally improve the quality of their professional life. Patti believes in individualized marketing programs, including graphic design, as well as business systems that have proven to work in many different market places. Copyright© 2000, Patti Brotherton. All rights reserved. For additional information about Patti’s presentations and company services, please call the Frog Pond Group at 800.704.FROG (3764) or email susie@frogpondgroup. com; http://www.frogpondgroup.com.

Advertise your web site on your for sale sign. We all know that the public wants to have as much information about a property as possible. They will log on to your site if they drive by a home that appeals to them. And, just

Written by Patti Brotherton 30

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Lia Marie & Stephanie Young Service-Oriented, Client-Focused Written by Shannon Hartsoe

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or both Lia Marie and Stephanie Young of Coldwell Banker Beachside, customer service is not simply an afterthought, it’s the only thought. Proactive, handson and forward-thinking, the two women enjoy helping their clients through any transaction, so it’s no surprise they’ve consistently earned a spot as top-producers for their company and for the area. “Many times, clients will tell us that they chose us after another agent didn’t meet their needs,” says Lia Marie. “They’ve seen the difference that customer service makes and they turn to us to help guide them.” As a team, the two provide a level of customer service that is knowledge-based and full of energy and together they’re raising the bar on excellence. Prior to launching her real estate career, Lia Marie was in the customer service field. She once held successful positions with major corporations in Silicone Valley, including Motorola, National Semiconductor and Fairchild. Eventually, she started her electronic distribution company where her sales acumen garnered the attention of a competing company that quickly offered her a job to hire and train new sales people. When Lia Marie bought her first home, she was intrigued by the entire process. “My REALTOR® made it look easy,” says Lia Marie. “Even though I knew real estate is very complex, she made it feel very natural and kept in touch with me throughout the entire process. I decided to give it a try.” Because her father had been a part-time REALTOR®, Lia Marie wasn’t a complete stranger to the world of real estate, and knew she could be a success. Stephanie was a graduate of the University of California at Irvine, and was attending medical school when she got hit with the real estate bug. “I’ve always wanted to help people and medicine seemed like the best way to do that,” she says. “I love helping, no matter what the need.” But after her son was born, it became clear that the medical field wasn’t going to be the best way to manage the needs of her growing family. She tried real estate and knew immediately she was in the right place. “I found my passion,” Stephanie says. “It was as if it was meant to be.” Today, Lia Marie and Stephanie work with buyers and sellers throughout Orange County. They are certified in e-Pro, Short-Sale & Foreclosure Resource (SFR), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), and Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) and are constantly adding to

their knowledge base to help assist their customers even better. With strong negotiation skills (“I’m the fourth of eight children, we call it ‘survival skills,’” laughs Lia Marie) and a commitment to customer service, the two have become powerhouses of Orange County real estate. They are well-known for their hospitality and largerthan-life energy. “I want to help everyone with their real estate needs,” laughs Lia Marie. “But I’m Italian, so first, let’s sit down and find out what those needs are!” Stephanie infuses her business with the values of her Hawaiian heritage that put people first, profit second. “We treat everyone like family,” she says. “We’re heart-driven.” The end result is an unbeatable work ethic grounded in a passion for treating people well. Working with Coldwell Banker has helped them provide an even higher level of customer service. With the backing of a major real estate company, the two are able to utilize the most extensive marketing, branding and listing tools available, in addition to their own sizeable marketing budget. This means that listings are given the star treatment and buyers see properties as soon as they hit the market. And as the real estate market changes, so too does the knowledge base of the Lia Marie and Stephanie Young real estate team. An emphasis on technology helps ensure that, not only are their clients well taken care of, but that they remain as “eco-friendly” as possible, eliminating paper waste wherever possible. “Our team takes care of EVERYTHING! We are with the client every step of the way, even during their signing of the loan docs. We literally hold their hands,” says Lia Marie. “But we also stay on top of all of the new technology in the industry and respect a client’s wishes with regard to how they want to communicate. For younger people, it might be all about texting. For someone else it may still be more traditional, but whatever it is, we’re here for them.” Lia Marie and Stephanie Young Coldwell Banker Beachside, Realtors® 19671 Beach Blvd., Ste. 101 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Tel: Lia 714-878-0678 Stephanie 714-251-3612 Lia@ochomesforyou.com Stephanie@ochomesforyou.com Web: www.ochomesforyou.com CalBRE # 01235031 - 01793999

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ant to know the biggest mistake most organizations make in customer service? It is lack of customer feedback.

The average business doesn’t spend enough time or use enough resources to listen to their customers. I cannot tell you how many companies ask me to help them improve their customer service, yet when I ask them for their customer feedback (to get some idea of where to start), they don’t have any customer feedback at all, or very little. I feel this is one of the biggest mistakes in customer service there is. If you are thinking, “I don’t have any customers,” think again. We all have customers; just some of them are internal to our organizations like our co-workers and our boss. When was the last time you asked your boss, “If you could change one thing about the way I do my job, what would it be?” or asked a co-worker how you could work better as a team?

“We/I must be doing okay,” you think. “We/I don’t hear that many complaints.” Well, you could be very mistaken. I’m sure you have heard the statistics that only one in 26 unhappy customers complains. So, if you have 10 complaining customers. Well, you do the math. It is especially critical to implement an external customer service program to constantly get customer feedback. Many organizations are afraid to ask their customers what they think of their service because they think they will get too many complaints. That is exactly what you want! Favorable feedback is good, too, but even if you get mostly complaints, it is good that at least you are getting some feedback from your customers. After all, how are you going to know what you are doing wrong so that you can fix it? Don’t be like the bank who assumed that one of the reasons for their poor customer service ratings was that its tellers were not making enough

Getting Customer Feedback 34

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eye contact with the customers or greeting them in a friendly manner. The bank trained the tellers to be friendlier, smile more, greet customers by name and use eye contact. Now that kind of training didn’t hurt; after all, those are important elements in the customer service mix. But the training didn’t result in their customers being any happier because they didn’t get to the real cause of their customers’ unhappiness with the service. The bank, after surveying their customers, later found that what really satisfied their customers the most was completing their transactions in a reasonable time. Yes, being friendly and making eye contact was an important factor, but if the tellers could not answer the most important needs of the customer - namely fast service - their customers would not be totally satisfied. Are you making this mistake?

Assuming you know what your customers want and then delivering that? Don’t guess at what your customers want, get busy and find out? both internal and external. Peggy Morrow, CSP, is President of Peggy Morrow & Associates. She has over twenty years experience working in the areas of customer service, teams and time management. Author of two books on customer service, she has also published over 400 articles on management and customer service as well as being named a “content expert” for Inc Magazine’s web page, Inc.com. © 2008, Peggy Morrow. All rights reserved. For information about Peggy’s programs Contact FrogPond at 800.704. FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com; http://www. FrogPond.com.

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Written by Shannon Hartsoe

Debbie Marie t’s a good thing Debbie Marie Kanehira had a bad experience buying real estate years ago. Dealing with a real estate agent who lacked the education and professionalism she expected was all she needed to take the steps that ultimately led to Debbie Marie becoming a Realtor® herself.

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Inc., in Newport Beach. “Unfortunately, I didn’t come across one who was professional and educated about the field. I ended up taking classes just to educate myself, and realized that I can help people. I didn’t want people to have the same experience I did and wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.”

“I look to a Realtor® for real estate advice just like I look to a doctor for medical advice,” says Debbie Marie, a real estate consultant and notary public at Teles Properties,

She adds: “This is most people’s largest investment, and you want someone who is educated, professional and loves what they do.”

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Bringing A Global Perspective To Real Estate That desire to exceed the needs of her clients is why Debbie Marie has worked so hard to maintain an edge over so many other agents. She worked about 60 hours a week minimum when she first got her license in 2006. “It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I finally realized that working as a real estate consultant was my calling. The momentum started quickly, but that was because I was completely engaged and passionate about what I do.” And she has never lost that passion Another reason for her success, says Debbie Marie, is that she places great importance on simply listening to people so she can better determine exactly what they want. “I look at sales differently than most people. I believe that sales is about listening to what people have to say. If you can understand that basic skill, you will be able to better assist them in accomplishing their real estate and financial goals,” she says. Her background also includes graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine, with a degree in political science and international business and membership in Toastmasters International. She also has worked for several Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and Lexus, where she learned valuable skills in sales and marketing on a national and regional level.

people. “I have been fortunate to have wonderful clients and friends who have supported me in my business,” she says. “I acknowledge people who have contributed to my success and I think that’s important. People are successful not just on their own, but by the people around them.” Her education and global experiences have definitely helped her adapt and thrive under constant changes in politics and the economy, including lending practices. “It’s important to stay current with legislation and policies because it helps me be a better source of information to my clients. I can strategically plan for things and educate my clients about what is to come and how it may affect them.” For Debbie Marie, real estate has provided a tremendous stage where she can put all of these skills to work for her clients. The recent recession, for example, revealed a lot of opportunities to help people. “It was the best time for me to learn and to help people get out of their situations.” “I love that I can make a difference in people’s lives through my diverse educational, travel and business experiences through the years,” she says. “I bring a different perspective to real estate because I see beyond just the real estate itself, I see opportunities and I have an eye on how to capitalize on it. Real estate is not just someone’s home, it’s also an investment.” “I love what I do.”

Debbie Marie credits Mark Dahncke at Jaguar Land Rover North America for inspiring her to expand her possibilities by studying abroad and by challenging her with more difficult responsibilities while she worked there. “I learned a lot about the world, people, culture and business etiquette from him. It was inspiring for me to see that someone so young was so accomplished and well traveled,” she says. That solid foundation plays out in Debbie Marie’s career today. She boils success down to two key ingredients: one half hard work, one half surrounding yourself with good

Debbie Marie Teles Properties, Inc. 12 Corporate Plaza Dr., Suite 250 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Tel: 949.278.5414 Email: Realtor@DebbieMarie.com Web: www.DebbieMarie.com CalBRE # 01837350

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