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VOL. 4 NO. 45
14 - Tony Alessandra:
Ways To Minimize Distractions
36 - Anne M. Bachrach:
Become A Celebrity In Your Target Market
28 - John Boe:
16 - Jim Rohn:
i Photography Studio................24 & 25
Building A Successful Team
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34 - Zig Ziglar:
Doing Better Than Good!
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Executive Agent of the Month
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Coast 2 Coast Property Search
Star Real Estate South County
Photography: i Photography Studio Graphic Designer: Rob Paino Editorial Manager: Garon Arrias Writers: Lalaena Gonzalez–Figueroa, Shannon Hartsoe © Copyright 2012 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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NO MINAT I O N
E XECUTIVE A GENT EXECUTIVEAGENT Ê
Nominate a fellow REALTOR® to be profiled 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 or affiliate. 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. Nomination form I nominate:
NAME:______________________________ COMPANY:__________________________ ADDRESS:___________________________ ____________________________________ CITY/STATE/ZIP:_____________________ ____________________________________ PHONE:_____________________________ E-MAIL:_____________________________ REASON:____________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________
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Shevy Akason Executive Agent of the Month
SHEVY AKASON Smart Real Estate investing, he offers comprehensive knowledge and industry insight paired with a commitment to providing exceptional customer care. “I’ve always been entrepreneurial,” says Shevy. “As a youngster I started a lawn mowing company, eventually hiring others to do the manual labor while I managed and grew the business.” He worked as a painter while studying political science at Claremont College, and upon graduation transitioned into construction and real estate investing. His market experience provided invaluable insight to the trends and changes impacting the industry, and Shevy recognized warning signs threatening to burst the bubble that marked the early 2000s. Research led him to the then-controversial Irvine Housing Blog, where writer Larry Roberts was foretelling of pending real estate doom. Shevy was intrigued. “So many people were angry at Larry’s message,” Shevy recalls. “I understood what he was saying, and why. I contacted him, initiated a dialogue, and proposed that we find a way to join forces.” Roberts, he notes, wasn’t immediately on board. He was a land planner, not involved with the broker community, and he was reluctant to explore the business model that Shevy envisioned. “It took about a year for Larry to see how we could help people through real estate services,” says Shevy, “but eventually he agreed to join me in creating a value-added service that would make a tangible difference in the lives of others.”
By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa - Ian Wiant Photographer
e launched his real estate career during the unlikeliest of times, publicly forecasting what he believed would be an unfavorable market transition and freely opining his thoughts on the disadvantages of buying properties. But despite the challenges, Shevy Akason found the key to success: an honest, sensible and proactive approach to business. With a background in construction and property
In 2009 the duo’s professional partnership was in full swing, and Roberts was continuing his blog (www.OCHousingnews.com), providing insight through a wealth of historical data. “We published our opinions – that it was more profitable for most to rent rather than to buy,” says Shevy. “In sharing our thoughts on rental parity, we helped people save tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.” They also garnered mounting attention and exponential readership. As the blog’s popularity increased, so did the duo’s depth of knowledge. Investing in their enterprise, they delved into years of residential transaction records, examining key data in cities throughout Orange County. Dynamic real estate
Larry Roberts, Shevy Akason, Rana Swedan patterns proved interesting and surprising. “What we determined,” reveals Shevy, “is that as the market has shifted to a point where buyers today are potentially embarking upon relative ownership costs that rival or beat those of the nineteen ninety-three to nineteen ninety-nine era. That’s incredible news and an exciting realization. At this time, we believe that home ownership is fiscally beneficial in the long term.” His educational approach to real estate differentiated Shevy, who acknowledges that in-depth buyer consultations aren’t as common as they could –or should- be. “Time and again I hear from clients and blog readers that communication is one of the key elements lacking in an agent relationship,” he observes. “That’s always been a critical element of my service. I believe wholeheartedly in educating consumers on the market, providing them with a range of options and the information they need to make the best decisions for their long- and short-term goals.” The conversations
aren’t always easy; Shevy discusses in-depth the risks, challenges and potential issues that may accompany a purchase or sale. But opportunities abound, and he’s also discussing the best ways to capitalize upon them. By establishing a solid platform with each client, he has successfully established himself as a knowledgeable and reputable real estate professional. As business increased, Shevy adapted his model accordingly. Roberts earned his broker’s license, and a team of astute agents was assembled. The process, Shevy notes, was thoughtfully planned to address the ongoing needs of an increasingly savvy clientele. “Our readers get it,” he explains. “They’ve been following our blog and understand the complexities of the marketplace. They want incredibly knowledgeable and skillful agents who will contribute significant value to their real estate transactions.” To that end, Shevy has handpicked an elite group of specialists who operate with a highly client-centric approach.
“The team at Akason Realty Consulting is dedicated to taking the steps necessary to sell the properties we represent.” While Akason Realty Consulting is known throughout Irvine and Orange County for its work with buyers, the group is also well-suited to represent sellers whose properties span the market. “Our high profile has allowed us to establish a significant pipeline of prospective buyers, who have come to trust our business practices,” Shevy explains. “This allows us to market our properties directly to targeted audiences, to maximize the results of the advertising campaigns we create for each property we list.” The very valuation methods that appeal to buyers are also valued by sellers, who appreciate the on-point market analyses provided by Shevy and his colleagues. “We understand what’s selling, why, and at what prices,” he says. Shevy’s own experience rehabilitating homes is an added benefit to sellers, who receive concise suggestions on physical
improvements and aesthetic updates that can add instant appeal to prospective buyers. “To successfully sell a home you must have a property that shows well, is marketed effectively, and is priced appropriately,” he states. “The team at Akason Realty Consulting is dedicated to taking the steps necessary to sell the properties we represent.” He continues to invest in real estate, and Shevy utilizes his knowledge, experience and connections to maximize sellers’ results as well. “My team and I are cognizant of the cost-to-value ratio of home improvements, and have established a great referral network of skilled contractors. Online communication allows prospective sellers to gain cursory, up-to-date comparable market information at their convenience.
Shevy and wife Erika Time and again, the magnitude of Shevy’s commitment to sharing information is evidenced in the outreach he provides to prospective buyers and sellers. He is tireless in his pursuit of ongoing knowledge, and fervent in his efforts to disseminate what he has learned. His business model has yielded tremendous results, placing Akason Realty Consultants among the top-producing teams within their brokerage and throughout the communities they serve. Success has been hard-earned, Shevy notes, and experience has allowed him and his team to gain invaluable firsthand knowledge of what works – and what doesn’t. “We definitely have learned from our successes and our challenges,” he reveals. “Every transaction provides us with an opportunity to hone our skills, acquire new information, and improve upon our systems and approaches.”
family. He and his wife Erika are the proud parents to three beautiful daughters, and Shevy thoroughly enjoys their time together. Shevy looks forward to the ongoing opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, and to effecting real change within his marketplace and his industry. “It’s a lofty goal,” he laughs, “but it’s a genuine one. We want to leave a professional legacy that inspires consumers and industry personnel to do what’s right.”
His commitment to the industry is unwavering, but Shevy finds balance through quality moments with his ExecutiveAgent Magazine
Shevy D. Akason Akason Realty Consulting 9901 Irvine Center Drive Irvine, CA 92618 Ph: 949.769.1599 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ShevyAkason.com DRE # 01836707
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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 2012 Advisory Selection Committee members:
Jim & Marcia Brashier McMonigle Group Teles Properties 949.734.6228
Derek Graham Advantage Title365 949.584.2570
Sue LaPeter Prudential California Realty 714.369.4689
Elizabeth Do Keller Williams Realty 714.317.7243
Spyro Kemble Surterre速 Properties 949.717.7248
Chris McKeen Prudential California Realty 714.921.9457
Shauna Covington Prudential California Realty 949.395.8786
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
Tom Slyman Advantage Title365 714.585.9333
Fred Arrias Executive Agent Magazine 949.366.3349
Minimize Distractions here are lots of potential distractions. If you can’t avoid them, minimize them. You do that by focusing totally on the speaker and paying attention. Here are four specific techniques that will help you concentrate while listening:
Here’s a third reason why we don’t listen well: We think we already know what someone is going to say. We assume that we have a full understanding right from the start, so we jump in and interrupt. We don’t take the time required to hear people out.
1. Take a deep breath. This will prevent you from interrupting, and will provide your brain with invigorating oxygen. Try it now, and as you’re doing it, try to speak. It doesn’t work very well, does it?
The fourth reason has to do with the speed gap-the difference between how fast we talk and how fast we listen. The average person speaks at about 135 to 175 words a minute, but comprehends at 400 to 500 words a minute. For the person who’s not listening well, that’s plenty of time to jump to conclusions, daydream, plan a reply, or mentally argue with the speaker. At least that’s how poor listeners spend the time.
2. Consciously decide to listen. No matter who’s speaking, pay attention and listen for information that’s particularly interesting or useful. You never know what you might learn. As show-biz wit Wilson Mizner once said, “A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.” 3. Mentally paraphrase what the speaker is saying. This will prevent you from daydreaming about irrelevant and superfluous topics. You’ll concentrate on the speaker instead of yourself. 4. Maintain eye contact. Where your eyes focus, your ears follow. You’re most likely to listen to what you are looking at. So, if you can’t eliminate a distraction, use one or more of these techniques-breathe deeply, decide to listen, paraphrase, or maintain eye contact. They’ll help you handle the distractions. There are five basic reasons we fail to listen well. First, listening takes effort. As I said, it’s more than just keeping quiet. It means really concentrating on the other person. An active listener registers increased blood pressure, a higher pulse rate, and more perspiration. Because it takes so much effort, a lot of people just don’t listen. Second, there’s now enormous competition for our attention from radio, TV, movies, computers, books and magazines, and much more. With all these incoming stimuli, we’ve learned to screen out information we deem irrelevant. Unfortunately, we also screen out things that are important.
And the fifth reason we don’t listen well is because we don’t know how. We do more listening than speaking, reading, or writing. But I bet you’ve never had a course in listening, have you? I think listening is the most neglected and least understood of all the aspects of communication. And, largely, this weak link springs from bad habits. In short, we haven’t been trained to listen. An untrained listener is likely to understand and retain only 50 percent of a conversation moments after it’s finished. This retention rate drops to an even less impressive 25 percent just 48 hours later. So an untrained listener’s recall of a conversation that took place more than a couple of days ago will always be incomplete and usually inaccurate. No wonder people seldom agree about what’s been discussed! Dr. Tony Alessandra, CSP, CPAE has authored 13 books, recorded over 50 audio and video programs, and delivered over 2,000 keynote speeches since 1976. Dr. Tony Alessandra is recognized by Meetings and Conventions Magazine as... “one of America’s most electrifying speakers.” Copyright© 2003, Tony Alessandra. All rights reserved. For information about Tony’s keynote presentations, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704. FROG(3764) or email email@example.com; http://www. frogpond.com.
Written by Tony Alessandra
Building a Successful Team
nce you’ve set a goal for yourself as a leader whether it is to create your own enterprise, energize your organization, build a church, excel in sports, etc. - the challenge is to find good people to help you accomplish that goal. Gathering a successful team of people is not only helpful, it’s necessary. So to guide you in this daunting task of picking the right people, I’m going to share with you a four-part checklist. Number One: Check each candidate’s history. Seek out available information regarding the individual’s qualifications to do the job. That’s the most obvious step. Number Two: Check the person’s interest level. If they are interested, they are probably a good prospect. Sometimes people can fake their interest, but if you’ve been a leader for a while, you will be a capable judge of whether somebody is merely pretending. Arrange face-to-face conversation, and try to gauge his or her sincerity to the best of your ability. You won’t hit the bull’s-eye every time, but you can get pretty good at spotting what I call true interest. Number Three: Check the prospect’s responses. A response tells you a lot about someone’s integrity, character, and skills. Listen for responses like these: “You want me to get there that early?” “You want me to stay that late?” “The break is only ten minutes?” “I’ll have to work two evenings a week and Saturdays?” You can’t ignore these clues. A person’s responses are a good indication of his or her character and of how hard he or she will work. Our attitudes reflect our inner selves, so even if we can fool others for a while, eventually, our true selves will emerge. And Number Four: Check results. The name of the game is results. How else can we effectively judge an individual’s performance? The final judge must be results.
of an individual’s productivity. Sometimes we don’t ask for this type of result right away, but it’s pretty easy to check activity. If you work for a sales organization and you’ve asked your new salesman, John, to make ten calls in the first week, it’s simple to check his results on Friday. You say, “John, how many calls did you make?” John says, “Well . . .” and starts telling a story, making an excuse. You respond, “John, I just need a number from one to ten.” If his results that first week are not good, it is a definite sign. You might try another week, but if that lack of precise activity continues, you’ll soon realize that John isn’t capable of becoming a member of your team. The second area you need to monitor is productivity. The ultimate test of a quality team is measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. And here’s one of the skills of leadership: be up front with your team as to what you expect them to produce. Don’t let the surprises come later. When you’re following this four-part checklist, your instincts obviously play a major role. And your instincts will improve every time you go through the process. Remember, building a good team will be one of your most challenging tasks as a leader. It will reap you multiple rewards for a long time to come. Jim Rohn knows the secrets of success - in business and in life. He has devoted his life to a study of the fundamentals of human behavior and personal motivation that affect professional performance. He can awaken the unlimited power of achievement within you! Reproduced with permission from the Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine. Copyright© 2006, Jim Rohn. All right reserved. For information about Jim’s keynote presentations and seminars, contact the FrogPond at 800.704. FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com http:// FrogPond.com
There are two types of results to look for. The first is activity results. Specific results are a reflection
By Jim Rohn
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AWARDS - ANNOUNCEMENTS - RECOGNITIONS - EVENTS * BUSINESS PARTNER RELATIONSHIP CREATES SUCCESS: Jennifer Berman tells the agents of the Anaheim Hills First Team office not to call her a manager; she prefers her role to be defined as ‘business partner’. As such, she believes she can be truly invested in the success of an agent’s business. A noted technology trainer since 1997 and a real estate licensee for the past 16 years, Jennifer shares a wealth of well rounded experience with her agents. Known for her ‘Mastermind’ group – Jennifer personally selects no more than 10 agents at a time to participate in a sixweek training and coaching series that includes a oneon-one follow up. She prides herself on being ‘in tune’ with her agents and she always wants what is best for them, from comfortable surroundings to top technology products and training. The office is particularly known for its open culture of sharing and helping each other succeed. “If you come from abundance and are willing to share and help others, and don’t want to be surrounded by cliques, then you’ll fit right in,” Jennifer said. She is proud to note that the agents do most of the talking at the weekly sales meetings as they share their challenges and successes. A firm advocate of webinars, Jennifer makes training materials easily accessible to agents via agent web services (a proprietary agent marketing tool) so they don’t even need to leave the convenience of their own homes to participate and learn how to grow their business. Nearly 100 agents call the Anaheim Hills office their home. They proudly embrace new technologies and along with their teamwork, online networking and social media, they create the perfect experience for their clients. If you would like to be associated with the top independent real estate company in Southern California, contact Jennifer for a confidential interview at (714) 481-3091 or via email at jenniferberman@ firstteam.com.
* Drew Nelson, Willis Allen Real Estate, is proud to present this latest listing: Gorgeously upgraded 2BR/2BA single story condo in La Jolla’s village with breathtaking ocean views from the living areas and extra large covered balcony! Located on the entry level of the rarely available Coast Pointe complex, this truly special unit uniquely combines tranquil privacy, ocean views and walking distance
to the village. www.373CoastBlvdSouth3.com or text H37525 to 85377 Offered at $1,690,000. * Eagle Home Mortgage proudly welcomes Janice Eckles (NMLS#653004) to our growing sales team of home financing professionals in Irvine. Janice, a 7-year veteran of the industry, has earned three consecutive “Five Star Professionals” awards for excellence in customer satisfaction. At Eagle Home Mortgage, Janice now has access to a wide variety of competitively priced loan programs as well as local and in-house operations teams which results in a faster, smoother process for customers and business partners. Prior to working as a loan consultant, Janice gained valuable experience with other aspects of the business including loan processing and construction lending. Please contact Janice at (949) 275-3005.
PRESS RELEASES - PROMOTIONS - HONORS - ACTIVITIES
* Shevy Akason, The Arc Group at Evergreen Realty, is proud to present their latest listing: This property was completely rebuilt in 2005 and is Authentic Victorian inside and out. Incredible craftsmanship with imported gingerbread and raised Dado panel wainscot and ceiling treatments. 2 1/4’ Distressed Oak Plank Flooring throughout with Victorian carpet accents, chandeliers, and a medallion. Kitchen has Heartland Victorian Appliances and Downsview cabinetry accented with Victorian hardware. Imported New Zealand Teak Butcher Block Island. Counter tops are Granite with Metal Tile Backsplash.
Two Master Bedrooms with and a guest room. Enjoy the 7 Recliner Seat Tiered Movie Theater complete with 7.1 Surround, Infinity Speakers, Sub, and 1000W Butt Kicker Seats. The home features a spacious library/office with ocean view. Other features include a central vacuum, entire house stereo, front door video, dual zone heating & AC, Electronic Air Filters, 3 RO Water locations. Located at 309 21st Street, Huntington Beach, $2,000,000 Please contact Shevy Akason at 949-769-1599 or shevy.akason@ evergreenrealty.net
* Realty ONE Group Holds Official Ribbon Cutting for Anaheim Office: Realty ONE Group celebrated the official grand opening of its Anaheim office with a ceremony on Oct. 5 that included a champagne toast, music performed by harpist Joanna Mell and office tours.
The 6,387 square-foot Anaheim office, which opened at 2300 East Katella Avenue, Suite 100, in the prestigious Platinum Triangle in April 2012, is managed by seasoned real estate professional, Vicente Kyan. With 25 years in the industry and extensive experience as a broker/ manager, trainer and coach with several of the nation’s top firms, Kyan has already grown the office team by more than 140%. Matt Emerson, Realty ONE Group’s COO, had the honor of cutting the celebratory ribbon and introducing the Anaheim team to the guests. Also in attendance were members of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce and city officials, Realty ONE Group’s corporate executives, the six Managing Brokers in California, the Everest Escrow team, Realty ONE Group agents and many valued vendors.
If you or your office have information you would like to share in Talk of the Town, please contact one of our affiliates listed below or Executive Agent Magazine at: 949-366-3349 - email@example.com
E XECUTIVE AGENT MAGAZINE
By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa
he just can’t help herself; Suzanne Wilson manages to find excitement and opportunity in every challenge she meets. An innovative businesswoman with a penchant for success, she has consistently proven her mettle and navigated complex situations with unwavering focus and a keen sense of determination. As a real estate professional she has gained the trust and respect of a loyal clientele, who appreciate her can-do attitude and solid industry knowledge. Growing up in a family with ties to real estate, Suzanne knew she would eventually find her way into the business. “I used to play Realtor® as a child,” she recalls. “I loved going on listing appointments and previewing properties.” The Orange County native earned a political science degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, then set off on a cross-country journey to New York City. “I arrived with two suitcases and a hundred dollars,” she says. “No job, no place to live, but the desire to make something happen.” And she did. Tenacity prevailed; Suzanne established herself in the private banking sector, then transitioned into wealth management. Fluent in French and Italian, she enjoyed the opportunity to work with a range of individuals from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. While she flourished in her endeavors, Suzanne eventually answered the call of real estate. Returning to her hometown, she determined, was the ideal move for a successful career. From the onset she distinguished herself as a professional driven by relationships, rather than sales. “It’s critical,” she explains, “to understand what people really want and need before I try to represent them in a transaction. We identify their goals, then work backwards to chart the path that will allow them to achieve those objectives.” Suzanne is steadfast in her commitment to meeting her clients’ needs, pursuing ongoing education and training in order to offer the highest possible level of representation. Joining First Team Real Estate, she says, has been a tremendous boon to her career. “I have access to amazing managers and a truly collaborative group of agents,” Suzanne states. “There’s a sense of energy at First Team, where we tap into the strength of a substantial network of professionals in order to maximize exposure and opportunities for our clients.” Suzanne has also earned certification as a Luxury Estates Specialist and Short Sale Specialist, allowing her to work with a range of buyers and sellers at every stage of real estate. From starter condominiums to multi-million dollar properties, she thrives on the opportunity to facilitate successful transactions for her clientele.
Her innovative and spirited approach to business is showcased in Suzanne’s work with clients as well as colleagues. She heralds her listings with themed launch parties, and showcases them in a variety of print and online outlets. A proponent of social media, she maximizes exposure for her sellers through targeted campaigns designed to build interest and excitement. Her blog, Musings of a Realtor®, offers timely news and consumerfriendly information. And while she maximizes efficacy and communication through technology, Suzanne is also a hands-on agent who connects with her clients on their terms. Suzanne’s top-notch client care and skillful representation have earned her a thriving business and recognition as one of Orange Coast Magazine’s Five Star Agents for 2010, 2011 and 2012. “It’s an honor to be acknowledged in this capacity,” she says. “This distinction is earned by fewer than five percent of real estate professionals in our county.” As her real estate career continues to thrive, Suzanne remains committed to making the most out of life in idyllic Orange County. A foodie who enjoys sampling regional and international wines, she is also an avid supporter of the arts and local community organizations. In all of her endeavors, Suzanne is energetic, enthusiastic and positive. It’s her signature approach, and it’s an integral part of her professional appeal. She looks forward to building her business, and to continuing to cultivate quality relationships with clients and colleagues alike.
Suzanne Wilson First Team Real Estate 4 Corporate Plaza, Suite 100 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Telephone: 714.330.4286 firstname.lastname@example.org DRE # 01848518
E XECUTIVE AGENT MAGAZINE
riven and determined, Marie Avena isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. She has proven her mettle in personal and professional endeavors, tackling the toughest situations with a “no excuses” philosophy. As an active real
estate professional and co-founder of Coast 2 Coast Property Search she works closely with a range of clients in residential purchases, sales and leases. And as a philanthropist and advocate for those in need, Marie offers assistance to individuals throughout Orange County. She’s making a difference in countless lives every day, and she gains a tremendous sense of satisfaction in the process. As a teenage mother, Marie’s destiny might have followed a different path. But she was committed to achieving success. “I never believed I would fail,” she reveals. “Instead, I focused on the idea that if I stood straight, did right by others and found a way to serve them, I’d find my way.” And she did. Before she turned 20, Marie purchased her first home. The experience, she recalls, was surprisingly frustrating. “The salesperson was uncommunicative and not focused on meeting our needs,” she explains. “It should have been such an exciting time for me and my husband. I realized that I had the skills necessary to succeed in real estate, and I promised myself that I would never treat anyone the way we were treated.”
By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa
Marie earned her license in 1999 and launched her career in new home sales. Though she enjoyed the opportunity to assist others in achieving their dreams of home ownership, she sought a sense of independence in the process. In 2008, she co-founded Coast 2 Coast Property Search, an innovative brokerage that utilizes technology and proprietary systems to maximize efficacy throughout the course of every transaction.
The Power of Possibility With an emphasis on residential sales, purchases and leases, Marie has tapped into the needs of an increasingly savvy clientele. “Our aim is to provide quality service steeped in integrity,” she notes. “At Coast 2 Coast Property Search, we are working to ensure that we maintain a focus on the best interests of our clients, and to go above and beyond to close successful transactions.” The boutique brokerage offers clients the flexibility and responsiveness of a firm that’s not cloaked in a corporate shroud. Instead, says Marie, Coast 2 Coast Property Search is run with a commitment to adaptability. “We’re flexible and creative in our approach,” she explains. “This allows us to better meet the unique and dynamic needs of our clientele.” Her thriving real estate practice has provided Marie with a platform to pursue other endeavors including those related to her philanthropic nature. As founder and president of Coast to Coast Foundation, she makes a tangible difference in the lives of others. The non-profit organization was born of need, she says. “I’ve always been one to find solutions to challenges, and this is the vehicle for me to do that on a larger and more organized scale.” Inspiration for Coast to Coast Foundation came from a client who, Marie recalls, had hit tough times. A single mother with four children, she was going through the foreclosure process on her condominium. “She was scared of what the future held,” says Marie. “I was doing everything I could to help her through the ordeal, when her phone was disconnected and I lost the ability to communicate with her.” Angry and frustrated, Marie realized that this was just one of countless stories of people in dire need. “I realized I had the resources and wherewithal to help others,” she says. “That’s where I started.” Today Coast to Coast Foundation offers an array of services and scholarships, carefully tailored to best benefit local residents. Through Serving a
Community with Kindness (S.A.C.K.), volunteers meet at designated locations throughout North Orange County on the first and third Sunday of every month, offering substantial portable meals to individuals who are homeless. Mini gifts of $100 are designated to homeless students grades K-12th through the foundation’s Yes I Can scholarships. “The sums are small, but significant,” observes Marie. “These scholarships help students cover the costs of basic clothing and shoes, food, toiletries, school activity fees, dental care, even mattresses.” The scholarships can be life-changing for students navigating the challenges of school without the support of financial or residential stability. Marie donates a portion of her proceeds from every closing to Coast to Coast Foundation. Additional funding comes from the generous donations of community members and organizations. Reflecting candidly on the course of her career and her future aspirations, Marie states, “I’m truly satisfied with where I’m at and where I’m headed. I’m growing my business steadily through repeat and referral clients, and am establishing a legacy that extends well beyond real estate.” The one-time teenage mother, whose own daughter is now in high school, adds, “I want to inspire others to see greatness in themselves so that they can serve others in turn. Whether it’s in business, social activism, politics, anything at all, when you find your passion and pursue it, amazing things can happen.” Marie Avena Coast 2 Coast Property Search 316 District Court Fullerton, CA 92832 Telephone: 714.876.7368 Marie@c2cpropertysearch.com www.C2CPropertySearch.com DRE # 01266344
Customers For Life! By John Boe
he most successful companies place great value on developing lifetime relationships with their customers. In today’s competitive marketplace, they’re aware that their customers are aggressively prospected and their loyalty cannot be taken for granted. Customer focused companies recognize that relationship building and follow on service are critical components for promoting both customer retention and revenue growth. First Build a Relationship Today we have access to innovative tools such as the Internet, cell phones, faxes and voice mail all designed to enhance our ability to communicate. Nevertheless, even with all of these technological tools at our disposal, the alarming number of dissatisfied customers, lost sales and failed relationships all reflect the fact that none of us are as effective at communicating as we would like to believe. Temperament understanding helps to foster effective communication. Research in the field of human psychology indicates people are born into one of four primary behavioral styles; 1. aggressive 2. expressive 3. passive 4. analytical Each of these four temperament styles requires a unique approach and communication strategy. For example, if you are working with the impatient, aggressive style, they want a quick fix and a bottom line solution. Under pressure they can be ill-tempered and quick to anger. Give them options so you don’t threaten their need for control. Don’t waste their time with chitchat, stick to business. While at the other extreme, the stressprone analytical style requires more information and is interested in every detail. Their cautious and analytical nature makes them susceptible to buyer’s remorse. Be sensitive to their need for reassurance and guarantees. Once you learn how to identify each of the four primary behavioral styles you will be able to work more effectively with all of your customers. Communicate Effectively Recognize the importance of nonverbal communication and learn to “listen with your eyes.” It might surprise you to know that research indicates over 70 percent of
our communication is perceived nonverbally. In fact, studies show that body language has a much greater impact and reliability than the spoken word. Create a favorable first impression and build rapport quickly by using open body language. In addition to smiling and making good eye contact, you should show the palms of your hands, keep your arms unfolded and your legs uncrossed. You can develop harmony by “matching and mirroring” your customer’s body language gestures. Matching and mirroring is unconscious mimicry. It’s a way of subconsciously telling another that you like them and agree with them. Improve your active listening skills. To develop and encourage conversation, use open-ended questions to probe the meaning behind your prospect’s statements. Occasionally repeat your prospect’s words verbatim. By restating his or her key words or phrases you not only clarify communication, but also build rapport. Keep your attention focused on what your customer is saying and avoid the temptation to interrupt, argue or dominate the conversation. Little Things Make a Big Difference Rendering quality customer service is both a responsibility and an opportunity. Often salespeople view customer service as an administrative burden that takes them away from making a sale. The truth is that customer service provides opportunities for crossselling, up selling and generating quality referrals. Customers describe quality customer service in terms of attention to detail and responsiveness. Customer satisfaction surveys consistently point to the fact that the little things make a big difference. Not surprisingly, the top two customer complaints with regards to customer service are unreturned phone calls and a failure to keep promises and commitments. Make an effort to see yourself through your customers’ eyes. True customer service is meeting and surpassing your customers’ expectations. Successful salespeople “go the extra mile” when providing service and turn the customers they serve into advocates to help them promote their business. Your referrals and follow on business are in direct proportion to the quality and quantity of service you render on a daily basis.
Want more referrals? Improve your service! Here are five powerful customer service tips 1. Under-promise and over-deliver. Develop a reputation for reliability; never make a promise that you canâ€™t keep. Your word is your bond. 2. Pay attention to the small things. Get in the habit of returning phone calls, e-mails and other correspondence quickly. Follow up, follow up, follow up. 3. Stay in contact and keep good records. Take the time to jot down notes from meetings and phone calls making certain to record all relevant information. Maintain a written record of service. This is especially helpful when clients are reassigned to a new sales rep. Setup a suspense system to track important contact dates such as client review calls and birthdays. Consider sending a personal note or an article of interest every six months. 4. Give your customers a promotional gift. Consider sending them a letter opener, coffee mug or a calendar with your picture and contact information.
think it is, but rather how your customers perceive its value. When it comes to customer service, perception is reality. Progressive companies emphasize commitment to customer service from the top down by establishing training standards and continuously monitoring customer satisfaction. Companies that fail to implement an effective customer service program actually do a disservice to their customers and unknowingly, leave the backdoor open to their competitors. If you do it right, sales and service blend seamlessly and you will exceed your customersâ€™ expectations! John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynote/breakout session/seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. When you book John for your next sales meeting or convention, you get a nationally recognized author, sales trainer and business motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry. ÂŠ 2008, John Boe International. All rights reserved. For additional information, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@ FrogPond.com; http://www.FrogPond.com.
5. Establish a feedback system to monitor how your customers perceive the quality and quantity of the service you provide. Service is not defined by what you
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E XECUTIVE AGENT MAGAZINE
Heidi Stoops Star Real Estate South County ExecutiveAgent Magazine
Pride, Passion, Experience By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa
er charming southern accent isn’t the only remnant of Heidi Stoops’ Nashville roots. She bears the work ethic of an early entrepreneur, a sense of accountability and pride in a job well done. An accomplished real estate agent who works with buyers and sellers, Heidi offers attentive and individualized care designed to ensure that each client enjoys a transaction that is as stress-free as possible. Heidi entered the workforce at just 12 years old, launching a 20-year career in the hospitality industry. Her work with clients was rewarding, but she sought an opportunity to ply her skills in an environment that would allow her more autonomy. “I moved a lot in the course of my work,” she explains. “With each move, I gained experience buying and selling homes.” In 2002 she made the transition into real estate, where she was able to combine her love of homes and her exceptional customer service skills to make a difference in the lives of others. Her connections with her clients are very real; Heidi establishes a thorough understanding of each individual’s wants and needs to best represent them in their transactions. “It’s not just about selling a home and closing a deal,” she reveals. “I’m very aware that what we’re doing is directly tied to my clients’ well-being, their goals and their futures.” She works with an array of clients and properties, from first-time buyers to experienced investors, individuals who are downsizing to those navigating the complexities of distressed properties. With each transaction she offers open communication, attention to detail, and a highly proactive approach. The industry poses its challenges, and Heidi prides herself on minimizing the impact to her clientele. “I’m always working to stay a step ahead of the situation,” she explains. “At the end of a transaction, I want my clients to think that this was a bump-free process. I’m handling issues that arise behind the scenes, and facilitating an experience that is as smooth as possible.” Supporting her efforts are an extended team of industry professionals who add value in their quality and scope of service. Specialists like Ryan Grant, a mortgage loan consultant with imortgage, provide the same level of client-centric care that has become Heidi’s signature.
Armed with a solid understanding of their wants and needs, she tirelessly previews prospective buys, taking note of community amenities and market trends to ensure her clients’ long- and short-term goals are aligned with the properties. “When we go out together,” she explains, “We’re much closer to finding the right home.” As a listing agent, Heidi offers comprehensive marketing and advertising campaigns that showcase the unique appeal of every property she represents. Homes are beautifully presented with an emphasis on visual appeal, and are showcased in print and online. An astute negotiator, she works tirelessly to meet her sellers’ goals. Heidi’s real estate career has enabled her to expand her spirit of giving, to make an impact beyond the clients with whom she works. She’s actively giving back to a range of charitable organizations including Toys for Tots, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), and The National MS Society through fundraising and volunteerism. “I enjoy the opportunity to help others,” she reflects. “It’s incredibly rewarding.” She looks forward to continuing to establish thriving relationships throughout Aliso Viejo and the surrounding communities, assisting buyers and sellers as they navigate a changing real estate marketplace. With an unbridled sense of enthusiasm, Heidi will ensure that no opportunity is missed, and that her clients enjoy the advocacy and representation of a true professional. Heidi Stoops Star Real Estate South County 26711 Aliso Creek Rd., Suite 200A Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 Telephone: 949.697.7481 Email: Heidi@heidistoops.com Web: http://hstoops.starsouthcounty.com DRE # 01401728
Buyers working with Heidi are privy to an experience tailored to their unique goals. “Before we set out to look at properties, we’ll sit down and really talk,” she says. “It’s a process that allows me to effectively hone in on the properties that are best suited to my clients’ criteria.”
Doing Better than Good! P
eople frequently ask me, “How can I know when I am doing better than good?” I thought about that question and came up with 15 ways to measure yourself. Take a look and see what you think: 1. You are doing better than good when you clearly understand that failure is an event, not a person; that yesterday ended last night, and today is your brand new day.
11. You are doing better than good when you love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged. 12. You are doing better than good when you can look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.
3. You are doing better than good when you know that success (a win) doesn’t make you, and failure (a loss) doesn’t break you.
How Can I Know When I Am Doing Better Than Good?
4. You are doing better than good when you are filled with faith, hope and love; and live without anger, greed, guilt, envy or thoughts of revenge.
13. You are doing better than good when you know that “he who would be the greatest among you must become the servant of all.”
5. You are doing better than good when you are mature enough to delay gratification and shift your focus from your rights to your responsibilities.
14. You are doing better than good when you recognize, confess, develop and use your God-given physical, mental and spiritual abilities to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind.
2. You are doing better than good when you have made friends with your past, are focused on the present, and optimistic about your future.
6. You are doing better than good when you know that failure to stand for what is morally right is the prelude to being the victim of what is criminally wrong. 7. You are doing better than good when you are secure in who you are, so you are at peace with God and in fellowship with man. 8. You are doing better than good when you have made friends of your adversaries, and have gained the love and respect of those who know you best. 9. You are doing better than good when you understand that others can give you pleasure, but genuine happiness comes when you do things for others.
15. You are doing better than good when you stand in front of the Creator of the universe and He says to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Think over each one of these 15 ideas and see how you can incorporate them into your life so that you truly are better than good! 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
10. You are doing better than good when you are pleasant to the grouch, courteous to the rude, and generous to the needy.
By Zig Ziglar ExecutiveAgent Magazine
Become A Celebrity In Your Target Market
ou may never see your name in lights or dazzle the crowd at Carnegie Hall. Yet there’s no doubt that you can achieve celebrity status among the people who matter most to your target market. This kind of “stardom” means prospects recognize your name as soon as they hear or read it, you are looked upon as an expert in a particular area, and your business is 100% referral-based. The benefits of this kind of business are obvious: extraordinary credibility that leads to countless introductions and natural, easy prospecting conversations plus the bonus of knowing you are truly outstanding in your field. Seven Tips to Get Started on Becoming a Celebrity 1. Write a Book on Your Area of Expertise, Specifically for Your Target Market. This is not as difficult as you may think. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Your book should simply combine the fundamentals and your philosophy all in your own words. The research must be factual, but your opinions are what will make the book unique. After all, how many people actually have anything new that hasn’t already been said before? Write about an area in which you have expertise, and address the issues that are currently relevant to your market. Then target the book narrowly and specifically so that the people you want to reach will immediately see that it is of interest to them. Another consideration might be to write the forward or get added as a co-author to an already existing book and use that as your ‘credibility’ book. It obviously needs to be a book that relates to your specific specialty area. Publishing a book gets your clients’ egos cooking. They are definitely impressed and will tell their
friends that they know someone who has written a book. It’s a great way to get referrals sending an autographed book to potential clients is much better than sending promotional literature, and it’s a great enhancement to your value-added mailing for referrals. 2. Subscribe to the Publications Your Target Market Reads. The professional association for your target market probably has at least one publication and possibly more, ranging from sophisticated magazines to desktop-published newsletters. Build a relationship with the editors of these publications so they will invite you to participate as an author or as a member of the editorial board. By reading these publications, you will become familiar with the leading figures and current issues in your target market you might even be able to have an ‘expert’ column in one or more of the publications. This demonstrates your value to clients: you not only know your business, you also know their business. 3. Write Articles for Publications That Give Specific ‘How To’ Advice for Your Target Market. To find out which publications are best for your articles, read each journal’s mission statement and author’s guidelines. Often the editors are happy to receive articles giving ‘how to’ advice written specifically for their readers. (They might even pay for them.) Check the masthead in the front of the publication to see if it lists an editor in the field in which you are an expert. If it doesn’t, volunteer to be one! 4. Get Involved. If you become involved in professional associations relevant to your target market, you may be asked to speak at meetings or contribute articles. All these activities give you the name recognition that is the beginning of celebrity status.
By Anne M. Bachrach By all means, get involved in the association, but don’t try to sell anything to other members right away. First get to know the decision makers. Prove that you are a contributing member with a genuine interest in the organization. By resisting the temptation to sell anything, you are showing the members you are different. You are a contributor. Then you’re on the way to making great contacts who will help you understand the market. 5. Become a Good Public Speaker. If you enjoy speaking and have worked on developing this skill, you can give seminars for professional organizations that represent your target markets. Volunteer for the planning committee and suggest a seminar on what you know and think would benefit the group. If they like the idea (and they usually will), volunteer to present the programs. How can you become an impressive speaker? Give a lot of speeches and get comfortable in front of an audience. There are a lot of associations and organizations who are always looking for good speakers. This may include joining your local chapter of Toastmasters International. Get feedback so that you can constantly hone your skills. Hire a coach. Make a commitment to becoming a good speaker by establishing goals and milestones, and follow through on your commitment. 6. Research and Interview the Most Respected People in Your Target Market. Don’t you hate it when someone approaches you and tries to sell you something without knowing anything about you? Understanding your market and the people in it is crucial in building high-trust, long-term relationships. Making the extra effort to be informed about the hot issues and unique perspectives of those in your target market will not only help you build better relationships, but it will also help you to meet other potential clients.
7. Get Testimonials. Believe it or not, the first step in gettingn testimonials is to ask for them. Many people don’t ask because they are afraid of a negative response. What does that say about your confidence in the relationship? It is better to know and enhance a potential problem then lose clients and never know why. Next, you can ask three specific questions, the answers to which become the basis for the testimonial letter: • What did you expect to get when you first met with me? • What did you actually get? • What have been the results of our relationship? The outcome of these pointed questions is often a glowing testimonial letter that you can use in your brochures or the foreword of your book. Start on the road to being a celebrity by choosing at least one or two of these areas which you feel the most comfortable. As you probably noticed, some of the routes lead naturally to others. If you commit yourself, target your market, and stay focused you will attain celebrity status. Be a trusted resource, have fun and make money! Anne M. Bachrach is President of A.M. Enterprises. Copyright© 1999, Anne M. Bachrach. All rights reserved. Anne has 16 years of experience training and coaching. Her main focus is training entrepreneurs and salespeople how to build hightrust relationships, on purpose (Values-Based Selling™). The objective is to do more business in less time through maximizing people’s true potential, and ultimately leading them to an even better quality of life. For information about Anne’s training and coaching services, please contact The Frog Pond Group at 800-704-FROG (3764) or email email@example.com.
Get to know those people who will provide you with introductions to other key people. The smaller and tighter your market, the easier it is to become well known. And once your credibility is established, your contacts will continue to provide you with referrals. ExecutiveAgent Magazine
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• A home equity product can be combined with a conforming first mortgage to create a larger loan amount at a more attractive rate
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1. Due to daily pricing variations between products, please work with your home mortgage consultant to determine that the pricing available is the most advantageously priced home financing option for you. These nonconforming loan interest rates reflect a discount for having a Wells Fargo personal or small business checking or savings account and using Wells Fargo’s Preferred Payment PlanSM options, which includes a requirement that the borrower agree to monthly payments via preauthorized electronic funds transfer. Nonconforming loan interest rates are higher for borrowers who do not meet these criteria, but otherwise qualify for a nonconforming mortgage loan product. Limitations apply. 2. Rates may vary and are subject to increase after consummation. Information is accurate as of date of printing and is subject to change without notice. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2012 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801 AS964722 10/12-1/13