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EXECUTIVEAGENT MAGAZINE

Inside Features: Derek Dunn

Intero Real Estate Services

Armida Santana

Century 21 Town & Country

Schavon Suchanek McMonigle Group

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In an uncertain market with changing interest rates and home prices, it's important now more than ever to work with a professional Mortgage Consultant to ensure your success in today's housing market and in securing your Home Financing.

RYAN GRANT region

home buying

RYAN GRANT Producing Branch Manager NMLS #118767

Phone: 949.651.6300

Team@RyanGrantTeam.com www.RyanGrantTeam.com

100 Spectrum Center Drive #750 Irvine, CA 92618

CopyrightŠ2017 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. NMLS#2289. 4801 S. Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718, 1-877-699-0353. All rights reserved. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. Equal Housing Lender. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lenders Law. Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law License.


EXECUTIVE AGENT OF THE MONTH

Nichole Story Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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Inside Features

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Derek Dunn

Armida Santana

Schavon Marie Suchanek

Intero Real Estate Services

Century 21 Town & Country

McMonigle Group

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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California - September, 2018 Editorials

E XECUTIVE AGENT

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MAGAZINE

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7 Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset -Larry Alton

Fred Arrias Executive Publisher PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Ph: (949) 297-8323 Fax: (949) 266-8757 FArrias45@gmail.com www.ExecutiveAgentMag.com

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How to Gain Confidence and Become the Greatest -Zachariah Bourne

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX - CAL City of Hope.......................................................34 Fairway Mortgage................................................2

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Never Mistake Activity for Achievement -Craig Impelman

iPhotography Studio...............................................23 NAHREP..................................................................14 PWAOR.............................................................................15

The Termite Guy......................................................3

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How to Take on the Day Like Your Dog -Gila Kurtz

VAREP..............................................................................36

Photography: iPhotography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy Van Writers: Ben Angel, John Boe, Haley Freeman, Jim Rohn, Walter Sanford, Dirk Zeller, Zig Ziglar Craig Harrison, Simma Lieberman, Chris Widener

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7 Personality Traits of a Great Leader -Jim Rohn

© Copyright 2018 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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3 Proven Ways to Increase Your Confidence -Sonia Thompson

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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E XECUTIVE AGENT

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MAGAZINE

DEREK DUNN Written by Haley Freeman

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ealtor® Derek Dunn’s service philosophy is a simple one: clients always come first. After growing

up in Orange County, Derek’s desire to serve others took him overseas, where he spent 18 years engaged in faith missions and humanitarian work throughout Asia. When he returned home, he turned his heart of service to helping his neighbors achieve home ownership. Derek takes a holistic approach to real estate that goes beyond simply helping people buy or sell a property. “I enjoy finding out what people’s goals are and helping them meet those goals. Agents who are sales-driven get a bad reputation for pressuring people. I am focused, instead, on the individual and what they are trying to achieve, whether it’s now or three years from now.” Derek provides his network of clients with ongoing

newsletters and market reports designed to maintain communication and keep clients informed until they are ready to make their next move. “As a consultant, I believe in adding value to everyone I meet. When they’re ready, they’ll naturally think of you. It’s all about connecting with people.” Clients appreciate Derek’s warm, down-to-earth way of handling a real estate transaction, and they often use words like “caring” and “knowledgeable” to describe him. One said: “I would highly recommend Derek as he is dedicated, trustworthy and efficient. He will take the time to find out his clients’ real estate needs and go the extra mile to make sure they are satisfied. He is personable and easy to work with. If you are looking for an agent in Orange County, look no further. Connect with Derek now and you won’t be disappointed!”

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A Team With Integrity

At boutique agency Intero Real Estate Services, Derek is assembling a group of like-minded professionals who share his vision of client-focused, consultative real estate representation. “I also have a desire to help entrepreneurs who are wanting to start a business. I have two agents on my team now, and I am working with three more individuals who are in the process of getting licensed. I look for motivated people who have high EQs, but lack experience. I bring the experience and mentoring to help them succeed. I learn their ‘why’ and help them focus, so that eventually they can create the kind of schedule and lifestyle they want.” A big believer in positive thinking and personal development, Derek leads a kick-off meeting each day that is designed to inform and inspire his team. “We do role playing, then prospecting, and my team can also join trainings provided by Intero. My focus is on personal skills and a kinetic way of learning. Doing the work together creates team spirt and accountability, so we can help each other be successful. Ultimately, that positive environment filters down to the client.”

around the world and make them feel understood and at ease. Derek is an upbeat, high-energy individual who greets each day early and with enthusiasm. He serves his community as a lay pastor at his church in Aliso Viejo, and he enjoys spending his free time with family, golfing and riding his Harley Davidson. While many agents are deferring to technology to fulfill essential real estate functions, Derek and his team believe in maintaining personal connections and tailoring each transaction to the needs of the individual. “Having a qualified and trusted professional looking out for your interests is essential when you’re dealing with your most valuable asset. This is a team that has integrity and will listen to you.”

Intero Real Estate Services is a brand strategically focused on the California market, with innovative technology and marketing platforms designed to maximize the client experience in this unique real estate environment. Further, Intero’s affiliation with global real estate leader Berkshire Hathaway provides sellers of California properties with unrivaled access to buyers from around the world. Intero’s international presence meshes well with Derek’s real estate practice. Derek’s wife is Singaporean and maintains an international financial planning business. They travel abroad frequently, and due to their shared relationships across continents, Derek does a high volume of overseas transactions. His personal global associations are an asset in Orange County’s multi-cultural community, where Derek is able to connect with people from ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Derek Dunn Intero Real Estate Services 26440 La Alameda, Ste. 250 Mission Viejo, CA 92656 Tel: 949.232.0009 Email: derek@derekdunnteam.com Web: derekdunnteam.org CalBRE # 01972525


How to Gain Confidence and Become the Greatest

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he stories of major successes are full of radical actions that put people in a position ahead of the pack.

• While in college, Bill Gates acquired his first deal that founded Microsoft by calling the president of MIT-Systems and securing a meeting for a demonstration of new software for their platform. In truth, he hadn’t even written a single line of code. • David Bowie hired a large number of bodyguards to follow him just to make him appear famous while in the U.S. • Self-improvement guru Wayne Dyer would call bookstores in different accents pretending to be customers in order to drum up demand for his first book. • Benny Blanco (writer for Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Maroon 5) tells the story of his unsigned days: “I used to cold call labels and pretend I was one of their artist’s attorneys. I’d say, ‘This is Jay-Z’s attorney, we need to speak with Craig Kallman,’ you know, owner of Atlantic, and they’d say, ‘Right away.’ And then I’d be like, ‘Please just listen to my demo tape!’” Breaking into an industry, building your first client list or getting that dream job without the necessary experience can be tough. These are hurdles that prevent most people from achieving. Without the track record or client base, you have to make up the entirety of the difference in one quality: pure confidence. It’s the real, genuine inner belief in yourself and

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your own abilities that will propel you into a higher league where these outrageous ideas of action live. It helps you find the weak points in the system for you to exploit in a way that actually benefits all parties involved. How to Gain Confidence Shawn Achor, positive psychology expert and bestselling author, describes positivity as the Happiness Advantage. He says success is fueled by happiness, not the other way around. In positive states, our brains become creatively inclined, confident, positively expectant, more productive and involved in new projects. 1. Enter a state of strong positive emotion. To become receptive to new ideas, you must first get positive. From this place, you can begin repeating your desired characteristics in your mind, or aloud like a mantra. Lady Gaga describes it like this: “And it’s not yet; it’s a lie. You’re saying a lie, over and over and over again. And then one day the lie is true.” Initially her circumstances did not reflect what she was saying, and that’s how it’s going to be when you start doing this kind of work. You have to live in that faith. You have to believe it and know it. There has to be a certainty behind the beautiful lies you keep repeating to yourself every day, the ones about what you want your life to be.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


“I am the greatest. I said that before I even knew I was.” —Muhammad Ali

2. Focus your mind on the desired goal. When things show up that are not in alignment with your goal, ignore them completely. You want to attach the idea of confidence to you. Ask yourself, How would I feel if I had it now? What does that success feel like? Take time to really feel what you want. Be confident in your desires. Feel that pride in yourself, that excitement of having accomplished your dream. When Madonna was asked what she was like before she became Madonna. She replied that she’s always been Madonna in her mind. She was first signed when she visited the recovering Seymour Stein (co-founder of Sire Records) in the hospital with her demo in a Walkman. It was the first time they met and he was impressed with her music and her drive. To get her first movie role at age 20, she wrote director Steven Lewicki a three-page handwritten letter describing herself and her life. Without a résumé or headshot, Madonna was cast in the thriller A Certain Sacrifice.

“It was really insane at the time,” Stallone describes turning down such a deal. You are already more than enough to achieve all that you want in life, so be confident in your happiness and your goals. Confidence can be the differencemaker in your success. The things other people don’t have the confidence to do can be your open door to a different life. Zachariah Bourne is a positivity enthusiast and songwriter based out of New York City, and author of the upcoming book Blissed Out. He believes success lives in those who seek it. He emphasizes self-development through happiness, focus and selflove. Zachariah has been empowering lives for more than a decade through personal coaching sessions, radio interviews and webinars. His passion is sharing uplifting ideas to help people create radically better lives.

3. Put yourself first. Make you and how you feel the two most important things. You deserve all that you desire for yourself. When Sylvester Stallone was dirt broke, he wrote Rocky and turned down $300,000 for the script, (equivalent to $1 million today). He said the only way the studio could use the script was if he played Rocky. ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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E XECUTIVE AGENT

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MAGAZINE

Written by Haley Freeman

Schavon Marie Suchanek

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eet Schavon Marie Suchanek, a vibrant real estate professional who is making her presence felt from the San Gabriel Valley to the Orange County Coast. With a father in construction and an aunt and grandparents in real estate, the concepts of building, design and investment influenced Schavon from early in life. She made her professional debut in the beauty

industry as a model and cosmetologist, before turning her innate people skills and creative talents to real estate. Today, Schavon is influencing others from her posting at elite real estate boutique McMonigle Group in Corona Del Mar, home to John McMonigle and his team of savvy market moguls on Bravo’s “Real Estate Wars.”

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“This is an incredible brand and a huge opportunity for me,” Schavon says. “John is a trendsetter recognized throughout the real estate world and very respected in the development world, as well. It was important to me to align myself with someone who is like-minded and believes in being of service to clients, rather than doing business transactionally. I’m a solo agent, but we are all a team working toward a common goal of providing solutions for our clients. I’ve worked for other brokerages and never experienced this kind of camaraderie. We all have such respect for one another.” Working with clients across Southern California’s most sought-after markets requires a detailed understanding of each area’s attributes, along with a sophisticated approach to client service. Schavon delivers on all points with representation that is informed, straightforward and client centric. “I think people appreciate my authenticity. I let them know if something is realistic, and rather than tearing down, I present other options. I like to be collaborative through the process while offering education and guidance so clients can make informed decisions. My job is to be a problem solver. As people are purchasing what may be their largest asset in a lifetime, they need to feel the person helping them is someone they can lean on and trust in. I want to bring an intimacy to the process that puts them at ease and makes things as seamless as possible.” These days, Schavon is dreaming even bigger. With the launch of her new brand, SMS Home Group, she is bringing design/build services to her real estate practice for the purpose of reclaiming homes and neighborhoods and turning them into something beautiful. “I am passionate about bringing this to my community. I love the idea of helping people see past the current state of a home to the potential it could have. I want to bring design concepts to communities that people love and appreciate, leaving behind a legacy in the form of homes that will endure for generations to come. I’m starting in residential, but with my dad’s expertise, I think it could spill

into commercial at some point. I don’t want to place any limitations on my vision.” Schavon also sees an opportunity to contribute to more economically stable communities overall by creating jobs in the supply chain and construction, and increasing neighborhood property values. The next phase of Schavon’s plan involves forming a 501(c)(3) for the purpose of providing sustainable housing to people both locally and globally. “I’ve been involved in a mission outreach project in Haiti through my church. I feel I’ve been called there, and I’m exploring how much it costs to build homes there. People are living in tent cities, and their need for simple housing is dire. I’ve found in raising money for mission trips, people love to contribute and feel like they are part of something. I want to make it possible for a portion of every commission to be donated to this cause in my clients’ names. I want them to have the joy of knowing that in addition to receiving great real estate service, they are also making a difference for people in need.” Passion is the magic that infuses Schavon’s professional service and fuels her dreams for the future. “I have a passion for serving others and impacting them in a positive way. It’s an honor being part of someone’s transition and helping their dreams come to fruition.” Schavon Marie Suchanek McMonigle Group 3500 East Coast Highway, Suite 110 Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 Tel: 310-654-3627 Email: schavon@themcmonigleteam.com Web: www.SchavonMarie.com CalBRE # 01946589

Dreaming Big ExecutiveAgent Magazine


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oach John Wooden’s most insightful model to discuss his idea is the methodology he used to prepare, execute and improve his practices. He was not satisfied with simply having achievement in each activity, but rather he sought to maximize achievement without stifling initiative. The four components Coach Wooden utilized were proper planning and execution of the plan, relentless attention to detail, maximizing the use of time, and post-practice analysis for improvement. He described the importance of each in his book Practical Modern Basketball.

3. Maximize use of time. “Even though a particular drill may be emphasizing one specific fundamental, other fundamentals in use should not be overlooked. Sometimes players get careless about their passing during shooting drills, which may lead to breaking down one fundamental while building another.” When Coach Wooden ran a rebounding drill, his players were also improving their passing, cutting, timing and movement without the ball. 4. Post-Practice Analysis

1. Proper Execution of the Plan “A daily practice plan should be prepared and followed. If you fail to follow the program on one thing, it may affect others. If you planned poorly, make the corrections for the following day, but never alter your program on a specific day once practice has started. Running overtime can be distasteful for both you and your players and should be avoided.” 2. Attention to Detail “The coach should be on the floor early to make certain that everything is ready for practice. I like to have a checklist for the managers to go by, but the coach must make sure. Some of the points on the checklist: See that the floor is clean. See that the desired number of balls are available and that they are clean and properly inflated. Make sure the scrimmage shirts are on hand and that extra shoelaces and other emergency equipment items are near at hand. Have statistical charts ready for use. Make sure that towels, tape and everything else that might be necessary to ensure a smooth practice are available.

“The coach should make a careful analysis of each practice while it is still fresh in his mind, in order that he may plan intelligently for the next day. I like to sit down with my assistants immediately after practice and briefly analyze and discuss the practice of that day. I make notes at that time to serve as reference to help me the next morning when I plan practice for that day.” It is easy to see why failing to prepare is preparing to fail and never mistake activity for achievement get along so well. What are the activities of your team that don’t yield the most productive results possible? As Coach Wooden’s grandson-in-law, Craig Impelman had the opportunity to learn Coach’s teachings firsthand and wrote about those lessons for his site, www.woodenswisdom.com. He is a motivational speaker and the author of Wooden’s Wisdom, a weekly “e-coaching module” that is distributed to companies nationally.

“Anticipate from past experience and be prepared.”

Never Mistake Activity for Achievement

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ExecutiveAgent Magazine


“Never mistake activity for achievement.” –John Wooden

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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EXECUTIVEAGENT MAGAZINE

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

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

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Cover Story

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Written by Haley Freeman - Photography by Ian Wiant

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op-producing Realtor® and coastal lifestyle specialist, Nichole Story, has proven from early in life that she has what it takes to succeed. While attending college, she began working for the United Way, and within six months, she went from secretary to fundraising director. At only 19 years of age, she was organizing large events and raising substantial sums for the organization. It was a wonderful outlet for her natural aptitudes of connecting and motivating people, but Nichole saw an opportunity to both do well and do good by succeeding in real estate. By the time she was 22, Nichole dedicated herself to

real estate full time, working with a small broker who gave her an unshakeable foundation in the business. “She was amazing, and I would not be where I am today without her. She took me under her wing and taught me about hard work, grit and hustle, but she also always said that Realtors® are lawyers who practice law every day without a law degree. It stuck with me. I worked with her for two years, and since we had no transaction coordinators in our office, I learned the paperwork really well. It made me realize the importance of holding my own in terms of contracts and law, and learning to negotiate and distinguish between things that are important or unimportant.”

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An alumna of the Interior Designer’s Institute, Nichole brings her artistic talents to her craft, a skillset that enhances her value as a real estate professional. “One thing I love about this business is that I can use the right and left side of my brain. I come from a family of artists and creators. When I’m listing a home, I personally go through the property with the owner to stage the home, pick paint colors and hire vendors. I have a small inventory of my own, and depending upon the size of the home, I may work with a stager. But I’m involved with every step of the process. Then I have it photographed and market it well, and most listings sell within a week for record price. One of my greatest strengths is extracting value out of a home.” Nichole says most homes need staging, even luxury coastal properties. “When you go into a multi-million dollar home, the seller may not have made it a home yet. I personally live in a staged environment because of what I do for a living, but if I were to list my own home, I would make changes, because the way we live and the way to stage a home for sale are very different. I’m very honest about what needs to be done, where other agents are afraid to tell a client a house may not show well. They’re leaving money on the table, and that just doesn’t sound right to me.”

According to Nichole, her practice is focused on knowing the value of real estate for the benefit of both buyers and sellers. “On the buy side, I’m well-versed as far as numbers, like price-per-square-foot, days on market in each area, and how those relate to the pulse of the market. It helps me to determine what kind of offer we need to make if we really want the house - not just the price, but the terms, as well. If somebody is limited with budget, I know I may need to look at something that’s been on the market for a long time, where the seller will be more motivated.” In a business climate where so many real estate companies are being bought out, merging and rebranding, Nichole stresses the importance of affiliating with a stable and reputable brokerage. “For me, we’re not just real estate sales people. We are a luxury marketing company. For instance, when you buy the Chanel brand, you know the font, the black and white, the quality. They never change - you know it’s Chanel. When you buy a handbag, years later it’s worth more than you paid for it because of the branding. As real estate companies keep transitioning, their brands get watered down, and you can’t be sure of what you’re getting.”

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Real Estate by Design Nichole recently chose to associate her vibrant team, the Nichole Story Group, with Coldwell Banker, the nation’s largest real estate company, now entering its second century in the industry. “I feel the Coldwell Banker brand is extremely strong, and we definitely have the number one marketshare in this marketplace. Our leadership and management is phenomenal, and I’ve only seen them do the right thing by people. I feel this brand is my forever home.” Clients have the highest praise for Nichole and her team, consistently giving them a perfect rating of five stars for their service. One said: “Nichole helped us sell our house

and buy a new one, all while coordinating both closings to happen in the same week. For the sale, Nichole took the time to help us stage our house, giving frank and honest advice on what would best position our house for a quick quality sale. Turns out it worked and we received and accepted an offer on the day we listed! We then made and offer on our new place and Nichole went to work as our advocate to get the price we wanted on our new home. Nichole and her team communicated closely throughout a delicate process (concurrent closings, 30 day escrow) and helped make sure everything happened as it was supposed to. Thank you Nichole and team for helping me and my wife find our dream home!”

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Now entering her 14th year in real estate, Nichole has this advice for young professionals who are beginning their careers: “It’s not about building your brand. It’s about getting out there, doing the work and becoming the expert then building your brand. Instead of worrying about how your bio reads and choosing the colors on your business cards, focus on learning the marketplace, seeing as many homes as possible and getting in front of people. For the first couple of years, look at it like you’re an intern. You have to put in the work to build the foundation.” Education remains an important component of Nichole’s ongoing success in real estate, and it is also a way to give back to her profession. After she perfected the short sale process early in her career, she began teaching workshops

to other agents. Today, she enjoys teaching classes on marketing and staging. Nichole is fulfilling her early goal of using her success to do good for others. She is a passionate supporter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and she and her girlfriend co-chair a women’s event to benefit the foundation every year at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach. “This year, we had 300 women in attendance and raised over $200,000. Next year, our goal is to raise $350,000. I like that in life, you can be successful and also give back. As Realtors®, we can make an impact on our professions and communities.”

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NICHOLE STORY Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Tel: 949-375-9981 - Email: Nichole@NicholeStoryGroup.com Web: www.NicholeStoryGroup.com - CalBRE # 01710695 ExecutiveAgent Magazine


3 Proven Ways to Increase Your Confidence

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onfidence has a hypnotic effect on people. “The first time I recognized it was at a flamenco show in Barcelona a few years back. I was mesmerized by the performance of a beautiful full-figured middle-aged woman. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her as she danced. My friends and I eventually dubbed her ‘the most confident woman in the world.’” It was like she bathed in a tub full of confidence on a daily basis. I knew if I had just a piece of what she exuded while on that stage, I would be unstoppable. There’s data to back that up. Studies show that confidence is closely correlated with success, and even more so than competence. That’s why it feels like some of the people we most associate with being successful appear to have an abundance of the coveted trait. But the reality is, confidence is something we all can develop and increase. Even better, science has shown us specifically how to do it. In their book The Confidence Code, authors Katy Kay and Claire Shipman went on an extensive quest to find out how people could increase their confidence. Here’s how they summarized their findings: “And so fortunately, a substantial part of the confidence code is what psychologists call volitional: our choice. With diligent effort, we can all choose to expand our confidence. But we will get there if we stop trying to be perfect and start being prepared to fail.” Take imperfect action. Fail. Use what you learn to take action again. Repeat until you consistently get results you can feel proud and confident about. Let’s take a closer look at how to start implementing

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these methods: 1. Surround yourself with confident people. In her best-selling book Grit, Angela Duckworth explained that one of the ways to develop grit, or any other trait you aspire to have, is to spend time with a group of people who are doing what you want to do or possess the skill you desire to develop. “The drive to fit in—to conform to the group—is powerful indeed. Some of the most important psychology experiments in history have demonstrated how quickly, and usually without conscious awareness, the individual falls in line with a group that is acting or thinking a different way.” Thus, if you struggle to be confident, start hanging around confident people. Not only will you start embodying the mindset that helps them be successful, but you’ll start to latch on to the activities that enabled them to get there, too. When I started learning how to dance Argentine tango, everyone I knew danced better than me. My confidence level was at zero. But they kept encouraging me to dance, to go to classes and to try new things while on the dance floor. Their confidence in me fueled my own. And their commitment to practicing to get better made it easier for me to do the same. 2. Take consistent action. I’ve spent a significant amount of time studying successful entrepreneurs, performers and leaders from many different walks of life. And one of the key markers that fueled their attainment of mastery, that gave them the confidence to perform at such a high level, was taking action. Consistently. They showed up, day in, day out, over and over again, to do the work that would help them improve their skills.

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Performers who sell out stadiums around the world, pro-athletes who dominate their sport, entrepreneurs who appear to have the magic touch—all of them invested significant time in the trenches taking the actions necessary that enabled them to get so good that they could not be ignored. Confidence comes from knowing you are capable of completing a task to your level of satisfaction. You can’t think your way to that kind of confidence. Deliberate action (not merely busyness) produces the know-how you need. Data proves this, as well. Dan Chambliss is a sociologist who spent years studying Olympic swimmers and what enabled them to perform at such a high level. “Superlative performance is really a confluence of dozens of small skills or activities, each one learned or stumbled upon, which have been carefully drilled into habit and then are fitted together in a synthesized whole. There is nothing extraordinary or superhuman in any one of those actions; only the fact that they are done consistently and correctly, and all together, produce excellence.” When excellence becomes your habit, confidence will be a natural byproduct. And the only way to develop a habit is to do the work over and over again. 3. Fail your way to mastery. You don’t get to mastery without a string of failures that point you in the right direction to deliver predictable highquality results. Of course, nobody wants to fail. But if you want to succeed, that is exactly what you have to get more comfortable doing.

The more often you fail, the more knowledge you obtain about what works and what doesn’t. The more insight you have about how to produce a hit, the easier it becomes for you to be confident that the path you are moving along will bring you the results you desire. The more progress you make, the less likely you have your confidence destroyed when something doesn’t go your way. Seth Godin is an 18-time best-selling author. Before he published any of his best-sellers, he spent 10 years as a book packager, producing a book a month. Producing 120 books, many of which sold very little, taught him many things about how to deliver work his audience wanted to buy. James Dyson spent 15 years producing more than 5,000 prototypes before he developed the one that launched his billion dollar vacuum company. He wrote: “There were tough times, but each failure brought me closer to solving the problem.” You can become more confident no matter your starting point. It all starts with recognizing that you can develop the competence you need to be excellent. And then, of course, you’ve got to take the necessary actions that will help you get there. In time, as your skills grow, so will your confidence, the mesmerizing effect you have on people and your level of success. Sonia Thompson is a marketing strategist, consultant and author. She covers how company culture, diversity and relationship-based marketing helps businesses create remarkable customer experiences that get them the customers they want and keep them coming back for more.

Failure leaves clues as to how to succeed. And success breeds confidence.

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7 Personality Traits of a Great Leader

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f you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a parent. Jim Rohn calls leadership the great challenge of life. What’s important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders keep working on themselves until they become effective. Here’s how: 1. Learn to be strong but not impolite. It is an extra step you must take to become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute. 2. Learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake weakness for kindness. Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind enough to tell someone the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not 26

deal in delusion. 3. Learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness to win the day. To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first sign of trouble. Like the farmer, if you want any rewards at harvest time, you have got to be bold and face the weeds and the rain and the bugs straight on. You’ve got to seize the moment. 4. Learn to be humble but not timid. You can’t get to the high life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. But humility is a virtue; timidity is a disease. It’s an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem. Humility is almost a God-like word—a sense of awe, a sense of wonder, an awareness of the human soul and spirit, an understanding that there is something unique about the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars.

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5. Learn to be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to build your ambitions. It takes pride in your community. It takes pride in a cause, in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is to be proud without being arrogant. Do you know the worst kind of arrogance? Arrogance from ignorance. It’s intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take. 6. Learn to develop humor without folly. In leadership, we learn that it’s OK to be witty but not silly; fun but not foolish.

can be adopted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community and at home. 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.

7. Learn to deal in realities. Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony of delusion. Just accept life as it is—the whole drama of life. It’s fascinating. Life is unique. Leadership is unique. The skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. However, the fundamental skills of leadership ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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E XECUTIVE AGENT

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MAGAZINE

Written by Haley Freeman

Armida Santana

A

rmida Santana was a single mother working as a secretary for a home finance company. One day, her manager, Mr. Gordon, called her into his office after work. “I want to make you an invitation,” he said. “I invite you to believe in you. I am inviting you to live up to your potential and all you know about the business, and get your license as a Loan Consultant.”

That one conversation changed the course of Armida’s life. She accepted Mr. Gordon’s invitation and went on to work as a Loan Consultant for several years. Eventually, a real estate broker suggested that she had everything she needed to succeed in real estate sales. So, she got her real estate license, and she has been with CENTURY 21 ever since.

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An Invitation to the American Dream During her 15 years in real estate, Armida has also changed lives by helping people in the Hispanic community achieve the American Dream. “I like to help the Hispanic community because so many are misinformed. They think it’s impossible to become a homeowner, and I love to show them they can do it. When I can accomplish that, it is wonderful!”

being the mom of three to a mom of six. Today, she is enjoying her grandchildren. In her free time, she loves gardening and reading devotional and motivational literature. Armida also gives back to the community by volunteering at a local shelter that provides transitional housing and job placement to homeless families.

With her background in mortgage lending, Armida is skilled at assessing her clients’ eligibility for home loans and down payment assistance programs. She prepares them ahead of time for the paperwork they will need, so that by the time she connects them with a lender, they are ready to proceed with a transaction. “I also know whether it will be a smooth transaction or if we have some issues we need to solve, so I can work with the lender to make it as easy as possible for the client.”

Armida is paying forward the opportunity given to her by Mr. Gordon all those years ago by inviting people to live up to their potential and achieve the American Dream. She brings her heart of service and genuine care for people to every real estate transaction. “My favorite quote is, ‘Hard work always pays off.’ Home ownership is a reality. People can do it. They love it when I tell them, ‘Just provide what I ask for, and I will do the rest.’”

Armida has developed a loyal client following, and she works almost entirely by referral. Clients know they can always rely upon her honesty, and they appreciate her constant communication throughout the real estate process. “I update all of my clients at least once a week. I don’t believe in people calling me; I always call them first. I am committed to giving my clients 100 percent of my effort so they will call me again and refer me. I always tell them that if I don’t do what they expect, they can either tell me or fire me.”

Armida Santana Century 21 Town & Country 3700 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite 150 Ontario, CA 91764 Tel: 562-708-4344 Email: ArmidaSellsHomes@gmail.com Web: https://armida-santana.c21.com CalBRE # 01862774

Recently, a repeat client hired Armida to sell his $1.3 million property. While he had many other agents vying for his business, he told Armida that he wouldn’t choose anyone else. “I meet many wonderful people in my business, and that kind of loyalty motivates me to give my best service,” she says. While technology has changed the way real estate service is delivered, Armida has never stopped cultivating person-to-person contact with the families she has met through real estate. She calls and visits them regularly just to say hello, and she considers them more than clients - they are also friends. Armida eventually remarried, and she went from ExecutiveAgent Magazine


How to Take on the Day Like Your Dog

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olo, a yellow Lab in guide-dog training, had been in my care for only a few weeks when I began to notice a wonderful pattern developing each morning. As soon as I would wake up and go toward her crate, she would beam with excitement. Her little tail would start wagging back and forth, almost knocking her over. Hardly able to contain herself, she would eagerly offer up the “sit” required for me to open up her crate and let her out. At the time, we were house training, so she would immediately follow me downstairs and head outside. As soon as she was done, she would return to me, tripping over her puppy feet and wagging her entire body, falling all over me as I sat on the stairs to greet her good morning. Each day would start off this way, and it forced me to stop and take notice. How the moment her crate door opened, Bolo would grab her toy and move about with so much enthusiasm and joy as if to say, “Hooray! It’s a new day! Can you believe it? I am so excited to start another day! I can’t wait to do all the things I get to do!” Now, as a 4-year-old, 63-pound fully house-trained dog, she no longer needs to race outside first thing in the morning. Having graduated from her crate to our bed, she waits patiently for me to open my eyes. Although I can’t see her with my eyes closed, I can feel her staring at me as I am coming out of my slumber. I imagine she is thinking to herself, Hurry! Wake up! We are missing valuable time in our day already! As my eyes open, I can see hers locked solidly on me as she instantly comes to life. Her eyes widen and her mouth takes on a doggie smile. If she had hands, this would be the moment she would clap them together and yell out, “Yeah! Game on! Let’s get this party started!” What if you woke up like Bolo? What if you were fired up, ready to take on the day the moment you got out of bed? How would that change the outcome of your day,

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your relationships, your personal growth? Be like your dog and you will change the way you see the world. In return, the world will change the way it sees you. Here are some thoughts to help you make your day extraordinary: • Decide within the first 10 minutes of waking up exactly what type of energy you will bring to the day. Write it down on a piece of paper and refer to it throughout the morning, afternoon and evening to keep yourself on track. • Predetermine your response to unexpected things that get thrown your way. Learn how to take a breath before reacting and avoid explosive angry responses, which will negatively affect your mood and the people around you, too. • Do something special for others. Look for ways to engage in random acts of kindness. Bring co-workers bagels or donuts in the morning. Buy coffee for the person in line behind you. This “pay it forward” approach makes the day more memorable and elevates your mood, as well. • Find ways to break up your routine and try something new in order to experience the day differently. Skip the gym in lieu of a morning hike. Try a new place to pick up your coffee. Take a friend out to lunch and try something new on the menu. Take a different route home from work. Gila Kurtz is a serial entrepreneur who found her deepest passion in working with dogs and their people. She is the co-founder and co-owner of Dog Is Good, a lifestyle brand for dog lovers. The company creates products to celebrate and “share the unique joy one feels living life with Dog.” Gila is the best-selling author of Fur Covered Wisdom: A Dog Can Change the Way You See the World. She is a master of “Bliss-ipline,” loves her active lifestyle and is #1 fan to her daughter, Abby.

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“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” —Buddha ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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T

he “power of positive thinking” is a popular concept, and sometimes it can feel a little cliché. But the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking have been demonstrated by multiple scientific studies. Positive thinking can give you more confidence, improve your mood, and even reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertension, depression and other stress-related disorders. All this sounds great, but what does the “power of positive thinking” really mean? You can define positive thinking as positive imagery, positive self-talk or general optimism, but these are all still general, ambiguous concepts. If you want to be effective in thinking and being more positive, you’ll need concrete examples to help you through the process. Here are seven: 1. Start the day with positive affirmation. How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day? This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced. Instead of letting this dominate you, start your day with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself in the mirror, even if you feel silly, with statements like, “Today will be a good day” or “I’m going to be awesome today.” You’ll be amazed how much your day improves. •

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Tell youself these 3 positive things every day.

2. Focus on the good things, however small. Almost invariably, you’re going to encounter obstacles throughout the day—there’s no such thing as a perfect day. When you encounter such a challenge, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem. For example, if you get stuck in traffic, think about how you now have time to listen to the rest of your favorite podcast. If the store is out of the food you want to prepare, think about the thrill of trying something new. •

Find your silver lining.

3. Find humor in bad situations. Allow yourself to experience humor in even the darkest or most trying situations. Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it. Say you’re laid off; imagine the most absurd way you could spend your last day, or the most ridiculous job you could pursue next—like kangaroo handler or bubblegum sculptor. •

Adopt these 5 habits to become a happier you.

4. Turn failures into lessons. You aren’t perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and experience failure in multiple contexts, at multiple jobs and with multiple people. Instead of focusing on how you failed, think about what you’re going to do next time—turn your failure into a lesson. Conceptualize this in concrete rules. For example, you could come up with three new rules for managing projects as a result.

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7 Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset

• You’re going to fail. Learn to use it to your advantage. 5. Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. You might think I’m so bad at this or I shouldn’t have tried that. But these thoughts turn into internalized feelings and might cement your conceptions of yourself. When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones. For example, I’m so bad at this becomes Once I get more practice, I’ll be way better at this. I shouldn’t have tried becomes That didn’t work out as planned—maybe next time. •

Silence the negative voice in your head.

6. Focus on the present. I’m talking about the present—not today, not this hour, only this exact moment. You might be getting chewed out by your boss, but what in this exact moment is happening that’s so bad? Forget the comment he made five minutes ago. Forget what he might say five minutes from now. Focus on this one, individual moment. In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event. Stay in the present moment. •

you’ll hear positive outlooks, positive stories and positive affirmations. Their positive words will sink in and affect your own line of thinking, which then affects your words and similarly contributes to the group. Finding positive people to fill up your life can be difficult, but you need to eliminate the negativity in your life before it consumes you. Do what you can to improve the positivity of others, and let their positivity affect you the same way. •

Surround yourself with these 5 amazing people.

Almost anybody in any situation can apply these lessons to their own lives and increase their positive attitude. As you might imagine, positive thinking offers compounding returns, so the more often you practice it, the greater benefits you’ll realize. Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources, including Entrepreneur. com, HuffingtonPost.com and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local nonprofit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Be right where you are. Live in the moment.

7. Find positive friends, mentors and co-workers. When you surround yourself with positive people,

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

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Our bone marrow transplant reunion is now standing room only. Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the “Celebration of Life” event. It’s a joyous time during which survivors of blood cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma embrace their health, their life and each other. It began more than 35 years ago when City of Hope created what is now one of the largest and most successful bone marrow transplant programs in the world. In fact, we’ve completed over 11,000 transplants and, according to national reports, our outcomes are among the best in the nation. The goal of curing cancer isn’t just something we work at. It’s what we live for. If you have cancer, make us your first call. Or ask your doctor for a referral. We accept most insurance. 800-826-HOPE

COH-0726_BMT_Hem_fp_4c_ExecAgt.indd 1

WE LIVE TO CURE CANCER. Science saving lives. cityofhope.org/bmt

11/25/13 6:02 PM


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