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EXECUTIVEAGENT MAGAZINE

Valerie J. Vihlen Schluter Executive Agent of the Month

Inside Features Michael Lynch Donna Solano

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ORANGE COUNTY BRANCH 320 Commerce | Suite 100 | Irvine, CA 92602

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John J. Reed

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Patricia Redfern-Wright

Thomas Testerman Senior Mortgage Advisor

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We offer in-house agent marketing support providing the following services: POSTCARDS | FLYERS | VIDEO | PHOTOGRAPHY Š2019 Finance of America Mortgage LLC is licensed nationwide | | NMLS ID #1071 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | 300 Welsh Road, Building 5, Horsham, PA 19044 | (800) 355-5626 | AZ Mortgage Banker License #0910184 | Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act | Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee #15499 | Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee | Kansas Licensed Mortgage Company | Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance | Licensed Mortgage Banker -- NYS Banking Department | Rhode Island Licensed Lender.


EXECUTIVE AGENT OF THE MONTH

Valerie J. Schluter Realty Network

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Inside Features

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Michael Lynch

Donna Solano

Kinecta Federal Credit Union

Monarch Realty Group ExecutiveAgent Magazine


ORANGE COUNTY - SEPTEMBER, 2019

Editorials

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Keys to Effective Feedback -Tony Alessandra

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

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Time Management Tips -John Boe

City of Hope..........................................................34 Finance of America Mortgage...........................2 & 27

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Kinecta Federal Credit Union................................11 Michelle Fairless Photography..............................23 NAHREP...........................................................................30

Wanna Sell More? Polish That Sales Presentation! -Linda Brakeall

PWR...................................................................................10

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

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Ticor Title Company...................................................36 VAREP.....................................................................31

Owners, Managers, Agents: Are You Building Your Company on a Strong Foundation for the Future? -Carla Cross

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Photography: iPhotography Studio, Michelle Fairless Photography, 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 © Copyright 2019 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.

Communicating With Your Customers -Peggy Morrow

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E XECUTIVE AGENT

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Written by H. K. Wilson

Donna Solano A

South Orange County native, Donna Solano began working in acquisitions with real estate investors in 2011. She quickly learned how real estate could be a tool for anyone to build longterm wealth, and she became a licensed agent in 2015. Donna was fortunate to meet Leah Friedline early in her career, a person who has been instrumental in mentoring Donna on her professional path. When Leah founded boutique Monarch Realty Group in

Laguna Hills, Donna was eager to follow. Donna explains, “When I started in real estate, Leah was my branch manager at another company, and she was a huge help to me in getting my business started. When she opened Monarch, it was natural to follow her. This is my home now, and I don’t plan on going anywhere else. My broker is amazing. The training is amazing. Everything I do I’ve modeled after her. I think you have to stay with the most influential people in life.”

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Building Wealth Through Real Estate With a focus on efficiency and effectiveness, Donna utilizes the company’s well-honed systems to make real estate transactions easier for her clients. She also engages in regular coaching with Mike Ferry to continuing sharpening her knowledge and skills. But according to Donna, collaboration is what makes this real estate group special. “We all get our own clients, but we have a mastermind group and all talk about our deals. Sometimes you only see your own perspective, so it’s always really helpful to talk about it with other professionals. I really appreciate that in the company I work with, we all share our knowledge. A client may hire one agent, but they get the experience from all the others in the office. We all want to see each other win and help each other get the deal done. In the end, it makes me a better agent.”

the board. I think being able to negotiate a contract from the beginning is a place where my relationships with other agents come into play.”

Donna also endeavors to collaborate with agents on the other side of a deal. “It’s important to come together to make a deal work, versus being adversarial,” she says. “We’re all professionals striving for the same thing, and it’s a beautiful thing when you get two agents working together. If we make sure we have that relationship first, then we can talk on behalf of our clients.”

For Donna, real estate is about more than simply closing the deal; it’s about helping people create future wealth. “My goal is to not only help someone find a home, but also to help them make the best investment possible, to get the best deal so they can leverage that and contribute to their wealth. This is their biggest asset, and I always want to help them make the best decision.”

Donna is passionate about home ownership and its ability to help families create financial independence. To that end, she is currently putting together a buyer education workshop. “I think we’re going into a buyers’ market soon, and people have to begin looking for agents and lenders who can help them. I want to help them see what options they have in regards to financing and the market. So many people don’t know they can buy now, or that it will be possible in the next year if they work on their situation. I want to help people get their plans going so they don’t have to keep renting.”

Donna continues to represent investors, and her background in this industry niche is also a benefit to clients who are buying and selling their own residences. “It’s really helped me with pricing and giving homeowners advice about listing their properties. I think about all the aspects of a home, and it helps me to really gauge where its market value is. Investors typically make business choices instead of personal ones. It takes the emotion out of it. I can use that approach to help my buyers and sellers remain objective.” In real estate, Donna leads with personal touch and passion. “Listening to my clients’ needs is important to me. It’s not really about what I think is good for them. I make sure I always get the best possible deal for them, and I pride myself on being able to structure the best outcome for my clients, while making it a win-win across ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Donna Solano Monarch Realty Group 23276 South Pointe, Suite 115 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Tel: 949.690.9069 Email: donnasolano.ca@gmail.com DRE # 01998677


Owners, Managers, Agents: Are You Building Your Company on a Strong Foundation for the Future?

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gents, before you skip this article, please take a moment and consider if you, too, aren’t first a businessperson, even before you’re a salesperson. And, like all businesspeople, to be successful in the future, you’ll want to build your company on the newest, most vibrant business-creating principles available. Isn’t it true that, today, you’re building a “company”--even if it’s a business of one? In this challenging, quick-changing world of real estate, all of us real estate practitioners, no matter what our specialty, must learn to think like the most innovative businesspeople we know--in any business. Why? To prosper in a real estate world that the experts say will be much different than the world we know today. In this article, I want to introduce you to a business concept that is literally changing the way people do business internationally. Although this concept has been around the business world for several decades, it’s just become the most important principle in the last few years. Now, it’s gathering force in the real estate industry. Here’s the idea: To build your business around the values and vision you have for yourself, and measure each business move you make against your values and vision. Great companies like Nordstrom have been doing that for years. In fact, in their book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Stanford professors James Collins and Jerry Porras discovered that true visionary companies like Nordstrom, were more profitable, less vulnerable to outside economic and competitive pressures, and had better customer satisfaction ratings. Wouldn’t you, as a real estate business practitioner, like to be more profitable and have a better image with customers? As Porras and Collins’ studies proved, when you’re guided in your business dealings by a good set of prioritized values, you make the customer happier, your business grows, and your image soars. However, when you let yourself behave differently than your values say you behave, your company vision is shattered--and your business becomes less profitable than it could be. Let me give you an example. Let’s say that the CEO of a real estate company says that the company values are to treat each agent equally. Yet, the CEO allows top agents to steal other agents’ customers. What’s wrong with this picture? And, of course, when stated values clash with behaviors, the public’s perception of real estate agents

goes down. The long-term result of this ‘culture clash’ is that company loyalty goes down, mid-producing agents give up, and the company ceases to be a company guided by common vision. Now, three questions to ask yourself as you test your values, vision, and reality: 1. If you were to have to open your company on Mars tomorrow, who would you take on your spaceship as representative of the company vision and values? If you’re in management, how many in your office couldn’t you take? 2. If you were to retire tomorrow, what would people say about your vision? That is, what did you accomplish that added to people’s lives through your business? 3. What do you envision five years in the future in your business that’s so inspiring, so awesome, that you’d work for it, even if you didn’t need to get paid? Having an inspiring, value-based vision for your company gives you, and all that work with you, a reason for being. It gives greater meaning to your work than merely making money. It focuses your efforts on the consumer, and guides you in making those tough decisions today in real estate. It becomes your compass and your guide. But, you say, you’re barely surviving. You don’t have time for this high-filuttin ‘vision’ stuff. That’s the paradox. According to Parris and Collins’ exhaustive studies, companies who abandoned their vision in tough times were companies who went out of business. In fact, the authors observed that companies whose visions were grasped, loved, and lived out by all the company members were much better able to withstand tough times! If you’re in leadership in a company, you must provide the vision. Start now. Carla Cross, speaker, trainer and author, has had the good fortune to learn effective teaching techniques from the best. She is a master Certified Real Estate Broker (CRB) national instructor. Her passion is to assist owners and managers in conquering the challenges of managing in today’s real estate world. Copyright 2004, Carla Cross. All rights reserved. For information, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email Susie@ frogpond.com; http://www.frogpond.com.

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banking done different

Construction-toPermanent: An “All-in-One” Loan Kinecta offers Construction-toPermanent loans, which fund a variety of construction scenarios, then convert into the home’s mortgage. Benefits include: • Lending based off the future value of your home post-construction – determined by one full appraisal • Loans up to $4 million

• Full program selection, including fixed and ARMs • California-based lender with portfolio underwriting

Contact our construction-to-permanent experts today. Tayt Ianni Sr. Mortgage Loan Consultant cell: 949.689.8639 | efax: 310.727.9119 NMLS# 310914 | tayt.ianni@kinecta.org kinecta.org/tianni

Joe McGreevy Mortgage Loan Consultant cell: 714.396.1619 | efax: 310.536.3621 NMLS# 66072 | joe.mcgreevy@kinecta.org kinecta.org/jmcgreevy

Brad Martin Construction Lending Manager cell: 949.293.1900 | efax: 310.536.3622 NMLS# 260513 | Bradley.Martin@kinecta.org kinecta.org/bmartin

kinecta.org/construction-to-perm Membership requirements apply. NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Lending Service) ID: 407870. Subject to credit and property approval. Rates, program terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all states and for all loan amounts. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. The actual terms of the loan will depend upon the specific characteristics of the loan transaction, the applicant’s credit history, and other financial circumstances that may apply. 23761-07/19


E XECUTIVE AGENT

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Written by H. K. Wilson

LENDING TO COMMUNITY

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orn in New Jersey and raised in Westlake Village, Michael Lynch graduated from Villanova University with plans to work in sports marketing, but an opportunity to sell real estate presented itself first. His career moved from new home sales to sales management, and when the market dipped in the late 2000s, he came up with a clever strategy to sell new homes. “In the downturn, the problem wasn’t that buyers were non-existent,” Michael explains. “The problem was the difficulty in qualifying for a home loan. So, we switched gears and hired loan officers to become new home sales agents. I needed sales to be able to evaluate a prospect’s financial capabilities to help borrower’s qualify for the loans they desired. After that, I began focusing on the loan side of the business.” With Michael’s expertise in home building, large banks sought him out to oversee their builder home loan divisions. Over the last decade, Michael has established himself as a regional authority in mortgage lending, from standard home loans, to builder loans, to large construction financing. During that time, he has also assembled a team of highly skilled professionals, all with the same passion for excellence and commitment to client service. Recently, Michael brought his team to Kinecta, where they are collaborating to develop and deliver Kinecta’s new construction lending program.

nimble, so we can make many changes and tweaks in spots where other institutions struggle. The approach to a difficult mortgage loan is not ‘we can’t do this loan because.’ The overarching spirit at Kinecta is to find ways to make each loan work, provided it’s a sound business decision for our member and the credit union.”

As a community credit union with an 80 year legacy, Kinecta is adapting to provide the products and services its customers need. According to Michael, Kinecta’s people-centric culture not only determines its quality of customer service, but also drives its ever-changing menu of products and services. “The atmosphere here is pleasantly different from a bank. It’s not as sales driven, but a serve others mentality. We are a collaborative group of people who are solutions-based, and our organization is

With shrinking real estate inventories in Southern California, especially in the coastal communities, Kinecta saw a need for a robust construction-to-permanent loan program that would allow buyers to either build from the ground up or rehab an existing home to suit their needs. Michael and his colleagues are helping to design a streamlined, one-time close loan product with best in class guidelines and efficient processes modeled to save borrowers time, money and frustration.

Michael Lynch ExecutiveAgent Magazine


“The bigger picture here is that whatever we do, we want to be great at it. If we’re going to focus on jumbo and construction-to-permanent loans, we’re not just going to offer them, we’re going to excel at them. We’re working to make our construction program easy for the consumer, with guidelines and underwriting that take a commonsense approach. This is a progressive organization, and it’s making a commitment not just to the team, but to this unique construction lending space. There is a high visibility and critical decisions that need to be made to build this program the right way, taking into consideration the complexity and risk level of these loans. Fortunately our operations partners, sales team and leadership have an incredible working relationship with each focused on our member experience.” While technology is significantly changing the way many home loans are being delivered to consumers, Michael points out that construction lending poses unique challenges that demand a human touch. As such, Kinecta is the perfect organization to deliver these special loans. “Companies like Amazon and others are rumored to be entering into lending, and Quicken’s Rocket Mortgage has exploded. The refinance space is being gobbled up by tech, and so is a fair amount of purchase business. But one thing that is not being replaced by technology is construction loans. This product will never serve as intended if automated. There are too many components like plans, specs, budgets, builder approval, project approval, etc. It takes a certain amount of expertise to oversee all the moving parts. We have both the technology and relationships to manage the process optimally.”

For Michael, real estate is a family affair, as his father is a retired homebuilder, and his wife, Shawna, is a former loan officer. He and Shawna are currently enjoying every moment with their two young children, Hudson and Brooklyn. Michael’s favorite leisure activity is golf, and he says that any day on the golf course is a good day. He is also an avid college basketball fan, specifically Villanova basketball. At this stage of his career, Michael is gratified to be working with colleagues old and new inside such a dynamic organization. “I feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to be here. Every move has led me to be where I am supposed to be and provided growth for my team and myself. The goal of my career is to be constantly improving and learning. That’s what makes it a career; otherwise, it’s just a job. This is a unique place to build that sustainable long-term growth while striving to help our membership.” Michael Lynch NMLS ID 1009736 Kinecta Tel: 714.856.0778 Email: Michael.Lynch@kinecta.org Web: kinecta.org/mlynch

Membership requirements apply. NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Lending Service) ID: 407870. Information in this article is intended for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals only and not intended for consumer use as defined by Section 1026.2 of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth-In-Lending Act. Any expressed underwriting guidelines are subject to change without notice and are subject to Kinecta Federal Credit Union guidelines and all applicable federal and state rules and regulations.

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Communicating With Your Customers

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hat happens when customers try to communicate with your company? For example, when they have a complaint or want some information? Is it a positive experience-one that will ensure their continued loyalty? Or is it a frustrating experience-one that will make them easy prey for your competitors? I’m sure at sometime you have ended up in “voice mail hell” after you have gone through the “press one” for this and “press two” for that. In a recent customer service class, several participants told me that the impression they receive when they have to navigate through a long automatic routing system is the feeling that the company does not really care about the customer, just in saving money. What about your company? Do you have several methods for customers to contact you? Or do you set up as many barriers as you can to try to force them to use your website? Yes, websites definitely have a place in the communications mix, but customers should have other options, too. Not everything can be answered in a FAQs section. Are your systems highly responsive? Are your e-mails, voicemails, and tweets checked often? Do you have online, live chat available? Everyone is in a hurry today and they need information NOW, not in 48 hours as one company told me when I requested information. At least they set my expectations by telling me when to expect a reply. Many companies do not even do that.

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In the “old days,” our method of communication with customers was by telephone or the written word. Then it moved to FAX and finally e-mail. Now you can put up a portal to the company and your customers can literally plot their own course. The key is a variety of choices that make communication fast and easy because that is often one of the ways your customers judge your company and decide whether to do business with you or not. In general, make your contact channels customer friendly. I recommend that you perform a “dummy check” on your various methods to contact your company. Have a friend or business associate call your company to see how easy it is to get their questions answered. You may be surprised! And as always, please think of me to help your organization establish a culture of true customer service or build better teams. peggy@peggymorrow.com Peggy Morrow, CSP, is President of Peggy Morrow & Associates. She is an author, consultant, certified professional speaker and training consultant in business for over 27 years. Author of two books on customer service, she has also published over 400 articles on management and customer service as well as being named a “content expert” for Inc Magazine’s web page, Inc.com.© 2012, Peggy Morrow. All rights reserved. For more information about this article or author, contact Susie@FrogPond.com. For the most current local Housing Trends, go to http://www. HousingTrendseNewsletter.com.

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COMMUNICATE 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: Fred@ExecutiveAgentMagazine.com Tel: 949.297.8323

Name_______________________________ Company___________________________ Phone______________________________ Email_______________________________

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Cover Story

Valerie J. Vihlen Schluter Executive Agent of the Month

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Written by H. K. Wilson - Michelle Fairless Photography

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alerie J. Vihlen Schluter may be a seasoned real estate professional with four decades of experience today, but when she bought her first home, she was a young mom with no idea about how the process should work. Unbeknownst to her, the house she purchased had been a venue for illegal cockfighting. “Upon closing escrow, my Realtor® didn’t even show up to give me the keys, and I hadn’t done a walk-through or seen the house since I bought it. I showed up at my new house and opened the door to find 25 rooster cages in the family room. It was filthy. For six months people kept showing up at my door with roosters wanting to fight them.

I finally had to put a sign in the yard saying ‘New Owner — No Cock Fighting.’” She can laugh about it now, but Valerie says that experience was traumatic enough that it changed the course of her life. “I thought to myself, nobody should have to go through this, and so I earned my real estate license and determined to make purchasing a home a better experience for others. It turned out to be a good choice for me, since I could help others through the process and be home with my children when I needed to.”

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Valerie eventually married her husband, Chris Schluter, and together almost 40 years, they have owned and operated a real estate brokerage, a mortgage company and an escrow company. Over the years, Valerie has learned virtually every aspect of real estate, and she still maintains her certification as a Notary Public to save her clients a trip to escrow. From her many vantage points, she has observed that success in real estate all comes down to one thing: taking good care of people. “I think the difference

between myself and somebody else is personal service. I answer my phone almost 24 hours a day seven days a week. Folks don’t just buy houses Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. You need to make time to be available for them and listen to what they want. In the end, my clients become my friends, and we stay in touch for life. Ninety-nine percent of my business is referral and word of mouth. I do virtually no advertising and I now work from home.�

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Taking Good Care of People In an age where technology is edging out so many opportunities for human connection, Valerie maintains face-to-face interactions with her clients. “I can email escrow instructions to a client to sign, but I prefer to meet with them to explain and help them fill everything out and then return it to escrow or title for them. I keep my notary renewed for that purpose. I don’t care how intelligent you are, if you haven’t filled out escrow instructions, it can be difficult. I am blessed to work with a team of lenders and professionals who are also willing to be available to my clients as needed.” In addition to going the extra mile to find homes for people, Valerie is known as “The Dog Lady” because she also will find new forever homes for displaced pets. During the housing crisis of the mid-2000s, Valerie became certified in short sales and started rescuing abandoned or unwanted pets from foreclosed homes. She fed and cared for them until she could re-home them. Many will call her first when seeking a new pet.

Then Valerie had another experience that inspired her love of dogs. A longtime equestrian, Valerie suffered a catastrophic riding accident that rendered her disabled for a long time. “I was down for a year and actually not expected to walk unassisted again. My dog, a Doberman, then was taught to pull my wheel chair and perform other tasks for me that I could not do myself.” Her current service dog, Bentley, is a German Pinscher who accompanies her everywhere. Valerie still does pet rescue, and she will provide microchips, collars and tags for any pet who needs it, no questions asked. “I have a heart for what dogs have meant for me and can for other people. Bentley spends all day with me working, and so we will go volunteer regularly at the Ronald McDonald House, assisted living facilities and read with kids in the library. He gets to be king and everybody gets to love on him. I don’t care how hard your day has been, when you go visit others in these circumstances, it makes you appreciate where you are in life.”

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Her knowledge and lifetime of raising, training and showing horses also makes Valerie an expert in horse properties in Orange County and its surrounds. “There’s not much horse property left in Orange County these days, but I love finding those properties for the horse owner who wants to keep their horse in their backyard instead of boarding it.” Valerie still works with her husband, Chris, who is an equity lender. Chris is also a musician and songwriter who recently co-wrote and produced a musical staged in Tustin with a 10-piece live orchestra called “Positively Perfect.” “Most memorable was that our 17 year old grand son was a member of the orchestra, and his sister collected tickets and ran a concession stand for us flying in from Idaho.

There was great support for the event, and it was even featured on the front page of the ‘OC Register.” Valerie’s long-ago choice to turn a negative experience into something positive has benefited hundreds of families throughout her career, and it is a decision she’s never regretted. She also feels blessed that her daughter-in-law has been working with her for almost two decades, and positive that she couldn’t be as available to her clients without Gwin handling all the paperwork behind the scenes. “I still love real estate, and I want people to love the experience of buying or selling their home. In the end, I want it to be a positive and happy memory they will want to share with their friends and family. I try to take all the responsibility and necessary things away so it doesn’t take the joy from the experience.”

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Thank you Mike, Annie & Kaitlyn for allowing me to be photographed for this article in one of the many homes we have helped you purchase together over the years.

Valerie J. Vihlen Schluter Realty Network - 5180 Via Margarita Yorba Linda, CA 92886 Tel: 714.612.6562 Email: HomesByDogLady@gmail.com Web: http://www.valerieschluter.com DRE #00753164 ExecutiveAgent Magazine


Head Shot Session 20 Minute Session Includes: Private Preview Gallery for you to choose your favorite photos 2 Fully Edited High Res Digital Downloads $150.00 South Orange County Only No refunds please Dates and locations based upon my availability

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Keys to Effective Feedback

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ffective communication between two people is not easy. You really have to practice to make it work. Through the effective use of feedback skills, you can create a good communications climate. The following general guidelines will help you use your feedback skills more effectively. • Give And Get Definitions. The interpretation of words or phrases may vary from person to person, group to group, region to region, or society to society. When people believe or assume that words are used for one and only one meaning, they create situations in which they think they understand others but really do not. The words you use in everyday conversations almost inevitably have multiple meanings. In fact, the 500 most commonly used words in our language have more than 14,000 dictionary definitions. For instance, according to Webster, a person is considered ‘fast’ when she can run rather quickly. However, when one is tied down and cannot move at all, she is also considered ‘fast.’ ‘Fast’ also relates to periods of not eating, a ship’s mooring line, a race track in good running condition, and a person who hangs around with the ‘wrong’ crowd of people. In addition, photographic film is ‘fast’ when it is sensitive to light. On the other hand, bacteria are ‘fast’ when they are insensitive to antiseptics. The abundance of meanings of even “simple” words makes it hazardous to assume to understand the intent of a message without verifying and clarifying that message. • Don’t Assume. Do not assume anything in communications. If you do, you stand a good chance of being incorrect. Don’t assume that you and the other person are talking about the same thing. Don’t assume that the words and phrases you are both using are automatically being understood. The classic phrase of people who make assumptions is: “I know exactly what you mean.” People who usually use that statement without ever using feedback techniques to determine exactly what the other person means are leaping 24

into a communication quagmire. Use more feedback and fewer assumptions, and you’ll be happier and more accurate in your interpersonal communications. • Ask Questions. A good rule of thumb is: “When in doubt, check it out.” One of the best ways to check it out is through the effective use of questioning skills. Clarifying questions, expansion questions, direction questions, fact-finding questions, feeling-finding questions, and open questions can be used freely during conversation to test for feedback. • Speak the Same Language. Abstain from using words that can easily be misinterpreted or mistranslated, especially technical terms and company jargon. These terms, which are so familiar to you, may be totally foreign to the people with whom you talk. Simplify your language and your technical terms so that everyone can understand you, even when you think the other person knows what the terms mean. • Stay Tuned In. Constantly be on the lookout for and recognize those nonverbal signals that indicate that your line of approach is causing the other person to become uncomfortable and lose interest. When this happens, change your approach and your message accordingly. Observe the other person. Be sensitive to the feelings they are experiencing during your interaction; above all else, respond to those feelings appropriately. 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© 2004, Tony Alessandra. All rights reserved. For information about Tony’s keynote presentations, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@frogpond.com; http://www.frogpond.com.

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veryone is given exactly the same amount of time each day. It is up to us to manage this time as we would any other precious, nonrenewable asset. In the world of commission sales, time is indeed money! Time management is at the very core of being a successful salesperson. Effective salespeople know how to concentrate on results while ineffective salespeople concentrate on just being busy. Counting time is not nearly as important as making time count. Effective salespeople focus on task achievement rather than tension relieving diversions. By incorporating the use of proven time management techniques into your daily routine, you will earn more money and experience less stress in your life. Avoid procrastination in all of its attractive forms. Learn to separate the important from the unimportant and develop a “Do it NOW” attitude. People manage time by managing their activities and managing activities begins with planning. Effective time managers understand the importance of “planning their work and

then working their plan.” It is up to you to respect time and give it both meaning and value. If you want to know the value of a year, ask a P.O.W. that has lost his freedom. If you want to know the value of a month, ask a mother that has given birth to a premature baby. If you want to know the value of a week, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper. If you want to know the value of a day, ask a schoolboy on the last day before summer vacation. If you want to know the value of an hour, ask a criminal sentenced to death. If you want to know the value of a minute, ask a person that just missed their flight. If you want to know the value of a second, ask a person that just avoided a serious car accident. If you want to know the value of a millisecond, ask an Olympic silver medalist. 1. Plan your day the night before. List and prioritize the top five objectives you desire to accomplish when you get to the office. Start with the number one item on your list and stay with it until it is complete. Try to do the most difficult tasks first.

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2. Your first priority as a salesperson is to make appointments. If you do not have an appointment with a prospect, then get on the phone and make one. I recommend you make your phone calls in the morning when you are fresh and alert. 3. Let your friends and co-workers know when you do not want to be disturbed. Close your office door and stay focused on the task at hand. An open door invites continuous distractions. 4. Get to the office early. You will never be successful in the sales profession if you get into the habit of coming to work at the “crack of noon.” 5. Avoid long personal phone calls, lunches and coffee breaks. How much of your day do you spend with a client or actively prospecting for new business? You may want to start an activity log and track how you spend your time.

of doing administrative duties and paperwork. Salespeople historically tend to hide behind their paperwork. Focus your efforts on the things that you are licensed or hired to do and consider employing someone else to handle your paperwork. If you have any doubt, ask yourself “What is the best use of my time right now?” 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. Copyright 2007, 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.

6. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Avoid the temptation

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Wanna Sell More? Polish That Sales Presentation!

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ales people ( in general ) hate to prepare presentations. They say: “I don’t want to sound canned!” “How can I do a standard presentation? The customers are all different!” While all of that is very true, it is also true that the top 20% of all salespeople (the ones who are making 80% of all the sales!) USE prepared presentations! They know a secret the average salesperson doesn’t know. You can’t perfect an ad lib! We all have perfected certain little pieces of our presentations; good illustrations, funny or touching stories. What if your whole presentation was that good? How much would you be selling this month? Start to develop a system today: Gather all your promotional pieces, brochures, trade articles and statistics in one file. Keep a pile of index cards with you and every time you have a good idea, remember a good story or think of a new way of explaining the features and benefits of your product, write it down! One idea per card.

The next step is to actually say it out loud into a tape recorder and then listen to it. Would you buy your product if you heard that presentation? What else needs to be included? Read ads, listen to the info-mercials (they are MASTERS at selling!) Keep refining and polishing that presentation till you are happy and proud of it and it does the job! When you are finally comfortable with your presentation, (which DOES change every time but the elements are always the same) you will be free to concentrate on the prospect and turn him into a client! Remember: Powerful Presentations Produce Powerful Results! Linda Brakeall is the author of Unlocking The Secrets of Successful Women in Business, and has trained 36,000 people in 27 states in sales, marketing, presentations, and communications since 1992. She has authored 99 magazine articles on sales, marketing, selecting salespeople, managing sales teams and communications. You can find out more about Linda and what she can do for you at http://www. lindabrakeall.com.

When you have dumped your brain on the cards, arrange them logically and you are on your way to a dynamite prepared presentation that will give you consistently wonderful results!

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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

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