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March 2014 Vol. 01 | Issue 4

the PIN magazine

IN THIS ISSUE: alex camelio Fresh Blogging Ideas

Sabrina jackson Taste the Rainbow

Tammi turner Networking 101: How to Build Your Network

jane hennessy CEO Centerfold

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Esteemed Readers, It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our March 2014 issue, which signals the completion of The PIN Magazine’s first full quarter of publication. As always, this informative magazine would not be possible without the amazingly talented contributors that bring their wisdom and expertise to every issue. From the writers to the design team to the sales department, The PIN magazine’s success is a testament to their ability to create. I am honored to be the Publisher and Editor in Chief of this great magazine. March is Women’s History Month, and just as we did for Black History Month, while we stay away from themed issues, it would be a great faux pas to not acknowledge the important contributions that our female members of society have made. Oprah Winfrey in entertainment; Sheryl Sandberg in social media; Hillary Clinton in politics . . . and on and on. How fitting, then, that Janet Yellen has just been named the Fed’s first ever chairwoman. We wish her the best of luck, and not just because our economy is still in a crisis. It is time for the male-dominated world of high finance to embrace a female head. A successful run by Ms. Yellen would do much to further the cause of empowering women to lead. On the real estate front, results are still mixed. In some areas, all is fine and well. If you own a home in San Francisco or New York, your pre-recession property value has been restored. Many other places in America are not so fortunate. On top of that, the National Association of Realtors just released data showing that existing home sales dropped 5.1% in the beginning of 2014. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope things pick up, and soon. But we all know that hope is not a strategy. We need a well thought out plan with great execution to turn the economy around, and I am not sure we will see it with the Obama administration. Will Hillary be the one to take us to the promise land? Can you image? The first female President and the first female Chair of the Federal Reserve—wow! The future is bright and filled with great uncertainty at the same time. I would like to extend a special thanks to all of the women in my life that I love very much—my wife Ruby, my daughters Jessica, Briana, Erica, and Raela, and our first granddaughter, baby Carrah Lee Frazier Cannon, who will be here on March 20th. We are all so very excited. Finally, my mother Emma Jean Malcolm, who has taught me courage and given me an entrepreneurial spirit, and my deceased Mother in Law who made meeting and falling in Love with Ruby happen. I love all the women in my life. Thank you for your continued support of The PIN Magazine. Call your mother. Please to enjoy.

Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA President/CEO of The Power Is Now Inc.

THE POWER IS NOW INC. Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA President and CEO Office: (800) 401-8994 Ext. 703 Direct: (714) 361-2105 Blogtalkradio: thepowerisnow

EDITION TEAM Eric Lawrence Frazier Editor in Chief (800) 401-8994 Ext. 703 Erica L. Frazier, MBA Assistant Editor (800) 401-8994 ext. 710 El Princess Eclar Digital Media Manager (800) 401-8994 ext. 702 Goldy Ponce Arratia Graphic Artist and Design Manager (800( 401-8994 ext. 711 Rachel Bacol Relationship Manager (800) 401-8994 ext. 701 Eric Egana Staff Writer (800) 401-8994 ext. 701

CONTRIBUTORS Alex Camelio Bill Lewis Bob Irish David Allen Eric Egana Jane Hennessy Jim Carr Joseph Freedman Lilivette Rodriguez Lynn Effinger Michael Totaro Michelle Christie Nathan Froelich P.S. Perkins Regina Brown Rick Davidson Sabrina Jackson Tammy Turner Yvonne Salcedo Tami Bonnell

CONTENTS Mission and vision of the PIN Magazine (page 5)

REAL ESTATE Current Housing and Economic Challenges (page 8) 5 Facebook Tips and 51 Status Updates for Realtors (page 14) Notable Women in Real Estate (page 18) I believe success is doign what you love (page 22) The Power of Perseverance (page 24) Heroes Housing Summits in the Inland Empire (Page 28) Home Sellers: How to prepare your house for a Home Inspection (page 31) At Century 21 System, Diversity and Inclusion Drive Our Brand Forward (page 35) Jane Hennessy, CEO centerfold (page 40)



EDUCATION Let’s take a Stand for Children with Special Needs (page 42)

LAW Bankruptcy: It’s not a Dirty Word (Page 46) Sovereign (page 52)

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Communicating your Way to Success (page 54) Taste the Rainbow (page 56)


ENTERTAINMENT The Gated City (Page 58)

HEALTH 5 Lifestyle Mistakes to Stop Making (page 60)

TECHNOLOGY Fresh Blogging Ideas (page 63) Networking 101: How to Build your Network (page 66) Real Estate Technology and Its Impact on the Agent (page 69) The Power of Local Mobile Marketing (page 72)



Mission and Vision of the power is now MAGazine Mission


The Power Is Now e-Magazine is a national real estate and lifestyle magazine, bringing together consumers and the real estate, banking, insurance and investment professionals who serve them, through smart, fun, and timely editorial content, compelling photographs and quality advertising.

The Power Is Now Online and e-Magazine will be the premier Real Estate Magazine serving consumers, real estate and business professionals nationwide in all metropolitan markets. The Power Is Now Online and e-magazine will be viewed as the most effective medium for real estate and business professional to get exposure to consumers and to share their knowledge and information that will empower them to take action.

Each issue will feature a blend of articles from business and industry professional leaders, on residential and commercial real estate, default services, REO and short sales, finance, banking, insurance, dining, fashion, home design, travel, health/fitness, Book/Movie reviews and more. The Power Is Now e-Magazine will be a free subscription magazine available on www. The Online version will be a paid subscription with more content, video, radio interviews and commentary from news makers and the writers. Cover and Feature story profiles:

The cover of each issue will feature our visionary Eric Lawrence Frazier MBA, publisher of the Power Is Now Magazine and founder and executive producer of the Power Is Now Radio. Each issue will also feature a Power Player Centerfold of an extraordinary business professional who is an exceptional leader in the business, insurance, banking, the real estate and other industries. The Online and e-Magazine will have 26 sections for various articles under the Power Is Now theme: The Power Is Now Real Estate, Real Estate Resource, Real Estate Agent Spotlight, Headline News, Technology, Politics, Community, Health, Medicine, Ministry, Literacy, Education, Entertainment, Cuisine, Music, Youth, Social media, Research & Reports, Business, Energy, Economics, Life Coaching, Publishers Note, Power Player Centerfold, Art and Sports. The writers for each department will all be industry professionals who are practitioners in their field of expertise. We are bringing the best practitioners in the industry to share their knowledge and experience in their field of expertise. They are industry professionals who can provide advice, and information to make decisions that will enable consumers to navigate through the challenges and opportunities of life.



CEO & Publisher Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 3739 6th Street Riverside, CA 921506 Ph: 800-401-8994 x 703 EDITORIAL Editor in Chief Eric L. Frazier, MBA Associate Editor Dadrea Davie Associate Editor & Writer Eric Egana, MA Associate Editor Erica L. Frazier, MBA Staff Writer Celeste Davie Transcription Gail Valeski ONLINE Managing Editor/Online El Princess Eclar Web Designer & Manager Rahul Patel DESIGN Art Director & Design Manager Goldy Ponce Graphic Artist Jaime Daniel Costico

ADMINISTRATIVE Executive Assistant El Princess Eclar Relationship manager Rachel Bacol SALES Sales Manager Perry Frazier HEADQUATERS The Power Is Now Inc. 3739 6th Street Riverside, CA 92506 Ph: 800-401-8994 Fax: 800-401-8994 Email: PUBLICATION AND SERVICES The PIN Magazine The Power Is Now Radio The Power Is Now Publications The Power Is Now Radio Guide The Power Is Now VIP Agent Program The Power IS Now Power Consulting/Coaching The Power Is Now Association Management The Power IS Now Event Management

STATEMENT OF COPYRIGHT: The PIN Magazine™ is owned and published electronically by The Power Is Now Inc. Copyright 2013-2014 The Power Is Now Inc. All rights reserved. “The PIN Magazine and distinctive logo are trademarks owned by The Power Is Now Inc. “” is a trademark of The Power Is Now Inc. “ “ is a trademark of The Power Is Now Inc. “ “ is a trademark of The Power Is Now Inc. “The Power IS Now Event Management” is a trademark of the Power Is Now Inc. “The Power Is Now Radio” is a trademark of the Power Is Now Inc. “The Power Is Now Publications” is a trademark of the Power Is Now Inc. “The Power Is Now Radio Guide” is a trademark of the Power Is Now Inc. “The Power Is Now VIP Agent Program” is a trademark of the Power Is Now Inc. “The Power IS Now Power Consulting/Coaching” is a trademark of the Power Is Now Inc. “The Power Is Now Association Management” is a trademark of the Power Is Now Inc. No part of this electronic magazine or website may be reproduced without the written consent of The Power Is Now Inc. Requests for permission should be directed to: El Princess Eclar at elprincess.eclar@thepowerisnow. com




(Part 2 of 3)

Current Housing & Economic Challenges by James Carr

Five principles that should drive housing finance reform Three years ago, the National Council of La Raza, along with The Opportunity Agenda, launched the Home for Good campaign. The goal of the initiative was to encourage policymakers to take assertive and positive actions to successfully address the continuing foreclosure crisis, rebuild communities traumatized by the housing crisis, and create a strong and vibrant housing market. That effort was eventually joined by more than 20 major nonprofit and public policy organizations and university research centers, including the National Fair Housing Alliance, the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, the National Urban League, the Kirwan Institute at The Ohio State University, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Center for American Progress, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Community Capital. Several principles were discussed that should be incorporated into any restructuring of the housing finance system. Those principles included the following: 1. Ensure a liquid and reliable source of credit for housing in all geographies, including urban, suburban, and rural locations, and diverse products to accommodate a wide range of housing types, including co-ops, manufactured housing, senior housing, small rental structures, and energy-efficient dwellings. 2. Guarantee the risks involved in housing finance are fully internalized and paid for


by the system—and not potentially by the American taxpayer. 3. Affirmatively further fair housing and equal credit access. 4. Provide the ancillary support products, services, and outreach needed to expand homeownership to nontraditional borrower groups—including credit enhancement, down-payment assistance, and borrower counseling—as well as innovative programs such as home repair and propertymaintenance insurance, and collect and share with the public data and information on the effective reach of loan products by borrower and community demographics characteristics. 5. Finally, ensure an adequate availability of credit for the development of affordable rental housing for households at 80 percent or below area median incomes. The remaking of the housing finance system is the perfect opportunity to structure funding to perpetually support a strong housing-counseling industry. The Center for American Progress has proposed the establishment of a Market Access Fund. This fund would support the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund, credit enhancement and down-payment assistance, and other activities. Counseling should be a core function to support. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mission to purge fraudulent and otherwise reckless consumer financial products should open the door for borrower counselors to more effectively enable consumers to prepare a budget, improve their credit scores, safely save

We understand the value of diversity.

As we celebrate black history month, we recognize the importance of different perspectives & cultural experiences. At VRM and PCV, diversity starts at the top. Founded by Keith D. Murray, our companies understand that maintaining a diverse workforce and multicultural partners allows us to deliver more holistic solutions to the mortgage and real estate industries. It is those unique perspectives that help us drive performance for our clients and propel our industry forward.

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for a down payment, secure the proper loans, and deal with post purchase financial strains. If we get reform right, we can help create a new generation of homeowners whose potential for success overwhelms their likelihood for default. We can also help the housing industry rise from the debris of the foreclosure crisis in a manner that serves families, communities, and the nation.

In the meantime, therefore, action should and can occur at an administrative level— within FHFA—to jumpstart homeownership and promote greater economic mobility and financial security for the American public. The time to act is now.

Conclusion In response to the housing crisis of the 1930s, federal policymakers aggressively launched numerous new institutions, including the Federal Home Loan Banks, the FHA, and Fannie Mae. The government’s role in home lending was further enhanced after World War II through the Veterans Administration and, in the 1960s, with the establishment of Freddie Mac. Lifting the housing market from the rubble of the subprime debacle will require our secondary market to do far better than it did leading up to the bursting of the housing bubble. The damage to the housing market as a result of the current crisis is, on some indicators, worse than the housing-market collapse of the Great Depression. As a result, now is the time for policymakers to think with a bolder vision. Now is the time for housing proponents, particularly advocates for moderate-income families, people of color, young adults, and rural communities, to demand a solution that is up to the challenges presented. The new secondary market must have the mandate, tools, and resources to firmly reinstate sustainable, affordable homeownership as a principal and achievable cornerstone of the American Dream. And it must serve the vast majority of families who seek it, while also ensuring an adequate supply of decent, safe, and affordable rental housing to working families who choose that housing option. Yet a major restructuring of the housing finance system, even under the most favorable circumstances, would take between three and five years.


James H. Carr Housing finance, banking and urban policy consultant 202-997-3839 P.O. Box 3732 McLead VA 22103 Jim Carr is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a distinguished scholar with The Opportunity Agenda.

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5 Facebook Tips and 51 Status Updates

For Realtors Most real estate agents have a love-hate relationship with Facebook, meaning they love to hate it. It’s easier to hate Facebook than admit we don’t understand how to make it work for our business. The reality is that when used effectively, Facebook can put you in front of hundreds or even thousands of people for little to no cost. Here are some tips to help you make sense of Facebook for your business.

Have a plan Just like the other areas of your real estate career, you need a plan for your Facebook activities. Here are a couple of things your plan should include:

1. Misson


Mission statements may be a bit overrated, but in the case of social media I do think they can be useful. Your mission statement will help you make sure all of your posts, activities, photos, and statements are in concert with your values, ethics, brand, and overall goal. Here’s an example: *Through social media I plan to stay in touch with people I know and meet new people. I will share with them what I do, both personally and professionally. In doing so when it comes time to buy or sell real estate they will think of me.

2. Time Management: Facebook is easily one

of the biggest time sucks ever; it’s as if a reality show and a tabloid got together and had a baby. How will you budget your time on Facebook? Ten minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch? Five minutes working on your post and five minutes commenting and liking other pages? Will you allow 5-10 minutes


on your m o b i l e phone per day for impromptu posts or replies to messages and comments?

3. Goals: Identify some goals, such as “I want to add 10 new friends per month” or “I want to send out 10 personal messages per month.”

Be human This is so simple it’s stupid. If you’re not willing or ready to let people into your life, Facebook may not be a viable marketing channel for you. Most people look at Facebook because they want to spy on their friends and keep in touch with their family. Real estate agents and the Avon Ladies are some of the few who are trying to peddle their trade so when you post that you just got a new listing and no one comments it’s because they don’t really care. Here are some tips for being human.


when you’re online. It’s easy to focus more on what you’re saying rather than listen to others on Facebook. Try starting your daily activities by liking status updates and pictures of your Facebook friends. This simple “thumbs up” lets them know you are there and you appreciate them sharing. Also post thoughtful comments where appropriate. Lastly, send direct messages to the people you know. Even though this is an outgoing message it is direct communication between you and them.

can be anything go take camera

1. Share photos: This

family or friends, pets, cars, or that interests you. Wherever you pictures with your phone or a and post. Pictures are powerful.

2. Share your opinion: This is touchy, and

obviously don’t do anything crazy, but if you’re passionate about something say it. This will make you relatable and real.

3. Be funny: Maybe you have a quirky sense of

This is where the 70/30 rule comes into play. Make an effort to spend 70 percent of your time reaching out to others through comments, likes, and direct messages, and 30 percent of your time posting status updates.

Your activity list It’s normal to sit down at your computer, open Facebook with the intention of doing some cyber marketing, and then the strangest thing happens. Facebook erases your mind. All the funny ideas for status updates, all the old friends or clients you realized you hadn’t friend requested, and any other tasks you had planned suddenly disappear from you mind. This is when you break out your list of ideas.

Be accessible

Here’s a start to your list. The status updates with an asterisk will usually get a higher level of engagement, but if you abuse these people will lose interest in your page:

In a blind survey, less than half of the agents I know have their contact information in their Facebook profile. Here are some of the things to include in your profile:

1. 2. 3. 4.

humor. Share that. Poke fun at yourself.

• • • • • • •

Profile Picture (I like casual and non-stuffy) Phone numbers Email addresses Company info Tag line Your web address Referral tag line

The 70/30 Rule Remember the old cliché: We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. That holds true

Make a few friend requests Join a group Take photos of the houses you’re showing Take photos of the pets at the houses you’re showing 5. Take photos of the views at the houses you’re showing 6. Take photos of the clients you’re showing houses to 7. Take a photo of a friend, family, co-worker, or your office 8. Take a photo of you in action at work 9. Take a photo of your pet* 10. Take a photo of your favorite beverage


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11. Recommend a local business, restaurant, park, bike trail, etc. 12. Recommend one of your affiliates and tag them in the post 13. Recommend a website 14. Recommend checking out a new neighborhood or part of town 15. Thank a friend for something and tag him/her in the post 16. Ask for a referral for a local business, restaurant, service, doctor, vet, mechanic, etc.* 17. Ask a question, such as “Where should I go to lunch today?” or “What is the best ice cream?”* 18. Tell everyone happy birthday 19. Thank a co-worker for helping you 20. Thank your managing broker for helping you 21. Congratulate a co-worker for a successful closing 22. Share a YouTube video that you like 23. Share a Pandora song you like 24. Share an industry tip (i.e. the buyer doesn’t pay commission) 25. Give advice on home maintenance 26. Share an article on home maintenance 27. Share a financial tip or article 28. Share an article on mortgage interest rates 29. Share local market stats 30. Look up this day in history 31. Look up a famous person’s birthday 32. Post a local news story 33. Post a local event calendar 34. Post a local history fact 35. Post a history fact about real estate 36. Post the average sales price in your market 37. Do a review on a neighborhood 38. Share a recipe 39. Share a discount or other special local deal 40. Tell people you love getting referrals 41. Like a few Fan/Business pages every week 42. Send someone a direct message just to say hi 43. Send a past client a direct message asking how they like their house/neighborhood 44. Send an affiliate a direct message to say hi 45. Post a quote*

46. Post an old photo of a younger (and perhaps more attractive) you 47. Post any old picture 48. Talk about your favorite TV show 49. Share a testimonial about your business 50. Tell people what your first job ever was 51. Share a cartoon you found online

Nathan Froelich is the Co-Founder of, where the mission is to provide real estate professionals with insanely simple free tools and information for success. Prior to starting, Nathan was a top producing real estate agent and the Broker/Owner of one of Northern Colorado’s largest independent real estate firms, which was later acquired by ERA Real Estate. Nathan is still a licensed real estate agent in the state of Colorado.



Notable Women in Real Estate

by Lilivette Rodriguez


n commemoration of March being Women’s History Month, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the notable women in real estate. Of course, there are too many to mention, but I thought it would be great to take a stroll down history lane. Women have made great contributions throughout history in multiple roles. Just think that prior to 1848 in New York State, a married women lost any right to control property that was hers prior to marriage. She couldn’t acquire any property during marriage either. She could not make contracts, keep or control her own wages or rents, transfer property, sell, or bring any lawsuit. That changed in 1848 in the State of New York. However, it wasn’t until 1860 that married women were given rights to control property in other parts of the United States. Ridiculous, when even from a scriptural point, King Lemuel’s mother gave him the following advice when choosing a wife as found in Proverbs 31:18-25: “She sees that her trading is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She is clothed with strength and splendor, and she looks to the future with confidence.” How true those words are which were written before 717 B.C.E. They sound as if they were written in our modern times. You may have heard of some of these women. Some I chose because you can’t help but be impressed given their place in time. In some shape or another, they developed, expanded, and invaded their way and expanded the real estate of their nations. In modern times, the real estate is held more closely and sold when the market is right.


Hatshepsut Believed to have been born 1508 B.C.E and died 1458 BC Hatshepsut was one of the most powerful women in the ancient world. She was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt and ruled longer than any other woman in Egyptian history. It is believed that she was one of Ancient Egypt’s most successful monarchs. She commissioned many building projects and reestablished trade networks that had been disrupted by the Hyksos invaders of the Second Intermediate Period. Hatshepsut also led a largescale expedition to the Land of Punt, a wealthy and sophisticated country to the south of Egypt.

Empress Theodora Believed to have been born 500 AD and died 548 AD Empress Theodora was one of the most influential and powerful women in the Early Middle Ages. Theodora was an actress, which was not a respected profession and in her case evolved into a life as a prostitute and mistress. This did not stop her from being introduced to Justinian by his nephew. She became the wife of Emperor Justinian I and joint ruler of the Byzantine Empire. Theodora participated in making Constantinople one of the world’s most sophisticated cities and promoting women’s rights. She had bridges, aqueducts, and churches built. The Hagia Sophia, built between 532 AD and 537 AD, is considered one of the greatest examples of Byzantine architecture.


Eleanor of Aquitaine Believed to have been born 1122 and died 1204 Eleanor was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Europe (and the world) during the High Middle Ages. Aquitaine was the largest and wealthiest province of France during the 12th century. Unlike many other monarchs and women of the Middle Ages, Eleanor and her family were very well educated. Eleanor is credited for having transformed Aquitaine into one of the largest intellectual and cultural centers in Medieval Western Europe. Eleanor became a key figure in developing trade agreements between Western Europe, Constantinople, and the Holy Land.

Catherine II of Russia Born in 1729 and died 1796 Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, ruled over Russia, which was and still is the world’s largest country geographically. She also expanded the Russian Empire to the Black Sea by defeating the Ottoman Empire in two major wars. Catherine’s empire spanned over three continents: Europe, Asia, and part of North America. It stretched from the Arctic Ocean to the North, the Black Sea to the South, Alaska and the Pacific to the East, and the Baltic Sea to the West.

Hetty Green Born November 21, 1834, died July 3, 1916. I’m including Hetty Green because she was such a colorful individual. She made her money in Wall Street. She was nicknamed “The Witch of Wall Street,” I am sure by jealous men. She was an American businesswoman and financier known as “the richest woman in America” during the Gilded Age. She amassed her fortune when other major financiers were men. Now we move into the modern era. Out of sheer vanity, I will not mention these ladies birth dates as they are still living. However, their


accomplishments continue to be impressive.

Yelena Nikolayevna Baturina is Russia’s

richest woman and the only Russian woman worth more than a billion dollars. She founded a major investment and construction company called Inteco. She currently owns a hotel chain and is the founder of BE OPEN, a cultural and philanthropic foundation. She is the 1075th richest person in the world currently, after tumbling from a much higher wealth. The real estate market took an international tumble, the effects of which did not escape Yelena.

Zhang Xin

is a Chinese business magnate. Presently, she is the CEO of SOHO China, the largest commercial real estate developer in Beijing, and as of September 2012, the chairwoman of Teach For China Board of Directors. She has won many prestigious international awards for her role as a patron of visionary architecture in China and as an innovative entrepreneur. In 2007, she was selected as one of the “Ten Women to Watch in Asia” by the Wall Street Journal. In 2008, she was listed among Forbes Magazine’s “World’s Most Powerful Women”. In 2009, Zhang Xin was included among Forbes’ “Top Ten Billionaire Women We Admire” and Financial Times’ “Top 50 Women in World Business”. In March 2010, she was named among “China Top 10 Career Women Role Models in 2009” by the All-China Women’s Federation, China Sun Media Group, and Hunan TV. In 2011, Zhang Xin was named among the “The International Power 50” of the “Most Powerful Women” by Fortune Magazine, and was again recognized as one of “World’s Most Powerful Women” by Forbes.

Stacie Turner,

who you may know as one of the members of the Real Housewives of Washington, D.C., carved her niche in real estate. During her carrier as a realtor, Stacie sold over $160 million worth of real estate. She is named as one of the eleven black real estate moguls thru buying, selling and developing real estate.

Barbara Corcoran is probably one of the

most visible real estate entrepreneur’s thanks to ABC’s Shark Tank. She was a diner waitress that took a $1,000 loan to start a real estate firm, The Corcoran Group, in New York City and turned it into an empire. In 2001, she sold NRT, LLC, the largest residential real estate brokerage company in the United States of America for a whopping $66 million (you can’t help but be impressed). I don’t think she ever has to worry about serving another blue plate special. Barbara’s present net worth is $140 million. Talk about rags to riches. So as we enter into Women’s History Month let’s be ever mindful of the incredible women who surround us each and every day. Referencing again a timeless book, this time Proverbs 31:2931: “There are many capable women, but you, you surpass them all. Give her the reward for what she does, and let her works praise her in the city gates.”

Lilyvette Rodriguez is a real estate broker servicing the Inland Empire of Southern California for over 20 years. She specializes in equity sale, short sale, foreclosure, probate and corporate relocation. Lilyvette hosts a weekly radio show, Real Estate Radio Unplugged, on AM1510 KSPA, Financial News & Talk, a Bloomberg radio station. She serves on a number of boards, holds multiple certifications/designations, and is a consumer advocate. She believes that an informed community is an enlightened community.

Lilyvette Rodriguez CEO/Broker BRE License #01061272 Excel Realty (909) 333-6008 Twitter: @RealEstateLil


I believe

success is doing what you love by Tammi Bonnell


believe success is doing what you love, and that true happiness comes from purpose. As you make your plans, you should always begin with that premise.


Putting a plan in writing and doing a six-week action plan are key to that success, but first do some homework on yourself. I have a few suggestions that will help. Begin with looking over the past year—what did you do well? When did you feel your best? Was it while serving investors? First-time homebuyers? New construction? Representing buyers or sellers? Truly put together a list of pros and cons. Who helped get more and better results out of you? Construct a list and ONLY focus on who and what gets the best out of you. When you begin with that focus, you have a much better chance of sticking with your plan through all the highs and lows. As for a plan in writing, I have a few tips. What is the best plan? The one you will do! Simple always works better, begin with the end in mind, and ask yourself how much do you want to make? How many transactions does that equate to? My most powerful advice for someone who wants to excel is to do a six-week action plan. Here is the easiest formula for doing one. Start by setting an appointment with yourself for four hours, once a month, picking a Tuesday, a Wednesday, or a Thursday (more stuff hits the fan on Monday and Friday). You will be planning until the end of the following month, and you will overlap every month, which is a good thing, as you will continually improve. Bring ALL of your life to this appointment with you. Leave a message for your clients, telling them that you are unavailable between eight and twelve (or whatever four hours you block off), and that you are working on your business in order to serve them better. Be someplace you will not be interrupted. Bring a schedule for everything you are involved in (work, personal, family, and community). Get a day-timer (so you remember what you write down), and look ahead day by day. Ask yourself effective questions. Who should I be inviting? How can I get the most out of that event? Who should I be surrounding myself with? What do I need to learn? You will find yourself getting more productive every month. You will be happier, loving what you do. I encourage you to try it for three months. If you do, you will not be able to stop yourself from continuing! I look forward to your success stories!

success 22 | TPIN MAGAZINE


The Power of

Perseverance by Lynn Effinger

I have been blessed to serve in several capacities within the housing and mortgage servicing industries, over a span of more than three decades. Most of the companies with whom I have been employed in management and executive positions were among the largest and most respected firms in the nation. The success I achieved in their service, for which I have received more than my share of accolades (deserved or otherwise), would not have been possible without the support of so many other people. For that I will be forever in their debt. But my career was actually launched four decades ago when I discovered the immutable truth of the power of perseverance. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of an experience I initiated that changed my life forever. As chronicled in my memoir, quite appropriately titled, “Believe to Achieve – The Power of Perseverance,” in 1974 I set a goal for myself that many thought was impossible


– despite only having played varsity football in high school and one year of junior college football, I intended to play semi-pro football and earn a tryout with a team from the National Football League. While this perhaps doesn’t sound so unique, when one considers that I was born without a left hand it takes on a more exceptional tone. And while that life-changing experience was related to sports, it has taught me many life lessons from which I continue to benefit to this day – among them at the very top of the list is to never give up and never give in. I learned at an early age that I was “different” from other kids in my neighborhood. Frankly, other kids made sure that I knew I was different. Sometimes children and others can be somewhat cruel, if not downright nasty. But I also learned at an early age that I had a choice to make. I could either sit in the corner of my room or feel sorry for myself or I could simply go out and do

whatever I really wanted to do. I chose wisely. By playing sports well I learned that I could gain acceptance more readily from my peers and I could receive positive recognition from my family, teachers and others. Baseball especially gained me positive recognition and helped me earn self-respect and selfesteem. And please notice that I said “earn,” because selfrespect and self-esteem are not entitlements – they must be earned through one’s own efforts. During my five years of participation in Little League Baseball I pitched and played first base, then center field. I was an excellent fielder. But what gained me the most attention was my batting average. At the age of eleven my batting average was over .400. By the age of twelve it was just shy of .500. Of course, this is Little League, but still somewhat impressive… especially for a one-handed young boy.


In high school I shifted my attention towards football. Noticing that the guys who were the most admired were the varsity football players, I made a conscious goal to play on the varsity team by the time I was a senior. You can learn about this quest in my book, if you so choose. It is available on, and other online sources. But I’m not trying to sell books here. No, really, I’m not. There is another purpose for this article. The many significant obstacles, challenges and, yes, successes I had on the gridiron in high school and subsequently in junior college set the stage for the life-changing experience I alluded to above. And, yes, I did play semi-pro football, as a running back (not very many one-handed running backs in those days), on a championship team, and I was invited by George Allen, the head coach of the Washington Redskins at the time, to participate in a free-agent tryout camp. I scored a decisive touchdown in the championship game and was named most inspirational player by my teammates and coaches. Everything I set out to accomplish that year came true for me. But these many challenges and successes also taught me the power of perseverance and the incredible benefits from being tenacious, willing to sacrifice, and above all to work hard,


because there is no substitute for it when you are trying to achieve success, no matter how you define it for yourself. I believed that the successful achievement of my major goal that I set in 1974 was an end unto itself to help prove to others that through hard work and determination you can overcome adversity and achieve greater success than anyone might feel possible. I soon learned however that I would not only continue to achieve success in other aspects of my life, especially my vocational life, but I would also continue to help others through my actions, my leadership skills, and through motivational speaking. I did not so much choose to become a public speaker - I was compelled to do so. Over the years people had asked me to speak at their civic clubs, schools and other groups about my experiences playing football and other sports. The reaction was always so positive that I began to seek out more and more opportunities to give my presentation. I was told it was inspiring, uplifting and entertaining. Helping others through my motivational speaking is, for lack of a better term, my “calling.” I wrote my book to try to reach out to a wider audience. As I continued to achieve one success after another in the business world I added more and more

examples into my presentation about how the lessons I learned playing sports have benefitted me vocationally - proof that I had not simply been “lucky.” Okay, I admit that I have been lucky, but to me, “luck” is when preparedness meets opportunity. As I continue on with my career in the mortgage servicing industry, having just joined a leading field services and property preservation provider, I also continue to seek opportunities across the country to motivate others through my live presentation. Oh, and through the sales of my book… only if you’re interested, of course (just kidding). I am on a mission to “finish well”, as the late, great Zig Ziglar used to instruct his audiences to. I fully expect to persevere.

Lynn Effinger is a veteran of more than three decades in the housing and mortgage servicing industries. He currently serves as executive vice president of business development for Ohio-based ZVN Properties, Inc.



Housing Summits in the Inland Empire by Bob Irish


n the third Saturday of each month from 10am – 1pm a public event will be held at local libraries for our Heroes Housing Summit. You can visit the website at www.HeroesHousingSummit. com for more information on specific dates and locations, and to register or sponsor. If a homebuyer is eligible, they may receive $15,000 for down payment assistance to purchase a primary, owneroccupied residence in the Inland Empire cities of Corona, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Riverside or San Bernardino. The program is sponsored by your local lender and local Realtor in collaboration with local nonprofit organizations. The purpose of this event is to put Teachers, Police, Firefighters, EMT’s and Veterans in an environment that lends itself to honest education and a mission to help homebuyers and sellers make the right choices. We also invite ALL buyers who may benefit from


down payment assistance to come on down and find out what programs are available. HUD home listing brokers will be in attendance to provide information on how to purchase HUD homes. They will also be discussing the Good Neighbor Next Door program which allows eligible buyers to purchase eligible homes and receive a 50% reduction in the mortgage principal after three years *restrictions apply. NHSIE will be providing HUD counselors to discuss financial literacy and the FHA 1st time home buyer certificate. By participating in Home Buyer Education Workshops and their individualized counseling services, potential homebuyers learn the necessary tools to become successful long-term homeowners. NHSIE provides Financial Literacy Workshops and credit counseling to help prepare families for sustainable homeownership by teaching them how to budget their finances and improving

their credit. In an effort to preserve homeownership, NHSIE provides foreclosure prevention counseling as well as foreclosure prevention workshops. Homeownership retention services are aimed to help prevent foreclosures by exploring individual’s financial options and acting as a liaison between the customer and lender. Lenders will be there to discuss financing options available to all buyers including FHA rehab loans, down payment assistance programs and Union programs. Veterans can still get a VA no-no loan and 1st time home buyers can get an FHA 3 ½ % down loan as well as many conventional loan options. And of course, I will be there to discuss home buying options as well as distressed home sales options. Although short sales and foreclosure reporting have decreased dramatically, at least 25% of the market is still distressed. So it is not over just yet.

REAL ESTATE I had a thought as we were putting this event together‌ we are trying to provide our first responders and veterans with a first look at purchasing a home. So, if there are any home sellers who would like to sell their home through this event, please contact me so that we can market your property at our event to these Heroes. Thank you for following me and I hope to see you there. Don’t forget to register at www. or call me at (951) 313-6080. Be diligent in your approach, cautious in your decision and you will be successful in the end.

Bob Irish is a local Real Estate Broker who specializes in Residential Luxury Sales & Short Sales. You may reach me at (951) 313-6080 or (951) 343-3606 Lake Hills Realty BRE#01364068

Hosted by: Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc.



HOME SELLERS: How to Prepare your House for a Home Inspection Attract better buyers, get higher offers, and seal the deal so you can close escrow quickly. By Regina P. Brown, Real Estate Broker

Picture this: you’re moving out of state so you hired the best Realtor®. She marketed your house for sale and found a great buyer. You packed up your house and next week you’ll be closing escrow. You are waiting for the buyers to sign off their final contingencies… but instead, their agent sends over a “Request for Repairs” form, along with a copy of the home inspection report. They demand that you fix 3 major problems and correct 15 minor flaws—or else lower your purchase price by $12,000. Yikes! What do you do?!? You don’t want to cancel the transaction and risk not finding another happy buyer at the same price or higher… and starting all over would certainly mean a long delay to closing escrow.

The other key to avoiding a repair request, or a demand for repair credit, is to properly prepare your house prior to the inspection. Yes, that’s the secret to a great closing sale: both minor and major inspection defects can be avoided by advance planning. Before you order your home inspection, refer to our 3 checklists below. The first checklist is to help you verify basic things that will make the inspection complete. The second checklist is a list of items to have available for the inspector to ensure a smooth, successful inspection. The last checklist consists of minor items that can easily be fixed in advance, if time allows.

Once you are this far along in the purchase process, it is too late, my friend, to get back into the “driver’s seat”. So to prevent major re-negotiations of the purchase contract, plan ahead and order a pre-listing home inspection BEFORE you list your house for sale. By ordering your own inspection in advance of a buyer’s offer, you control the timeframe, you can repair items and order a revised report with those items corrected, and most important, buyers won’t request a price reduction later on! The key is to complete the inspection with a CREIA, ASHI, or NAHI certified inspector and give the report to the buyers before they submit a purchase offer.

Verify the below items about a week ahead of the inspection, because some items will take several days to correct.

A. Checklist to Facilitate Inspection:

1. Verify that all utilities are turned on 2. Light all of the pilot lights (stove, oven, water heater, furnace) 3. Make all spaces accessible: basement door, crawl space under the house, garage, walls, windows, doors, attic hatch 4. Verify that all light bulbs are working (if not, put in new bulbs) 5. Clean rain gutters & down spouts



6. Trim tree limbs away from the roof, walls, and chimney 7. Dig dirt and mulch away from the house if you have earth-to-wood contact above the ground level. 8. Remove firewood away from contact with the house 9. Clean up the interior of the house (so the inspector doesn’t trip over dirty laundry) 10. Install smoke detectors, ensure they have batteries, and test the alarms 11. Install carbon monoxide alarms and verify they work 12. Verify that the electric breaker panel switches are all “on” 13. Remove junk and debris from the yard (come on, you know you were going to have to do this anyway!) 14. Ensure that the water heater is strapped correctly 15. Remove toxic chemicals (paint, etc.) from crawl space, basement, attic, and under the porch 16. Empty appliances: • Stove – remove pots & pans from the top • Oven – remove pots & pans from inside • Built-in microwave or micro-hood – ensure food was removed • Dishwasher – remove dishes • Clothes washer – remove clothes • Dryer – remove clothes 17. Check garage door opener / clicker 18. Remove area rugs, especially if they are “hiding” floor problems 19. Verify that floor/ceiling/wall vents are open and working 20. Ensure all windows have screens 21. Verify that all windows can be opened


B. Checklist of items to have available for inspector: Let the inspector know that you will leave these items on the kitchen counter. 1. Keys to locked rooms, sheds, or basement 2. Receipts for recent repairs or cleaning (example: chimney sweep) 3. Inspection reports (roof, swimming pool, etc.) 4. A sketch of: • Electric panel location • Attic hatch location (if located in a bedroom closet) • Septic tank location (if applicable) 5. Manuals / instructions for unusual items • Solar water heater, top-loading dishwasher, etc. 6. A note about broken appliances, plumbing leaks, or any other known problems

C. Checklist of minor repairs before inspection: You may consider hiring a handyman for a day to tackle all the tough items on your fix-it list. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Fix leaky faucets / toilets Repair broken door knobs, locks, and hinges Replace cracked glass window panes Change / add water spouts to ensure that water flows away from the house Clean or replace filters: furnace, air conditioner, stove hood, bathrooms Clean the HVAC ventilation system Replace broken tiles (floor, counter, walls) Clean grout between tile, and re-grout when needed




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9. Re-caulk around the tub, toilet, and sinks if needed 10. Install window wells around basement windows 11. Repair broken appliances (or leave a note indicating condition) 12. Sand and re-paint exterior walls, trim, and window ledges (if paint is peeling) 13. Fill gaps in concrete walkway 14. Seal the driveway with asphalt if cracked 15. Replace cabinet knobs, pulls, and hinges (if missing or broken) 16. Wash leaves and moss off of roof 17. Repair defective roof shingles 18. Repair broken or leaning fences 19. Replace rusty pipes 20. Clean out the fireplace and hire a chimney sweep to clean & inspect the flute (leave a copy of the chimney report for the home inspector)

In summary, you can show that you care about your house. Prepare for a pre-listing inspection by following the checklists above, and your pride of ownership will stand out. Showing your “clean” inspection in advance will attract buyers who want a well-cared-for home and are willing to pay top dollar for it. By giving the home inspection up front, buyers won’t need to haggle over repair items and you can close your sale quickly. Then, with your house sold, moving out of state is a smooth process.

Remember that NO home is perfect, not even a new one! So don’t try to cover up defects. Always give full disclosure of any problems you know about, even if you previously fixed them. You don’t have to repair all of the broken items, but you do have to disclose everything to the buyers. It is fair to them, and it’s required by law. That’s where a pre-listing home inspection really helps out! Plan ahead to remove people (and pets) from the home during the inspection. Do NOT follow the inspector around the house. Leave the house and come back when he’s done (about 3 hours later) to get an in-person summary. At the conclusion, the inspector will point out any problems noted. You can ask your questions then.


Real Estate Broker / Author at R.P. Brown 888-550-9340


At CENTURY 21® System, Diversity and Inclusion Drive Our Brand Forward by Rick Davidson, President and CEO Century 21 Real Estate LLC

The beauty of diversity is that it comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. It is a subject you’ll often hear discussed in real estate company boardrooms, and one that is promulgated by REALTOR® associations across the globe. As President and CEO of the franchisor of the world’s largest real estate franchise sales organization, I can tell you undeniably that diversity is helping drive the CENTURY 21® System forward. The diversity of our people, our products and tools, and the marketing, technology and learning programs we make available to our franchisees help support their sales, agent recruitment and office growth. We leverage diversity with inclusion. We incorporate the different backgrounds, experiences and unique thinking patterns we bring as individuals to help build a better

franchise community. Today, we have approximately 7,100 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 75 countries and territories worldwide with more than 103,000 independent sales professionals. Diversity and inclusion, together, are not only helping to take the C21® brand to new heights, but also to enhance the relationships and the outcomes between real estate consumers and C21® agents. Consider a story about homeownership my good friend Juan Martinez shared with me that sums up the importance of not only diversity but inclusion as well. Juan is Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 Martinez and Associates in Las Vegas and he is also the immediate past president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. When we first met, Juan said to me, “You know Rick, when people come to this country with the hopes of one day being able to enjoy its freedoms



as Americans, we don’t do so with aspirations of becoming renters. We come here because we want to work hard and earn the Dream of Homeownership. We want a place of our own that we can call ‘home.’” Think about it… the real estate consumer personifies diversity. A consumer could be a seller or buyer; and their reasons for selling or in seeking a desired home could be as varied as the value they believe their home to be worth or the amount of home they can afford to buy. Of course, the real estate consumer can act alone and complete a transaction. But, is the result the best outcome possible? Factor in inclusion, in this case a C21® agent, and will diversity with inclusion deliver a better outcome? Years of experience and anecdotal evidence tells us the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!” With the C21® agent included as a partner in the buying or selling of the home, the complex property transaction is better understood by the real estate consumer, who should now be more organized and able to make better decisions while freeing up time to focus on living their busy lives without having to worry about showing a home, getting buyers approved for a loan, handling local ordinances and related paperwork, inspections and environmental reports, meeting with attorneys, and managing any last-minute circumstances before the closing. While diversity can exist without inclusion, inclusion needs diversity. Together, in a real estate transaction, they foster collaboration, sharing and an end result that satisfies all parties.


Diversity and inclusion feed off each other and create remarkable outcomes. Diversity does come in all shapes, sizes and forms. For CENTURY 21® to continue to grow as the world’s number one real estate franchisor, we will continue to foster a diverse, and inclusionary, environment; one that inspires understanding, respect and collaborative relations across different cultures around the globe. It is a philosophy that we encourage our franchisees to share as well; both internally with their brokers, agents and administrative teams, as well as externally with the clients they serve on a daily basis.

Jane Hennessy President / CEO Jane Hennessy founded Keystone Asset Management, Inc. in 1995, establishing a precedent as a trailblazer and entrepreneur within the default mortgage industry. Keystone continues to operate under her leadership. As President and CEO, Jane capitalizes on new opportunities and furthers Keystone’s involvement with real estate as a strategic solutions provider. In her current capacity, she assumes the responsibility to ensure the company’s mission and vision remain a priority in all business and strategic endeavors, as well to continue the evolution of its culture, integrity and structure. This couples with the daily oversight of Operations, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Sales & Corporate Development. Jane remains an active participant and member within numerous industry-leading organizations, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, AmeriCatalyst, USFN and DS News / Five Star Institute. In addition, she serves on the board of WinDS (Women in Diversified Services), providing her knowledge and experience as an advocate and mentor to fellow women executives. Prior to founding Keystone, Jane developed her leadership and operational talents serving as REO and Foreclosure Manager at Home Unity Mortgage Services and as a real estate agent and broker, specializing in distressed real estate within the greater Philadelphia marketplace. She holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University and holds a Paralegal Certificate from Main Line Paralegal Institute in Villanova, PA.




Let’s Take a Stand for Children with Special Needs By Dr. Michelle Christie


unday news programs are already inundated with forecasts about the upcoming presidential nominees and hot debates ranging from minimum wage to immigration reform to Obamacare. However, it seems the discussion of our failing educational system (and plans for its improvement) has fallen to the wayside. Our next president will need to address the educational needs of our students. Our schools continue to suffer from blatant inequities that can gravely impact our future. Most of us can agree, including President Obama, that most minorities are receiving a substandard and inequitable education, but the same is true for millions of children with special needs. They require services at their public schools, but are declined them every year. We should be outraged by the treatment and conditions that students in special education often endure. A recent featured story on KTLA 5 reveals the rat-infested environment of some special education classrooms. Teachers, who chose to remain anonymous, exposed these photos on Facebook. Teachers shared that they have to leave the water running for 10 minutes to clean out the pipes before their students can drink the water or clean off rat droppings on top of their students’ desks each morning.


A family with a child with special needs should not have to fight, cry, or plead to receive the most basic accommodations. Parents should no longer have to sit in another Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting and listen to teachers and administrators tell them what the school cannot offer their child, but rather what they can offer. These families have been through enough grief and shattered dreams. It is now time to break the silence and take a stand. Educational reformers in the last decade have focused much of their discussion on lower income minorities who have become victims of the failing public school system in their underserved communities. Statistics confirm that African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans represent a disproportionate percentage of those who are not graduating from high school. However, we need to remember that the quality of education for students with special needs is not much better. As a teacher of the deaf for the past 18 years and the founder of an afterschool program for lower income children who are deaf or hard of hearing, I know how important accommodations for students with special needs are to lower income families.


Nevertheless, every year parents of children with a hearing loss are fighting for crucial services, including individual speech and language therapy, literacy intervention, one-on-one aides, FM systems (special device to hear the teacher’s voice), and loaner hearing aids. Therapy is essential for a child with a hearing loss to learn to communicate. Without language, a child cannot connect to the world. Children with deficiencies in language development often live in a world of isolation and stifled social and emotional growth; yet private therapy ranges between $150 and $200 an hour. How can an average-income family afford therapy three times a week or even once a week, let alone a socio-economically disadvantaged family? Most schools offer only 30-45 minutes of group therapy per week. This amounts to an average of six minutes per week for each child. Not surprisingly, these children’s academic achievement gaps widen each year. Children who cannot afford hearing aids can be provided (by the school) a pair of loaner hearing aids during the school day, but the children must give them back before heading to the bus. I have witnessed dozens of young deaf children crying as they return hearing aids and have to live in a world of silence after school or during the weekends. Thus, the children are unable to communicate with their parents and siblings. Why is it that some schools allow children to take home iPads, but deaf children cannot take home hearing aids? Many of the classes for special needs students are comprised of mixed grade levels with one teacher required to teach 3 to 4 grade levels (i.e. 1st thru 5th grade). I have never seen a general education classroom have one teacher responsible for four grades. Oftentimes, students with special needs are pushed through the


system with little hope for their future. Some people may worry that these children with special needs will not be able to achieve at the same rate as their hearing peers. I have seen hundreds of deaf children succeed and attend college, but only when given ongoing resources starting at an early age. Budget cuts are often blamed for the lack of resources for these students. For the past decade, California has not been providing these services so they could not have cut them. And even during these grim economic times, California’s budget shows no major cuts to special education. The fact is that special education students are often overlooked or ignored. If we want our country to maintain our competitive edge with China and India, we have to recognize and encourage the potential in ALL children. Accordingly, education needs to be a priority among our upcoming political debates. We then will be able to address the shortfalls of the education system and not forget students with special needs. Seventyfive to eighty percent of children classified as having “disabilities” in our country do not have intellectual impairments and can become productive citizens. By investing in them today, they will contribute to society later.

To contact No Limits or learn more about our services, please contact me at: Michelle@


(Part 3 of 4)

BANKRUPTCY: It’s Not a Dirty Word!

By Michael R. Totaro, J.D., LL.M.

Proceedings under Chapter 11 We have found this to be the most useful and most flexible of all of the proceedings. Under a Chapter 11 proceeding mortgages may be written down o the market value on all rental properties and on primary residences if there is an assignment of rents or a detached guest house or it is a multi-family dwelling. Adjustable rate loans may be turned into a fixed rate loan. Other loans may be extended or arrearages added onto the end of a loan. In short, we can turn a non-productive rental property into a productive property.

The Parties Involved: There is no trustee who handles your case in a Chapter 11. You are the trustee and are called the Debtor in Possession. This means you are the debtor and responsible for handling your estate and thus “in possession” of the property. It is your responsibility to act


for the benefit of the creditors and your bankruptcy estate, not for yourself, since you take the place of the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 trustee. All of your decisions must take into account the well-being of the unsecured creditors as the secured creditors have collateral upon which to secure their claims. You will also be involved with the United States Trustee (UST) who is charged with the duty of overseeing your case. You will meet with the UST twice at the beginning of your case and then submit Monthly Operating Reports (“MOR’s) to that office by the 5th of the month following the end of the prior month. Thus your report for January is due February 5th and late by February 15th. One late report is grounds for the appointment of a trustee or dismissal. If a trustee is appointed your estate will be liquidated (sold off) and the money disbursed to your creditors. The UST must receive an original signed by the debtor or joint debtors, i.e., husband and wife. This report is based on a calendar month, not bank

statements. You look at all of the income and expenses incurred during the prior month and look at the beginning and ending balances on those days. You do not balance the report to the bank statements but you must attach those statements redacting all account numbers except for the last four. You may also have some contact with the bankruptcy court as some judges require your presence at status conferences. Your attorney will let you know which hearings you may have to attend.

The Pre-Confirmation Process: The Chapter 11 process is long and detailed. During the process you will have certain timing deadlines that must be met or your case could get dismissed. These start right at the beginning. Your attorney will work closely with you to get you started, but once into the process the responsibility is entirely yours.


• Prior to Filing: Upon retaining your attorney, you will be given a “7 day packet.” This is a packet of documents that you must complete and file with the United States Trustee 7 days after filing the bankruptcy petition. Included in that packet is a Real Property Questionnaire that must be filled out for each property. There is also a sample MOR for you to review and a list of items you will need to obtain. Also you need to obtain appraisals on all the properties and obtain copies of any lease agreements you have with tenants. This should be accomplished as soon as you decided to file the Chapter 11 petition.

• The First Day: The first day after filing is intense. You must do the following: 1. Obtain a Tax ID number from the IRS for a Chapter 11 case. You may do this on line at or call them 800 829 1040. 2. Go to the bankruptcy court and obtain a certified copy of the petition that was filed. Although you have many pages to your petition, the certified copy is only of the first three pages. 3. You must then take the certified copy and record it in every county where you own property. Therefore if you own property in two


counties you must obtain two certified copies. If you own property in three counties, you must obtain three copies and so forth. You must get a receipt for the recordings and give that receipt to my paralegal. This includes out of state counties. 4. Next you must close all existing bank accounts and obtain a -0- balance statement from each account to give to my paralegal. All accounts must be closed, no exceptions. There may be some overlap because you may have automatic deductions or payroll deposits coming from or into your accounts but you must cut those off as soon as possible and transfer them to the DIP account. (See e. below) Before you close the account make sure you obtain 4 months of bank statements. Those must be given to the UST. 5. Next you must open a Debtor in Possession account, called a DIP account. This is sometimes hard to do as the not all of the banks know what this is. Make sure you obtain an ATM card from that account as you must track all your expenses. The account must state your name and address and also it must say Debtor in Possession account with your bankruptcy number on the checks. Obviously this will identify you as being in bankruptcy every time

you write a check which is why the ATM is important. However, you cannot use your ATM for cash advances. If you take out cash you must account for everything you spend it on by obtaining a receipt. You can use this ATM card exactly as you use a credit card as long as there is money in the account. This means you can use it to rent a car, plane tickets etc. If you own multiple properties you may consider having three DIP accounts: One for your personal expenses, one for mortgages and rents and one for security deposits. You would have to submit 3 MOR’s each month but the security account would rarely change and the mortgage account would be just rents and payments. This is up to you. Some lenders may require a separate account for their properties. It is better to do so to keep expenses separate. If the Deed of Trust on your property contains an Assignment of Rents, you must open a separate account for that property. You will also have to contact the carriers for your property insurance and add the United States Trustee’s office handling your case as “an interested party”. This applies to real property, vehicles, boats etc. The UST will thus receive any notifications as to whether any policies have lapsed. It is your duty to assure all property is insured in order to protect the bankruptcy estate.

• Days 2 through 7: During this time you will have to complete the 7 day packet. It is your job to compile the information to submit to the UST. The 7 day packet must be delivered to the UST by the 7th day after filing. You will get a copy for your use.

• Court Appearances/ Meetings: In referring to court appearances I am referring to actual appearances in court and meetings with the UST and creditors. Your first meeting will be with the UST and is called an Initial Debtor Interview (IDI). This is an informal meeting where we meet with a representative of the UST and tell them what we are doing and how. Some of the trustee’s offices do not hold this meeting on our cases as they know what we are doing. Some hold the meeting in conjunction with the Meeting of Creditors and some hold a separate meeting. At the meeting you will present a valid government issued photo ID such as a valid driver’s license or passport and the original of your social security card. No photocopies are accepted. If you do not have these documents they will not interview you and your case will be dismissed. The representative of the UST will question you and me as

to what our plan is and how we propose to proceed. I will answer a lot of these questions but you will have to tell them why you are in bankruptcy and what led you there. An answer that the economy has gone down is not sufficient. Be specific. Laid off, decrease in hours or pay, loss of rents, etc. etc. The meeting is very informal, lasts about 20 minutes and you are not under oath. Also at this meeting the UST will explain the fee schedule for paying the UST fee for the privilege of allowing you to file a bankruptcy. This fee is based on the disbursements out of your DIP account. If you are under $15,000 in any quarter the fee is $325.00 a quarter. If you are between $15,000 and $100,000 the fee is $650.00 a quarter. Most people fall in this category. That fee is due by the 15th of the month following the end of the quarter. Thus the fee for the quarter ending March 31st is due by April 15th and so forth. Your second meeting is called a section 341 meeting and is a Meeting of Creditors. Rarely if ever does a creditor appear. Usually only friends, relatives or jewelry stores show up to see why you are putting them in the bankruptcy. (You have no choice, all creditors must be listed.) This is a more formal hearing; you are placed under oath, and will be asked about the same questions you were asked at the IDI. If there was no IDI then this will be your first exposure to the process.

Your responsibility is to answer directly and truthfully but don’t elaborate unless asked to do so.

• Post Status Conference: After the status conference you have little to do. You only have to make money and submit your reports. Your attorney will do the rest. You must make all of your secured payments on time, meaning the first of the month for mortgages and the due date for vehicles. You will not have to repay any arrearage on your mortgage or pay the unsecured creditors until after a plan is approved.

• Confirmation: The purpose of the entire process is to get confirmation of a plan that is feasible to you, and has the approval of the creditors. All of your debt is divided into classes. Each secured loan is its own class and all of the unsecured debt is placed in one class which includes credit cards, signature loans, student loans, unsecured second mortgages or HELOCS and the unsecured portion of the first mortgages on rental property. To get approval we need the acceptance of one secured class and hopefully the unsecured class. To obtain approval of the unsecured class we will have to offer them a percentage of the total debt, usually 5% to 20% depending on your disposable income.


As to the unsecured class of the entities who vote we must have 51% of the creditors AND 2/3 of the amount of debt vote in favor of the plan. What stands in your way is something called the absolute priority rule (APR). Under this rule if the unsecured creditors do not vote for the plan the debtor cannot retain his or her interest in pre-petition property unless 100% of the unsecured debt is paid. Not all courts are following this rule and currently it is a hot topic around the United States. The courts across the country are split on whether this applies to individual debtors. In the Central District there is also a split with most courts holding the APR does not apply and at least two judges holding it does. Our office is appealing a negative ruling but that will take at least a year to resolve. In the meantime we have to take things as they come. If we have approval as stated above, the APR does not apply. If for some reason the plan is not confirmed there are other options. We can resubmit a plan to pay more to the unsecured creditors, file an appeal if the reason for the lack of confirmation is the APR, provide new value equal to the liquidation value of the estate, or we can discuss whether it is worth it for you to continue as planned.

Post-Confirmation: After confirmation a number of

important events take place: First, you may close your DIP account. You no longer have to protect property of the estate because confirmation vests the property of the estate back to you. Second, you begin making payments according to the plan on the first of the next month following plan confirmation. So if your plan was confirmed in April, you begin making payments May 1st and so forth. These may be made from a normal checking account that you can now open as long as you continue to track your income and expenses. We will send you sample letters to make your payments to your secured and unsecured creditors and you will send them that letter with a copy of the plan and the court’s order approving the plan.


Third, you no longer file monthly reports. Instead you file a one page quarterly report. Fourth, after you have made payments for two consecutive months we will file a motion for a final decree, discharge and closure of your case. Once signed by the court you will no longer have to do any reports and you will no longer have to pay the trustee fee. If the case is closed mid quarter, you still owe the fee for that quarter. Once the final decree and discharge are entered you are done. You just continue to

Michael R. Totaro, J.D., LL.M. Totaro & Shanahan, Inc. P.O. Box 789 Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 310 573 0276 (v) 310 496 1260 (f) 310 948 6301 (Cell)




by David Allen


The redemption/accept for value scheme forms the basis of most sovereign schemes. This scheme is utilized against anyone the sovereign citizen may owe money to. Some sovereigns have made money teaching their version of this method to others, while other sovereigns make it available on the internet for free. Other sovereign schemes recognized by the FBI are running a fraudulent insurance operation completely outside of state insurance regulatory authorities, a phony diplomatic credential scheme, federal money laundering, tax evasion, and weapons charges1. Sovereign citizen defendants in Riverside County have also been convicted in a lien washing scheme against the DMV2.

Sovereign citizens have convened “common law courts” and issued “citizens’ arrest warrants” for public officials. Defendant Ronald Fulbright mailed a series of documents to United States Bankruptcy Judge John Peterson. Among the documents mailed by Fulbright was a “Notice and Demand for Declaration of Judge’s Impartiality” and a “Citizens’ Arrest Warrant for Citizens’ Arrest.” The notice “charged” Judge Peterson with numerous “crimes,” including sedition, high treason, bank fraud, and armed robbery. Fulbright was convicted for conspiracy to impede or injure federal officers under 18 U.S.C. § 3723.

Recognizing Document



Sovereign citizens often produce documents that appear to be legal documents, but upon further review contain bizarre, pseudo-legal language. The documents are constantly changing or evolving as sovereign legal gurus “discover” new archaic phrasing or supposed legal authority. In some cases, sovereigns use their own form of language or grammar, or will write only in certain colors, such as in red crayon, or at a 45 degree angle. Some sovereigns will include a red thumbprint with the signature. The red is said to represent blood, to signify that the “flesh and blood” sovereign is signing the document, rather than the strawman.

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (Sep. 2011) [as of March 27, 2012]that means you must be able to take the offense -- attack them personally.” 2 People v. Eardly, RIF1102476, prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Amy Zeta and Erika Drake, investigated by CHP Officer Dave Yokely 3 United States v. Fulbright (9th Cir.1997) 105 F.3d 443 1



The sovereign citizen will often sign their name accompanied by the phrase “sui juris,” meaning “of one’s own right.”4 Additionally, sovereigns are sometimes known to sign documents with references to UCC section 1-308, either referring to the section itself or writing “without prejudice.” The document will likely show a number of individuals labeled as “respondents,” “fiduciaries,” or other inappropriate labels. These individuals will often include public officials such as the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the District Attorney, the Judge, the Clerk of the Court and so on. Other sovereign citizen indicators include names spelled in all capital letters or interspersed with colons (e.g., JOHN SMITH or Smith: John), signatures followed by the words “under duress,” “Sovereign Living Soul” (SLS), or a copyright symbol ©, personal seals, stamps, or thumb prints in red ink, and the words “accepted for value” Sovereigns will often reference inapplicable

areas of law such as the UCC, admiralty law, “natural law,” and the “common law.”5

Conclusion Real Estate professionals need to be aware of whether they are dealing with an individual with a sovereign citizen mentality. These individuals do not respect traditional property rights or the power of the courts to enforce them, so actions like unlawful detainers and quiet title suits will prove ineffective. Attempts to negotiate or reason with a hardcore sovereign citizen can result in harassment of a personal nature up to and including the filing of fraudulent liens against your own property. Real Estate professionals are encouraged to contact the District Attorney’s Office Real Estate Fraud Unit if you encounter one of these individuals.

David Allen is a Deputy District Attorney in the Riverside County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit. Complaints regarding Real Estate Fraud in Riverside County may be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office by going to http:// resources/consumerinfo.html and completing a Real Estate Fraud complaint form.

Southern Poverty Law Center, Sovereigns: A Dictionary of the Peculiar. <> [as of March 27, 2012] FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (Sep. 2011) [as of March 27, 2012] 4

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (Sep. 2011) [as of March 27, 2012]you must be able to scare them. You must be able to make them respect you, and that means you must be able to take the offense -- attack them personally.” 5



Communicating Your Way to SUCCESS! (First of a seven part series on Communication Power!)

Your Goal Begins A Seed!

Reaching and Ends with

P.S. Perkins

“Germination” is the process where it all begins. The seed becomes creation. YOUR creation! The seeds are your thoughts, words, emotions— your behavior and resultant actions.

These actions become the daily movies called your life. How do you approach your daily success story—with failure or victory? Every morning you begin your day by writing a script, a life script that carries you through the day. Did you “get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” Any morning? Every morning? With your waking consciousness, thoughts begin to flood into your mind. The ones you allow to germinate take root and become the thoughtfood you digest to create your daily movie. Think about how this understanding plays a role in every aspect of your daily communication with the self and others. The thoughts you are thinking determine whether you “get up and go?” Your ATTITUDE must always be on a higher PLATITUDE as a businessperson in a “high-people skills” industry. How can you achieve this if day after day for you begin in the residue of negative or unhappy thoughts? You are a resident of your communication residue! Where are you living? There is a way to defeat negative thoughts BEFORE they become undesired outcomes. It is an old-time remedy that we have ALL heard! Passed down through the ages, generation-to-generation, never skipping! THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK! That is right! Think before you Speak! Not Speak before you Think! Now, really think about this simple, ancient proverb and understand the incredible wisdom of such a simple saying. If indeed thought is the seed of germination of ALL Creation on the physical plane (and above), then what are your thoughts creating!



ANSWER: NOTHING UNTIL THEY TAKE FORM THROUGH YOUR WORDS AND EMOTIONS! Think about it. “Think before you speak” is mainly assigned as a rule of thumb when an individual wants to head-off arguments or unkind words, in the context of being directed towards someone else. However, what if it was meant exclusively for you! Yes, YOU! To place a guard on your mouth concerning what you are MATERIALIZING! THINK before YOU speak! What you are about to say next, especially based on the frequency and emotional import of the words, is undoubtedly producing something! Do you want to see it? Remember, the thought is just that: “a thought” . . . until it takes form…millions of zillions of times a day! Show me anything you can touch, taste, feel, or see that did not first start as a thought! Self-talk or Intrapersonal Communication is the oldest form of talk and the most frequent form of communication. Everyone talks to himself or herself more than they do others, and these thoughts are the seeds creating their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual world. You are an amalgamation of ingesting many words that have formed your thoughts. These words came to you through the process of socialization. WHOSE THOUGHTS ARE YOU THIINKING? Learn more about Intrapersonal Communication and other types of personal and professional communication by reviewing the Communication Staircase Model in The Art and Science of Communication, by PS. Perkins. The science of Intrapersonal Communication teaches you to engage in the “3-Selves” exercise: self-monitor, self-reflect, and self-adjust to make sure what you are about to say is what you really want to SEE and FEEL.

WORDS ARE YOUR PERSONAL CREATION TOOLS! P.S. When going to support a client, close a contract, and prepare for a new business opportunity, the seed you germinate prior to the “meeting” means everything to its success! No matter the thought, SPEAK THE WIN! Stir in a little positive emotion and you have done your part to thwart the negativity thieves: doubt, fear, and inadequacy. Your early morning life script is the seed that germinates through your daily communication with self and others. Start your day with intentional thoughts and words that project your desired and expected outcomes. It’s called Intentionality! Your Intrapersonal Communication is either your great ally or your greatest nemesis. Learn to control it, manipulate it, and create with it! It is your God-given right and gift! Use it to soar to your greatest heights!

Now Plant Your Seed!

P.S. Perkins




Taste The

I have been thinking almost non-stop about differences. The media is full of stories that demonstrate just how the issues of difference are on people minds everywhere. There are debates about same-sex marriage, disparicy in education between whites and minorities, and the ever widening gap between the haves and the havenots.We live in a society with tremendous diversity. It seems however that people have such difficulty with differences. In various settings, such as businesses, schools, and even churches have conflict, disagreements, and strife. We often think people don’t like us or that they set out to do things to irritate us but that may not be the case. Take a moment and think about you, your family, co-workers, as well as how your church handles diversity. Many of us remain in settings with people most like us. God is calling for us to “Taste the Rainbow”




In the story of Noah’s Ark, he was instructed to bring 2 of each creature. WOW, that is an extreme example of diversity. There is a deeper message on how God values differences… we should as well. God then provided the “Rainbow” to represent his promise. A rainbow is a vivid visual of how beautiful differences can be. The colors in a rainbow are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. So different, yet so gorgeous together. We never look at a rainbow and complain that there is not enough Orange or there it too much Blue. No, we all look at the rainbow with awe at its awesomeness. We can experience that same level of awesomeness in our relationships when we value and respect differences.

awesome to learn that Christ is a perfect blend of all four, the four gospels where written to each of the colors, and there are examples of all of the different types all through the bible. When we become Christians, we must move to be more Christ like and blend all 4 colors within us. Now, we have all 4 colors within in us but they are at different levels. When we attempt to operate in our primary color-we are walking in Flesh. When we are walking in F.L.E.S.H. we are;

ainbow God is concerned about our relationships and mandates that we even love our enemies. The question becomes how do we really “Taste the Rainbow”? There is an innovative model that was designed for the body of Christ called “Essential Colors”. This model helps us to understand our temperament/character types as well as that of those different from us. Although the model was designed for the Body of Christ, it is just great information for all people. Once you know what you are working with then you know how to work it. Whether that is in our homes, offices, schools, or communities at large, we can benefit from Colors.

The model has 4 types of people identified by a color: Blue-values relationships (represents the Compassion of Christ), Gold-values rules & order (represents the Control of Christ), Greenvalues knowledge (represents the Competence of Christ), and Orange-values freedom & action (represents the Command of Christ). Now, it is

Forever Letting Ego Supercede Holiness

We must “Taste the Rainbow” by embracing difference within us as well as those around us. Take a moment to discover your color scheme by visiting and take the Colors Assessment or contact Evangelist Sabrina Jackson to come to your church to take people through the “Essential Colors Experience”. Make the decision to be more like Christ and “Taste the Rainbow”.

Sabrina Jackson is an evangelist, therapist, professional speaker, trainer, coach, and author. Dr. Jackson is available for speaking, training, and consulting for businesses, churches, and groups.. Contact Sabrina at 800495-5495 or through the web





By Eric Egana

“There are a lot of ways you can describe this. I like to call it the national automobile slum, you can call it suburban sprawl . . . I think it’s appropriate to call it the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.” James Howard Kunstler In his popular eBook titled The Gated City, The Economist writer Ryan Avent makes an argument bound to upset both the residents of the sprawling, low-cost suburban communities of the sunny south and the exclusive, high-cost urban dwellers that they left behind: this is all wrong. Consider this. San Francisco boasts beautiful year-round weather and some of the highest paying job sectors in the nation. Phoenix, on the other hand, offers tons of scorching days where it’s dangerous to go outside, and an annual household income that is only about 60% that of the Silicon Valley area. Why then, during the period 2000 to 2009, did Phoenix see a net gain of over half a million Americans from other places, while the same number decided to leave the Bay Area? The answer is simple, and can be confirmed firsthand by anyone working in or looking for real estate in either area: the cost of housing. Through restrictive zoning laws or frivolous lawsuits that thwart attempts to develop in certain areas,


wealthy communities across our nation’s most productive and well-off cities have managed to push new and existing residents away by simply limiting the supply. Avent points out that in every year from 1992 to 2009, for example, the greater Phoenix area allowed for construction of more new housing units than the San Francisco and San Jose areas combined (and often 2 to 3 times more). For the individual homeowner in New York City or in one of the many leafy suburban enclaves in Westchester County, NY, restricted access may be a good thing. Keeping housing supplies low helps keep property values of existing homes high. Additionally, keeping housing costs high acts almost as a tuition of sorts to the local public schools, as only families that can afford to buy a house in that school district get to send their children there. But for America as a whole, the opportunity costs of denying people access to desirable neighborhoods that are close to good jobs and offer good schools are much, much larger than we seem to realize.


Residents of Phoenix and Jacksonville contribute a lot less to GDP than do residents of New York and San Francisco, given the difference in wage. Residents in denser areas are much more likely to use mass transit or walk to work than are residents of the new suburban sprawls, thereby decreasing the use of harmful fossil fuels. Just think on car-commuting hours alone how much productivity could be gained if people didn’t have to spend an hour each way in their car just to get to work? For that to happen, though, you have to live closer to where you work. And for that to happen, you have to be able to build homes closer to where people work. The benefits of increasing urban density in established places are clear, yet sadly, as Avent points out, the trend towards development where there is more open, cheaper land is unlikely to stop. He writes, “It may be uncomfortable to acknowledge, but our inability to accommodate people in high wage cities, borne of the simple impulse to keep our neighborhoods just as they are, has made America poorer, less innovative, dirtier, and more dependent on scarce fossil fuels than it ought to be. That’s a terrible price to pay for the right to keep neighborhoods from changing with the times.” In the end, people want what they want, and some people just do not want large apartment buildings surrounding their fenced in backyard (deservedly earning the moniker “Not In My Backyarder’s”). The argument for change,

however, is overwhelming. From the gains in innovation and productivity to the environmental benefits, denser cities are clearly more desirable for society as a whole than are sprawling suburban campuses. Sooner or later, whether we want to or not, America will have to change. The difference will be whether that change is gradual or abrupt. As Avent masterfully states, “A limber society bends when pushed in one direction or another. A rigid society breaks.”

Eric Egana, MA Associate Editor



5 lifestyle mistakes to STOP

making Want an easier way to lose fat? Stop starving yourself, counting calories, or eliminating your favorite food groups. Those extreme techniques only burn you out and leave you more frustrated than ever. I bet if I sat on your shoulder and watched your daily routine, I would be able to identify at least 5 areas where you could make simple changes that effortlessly help you lose unwanted pounds. Because the truth is that real fat loss comes with lasting, healthy lifestyle changes. You’ll get to your goals quicker when you stop making these 5 Lifestyle Mistakes:

Lifestyle Mistake #1: Lack of Sleep. To put this simply, you need to sleep more. Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night, and I know you aren’t getting that much. When you don’t get adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight. How does this work? Something like this. If you’re tired, you won’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’ll opt for fast (fattening) food instead. This very same lack of energy will also likely cause you to skip the gym. On


by Yvonne Salcedo

top of that, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, and if you’ve not heard, that is not something you want when trying to shed a few pounds.




Too Much TV Time: Many people are in the habit of sitting in front of the TV for hours on end after a stressful day at work. Yes, you may be worn out and need a break, but sitting on the couch, zoned out, watching TV is not the way to lose inches. If you must watch the evening news or see your favorite show, use the time to burn a few calories. Keep some hand weights next to the couch and work your biceps and triceps. Stand up and do some squats or lunges to work your legs and buttocks. Get on the floor and do some sit-ups to tone your abs or push-ups to tone your arms.

Lifestyle Mistake #3: Skipping Breakfast.

Want to know a secret to successful weight loss? Eat breakfast! Try cutting calories by skipping breakfast, and you’ll be excessively hungry by midmorning. As a result, the healthy calories you would have eaten at breakfast are replaced with caloriefilled snacks and an over-sized lunch.


Once again, fitting breakfast into your busy schedule may mean dramatic lifestyle changes. But research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping pounds off. Get to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm 10 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast

Lifestyle Mistake #4: Drinking Too Much

Sugar. Lasting fat loss is about changes. Unfortunately, some of the changes one must make are difficult. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soda, alcohol, or other sweetened beverages then your fitness goals may remain out of reach until you replace these drinks with water. You should also know that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger.

exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, it’s more likely to stick, and your body will become slimmer and more toned. If you’re fed up with your body, if you’ve reached the end of your rope, if you think that you’ll never enjoy wearing a bathing suit again in public…then I have good news for you. I’m here to help you meet your fitness and fat loss goals. In fact, seeing my clients reach their goals is what drives me to do what I do. I can’t wait to see your transformation unfold. Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will get you on the fast track to your best body ever.

So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water.

Lifestyle Mistake #5:

Not Doing the Right Physical Activity. Weight loss is about burning more calories than you consume. Therefore, it should make sense to you that dieting and exercise must go hand in hand. If you want to speed up weight loss and keep the weight away, add or increase the amount and intensity of physical activity in your daily life. For many people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are well worth it. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of intense



Fresh Blogging Ideas Blogging is important for improving search results and doing it well can drive repeated visitors to your site and improve the visibility of your brand.1 However, it can be difficult to constantly think up new ideas for articles to write. This can result in a couple of bad practices. 1) Writing content that is not useful to anyone or 2) Not writing at all. The whole idea behind blogging is you are trying to reach out to your customers on a regular basis so that they see you and your company as one that provides useful information, and ultimately one they would like to do business with. Brian Lang over at the Small Business Idea Blog sent along a great article on 1012 blogging ideas

Posted by Paul Scavitto on July 31st, 2013

to help keep your blog fresh. I encourage you to check out his site as it is filled with useful information and tips. We’re going to use Brian’s article as a jumping off point for today’s discussion. Among the many useful suggestions in Brian’s article, one theme seems to stand out which is that, if you are running out of ideas, get social! By tapping the massive and powerful social media connections that many of us have today there should be no shortage of ideas that can come from social media. By looking at the trends on your social media accounts and the questions that people are asking it should be relatively

easy to come up with a few topics to address. Another strategy is to look at what the most popular blog topics for the year are.3 Now your business or industry may not tie into any of the topics listed, but you might be able to find a clever way to tie in what your business does. The beauty of this is if you can figure out a way to tie your blog post to an already popular discussion it becomes much easier to help people transition into reading your blog. Of note, some of the most popular blogs out there are ones about technology4. As we are all using technology of one form or another, is there some technology based discussion that your blog could be having?



Beyond topics that are popular on blogs it can also be useful to look at the general trends in blogging.5 In an excellent discussion over at http:// Pavel Ushakov explored the latest trends in the blogging world. His first point is one that we have been repeating for some time: quality content is king. This point cannot be said enough, but while blogging is important6, there can be no replacement for producing high quality original content. Pavel goes on to discuss the importance of having your company integrate with social media and ways to enrich your blogs through visuals and videos. One of the great points he makes is that in order for companies to take advantage of social media marketing it is important that blog content be as easy for people to share as possible. Are there +1 links or Facebook like buttons at the


bottom of your pages? Can people easily share an article through one click of a button? Are you setup with Twittter and Pinterest? Pavelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s point here is that it is not enough to simply produce good content, but that it must be made easily accessible to your readers. Take a look at your blog. When was the last time it was updated? What was the most popular article? Do you know which of your articles was the best driver of business? Do you have any kind of mechanism in place to gather this information? What was the last article that you read on somebody elses blog? What was that about? What drew you to that article? If you found the information inside that article to be useful, how can you design your blog articles to reflect a similar level of content? Thanks again to Brian for sending along his article.

1. http://smallbusiness. 2. http://www. smallbusinessideasblog. com/101-blog-contentideas 3. http://www.kenfolios. com/bloggingonline-marketing/ popular-blog-topics-in2013-9-most-popularblog-topics-in-2013/44/ 4. http://tech-blogs. 5. http://www. blog/blogging-trendsfor-2013-and-beyond/ 6. http://www. amyporterfield. com/2013/01/bloggingfor-seo-how-to-writeblog-posts-that-rankwell/



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Networ king 1 0 1 :

How to Build Your Networ k by Tammy Turner

arrived at the bottom floor, where the doors will open and your opportunity will walk out?


etworking is the single most effective strategy, bar none, to progress in your business or your career. Even though networking is a vital tool that the most savvy business professionals and entrepreneurs have learned how to master, it’s a tool that we must learn on our own, because most of us did not attend an Ivy League school where networking is taught. The business schools that the vast majority of us attended did not offer a class on the art or importance of networking. Having taught ‘The Art of Networking” to business professionals and students for over 15 years, here are some tips that you can implement immediately in order to begin building business relationships or expanding your existing network.

1. Develop a 30-second elevator speech:

The idea is that if you were in an elevator with Oprah, Bill Gates, Donald Trump or Mark Zuckerburg, and you are at the top floor of the Sears Tower of Renaissance Center, what would you say to them and how would you secure some type of follow-up before you


Wouldn’t you agree that it would be beneficial to have something already rehearsed in your mind to articulate to them, other than “I love your work”? This is where your speech comes in. There are 4 components to this speech: • Identify who you are (Name) • Your Business (Name of your business or company that you work for) • Identify what you do (CPA, Investor, Entrepreneur, Teacher, etc.) • What your need is or how they can be a resource to you or you to them. One might think that this is quite a bit of information to cover before those elevator doors open up. Keep in mind, this is meant to be short and sweet and help you to secure a business card for follow-up at a later date. This is NOT the time to give your resume, certifications, educational background or other credentials. This is to give you the opportunity to introduce yourself and your business, service or company only.

2. Learn





Throughout the years, and many workshops, trainings and seminars later, I’ve discovered (from my participants) that one of the


biggest fears about networking is actually how to initiate conversation. Most people are uncomfortable walking into a room full of strangers and engaging them in conversation. Or walking up to someone in line at the grocery store, or at a basketball game or at the gym, but this seems to be especially true in a professional setting where someone’s “title” is oftentimes an intimidating factor. First, find the common bond. Your common bond could be the event that you are attending, the organization that you are supporting or that you’re a member of, or even the location/venue of the event. Those are common bonds that you can use to initiate conversation, by saying “Are you a member of XYZ?” or “Is this your first XYZ conference?” or “What chapter of XYZ do you belong to?” These are all great “common bond” questions that initiate conversation. In addition to the “common bond” approach, I also have other tools in the toolbox that are just as effective, such as current events, sports, compliments and the weather. Yes … as boring as that may sound, it’s an age-old conversation starter. Use it! Most people watch the news or read the newspaper in an effort to stay abreast of the happenings around the world locally, nationally and internationally. These “current events” are a great conversation starter. However, I would caution you to avoid conversations about current events that involve religion or politics. The goal of networking is to “build” relationships and a conversation about those two topics could have the exact opposite effect. In the age of technology and social media,


networking has become easier. A potential contact or resource is a mere mouse click away. However, be careful not to allow social media and modern technology to rob you of the ability to have a face-to-face conversation with someone. There is much value in an oldfashioned handshake and being able to look someone in the eye and gauge whether this is someone you can trust and do business with. Technology is a great tool to enhance or begin to build a network, but it should not be the only way you communicate.


Real Estate Technology and Its Impact on the Agent by Joseph Freedman

Real Estate Marketing has changed for the real estate professional. Today there are two types of media to consider when marketing: New media and Traditional media. To keep things simple, we will define new media as internet marketing, social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest) and any new form of digital media marketing. When we think of traditional media we think of print and radio advertising. As our environment constantly changes, real estate agents must work smarter and faster to determine the cost analysis and effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, marketing dollars and if their marketing investments make sense. Many agents have limited advertising dollars. Instead of utilizing traditional media such as print advertising for consistency and continuity (typically dropping materials 15 weeks in a row and then bi-weekly thereafter) many turn to internet generated marketing leads. Many choose internet marketing over direct mail, as the monthly cost is an

easier pill to swallow. Agents entering the business are at the mercy of developing their clientele through working their office up desk or sitting open houses for other agent listings. Internet leads are a cost effective and a viable option if correctly managed. The top three vendors which come to mind are TigerLead, Kunversion and Commissions Inc. It is much easier to work with internet lead aggregators then spending marketing dollars search engine optimizing your own website. Lead aggregators have developed specific expertise in hyper local marketing segments and have the ability to balance your monthly spend amount

against their overall efforts maximizing inbound leads. Receiving internet leads is only half the battle. As leads come in it is equally necessary to herd them like cattle. Agents get lucky when deals immediately strike; however, this is not the norm. Internet leads need to be nurtured through drip campaigns and followed up with on a regular basis. Essentially, prospective buyers and sellers need to be touched by both email and phone on a regular basis. Typical internet buyer leads mature after 90 days. Internet leads have their fair amount of trash such as an uninterested prospect, bad email address or telephone number. Some internet leads sign up on your stealth marketing site simply for MLS access. Maturing these leads takes time and it is highly recommended a CRM be utilized to track emails/ drip campaigns, in addition to making use of phone conversations.



CRM software is a must have tool for any agent who is serious about working with internet leads. Believe it or not many agents receiving leads print email notifications and track their progress though various pieces of paper. A CRM will only help you mature your leads and further develop your business in addition to your relationship with the prospective client. In addition to the agent contacting them we have found that working with a lender partner is as beneficial as wanting to make sure a buyer qualifies for their intended purchase. Intercap Lending has developed the lender partner program. The process is simple. Lead Vendors, plus a lender call center will offset your marketing

costs and create higher closings leading to greater return on investment (ROI). The Lender Partner Program has the ability to call leads within minutes of delivery, qualify the buyer and handle financing based upon their needs. As your lender partner Intercap Lending will keep the commitment of logging all correspondence directly in the specific system. We will also notify you of the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest level and advise accordingly. When everyone moves in the same direction you get there faster. In addition to the agentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relationship with the buyer lead, Intercap continues to cultivate the buyer relationship though drip email campaigns and periodic phone contact until a successful close is reached. Finding a home is only half the

battle; if there is a non-cash buyer, getting approved for a mortgage is the second half. Intercap Lending is licensed in many states and offers a variety of loan options including FHA, HARP 2.0, Conventional, VA and Jumbo home loans. Intercap Lending is a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae Direct Seller/Servicer.


The Power of


Written by Paul Scavitto on June 26th, 2013


hink about where you do most of your shopping. What’s the furthest that you drive to make a purchase? If you are anything like the average consumer,1 that distance is about 15 miles for 75% of your purchases. For most businesses this means that the majority of their revenue is going to come from local clientele. Most businesses, that are still around, have figured out that in order to be successful they must advertise to attract local people, in places or venues where local people can experience the ad. Today we know that the majority of people either own a smartphone or they are in the process of acquiring one.2 Smartphones offer local businesses an opportunity to place ads directly into prospective customers hands. Today we are going to look at several successful mobile marketing techniques designed to pull in local customers. In a recent study, Forrester Research found that 75% of consumers will use their smartphones while they are in a business.3 I’ve done this myself. While we were looking for a new Blu-ray player I looked up product reviews before making the purchase. But what if even before I was in the store the company knew I was nearby and they could send me an advertisement about a great deal they were running? This is called geo-fencing4 and it is one of many revolutionary methods of using the location based information produced by a smartphone to drive business. In order for geo-fencing to work, customers must


“opt-in” to the service by downloading an app, likely provided by the business, that gathers this information. This is a very exciting piece of technology that is still in its infancy, but it is possible to foresee a future where a company not only knows that a customer is near their store, but that I am near their store and what ads might be more likely to lure me inside. This is the near equivalent of having a sales representative, who knows your name, waiting outside a store to greet you as you pass by. It is definitely possible to see the power of an application like this on crazy shopping days like Black Friday. This technology gives companies the power to literally reach out and pull customers into the store. Geo-fencing could be applied to any business, for instance in real estate, if someone has this app and they pull up in front of a house, the phone might prompt them to watch a video tour of the inside. The possibilities are endless and we have not even begun to look at the potential mountain of customer based data that a service like geofencing might provide.5 Google, Apple and Philips are all getting in on geo-fencing as well.6 There is a lot of excitement about using location information to drive marketing.7 Geo-aware marketing is similar to geo-fencing in that it is based on a consumer’s physical location. The difference is that geo-aware will provide different users with different information depending on how far away they are from the business.8


Geo-aware and geo-fencing are both technologies that require users to provide information to a company through their smart phones about their physical location and while they are successful, there are many other methods of delivering local marketing through mobile. Earlier this month a small business in New Orleans made news for its use of mobile marketing to drive in local customers.9 The streets of New Orleans were filling with people for the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival, unfortunately those same streets were also filling with muddy water from relentless rain. This small business owner took to her Twitter account to let customers know that she had plenty of dry rain boots in stock. Within a matter of moments she was flooded (sorry), with customers demanding dry boots. She made a bundle and her customers were able to go out and enjoy the festival. At seven years old Twitter is nigh ancient and yet people continue to find clever uses for the service. With 75% of consumers shopping within a few minutes of home it is crucial to make sure that your marketing makes it into their hands. Smartphones provide one of the most versatile marketing platforms ever designed. Consumers take their phones with them everywhere and they check them constantly. If you can find a way to get your advertising into their hands, the likelihood of them coming into your business increases dramatically.

1. h t t p : / / w w w . m e d i a p o s t . c o m / publications/article/201574/consumerbrands-need-a-localized-mobilemarketing.html#axzz2XFbczbaf 2. Smartphone-Ownership-2013/Findings. aspx 3. news/commerce/15278.html 4. 5. blogs/mobile-is-the-medium-and-amarket-research-revolution-41774/#. Ucnk7_mG2So 6. h t t p : / / t e c h n o r a t i . c o m / b u s i n e s s / advertising/article/google-bets-on-geofencing/ 7. 8. 9. h t t p : / / w w w . u s a t o d a y . c o m / s t o r y / money/business/2013/06/04/smbmobile-marketing/2383557/


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The PIN Magazine March 2014  
The PIN Magazine March 2014