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M E T R O AT L A N TA E D I T I O N > W I N T E R 2 0 1 0

Joshua Bazzetta REO Wizz Kid

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Database Administrator Lynn Paul Graphic Design/Production Felicia Kahn Contributing Writers Jessica Arledge David Austin Sarah Gleim Board of Advisors Jim Cochran Carol Flammer Dan Forsman Kevin Levent Sandra McCrary Jenny Pruitt Walter Sanford Tom Spurlin R.E. Magazine® is published quarterly by REM Publishing, LLC., 3036 Leafwood Drive SE., Marietta, GA 30067. Phone: 770-956-7100 FAX: 770-956-7105 R.E. Real Estate Magazine is printed by Executive Press, Richardson, TX, using earth-friendly printing techniques, including FSC-certified paper, and soy-based inks and biodegradable coatings. Subscriptions are free for Realtor® Board or Association members in Metro Atlanta. Allow 6-8 weeks for new subscriptions. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: R.E. Magazine, 3036 Leafwood Drive SE., Marietta, GA 30067

In a gala event attended by a packed hall of enthusiastic agents, Metro Brokers announced it entered into a long-term franchise agreement with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Under the new agreement, Metro Brokers’ residential division now operates via the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC franchise network, and will be known as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. The move covers 2,300 agents in 28 offices. In addition, Metro Brokers’ commercial real estate division will now operate under the Coldwell Banker Commercial franchise network. This division includes 150 commercial real estate professionals serving the 20-county Atlanta market. The announcement was made on December 7, at the Cobb Galleria, with the fanfare and flourish befitting a Broadway opening. Complete with music, dancers, and dramatic lighting, the atmosphere was electric as President and CEO Kevin Levent made the historic announcement. The Better Homes and Gardens network now has over 100 offices and 4200 agents across country. Metro Brokers president and CEO Kevin Levent will continue to direct both divisions’ operations.

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Metro Brokers Joins Forces with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Keller Williams Realty – The Rawls Group Ranks High on “Atlanta’s Best Places to Work” List The Atlanta Business Chronicle placed Keller Williams Realty – The Rawls Group in the No. 2 spot on its annual list of “Atlanta’s Best Places to Work” in the largeemployer category (more than 501 employees in the metro area). The only real estate company in the top 10, the company is one of almost 500 companies and organizations nominated for the list. The company’s placement was based on data collected by Quantum Workplace from Rawls Group employees, who said they appreciate the attitude and leadership of Shaun Rawls, principal of Keller Williams Realty – The Rawls Group, and the leadership of Jeri Moran, general manager of The Rawls Groups’ Atlanta offices, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The recognition came just in time for the party! On January 20, Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta celebrated its 10th anniversary in the Atlanta market. Founded by Rawls, the office of 225 agents, managed by team leader Steve Kout, continues to be among metro Atlanta’s top 25 residential real estate offices in terms of production. Have a piece of real estate-related news? Send information to Editor, R.E. Magazine, 3036 Leafwood Drive S.E., Marietta, GA 30067, or e-mail to




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contents WINTER 2010



Cover Story

Joshua Bazzetta


A tireless work ethic and a knack for creating smooth-running systems has helped this 31-year-old agent rise quickly in the world of REOs

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The Georgia Association of Realtors® named Debra S. “Deb” Junkin as chief executive officer for the association. Junkin’s past experience includes serving as association executive for the East Metro Board of Realtors® Deb Junkin and as the GAR’s director of administration. She earned a Strategies in Non-Profit Management Certificate from the University of Chicago as well as the Realtors® association Certified Executive designation from the National Association of Realtors®, and Junkin is on track to complete her coursework for Duke University’s Non-Profit Management Program. Junkin also currently serves on the NAR Realtors® AE Magazine Editorial Board and on the AE Institute Advisory Board. Once again, the Georgia Association of Realtors ® honored Howell Haunson, director of education for Morris| Hardwick|Schneider, a real estate Howell Haunson closing law firm, with its Partners




in Education Instructor of the Year Award, which is given to the continuing education teacher with the highest average student evaluation score. Haunson also received the 2010 Educator of the Year Award from the Georgia Real Estate Educators Association. Practicing real estate law for more than 25 years, Haunson heads Morris|Hardwick|Schneider’s Education Department and dedicates his entire practice to educating the real estate community. He has served on the Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorneys Association Board of Directors and is actively involved in presenting lectures and seminars relating to real estate issues throughout the country. The East Metro Board of Realtors® selected La Trina Clark of Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Metro Brokers to serve as a local board of director. She also received the East Metro Board of Realtors® President’s Award. The 2009 president of the Metro East Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors®, Clark has earned her Graduate, Realtor Institute and Loss Mitigation Certification designations.

Atlanta-based Morris|Hardwick|Schneider promoted Natalie Hardwick, Cristina Hunt and Jeffrey Sandler to partner. With the firm since 1998, Hardwick manages the firm’s Dunwoody Perimeter office, focusing her practice on conventional Natalie Hardwick residential closings. A member of the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women and the Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorneys Association, Hardwick volunteers with the Junior League of Atlanta, the LandCastle Title Foundation, and various breast cancer research organizations. Hunt manages Cristina Hunt the firm’s Fayetteville office, where she focuses her practice on conventional residential closings. Currently managing MHS’s Florida operations, Sandler has served as vice president of the Northdale Special Taxing District, mayor and vice mayor of Oldsmar, FL, and member of Oldsmar Florida City Council. Catherine DeLalla brings 10 years’ real estate sales experience to Prudential Georgia Realty’s Perimeter North office from Charlesworth Realty. Specializing in residential

real estate, first-time home buyers, short sales, new construction and land, DeLalla has earned her Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Certified Sales Professional designation, her broker’s license, short sales certification and the Accredited Land Consultant certification. In addition, she completed the National Association of Home Builders IRM program. The company also welcomed Ronnie Hinton and his team, known as Ronnie Hinton & Associates, to Prudential Georgia Realty’s Midtown office. Previously, Hinton worked at Harry Norman, Realtors, where he was the top agent of the Buckhead office for both listings and closed units for the last four consecutive years. Antonio Brown, Ronnie Hinton & Bridgett Ford Hinton and his team, agents Antonio Brown and Bridgett Ford, specialize in REO properties in metro Atlanta and sell residential real estate as well. Hinton is a registered appraiser and holds

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The Atlanta Board of Realtors® named T Sheila Brower its 2009 Realtor® of the S Year. Y An agent with Harry Norman, Realtors® with more than 14 years experience, Brower has continued to be one of the most active participants in the real estate industry throughout her career. While her list of accomplishments and awards would fill this magazine, some of her more outstanding magaz achievements have been: Winner of the Atlanta Board of Realtors® (ABR) Five Star Circle of Service Award (2002, 2006, and 2007); Chair of the ABR Habitat for Humanity home build (2008 and 2009); Co-Chair and Chair of the ABR Annual Trade Show (2005, 2006 and 2007); President of

the Accredited Relocation Specialist and Senior Marketing Consultant designations. Prudential Georgia Realty also expanded the sales team at its Cherokee office with the addition of Jeanine Blumer and Valerie Hunter, both previously with John Jeanine Blumer Valerie Hunter Wieland Homes. With eight years’ experience, Blumer specializes in residential real estate and new home construction in Cherokee County. A Roswell resident, Hunter specializes in residential real estate and new home construction in Cherokee, East Cobb and North Fulton counties. Bringing 25 years’ of experience with him, K. Lee Smith joined the Keller Williams Realty team in the Peachtree Battle Market Center, one of the Rawls Group offices. Licensed as an associate broker, Lee serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Board of K. Lee Smith Realtors®, where he has been active in several of its standing committees for years, including serving as 2007 dean of the Leadership Development Program. He has earned the Graduate, Realtors® Institute, Certified Residential Specialist and Accredited Buyer’s Representative designations. Crye-Leike, Realtors named Leslie Kane its vice president of relocation services in Atlanta. A licensed referral agent in Georgia for more than 25 years, Kane was most recently the Georgia state manager for the Nehemiah Corporation of Leslie Kane 8



the Women’s Council of Realtors® (WCR) Atlanta Chapter (2004); President of WCR State Chapter (2007); WCR State National Focus Chair (2010), Regional Director for the Georgia Association of Realtors® and Board of Directors for the ABR (2004-2010). Recently, Brower was named President-Elect for the Cobb County Republican Women, was named Business Woman of the Year by WCR Atlanta Chapter, and was one of 15 women nominated for induction into The Academy of Women Leaders. Surprisingly, Brower still has time to sell real estate, working side-by-side with her husband Paul. A Lifetime member of the Million Dollar Club, she is also a Graduate, Realtors® Institute, a Leadership Training Graduate, Accredited Buyers Representative, Accredited Sellers Representative, and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist.

America. Her previous experience includes working as a special account manager with Corporate, industry relations director with Virtual and vice president of membership for RELO. She is a board member with the Atlanta chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and a member of the Metro Atlanta Relocation Council, a local chapter of the Employee Relocation Council.

Timmothy B. McCann

Crye-Leike also named Timmothy B. McCann as the co-managing broker at their Smyrna/Vinings office, where he leads the company’s new In-town Condo division. A successful novelist, McCann previously owned a financial consulting business as well as a real estate company.

RE/MAX Greater Atlanta welcomed Sharon Patterson as the managing broker of the Cobb office. Formerly with Crystal Lake Realty LLC, Patterson brings 21 years of experience in real estate. Past-president of the Metro South Association of Realtors®, Patterson was named the association’s Realtor® of the Year in 2003 and 2005, Top Individual Producer in 1999, and Women’s Council Sharon Patterson of Realtors’® Business Woman of the Year in 2008. Holder of the Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager designation, Patterson served on the board of governors for the Graduate Realtor® Institute, and is a trustee of the Georgia Political Action Committee. Have a piece of people-related news? Send information to Editor, R.E. Magazine, 3036 Leafwood Drive S.E., Marietta, GA 30067, or e-mail to

In Memoriam ~ Dorris Winecoff Dorris Winecoff, a long-time agent at RE/MAX Executives, died January 19, 2010 of kidney cancer. Always a favorite with other agents, the 5’ dynamo had a steady career of achievements, and a huge number of loyal friends, including Jeannie Mills, who partnered with Dorris for 17 years. An active agent to the very end, Dorris’ ďŹ nal sale closed just 4 days before she passed away at 93 years old. Born May 13, 1916, in Oakland City, IN, Winecoff entered the real estate industry after transferring to Atlanta from New York in 1959 with her husband, George. She was disappointed with the service they received when purchasing their home, and felt she could provide better service without wasting her clients’ time. Given her success, it appears her decision was a good one. A member of the Atlanta Board of RealtorsÂŽ and the DeKalb Assoc. of RealtorsÂŽ, Winecoff became the ďŹ rst and only agent to qualify for the DeKalb Assoc. of RealtorsÂŽ Million Dollar Club in 1964, an achievement she continued every year thereafter. She also was the ďŹ rst person in the DeKalb Assoc. to receive the

Phoenix Award, and received a second Phoenix Award with the Atlanta Board. In 1993, Winecoff was honored with the ďŹ rst Golden Baron Award for 25 years in the DeKalb Assoc. Million Dollar Club. In 1997, she garnered the ďŹ rst Gold Phoenix award from the DeKalb Assoc. Million Dollar Club. In 2005, Winecoff received the ďŹ rst Diamond Award for 40 years in the DeKalb Assoc. Million Dollar Club (an award they had to create to accommodate her unprecedented achievement). Furthermore, she was the only active real estate agent to receive the Realtor Emeritus status by the Georgia Association of RealtorsÂŽ. While these accomplishments are certainly noteworthy, they pale in comparison to the impact Winecoff made on her fellow agents, business associates and clients. She always reminded her colleagues to keep the focus on the work: stay honest, take care of the client and work hard. The rest, she said, would fall into place.







Joshua Bazz smooth-running systems has helped old agent rise quickly in the world of

John Clemmer Photography

cover story

A tireless work ethic and a knack

“Since at any given time, we might be handling over 200 properties in our portfolio, it’s absolutely essential to have a strong team that can keep of his Solid Source REO group. “While I’d like to say it’s a bonus that we are all friends and get along well, it’s really an integral part of our success.” Sharelle Rogers, and Daniel Castro.




etta for creating this 31-year REOs By Sarah Gleim

ention “Super Tuesday” to


I want to be involved in and where I see

most people, and they’re

things going. I am just lucky enough

likely to think presidential

to have a broker who doesn’t see my

primaries, and that all-important second

‘babble’ as idle talk. She believes in my

Tuesday in March that separates the

ability to be able to steer a team in the

real presidential contenders from the

right direction.”

also-rans. To Solid Source Realty’s Joshua

Realty CEO Michele Velcheck, who

Bazzetta, Super Tuesday has a much

saw the spark of excellence in the

greater meaning – the first Tuesday of

young agent from the very beginning.

every month when foreclosed homes

She looked past his age and relatively

are auctioned off at the Fulton County

few years of real estate experience and,

courthouse. The properties that don’t

when he was just 29 years old, had

sell go back to the mortgage companies

confidence he was able to lead Solid

and banks, and that’s when Bazzetta,

Source REO. When others might have

one of Atlanta’s top REO agents, really

seen his inexperience, she saw his drive

goes to work representing those banks

and energy.

and mortgage companies.

“He’s very young to have accomplished

It seems he’s got quite a knack for it.

what he has, but he’s done what he

He started Solid Source REO and sells

has because he’s created systems and

on average between 20-30 homes per

the processes that make things work

month. At any given time, Bazzetta can

smoothly,” Velcheck says. “He’s not

manage an inventory of hundreds of

afraid of hard work. He’s constantly

listings valued at upwards of $20 million

networking and learning. The bank

for clients like HSBC Bank, Fannie Mae


and Chase. He also supervises his own

leads to referring him to other asset

team of four residential listing agents,

managers. He works hard to maintain

four office support staff, and plans to

relationships. He goes out and makes it

add several more agents to a dedicated

happen. That’s what it takes.”

short-sale team within the next month.





That go-out-and-make-it-happen

Last year, he closed more than 300


transactions and was just named the No.

Bazzetta since he was a child. He and his

1 REO Team Leader at Solid Source

two siblings were raised in Columbus,



By the way, Bazzetta is just 31 years old.

everything moving forward,” explains Bazzetta From L to R: Duane Mitchell, Tyesha Boothe, Joshua,

Bazzetta is referring to Solid Source









Deby Bazzetta, with the help of their grandparents, the late Colonel Berkeley

“I’ve always liked to lead and take

and Elsie Strong, who lived right over

charge, so it was only natural that I had

the back fence. His grandfather was an

the desire to start a team,” Bazzetta

extremely distinguished soldier and one

explains. “And because real estate is my

of the first Army Rangers. He served in

passion, I have a lot of ideas about what

three wars – WWII, the Korean War and r.e.



John Clemmer Photography

“Closing over 300 transactions a year, we need a team of closing attorneys that can really go the extra mile for us,” says Bazzetta of the Duluth office of Morris | Hardwick | Schneider. From L to R: Melissa Samaniego, Linda C. Krebs, Randy Schneider, Joshua, Susan Herrada, and Norma Montané Daves.

as an advisor during the Vietnam War – and Bazzetta says

his district for the four years he was with the company,

many of his memories of his grandparents revolve around

before moving on to inside business-to-business technical

their work ethic. “They influenced me so much because

sales for Nubridges, where he closed the company’s

they both worked all the time,” he says. “They taught

largest deal at the time.

me about the value of hard work and how important it is to earn my own money.”

But during all of these years working sales in other industries, Bazzetta had one thing on his mind and that

REO transactions deal with the home strictly as an asset, and I am better at marketing and selling them as that. And that’s exactly what he set out to do. Literally the

was real estate. “I’ve always had the dream to build a

day after he graduated from Columbus High School,

resort in the islands, and I started investing in real

he packed up and headed to Atlanta where he knew

estate when I was in my early 20s,” Bazzetta relates.

almost no one. Before long, he landed a job in sales

“As a kid, I loved to build, and I was, and still am,

with AFLAC, selling their supplemental insurance

excited to watch construction projects take place.” So

policies. From there, he moved to outside sales with

he began taking the classes necessary to earn his real

OfficeMax where he became the top sales agent in

estate license.





is first year selling real estate, however, was

so much further ahead as far as technology.” Bazzetta

extremely tough. It was 2005 and Bazzetta

also utilizes other forms of technology available to him

worked for Portrait Homes selling townhomes

through Solid Source, including the 24-hour hotline for

from a model unit. “It was tough because dealing with

his listings, which helps field phone calls. And he takes

people and their homes can be quite sentimental,” he

his digital marketing efforts one step further and uses

says. “I didn’t make one sale the entire year.”

tools like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, as well as 35

That’s when he knew he missed the long-term relationships he’d been able to foster in business-tobusiness sales. “I missed the straight forward talk you get with business to business, and also the pressure of deadlines,” he says. So he reached out to a friend who introduced him to REO. Bazzetta spent countless hours studying the processes and networking with bank asset managers. And before long, Bazzetta began to flourish

real estate search engines to promote his listings. “We’ve put these tools in place so busy agents like Joshua never have to come into the offices unless they want to,” Velcheck says. “Our paperless system allows them to literally upload their documents into our system from their house using an Internet connection, and it stays there for at least three years.”

because “REO transactions deal with the home strictly

Utilizing technology also helps Bazzetta have a

as an asset, and I am better at marketing and selling

life outside of real estate, he explains, and like most

them as that,” he explains. “And I believe strongly in

30-somethings, his is full and active. He’s been married

developing long working relationships, and with REOs

for almost four years to his wife, Roxanne, and is the father

you are able to do that.” Bazzetta’s peers in his industry have taken notice of his success, and say working with him is always a smooth and simple process. “Joshua understands REOs in a way that seems different than other agents,” says Melissa Samaniego, a closer with the law firm Morris | Hardwick | Schneider. “He develops strong relationships with asset managers and always has his focus in the perfect position so that his closings are almost always seamless. Even if they aren’t, they appear to be from an outsider’s perspective.” Morris | Hardwick | Schneider’s closing coordinator, Norma Daves also works with Bazzetta regularly and says the key to REOs is to move the properties quickly and prevent them from sitting on the market. “Joshua is able John Clemmer Photography

to do that because he’s put the right people in place,” she says. “He handles between 30 and 40 transactions a month on average. He has the closings down to a routine and makes it run smoothly. He’s very smart.” Of course, Bazzetta’s quick to point out that he wouldn’t be this far without the resources of Solid Source, especially the agency’s paperless technology. “The fact that we are paperless is very important to me,” he says. “It makes my job so much easier and puts us

“Marketing is the key to selling REO’s,” explains Bazzetta of the special responsibility that he takes on working with asset managers. “Our clients need to see that we are doing everything we can to promote their properties.” r.e.



John Clemmer Photography

Bazzetta with Michele Velcheck, CEO of Solid Source Realty. Solid Source Realty and Solid Source Realty GA combined sold more houses in 2009 than any other company in Georgia, according to Smart Numbers, an Atlanta-based residential real estate data service.

of two, a 9-year-old daughter that lives in Columbus,

And who can argue with that?

and an 8-year-old son that lives here. Bazzetta enjoys

“Joshua has incredible ambition,” Samaniego says.

attending 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville with his

“There is no limit to what he can achieve. His potential

wife, and they also spend their free time working out at

seems limitless.”

the gym, and traveling.

Sarah Gleim is an Atlanta-based freelance writer who

“My entire life revolves around Super Tuesday!”

specializes in lifestyle, home and garden, and food writing.

he says, jokingly. “Actually, I like to think I’m quite

She is a regular contributor to Jezebel, Atlanta Homes &

spontaneous. I enjoy quick trips out of the country to

Lifestyles, and AirTran GO! among others.

just ‘get away,’ even though I take my BlackBerry and laptop everywhere I go.” In fact, he just returned from a whirlwind trip to Hong Kong to celebrate the Chinese New Year. “It was incredible because we went with someone that travels to Hong Kong all the time and he knew all the great places to go,” Bazzetta says. “But we were literally there for less than two days. It was crazy.” But it’s that type of thinking – the kind that says, “Sure, I’ll fly all the way across the world to spend less than 48 hours in Hong Kong” – that’s most likely what’s driven Bazzetta to so much success at such an early age.





How to Sail Through Your Next Home Inspection By David Austin, Guest Columnist Finally, one of the most important things you can do to make sure you sail through your next home inspection is to select the right inspector! Just because an inspector “built houses for 20 years,” doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is qualified to perform home inspections. In Georgia, home inspectors are not required to be licensed. Anyone can get business cards printed and start inspecting homes. A real estate broker recently shared a story with me about an unaffiliated inspector. “The lack of professionalism was evident as he was speaking with me. He even began to brag about ‘killing a deal’ on an $800,000 home! When I asked him about ASHI membership, he laughed it away as unnecessary. I won’t be referring my clients to him.” The key is to make sure your inspector of choice is adhering to some documented standard of inspection and reporting. Accreditations are critical when selecting a home inspector. Because of these issues and others that may arise, scheduling your home inspection as early as possible in the transaction is critical. This will allow you the flexibility to reschedule with your inspector if you hit a snag. Moving inspection times and dates is, unfortunately, a common part of the process. Your inspector should be understanding and accommodating if this happens to you. If they are not – fire them! Find a company that understands the reality of home inspection scheduling.

i n s p e c t o r ’s r e p o r t

Home inspections have grown to become a customary part of most real estate transactions. Professional real estate agents who are truly interested in their client’s best interests always recommend one. The fee involved in most inspections is usually recouped easily, through negotiation, by the identification of areas of concern that the untrained eye could easily overlook. It has truly become a “nobrainer.” However, in the current state of the market, the inspection process has evolved slightly. Here are some of the changes that have occurred and some suggestions to help you sail through your next home inspection. One of the primary ways to make sure the home inspection process goes smoothly is to make sure that all utilities are turned on by the time the inspection is to be performed. This usually requires cooperation between both sides of the real estate transaction – listing/selling party and buyer. Scheduling is critical in this area as most utility companies offer a small window of time in which they allow the utilities to be turned on without charging. Access to properties is another stumbling block to a smooth inspection. Supra key access was changed about 2 years ago. The change affected non-real estate agents the most. As “affiliate” keyholders, most inspectors now have to input a “call before showing” (CBS) code into our E-keys in order to access Supra lockboxes. Each lockbox has a specific 7-digit code. If we try to use our E-keys without entering the CBS code we receive a message informing us that “access is not authorized.” Listing agents should be prepared to provide this number to anyone needing access to a property. (It is amazing how many time an agent replies with “CBS? I only watch NBC and Fox!”) Because of the additional inconvenience of this process, as well as other factors, many agents now use “Contractor” lockboxes which can be accessed with a combination. Another challenge often encountered involves the winterization process. When a house sits vacant for an extended period of time, particularly during the winter months, the plumbing system must be winterized. This is a process where, as much as possible, water is drained from all the pipes and replaced with an anti-freezing agent in order to prevent pipe bursting. To undo this process, you simply turn on the water and flush all the anti-freeze down the drains. The challenge arises in the fact that, after the inspection is completed, the house may sit vacant with the utilities off again for an extended period of time. Home inspectors are not generally trained or equipped to re-winterize the property. If the inspector attempts to do this, it could create additional liability which may fall into a grey area under their insurance protection. If you are a listing/selling agent, this could be critical oversight potentially causing significant damage if the temperature drops and pipes burst. Re-winterization involves draining the hot water heater, draining the water lines in the house, and adding the anti-freezing agent to the drains. Most plumbers are equipped to handle this process. Some property management companies offer it as a part of their service offering.

David Austin has been in the inspection industry for 8 years and is a Certified Pest Control Operator. He is currently the Director of Marketing for Skyline Pest Solutions & Home Inspections, Inc. David and Skyline are avid supporters of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (Please visit for more information.) David can be reached at




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partners’ profile

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Staying Ahead of the Curve

PEMCO Staying one step ahead in the ever-changing dedicated company remains the foremost and their client take advantage of the these By Jessica Arledge


California, Guam, Marianas Islands and Georgia and has successfully closed more than 50,000 foreclosed properties in the last 26 years. “Right now there are over 2200 HUD properties on the market in Georgia,” explains Kristin Nakama, PEMCO’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “While HUD homes generally are varied in their condition, here in Georgia, we’re very lucky. A lot of these homes are move-in ready and they’re being offered at incredible deals. If you go on our website, we have a ton of properties in Fulton County, Gwinnett, Cobb, Bartow, Clayton and DeKalb. We also have a lot of homes available in Augusta as well.” Some buyers may be hesitant to buy a HUD home because they are typically sold “As-Is” without disclosures. In order to address this justified concern, PEMCO includes a Property Condition Report with their online property John Clemmer Photography

rom doomsday prophecies that the worst is yet to come to idyllic beliefs that things can only get better from here, no two experts seem to agree on the future of the housing industry. The record setting influx of foreclosures flooding the market presents both great challenges and great opportunities for agents and their clients. In the face of this confusion and uncertainty, it is comforting to know that Pacific Engineering Management Company (PEMCO), marketing and management company for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is dedicated to helping agents and their clients navigate this rapidly changing environment. John Yamamoto founded Honolulu-based PEMCO, Ltd. in 1984 with just five employees. They were awarded the HUD contract for Hawaii to manage and market FHA foreclosed properties that same year. PEMCO is now partnered with HUD in Hawaii,

Trainer Drew Prosperi teaches one of the many educational classes that PEMCO conducts throughout Georgia. While many of the classes are held in conjunction with real estate boards, they also schedule special training classes with individual offices and companies.

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world of HUD, this experts in helping agents exceptional values! descriptions, readily available for review by potential buyers and their agents prior to entering a bid. Greg Martin, president of ERA Sunrise Realty, one of metro Atlanta’s select brokerage firms contracted by PEMCO to list HUD homes, extols the exceptional opportunities available through this process. “Not only are the homes pre-inspected, every home has had an FHA appraisal performed and the homes are never listed for more than their appraised value,” he states. If the buyer is getting an FHA mortgage, they don’t have to worry about the appraisal coming through. The PEMCO founder John Yamamoto and Vice President Kimiko Yamamoto. appraisal also takes into account any damage to the property, so you always know that you’re paying a fair price. The buyer is given a copy of the appraisal at the time s a contractor for a governmental agency devoted that they win the bid.” to increasing home ownership, PEMCO goes As if that weren’t enough, PEMCO is also currently through great lengths to protect the financial offering substantial incentives to both buyers and selling interests of their clients. For 12 days after initially listing agents. Right now, home buyers can purchase a HUD a property, PEMCO gives priority bidding to owner home for as little as $100 down, and if they purchase occupants. Buyers never assume pre-existing liens on


“What sets PEMCO apart from the competition is doing what is right, not what is easy.” a home within 30 days of the original list date and are buying as owner-occupants, they will also receive a $1000 sales allowance. Selling agents will receive a $500 bonus on top of their commission when their clients purchase a HUD home if they are buying as owner-occupants. Of course, these incentives are in addition to the current tax incentives being offered by the federal government. “If you compare these homes with any other similarlypriced homes in the market, there is a distinct financial advantage to buying a home through PEMCO,” says Martin. “On top of the incentives they’re offering, HUD pays for the closing attorney and the title search. That’s typically about $600 dollars.”

HUD properties and HUD also pays any back utility bills or HOA fees due during the listing period. PEMCO even offers training sessions for clients, agents and lenders to ensure that the buying process goes smoothly. “We really feel like buyer education is one of the crucial parts of selling and or purchasing a home. A lot of the buyers that we have are first time home buyers. We educate them as much as possible to prevent future foreclosure. We’ve done PEMCO bus tours where we’ve held buyer education classes in the morning and then taken everyone who attended on a tour of 5 homes of interest,” Nakama relates. r.e.


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John Clemmer Photography

PEMCO holds 2-hour agent training sessions during sales meetings at brokerages throughout Georgia, and provides Continuing Education credit classes through the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors®, DeKalb Association of Realtors®, Cherokee Association of Realtors®, Atlanta Board of Realtors®, and Empire Board of Realtists. They also hold buyer education events with the Georgia Home Ownership Alliance, the Georgia American Korean Association of Realtors®, the Middle Georgia Board of Realtors®, and will be scheduling more education events this year. “With the huge number of HUD homes available right now, educating both real estate agents and potential buyers is more important than ever,” states Nakama. “PEMCO is eager to expand our partnerships throughout the real estate industry in order to facilitate this.” PEMCO also requires their employees to attend regular training to stay abreast of changes in the industry. “What sets PEMCO apart from the competition is doing what is right, not what is easy,” explains PEMCO Vice President Kimiko Yamamoto. “PEMCO stresses continued high employee performance through continuous education and team building. Each staff member strives towards excellence, accountability and team spirit towards one common goal.” Exemplifying this dedication to adapting to an everevolving market, PEMCO keeps their agents, lenders and clients aware of new incentives and changes in procedure through their website, Facebook, Twitter, and The Real Estate Global Network. They are also soon to be members of Active Rain. “The Internet, especially social media, has become an invaluable tool for us to communicate back and forth with both agents and buyers. We read all of our comments. If a buyer or an agent has a concern, we will address it,” Nakama promises. This devotion to their clients is evidenced by the tremendous growth PEMCO has continued to achieve year after year. In 2007 alone, PEMCO witnessed an 800 percent growth after signing a multi-year contract with HUD. Reflecting on this success, Yamamoto relates, “PEMCO continuously seeks to lead change and provide clients with innovative products and services that respond to ever-changing market realities.” Due to the rising numbers of foreclosures in the Georgia area, HUD will have three asset managers handling the Georgia territory in 2010. PEMCO is actively pursuing the asset management contract and the field services management contract. “Our goal is to stay in Georgia. With all of these changes coming up, we’re ready and willing to make any adjustments that we need to,” says Nakama. “We will also make agents and buyers aware of the upcoming changes through classes, our website and through social media networks.”

Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kristin Nakama and Neighborhood Stabilization Program Coordinator Shannon Judd are actively working together to market HUD properties to government agencies and non-profit organizations. “The properties are then used for communityenhancement programs,” explains Judd. “Georgia has over $150 Million as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization program specifically allocated to purchase, rehab and resell foreclosed properties with affordability mechanisms, such as down-payment assistance.”

No one can deny that this is a confusing time for the real estate industry, but in a market where it’s often less expensive to buy a home than it would be to build the same, there is also tremendous opportunity. While no one can predict the future, it is greatly reassuring to know that PEMCO, Ltd. is committed to helping agents and clients alike feel confident that whatever lies around the bend, they will have the tools they need to make intelligent and informed decisions. Jessica Arledge is a freelance writer based in Savannah, GA. Her work has been published in newspapers, magazines and literary journals. She can be reached at (912) 247-6449 or


resource directory

resource directory

Realtor® resource directory associations


management companies

Atlanta Board of Realtors® . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-250-0051

Aquaguard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-419-9111

Cherokee Association of Realtors® . . . . . . 770-591-0004

PEMCO Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-995-7111 “Your Gateway to Realty Expertise”

Cobb Association of Realtors®. . . . . . . . . . 770-422-3900

(see partners’ profile page 17)

DeKalb Association of Realtors® . . . . . . . . 770-493-6100

graphic design

Empire Board of Realtists® . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-755-5575 Metro South Assoc. of Realtors® . . . . . . . . 770-477-7579

Felicia Kahn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-436-3583

Northeast Atlanta Metro Assoc. of Realtors®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-495-7300

Atlanta Peach Movers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-270-5586


home inspection services

The Real Estate Book……….678-910-0347

DRC Inspections and Consulting. . . . . . . . 770-794-1494

(see banner ad page 5)


moving and storage

(see banner ad page 16) IHI Home Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-788-2581 (see banner ad page 16)

Carol Clark Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-250-3300

National Property Inspections . . . . . . . . . . 770-656-2209

(see display ad page 15)

(see banner ad page 16)

Dickenson Gilroy, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-518-5515

Residential Inspectors of America. . . . . . . 770-476-4963

(see display ad page 24)

(see banner ad page 16) Skyline HomeInspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-432-5464

Law Offices of Sam Maguire Jr., PC . . . 404-257-8885 Where Real Estate Meets Real People

(see banner ad page 16)

multiple listing services

Meredith Shearer and Associates . . . . . . . 678-560-5050 Meyer Closings, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-257-0330

home staging

Morris|Hardwick|Schneider . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-298-2100 (see display ad page 6)

Georgia MLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-493-9000 “More Prices, More Places, More Possibilities” (see display ad page 7 & 9)

Duda Designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-434-7503

Parkway Title and Closing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-656-9933

pest control Shafritz & Dean, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-255-8183 5 offices for your clients’ convenience Weissman, Nowack, Curry and Wilco, PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-926-4500




investment properties Bluefields Capital, LCC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-502-5000

All Exterminating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-887-2571 For ALL your exterminating needs

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resource directory

Realtor® resource directory photography

renovation and new construction

John Clemmer Photography. . . . . . . . . . 770-428-1658 Architectural Interiors and Exteriors

video productions Reel Productions TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-571-5728

Glazer Design & Construction . . . . . . . . 404-683-9848 Design – Remodeling – New Additions

Darren Drevik Photography . . . . . . . . . . 678-777-7577 Special Listing Packages only $49.95 (see display ad page 6)

virtual tours security

Glide Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-560-9658

Ackerman Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-552-1111 residential, small business, commercial

real estate companies window services Weichert Realtors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-872-7653 Marietta, Buford, Decatur and Woodstock

technology services

(see display ad page 2) H & H Tek, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-637-6018 Computer Repair, Consulting & Web Design

roof repairs Peachtree Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-579-7663

utility protection Utilities Protection Center, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 811 Know before you dig – Call 811 (see display ad page 21)

utility services

wireless solutions

Georgia Natural Gas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-428-1658 REAP - A Real Estate Incentive Program

Verizon Wireless Blair Marshall

(see display ad page 4)

For advertising information, call Lawrence Cohen at 770-956-7100.




R.E. Real Estate Magazine Winter 2010  

Cover story - Joshua Bazzetta, REO Wizz Kid Partner's Profile - PEMCO - Staying Ahead of the Curve