Summer 2012 • Volume 6 / Issue 1
Brokerages Surviving and Thriving On REAL Trends’ 25th Anniversary, read about 12 of the original broker members to find out how they survived through turbulent markets and technological changes.
PLUS: Reality Real Estate • Standing Up For Soldiers’ Rights • Doggie Foster Care
We want to help make your client’s homeownership dreams a reality. Citibank offers you: n
The confidence of a SureStart® Pre-Approval1. Your buyers can shop with confidence, knowing their financing is secure.
Our On-Time Closing Guarantee2 proving our commitment to quality service.
A dedicated Partnership Desk providing real- time support to you and your clients.
A committed fulfillment team providing world-class mortgage fulfillment services.
To learn more about working with Citibank, please call 877-847-2484.†
Terms, conditions and fees of accounts, programs, products and services are subject to change. This is not a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Certain restrictions may apply on all programs. Offer cannot be combined with any other mortgage offer. † Calls are randomly monitored and recorded to ensure quality service. 1 SureStart is a registered service mark of Citigroup Inc. Final commitment is subject to verification of information, receipt of a satisfactory sales contract on the home your client wishes to purchase, appraisal and title report, and meeting our customary closing conditions. This offer is not a commitment to lend and is subject to change without notice. There is no charge for the SureStart pre-approval, but standard application and commitment fees apply. 2 If your client is purchasing a home, we guarantee to close by the date specified in the purchase contract, unless prohibited by federal law*, and further provided that the date is at least 30 days after the application date and the date of the purchase contract. If the loan fails to close on time due to a delay by Citibank, your client will receive a credit towards closing costs of $1,500. Offer not available for refinance loans, co-ops, unapproved condos, residences under construction, community lending loans, and government loans. In Texas, the credit may not result in your client receiving cash back. (*Federal law requires certain disclosures be delivered to the borrower at least 3 business days before consummation. The guarantee to close does not apply if such disclosures are required and the closing is delayed due to the 3 business day waiting period.) © 2012 Citibank. Citibank, N.A., Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC. Citi, Citibank, and Citi with Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc.
Summer 2012 Volume 6 / Issue 1
2 4 12 18
Letter from the Publisher Steve Murray reflects on 25 years of REAL Trends and the relaunch of LORE Magazine.
COVER STORY: 25 Years of REAL Trends’ Brokerages Surviving and Thriving The more things change, the more they stay the same. We interviewed 12 of the original REAL Trends’ broker members to find out how they survived through turbulent markets and technological changes. Their answers may surprise you. Star Power “Shark Tank”... “The Apprentice”... “Million Dollar Listing” ... these shows all have one thing in common—they each feature real estate professionals. We talk to these reality stars about how they manage their businesses in the midst of cameras and fans.
This We’ll Defend With about half of his business coming from members of Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, this sales associate does more than just help buyers and sellers. He and his team fight to ensure soldiers and veterans are treated fairly.
Doggie Foster Care Sickened by the thought of dogs left in high-kill shelters, this broker made it her mission to save them through foster homes and family placement.
Letter from the Publisher In 25 years with REAL Trends one of our proudest moments was the launch of LORE Magazine in January 2004. We set out to create a quality magazine that would focus on the lives of real estate (hence “LORE”) and do so at a level of professionalism that had never been seen before in our industry. We reached 40,000 readers every other month for the five years we published LORE and won more than a dozen awards from the magazine industry for having the highest quality editorial, photography and design in real estate. When the economy signaled that we couldn’t continue to publish LORE in the latter half of 2008, one CEO reader said that while he understood our decision, he would miss it greatly. In fact, it was the only magazine in his 20+ years of which he still had every copy. It is with great pride that we announce the re-launch of LORE— The Lives of Real Estate. While we won’t be printing LORE and mailing them out as we did in 2004 to 2008, we’ll continue the tradition of focusing on the stories of the lives of those who call real estate home and offer the highest quality editorial and photography. This time LORE will come to our readers through an online publication that will educate, excite and interest you. Tracey Velt, who’s been with REAL Trends since 2005 as an editor and writer, has assumed the role of editor of the new LORE. She currently writes our blog—www.realtrends.com/blog. We will miss the talents of Anne Randolph who was the guiding genius behind the original LORE and the leader of the team she had assembled to create the original. Who knows, we may also call her back from time to time. While we won’t have her talents full time, rest assured that we’ll work hard to live up to the standards that she established. This first edition focuses on 12 of the original members of the REAL Trends Top 25 who remain the leaders of their companies and who have prospered through so many years and changes. We also bring you the stories of those who star on TV shows, a humanitarian who serves military families facing great housing stress and a woman who strives to make a difference for our four-legged friends—our dogs. Please enjoy the new LORE. Should you know a great story, let Tracey (email@example.com) or me know, and we’ll get right on it! Warmest regards,
Stephen H. Murray Publisher
Lives of Real Estate
www.loremagazine.com Steve Murray Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Tracey C. Velt Editor-in-Chief email@example.com David Grassnick Graphic Designer Travis Saxton Webmaster firstname.lastname@example.org Doniece Welch Advertising email@example.com 303-741-1000 Lore magazine is published online via Issuu four times a year—in February, May, September and December—by REAL Trends Inc., 7501 Village Square Drive, Ste. 200, Castle Rock, CO 80108 Subscriptions www.realtrends.com/products/ LORE-Magazine 303-741-1000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brokerages Surviving and Thriving
Lives of Real Estate
The more things change, the more they stay the same. We interviewed 12 of the original REAL Trends’ broker members to find out how they survived through turbulent markets and technological changes. Their answers may surprise you. The year: 1987.
The Multiple Listing Service issued hulking books, no one used e-mail, and the Internet was some crazy, confusing thing you heard journalists talking about. The average price of a house was $92,000. If you were out of the office and needed to reach a customer, you had to pull over and use a pay phone. “In the mid-80s, we had just come off a recession, the market was building momentum and we were in an upward swing of the residential cycle,” says J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate in Seattle. “The tech boom was right before us.” Bill Watson, chairman of the board of Watson Realty Corp. in Jacksonville, Fla. agrees, “Twenty-five years ago we had quarters in our car and stopped at the pay phone to call people. We didn’t have voice mail. If the person didn’t answer, you called back.”
The New Consumer A lot has changed in the past 25 years. And, the demographic profile of today’s
homebuyers is at the very essence of the change. According to the book, “Game Plan,” we’re no longer serving a population that’s predominantly white, male, married with children, professional and so forth. And the type of housing desired by these new generations of consumers is evolving as well. Not only that, but the customer is more informed, says Bill Raveis, brokerowner of William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage and Insurance in Shelton, Conn., “Twentyfive years ago [real estate professionals] had complete control of the transaction. That’s not the case today. Information is everywhere, so the business model has changed dramatically.” In fact, he says, “We switched our business model about 20 years ago. We feel the agent is the customer, and we’ve built all of our business around the agent—technology, branding, building teams.” That’s a view Rich Rector, president of Realty Executives International in Phoenix, Ariz. shares, “Our customer is still the agent, but we’ve been able to provide
J. Lennox Scott
Lives of Real Estate
tools to make it easier for them to work with a better-informed consumer.” According to Howard “Hoddy” Hanna, chairman and CEO of Hanna Holdings, Inc. in Pittsburgh. “We’re showing fewer houses today. Buyers are able to whittle down the choices. We’ve got to know the properties and the market better than the consumer does.” And, that technology is changing the face of brokerages as well. “It’s a challenge to provide the technology and the tools to allow our sales associates to be competitive,” says Larry Brackett, chairmanCEO-owner of Frank Howard Allen, Realtors in Novato, Calif. However, says Wes Foster, Jr., chairman and CEO of Long & Foster Real Estate in Chantilly, Va., “Technology has been fabulous as it’s made the transaction much more transparent.” Howard Hanna
1987 Median Home Price: $92,000 6 LORE
The New Normal At the same time, the economic underpinnings of the housing market have changed irrevocably since the downturn in housing and start of the great recession. We can no longer count on house prices increasing, with only an occasional pause as the market takes a breather. “We’ve seen a declining company dollar and now the agents are getting the lion’s share of the money,” says Harold Crye, president and CEO of Crye-Leike Realtors in Nashville, Tenn. “To survive, brokers must be able to transition to newer business models faster. Having other core services, such as mortgage, title, commercial and insurance, helps. Even in good times, we would be relying on those other
Lives of Real Estate
services to help support the profitability of the entity.” To add another level of complexity, government regulations make it harder to lend to less-qualified buyers. Today’s homebuyers are much less flush than the consumers we’ve grown accustomed to serving. “The biggest challenge we face is legal and regulation—the outside force coming in. The transaction is getting more and more complicated and people are becoming more litigious,” says Joe Horning, president of Shorewest Realtors in Milwaukee. “The government, which doesn’t understand the real estate industry, comes up with some crazy ideas to protect the consumer and that just adds layers and expenses.” “Taken together, these factors— heightened competition, technological upheaval, demographic change, and a new economic reality—mean we will have to work harder, adapt more quickly, learn new skills, and consistently apply best practices, if we are to succeed,” according to “Game Plan.” The good news? The sales relationship will stay the same as long as real estate professionals continue to provide realworld benefits to their customers. “The business looks [more] complicated, but it’s simple—listing, observing and finding out what’s important to the buyer and seller,” says Watson. And the sooner brokers and sales associates recognize that the market today will be the market for years to come, the better. “We really have to focus on the business,” says Ed Krafchow, chairman of the board for Betters Homes and Gardens MasonMcDuffie Real Estate in Pleasanton, Calif. “This is the new normal. Stop waiting for the market to return. It’s a fractured market.”
Twenty-five years ago [real estate professionals] had complete control of the transaction. That’s not the case today. Information is everywhere. — Bill Raveis, William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage and Insurance
Still the Same Overall, the one thing these top brokers agree on is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. At the core of the business is the relationships you make and technology only facilitates that. “I’m still surprised that there’s a lack of business focus in the industry. But, after all this time, the industry still survives,” says Stephen Baird, president and CEO of Baird and Warner in Chicago. “I’m also proud of the
resilience of agents. They continue to adapt to changes. They focus on getting deals done, “ he says. “I think the last 25 years have seen more significant changes than the prior 75 combined,” says Dan Elsea, president of broker services of Real Estate One Family of Companies in Detroit. “But I think the next ten years will be even more significant while we continue to implement new technology platforms and find new uses for tech tools.” L
2012 Median Home Price: $168,000
Lives of Real Estate
The REAL Trends’ 12
Brokers With Staying Power Stephen Baird, president-CEO, Baird and Warner, Illinois
Greatest Success: We’re proud of the success we had rebuilding our company. Our company is 157 years old and during that period, we’ve rebuilt it and changed focus. We were a significant player in the commercial management, finance and brokerage arenas, and we exited those businesses and focused on residential and everything around that—mortgage, title, and brokerage. We built that infrastructure, and gave the company a new energy and focus. Hobby: I’m an avid skier. I am a Telemark skier (also called free heel skiing) and I heli-ski (a form of skiing that’s accessible only by helicopter.)
Larry Brackett, chairman-CEOowner, Frank Howard Allen, Realtors, California
Greatest Success: Our company is 102 years old and owned by two families. The biggest success has to be that we have been a viable entity in the real estate market for so long, and we’ve remained privately owned. Hobby: Car enthusiast. I presently have a Mercedes SLS, Ferrari 458 and a McClaren MP412C Larry Brackett
of Real Estate
Harold Crye, CEO-president, Crye-Leike Realtors, Tennessee
Greatest Success: Seeing sales associates get into the industry and be successful. We provide the vehicle and training to make that happen. The company’s success is just a compilation of the individual agent’s success. Hobby: I earned my pilot’s license two and a half years ago. Now, I fly on weekends with my son.
Dan Elsea, president, brokerage services, Real Estate One, Michigan
Greatest Success: We’ve done a good job of integrating all the pieces of a real estate transaction. Also, our sales associate productivity is great. Over the last year, we went from six transactions per agent to almost 13. Hobby: Real estate is my hobby! In addition, I try to stay active by skiing and playing basketball. But, my favorite activity is lounging on a comfortable chair reading a book.
community—chair of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s family house, serving on boards such as the Citizens Bank Board and the Federal Reserve Board in Cleveland. I spend a lot of my free time playing golf or working on charity events.
Wes Foster, Jr.
Wes Foster, Jr., chairman and CEO, Long & Foster Companies, Inc., Virginia
Greatest Success: My greatest success is growing a large organization without going into debt. We have no debt and we have wonderful financial reserves. Hobby: It used to be tennis but I don’t play much now. I walk about an hour every day, and I love to travel. We have a summer home and our kids are close, so we love to spend time with grandchildren.
Howard “Hoddy” Hanna, chairman and CEO, Hanna Holdings, Inc. Real Estate Services, Pennsylvania
Greatest Success: My greatest success is the opportunity to be part of growing a strong regional real estate company and building a one-stop shopping experience to differentiate us to the consumer. Hobby: I still like to look at open houses. I’m very much involved in the
Joe Horning, president, Shorewest Realtors, Wisconsin
Greatest Success: We changed our company name in 1997. In a very short amount of time people forgot the old name, which had been used since 1946. We’ve doubled in size since the rebrand. Hobby: I have two young boys, ages 10 and 12. They’re very active—ski races, basketball, baseball, football, hunting, boating—those are the things I enjoy.
Ed Krafchow, chairman of the board, Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate, California
Greatest Success: The company has been in business since 1887. It’s been a challenge to continue that tradition and be an innovator in the business, but we’ve been able to do that. Hobby: I live in San Francisco and my wife, Kathy, and I spend a lot of time discovering the city. Ed Krafchow
Lives of Real Estate
Bill Raveis, broker-owner, William Raveis Real Estate Mortgage and Insurance, Connecticut
Greatest Success: I love the business and the people, but more importantly, I love having my two sons working for the company. It’s become a family business. Hobby: My wife and I love to travel. We just came back from China and are looking at visiting Tibet next. I also play golf, spend time with my grandkids and boat.
Rich Rector, chairman, Realty Executives, Arizona
Greatest Success: I take pride in the fact that if you look at the 900 agents in our company; there are probably close to 300 who have been with the company for more than 15 years. Hobbies: Wine collector and wine taster. I also collect vintage guitars (Beatles’ era) and am passionate about jazz music.
J. Lennox Scott, chairmanCEO, John L. Scott Real Estate, Washington
Greatest Success: I think it’s being a leader with our clients and with our sales associates. It’s being one of the leaders in the technology revolution in the real estate space. Hobby: I love my life. I enjoy time with family. My wife and I like entertaining, skiing and boating. We have friends over all the time.
J. Lennox Scott
Lives of Real Estate
Bill Watson, chairman of the board, Watson Realty Corp., Florida
Greatest Success: Our company has so many talented, caring, communityoriented team members and I’m proud of that. They go out of their way to be nice and create a positive environment and experience for consumers and for other real estate professionals. Hobby: I am from a family of railroad people. I collect model trains and have a huge set up over my garage. My grandsons and I run them. I also love history and understanding different cultures.
Making the Best Brokerages Better.
With a mantra of “making the Best Brokerages Better,sm” Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is the brand of the strong independents. The organization’s business model of local branding with global connections and robust brokerage services offers freedom, flexibility and support, while capitalizing on the hyper-local focus of today’s consumers. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a network of 550 premier residential firms with 4,600 offices and 140,000 sales associates operating in the U.S. and 30 other countries. The network’s affiliates produce $225 billion in home sales annually and include the number one market share firms in 40% of America’s top markets.
800.621.6510 | LeadingRE.com | LuxuryPortfolio.com © 2012 Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.® All Rights Reserved.
Reality Real Estate
power “Shark Tank”... “The Apprentice”... “Million Dollar Listing”... these shows all have
one thing in common—they each feature real estate professionals. We talk to these reality stars about how they manage their businesses in the midst of cameras and fans.
It’s not unusual for Madison Hildebrand, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Previews International in Malibu, Calif., to have strangers run up and embrace him. “People actually think they know me, so they run up to give me a hug, then they’ll realize that they don’t actually know me. We have this intimate exchange that gets awkward real fast,” he laughs. Hildebrand, who stars on Bravo TV’s “Million Dollar Listing,” knows that’s the price of being on a reality show. For four seasons, “Million Dollar Listing” has followed three young, successful real estate professionals (Hildebrand, Josh Altman of Hilton & Hyland Beverly Hills Real Estate and Josh Flagg of Keller Williams Beverly Hills) through the rigors of high-end negotiations, giving an insider view into the real estate world. (At press time, the cast for season five had not been announced.) Today, reality shows are a fun diversion for watchers and a business booster for those who star on the shows. LORE spoke with four real estate professionals who have become household names as much for their business savvy off the camera as on. Make no mistake; these are serious business people, not entertainers. Here’s what they had to say about how they’re portrayed, how they’ve retooled their businesses and what they love about being in the spotlight. Reputation Unknown The truth is, if you don’t play your cards right, reality television shows can make or break the images and the businesses of those featured. Luckily for the four real estate professionals we interviewed, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. The trick, they concur, is that you have to be yourself on the shows. Gimmicks and acts may interest your audience for a short time, but authenticity ensures that your television success transfers to business success. And that was something that definitely went
“Due to editing, you never know how you’ll be portrayed. This is my business so it’s a double whammy if it’s bad.” — Josh Altman, Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing”
Lives of Real Estate
through Katrina Campins’ head in 2004 when she was a contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice.” Now a Realtor® and founder of The Campins Company in South Florida, which caters to athletes and celebrities, Campins says, “I was very authentic on “The Apprentice” and thankfully it came across well, allowing me to really take my business to the next level.” Campins also starred in a short-lived Bravo reality show called “Miami Social” that followed a group of young professionals out on the town. Josh Altman agrees that how you look on camera really highlights your strengths and weaknesses. “Due to editing, you never know how you’ll be portrayed and this is my business so it’s a double whammy if it’s bad,” says Altman, which is why he heavily weighed the pros and cons of being on the show. “I’m happy with the way they portrayed me last year, not everyone will love you, they just need a reason to do business with you.” For Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, which she sold in 2001 for a reported $70 million, reputation wasn’t a concern when she was tapped to star in ABC’s “Shark Tank,” where the “sharks” (all successful businesspeople) listen to pitches from entrepreneurs and choose whether or not to invest in a project or
Lives of Real Estate
service. After all, she had already built and sold a hugely successful New York City brokerage, and she had stepped away from the real estate business to work on other projects. “I was ready for that next thing and felt I would be perfect Barbara Corcoran
on “Shark Tank”,” she says. In fact, it was her experience in real estate that helped her land the show. “I was days away from leaving for Hollywood when they called to tell me they had decided to hire another girl for my spot. I’m competitive and immediately e-mailed producer Mark Burnett to tell him to give me a chance to go head to head with this other girl. They agreed. By the end of the first day, the other girls’ trailer had the star removed,” Corcoran says. “From my real estate career, I was great at rejection and even better at bouncing back up.” Adapting to Popularity While each of these professionals had a level of success before the shows, being on television meant they quickly had to rework their business plans to handle a whole other level of business. “I’ve had to hire an attorney to work with confidentiality agreements,”
says Hildebrand. “I now have an office manager and an entertainment office manager as there are always opportunities for me to explore other business ventures. I would have been successful without the show, but the show has brought a whole other element to my business,” he says. Altman has found a gradual build of business with the show. “I’m more known as a Realtor now and that’s a good thing. People recognize my name more, but I’ve had to become an expert
at screening them.” But, says Altman, it’s business as usual. “I never turn down a lease, even if the commission isn’t that great. You never know what that will turn into,” he says. “And, my clients are really into the show. Some even ask at listing presentations if they can be part of the show.” For Corcoran, “My actual experience has given me more exposure as an angel investor,” she says. “I get about 60 to 100 business pitches a week,” she says. She also gets thousands of referrals from people who don’t realize that she sold her real estate brokerage 11 years ago. “Because I’m a real estate contributor for “The Today Show,” people think I’m showing houses. I actually hand off the referrals. The only role I have now is as a spokesperson for the real estate industry and “Shark Tank” has only helped me [get my voice heard.]” And, she says, because of her real estate experience, she’s able to size up people quickly, a boon to her on “Shark Tank.” “I was able to size up sales associates and was an expert at hiring. I’m doing the same with “Shark Tank”,” she says. Madison Hildebrand Perhaps most impacted by being on a show is Campins, at figuring out what’s real and what’s not. who was only 23 years old when “The I get a lot of calls and had to get better Apprentice” aired. “I went to University
Lives of Real Estate
of Miami and graduated with a Bachelor’s in International Finance,” says Campins. “I tutored several of the football players who went on to get drafted by the NFL.” Because of this, Campins already had a relationship with potential clients. What she didn’t have was a clear branding package. “The show helped me figure out how to brand my business,” she says. “We’ve reached a point now where we deal in all markets nationwide and we do a lot of business in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Seattle. We have a network of agents across the country that we call The Campins Clique,” she says. For Hildebrand, Altman, Corcoran and Campins, the reality experience has been overwhelmingly positive. From the free marketing to the business exposure, they all agree that being on camera is worth the long hours and invasion of privacy. “A lot of Donald Trump’s friends have reached out to me to handle their properties and I sit on Trump’s Kids Foundation’s board,” says Campins. “TV gives you credibility,” says Hildebrand. “I’m devoted to my brand and maintain a certain level of professionalism despite the drama of TV,” he adds. L
Lives of Real Estate
How to Get on A Reality Show
So, you think you want to get on a reality show? Here are some tips: 1. Choose wisely. All four of those interviewed chose shows that highlighted their business and professional acumen, not their personal lives. If you’re serious about your business, think carefully about which shows you want to consider. HGTV has several real estate–related shows. To submit, go to: http://www.hgtv.com/ be-on-hgtv/package/index.html 2. Work it with your audition tape or interview. Shows are looking for personalities. Make yourself memorable with an audition tape that cranks up your already outgoing personality. If you’re shy or reserved, you’ll get passed over quickly. 3. You, only better. Show your true self, amped up a few notches. Many producers aren’t looking for characters; they want real people who have an edge. For more information, go to “Becoming a Reality TV Star: The Do’s and Don’ts.”
Standing Up For Soldiersâ€™ Rights
This Weâ€™ll DEFEND A former Army UH-60 Black Hawk medevac pilot, Wes Madden of Madden Real Estate in Fairbanks, Alaska, goes above the call of duty in his real estate business.
With about half of his business coming from members of Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, this sales associate does more than just help buyers and sellers. He and his team fight to ensure soldiers and veterans get the help they need. Photographs by Ryan Black When Wes Madden heard that the Department of Defense would be moving at least 1,500 military families from Eielson Air Force Base near the North Pole to Anchorage, he jumped into action. “This base community had 314 home sales in all of 2011, the large majority of those 1,500 families own a home (limited base housing is available) and there aren’t
enough buyers for these homes. So, in essence, the government is forcing them towards possible foreclosure on their mortgages with this move,” says Madden, CEO/Broker of Madden Real Estate in Fairbanks and a former Army UH-60 Black Hawk medevac pilot. “You’re going to destroy these families
Lives of Real Estate
THIS WE’LL DEFEND
financially. The market will eventually “Our buyer specialists are actually absorb the inventory, but in the short relocation experts. We know we have to term, these families have no other go a step further than just selling options.” homes.” That’s when Madden, who’s been After the Army, Madden started his in Alaska for 11 years and has three brokerage, which is team-centric and boys, ages 5, 3 and 2, took to the streets. consists of 15 buyer specialists, two “I’m in the trenches, reassuring families listing partners and 10 administrative that we’re continuing the fight. I’m personnel. Because the area is heavily leading the charge, sending letters, military, it was natural that Madden working with our state Senators and would get involved in military causes. Congressman—our delegates in Juneau— to listen to the housing issues that affect our military service members and demand that their welfare be given priority with these decisions” he says. He does it, he says, because Want to help? By donating to the Wounded the active military members Warrior Project, you can help can’t. “When you’re wearing a severely injured soldier and his family the uniform, you’re not transition back to civilian life in a meaningful allowed to be politically way. Visit the website for information vocal, so that’s where I come on donating—Wounded Warrior Project. in.” For Madden, championing the rights of soldiers is as personal as it is professional. He and his wife moved to Fort Wainwright He and his team do everything from in Fairbanks, where he was stationed welcoming units that return from for 6.5 years until he was forced to combat to taking care packages from take a medical retirement. “We stayed locals and shipping them to soldiers in here because we felt compelled to Afghanistan. He’s also active raising help people with the arduous move money and doing humanitarian work to the area,” he says. After all, moving for the Wounded Warrior Project, which to Alaska is exciting, but can be provides programs for severely injured downright scary. “When you first soldiers as they transition from active come [to Alaska] on orders, you duty to civilian life. think you’ll be living in igloos and Through that program, Madden will chased by polar bears,” he laughs. visit soldiers who are in the warrior
HHHHHHH Wounded Warrior Project
Wes Madden, Madden Real Estate, Fairbanks
Lives of Real Estate
transition unit. “We bring a little joy now and then. We’ll drop off baked goods, or just stop in to say ‘Hello.’” He and his team are also heavily involved with the Armed Services YMCA, which provides essential programs to the families. “When you deploy 5,000 soldiers to Afghanistan, you have a lot of spouses who own or rent homes and need help with housing challenges. We’re always readily available to them,” he says. Currently Madden is working to bring Stronger Families to the area, a program that offers “high-octane” marriage counseling to soldiers. A portion of every sale Madden’s team makes will go to Stronger Families. “We’re in a high deployment military area and this program, along with the homebuyer assistance programs out there, will go a long way toward keeping families together.” For Madden, being involved is just part of the job. “As a member of the military, you fight two fronts—the one against the enemy and the one at home. Studies show that families that invest in a home stay together longer. It’s a commitment to family. So, we’ll do whatever we can to champion for these soldiers and give them the best shot possible at owning and staying in a home.”
Overall, says Madden, “I own a business so I can make a difference. One of our core values is people before profits. When we profit from a sale, we like to reinvest it back into the community. One thing that always sticks in my mind is this—success is something that you achieve from what you get; significance is something you achieve by giving and that’s what it’s all about. I’m a solider for life and will always be an advocate for soldiers’ rights.” L
Pass it on: Do you know a real estate professional who deserves to be recognized for his or her contributions to the community? LORE magazine is looking for sales associates and brokers to interview about their humanitarian efforts and community service. If you know someone who should be featured, email Editor Tracey Velt at email@example.com. Lives of Real Estate
Doggie Foster Care Sickened by the thought of dogs left in high-kill shelters, this broker made it her mission to save them through foster homes and family placement. Within 12 hours of attending a fundraising event and behaviorally (when necessary) while the animal is placed in foster care,” says Levy, who for the non-profit Foster 2 Home, Sari Levy had spends about 20 hours per week doing adoption her first foster dog, Sally. The 10-year old beagle events, home visits and overseeing all had lived with an animal hoarder until a shelter events and communication. “I was rescued her. “The shelter was closing, Sally asked to join the executive board, and was sick and going to be euthanized. She my responsibilities increase daily,” came to my home, adapted quickly to my she says. other three dogs and ignored my cat,” At only a year old, the laughs Levy, managing broker of Lucid organization already has 40 foster Realty, Inc. in Chicago. families, with a goal to get the Foster 2 Home is a non-profit number to 100 by the end of organization that takes dogs from the year. high-kill shelters (in “It means the world to me six states) when to know that my efforts the animal is directly help save the lives of going to be animals. There’s no better euthanized and feeling than giving without places it with a foster home until expectation of return – a permanent one and no better receiver can be found. “We than an animal.” L then rehabilitate the dog medically
Sari Levy, Lucid Realty, Chicago
Lives of Real Estate
Photo by Cynthia Howe
Dedicated to helping you put buyers into homes Your goal is to turn buyers into homeowners. Our goal is to provide ﬁnancing to make that happen. And, as the nation’s �� residential� mortgage lender, we provide a wide array of products and programs. So no matter what your client’s home buying goals, we can help you by providing ﬁnancing options to meet nearly any homebuyer need. · · · ·
Purchase loans including FHA and VA programs Mortgages for high-end purchases Investment property ﬁnancing New construction and renovation loans
No other lender is as dedicated to delivering quality products and services to you and your clients as Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
We’re ready to help you put buyers into homes. Contact your local Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultant today.
Visit wellsfargo.com/mortgage to learn more.
�. Based on ���� year-end statistics by Inside Mortgage Finance �/��/��. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. � ���� Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID ������. ������ �/��-�/��
Buyer ConnectionsSM program – our exclusive program that connects buyers and sellers not already working with a REALTOR� to professionals in their local market.