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Spring 2013 • Volume 6 / Issue 4

The Storm of the

Century When Hurricane Sandy was finished wrecking havoc on the Jersey shore, these four real estate professionals and countless others stepped in to help.

In this Issue: Mary Walker: Ministering to the Sick • Building a Corporate Responsibility Program From Rags To Riches: One Agent’s Story of Success

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Spring 2013 Volume 6 / Issue 4

2 4 16 19 21

ON THE COVER: From left, Dennis Allen, Virginia Dobles, Linda Bonarelli-Lugo and Matthew Arnold on the hard-hit Rockaway Beach, Jersey shore. Photography by Jim Lennon

Letter from the Publisher

Agents and brokerages are resilient. From thriving despite the market to stepping in to help, LORE offers amazing stories of regular people who do extraordinary things. Photo: Anton Oparin /


The Storm of the Century

Read the stories of four real estate professionals who stepped in to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Be inspired!


Ministering to the Sick

Realtor® Mary Walker spends 30 days a year traveling to Ethiopia and Zimbabwe ministering to the sick. Read about her adventures.

Building a Corporate Responsibility Program Brokerages and sales associates must give back to the communities that give them so much. Kathryn Korte of Sotheby’s International talks about corporate responsibility programs.

16 19

Knock-Knock Business

He started with nothing and managed to close 41 transactions his first year in the business. Here’s how he did it.


Letter from the Publisher One of the great pleasures of my work is to travel throughout the country discovering the fascinating stories about the people of this great business. Over the last six years, many of those stories have been about how real estate professionals coped with the downturn in housing sales. We report on what we find in this magazine as well as in REAL Trends and our other publications. What’s amazing is when I talk with those from outside our business about what’s happened, they’re astonished that so many real estate leaders have done so well in such drastic circumstances. It’s a testament to the durability and strength of people of real estate that so many have, in fact, done so well in such tough times. In a special white paper in REAL Trends this month, we report on 17 brokerages that not only survived the last 10 years, but also grew in all key areas in terms of sales and productivity. You’ve heard the saying, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” To us in real estate, that means a brokerage company can only grow if it has great agents. And, LORE magazine finds those great real Steve Murray Publisher Tracey C. Velt Editor-in-Chief David Grassnick Graphic Designer Travis Saxton Webmaster

estate professionals. One of the most inspiring stories I’ve encountered is reported in this issue—the story of Brian McDonald, who turned nothing into $4.3 million in sales his first year in the business under

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desperate circumstances. Then, you have the stories of agents in the Hurricane Sandy-hit regions that put business and commissions on hold to help. This is a great business but truly it’s the stories of regular people doing great things that make it so. I trust you will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed reporting it. This and others are stories that give all of us hope that there is a great future ahead.

Lore magazine is published online via Issuu four times a year—in February, May, August and November—by REAL Trends Inc. 7501 Village Square Drive, Ste. 200 Castle Rock, CO 80108 (303) 741-1000 Free Subscriptions: Click Here

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Lives of Real Estate

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Post Hurricane Sandy

The Storm of the

Century In times of need, real estate professionals reach out.

Debris from boardwalk piled on the cars at Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY as a result of hurricane Sandy on October 29,2012, in New York City. Photo: Bigstock

NOAA GOES-13 image of Sandy at 6:02 a.m. EDT Tuesday, (Oct. 30). Courtesy: NOAA/NASA GOES Project

the house. The damage in the past was sand build up. So, we honestly didn’t take the evacuations seriously,” says Dobles, whose mother lives just a block from the beach, but was moved to a safer area. “At 5 p.m., it was windy and noisy. We lost power at 6 p.m. By 11 p.m., the water had risen six feet, our car was underwater. It was pitch black and what I thought was a flood light turned out to be house fires about a block away.” That’s when Dobles says she got, “really nervous. Should we wait it out?” Unfortunately, by this time, Dobles and her family didn’t have a choice. While Dobles was the only one of the four real estate professionals we interviewed whose home was directly impacted by the storm, she and the others all immediately pitched in to help those in need. Here are their stories:

It’s been said before: Real estate professionals are the eyes and ears of a community. And, nowhere has that been more evident than in the areas most impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall on October 29, 2012, striking near Atlantic City, N.J. with a vengeance. The 80 mph winds and a full moon—which made high tides even higher—caused a storm surge that shocked the Jersey shore. In addition, seawater flooded lower Manhattan’s roadways, tunnels and subway stations. All told, Sandy cost upwards of $20 billion in property damage. To date, many homeowners are still struggling to get repairs done to property and collect on FEMA aid or insurance claims. “I’ve lived in Rockaway my entire life,” says Virginia Dobles of Roberts Real Estate, a division of Brownstone Real Estate, which is based in Brooklyn. “We’ve been through many hurricanes, and we never had a drop of water in

“We’ve been through many hurricanes, and we never had a drop of water in the house. ” — Virginia Dobles, Roberts Real Estate

Lives of Real Estate




Post Hurricane Sandy

From left: Maura Trimble, marketing executive, Believe in Belle Harbor; Cristian Dobles, executive director, Believe in Belle Harbor/sales associate at Roberts Real Estate and Virginia Dobles, Roberts Real Estate, a division of Brownstone Real Estate

Connecting Volunteers With Those In Need 6



Lives of Real Estate

Harbor. It was a way to communicate. I would feed information to my cousin, Ginny Zirpolo, and she would post it. People would come into my real estate office, which became a small command center, and we would point them in the right direction, or post on the Facebook site, and we’d get responses. Through Facebook, we got volunteers, donations, food, water, generators and offers of housing for those who were displaced.” For the next month, Dobles forgave her fees to find places for families to live. “All the donations that came in, I filtered through our office and disseminated them through a non profit called Graybeards, an organization that’s been in this community for a long time,” she says. Graybeards offers temporary assistance to locals who are struggling to pay medical bills and make ends meet. Once the immediate needs were met, about a month after the storm, Dobles went back to work in Brooklyn. She’s now back in Rockaway setting up the office she was forced to abandon when the storm hit. The entire experience was humbling according to Dobles. “In my case, we didn’t have power. Generators were hard to come by, “The whole experience so my cousin, Ginny, posted opened up my heart in that we needed a lot of ways that were generators. Some unexpected.” guy from Long Island put a generator in his car — Virginia Dobles and drove an hour and Roberts Real Estate half to give it to us. I was astonished at all of the kindness. “Random people would drop off water, clothing, offer housing. It was an incredible outpouring of community help. The whole experience opened up my heart in a lot of ways that were unexpected,” says Dobles.

“About a month after the storm, most of the debris was cleaned up, so except for the buildings that burned down, you wouldn’t know how bad the damage really was,” says Dobles, who grew up in Rockaway and still has family there. “It was such a pretty town and now it just looks run down. The generators make a lot of noise, there are cops at every corner and quite a few big trucks rumble down the street. The rest of the world thinks Hurricane Sandy is over, but for us, it’s just the beginning,” she says. “Personally, we’ve already been denied money from both FEMA and our insurance company. The physical part is over and now we have the mental part. This is a beach town, and the beach has virtually been destroyed.” Ironically, Dobles had just moved back to Rockaway from Brooklyn. She had opened a branch office for her brokerage just one week before the storm hit. “We didn’t even have the signage up. I had a couple listings, but was just in the beginning stages of moving into this area again.” In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Dobles decided that, “for me to do anything other than contribute to the community would be the wrong thing to do. It just didn’t feel right to set up the office.” In fact, she says, “The first couple hours after the storm, people were walking around in a daze, then we all just started getting to work. At this point, we didn’t have cell service or power, and the gas had to be turned off. Everyone just worked together to get debris moved, generators installed and flood waters drained.” After that first day, Dobles called her cousin who was in marketing to help her take the next step. “We started a Facebook page called Believe in Belle

Lives of Real Estate




Post Hurricane Sandy

Dennis Allen, broker/co-owner, Ashore Realty in Brigantine Beach, N.J.

Tweeting Away the Fears 8



Lives of Real Estate

glance in the windows and give homeowners updates. “Many were relieved to know their house was still standing even if the basement was flooded,” he says. “I couldn’t do much but that was one small thing that helped put people’s minds “I couldn’t do much at ease.” but that was one small Unfortunately, many of the thing that helped put people who stayed people’s mind at ease.” were forced to leave their homes — Dennis Allen, and find temporary Ashore Realty housing due to flooding and damage. “A lot of people were misplaced on the island. Since our office is located in a shore community, we rent properties weekly during the summer. So, we reached out to our summer rental owners to see if they’d rent their places for a reduced rate. We had quite a few owners allow tenants to move in for free.” And, says Allen, “We eliminated our commission for those victims and helped put people in temporary housing.” To date, he’s helped place at least 28 families in temporary rentals. For Allen, it just makes him feel good to know he can do something. “It was a unique thing to keep people’s mind at ease. I was surprised at the amount of positive feedback.”

Dennis Allen considers himself lucky. “My personal house made it through the storm just fine and almost every property we had under contract was untouched, even a $975,000 oceanfront property,” says the broker/co-owner with Ashore Realty in Brigantine Beach, N.J. However, his six investment properties in Atlantic City were all damaged and none of them were covered by FEMA or homeowner’s insurance. “I didn’t have flood insurance on them because they were on high ground. I got whacked pretty badly and had to quickly do repairs to ensure my tenants were safely housed,” he says. In addition, about one-third of his company’s listings were damaged and taken off the market. Brigantine Beach and Atlantic City were evacuated, however, says Allen, “about 70 percent of those who lived there didn’t leave because they were afraid they wouldn’t be allowed back on the island for days.” For Allen, it was important to let out-of-town owners and those who did evacuate know exactly how their properties fared. “When the storm first started, I tweeted updates, evacuation orders and took pictures of the beach,” he says. “I started getting a lot of followers, so I decided to keep it up. I had about 1,255 followers within a few days. Everyone wanted to see pictures from the storm,” he says. Soon he was getting messages from homeowners asking Allen to drive by their house and take pictures. “I decided to tweet my phone number with a message that homeowners could call me to give them an update on their properties. My phone was blowing up!” Allen would get up at 6 a.m., take pictures of the homes,

Lives of Real Estate




Post Hurricane Sandy

Offering a Home Away From Home Matthew Arnold, associate-broker, Netter Real Estate in West Islip, N.Y.




Lives of Real Estate

“What we’re going through is like having a wound that keeps getting bumped open,” says Matthew Arnold, an associate-broker with Netter Real Estate in West Islip, N.Y. “After the storm, we had clean up, now we’re dealing with trying to get homes that went under contract before the storm closed,” he says. At the time of the interview, Arnold said that nothing had closed in four or five weeks. In fact, in mid-December power was still out and a couple homes Arnold had under contract were washed away in the storm surge. “I have one that is still waiting for insurance money. A lot of these homeowners were upside down on their mortgages, and they didn’t have flood insurance. It’s catastrophic for many of them,” he says. “Unfortunately, our bills don’t go away—even if the income does!” But, through it all, Arnold has tried to maintain a positive attitude, knowing that for him, at least, it could have been a lot worse. “My home was not impacted.” In addition, he says, people are still looking for new homes. “Oddly enough, I had one client pick me up in a pick-up truck and venture through two-feet of water on flooded streets to look at some waterfront properties,” laughs Arnold. And, for Arnold, the most important thing right now is to ensure his clients are OK. And, in doing so, Arnold has opened up his own home. “I had a colleague [whom he met through his local association of Realtors®] from another company who had four feet of water in her home. It wiped out their entire first floor. She, her husband, kids and dog showed up at my doorstep. Her husband is a home inspector,” he says.

She stayed for a month. “My three-bedroom ranch became cozy quickly,” says Arnold, who, until then, lived alone. And, that’s not all “We got to work Arnold did to help. After the storm, he securing temporary attempted to contact housing for those who all of his clients, either were displaced.” via personal visit, telephone, email or text. — Matthew Arnold, “Once we verified that all Netter Real Estate of our clients were safe, we got to work securing temporary housing for those who were displaced,” he says. Also any homes under contract had to be re-inspected. A local church called asking to borrow the brokerage’s moving truck. Arnold snapped into action, rushed over and helped load the truck with supplies that had been dropped off at the church. “The Red Cross hadn’t even been there yet,” he says. “I spent the entire day delivering supplies to those in need.” In addition, Arnold says, “My broker opened up our Maryalice and Jim office which was unscathed. People Ruppert, Arnold’s came in to use our Internet and fax. houseguests after Some just wanted a friendly place to Hurricane Sandy forced have a cup of coffee.” Arnold recently the couple to evacuate held a coat drive as well. their home. Arnold says the whole experience has renewed his faith in his profession. “There were so many Realtors® reaching out to help.” But, he says, “We were setting numbers. People had more confidence, and then the wave hit us and now we’re at a standstill.”

Lives of Real Estate



Post Hurricane Sandy

Linda Bonarelli-Lugo, broker, Realty Executives North Shore, Huntington, N.Y.

Animal Instincts 12



Lives of Real Estate

dogs and hopes to foster another dog soon. And, she says, “I wasn’t surprised by the response, being a Realtor for over 25 years, I know how great my fellow real estate professionals are. They came through with donations of money, supplies and even their time working in the shelter.” While the North “Being a Realtor® for Shore Animal League over 25 years, I know was interested in the foster program how great my and pet owners were fellow real estate willing to sign off on it, professionals are.” they had to get approval through the county. In — Linda Bonarelli-Lugo, the meantime, BonarelliRealty Executives Lugo ran around town North Shore collecting donated pet supplies and then worked for two weeks in the shelter walking dogs, cleaning cages and taking care of the animals. Bonarelli-Lugo has been such a positive force at the shelter that the Pet Safe Coalition has asked her to serve on their board. At press time, the shelter was down to 69 dogs and 90 cats. “The numbers have dwindled because owners have taken back some of the animals,” she says. However, some owners have relinquished the animals and BonarelliLugo hopes to get them adopted soon. “Our objective is to get the animals back to their owners, and encourage landlords to be more pet friendly, especially in these special circumstances. Every dog I walk touches my heart because I know it belongs to someone. It’s great to be able to help.” L

While Linda Bonarelli-Lugo’s home remained relatively unscathed, she was without electricity for 10 days. “When you don’t have electric, you go into survival mode,” says the broker with Realty Executives North Shore in Huntington, N.Y. But, as soon as she had access to television again, she started looking for ways she could help. “I heard a news story about pets being put into no-kill shelters, and I immediately wondered if the shelters may be in need of foster homes,” she says. After all, many families were displaced from homes and renting places that did not allow pets. The pets were temporarily in the shelters until the owners were back in their homes. “I started calling area shelters and no one was picking up the phones,” says Bonarelli-Lugo. After a day of failed phone calls, Bonarelli-Lugo, who is president of her local Association’s MLS, decided to do some research herself. She reached out to the Long Island Association of Realtors® who helped her put together a list of more than 30 real estate professionals who were willing to foster animals. Armed with that list, Bonarelli-Lugo drove 40 minutes to the North Shore Animal League’s temporary pet shelter at a local college. There, she met with the head of the Pet Safe Coalition. “I asked what they needed and would go out and find it. They had about 150 dogs and 150 cats at the time. They needed a refrigerator, so I found someone to donate one. I delivered pet food, a washer and dryer and more,” she says. “I reached out the to Realtor® community through Facebook and people responded,” says BonarelliLugo, who has two Portuguese Water

Lives of Real Estate



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Medical Missions

Ministering to the Sick Tough and determinedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how you can describe this Florida agent who spends her free time organizing and going on medical missions in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and India.

Mary Walker, broker associate ERA Davis & Linn, Jacksonville, Fla.

Spiritual Leader

Walker, who helps organize at least three medical missions to Ethiopia and India each year, can rattle off story after story just like that. And, the stories still break her heart. “We set up medical clinics and about 10,000 people line up for help. Most are in need of basic medical care and suffer from parasites, lack of food and sexual diseases. It’s heartbreaking,” says Walker, who 12 years ago, at the invitation of a friend,

went on her first mission trip to Zimbabwe. The next year, she connected with Jewish Voice Ministries International, where she spent five years helping with music and dance missions in the Ukraine and Siberia. In 2004, she went on her first medical mission. “I’m an organized, take-charge person, so it was easy to step into a role where I had to solve problems,” she says. For this first mission, she helped locate a small, vacant hospital, collected a group of volunteer doctors, nurses and ophthalmologists, hired interpreters and set up a MASH-style medical clinic that treated almost 10,000 villagers in five days. “I’m not a medical professional, but I have a unique ability to herd cats,” laughs Walker, who’s main job is keeping all the volunteers happy and on the same page. To date, she’s participated in 17 medical missions.

Balancing Act

Walker says going on missions requires balancing her passion for helping others with her 25-year real estate business. “I get everyone organized, assign them medical supply suitcases, get all the doctors, nurses and volunteers together on the airplane and get them settled in their hotels,” she says. “In the beginning, I ran the whole clinic, but after I set up a system, I had to hand that off to others to do. It’s such a large organization that it takes too much time for me.” So, Walker now spends 10 days three times a year going

The 80-year old Ethiopian man couldn’t stop smiling. “After being blind in both eyes, a doctor removed his cataracts, and he could see again,” says Mary Walker, a broker-associate with ERA Davis & Linn in Jacksonville, Fla. But, what happened next brings a smile to Walker’s face. “He kept hugging the surgeon. Then, he told us his story. About five years before, his wife died. He was distraught and said he wanted to die. About two years ago, he was attacked by bees while walking through a field,” says Walker. He lay in the field for days wondering why God wouldn’t just let him die. “Then, he told us that he realized exactly why God kept him alive. It was so that he could see his first white man [the surgeon who removed his cataracts],” Walker laughs.

We set up medical clinics and about 10,000 people line up for help. — Mary Walker, ERA Davis & Linn

Lives of Real Estate




Medical Missions on the medical missions. “I’m the top producer in my office, so I can’t go on every trip anymore.” Not to mention that it can be emotionally draining knowing she can’t help everyone. “The need is so great,” she says. “Doctors have two minutes with each patient. It can be rewarding but also depressing. I try to keep the doctors’ spirits up and help them understand that what they’re doing is meaningful even if they can’t help everyone,” she says.

Teaching Basic Hygiene

To keep her own spirits up Walker speaks to those at the end of the lines, educating them about basic hygiene, which in many cases can save their lives. For example, she says, in Ethiopia flies are a huge problem. “Flies get into their eyes, the eyes get infected and it causes blindness,” she says. “So, we have small education seminars to explain how dangerous the flies can

be.” In addition, she tries to get families continual help. “I have one woman with five kids, ages 7 and under. She was feeding them all off of her breast milk. She was begging for food. We set her up with a local church and gave them money to feed her. Her husband was in an insane asylum. He was the breadwinner, so she lost everything, including a place to live when he left. We’ve been back to that region twice now, so I always check on her to see how she’s doing.” Walker has also learned what extras to bring on the trips, such as shoes. “I try to bring at least 1,000 pairs of shoes and it’s never enough,” she says. “It’s so hard to leave. You just want to bring them all home with you and give them food and a safe, warm place to live.” But through it all, Walker says it nourishes her soul. “It’s a wonderful thing to know you’re helping some of the most hurting people in the world.” L

Medical Missions Need You In February, Walker will be going to Zimbabwe. She also has a trip planned to Ethiopia and one other to be announced. “Anyone can join and go on these trips,” she says. It costs about $3,000 for a 10-day trip. “We leave on a Friday and return on a Sunday, so you only lose one week of work.” Interested? Go to, then click on the “Missions” button.



Lives of Real Estate

Corporate Responsibility Programs

Green Giving When tasked with developing a corporate responsibility initiative, this CEO went simple— protecting the Earth’s greatest assets.

“Companies have a responsibility for action,” says Kathy Korte, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty in Manhattan. “I feel fortunate to be where I am today and want to give back to my company, but more than that I want our company to give back to the community that has given us so much,” she says. In fact, Korte is your classic example of someone who climbed the corporate ladder. “I didn’t know real estate was my calling until I started with Sotheby’s in 1984,” laughs Korte. “I worked my way up and eventually ran the Manhattan brokerage office from 1992 to 2004, when I opened a downtown office and became CEO of the eastern region. In 2006, I became president and CEO of Sotheby’s International.”

Taking Initiative

As such, Korte was tasked with developing a corporate responsibility program. “This was very important to us and to our clients. They look to us to be contributing to the community. We wanted something to supplement the local community-based causes.” Korte immediately thought green. “Our staff and clients had a growing interest in the green initiative, which is so developed overseas. In addition, many

of our younger clients factor their environmental concerns into their decision making.” That’s when Korte turned to Conservation International. “They are a respected leader and are providing the essential services— fertile soil, clean water and fresh air—to ensure a better life for everyone,” she says. Sotheby’s launched the corporate responsibility program supporting Conservation International in October 2008. “In the second quarter of 2012, we had the highest level of donation participation in history,” she says. Agents can donate a portion of their commission on behalf of their clients. Many do it in lieu of a traditional closing gift. “We have two programs, Protect an Acre of Rain Forest and Save a Mile of Ocean, the last of which is popular with our water-front property specialists,” she says.

and sales meetings where we hand out the promotional materials.” But, more than that, Korte stresses the importance of reaching out to agents who are already passionate about environmental causes. “They are wonderful advocates who get others in the office excited about the giving program,” she says. The truth is, she says, “Agents want to be personally involved.”

Interested in giving to Conservation International? Go to

Sotheby’s also supports Conservation International (CI) through a holiday card Conserving Earth’s Assets initiative each year, which a portion of the Why Conservation International? cost of the card goes to fund CI. According to Sotheby’s, “We understand But, more than just supporting that rainforests, while far away, still play a Conservation International’s mission through meaningful role in our local communities. company and agent donations, Korte says The burning and clearing of these rich Sotheby’s is committed to reducing its ecosystems emits at least 20 percent of carbon footprint through meaningful changes the greenhouse gases that cause climate in each office. Things like replacing bulk change. Conservation International has printed pieces with print-on-demand and determined that protecting acres of rainforest through sustainable conservation email-able alternatives, using soy inks and is a relatively quick and cost-effective way paper from forests that meet international standards for responsible management. to reduce climate change, and a sensible “We also provide our agents and staff way for organizations like ours to help.” Sotheby’s agents and managers agree. “At with re-useable shopping bags made of 100 percent recycled materials,” says Korte. least 50 percent of our agents participate, Overall, says Korte, it just feels right to be and they can donate in increments that we contributing to a green initiative. “In real will match up to $20,000. To date, the company has helped to protect over 27,000 estate, we must be leaders of the green initiative,” she says. After all, more and acres of forest and over 400 square miles of more, our country is getting serious about ocean. “We’re proud that so many of our agents and managers contribute,” says Korte. becoming more energy independent and protecting our greatest natural assets. “Giving to an eco-friendly charity reinforces Encouraging Agent Participation In order to encourage agent participation, our commitment to going green and our commitment to making the world a better Korte’s team put together a program and PowerPoint presentation. “We go into office place,” she says. L 20



Lives of Real Estate

How I Got My Start

Knock-Knock Business

With six kids to feed, this agent didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t panic when forced to change careers. Instead, he stayed focused and thrived.

In 1995, Brian McDonald got his real estate license and started searching for a job. “I interviewed with a local real estate company, and the manager told me I didn’t have what it took to be a successful real estate salesperson,” says McDonald, now with Five Star Real Estate in Grandville, Mich.

do something. “I started knocking on doors, calling on FSBOS (for sale by owner). I needed fast cash.” McDonald closed 31 transactions that first year and had $4.3 million in sales. In 2012, McDonald closed over $6 million in sales. “My business just took off. I had to surrender and when I did, everything came together,” he says. McDonald credits much of that success to the Lord, but does admit that hard work and Down But Not Out help from his kids contributed as well. “My Deflated, McDonald gave up his real kids are awesome. My boys have delivered estate dream and took a job as a manager for McDonalds Corp. On the side, he slowly built door hangers. My girls have done some administrative work. But, I try to keep that to a minia vending business as well. “The vending mum. I spend every other week with them and business thrived. Soon I was given the opporvalue every minute of my time with them.” tunity to become a distributor for the vending And, through it all, McDonald has fought manufacturing company. In 1997, I represented the state of Michigan and grew that business to hard to remain positive. “I’ve learned who I am several other states,” he says. Eventually, when and what my strengths and weaknesses are.” the market tanked a couple years ago, “product And, to that real estate manager who said he didn’t have what it takes, McDonald just prices went up, and it was a losing business.” laughs. I guess he proved her wrong. L At the same time, McDonald was hitting rock bottom personally as well. “I got a divorce that turned ugly and just couldn’t get hired anywhere,” he says. So, he turned back to real estate. “I was down to $1,000 in my bank account and needed to make sales fast,” says McDonald, who has joint custody of his six children: Caleb, age 17; Caitlyn, age 16; Camden, age 15; Cadence, age 12; Carson, age 11 and Caylee, age 8.

Back in the Real Estate Game

Insistent on being successful, and maybe a little determined to prove that real estate manager wrong, McDonald got his license and joined Five Star Real Estate. “I have six kids who like to eat, I was motivated to make money quickly.” But, things didn’t just fall into place like he hoped. “I remember a day when I was frustrated. None of my deals were going through. So, I asked the Lord, ‘Is this what you want me to do?’”

Door Knocking

McDonald decided the only way to make things happen was to get out of the office and 22 LORE


Lives of Real Estate

LORE - Lives of Real Estate Spring 2013