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Spring 2017 • Volume 11 / Issue 1

Rick Davidson:

Father, Mentor, Leader Passionate about helping others succeed, the CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate prides himself on his character and his reputation of always doing what’s right.

Plus: Moving Families Initiative • Donna Palm: Dreaming Bigger • Athletes and Children in Crisis: Filling Community Voids • You are the Architect of Your Own Reality


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Spring 2017 Volume 11 / Issue 1

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COVER STORY Rick Davidson: Father, Mentor, Leader

Feature: Moving Families Initiative HSF Associates and other brokerages are helping children in transition find after school activities to ease the stress of a move.

DEPARTMENTS How I Got My Start Donna Palm: Dreaming Bigger Homeless for a short time in her 20s, Donna Palm found the courage to redesign her life and thrive.

Saving the World Athletes and Children in Crisis: Filling Community Voids When this real estate professional sees a community void, he doesn’t mess around. So far, he’s developed two non- profits to help children in crisis and Olympic athlete hopefuls. Here’s how he’s helping his community.

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Passionate about helping others succeed, the CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate prides himself on his character and his reputation of always doing what’s right.

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Personal Passions You are the Architect of Your Own Reality How one Big Island Realtor has parlayed a lifelong spiritual journey into a successful career in luxury real estate.

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY

D

on’t read this issue unless you want to feel like you’ve been wasting a lot of time selling homes! These stories will challenge you to get more involved and live a fuller life.

It’s always interesting to me that so many people have ended up working on things they never planned on and living where they never thought they would live. So many of the people we feature in LORE ended up in real estate almost by accident and living somewhere that was not a part of their plan. What is consistent is that from the first days, they can remember that they were not going to live ordinary lives. They had some inner drive that kept them moving ahead, driving for the next milestone or planning for their next adventure. The most interesting things we get to report on are the stories of the people of this industry—not their sales production. Although the level of success for many in our business is unprecedented, it is what they have done with their resources, passion and heart that is, to us, far more interesting.

www.loremagazine.com Steve Murray

Publisher smurray@realtrends.com Tracey C. Velt

Editor-in-Chief tvelt@realtrends.com David Grassnick

Graphic Designer chiefcreative@msn.com Bryan Warrick

Creative Director bwarrick@realtrends.com Doniece Welch

Advertising dwelch@realtrends.com 303-741-1000

Enjoy this issue of LORE. These are some incredible stories.

Stephen H. Murray Publisher

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 or call 303-741-1000 psalley@realtrends.com

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2017 REAL Trends DealMakers Conference August 10-11, 2017 Denver Colorado

REAL Trends is launching a new conference focused solely on understanding the valuation of brokerage firms, mergers and acquisitions among brokerage firms, and that of businesses related to our industry. This first year we are limiting attendance to 100. Present will be the main deal makers from the leading national and regional brokerage industry, attorneys with expertise in deal structuring and tax considerations along with the leading merger and acquisition advisory firms in the country in this industry. Register today by going to http://realtrends.com/index.cfm/events/deal-makers-conference


COVER STORY

Richard W. Davidson, SIOR, RPA President and Chief Executive Officer CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC

Rick Davidson

Father, Mentor, Leader 6

Lives of Real Estate


“I

live my life by seeking out those things that are most important,” says Richard W. Davidson, SIOR, RPA, president and CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. That’s why, although he’s a busy executive, he always makes time to help and listen to others, whether it’s being present with his family, consulting a broker, agent or other industry professional or mentoring young people through his involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “My parents always told me, ‘in both your personal and professional life, if you can’t stand in front of the camera on the [evening] news and feel good about telling the world what you did, then you probably made the wrong decision,” says Davidson. “That was a hard standard to live by as a teenager but as I sit here as CEO of CENTURY 21 and talk to you about our company and its System members, those learnings from my parents ring true. So when I interview a prospective franchisee, [Davidson personally interviews and selects every prospective new company] I think about who this person is as an individual in the business community. Does the person give back? Is the person ethical and honest? Do I want to put my arm around the person in front of the news and say, ‘We want you to work with CENTURY 21?’ If I can’t do that feeling good about the decision, the answer is no.”

Passionate about helping others succeed, the CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate prides himself on his character as a human being and his reputation of always doing what’s right.

Falling into Real Estate Davidson didn’t start out in real estate. Working for Marriott managing its hospital nutrition segment, he was approached by a friend in commercial real estate. He was intrigued and started with CB Richard Ellis in Washington, D.C. in 1988. “I worked exclusively in that field until 2009,” he says. That year, he accepted a dual role as chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate and continued as president of Coldwell Banker Commercial. In 2010, he became president and CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC.

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COVER STORY

Since his start in the business, he’s seen many industry changes. However, he says, the year 2000 was a turning point. “That’s when technology and the Internet began to proliferate into commercial real estate. It was years before it had a significant impact on residential. But, in 2000, I was working in Washington, D.C., and AOL headquarters was getting a lot of buzz and a lot of space was being leased by tech companies,” he says. “That began the discussion that we still have today—could tech disintermediate the real estate industry?” Davidson’s answer is not simple. “If we don’t continue to be focused on raising the barriers to entry, it could happen. But real estate is a relationship business, and no matter how real estate savvy a buyer is, the level of due diligence that buyer can do online is limited. As long as real estate agents are knowledgeable about the market, deliver value and remain relevant to the customer buyers (and sellers) will still want them to help validate their decisions and provide guidance on how to approach the marketplace.” Building Relationships Relationships are important to Davidson, who was raised by parents heavily involved in the political world. “My dad was CEO of a large association in the healthcare space, and my mom was the assistant to three senate presidents in Maryland. I was raised to understand that the value of relationships and your appearance to your community, how fair, moral and ethical you are in your dealings are critically important.”

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Lives of Real Estate

“I WAS RAISED TO UNDERSTAND that the value of relationships and your appearance to your community, how fair, moral and ethical you are in your dealings are critically important.” – Rick Davidson


“I ENJOY SEEING PEOPLE SUCCEED. I l ove i t w h e n , a s a re s u l t o f t h e i r ex p e r i e n c e s , t h ey g o o n t o d o g re a t things. If I can play a s m a l l ro l e i n t h a t , I g e t a t re m e n d o u s amount of enjoyment out of it.” – Rick Davidson

He also knows how vital it is to be a good listener. “I find that when people are willing to talk and share with you, it builds a level of trust. I look at myself as a trusted advisor. I believe in telling people exactly what they need to hear, even when they don’t want to hear it.” It’s his ability to listen and be fair and honest that allows him to do what he loves to do—help people succeed. “I enjoy seeing people succeed. I love it when, as a result of their experiences, they go on to do great things. If I can play a small role in that, I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of it,” he says. Adventurer and Family Man However, Davidson’s enjoyment doesn’t come only from his business dealings. He’s an adventurer and fitness fanatic in his downtime. “When I found out I was going to be a father 30 years ago, it created a shift in my life. I recognized the kind of person I wanted to be and put myself in check. I wanted to be someone without physical limitations. I never want to be asked to do something and have to say no because I haven’t taken care of my health,” says Davidson, who started working out and taking better LORE

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COVER STORY

“ I n eve r w a n t t o b e a s ke d t o d o something and h a ve t o s a y n o b e c a u s e I h ave n ’ t t a ke n c a re o f m y h e a l t h .” – Rick Davidson

care of his body from that moment on. “Thirty years later, it’s a lifestyle for me. I’m in far better shape now than I was that day all those years ago.” Davidson believes in the mantra “Strong body, strong mind.” “I believe there is a direct correlation between what you eat and how you take care of yourself spiritually. You create a different level of energy that gets you through any shifts that occur in your life.” With this “strong body, strong mind” spirit, Davidson says that when he has some personal time, he loves to ride his motorcycle. “My wife, Tina, rides on the back and loves it. We’ve been cross country several times and ridden through Canada. We’ll disappear for a couple days,” he says. Davidson’s son,

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Justin (30) and daughter, Mandy (23), love to participate in a number adventures with Dad. “My family is first and foremost to me,” he says. In addition to outdoor activities, Davidson serves as a Big Brother to a boy named Robert. “I was matched with him when he was 6 years old. He’s 16 now and a sophomore in high school. We’re very active. We recently ran in a Warrior Dash adventure race together.” Davidson also serves as immediate past chairman of the board for Easterseals. Living a full, healthy life is important to Davidson. “Nothing is more important to me than my family. Everything I do is out of a love for them and out of a love for helping people thrive. I will continue to strive for success and excellence.”


Motivation: I’m motivated by people and their success. Three Things You Can’t Live Without (excluding family and friends): mountain climbing (he’s climbed two of the seven highest summits on the seven continents) and nearly every glaciated mountain in North America, fishing rod and a smartphone. Oh, and one more, my reading glasses. Bucket List: My wife’s grandfather is 101 and is completely together physically and mentally. I want to be vibrant and spry like him when I’m that old. I would also love to climb multiple peaks in the Himalayas, and I would love to fly fish for roosterfish in South America.

In his words: Rick Davidson

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FEATURE

M ov i n g Fa m i l i e s I n i t i a t i ve ÂŽ

Easing Family Moves

for Children

HSF Affiliates Home Connections is partnering with the Moving Families Initiative ÂŽ (MFI), founded by former All Pro football player Johnnie Johnson to help ease the transition of moving for children.

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“The better we can meet the kids’ needs, the better we are at serving the parents and the less stressed they are.” — J ohnnie J oh n son

A

s a director of relocation services for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty in Austin, Christine McCambridge understands how difficult a move can be for children. “Kids want to replace what they had or come close to it,” she says. Many times, however, parents are so overwhelmed with the move that they have a hard time thinking beyond the school district when looking for a house. That’s where (MFI) comes in. Launched in 2009, MFI connects moving families with certified real estate professionals to “take a proactive approach to the physical and emotional strain kids face when changing neighborhoods and schools,” said Johnnie Johnson, founder of MFI, former All Pro football player, and President and CEO of World Class Coaches. Johnson became sensitive to the rigors of moving during his NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. Open to all real estate professionals, no matter the brand, MFI offers a certification process to help sales associates understand the program. “We want the parents to go to one stop and get every real estate need met through a connectivity platform,” says Johnson. “That platform connects parents of children ages 19 and under with coaches and teachers who help them get involved in their new area,” he says. “The better we can meet the kids’ needs, the better we are at serving the parents and the less stressed they are.” “A new community to learn, new friends to make, new schools to navigate … all of this can deeply impact a child’s well-being, and as real estate professionals, we have not only a unique positioning to help but also perhaps a duty to do so,” says Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC in Orange County, Calif. Johnson agrees and says it’s vital that kids choose an extracurricular activity in their new neighborhood. “We’re not concerned about which one as long as they participate in one of their choosing,” he explains. “It could be Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, playing in the band, singing, dancing or youth sports. Extracurricular activities teach young people certain values, life skills and character

Johnnie Johnson, founder of MFI, former All Pro football player, and President and CEO of World Class Coaches

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FEATURE

traits that may be difficult to learn elsewhere. Even the world’s greatest parents can use the help that these activities provide.” While World Class Coaches facilitates the Moving Families Initiative, HSF Affiliates, through its Home ConnectionsSM real estate services platform, provides parents a one-stop access point for the plan’s legion of service providers, programs and services. In addition, agents from HSF Affiliates’ brokerage networks will join more than 3,100 other real estate professionals already serving transitioning families coast to coast in conjunction with MFI. Bobbi Burke, owner and broker of Envoy Real Estate Services LLC in Phoenix, Ariz., has been a certified MFI agent for the past seven years. “As a [former] secondary teacher, I have a special affinity for the welfare of children,” she says. “This initiative allows me to continue that urge to help children in a different way. The most helpful thing to families, I feel, is the

assurance that their real estate professional is focused not only on housing needs but also on the family’s new life. As part of the program, sales associates are given a DVD called ‘The Great Moving Adventure.’ I’ve shared 18 of these DVDs while helping family members [find children extracurricular activities] in their new city. This whole experience has taught me that putting your heart out there to touch the heart of another is the best possible return on investment on the planet!” For Debbie Hester, an MFI-certified sales associate with ERA Sellers & Buyers in El Paso, Texas, the program allows her to offer a strategic approach to help each member of the family during a move. “The knowledge I share is based on raising my own four children plus my experience as a community expert,” she says. “The stress involved [in a move] can be tremendous. MFI allows me to offer resources beyond real estate to give them a great moving experience. I help them secure tennis lessons,

“The stress involved [in a move] can be tremendous. MFI allows me to offer resources beyond real estate to give them a great moving experience.” — Debbie Hester

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doctors, estate planners, caterers, contractors, printers, party venues, math tutors, babysitters, cleaners, painters, book clubs and more through my contacts with MFI.” “Annually, more than 10 million children age 19 and younger move throughout the U.S., according to U.S. Census Mobility Report data,” Johnson says. “Within five years, it’s part of our aim with the Moving Families Initiative to serve and provide protection for 10 million children throughout the country who annually change schools,

neighborhoods and friends as a result of moving. Our goal is to assist 20 million children worldwide in 10 years.” “I adore making a difference and helping families find and make a new home,” says Hester. “It’s hard to say goodbye to my friends who are leaving for a new adventure, but I appreciate giving them the closure they need to complete a move.” Want to get involved? Go to movingfamiliesinitiative.com.

M ov i n g Fa m i l i e s I n i t i a t i ve C e r t i f i c a t i o n Moving Families Initiative provides a network of Preferred Real Estate Agents™, who are trained in the care and handling of families’ needs during transition. To engage with the program, simply access the new Moving Families Initiative Connectivity Platform™, movingfamiliesinitiative.com, or call (866) 224-8895 prior to the execution of their home rental, sale or purchase agreement. Home Connections will then connect them with a Preferred Real Estate Agent of the family’s choice.

These advisors will help families meet their real estate needs and achieve the program’s core goals: • Help kids with the physical and emotional challenges of moving; • Provide protection to the entire family during the transition; • Encourage and help kids to engage in extracurricular activities of their choice; • Execute a Moving Families Initiative Written Game Plan that maps out a successful transition for all family members. Agents working with transitioning families make complete assessments of members’ needs and help families connect with key people, schools, agencies and service providers in their new neighborhoods through World Class Coaches’ Consumer and Personal Provider Networks™. This includes coaches, Scout leaders, instructors and others who will be waiting to support the kids in the days, weeks and months following their arrival. Agents provide these services at no cost beyond the normal and customary fees charged by their brokerage for real estate services.

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O n t h e M ove The Moving Families Initiative® U.S. promotional tour begins Feb. 8 in Austin, Texas. Over the next 24 months, the tour will stop in 250 cities across the country—in all 50 states. World Class Coaches™ (WCC), will facilitate the tour, focusing on

Awareness, Education and Connectivity. At each tour stop, WCC will meet with various chambers of commerce, PTAs and PTOs, youth organizations, local schools, universities and other memberbased groups.

The Moving Families Initiative® serves the entire United States. The Tour takes place in three phases, and the tour stop for each state will begin in that state’s capital city. Many dates and specific city locations are still being determined, so CLICK HERE to visit the website for updates.

2 0 1 7 P h a s e I To u r S c h e d u l e Texas February 8-22 (15 Cities) Arlington . . . . . . . . . . . . Date TBD Austin. . . . . . . . . . . . February 8-9 Corpus Christi . . . . February 13-14 Dallas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 9 El Paso . . . . . . . . . . February 13-14 Fort Worth. . . . . . . . . . . Date TBD Garland. . . . . . . . . . . . February 10 Houston . . . . . . . . . February 15-16 Irving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 13 Katy. . . . . . . . . . . . . February 15-16 Lubbock. . . . . . . . February 22-23 McAllen. . . . . . . . . . February 9-10 Plano. . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 14 San Antonio. . . . . . . . February 17 Waco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 15 Louisiana March 1-8 (3 Cities) Baton Rouge . . . . . . . . . . . March 1 New Orleans. . . . . . . . . . March 2-3 Shreveport. . . . . . . . . . . . March 6 Arkansas March 8-15 (2 Cities) Little Rock . . . . . . . . . . . . March 8 Fayetteville. . . . . . . . . . . . March 10 Georgia March 15-22 Athens . . . . . Atlanta . . . . . Augusta . . . . Columbus. . . Savannah . . .

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. . April 4 . . April 7 . . April 11 March 29 . . April 12 . . April 3 . March 31 . . April 3 March 30

Arizona April 19-26 (8 Cities) Chandler. . . . . . . . . . . . Gilbert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glendale. . . . . . . . . . . . Mesa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phoenix. . . . . . . . . . . . . Scottsdale . . . . . . . . . . Tempe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tucson . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Nevada May 3-10 (5 Cities) Carson City . . . . . . . Henderson . . . . . . . . Las Vegas. . . . . . . . . Paradise . . . . . . . . . . Reno. . . . . . . . . . . . .

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April 26 April 20 April 25 April 26 April 20 April 25 . April 21 . April 19

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. May 3 May 10 . May 8 . May 9 . May 4

Washington, D.C. . . . . . . . May 17 (5 Cities) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

California March 29-April 12 (14 Fremont . . . . . . . . . . . . Fresno. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Irvine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Long Beach . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles. . . . . . . . . 16

Oakland . . . . . . . Oxnard . . . . . . . . Riverside. . . . . . . Sacramento . . . . San Bernardino . San Diego. . . . . . San Francisco . . San Jose. . . . . . . Stockton. . . . . . .

Lives of Real Estate

. March 16 . March 15 March 20 March 22 . On Hold

Cities) . . . April . . . April . . . April . . . April . . . April

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New York May 24 -June 7 (7 Cities) Albany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 24 Brooklyn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 3 Bronx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 2 Buffalo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 25 New York City . . . . . . . . . . May 26 Manhattan . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 31 Queens. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 1

Pennsylvania June 14-21 (4 Cities) Allentown. . . . . . . . . . . Harrisburg . . . . . . . . . . Philadelphia. . . . . . . . . Pittsburgh . . . . . . . . . .

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June 20 . June 16 . June 19 . June 21

Connecticut July 12-19 (5 Cities) Bridgeport. . . . . . . . . Hartford . . . . . . . . . . . New Haven. . . . . . . . . Stamford . . . . . . . . . . Waterbury . . . . . . . . .

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July July July July July

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Iowa July 26-August 2 (4 Cities) Ames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 27 Des Moines. . . . . . . . . . . . . July 26 Cedar Rapids. . . . . . . . . . . July 28 Davenport . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 31 Nebraska August 9-16 (2 Cities) Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 9 Omaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TBD Wisconsin August 23-30 (3 Cities) Green Bay. . . . . . . . . . . August 24 Madison . . . . . . . . . . . . August 23 Milwaukee. . . . . . . . . . . August 25

View Phase II and Phase III Schedules CLICK HERE


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H O W I G O T M Y S TA RT

Donna Palm

Dreaming

Bigger

Homeless for a short time in her 20s, Donna Palm found the courage to redesign her life and thrive. 18

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ndependent, driven, proud, tough—those are all words that describe Donna Palm, broker associate of RE/MAX Alliance Group in Venice, Fla. You might say they define her the way those same qualities assured her success. Like many people, Palm didn’t start her real estate career out of a desire to sell homes. It came out of a realization that she needed to redesign her life. “When I was in my 20s, I was living in Chicago and was homeless. I worked seven days a week at four jobs, sometimes 20-hour days,” says Palm, who lived with her 100-pound Doberman in her Datsun until she could earn enough money for first and last months’ rent on an apartment. “I was living in my boyfriend’s apartment. We broke up, he moved and I refused to move back in with my parents,” she laughs. “I made friends with the supers in an apartment building and they would let me sneak in to use the showers and sometimes sleep on the floor of a vacant unit.” That early two-month homeless experience, she says, “made me tenacious in life. Failure is a part of success.” In 1987, she became a union electrician

until 2002. “I was an industrial electrician (the first female in her union) and a heavy equipment operator. But I was a single mom, divorced and feeling like a failure. So I took some training courses in Chicago, and I learned some things that blew me away,” she says. That year, she redesigned her life, followed her dreams and moved to Florida. “That was my aha moment. I got my power and passion back and was able to change my life,” she says. Looking for a flexible job as a means to take care of her kids, Palm chose to earn her real estate license. “Up north, I was a real estate investor, so it was a natural move for me,” she says. Within three years, she became a broker and opened two RE/MAX offices, which she sold in 2008. She continues to work for one office as a broker associate. To break into the market, she asked her broker to introduce her to as many people as possible. “I put on my RE/ MAX name tag and shirt and got out of the house,” she says. “I got so many customers in drug stores, grocery stores, even sitting in happy hours.”

“I was a single mom, divorced and feeling like a failure. So I took some training courses in Chicago, and I learned some things that blew me away.” — Donna Palm LORE

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H O W I G O T M Y S TA RT She also credits her success to her competitive drive. “I’m a killer Monopoly player,” she laughs. “No one will play with me!” Now, says Palm, she’s living the life about which she always dreamed. “Can you imagine? I’m driving a Maserati now,” she says. In addition to her position as a broker associate, she loves baseball and is a huge fan of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs. “I love getting out on the water in my boat. It centers me.” And, when she’s back in Illinois, she enjoys hiking through the woods. “If I had a mission statement, it would be, ‘In my dreams, I want to be a breath of fresh air and inspire others,’” she says.

DREAM BIGGER; LIVE BETTER Do not apologize for dreaming big and living well—you deserve to win! Tired of your current situation? Do you wish that things would change? Then read “Dream Bigger, Live Better—Second Edition,” by Donna Palm. Never one to sit still for too long, Palm has become the master of redesigning her life. She believes that “You only live once, so you have to cram it all in while you can.” She now shares with others ways to reinvent themselves and redesign their lives using a method she calls “blueprinting” in tribute to her many years as a union electrician. Designing your life is no different than designing a building; it’s all in the planning, she says. To find the book, CLICK HERE. 20

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I n H e r Wo r d s : D o n n a P a l m Motivation: I like solving problems. It’s not about the money for me; I love a challenge. Three Things You Can’t Live Without (excluding family and friends): Farm-to-table, fresh food, a great red Cabernet and my dog, Casey, a Maltese mix.

Bucket List: I want to figure out how to travel to amazing places in style and get paid for it! I’m 51. My kids are grown, and I’m financially stable. I want to learn how to have more fun. Being naturally driven is a blessing and a curse as I find myself too often skipping the fun stuff. Inspiration: I am inspired by anyone who has a rags-to-riches story, anyone who went through a struggle and came out on top.

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S AV I N G

THE

WORLD

Athletes and Children in Crisis

FILLING COMMUNITY VOIDS

When this real estate professional sees a community void, he doesn’t mess around. So far, he’s developed two non-profits to help children in crisis and Olympic athlete hopefuls. Here’s how he’s helping his community. 22

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W

hen Paul Scott Gilbertson was 5 years old, his family made a move that set him up for eventual success in real estate. “On my fifth birthday, my parents, who bought a 14-cabin resort in Northern Wisconsin, moved us to a resort in the middle of nowhere on a beautiful lake,” says Gilbertson, now a branch manager and broker of Hudson Stonegate and founder of New House Specialist in Colorado Springs. “It’s a great way for a kid to grow up because every week of summer we’d have new friends from [all over the United States]. It helped me develop social skills, and it framed what I wanted to do in my life, which was something positive that engaged with people.” It was natural that, in 1985, Gilbertson would choose real estate. Over the years, he’s built a building company, owned a RE/MAX office and tried different facets of real estate. A Charity Is Born It’s this drive for engaging in a positive way with people that gave him the idea to form a nonprofit organization to help children in crisis. While visiting Ground Zero in New York in May 2007 for an authors’ and publishers’ convention, Gilbertson, a

children’s book author, and his wife, Chris, thought about how difficult it must have been for the children of the victims and first responders. “We realized what an emotional roller coaster that must have been for a child who had a parent involved,” he says. That’s when the idea for REACH-A-Child™ took form. “When you give children a book, they start to lose themselves in the reading and pictures, forgetting what’s happening around them. Books can help shift their focus to something positive in times of distress.” Helping Children in Crisis REACH, which stands for Reading Enjoyment Affects Childhood Happiness, works with first responders to ensure that they have the necessary tools to reach children in crisis—age-appropriate books that redirect their attention from the crisis at hand, allowing them an emotional escape from their fears. Whether a child is in an automobile accident, the victim of a domestic disturbance or experiencing a trauma, research has shown that the power of a book and a positive interaction with an adult can turn a negative situation into a positive one. The program began with Paul and his wife, Chris, and has now expanded to a four-person

Paul and his wife Chris enjoy helping children.

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THE

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management team with a board of directors. Through the program, 500,000 children’s books have been given to children. “I’d love to see a national spokesperson step up to the plate. [Such a person] could send out a Twitter feed and have a million people hear about REACHA-Child overnight,” he says. “It’s a program that should be in every squad car, ambulance, state patrol vehicle and sheriff’s car in the country, because it can have a life-changing impact on a child who’s at the scene of an accident.” Making It Possible for Athletes While REACH-A-Child was slowly expanding nationwide, Gilbertson saw another community void that he felt compelled to fill. Living in Colorado Springs, home of the International Olympic Committee, he was passionate about helping athletes get into the Olympics. GO-N-PRO™ Athletes Fund, launched in 2016, was an idea that began in Colorado Springs, home of the International Olympic Committee. “When my wife and I moved to Colorado, I was not going to get

Charitable E n d e a vo r s GO-N-PRO™ is currently in the process of developing a network of volunteers and financial supporters who can help contact individuals and corporations to ask for their assistance to make its vision a reality. For more information or to donate, CLICK HERE. REACH-A-Child™ provides first responders with books to comfort children in crisis situations. For more information or to donate, CLICK HERE.

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Lives of Real Estate

involved in real estate. I was going to run a nonprofit or work for a nonprofit,” says Gilbertson. Already interested in helping athletes get funding to pay for training, he met with the United States Olympic Committee. “I told them that I’d like to help raise millions of dollars for athletes who can’t afford to quit their day jobs. They said, ‘That’s a great idea. We’d love to have you.’ Nothing happened for weeks, so I figured I’d just start it myself.” After investigating the funds that the United States Olympic Committee raises and discovering that only 10 percent of the $250 million raised each year goes to the athletes, Gilbertson knew he had to get involved. He says, “The whole idea behind that organization is to increase funding for athletes of all kinds throughout the world who have aspirations to become professional or think they are of Olympic caliber, but don’t have the resources to quit their day jobs to focus on their sport.” Locally, nationally and internationally, the fund is an advocate for financially challenged athletes who cannot afford to support their passion. To get the charity off the ground, Gilbertson hopes to secure some large corporate

“ Th rou g h G o-N -P R O a n d R EAC H-A-C h i l d , we wan te d to cre ate a way to g i ve b ack to ot h er s wh o are l e ss for t u n ate an d re ach ou t to t hem at a t i m e wh e n t h ey need h e l p t h e most . M ore t h a n 50 p e rce n t of t h e f u n d s re ce i ve d t h rou g h o u r rea l e st ate t ran s act i on s g o es to f u n d b ot h n on p ro f it s ,” — Paul Scott Gilbertson


sponsors to fund the program. “I want a company that has the same mission, so I’m looking for a global company that can see the merits of what GO-N-PRO is all about.” “Through Go-N-PRO and REACH-A-Child, we wanted to create a way to give back to others who are less fortunate and reach out to them at a time when they need help the most. More than 50 percent of the funds received through our real estate transactions goes to fund both nonprofits,” he says. Impacting Others Both charities are extensions of Gilbertson’s desire to impact those around him positively, though he believes in a healthy dose of fun, as well. According to Gilbertson, no matter your accomplishments, life should not be taken too seriously as conflicts and differing opinions will always arise. One of his life

mottoes is “Life is too short not to have fun.” In addition, he says, “I’ve always put fun and family at the top of my list.” He and Chris enjoy tandem bike riding, traveling to beer and wine festivals, and enjoying the Colorado outdoors. “We love the tandem bike. It’s a great way to ride together because you don’t have to holler to each other to hear what each person is saying. It’s a wonderful way to see the sights.” For now, Gilbertson is focused on expanding both of his nonprofit organizations on a national level while continuing to serve real estate homebuyers in Colorado. In the end, he says, it’s all about making dreams come true. “I’ve always enjoyed engaging with people in conversation. If I can help people fulfill some of their dreams, like buying a home, becoming an Olympic athlete or finding solace in a crisis, then I know I’m doing good.”

I n H i s Wo r d s : P a u l S c o t t G i l b e r t s o n years. Doing some work on the roof of a mountain cabin in exchange for a free place to stay, I realized that if I fell off and was injured, no one would find me for a week or two. At that point, I realized that my life is meaningless if I’m not interacting with other people.

Personal Passions: I love to golf with my wife or my 23-year-old son. My wife and I love to hike the Colorado trails as well.

Bucket List: Three Things You Can’t Live Without (excluding family and friends): My faith in God, my morning coffee and interacting with other people.

Helicopter skiing in Banff, Canada, hang gliding. There’s not a lot I want to do other than have a content life where I can watch my kids have families and grow old.

Aha Moment: When I was 23 years old, I bought a one-way ticket to Luxembourg. I brought a bicycle and traveled all over Europe. I was there for two LORE

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You Are the

Architect of Your Own Reality How one Big Island real estate professional parlayed a lifelong spiritual journey into a successful career in luxury real estate. By Bridget McCrea

A

n early riser, Harold Clarke doesn’t do what many real estate sales associates do the minute they wake up in the morning. Instead of reaching for his cell phone or tapping his iPad home button to see what he missed overnight and what lies ahead for his workday, Clarke spends at least a few minutes—if not more—quietly meditating and mentally preparing for the day ahead. “My meditation practice gives me a clear conscience and an inner peace,” says Clarke, broker-owner of Luxury Big Island by Harold Clarke on the Kona-Kohala

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Lives of Real Estate

coast in Hawaii. “It shapes my entire day, and helps ensure that I won’t be running around like a chicken with my head cut off, stressed out and frustrated.” Journeying Down a Spiritual Path Clarke’s commitment to inner calm is deep rooted, and traces back to his childhood in Peru, a country he calls “one of the most mystical places on earth.” Clarke was just nine years old at the time, and his mother introduced him to a shaman who lived in the country’s lost mountains, to a “mesa,” or table, that people visited to learn how to use their intuition in new ways


and to a book on metaphysics. “She had a very broad curiosity about many different spiritual paths, I suppose,” says Clarke. With those seeds planted early in his life, Clarke has continued down a similar path by practicing regular meditation; taking frequent, spiritual journeys to Peru and India; and walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain (a pilgrimage route to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia). The latter took a month to complete, and found Clarke literally walking from one edge of the country to the other.

translates into end of the land—and ended my journey when I couldn’t walk any farther.” Relating his experience to his 11 years of success in luxury real estate sales, Clarke says he draws daily strength from his achievements, experiences and spiritual journeys. “I’ve surpassed many agents who have been here doing this for 30 years,” says Clarke, who has repeatedly been named one of

Monument on the plgramage route to Santiago.

At the start of the trip, Clarke says he had $300 in his pocket. Sleeping in cathedrals and ancient churches along the way, he let his spirit guide him along the journey. “As you’re walking, you learn to trust your instincts and have faith that there’s a reason you’re doing this,” says Clarke. “I arrived in Finisterra—which

“ A S Y O U ’ R E WA L K I N G , y o u learn to trust yo u r i n s t i n c t s a n d h a ve f a i t h t h a t t h e re ’s a re a s o n yo u ’ re d o i n g t h i s .” – H a ro l d C l a r ke

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

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Hawaii Business Magazine’s Top 100 Realtors®. He’s sold about $140 million in property over the last few years, and credits a combination of honesty and perseverance with helping to make that happen. “If I want something, I go after it. But I don’t lie, cheat or steal to get ahead,” says Clarke, who doesn’t discuss his deep spirituality openly with clients, but feels that most of them silently understand. For example, he goes to every listing appointment empty-handed—without a laptop, folio or listing presentation tucked under his arm. “It’s very rare for me to walk away from an appointment without having gained that important trust from the other person,” says Clarke. “Whether it’s a $1 million listing or a $55 million listing, we’re the architects of our own reality. When everything clicks with a new client, it’s not a formula, presentation or pitch that makes it happen. It’s you.” Keeping Cool Under Pressure Clarke’s reliance on his hard-earned intuition to make the best possible choices has also helped him achieve success in an industry where many choose to focus on dollars and cents. “I know what’s coming up, what can go wrong with a specific deal and what the right price points are,” Clarke explains. He also

knows when to back off and not push too much, when to jump in and give his opinion, and when to just “let things happen naturally.” Clarke’s spiritual experiences around the world also help him keep his cool in an industry where emotions, tempers and frustrations can run high. After all, he’s usually dealing with some of his clients’ most important financial decisions and particularly high price points—two responsibilities that he doesn’t take lightly. “My success depends on my integrity and not on what other people think of me,” says Clarke, who lives by the advice he once learned from a great Peruvian thinker, who said, “Never lie so that everything you say becomes true.” Listing living his life with integrity and maintaining inner peace as his must haves in both business and life, Clarke says his next spiritual journey will likely take place right in his own backyard, on the Big Island of Hawaii. “I’m surrounded by nature, away from the noise of the TV, radio and newspaper,” says Clarke. “My mind is on a continuous break and able to think very clearly on my own behalf, and on behalf of my clients.”

Bridget McCrea is a Clearwater-based freelance writer specializing in real estate and business.

“MY SUCCESS DEPENDS ON MY INTEGRITY and not on what other people t h i n k o f m e . N eve r l i e s o t h a t eve r y t h i n g yo u s ay b e co m e s t r u e.” – H a ro l d C l a r ke

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Lives of Real Estate

LORE Spring 2017  

Welcome to the spring edition of LORE magazine! We’re bringing you the amazing stories of the lives of real estate (LORE) professionals in a...

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