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With Joel Perez Q: What’s happening in the local real estate market? A: Well, I think everybody knows that there are still a large number of distressed sales out there. That’s why it’s so important for people to know that they do have alternatives and that a short sale is a much better alternative than a foreclosure. It really behooves someone to talk to an expert in the field so they can explain the differences to them. A short sale may not be your best option in all cases, but it certainly does pay to have someone to explain the different scenarios to you. Q: What are the advantages to choosing a short sale over a foreclosure? A: If you can go the short sale route as opposed to the foreclosure, it puts you in a much better position to put your credit back together in a shorter period of time. In a foreclosure, it does take longer to rebuild your credit. The short sale is just a healthier alternative. Q: Are you finding that a lot of homeowners are embarrassed when they have a distressed property? A: I do find that a lot of people are embarrassed when they find themselves in that situation, but I just want everybody to know that this is happening to millions of people across the country and they are not alone. That’s why it really benefits them to talk to somebody that can explain to them that there’s no shame in this. It’s just a situation we’re in. To navigate these uncertain waters, it really behooves them to have somebody who is an expert to explain the different options to them. Q: What makes you a short sale specialist? A: I have a designation that’s called a Certified Distressed Property Expert (C.D.P.E.). I’ve had that designation now for nearly three years. I’ve been specializing in short sales here in the Rancho Cordova area for over two years, so I’ve seen the market change, I’ve seen how lien holders have changed, so I feel I do have the expertise and professionalism to help offer people viable options in terms of short selling their property. Q: Why do you specialize in serving the Gold River, Rancho Cordova and Rosemont communities? A: I’ve been a resident of Rancho Cordova for over 40 years, so I understand the area really well. I also understand all the different markets here in Gold River, Rancho Cordova and Rosemont. As a business owner here (Jimboy’s Tacos on Folsom Bl. near Sunrise Bl.) I have strong roots and really care about our community and I want to see Rancho Cordova progress. 2 GO FOR IT October October2011 2011
Recipes from Grocery Outlet By Monica Ortiz Fall is full of bold, intense flavorful foods! No matter whom you are cooking for or what type of dinner party you happen to throw, you should always be prepared to amaze your food critics. We have a recipe for a rustic home dinner, Enjoy! Sausage Ratatouille The classic French ratatouille is made by simmering eggplant with other vegetables and herbs. It’s often served as a side or appetizer with bread, but our addition of Italian sausage turns it into a hearty meal for cooler months. Ingredients • 3 to 4 links (about 3/4 pound) Italian sausage • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into a 3/4-inch dice • 2 small zucchini, halved and sliced • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tomato paste • Salt and pepper • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Instructions 1. Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil. Puncture the sausage links in several places, then cook them at a low boil until they’re no longer pink in the center, about 14 minutes. Transfer the links to a plate to cool, then slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. 2. Over medium-high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the eggplant and zucchini and sauté them, stirring often, until they are lightly browned but not soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate. In the same skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté them for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sliced sausage and sauté, stirring often, for 3 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini. Partially cover the skillet and gently simmer the ratatouille for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, along with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in the parsley and half of the basil. Serve hot, sprinkled with the remaining basil. Serves 6.
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The Courage to be EXTRAORDINARY By Bob Cox
In the ultra competitive world of advertising sales, I’ve had to walk through an average of 20 doors a day for the last 20 years to make a living in this business. Once I’ve navigated past the gatekeeper, I make it a point to ask every business owner or manager how business is doing. Since the Great Recession first began five long years ago, I’ve discovered that times have been extremely challenging for approximately 90% of the small businesses I’ve called on. I’ve listened carefully to the first-hand accounts from thousands and thousands of small business owners, who have been very upfront and forthcoming as to why they believe their businesses aren’t doing as well as they had planned. Unlike the rest of the country that’s experienced a mild recovery; the recession continues to have a firm choke-hold on our great state. We’ve experienced ongoing problems with state budget deficits, double digit unemployment, unpaid furloughs and massive cutbacks in government and private enterprise. This economic landscape has been one of the most difficult times to navigate since The Great Depression of the 1930’s, so I’m never surprised whenever a business owner tells me that their customers are scared, they don’t have any money and every other business they know is in the same sinking boat. It’s at that moment when I have to confront my own demons of fear by challenging frustrated business owners with the truth. The truth is this: Not all businesses are struggling and every consumer has money, maybe not as much as they once had five years ago, but people do have money and they are spending it. This economy has created a buyers market and consumers are simply unwilling to settle for anything less than the best. They expect extraordinary service and overall value and they will go where they are certain to get it.
So, what really makes me afraid to share the truth? I guess one word sums it up best: fear. Fear that my prospect won’t like me. Fear that they may argue with me and bring me down. Fear that I will ruin my chances of ever getting a sale because most business owners in this tough market will only work with people they like, trust and respect. Here’s another insight about the truth: In spite of all our economic woes, a small percentage of businesses are actually enjoying phenomenal success. How do I know this? Because we have several outstanding businesses advertising right here in our magazine! Our clients all understand that being good or even great at what they do is simply not enough anymore. They realize that they have to be extraordinary and then remind everyone of this fact as often as possible. One of my favorite clients is Jack Williams, the owner of six sparkling Smog-N-Go shops in the greater Sacramento area. When I first met Jack 11 years ago, he had just opened his first squeaky clean shop on Calvine and highway 99. Over the last decade, Jack has built an impressive empire, running one of the fastest growing businesses in the entire state of California! With multiple competitors vying for smog customers while competing exclusively with low prices, Smog-N-Go commands the lion’s share of the market in each of his locations and he’s done this without compromising his outstanding service with cut rate prices. He simply overwhelms his customers with extraordinary service and unmatched value. He is what I like to call the master of multiple niches by offering a variety of value added things that his competitors can’t or won’t do. So, whether you’re a business owner, a manager or unemployed, don’t allow fear to stop you from living an extraordinary life. Be committed to seeking and speaking the truth. When you speak the truth, do so with kindness, compassion and respect. Ask for honest feedback from people you trust and respect, and then brace yourself for anything. If you are truly committed to being the best, you have to be prepared to hear the worst. Once you know the truth about what’s preventing you from being extraordinary, resolve to meet every challenge head on while resisting the temptation to blame other people or circumstances. Blame is the one habit that will hold you down among the land of the ordinary, so summon the courage to accept 100% responsibility for where you are. Be the star you were born to be, rise high and shine bright. Embrace the fear and then go for it! Bob Cox is the founder and publisher of Go For It Magazine. He can be reached by phone at (916) 266-3115. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Go For It Magazine is owned and operated in Rancho Cordova, CA. Copyright © 2011.
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6 Months to a Beautiful Smile By Dr. Andrade & Dr. Montalvo After
Research shows that nearly 50% of people say a smile is the first feature they notice about someone. If you’ve ever thought about straightening your teeth, there are new advances in orthodontics that allows you to do so without showing any metal and to do it in only 6 months! If you would like straighter teeth by the time you have your next cleaning, we can offer you short term orthodontics by Six Month Smiles. Q: What is Six Month Smiles? A: It is a cosmetically focused orthodontic treatment system that is performed in less than 9 months. Q: How is Six Month Smiles different from traditional braces?
A: Six Month Smiles focuses on adults. It’s quicker, it shows no metal, its less expensive and most importantly, it focuses on the patient’s primary concern, fixing the front teeth. Q: Why does comprehensive orthodontics normally take much longer? A: Comprehensive orthodontics not only fixes the smile but also fixes the back teeth to fit into the ideal position. It is the process of getting the bite and roots of teeth into ideal position and that takes years to accomplish. Q: How long does it normally
take to complete Six Month Smiles? A: The average length of treatment time is 6-8 months. Q: How much does it cost? A: It is less expensive than traditional braces, aligners or veneers. Q: Who’s a candidate for Six Month Smiles? A: Nearly every adult. Dr. Andrade and Dr. Montalvo are now scheduling appointments for Six Month Smiles consultations. Visit our office to make your FREE consultation and see if you are a candidate.
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October 2011 GO FOR IT 7
The One Stop Source For Your Home Improvement Project Alco Home Improvement Specialists By Bob Cox To make it in the ultra competitive world of magazine publishing, you have to be ready, willing and able to contact lots of businesses every day. When I converse with business owners, I always try to remember to ask them how their business is doing. This tends to be a very sensitive subject, especially these days because of the ongoing struggles with the economy. Most business owners tell me that business is either down slightly or about the same as last year, and last year was terrible for most. So, whenever I hear a business owner say that business is terrific, it’s more than a welcome relief to my ears. I asked this question when I was visiting with one of my favorite clients, Steve Hawkins, the owner of Alco Home Improvement Specialists. A big grin crossed his face as he sat back in his chair while explaining how well his business was doing, in spite of the economy. “I think now is a good time for being in business. We’ve gone though all the bad times now but you really have to be aggressive. You have to be able to put your best foot forward at all times and really truly consider all your clients. You have to do exactly what you told them you were going to do because otherwise they won’t come visit you ever again, said Steve.
Q: How have you managed to grow your business in such a difficult economic environment? A: I think in this economy we’re in right now we really have to concentrate on so many different avenues of advertising these days. You just can’t sit around and wait for the phone to ring because it’s just not going to happen. You really have to get out and look for work,” said Steve. Q: Do you think that one of the most common mistakes that business owners make is that they get too conservative when money gets tight? A: Yes, because I think they are scared. They are afraid to spend any money on advertising because it is a crapshoot. You can’t just do one thing; you have to do multiple things these days to really get your name out there. You can’t rely on the Yellow Pages anymore, because that’s pretty much a dead horse. The internet is doing real well for us, Go For It Magazine is doing real well and so is our canvassing crew. It Marcia Brand chose Alco to fix some leaking has to be a combination of things in order for it windows in her home in El Dorado county and to work and it’s all about repetition. You’ve got she is thrilled with the results. to keep your name out in front of the people, you just have to. The more times they see it, the more likely they are to want to call you,” explained Steve. Q: A lot of homeowners have held back on home improvement projects because of the ongoing problems with our economy. Do you believe that now is good time to invest in your home? A: Yes. What people don’t realize is that right now is the best time to improve your home because prices are as low as they have ever been. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that our customers get the best deal possible because prices are going to go back up,” explained Steve. Q: Are you saying that home improvement projects are as low as they have ever been? A: I think historically they are as low as they’ve ever been. I believe that in the next 60-90 days it’s going to start picking up though. I think if politicians want to get re-elected, they are going to have to do something.
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Q: Alco has received all A’s and is in the top 4% on Angie’s List. Alco has also earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for over 10 years. What’s the secret to getting such high marks in customer service? A: Well, we do what we say we’re going to do. We do it at a good price and it’s professionally done. When we say we’re going to be there, we’re always there. We don’t delay anything. Once the work has been scheduled, it’s performed like we say. That’s something that unfortunately most contractors don’t do. Q: Are the horror stories about flakey and undependable contractors really true? A: Yes, it is true. I hear from clients all the time that they had some bad experiences and it turns them off from contractors and it’s really unfortunate. A lot of the times, just reassuring them that we are not going to take any of your money before you are satisfied, goes a long way. Almost every contractor today is trying to get money up front because they are trying to stay in business and that’s not a very good way to do business. It’s not a good sign, because if they are that bad off they might not stay in business and what if a year down the road you need service, additional items or have a warranty issue? They might not be in business anymore. Q: Why do you think so many contractors are unreliable? A: My guess is that they’re so used to having so much work that they don’t really care and they just have that attitude that I’ll get to it when I get a chance. That’s really not the way to treat your customers. I really don’t have an answer for that one though. I don’t know why they do that, but I hear horror stories all the time and it’s very unfortunate. Q: What advice would you give someone that’s looking for a reliable, honest and dependable contractor? A: Customers need to make sure they do a lot of research on contractors nowadays because there are still a lot of undesirables out there and you just don’t want to be taken advantage of. All I can tell people is to be careful. Just because someone tells you one thing, doesn’t mean it’s true, so check them out. Nobody can hide now with the internet.
Alco Home Improvement Specialists. She had a variety of concerns that needed to be addressed before contacting Steve. Here’s how our conversation went. Q: Why did you choose Alco Home Improvement Specialists? A: We recently moved into a home in Folsom. It’s about 20 years old and we had some broken tiles on the roof. We actually called a couple of different companies to come out and give us opinions and estimates. Steve came out and he was really personable and we instantly felt like we could trust him and his opinion. Q: Did you have any other work done by Alco? A: Yes. We also have a home up in El Dorado County. We wanted to put the house back on the market, but we had trouble with leaking in the front windows from a lot of wind and rain. We had a couple different people out to try and fix the problem, but when we put the home back on the market, the problem needed to be fixed for good. We went ahead and contracted Alco to completely repair the front and paint the house. I went up about every other day and checked on the job and they just did a really great job! Everybody that we worked with, including Kevin, Luke and the rest of their crew were great. They matched the siding that was already on there exactly. So, we are very pleased. Q: Would you recommend Alco? A: Absolutely and like I said we have been very pleased and confident that the leaking problem has been solved and we can definitely disclose now to anyone who is interested in purchasing the home. We also have pictures of all the work, what was found and the progress of how the work was done. We feel confident that we can show anyone who comes in that all the repair work has been done correctly. Editor’s notes: For more information about Alco Home Improvement Specialists, visit their office at 10255 Old Placerville Road in Sacramento, log onto their website at www.alcohis.com or call (916) 362-1400.
Q: What’s the best way for consumers to check up on Alco Home Improvement Specialists? A: If you would like to talk to one of our customers just to get an idea of how we’ve performed, we’d be happy for you to do so because we have nothing to hide. We have good relationships with our customers and they are willing to talk about us and tell you how their job went for them. So I think that’s the key to being a successful business, keeping your name out there and doing what you say you are going to. I don’t know of any other way to explain it (laughing). I took Steve’s advice and contacted one of his client’s, Marcia Brand and asked her what her experience was like working with
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Perspective Prospectus Nobody seems to be talking about the “light at the end of the tunnel” because few (anyone?) can even imagine it down the line... With joblessness, homelessness, world-wide poverty, crime, layoffs, bankruptcies, 12-figure debt, and political finger-pointing making the headlines every day, it’s hard to imagine when things will take a maintainable upswing... “An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be.” And then there are the folks who, in a get-it-done, grass-roots decision either bring in more water or re-engineer the glass. Some of them might be your neighbors or even the “man in the mirror.” As Michael Jackson said “If you wanna make the world a better place; Take a look at yourself and then make a change...” It is so true that each of us needs to decide whether to be part of the problem or part of the solution. So make a decision and a commitment**. Now where is my blowtorch and bring me that glass! **On-line calendar including fund-raisers (post yours) brought to you by:
*Visit www.BobsPocket.com for Michael’s video & Bob’s Blog.
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Go For It Magazine Has Branded Me with My Store!
My experience with Go For It Magazine has been extremely positive. I am very happy with it. It has sort of branded me as someone who knows about groceries and now my customers feel like I am family. There is no longer the separation of who owns Grocery Outlet? It has made the whole circle between customers and ownership. The connection is strong because everybody pretty much knows me. People see Monica Ortiz and they just automatically think of Grocery Outlet. So many ladies come and talk to me and thank me for the tips, for keeping the magazine going and they feel like they are part of the family. They say things like, “We know you, we know your kids, what you like and what you do”. They just think it’s kind of funny that they feel like they know me so well. They are waiting every month to see what is going to be in there. So it has really helped me to target customers and represent my business the way I want. We’re able to talk about the things we promote, the things that are going on in the magazine, store changes and new things. This year, we started letting one of our staff members help us with the articles. So yeah, I am going to let my staff be part of it too so they can make connections since I have already made my connections. I want customers to get to know my staff and incorporate them a little more. Plus, we have gotten good response, very good response! We usually get over 200 coupons each time we run a discount, and it’s really good because it only comes out once a month. People are looking for the coupons and passing out magazines to their friends, so it’s great. I get all kinds of people who say, “Hey I saw you in the magazine at the dentist’s office!” These are people who know me from the store but haven’t seen the magazine and they are at the dentist or getting their hair done and they see me in the magazine they say, “Oh my gosh, I saw you!” It’s funny how they remember it. Folks still remember when we were on the cover and that was almost three years ago! —Monica Ortiz, Owner Rancho Cordova Grocery Outlet 2801 Zinfandel Dr. Rancho Cordova, CA 916-858-2801
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