Beyond Abuse: Finding Our Voice on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

It started with a phone call from Capital One Financial Corporation on January 14th, 2016. “Ms. Patno, are you the sole owner of Desiree Patno Enterprises, Inc.?”

That simple call was how I found out that my husband’s accountant had been dispersing my unsigned business checks illegally, with some going into her personal accounts and several others paying her bills directly.

I was (and still am) angry that not only my trust was betrayed, but after years of hard work and developing a reputation as a successful businesswoman in the housing and real estate sector, I was, to put it quite simply, duped.

How could this happen to me? And if this could happen to me, in my mid-fifties, plugged into and engaged fully in my businesses, what happens to women older than me, with fewer resources at their fingertips and perhaps cognitive issues?

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MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference 2018

Over 800 attendees were part of the MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers (IMB) Conference in Amelia Island Florida this week.  The conference set new records of attendance which validates the increasingly important role that independent mortgage bankers, who now represent more than 50 percent of all mortgage originations volume, play in the mortgage market.  The conference breakout sessions focused on providing practical strategies and tips to mortgage bankers that can be applied to strengthen operations, raise awareness of industry/policy trends, and incorporate changes to improve bottom line numbers.  The MBA and many of the industry leaders who were presenting emphasized a continued commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion. It makes good business sense to promote diversity and inclusion as it enhances decision making and helps mortgage bankers meet the needs of an increasingly diverse marketplace.

I was privileged to be invited as a speaker as part of the Business Operations and Compliance track for a session entitled “Three Great Ideas to Tighten Your Operational Efficiency.”  The topic was near and dear to my heart since, through our risk management practice, we see some companies that demonstrate strong operational efficiency and demonstrate industry-leading practices that are worth sharing.  I was thrilled to see many of my former colleagues from companies that I’ve worked for throughout my career in the audience.  The panel discussion was moderated by David Lykken, President of Transformational Mortgage Solutions.  Co-panelists were Frank Fiore, President of Matchbox, Inc and Brent Chandler, Founder & CEO of FormFree.  The panelists led a lively discussion and provided strategies centered on three themes:  Being Proactive, Workflow and Consistency.  The discussion was particularly timely given the challenges many lenders face in this highly-regulated environment with multiple examinations, often concurrently, happening throughout the year.  Regulatory and investor audits can often cause lenders to divert resources and incur additional compliance costs, which can be a challenge to ongoing attempts to maintain operational efficiency. 

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What Working Women Give Up to Climb the Executive Ladder

Professional and high-achieving working women have to give up a lot to climb the executive ladder. What does it mean to sacrifice and what are those things that are sacrificed in the pursuit of the executive woman’s life?

According to definition.com, sacrifice is the “forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.” From this context, working women are giving up things they highly value for their careers in which they feel are of greater value. What are the things that are given up or forfeited? The biggest one is relationships: relationships with themselves, spouses, children and friends.

There is still great societal expectations, or perceived expectations women place on themselves, to be a great wife, mother and maintain the household. In order to do all of the above and work a demanding career, something is bound to be lost or sacrificed for what is believed to be the greater good to the family or individual.

 

Women and the Second Shift 
When the paid workday ends, the non-paid day begins and this can be taxing on an already jammed-packed day. According to salary.com’s “What’s a Working Mom Worth” 2016 survey, women spend an additional 59 hours per week working on the household. Part of the problem is that the husbands have not picked up a large enough portion of the traditional household responsibilities.

This rings true for even some of the highest-achieving executive women. Statistics from the National Parenting Association show that only 9 percent of their husbands take responsibility for meal preparation, 10 percent for the laundry and 5 percent for cleaning the house. When you throw children in the mix, it does not get better: only 9 percent take off work when the children are sick, 9 percent take the lead in helping with homework and a meager 3 percent help plan activities. With the expectations for women to be able to have it all, the balance can be more than overwhelming, and the fear of failure by asking for help compounds it all.

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sheCenterfold Gina Diez Barroso

NAWRB:What obstacles did you face while developing Centro, the first university in Mexico City that specializes in creative studies? How did you overcome them?

Gina Diez Barroso: The first obstacle was they didn’t believe that we needed a new university, and they didn’t believe creativity was important. We spoke from authorities and business people, to everybody involved in this. I had to get together a diverse group of people— creative thinkers, business people, academics—who were working not for me but for my vision and my passion. They were working with me. We also hired market analysts to do a study, and the study predicted that it wasn’t going to work and that I shouldn’t do it. When I was young, I never took no for an answer. I used to think this was a bad thing, but now I take it as a compliment.

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Cybersecurity Q&A with Crowell & Moring’s Paul Rosen

For many of us, hacking and cybersecurity concerns are the last thing we want to worry about as we advance our real estate business and work with clients. But, as cybersecurity and government investigations lawyer Paul Rosen shares with us, now is the time to start thinking through your company’s protocols and preparedness. He would know. While chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Paul helped navigate the government’s response to major hacking and security attacks, including attacks on critical infrastructure and personnel data.

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Mentoring & Leadership Guiding the Way to Success!

Thirty-two of the largest U.S. companies by revenue on the Fortune 500 list, including PepsiCo, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Oracle and General Dynamics, are run by women. Although this only accounts for a mere 6.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies, it is the highest proportion of female CEOs in the history of the Fortune 500.

It’s an exciting time to be a female entrepreneur with the abundance of opportunities available, including government contracts and diversity and inclusion programs. However, even with all the support, there are still obstacles facing women in the workplace; from lower pay than their male counterparts to sexual harassment and fewer promotion opportunities.

To get a better understanding of why women are still being held back in the business world, I looked at the most successful businesswomen I’ve known over the years. They have all had mentors, including myself. Over the past eight years, I have led mentoring meetings, training sessions and workshops giving me a clearer understanding of the specialized training and mentoring women need as they develop into successful entrepreneurs.

Change Your Mindset

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie, two-time Nobel Prize Winner in Physics

It starts with your mindset. You need more than just business essentials and marketing to be successful. You need to believe that you can succeed in conquering your fear and embracing your confidence. Interestingly, I find more women have a fear of success than a fear of failure. We reach a certain level, and then we suddenly seize up and get stuck.

When women are ready, willing and able to break through their own glass ceiling and ask for what they’re worth, we will see a huge surge, not only in our economy but also in our community. The key to this and any success is collaboration. Through collaboration, we will change the world for the better.
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Catching the Next Wave of Mortgage Borrowers

Sometimes, a transition calls for a radical change, though some people try to avoid such shifts because they can be jarring. The sudden loss of refinance business has been that way for many lenders, and it will get worse in the future. How lenders respond to this transition into a purchase money market will set the winners apart from the rest.

The approaches loan originators will take to solve this problem will vary. Many will double their efforts to attract new refinance business, as writing that business has become their core competency. Others will seek out more purchase money business, pulling out old playbooks and relearning the rules of building strong business referral networks. A few will look for the radical change and catch the next wave of mortgage borrowers.

Speaking of catching waves, when learning to surf, even when you fail, you still learn something about yourself and become better for it. Mortgage lenders, on the other hand, cannot afford to fail. They must find the next wave of mortgage borrowers or face the threat of losing their businesses, which is all the more reason for them to consider the radical change.

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Women’s Advancement in Real Estate: An Interview with Sara Sutachan

What was the inspiration behind WomanUP!? What motivated you to become involved in the women’s movement?

I’ve actually always been a feminist. My mom is a single mom—my dad has always been around—but my mom was a really strong independent woman and she’s my role model. I came to work for the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) and had another amazing role model in Leslie Appleton-Young. I’ve always been attracted to follow strong women, and read books and articles about the women’s movement and the gender gap.

In my role at CAR, I oversee the industry and broker relations, and part of that is interacting and building relationships with the brokerage community and meeting with them on a regular basis. As I met with CEOs and some of the largest brokerage firms in California, I always wanted a balanced room. What I found was that I was hard-pressed to find that balance because the people who led the larger brokerage firms tended to be male.

I’d been noticing this, and even if it wasn’t a large firm, I would make sure women sat at the table. I thought to myself, “This is crazy. We should do something about this.” I couldn’t really drive it home until I got a call from Gretchen Pearson; she was going to speak at a women’s event and said, “I want to know data. Do you have any data on women leaders?” We really didn’t at that point. I had my own personal experience with not finding those women on the rosters, so then we dug into the data. I had my staff look at the largest brokerage firms in California and Google which leaderswere men and which were women. We found that 36 percent of firms were either run by women or had women at the C-level or in management at the top California brokerage firms with over 100 agents. We analyzed a list of approximately 200 of these firms.
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4th Annual NAWRB Conference

Scores of executive women and industry leaders came together for women’s economic growth, million-dollar contracting opportunities and invaluable resources at the 2017 NAWRB Nexus Conference: Women’s Collaboration for the Future. From July 16th-19th, 2017, NAWRB’s expert panelists equipped attendees with actionable solutions and specialized forecasts, providing a comprehensive inside look at the near future of the housing ecosystem.

The excitement was palpable as attendees filtered into the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa and settled into their seats next to future strategic partners and collaborators. Desirée Patno, NAWRB CEO and President, kick-started the event by recognizing the hard work that went into making the conference possible and the professionals who made time in their busy schedules to be a part of the diversity and inclusion (D&I) movement.

The Investment Opportunities: Access to Capital Facilitator workshop commenced sessions with Robert Fragoso, Realtor, CEO, Investor, who with over 28 years of experience in real estate investing and flipping homes described the importance of recognizing industry trends when making investments that will maintain profitability in the future.

“I came with the intent to share some of my experiences and knowledge—having been a part of so many homes that have been flipped—and what I see in the marketplace,” stated Fragoso. “Not necessarily what’s going on today, because that’s ever-evolving, but to have attendees learn how to spot the changes and the next opportunity so that they can be not just following the trend, they’re essentially the trendsetter.”

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