SHETalk: Tami Bonnell of EXIT Realty-NAWRB Conference 2018

To say that we had compelling, witty, and even funny speakers at this year’s conference would be an understatement. So, we knew when CEO of EXIT Realty Corp. Tami Bonnell signed on to deliver a SHETalk at our 2018 Conference in Chicago, we knew we were in for a treat.

Tami has more experience than most in real estate, selling her first house at thirteen and obtaining her real estate license the day she turned eighteen. Even with that experience, she has had to work hard to reach the level of influence she has today. In her SHETalk, she shared a few ways she keeps ahead of her goals.

     “It’s Your Mindset and What You Do with Your Time that Really Matters”

“You know, I want to put you in a different head space today,” Tami said as she introduced the system helping to grow her business every month. She emphasized the principles she was about to introduce can apply to any business—not only real estate.

First, she asked everyone in the audience to participate in an exercise where we all stood up, stretching our arms out as far as possible. Then, she asked us to close our eyes and imagine our arms going about a foot farther. When our eyes opened, our arms were much further than we imagined.

“Everything that we do is because of how we think,” she began. “It has nothing to do with the circumstances you’re in; it has everything to do with the choices we make.It’s your mindset and what you do with your time that really matters,” she said, adding “Choosing to do something with deliberate intent is how you get from Point A to Point B.”

Most of us of us have run out the door with a list of more things than we have time for, she told us. We say “we must” and “we have to” when really, we should want and expect it. The problem with the “musts” and the “have tos” is that our subconscious mind doesn’t accept the negative the same way it does the positive. If we say we want and expect, it will help us to follow through. 

Finding Your Path

Sometimes, in order to get done what we want and expect to get done, we have to find a more balanced way of doing things. When she started at EXIT twenty years ago, it was a Canadian company with no office in the U.S. She bought the rights to the entire New England states, building the US brand from a dead stop. From scratch, she cultivated 35,000 agents and traveled frequently to build momentum, driven forward by thinking of everyone she was responsible for on a daily basis. Her hard work paid off as she became US Vice President within her first year, President the second year and CEO of the company in 2012.

She came home late one night a couple of years into traveling to build EXIT. As she pulled up, she noticed for the first time beautiful Paul Revere lanterns in her circular driveway and in the backyard. She walked in and said to her husband “Thank you so much honey, I wanted those forever I love those lanterns, they’re beautiful.” He replied “Your welcome, I put them in six months ago.” That moment was a wake-up call for Tami. “I really started working on ‘I’ve got to do this smarter, I’ve got to do this better,’” she said.

    Working with Your Dirty Dozen and the 30,000, 2,000 Foot and Street Level Views

The better way is a plan that builds in time to work on the long view of whatever you are trying to accomplish, personal and professional. Committing is often the hardest part, says Tami as most people live on the sidelines in a safe area. But with this plan, you can build in time to take in the long view.

One hour a month should be set aside to look at the 30,000-foot view. This is a time to think about where the trends are in your industry. What are the resources that you should be going to every single month? If you spend time looking at things from the 30,000 foot view, you’ll know what’s selling and what’s not, you’ll be ahead of the curve on trends and will better be able to find your niche and can take advantage of every opportunity.

Who Are Your “Dirty Dozen”?

According to Tami, your “Dirty Dozen” are twelve people in or related to your field with whom you form a connection—such as a leader you’d like to follow and with whom you can share information every four-to-six weeks.The second hour of the month should be spent looking at your goals from a 2,000-foot view, say at the statewide level and touching base with six of your Dirty Dozen. For someone in real estate, this could be one person from the government on a state level and one from the local level, for example.

In order to develop these connections, you should look to help them more than they help you—add value to their lives, do your homework and find out about them. The relationship doesn’t have to be a “tit for tat” transactional relationship, it can be more personal Tami points out. “People want to matter,” she says adding that if you find common ground and build a connection, it will pay off.

For the third hour, you want to look at you, Tami says. Ask yourself some effective questions like “What am I really good at?” and “What do I need to do to get where I want?”

For the final piece of the puzzle, she introduced a four-hour action plan where halfway through the month, you plan out six weeks ahead of time and make sure to book off four hours to work on yourself and your plan. Look out over those six weeks with where you want to be in mind. And do it for your whole life both personal and professional. “I have birthday cards in my glove compartment in case I just forgot,” Tami says, illustrating her point.

You can even incorporate a small part of this planning ahead philosophy on a daily basis. Tami said she takes 120 seconds every morning to say how her day will go and think about how she wants the people she encounters to feel. At the end of every day, she takes 120 seconds to think about what worked for that day and what she is grateful for, and she writes down any concerns or problems.

“All of us are a work in progress,” said Tami as she closed out her SHETalk. “Every segment starts to connect and then you excel.”

We can’t wait to get started.


Bodies in Motion at One of L.A.’s Most Famous Homes

The Sheats-Goldstein Residence is a geometrical gem of a home designed by architect John Lautner in the early 1960s. The famous Los Angeles residence seems at once a part of nature (it literally juts out from the hillside) and the future (its sharp glass-framed angles and custom furniture would be at home in a sleek spacecraft.) It is known as one of the premier examples of Lautner’s work.

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One to Watch: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Showcases Diversity Within Asian Communities

One has only to look at the AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America) 2017-18 report, State of Asia America, to see evidence of the strong diversity within the Asian American community. According to the report, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community is the fastest growing demographic in the United States, both in terms of natural born citizens and immigrants. Six ethnic groups within the Asian community number over one million each and over eight million people in the US speak either Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean or Hindi. These numbers are perhaps one reason the film Crazy Rich Asians coming to theaters this coming Wednesday, August 15th is generating tons of breathless excitement.

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Unspoken Issues Impacting Women: Poverty, Health, Sexual Exploitation and Self-Confidence at NAWRB Conference 2018

From its title alone, you can tell this panel was a little different from the others. Wide-ranging in scope, yet narrow in its focus on issues that derail women from advancing in life, the conversations held on stage focused on topics people are sometimes uncomfortable talking about including sexual exploitation and poverty.

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mPower at NAWRB Conference 2018: Addressing Workplace Disruptors

For the first time at a NAWRB Conference, mPower (Mortgage Banker’s Association Promoting Opportunities for Women to Extend their Reach) presented a panel, kicking off our Year of Women with style and substance.

NAWRB President and CEO, Desirée Patno introduced MBA COO and Founder of mPower Marcia Davies noting “This is the first time we have had a collective group of women and men from all different industries and this panel is the first time we have had MBA be a part of us.”

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sheCENTER(FOLD) Edie Fraser

Chairman and Founder, STEMconnector®/Million Women Mentors® (MWM)

Edie Fraser

Edie Fraser has spent her life in the service of equality with a passionate vision for a better tomorrow. Having led national poverty programs and worked to advance women’s gender equality for decades, she has a precise understanding of women’s progress. Discussing her life, Fraser alternates seamlessly between lessons learned in childhood and her biggest professional challenges, detailing her storied career and how the future is developing for women in America. 

NAWRB: In your opinion, what is the most important success women have had in the last 50 years?

Edie Fraser: Successes have been achieved and we celebrate them, and yes, we want parity. Studies show that it could take as long as 117 years to reach parity in the private sector. Let’s advocate for parity within every government institution, business, profession, organization, and in higher education.

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Desirée Patno


If the election showed the country nothing else, it showed that women, as a collective, have an undeniable voice in issues that matter. However, in the vastness that is American politics, one key issue was left unaddressed: How do the millions of women interested in accessing affordable housing make that dream a reality? Desirée Patno, the founder and national president of the National Association of Women REO Brokerages (NAWRB) and Desiree Patno Enterprises, Inc., has made it her life’s work to get women active in the homeownership process. She has spent more than 20 years in full-service REO as a broker and encourages women to get involved on both sides of the figurative fence.

What is the biggest dilemma women face as they try to access housing in today’s market? A lack of knowledge is the biggest dilemma women face today as they try to access housing in today’s market. Regardless of gender, it is increasingly difficult to qualify for a mortgage, especially after the housing crisis of 2008. Knowledge is key; learn how to successfully position yourself financially before you buy a home.

Women became a central piece of the conversation during this year’s election. What do you hope the president will do to help women access affordable housing? The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Procurement Program implemented in 2011 is a tool the government uses to meet the target goal of 5 percent of contracts being awarded to women owned businesses. NAWRB’s coalition partner Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) just won a small battle by successfully adding an amendment to the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that removes caps for the WOSB Federal Contract Program—a move that significantly benefits women business owners, like future women homeowners, giving them access to better revenue streams. President Obama’s administration will have to address the Federal Housing Administration’s tough current lending standards and first-time buyers’ negativity towards the housing market. There needs to be a specialized program that can keep the down payment at 3.5 percent for women head of households and education on the economic benefits of owning a home—from taxes to the long-term investment.

Last year the Wall Street Journal ran a piece challenging the notion of single women buying homes. Is homeownership a good idea for women on their own? Over the past 40 years, the makeup of the business world has changed, including the perception and acceptance of single women as homeowners. Women tend to be more conservative in risk-taking, which means homeownership is a serious decision. In today’s economy, homeownership is still a good idea for single women interested in purchasing a home. Homeownership is also important for single women because of the economic benefits, especially with historically low-interest rates.

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Women’s Equality Day celebrates the anniversary of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote in the United States. In honor of the day, Senator Gillibrand and National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) Chair Carla Harris released their remarks on the subject of women equality.

The remarks, released in a press release, sent an empowering and eye-opening message on behalf of women everywhere. Both women pointed out the major strides women have made yet highlighted the hurdles women must still overcome. To learn more about further research on the subject and the details of the press release, click here.


NAWRB partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Santa Ana District Office to present the Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show in July at the Lutron Experience Center in Irvine, CA.

NAWRB’s Inaugural Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show is a first-of-its-kind, breakthrough program for women in all industries within the housing economy. More than just tools to navigate women’s existing business through the changing terrain, the Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show reached an entire new level. Utilizing a specialized hybrid of women in housing and women in government outreach, women can take advantage of NAWRB’s Fast Track niche. By connecting women with federal and local programs, set-asides, funding options and contracting opportunities available to grow their businesses both vertically and horizontally, women in housing will have the awareness to sustainable growth and live beyond commission-to-commission.

Morgan Stanley hosted the Road Show and provided its wealth of knowledge to attendees. Vivian Afriyie, a Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisor, opened the event in dramatic fashion showcasing assets explaining the often missed difference between asset-based loans, traditional income, and credit-based loans. Morgan Stanley has crucial experience, having just closed a 150 million dollar commercial real estate loan in 6 weeks. “Bringing the shock treatment with our takeaways from $25,000 SBA business loans to the $200 million dollar Morgan Stanley Diversified Securities for clients, really ignited the awareness in the room,” stated Desirée Patno, CEO and Founder of NAWRB.

The excitement for the event is rapidly growing as respected agents, suppliers, and other professionals in the housing industry look forward to learning the opportunities and resources available to them on behalf of multiple federal agencies and organizations.

The Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show is the first in a series of nationwide road shows that will travel to major cities. Do you want to attend this dynamic Road Show or have it travel to a city near you? Contact for more information on being a part of the movement to bring awareness, opportunities and access to women in housing.


The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has announced Teresa Nelson and Marsha Bailey as new additions to the Council. Both women bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the advisory council. 

The NWBC advocates for women entrepreneurs nationwide and is comprised of members from women’s business organizations, experienced and successful women business owners and executives, and a chair appointed by the President of the United States. To read more about the NWBC and the newest members of the Council,click here.