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Cover Story


Olivia Lamper: Leading the Next Generation of Women

In each issue of this magazine, we introduce women leaders who hold and share a strong vision for the future of our industry. Olivia represents a generation of leaders being groomed for success. The visions of our youth while not yet realized are nonetheless vivid and powerful.


Quick Links

The Spotlight Shines Brightly


Change is the word I chose to focus on as my word of the year coming into 2021. It’s proving to be the right choice as I can proudly report I am already embracing change

Coaches ConnXion


Over the past year, the real estate-mortgage-banking industries have been barreling down the refi tracks like a runaway train. If there was a theme song for 2020 and now maybe 2021, it might be Ozzy Osbourne’s, Crazy Train.

Celebrating Women Leaders


An Interview with Naz Wood

Know your Why and Lead with your Heart

Lifestyle! Home, Fashion, Food, and Fun


If you want to live a lavish lifestyle dripping with diamonds and 5-star elegance, if you want to enjoy the best trips, the finest hotels, the best restaurants in the world, then you don’t have the luxury to take the easy path.

The V-Factor Column

Vision, Vitality, and Velocity: The V-Factor

VITALITY is Found in Confidence and Perspective

The vitality of a brand and how it helps us grow through change, especially the kind of changes we entrepreneurs have experienced worldwide over the past twelve months, is crucial to the success of a brand.

The Power of Teamwork!

Women With Vision Announces New Board of Director Appointments!

Where will you be in 2021? Video feature introducing new board and their mission.

Grow Your Vision
Vision Partners in Success

IN THIS ISSUE from the Editor in Chief

It is a brand new year! What a whirlwind it’s been reaching this moment. Our original plan called for us to be launching our first issues about now. Instead, we are introducing our second volume and expect a full 6 issues for the Women With Vision Magazine to publish in 2021. Thanks to all who have come together, both readers, subscribers, editorial staff, and my co-workers at 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching.

We’re starting strong, featuring a masterful business development professional on the cover and bringing feature stories about industry pros and regular features offering a range of articles focused on the professional and personal interests of our readers.

In 2021, we are introducing our concept of Story Marketing and are accepting advertising to better serve our readers. With this issue of Women With Vision Magazine, we lean into our mission with our focus on one young woman’s unique quest to better herself and step into her greatness. Reach out to myself or our publisher, Christine Beckwith, for details about advertising and story marketing opportunities and in particular to discuss how we can assist you in promoting your own sponsorship projects and stories.

Please do subscribe and read. We remain committed to developing new writers and new features and keeping these digital pages fresh and compelling.

Happy reading, all!

IN THIS ISSUE from the Publisher

From the Publisher: Christine Beckwith

This year is turning out to be predictable in that it is already being unpredictable. We predicted this. I smile writing that because I know after three decades in the mortgage finance world that pivoting and adjusting, expanding, and consolidating is the name of the game. I know we will be here to guide you, our followers, economically and help provide keen business insight.

This issue is powerful and the cover story Incredibly personal to me. Please take time to read it. Olivia Lamper is an extraordinary young woman, the youngest member of Women With Vision. She represents a generation of young people who are on the move already becoming leaders. We are thrilled to tell her story. We hope you will be as moved as we are by it.

Thank you to all our contributors. We are surrounded by amazing professionals. It is exciting and personally rewarding to see them take pen in hand and share their lessons and passions in these virtual pages.


20/20 Vision for Success Coaching

A WORTHY QUEST: Olivia Lamper

Written by: Christine Beckwith

Do you know the axiom about not judging a book by its cover? In the case of the beautiful young woman pictured on the cover of this magazine issue, we must take the axiom a step further. As stunning and awe-striking as the cover photo of this powerful young woman is, it is her personality, character, drive, and intelligence that far and away makes her truly awe-inspiring. We believe Olivia’s story is an important one for us to share. Certainly, her peers can learn from this example, and so can adults from any walk of life.

To tell Olivia’s story is a unique privilege for me. It feels personal on several levels. Learning about her dreams and watching her go after her goals reminds me of my own young aspirations. I believe one never loses the passions surrounding our early dreams. My own are fresh in my heart. Even my earliest accomplishments feel like they happened only moments ago when my journey has really been decades of achievement. Olivia’s dreams also recall my more recent dreams of creating a consulting firm that, growing by leaps and bounds, reaches into women’s businesses on a fast trajectory. As Women With Vision continues to grow a community of women, we will include Olivia’s vital story in the message we broadcast.

Olivia is the daughter of a life-long friend. A few years ago, I became aware of Olivia’s story as it was blossoming with a new light shining across it. The young child I had known for many years was growing rapidly into a strong young woman who, striving to be a leader, set out to achieve adult-size goals beyond her young years. Olivia Lamper chose the Miss Teen USA pageant system as the platform to launch her into position to achieve career goals still years away from being realized. My friend and I spoke not long ago about this and he shared pride in his daughter,

As a father, I could not be more proud of Olivia.  As she has grown into a young woman, and now on the cusp of adulthood and soon attending college in California, I continue to be amazed by her sense of fairness, compassion, and drive. While her accomplishments remain her own, I count her as the solitary greatest achievement of my life.

Olivia is now a 17-year-old high school senior living in central New Hampshire. She was accepted as a junior in January of last year, to attend college this fall in Los Angeles at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). From a young age her passion has been acting. She found joy and expression on stage as she participated in as many community and school plays as she could. Her passion and drive for her career have never wavered.

As young Olivia entered high school, she became interested in modeling. After many photoshoots for school, acting, and pageantry, Olivia found her passion for modeling and acting grew. Being on stage, whether acting or modeling, is the career she passionately pursues and prepares for by pursuing her Quest for the Crown.

In October of 2018 Olivia experienced her first pageant when she competed for the Miss New Hampshire Teen USA Pageant. Even though she was a novice to competing and to the pageant world, Olivia took her preparation seriously. Olivia was comfortable on stage and off thanks in large part to the combination of personal confidence, on-stage experience, and professional coaching brought into the mix to assist her in rising to the top level of competitors. This intensive experience is taxing and takes endurance of spirit. Olivia is grateful for how being a part of this program has allowed her to have fun, enjoy new experiences, and make dear friends during the competition.

While many first-time competitors find the stage stressful or even a source of fear, the joy Olivia finds on stage shines through and is visible for all to see in the radiant light of her smile as she exits the stage.

In her first year competing, Olivia placed in the semi-finals, within the top eight. This placement did not discourage Olivia as it might for a typical fifteen-year-old. Rather she left the pageant already planning for next year’s competition.

It was at this time Olivia’s journey came to the attention of 20/20 Vision for Success. The experience of her first year demonstrated how she could exceed new heights with the support of like-minded individuals who could provide the necessary tools for her next journey toward the crown. The financial demands of this endeavor can be substantial, so Olivia set out first to raise funds to make her next quest for the crown of Miss NH Teen USA an even greater success.

Answering the call, 20/20 VSC became a sponsor. We realized immediately she needed (and deserved) more than a simple donation. By sponsoring Olivia, we were able to provide her with the means to meet the application fees, wardrobe requirements, and other essentials needed for competition. In addition, there was a need for professional photos for pageant photographs, and a multitude of additional pageant expenses.

When she competed the next year, members of the 20/20 VSC team were in the audience cheering her on along with her family. She rose to second runner up for the 2020 title. Due to the tragic pandemic, the 2020 competition was pushed out. Today in 2021, we are again able to sponsor Olivia and help with the onerous financial aspects of this competition. We are grateful to have a part to play enabling Olivia to focus on her story and let her brilliance shine. We are proud to be part of her story.

Olivia Lamper is actively preparing for the pageant which will occur in June 2021. Preparation is not new to Olivia, having competed twice previously. This year, as with us all, has a marked difference.

While this route may not be an avenue most young women would choose, the Miss Teen program makes perfect sense for Olivia Lamper who as a child found her path to self-esteem on stage as she participated in school plays and events.

Olivia has chosen her platform to share and to bring to light a struggle she and far too many of her peers have had to face for too many of their young years. In her own words, she describes the demons that threatened to become dream destroyers: 

“The global pandemic really gave me the opportunity to get on the outside of my disordered eating and impulsive exercising. Once the first lockdown happened, I was no longer able to go to school but I also couldn’t go to the gym. 

I had been stuck in the same routine. For so long I had been going to school, going to the gym, and repeat. Suddenly I had no choice but to stay at home. It was a shock and a struggle to realize I had fallen into a trap. The lockdown allowed me to break free from my draining routine and spend lots of time figuring out how much food and exercise is truly best for me.

This will be a lifelong journey for me. I now share my story with others with my platform #RecoveryStartswithYou, in hope of motivating and helping others to also find a healthy relationship with food and exercise.”

This personal breakthrough has enormous magnitude. This year Olivia faced her own struggles and has found a way to win over disordered eating and compulsive exercising. Olivia being Olivia, as the truly unique and independent young woman she is, has gone public with her struggle on Instagram and Facebook. She is using her platform to tell her story and help others. Her goal is to expose the stigma around eating disorders and address this starkly emotional reality with compassion. By using her platform to educate others, Olivia hopes to prevent other young people from falling into the same patterns she experienced.

Olivia invites all to follow her search for the crown and her platform @RecoveryStartswithYou. We asked her to describe the competitive experience and to share any advice she has for others. These are her words, both wise and passionate: 

“I love preparing for the competition aspects of the pageant. Though I may get stressed time to time with the little things I need for pageant weekend, the actual performance part is so much fun. I enjoy being on stage, and it goes by fast. 

The greatest lessons I’ve learned from competing are:

  • Don’t try to be who you think the judges want you to be and,
  • Don’t try to be just like the girl who won the year before.

The judges want someone who is confident in who they are, and who is passionate about using the title to expand their reach and better the lives of those in NH. When preparing, this is what stays uppermost in my mind. I have truly taken to heart finding and enabling ways to use my journey to help others.”

Leadership begins with a cause. Olivia chose to take charge of sharing her story and turned a difficult part of her life into an opportunity to teach. She exemplifies leadership exactly. Olivia is the youngest member of our Women With Vision business division. She is the recipient of a scholarship to our business school curriculum. She is a shining example of the type of person we want in our youth program.

Olivia’s story, while like those of many young women finding their way in the world, is unique and memorable. We applaud her choices and for deciding to start down her life’s journey and path by clearing the road for herself and others. She is a young Woman With Vision who is taking the first important steps towards action in her life, which will lead towards her own personal vision for success.

We are thrilled to be helping Olivia on her path. We will be cheering her on, telling her story, and watching her take these beautiful steps.

The Miss Teen USA program is part of the global Miss Universe Organization (MUO). This organization has changed greatly from the memories one might have of 1950s glamour girl pageants. MUO today is run by women for women and focuses on empowering women to realize their ambition and build self-confidence. Acting as a catalyst for future success, MUO provides motivated and forward-thinking young women opportunities to talk about change and initiate it. The Miss Teen website identifies an important part of the program as Breaking Stereotypes, stating,

“Research has shown the #1 obstacle for women to overcome in reaching their potential is a lack of self-confidence. By developing self-confidence through MUO experiences, women have moved into high-profile careers in government, business, finance, broadcasting, and entertainment.”

Links and Resources that might be of interest…

Olivia Lamper’s message is quickly going viral in its own right. If you would like to follow this amazing young woman’s journey, these links will provide a path.

There are many resources online and in real life for help and information about eating disorders and the sympathetic syndromes that develop as crutches. Note WWV Mag has no affiliation with these resources and presents them here as a starting point for you to perform your own research if this is a study you wish to undertake.

Here are a few YouTube Videos

All the years of successful competing would not have been made possible without support from her coaches at KP Consulting and the sponsorship of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching, along with the help and support of many others, including the unwavering support of her father (Pageant Dad), her mother, and other family and friends cheering her on the road to her goals.

Photography Credits –

Photographer: Carlos Velez (Headshots)

Photographer: Benjamin Bloom (Runway)

HMU: Ali Lee Pageant Artistry

About the Author: Christine Beckwith

Christine “Buffy” Beckwith is an award-winning executive sales leader who has spent the past 30 years in the mortgage finance industry. Her life and career are filled with a progression of success stories reaching all the way back to her childhood. A Best Selling and Award-Winning Author, Christine branched out in 2018 to begin her dream job as the founder and president of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching & Consulting. After breaking glass ceilings in the mortgage and banking industry, Christine is now a columnist for professional magazines and is a special correspondent anchoring the news and interviewing experts in her industry. She is an advocate for women, dedicating a complete division in her own company to the cause and communities she touches at a vast level. Christine spends her days on the national speaking circuit, lecturing on topics focused on sharing her expertise in finance while highlighting her personal stories of inspiration and motivation to deliver both tactical and practical advice.

Breaking mainstream in 2019, Christine has appeared on huge stages to speak, kicking off the year at the Miami Garden Stadium with Gary Vaynerchuk Agent2021 as the real estate expert panel moderator. Among her many speaking engagements recently, she has spoken at the Anaheim Convention center in Los Angeles, The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, and for multiple prestigious organizations and media companies.

Christine will tell you writing, teaching, and speaking are at the core of who she is, and her legacy work. She is committed to making a difference in the lives of professionals and youth everywhere. Christine is a mother, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a homemaker, and a lover of laughter, good health, home, and heritage. She calls herself a happy human.

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Written by: Grant LaViale

Change is the word I chose to focus on as my word of the year coming into 2021. It’s proving to be the right choice as I can proudly report I am already embracing change in my life and my business in this New Year. One of the ways in which I have started enacting change is by eliminating tasks and habits I found had taken away from my productivity. I have also hired an additional branch administrator for support, and re-aligned processors with the team. These are proactive and important changes made to ensure continued smooth operations and success. These changes were also in full alignment with my vision when I chose change as my word for the year.

Never in my wildest imagination, however, did I expect another change to suddenly hit and without warning. It’s easy to mentally prepare for planned upcoming changes, but when change hits you in the face, it feels like, and it truly is, a whole different ball game. I’m sure every one of us can relate to this in some way.

One of the cornerstones in my business for the past six years was having my friend and regional manager to rely on. In fact, coming into this year, he was about to be promoted to divisional manager. Suddenly, with no discussion, he resigned. I was shocked, devastated, hurt, sad, and never saw it coming. It felt like having a bomb thrown into my living room.

This was not what I expected or had in mind when I declared change to be my one word for 2021.

After four days of digesting reality and brushing off the dust from this unexpected bomb, here is what I would like to share by way of my takeaways and perspective:

  1. This incident confirmed change is constant, as constant as the changing seasons in a year.
  2. It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it is what’s truly important.
  3. It’s not healthy to worry about what you can’t control.
  4. He who adapts first to change wins.
  5. Most importantly, stay true to who you are. Not others, but yourself. Staying true to yourself allows you to adapt and align to the changes that ultimately define you.

There you have it. Change in all it encompasses. Whether expected, planned, or not, we must be fluid in how we address changes. We must be open to changing and growing and exploring new territories and unforeseen factors within our lives.

The year 2021 will unavoidably be one to include change for all of us. Let us welcome it, no matter what it may look like. If change wants to hit you in the face, then roll with the punch and brush it off. Your response will lead to a better, brighter future. Change will lead to benefits and bonuses we cannot see or understand right now. Have faith it will be better, eventually.

It’s true what they say: “When one door closes, another one opens,” and we know from our experience the new door is always a better one. I am sure more change is coming to me for 2021. I promise I will continue to embrace it. My hope is you will as well.

About the Author: Grant LaViale

Originally born and raised in New York, Grant moved from Northern California to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB and never left. Grant is married and the father of three children who credits fatherhood as having taught him much about life and himself. In his free time, Grant enjoys going to the gym in the early morning, going to the movies with his wife and family, and playing golf with clients and friends.

Grant truly enjoys what he does and believes it’s the people and leadership separating us and strengthening us, based on his experience in both the mortgage and banking Industry. Grant stays true to his practice on the importance of having a positive work culture and support structure in place, especially during difficult periods. He is committed to ensuring their clients and referral partners have only the best experience and advice possible.

Grant is a non-producing area manager working with sales managers and loan advisers for the Central Coast and Desert Communities who live by integrity and sincerity.


Written by: Executive Coach, Ray Befus

Over the past year, the real estate-mortgage-banking industries have been barreling down the refi tracks like a runaway train. If there was a theme song for 2020 and now maybe 2021, it might be Ozzy Osbourne’s, Crazy Train. More than a couple women and men I’ve coached have told me through frustration and exhaustion they’ve felt as though they’re going off the rails on a crazy train. New hires aren’t receiving adequate training, operations can’t keep up with sales, owners aren’t sure how to delegate effectively, the business isn’t structured to scale up, or teamwork is breaking down for lack of communication and alignment. We can find ourselves surrounded by craziness. We’re making more money than ever before, but every new week can be a death-defying ride on a crazy train!

The price tag is high. We’re tired and more than a little edgy. We have little time left for our partners and children. They’re not happy with us.
We’re not living our best lives now; not by a long shot.

We need to remember social science tells us it’s not frantically busy people who are living in the desperate pursuit of success who find actual happiness; it’s happy people who rise to the greatest levels of success. We have to find a way to live our best lives now while we make a lot of money. Money made through madness is not going to make us happy in the long run.

So, I’ve been having successive coaching conversations with 20/20 students and we focus on slowing down the train. Not stopping the train or climbing off the train or blowing up the train, just slowing down the train. Or to put it in the language of business development: slowing down now to go faster later. Slowing down now to sharpen our thinking, to sharpen our vision, to sharpen our processes, to sharpen our self-management so we can more effectively build our growing businesses and our teams as a new year unfolds.

Here’s some sad news: only about five percent of the men and women who set inspiring goals reach them. Only one in twenty adults move from surviving to thriving. The difference between the minority of highly successful men and women and those who muddle around in mediocrity for years comes down to small daily disciplines. Over time, small daily disciplines, like pennies invested and compounded over years, can lead to massive success. The reverse is also true: small daily errors in judgment and lack of discipline can steer us toward eventual failure and tragic loss.

Let me identify a few small changes you can start making today so you have the power to shift the trajectory of your professional life. These small daily disciplines (penny- like in their seeming insignificance) may actually have the power to take us to a new level of fulfillment and success. Practiced over time, they can change history; certainly your history and mine! Let me toss you three pennies.

Make More Decisions

In our information age, more and more data streams our way every day. More ideas, more possibilities, more threats, more tools, more invitations, more inspiration. We watch and we listen; we listen and we watch. From trainings on Zoom to podcasts to books on audible to YouTube TED Talks to best-selling books. The unfortunate result is we move from one inspiring sound bite, podcast or training seminar to another without slowing down to make the decisions to move us forward.

We don’t pause to ask ourselves, Will this information help me or not? What, specifically, will I do with this information? What action step will I take and when? After we have the information then it’s time to decide.

This small daily discipline can take your life and career to a new level. Every time you invest your treasured time in a learning opportunity, slow down the train enough to ask yourself: Will this information help me or not? What specifically will I do with this information? What action step will I take and when? If you don’t ask yourself these questions then decide on a course of action, the time and money you’ve invested will be lost. Your inspiration will fade and your memory will fail. You won’t have taken a real step forward.

Think about your 20/20 classes. If you want a measurable return on your investment, make at least one decision for every course you take. There are 24 required courses in the curriculum and countless additional specialty courses and webinars available in your virtual dashboard. Whatever course you take, perhaps Niche Nitrous or Marketing Madness, consider the outcome you desire then make your decision:

• What one step can I take this week or this month to build on this learning?
• What one tool has this course introduced I can pass on to my team? When will I communicate this tool to my team?
• How and when will we implement it in our processes?

Want to slow down to go faster? Slow down enough to make decisions instead of flying by the seat of your feelings, impressions, or fantasies. Decide, decide, decide. Inspiration comes and goes. Decisions open the door to the future we long to live.

Write Everything Down

The tools and processes most familiar to us and which have supported our success in the past may fail us as our train picks up speed. Nowhere may this be truer than in the ways we try to keep track of our tasks, commitments, and schedules. When we were young and our days were moderately full, we scribbled notes to ourselves everywhere on everything: legal pads, restaurant napkins, and the backs of shopping receipts. But eventually we found ourselves overwhelmed and we started forgetting, losing track of our notes-to-self, failing to meet deadlines, and missing appointments.

When speaking with 20/20 students, I often reflect on the reality when we try to memorize and remember daily details, it is a terrible waste of brain space and brain power. Lying in bed at night trying to remember half-forgotten details creates anxiety, dread, and regret. If a woman started to write down everything in a planning system, she would be giving herself the freedom to forget about details and concentrate on building her network, engaging with clients, building rapport, answering objections, painting a compelling vision, and staying in touch with team members. Rather than being overloaded with details from yesterday’s promises, her brain can focus, sustain interest, energize creativity, and recognize the opportunities coming to us wrapped in problems.

So please slow your train down enough to buy yourself a planning system and start implementing the disciplines of taking your planner with you everywhere you go. Start developing the discipline to write everything down as it happens, all day long, every day. Of course, there are terrific digital planning systems. I frequently suggest a paper planner, such as Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus planning system. You can Google it. A professional planning system is a keystone of any commitment to work smarter, not harder. There are literally dozens from which to choose. Find one that works for you.

How do we slow down the crazy train and still arrive at the destination we’ve defined as success?

Pause to make more decisions. Don’t give anything or anyone more than 30 minutes of your time without making a decision!

Pause to write everything down. All day long, every day write it down. Use your brain to invest in more creative and productive work than remembering appointments, task lists, commitments, dates, and times.

Here’s a third discipline you can use to slow down and go faster.

Plan your month before the month begins, your week before the week begins, and your day before the day begins.

No one can live their best life now if they are being pressed day after day, week after week to conform to other people’s agendas, schedules, expectations, and visions for their life and yours. Stephen Covey once called this the tyranny of the urgent. We might call this the tyranny of the refi market or the tyranny of managers and teams out of alignment.

Plan out your month before the month begins, your week before the week begins, and each day before the day begins. You decide what your priorities will be. You decide when you’re going to work and when you’re going to call it a day. You decide what must be accomplished today and what can wait. You decide who you’re going to talk to right now and who can leave a message or make an appointment to talk tomorrow. You decide in advance what living your best life now will look like as each new day unfolds.

Schedule your personal rest and renewal, your family needs and commitments, your professional priorities and responsibilities each month before the month begins, each week before the week begins, each day before the day begins. No one does their best work while they’re speeding down the tracks and waking up exhausted. Burnout isn’t a medal of honor. Burnout is a common revelation of a lack of self-awareness, vision, and courage in taking full responsibility for our personal schedules.

Here’s a common challenge with a simple solution. Do you have a hard time saying No or Not Now? One of the ways all of us can empower ourselves to create and maintain our boundaries against distractions and interruptions is to plan our months before they begin, penciling in our top priorities for the month. The same with our weeks and days. When I start my week or my day with my top priorities already calendared, it’s much easier for me to say No or Not Now to the undisciplined or invasive people around me. If I have already established my Big Yes’s in my schedule, these Big Yes’s empower me to say No or Not Now to people who hope I’ll make their crises my emergencies. If you’re married, you might remember your wedding day. You had your special day fully calendared before the sun came up! Your calendared commitments on your beautiful day made it easy to say No or Not Now to interruptions from morning ‘til night.

When we plan our months before the month begins, our weeks before the week begins, and our days before the day begins, we empower ourselves to live our best lives, day by day and hour by hour. Family priorities aren’t crowded out. Time-sensitive commitments can be delivered as promised. Your brand will come to be known for uncommon consistency and excellence.

Want to slow down the crazy train? You can. Here’s how you start:

  1. Make more decisions. Refuse to invest significant time in anything without deciding what you will do with your investment.
  2. Pause to write down everything every day. Invest in a planning system for yourself. Let your planning system remember the multitude of details filling your brain space.
  3. Plan your month before the month begins, your week before the week begins, and your day before the day begins. Create the Big Yes’s empowering you to say No or Not Now to interruptions.

What if you decide not to bother adopting these small personal and professional disciplines? They might seem as insignificant as pennies after all. Maybe nothing will happen in the moment.

But here’s a truth you can take to the bank. No one can ride a crazy train forever without waking up one day in the rubble of a train wreck. My experience as an executive coach tells me come next December, you’re not going to regret your decision to slow down your train this spring. Slowing down now empowers you to go faster later.


If you’d like to give a little more thought to slowing down now to go faster later, check out my executive summary of Jeff Olson’s book Slight Edge in 20/20’s file of student resources.

Pull quote: “We move from one inspiring sound bite, podcast, or training seminar to another without slowing down to make the decisions to move us forward.”

About the Author: Ray Befus

Ray Befus has spent his entire career in leadership development. He has folded this lifetime of experience into his coaching enterprise, HIGHPOINT Training and Coaching. He is a member of the International Coaching Federation and now serves as one of 20/20 Vision for Success’s adjunct coaches. In his own work, he continues to provide executive coaching for professionals, business leaders, and their teams both nationally and internationally, helping clients overcome self-doubt, reclaim their best selves, and rise to their next level. Ray lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he enjoys life with his wife Carol, four married children, and thirteen grandchildren. When he’s not coaching and training, he enjoys motorcycling, playing guitar, and camping.


The Mortgage Industry Calls Out to Unique Individuals

Written by: Laura Brandao

Everyone has a why: our purpose, cause, or belief drives us all. The question is, do you feel everyone in the mortgage business believes their why is helping families through the mortgage process? Well, this month I had the pleasure of interviewing Naz Wood, the processing manager at United Wholesale Lending, and I can confidently say her why is perfectly in line with what she does every day.

Tell me, how did you decide to join the mortgage business?

“I joined the industry almost 15 years ago. I knew I wanted to do something within the mortgage industry, but I didn’t have much knowledge of the different roles. I remember seeing a newspaper advertisement looking for loan processors. I thought why not let me see if they are willing to train for the role. When I went in for the interview, I thought there was no way I would land the job but I didn’t let it stop me, I knew I wanted to work in the industry and I had nothing to lose. I’m going to get this job! I went through multiple interviews and I was so excited when I landed the job. I felt so fortunate because I had found my calling while I was in my twenties.

I started at Ameriquest during the height of sub-prime lending when they were rapidly expanding. The office was in Sacramento and they were growing so fast they needed a lot of operations staff to help process the loans. I knew immediately this was my passion, I loved working with the loan officers and the more families I helped the more I loved my job. The mortgage industry wasn’t like other industries with a structured 9-to-5 job where you were doing the same tasks every day. This role allowed me to learn and problem solve while feeling a sense of fulfillment. I also loved how I was surrounded by a team around the same age as me.

Ameriquest’s training was pretty structured. I shadowed a few experienced processors followed by a few weeks of classroom training. Within a few months I learned basic Mortgage 101 all the way to funding. It didn’t take me long to realize I was doing the same tasks on every loan with the additives of a unique situation here and there.”

What one event in your career stands out the most?

“I was at Ameriquest and life was good. Shelby Elias was also at Ameriquest. He was brand new to the industry and I had already been working there for a few years. I became his processor and we instantly had a great working relationship, and our personalities meshed well together. About 3-½ years into Ameriquest there were rumors the industry was shifting. Things were happening and businesses were closing, but the whole time I was thinking we are okay because we are a big company and we will be fine. I remember the day when our Southern California office called and said they could not fund loans; they were shut down. As I was hanging up the phone, I looked out my window and I saw seven men in black suits walking past my window into the building. It’s hard to even explain the feeling I had at the time. We were called into a room with management and the men in black suits came in and said you are being shut down.

I remember walking out of the room thinking, what about the families that needed to close and fund? But we were told to go back to our desks, pack our stuff, and exit the building as soon as possible. To this day the event was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced because I was in this job in an industry I love and it was taken away from me.

For me being so young and naive I did not know exactly what happened. What would I do now? Is it all gone? I remember walking out of the building in a state of shock and there were recruiters in the parking lot asking us if we wanted to come and work for their companies? Shortly after Ameriquest went under, we started to see the ripple effect affecting other sub-prime lenders and once it started there weren’t many mortgage jobs available.

I started to realize I was traumatized by the whole experience so I decided I needed to step away from the industry completely because I needed something stable.”

What did you do after Ameriquest was shut down?

“I did some serious soul searching and I decided I needed to find something more stable where I wasn’t going to be laid off and the benefits would be excellent. The first thing that came to my mind was healthcare. I thought to myself healthcare isn’t going to go away so I decided to make the change to a whole new industry.

Although healthcare is a great industry, after a couple of years I realized I missed the hustle and bustle of the mortgage business. Thanks to social media I was still in contact with my loan officers and former associates. Shelby Elias stayed in the industry; he tried different things and we followed each other’s journey throughout the years.

So, after four years I was sitting at my desk one day not feeling fulfilled, and I messaged Shelby on Facebook and told him I thought it was time for me to return to the mortgage industry because nothing energized or fulfilled me like helping families through the mortgage process and guiding them home. He and I were talking and he offered me a position. I started with Shelby the next week and we were back together like nothing had ever changed.”

How do you keep the passion for our industry and what advice would you give for people to feel fulfilled in our industry?

“I think I have kept my fire going because I’ve gone through multiple cycles. I came in young with no money, then grew and obtained wealth, but then I lost it and had to rebuild. My mentality was totally different after I lost everything. People are motivated by different things. Personally, I am motivated by results and seeing people reach their goal of homeownership and seeing them happy. If your goal is to buy a house, I’m going to lead you there; the families are never a transaction, they are a relationship. If you come into the mortgage industry for the wrong reasons you are going to burn out because it just becomes a number and another month, but if you have the passion and fire, your light will never fade.”

Tell me about being a mom working in the mortgage business?

“I have the joy of being the mom of 8-year-old twin girls. My girls are so proud of me. They hear me on the phone helping families and they say, my mom is the boss. They see what I do and how I am on the phone helping families. They see how important it is for me to help our clients and at this age, it’s especially important because they listen and watch everything. I love being a role model for my girls and it is great they can see how much I care about others. Cherishing each moment we share together helps me balance our routines.”

What do you think are some vital things to have in your process flow to be able to handle growth?

“I highly recommend having strong systems in place like a CRM., CRMs provide an effective way to manage and easily track leads. There are so many sources such as text messages, Facebook, emails, and phone calls, you must have a way to track and follow up with them so you can stay connected and continue to evaluate your best lead sources. We have a system lead tracker to make sure we connect with the prospect within 24 hours. We work as a team to reach out and set up calls and videos so we can take an application ASAP. I think a lot of times what happens with loan officers is they get so many leads and between loans in progress and new leads it’s easy to forget to follow up with agents we have spent years building relationships with so it’s important for us to balance new clients with the existing partners.

We have a system in place where once a loan goes from lead to pre-approved, we have gifts we send out. I then call them weekly to check to see how things are going, and I check in with the agent to see if I can help with any other offers they are working on at the time.

Once the family goes under contract, our special team becomes involved with every detail. They will call the agents and I do spot checks with clients to make sure everyone is happy. We have our system built out to be able to track movement and we have automated e-mails throughout the process. With the help of technology, myself, and the team, we make sure customer service is at the highest level possible.”

What do you think the most important piece of customer service is for the borrower? When working with the borrower what is the biggest piece you need to provide?

“I think personal communication really matters throughout the entire process. It is very easy for us to call someone and say hey, “your closing disclosure is out, just sign it.” What is a
closing disclosure? Having a casual conversation with our clients and letting them know what a closing disclosure is and the importance of it and not being in just a routine using the
standard language we use, for example, it’s a three-day cooling off period, blah, blah, blah. We explain the why and the importance of it and we review it with them. It’s very important we review it together and it’s all about effectively communicating with clients like a normal conversation and really connecting with them depending on what their personalities are and meeting their level of comprehension. If it’s somebody who’s younger and maybe never bought a house before they are probably scared, but I can probably explain to people who are experienced and are possibly buying their second or third house I am sending some disclosures and you know the process. I alter my conversation based on their experience level.”

Naz, what’s on the horizon for you and United Wholesale Lending?

“It is such a crazy time in our industry right now. We are so busy and there’s so many families to help. A few months ago, we were named the 7th broker in the nation. I am so proud of Shelby, Peter, and the whole team. When I see our logo or talk to our agents, I am so honored to be part of the team; it’s just so exciting, it literally makes you want to work harder because we are building something together.”

Naz, if you were going to give one piece of advice to someone coming into our industry what would it be?

“I would tell them this is an amazing industry and you can have a great career but understand our industry has ups and downs so be HUMBLE. When you initially come in, you’re going to realize there is an opportunity to make a good living but you don’t want your financial success to change you or your lifestyle because sometimes as fast as you make it the market can turn and you may need to adjust your spending. If you stay true to the joy of helping people the business will always be there for you and you can have a long, successful, and rewarding career.

I am so blessed because I truly enjoy helping people who like me now and have the joy of being a homeowner. I enjoy holding our borrowers’ hands as we explain what is going to happen step by step. I think the mortgage process is very emotional for our families, the unknown can be scary, and if we take control and responsibility for walking them through it, they will be confident and excited the whole way through. I am so grateful I can make them comfortable and it kind of gives me chills because I am making a difference in their lives. Every transaction is very personal to me.”

About the Author: Laura Brandao

Laura is the driving force that has catapulted AFR Wholesale to the top of Manufactured Home and Renovation lending in the USA. She has seamlessly rolled out new products based on market demand, including VA renovation, USDA repair escrow, and One-Time Close Construction to Permanent Loans for the FHA, VA, and USDA. Laura’s hands-on approach also propels AFR to remain on the cutting edge of technology with mobile-friendly applications that cohesively integrate the borrower, realtor, broker, and AFR.

This year, Laura has already been featured as one of The 10 Most Influential Businesswomen to Follow in 2020 and among The 20 Most Successful Businesswomen to Watch, 2020 by Insights Success magazine. Laura was among the 50 Best Women in Business named by NJBIZ in 2019, has been recognized as a HousingWire Women of Influence for the last three years, and named one of Mortgage Banking’s Most Powerful Women by National Mortgage Professional. Laura has also been one of Mortgage Professional America’s Hot 100 Mortgage Professionals in 2017, and an Elite Women of Mortgage in 2014, 2016 and again in 2017.

Laura is also actively engaged with several organizations and initiatives including the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts and is one of the founders of AIME’s Women’s Mortgage Network (WMN).


My girlfriends and family often tease me about living my life in the lap of Luxury. While they may believe this, it certainly has not always been so. My journey toward prosperity and abundance surprised most people and continues to surprise me even today. I came from a modest home, where frugality was at the heart of every decision.

My father is still a union electrician, and my mom rarely worked outside of our home when I was growing up, but when she did it was part-time. We didn’t travel, we dined at home, and when my mom snuck in a visit to a local drive-thru restaurant, it was a treat, not an entitlement.

Most of my friends and family also enjoyed humble beginnings. My husband came from humble beginnings as the son of a policeman and a stay-at-home mom. His story, like mine, is washed with a sense of frugality in every childhood memory. Please make no mistake. We were both well taken care of, but luxury wasn’t an ingredient to which we were accustomed.

Fast forward through a series of sound-with-an-element-of-providence business decisions and a handful of rewarding relationships, and my life morphed into one appointed with abundance, prosperity, and an occasional splurge of true, unabashed luxury.

I feel the burn when people, including my husband, make sarcastic remarks about our circumstances. He can’t wrap his head around what he sees as being spoiled. For example, when we fly first class, he puts on his best Thurston Howell III impression with clenched teeth sarcasm. We laugh out loud when we compare wine tasting in Tuscany to wine tasting in Napa (it’s a surreal win/win comparison). Caribbean Paradise destinations have become so frequent and normal; we are not in the mood right now dahlng. Another example of how pampered we are, we have started seeking experiences my husband refers to as 1 in 10,000,000. 1 in 10m means experiencing an event so rare, so epic, so creative, and so life-changing we estimate less than 1 in 10m have ever been blessed to encounter and we cherish them like assets in our vault.

I give you the itemization in the sidebar not to sound vain or entitled but to demonstrate the tip of a ridiculous iceberg filling my soul from below the surface. No one needs to know, and no one will ever know the joy so many experience assets have brought to my life.

My tagline, good fortune is a result of good business, is the reason these experience assets were acquired, and I hope it’s where this exchange resonates with YOU.

When I was a little girl, about eight years old, my older sister owned and operated a successful nursery school. She was still a teenager, a mere 16 years old, but bought the nursery school and employed a dozen people. She was the apple of my parents’ eye and the main conversation at every dinner table. The whole family was amazed my sister was running a successful business venture, and she wasn’t legal age to have a cocktail.

I was a cheerleader. I had good grades. I made my dad’s lunch in a brown bag every morning. But nobody was bragging about Kerry when the relatives came over for dinner. To be honest, I was green with envy.

So, what did I do? I went to work as soon as I was able; I cleaned and restocked the store at Marrow’s Nut House so often and with such vigor they promoted me to assistant manager when I was 14 years old. I worked at a bait shop selling shiners. I took odd jobs cleaning and babysitting. I created a chocolate candy business during the holidays, and I eventually achieved a master’s degree in administration to accompany my education degree.

In my first job as a schoolteacher, I worked around the clock. I was nominated for teacher of the year my first-year teaching and within my first three years on the job, I moved into an administration role. I was on track for leadership inside of the school system.

And then, one day after my first daughter was born, I quit. I just quit! I didn’t even tell my husband before I resigned; I had the sickest feeling in my stomach that I was going to parent 200 hundred children instead of my own, and I knew I could not live that life. I knew on an instinctive level, in my gut if you will, the experience asset of raising my daughter was infinitely more valuable than the financial asset of a steady paycheck.

Within a few hours of resigning from the school system, I was offered a part-time personal assistant position with a top real estate agent in town. Five hundred dollars per month for five hours each week, and I didn’t have to leave my home. Driven as always by the image of my sister’s successes, I put in extra hours at night, and on the weekends. Whenever my daughter was asleep, I was working. I didn’t have the luxury to be lazy, I didn’t have the luxury to be tired, and I didn’t have the luxury to sleep when my baby slept because I wanted to be successful.

As I started to take over this guy’s real estate business, I learned more and acquired listings by working from 4:00 a.m. till my baby woke up, and the agent would marvel at my ability to produce listings working just five hours per week.

He became so successful with me as his assistant he opened his own real estate brokerage, and I agreed to be his office manager. I thrived on the emotional satisfaction and the intellectual stimulation, so I was up early and kept working well after my bundle of joy went down for the night.

One morning my boss caught me cleaning the bathroom floors on my hands and knees, real gritty behind the toilet, if you know what I mean. Picture it! Starched skirt suit, high heels, and make-up, on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor.

“What are you doing?” He asked. He was clearly incredulous and asking a rhetorical question since it was obvious what task I was performing.

I replied, “You have a high-value recruit visiting the office today, and this bathroom was a mess.”

“Why didn’t you have one of the staff do it?” He asked.

“They don’t come in until 9:00 a.m., and your recruit is going to be here at 9:00 a.m. I don’t have the luxury of waiting for the staff to show up.”

“Did you clean the front door and windows as well?” he asked.

I gave him a trademark dumb look and smiled while continuing to scrub the urine-stained grout under the toilet.

This man loved those clever little personality profile tests and tested everybody in the office. I guess he believed people fit into one of four personality profiles, and each person’s category could somehow predict what the person would be good at or not particularly suited to do. I remember telling him once, “I don’t have the luxury to be an S personality or a C personality; I have to be the personality most effective to get the job done regardless of whether I like it or not.”

The above statement was true for ALL THINGS.

Well, except public speaking! Public Speaking and I did not get along for about 20 years to tell you the truth. My anxiety would rage uncontrollably until my skin actually changed colors, my breathing became erratic, and I could barely take steps to go on stage in front of large groups. I was the Vice President of Operations for a $2 billion Real Estate Brokerage, and I couldn’t speak at our Sales Rally. I worked hard and made partner in the firm, but I still could not take the main stage to lead.

At that time, my husband hit me between the eyes with the quote of our lifetime. He said, “you don’t have the luxury” to be afraid of public speaking.

Like all things that I tackle in life, I went at the public speaking thing head-on, and today, while I still get nervous, I never back down from a public speaking engagement.

I offer you this empowering perspective to grab your limitations by the throat, to rise above your lot in life, to shrug off those prima donna entitlements.

If you want to live a lavish lifestyle dripping with diamonds and 5-star elegance, if you want to enjoy the best trips, the finest hotels, the best restaurants in the world, then you don’t have the luxury to take the easy path.

You don’t have the luxury of laziness and apathy.

You don’t have the luxury of doing just what is required of you.

You don’t have the luxury of gossip or politics or personality conflicts.

If you want what the wealthy have, you have to do what the wealthy did to become wealthy.

I will leave you with the quote that has hung in my childhood home’s breakfast area for my entire life. This is my mother’s favorite quote by Calvin Coolidge,

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

I believe having that quote ever-present in my formative years, and of course being raised by a woman who believes this to her core, is what made me determined to become better and strive for more. And more. And more.

More what? For me, this means, has always meant, more experience assets. For you it may be material assets or monetary assets. Whatever your MORE is, it starts with hard work and determination and not having the luxury to do until you do.

Lifestyle with Kerry Fitzpatrick

One in Ten Million Experiences

  • A private helicopter tour over the Canadian Rockies hovering just a couple feet above glacier-filled lakes.
  • Horseback riding knee-deep in Lake Louise in Banff.
  • Jewelry shopping on the famed Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence.
  • A seven-month RV trip diagonally across the country, hitting 17 national parks along the way.
  • Private eight-course dinner pairing at a mountain top winery with the winemakers and their family.
  • Flying Mint and First Class around the world.
  • President’s Suite at the front of a cruise ship with a 1200 ft deck and hot tub soaring above the ocean like Jack on the titanic, and yes, my husband did the “I’m the king of the world” thing.
  • Driving a 510-horsepower supercharged V8 Range Rover as my daily driver.
  • Three homes in 3 dream locations: New Orleans, Ft Lauderdale, and a 26-acre ranch in the Great Smokey Mountains.
About the Author: Kerry Fitzpatrick

Everything Kerry touches turns to gold! She has traveled extensively through Europe and the Caribbean. Kerry currently splits her time between residences in Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, and The Smokey Mountain region of North Carolina. Kerry is passionate about entertaining, fashion, and managing an incredible quality of life.

Kerry Fitzpatrick holds a Bachelor of Education degree and a Master of Administration degree from Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a first-grade teacher in a low-income school, spending her time and resources, giving back to her students, and making a significant impact on their lives. Wanting to make a bigger difference in the education of her students, Kerry advanced her career to administrator.

Kerry had a desire to start a family. To fulfill this dream, Kerry resigned from the school board. She was soon recruited to work in the residential real estate industry and found a position where she could express her unique vision for making a difference. She quickly became intoxicated by the struggling masses in the industry, noticing a void in pass-me-down wisdom. She recognized a palpable, if not desperate, need for education in residential real estate. Her real estate brokerage quickly became known as South Florida’s Premier Teaching, Training, and Coaching Organization, offering live in-office coursework multiple times per week.

Kerry was instrumental in creating an education system inside of Exit Team Realty. The formula Kerry developed helped the brokerage grow to over 500 associates. By 2004, Exit Team Realty, rooted in Kerry’s vision for education first, had quickly become a RISMedia Power Brokerage (Top 300 brokerages in the U.S.) and was twice featured as a national company to watch in residential real estate.

In 2009, Kerry launched a broader, subscription-based online education center known as Associate Worx. The fee-based broadcast followed Kerry’s agent education formula and immediately went viral among real estate brokerages and the agents they served. Mortgage bankers began to seek Kerry out to sponsor and be featured in the Realtor Broadcast phenomenon. One bank offered a statewide exclusive relationship white-labeled as AEM WORX in Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina; Academy Home Mortgage Worx in Utah and Colorado; Southeast Mortgage Worx in Georgia; AmeriFirst Worx in Texas and Oklahoma; and finally AnnieMac Worx in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

AnnieMac Home Mortgage built a realtor centric culture in the mortgage industry, and they made it around Kerry Fitzpatrick’s AnnieMac Worx Productivity Platform. AnnieMac negotiated an exclusive white label that dramatically affected recruitment and productivity for their mortgage professionals in 32 states.

Today, Kerry runs AnnieMac Worx, The My Worx Suite Technology Solution for Realtors centered in education and pass-me-down best practices in residential real estate.

VITALITY is Found in Confidence and Perspective

Written by Ana Maria Sanin

The vitality of a brand and how it helps us grow through change, especially the kind of changes we entrepreneurs have experienced worldwide over the past twelve months, is crucial to the success of a brand. The vitality of our business and personal brands should not be dependent on circumstances around us. As we all know, life throws curve balls regularly and most days are filled with varying amounts of stress.

How we feel and what we think leads to results in all we do and who we are. As we continue into this New Year with new plans and new goals, it’s important to look at where we are and where we hope to be by year’s end. What does business look like for you? How is your plan going so far?

What changes are you looking to implement to translate the vitality of your vision even while other people and companies are stuck, caught up in the emotion of what’s happening in the world? Our nation’s circumstances have affected families and businesses all over, but we must stay focused even through hardships and crises. Push forward. I believe when we don’t see a way, God will provide one!

January 2021 brought a disappointment into my life; one that could have been devastating. I am learning to accept everyone deserves to be trusted unless proven otherwise. I’ve accepted it is my own choice to welcome facts and resolution. I’ve also accepted it’s okay to feel the disappointment and to be aware of the fact I’ve disappointed people in the past, too. We all need to show grace and forgiveness to others as well as to ourselves. It is when disappointment strikes we most need to take a moment and analyze how to gain trust back and learn and grow and improve.

Maintaining brand vitality means staying focused on the plans and goals we have established for ourselves and our brand. Without action shining a spotlight upon our plans and goals, they can quickly dissolve into darkness and go away. Don’t let this happen. Set your professional roadmap for 2021. Keep your goals on track, both personally and professionally. They are eternally entwined.

We must stay fluid and open to change. We must maintain the vitality and confidence of only our businesses and of ourselves. Wherever we are in life and whatever our professional role in life is, we need to remember and apply this maintenance as much as possible.

I believe working hard and staying focused is the secret to my own success and by association, keeps my brand strong. Always staying focused and reminded of my blessings keeps my glass HALF FULL.

I hope someone has found strength, wisdom, and encouragement in these words. We are human. We are a work in progress. Both together and solo we will thrive and march forward through our best self-growth and to our best business success!

Have faith. Stay encouraged. Act for your own wellbeing and mental health. The time is now. Your time is now if you choose it to be so. Prepare for the upcoming New Year by injecting fresh vitality into your vision and get your brand on the top of its game!

About the Author: Ana Maria Sanin

Ana Maria Sanin is a Personal Brand Strategist for whom Faith is at the foundation of all she does. Her passion is to impact the community and to assist women professionals and businesses build a personal brand and establish an Influence their communities.

Her journey as a young single mother taught courage goes where confidence dares not. That path has brought her to this point in life. As the Confident Executive Officer at Confident Closers, her goal is to assist Women to build a Personal Brand to establish Influence and attract more opportunities to their life and business. She believes in building solid, long-term relationships and the power of team-work. There’s an individual fulfillment that comes with serving others. She considers this to be the pathway to real significance. Her mission is to lower the number of women who reach the end of their lives, regretting the things they never did because of fear and lack of courage.

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Written by Christine Beckwith

The Women With Vision Magazine is proud to announce the 2021 WWV Board of Directors. These 18 powerhouse mortgage professionals are dedicated to furthering the growth and development of women in our industry. Here’s a video recording from the free-wheeling and energy-filled mastermind session where the directors are introduced and board leaders lay out the structure and plan for the future development of this group and its mission.

WWV Board of DIrectors

Mortgage X Podcast

On this episode Elite Executive Coach Ruth Lee joins Christine Beckwith to talk about Thinking Big, Being Authentic, Challenging Your Own Assumptions, and Unlocking the Super Me inside yourself.

About Mortgage X

Christine Beckwith of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and Jason Frazier of Mortgage X Creative bring you the Mortgage X Podcast. Guests range from visionaries working hard to evolve our industry to meet the needs of the modern consumer to the industry’s biggest producers, advocates, legends, thought leaders, partners, and lenders.

Coaching is about building a foundation for results and knowing how to step into action based on that foundation. Turning vision into reality requires trust that the bedrock beneath the vision is sound. Coaching with 20/20 Vision begins by building and strengthening your foundation and ensures you remain focused on the vision for success.


Vonk Digital, an industry leader in website and marketing tools for mortgage originators across America, is a proud sponsor and hosting partner of Women With Vision Magazine.

To learn how Vonk Digital can help you leverage the “New Way” to build your brand, authority & credibility with our website platform and tools visit us at

An MBS Highway membership offers access to a wide range of tools, including their Bid Over Asking Price, Buy vs. Rent Comparison, Loan Comparison tool, daily coaching videos and lock alerts. Try the MBS tools for free with a 14-day trial and see the kind of difference they make in your business!

This trending news tip comes from the team at MBS Highway.

Despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic on our economy, 2021 continues to be a banner year for the housing market. In fact, recent record data from Redfin showed 55 percent of pending homes were in contract within 14 days!

This is understandable, given a report by the National Association of REALTORS® stating there was just a 1.9-month supply of homes available at the end of January, which is a record low. With housing inventory low nationwide, bidding wars are happening around the country and buyers might wonder if they should bid over the asking price to win their dream home.

Loan originators can use Bid Over Asking Price to easily show clients when they will recover the additional bid through forecasted appreciation and their own Automated Valuation Model (AVM). The tools in MBS Highway can be the crucial differentiator in turning prospects into buyers who have won their dream home – and turning originators into advisors their clients trust for a lifetime.

We love celebrating women and supporting the successes of all people. It is especially gratifying when we can celebrate two of our own. Laura Brandao and Laura Kay Sheely have in recent weeks each launched her new book to widespread acclaim. If you have not already done so, please grab a copy of each woman’s book. We asked the authors to tell us a bit about their experience. Read what each had to say and order your book directly from Amazon.

SAY YES EVERYDAY!Discovering Your Superpower. Everyone has a superpower, yet very few know what it is, and even fewer still use it. In this book, Laura Brandao explores how she found her superpower and how you can find yours too. Your superpower is uniquely yours. Give yourself permission to share it as far and wide as you can, and experience the joy and energy that comes with that sharing. Laura shares her story and the stories of others who have made the leap and now live fulfilled lives where they make a difference EVERYDAY!

I’ve contributed to a couple other books, writing a chapter sharing expertise, printed alongside individual chapters collected from others, but this was my first solo project as an author. As much as I have learned to enjoy public speaking in recent years, and the opportunity to connect to live audiences in a shared experience, releasing my book into the world, to readers I cannot see, was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I have never felt quite so vulnerable, and exposed.

When I received the first couple reviews, and read how my words affected them positively, and how my philosophy on life resonated with each of them differently, I was blown away. The stories I share in my book are so personal and meaningful to me, and I will always remember how I felt when I learned that I was able to empower other women in their lives, simply by sharing what I have learned in mine. ~ Laura Brandao



Your week-by-week journey to extraordinary sales growth.

What are you doing with your 52? Truly successful people know how to maximize their efforts to grow their business. Do you answer the question, “How is this week going to move your business to the next level?” with a resounding yes? The 52 Mindset is an innovative business strategy to guide you on a week-by-week journey of growth.  In this, her first book, Laura Kay, has gathered fundamental strategies small business owners and sales consultants need to master to compete in a modern, fast-paced sales community.

Writing The 52 Mindset was a process of setting a big goal and then working to achieve it one week at a time. I was motivated to write it because I knew there were people like me who needed the ideas and organization to take their networking to a whole new level. By reading and engaging in The 52 Mindset, you will be constantly buiding your audience, changing the way you think about connecting with people,  and you can find extraordinary growth within yourself week by week.  ~ Laura Kay Sheely

For additional information or questions about the Vision Summit, please contact us at

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