Minutes

Minutes from the last four networking meetings will be updated here each week.
April 30, 2018

Attendees:

Olivia Crowley from UplinkSpyder

Sandi Patton from A&M Auto Body

Dion Coxe from Ken Vendley Agency

Lori Reed – Professional Organizer

Jeff Brown from Contractors Electric

Stifel

Jessica Johnston from Re/Max Integrity

Byron Myles from Westside Stamp & Printing Shop

 

Check-ins & Announcements:

  • As the weather gets better, if you want to wash your car, be sure to use soft cloths and eco friendly products. A lot of dish soaps can actually scratch your paint job
  • The Ken Vendley agency is more than just a Farmer’s Insurance Agency. They work independently to ensure you get the custom care you need.
  • Lori Reed is offering a special spring-cleaning deal! Contact her for more details.
  • Extension cords are super useful, but very prone to electrical accidents. Check for bare copper, as this can be a huge hazard. Be sure to use heavier gages for heavier objects to avoid surges!

 

This Week’s Speaker:

Byron Myles from Westside Stamp & Printing

 

Byron has lived in Oregon since 1980. Originally from California, he moved up from the golden state to play baseball in college. He attended Oregon Institute of Technology, partially due to the beautiful landscape that he would be able to enjoy post-practice. He’s an avid hunter and fisher.

Nowadays Byron still enjoys playing baseball and now teaches his triplets about the game and other sports. He’s a big family man and his family is busy. You can catch Byron at soccer, baseball and swimming practice, all on the same day.

In his professional life, Byron is both a business owner and operator. Westside Stamp is situated in what Byron calls the “beautiful industrial area of West Eugene”. This stamp and printing company has been in business for 30 years. Byron got his start as a worker and was eventually offered ownership. Westside Stamp offers competitive pricing while offering the special attention that only local businesses can.

Regardless of how far into the information age our society delves, there is more paper in production today than 10 years ago. Many professionals rely on paper for their day-to-day tasks: construction officials, architects, notaries, you name it. When working through a pile of paperwork, a lot of the writing can become monotonous. That’s where Byron and Westside Stamp come into play. Westside Stamp specializes in custom stamps. Byron can help any professional cut down their work time by stamping rather than writing. No matter what the paper or size of stamp, Westside Stamp and Printing has you covered.

All stamps are not created equally and the creation of a stamp is a detailed process. First, a design is sent over on a computer, preferably in a PDF format. This is then scanned and turned into a negative on a thin sheet of plastic. This negative allows for the stamp to be chemically burned onto a plate, which is then in turn pressed into a piece of rubber to create the final stamp. Byron sells numerous stamp machines, all shipped to the shop to be put together with any custom stamp work.

There are various stamp types available, and no two stamps are equal. If a customer needs to stamp glossy paper, such as photographs, they will want to purchase alcohol based stamp ink. This creates a permanent stamp. If it is non-coated paper that needs a stamp, there are still custom stamp types. All stamps are available as hand stamps, self-inking stamps, or pre-inked stamps.

Westside Stamp is the trusted resource for stamps for much of the local government, creating custom stamps for the City of Eugene, Lane County government as well as the local jail. Whether your business is a single staff member or a whole organization, Westside Stamp will deliver quality stamps for all of your needs.

 

Thank you for the great presentation Byron! Next week’s speaker is Wendy Gregory.

April 23, 2018

Attendees:

Jeff Brown, Contractor’s Electric (Speaker)

Stifel

Peggy Whalen, Eugene Science Center

Jeff Turner, Bullseye Carpet Cleaning

Dion Coxe, Ken Vendley Agency Farmer’s Insurance

Charline Clark, Loan Depot

Lauren Barkmann, Therapeutic Associates at Gateway

Byron Miles, West Side Stamp and Printing

Olivia Crowley, UplinkSpyder

 

Check-ins and Announcements:

  • Jeff Turner: Did you know that carpet installation in Oregon is about $1000 more expensive than the national average? Clean your carpets to keep them from deteriorating!
  • Dion Coxe: Make sure you have recreational vehicle insurance. A great way to keep up to date is to schedule at least an annual check-in with your insurance provider, just in case there is a vehicle or purchase you miss.
  • Olivia Crowley: UplinkSpyder does video editing and animation! It’s a great way to spruce up your online presence and provide engagement for your clients and potential clients
  • Byron Miles: We do custom stamps! Whatever size, image, or text you need, we can make it.
  • Jeff Brown: Security lighting is big right now!
  • Peggy Whalen: Eugene Science Center now has a live Augmented Reality sand box! This allows you to play with sand and see a terrain map update in real time. Super fun.
    • ESC was also awarded a challenge grant, but they have to match it. Consider donating so they can start production on their new planetarium.

This week’s speaker:

Charline Clark from Loan Depot

 

Charline has been in the banking business for nearly 40 years. In 1979 she started as a teller and then soon became a secretary. During this time, she mainly focused on automobile finances. After learning the front end of banking, she realized she wanted to get into mortgage and began the process of becoming a loan processor.

A loan processor mainly oversees the clearance of loans. Charline served as a loan processor for 15 years before she moved to Oregon to pursue other mortgage related positions. In 1998 she became a loan consultant and has had the title ever since. She loves working in the mortgage department!

Working in mortgage has allowed Charline to connect with clients in ways that are impossible in other banking positions. To her, a client is more than a commission: you are helping someone handle the biggest financial decision of their life! She firmly believes that if you do not love working with clients and overseeing a loan to the end, you are not in the business for the right reasons.

Back in the 80’s when Charline was just starting out, mortgage rates were skyrocketing. At the time of her first house purchase, she felt lucky to find rates lower than 12%. However, today’s rates generally range in the 4-5% bracket. When considering rates, it is important to recognize the long-term change as well as short-term trends.

In the mortgage industry, your customers are your referrals, which means that you have to treat them well! There could be up to 20 people involved in coordinating a real estate sale and loan closure. As a loan consultant, Charline is one of the three most active roles in this process, along with the buyer and seller’s real estate agents. This allows her to really get to know the client.

When working towards a loan closure, loan consultants want to know the client’s goals, outside of what specifically the loan is for. Some questions that Charline likes to ask her clients are:

  • What is your rent or mortgage payment like right now? What are you used to paying?
  • How long do you plan to live in this house?
  • Will there be a lifestyle change if homeownership occurs?

This last question might be the most vital in considering what house a potential buyer might sign for. If a dream house is out of their means, going for the loan anyways might mean giving up annual trips or changing other leisure expenses throughout the year. Charline works to ensure that a home does not cost you your lifestyle.

When buying a home, it is absolutely necessary to have options. A buyer wants to feel secure in their purchase –not like they suddenly have a burden on their shoulders. With a real estate purchase, there are often hidden fees that are not in the estimated monthly cost. Insurance rates go up as the square footage of a residence increases and one may find themselves in a high tax bracket depending on their new location. Charline keeps her quotes high to ensure that clients aren’t surprised at the extra fees down the road. As Charline puts it, it’s always better to enjoy life while enjoying your house.

To keep her clients happy throughout the loan process, Charline makes weekly phone calls. This ensures that everyone is on the same page with updates, even if there aren’t any. It also keeps it personal. A person’s life isn’t their financial situation and Charline often remembers the details rather than the credit score of her clients. It is through her weekly phone calls and in person meetings that she gets to know who’s child is about to graduate, or how someone’s vacation went. This is why she has been in the mortgage business for so many years.

Charline Clark worked with Wells Fargo for 12 years and switched to Loan Depot –a company that she absolutely loves. Loan Depot offers great veteran’s programs. Luckily, her branch is located in Oregon, which is one of three states that offers lower rate for veterans in need of loans. They also offer only one personal loan, which keeps rates simple –it is always between 6-16% and is a simple interest and fixed rate loan. Their personal loan ranges from $5,000-$35,000 and covers everything besides student loan repayment. In addition to great personal loans, Loan Depot offers over 200 different loan types, including from doctor’s loans, reverse mortgages, construction loans, and many more.

If there are so many loan options and personal consultants, how does one pay for the services that Loan Depot provides? Charline explained that their fees are also flat rate: there is a $795 processing fee and a $400 underwriting fee. That’s it! Loan Depot has a guarantee that if a client ever needs additional services or refinancing, they will never pay lender fees again.

An important thing to keep note of when researching loan options is the annual percentage rate. This is the actual cost of the loan to the customer. If this percentage is vastly different the rate given to the client, which means the loan-consulting firm is taking a larger cut of the profit. Getting a cost estimate before one signs can reduce fees over time. Another great way of keeping rates down is to ensure that prospective homebuyers have a real estate agent. A real estate agent can fight for a great rate and give financial advice – something that a loan consultant isn’t allowed to do for clients.

Loan Depot is the nation’s second largest non-bank lender, second only to Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans allows clients to use an app to get their rates as well as do all of their loan servicing online. However, there is no option for Quicken Loans customers to talk face-to-face with their loan consultant. Loan Depot prides itself on customer relations, says Charline. They offer electronic signing as well as in person meetings. At the end of the day, Loan Depot wants to get to know it’s clients and take care of them as much as possible.

 

Thank you for the great presentation Charline! Next week’s presenter is Byron Miles from West Side Stamp and Printing.

April 16, 2018

Attendees:

Jeff Brown, Contractor’s Electric (Speaker)

Tina Nault, Cascade Title Co.

Wendy Gregory

Stifel

Peggy Whalen, Eugene Science Center

Jessica Johnston, Re/Max

Dion Coxe, Ken Vendley Agency Farmer’s Insurance

Charline Clark, Loan Depot

Lauren Barkmann, Therapeutic Associates at Gateway

Sandi Patton, A&M Auto Body

Byron Miles, West Side Stamp and Printing

Olivia Crowley, UplinkSpyder

 

Check-ins and Announcements:

  • Fitness classes every week at Therapeutic Associates! Stop by on Wednesdays at 7:45pm for a free session!
  • New LBRP website is launching this week!
  • Educational minute: Getting to know people is essential to good networking, but often glanced over is the task of telling your own story. Explaining why your story is important will add value to interactions you have with new connections.

This week’s speaker:

Jeff Brown from Contractor’s Electric

Jeff Brown knows Eugene: he’s lived in the area since he was a kid, going to local schools and eventually graduating from Lane Community College. He also knows electricity and has been working in the field for decades. He has two children and has been married for 19 years.

In 2010 Jeff partnered with Steven Leuck to create their own design and build firm, now known as Contractor’s Electric. Contractor’s Electric is unlike other electrician companies because they don’t outsource any steps of the wiring or design process. Their business plan has allowed them to provide quality and efficient service to their clients, often times at a lower cost than competitors.

Some of the larger projects that Jeff and Contractor’s Electric have worked on in the past few years range from high-rise apartments and multiplex spaces to university dormitories. No matter what level of work a company needs, Contractor’s Electric is available to work on maintenance, repair, or custom solutions for any project.

At this point Jeff turned to various lighting equipment he brought for his presentation. Over the last decade, the US has phased out the production of incandescent light bulbs. They are still available for sale, but are often manufactured in countries with looser regulations. As a result, these bulbs burn out faster nowadays than ever before. The solution? Replace your bulbs with LEDs. LED bulbs are brighter and much more energy efficient. Often times they will not need to be replaced for 7 or so years, saving you time and money.

Sockets are now sold as tamper proof objects. No longer will you have to worry about someone sticking a knife or other dangerous object into your sockets. They also come with USB hook ups and night light capabilities, allowing you to get fuller use out of your sockets than ever before.

Are you familiar with GFIs? Did you know that you have to reset your GFIs every 30 days? If not, there are now GFIs available that are self-testing. This new line of GFIs also allows reset from the breaker rather than the socket itself. If a fuse blows behind a desk, you do not need to rearrange the furniture to solve the problem.

Motion detectors have gotten a lot smarter over the years. They now take advantage of photo lens to detect light and sound, keeping this option efficient and less bothersome than old motion detectors.

Do you have single bulb fixtures in your house? There are now LED covers available to make these sockets appear to be entire fixtures rather than a single bulb jutting out from the ceiling. Jeff also brought 7-hour emergency lights. These screw into any socket and have a battery pack inside, allowing your family to enjoy 7 hours of light after a power outage.

There are also camera lights that fit into regular can lights. These are a great option for entryways, and offer two way communication as well as updates available through an app on your cellphone.

Still not convinced to get rid of your incandescent bulbs? If you have can lights, there are many fun options to replace old tired bulbs. You can buy an LED that comes with the full fixture so you never have to bother with fitting your hand into the can again. These bulbs also come with a color programmable option. You can choose the color the LED emits from your phone so your room is always the right mood for the scene.

If you need more flair than just a light bulb can offer, there are also can light speakers! Currently available for a 6” can light, these are Bluetooth speakers that live behind the bulb and can be used for surround sound, or just a speaker above your shower. These fixtures also offer 7 hours of battery life after the lights are turned off to keep your music or movie playing even in the dark. Like all of the bulbs mentioned in the presentation, these are retrofit, ensuring that no matter what electrical setup your home has, there are options for upgrades.

Staying efficient in your home is essential, however Contractor’s Electric offers green upgrades for office and industrial setups as well. Fluorescent tubing is not as cost effective or as easy to replace as LEDs, and now can be replaced in all drop-in fixtures. These LEDs come in a flat panel and are fitted with directional arrays to diffuse the directional light that is standard with LEDs.

In addition to providing top tech solutions for lighting, Contractor’s Electric also offers data and communication wiring, keeping your business and home up to date in all electrical needs.

 

Thank you for the great presentation Jeff!

 

Next week’s presenter: Charline Clark from Loan Depot

April 9, 2018

Attendees:

Bulls Eye

Loan Depot – New Member: Charline Clark!

  • Getting new business cards right now with the new location on them. Their office is officially open!
  • Loan Depot is not a bank: 2nd largest non-bank lender in the country

Curb to Roof

Contractor’s Electric

Eugene Science Center

Stifel

Lori Reed – Your official assistant!

Cascade Title Co.

West Side Stamp

Jessica Johnston

UplinkSpyder

Therapeutic Associates at Gateway

A&M Auto Body

 

Check ins / Announcements:

  • Last week of Laser Shows at Eugene Science Center! Stop in and see them for the last time until December
  • FB CEO is addressing congress this week. Might affect your stocks. Media pays for itself by selling your information.
    • Vistaprint also does this! Work with a local print shop to keep your information safe.
  • Want to talk more about speakers. The option for more 1 on 1 speaking is an avenue many members are interested in pursuing.

This Week’s Speaker

Jessica Johnston with Re/Max Integrity

Jessica Johnston is an expert in her field; she’s worked on selling real estate in Oregon for 22 years and 15 of those have been in Eugene with Re/Max. In her job, she gets to work with all levels of the real estate purchase process. About half of her clients are buyers, the other half are sellers. This is pretty unique for a lot of real estate agents, and ensures that no matter what side of the table you’re on, Jessica will be there with years of experience to back up your choice.

When buying or selling a home, there is often a lot of emotional energy involved. With her dedication to the customer’s needs and wants, Jessica is able to support you emotionally through an exciting moment in your life. She has no preference on which type of client she likes to work with.

Great referrals come from great service. Jessica finds that buyers approach her from satisfied buyers she’s worked with in the past. Open houses are a great tool that Jessica uses to get new seller referrals. When working with buyers and sellers, Jessica is open to working with all price ranges. However, she loves working with first time homebuyers the most. Jessica strives to ensure that a first time homebuyer has a very positive experience. When she finds herself working with a 3rd or 4th time homebuyer that was unsatisfied with their first experience, she hopes to change their perspective on the buying and selling processes. Real estate can be fun! Jessica Johnston is out to prove it.

One of the main tips that Jessica gives is getting pre-approved before buying or selling a home. This will greatly expedite the process on both ends. She starts low on the preapproval scale and then moves up, ensuring that a client’s sweet spot is met without any disappointment.

Jessica offers more than just great sales support. She will guide you through the home inspection process, working to get repairs completed, loans set up, and escrow finalized. She has great ties in the escrow sector, often referring clients to Cascade Title Co., where our own Tina Nault works.

What exactly goes into selling a home? A lot of people think that it’s just putting a sign in the lawn and listing a house online. Jessica Johnston offers this and a lot more. Her process often begins months before a house is listed on the market.

In her line of work, Jessica has found great value in staging a house before it hits the market. She works with a professional stager, who visits the home and gets it picture perfect. It then, is indeed photographed by professional photographers. The staging process may sound expensive, but Jessica strives to keep costs low by using items that the client already owns, just rearranging them to photograph nicely.

After the staging process comes the market analysis. Jessica keeps up on the pricing trends for each of the neighborhoods she serves, pointing purchasing clients to the best neighborhoods for their needs, whether it be school systems, access to transportation, or overall affordability. After a thorough examination of the market, Jessica prints color flyers, making use of the professional photos, and sends out a listing to an extensive array of marketing pathways.

Jessica markets her listings to the top 200 real estate agents in Eugene. There are currently over 1200 real estate agents listed in Eugene, but many of these are hobbyists or part-timers. It’s essential when looking for a real estate agent that you look for experience. Hiring your cousin may end up costing you more time than it saves you money. Working with Jessica ensures that you are connected with the most savvy and experienced agents in town.

Jessica Johnston is a firm believer in print ads. Whenever possible, she takes out ads in the Register Guard for her listings. She also conducts broker tours one or two weeks after these listings become live.

Having an ongoing point of contact in the home buying and selling process saves a lot of headaches on the client side. Jessica works with a small team and is often the sole point of contact for her clients. This keeps the process organized by minimizing the amount of hands on a project. It also allows her to have a more personal connection to each of her clients. She wants to be there with you through the whole process, and attends about 95% of the closings.

At this point Jessica took questions from the group. A lot of the conversation surrounded staging and the whole process. How important is staging? Jessica finds it to be a vital part of the selling process. She will work on staging and prepping a house before listing, as this keeps things quiet on the market and ensures that the price stays as high as possible and the house is on the market for a short amount of time. Often, the staging only consists of a 1-2 hour consultation. It may be as quick as shifting a painting or moving a sofa.

How is the market doing? Are prices still going up? Jessica thinks we might be close to a peak! However, some houses that she worked with two years ago have seen nearly a $100,000 jump in value during this bubble. There is a bit of a housing scarcity, but there are still a lot of listings. She is sure that up and coming agents are having a hard time navigating this market, it’s a fast paced environment in real estate today.

 

Closing statements:

  • A suggestion from Sandi Patton: try to get a company that would create leads for another member! This can be just as helpful as a one-off direct lead.
  • Tina discusses Jessica’s amazing value as an agent. A lot of agents do not help as much as Jessica throughout the process. She often personally pays for extra services, including home warranties and many other overlooked steps.
  • Officer recaps for the records. Currently our officers are as follows:
    • President: Dion Coxe from Ken Vendley Agency
    • Secretary: Olivia Crowley from UplinkSpyder
    • Treasurer: Jeff Brown from Contractor’s Electric

 

 

Thank you for the great presentation Jessica! Next week’s presenter is Jeff Brown from Contractor’s Electric.

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