On Friday, September 28, the Norris Group proudly presented its 11th annual award-winning black-tie event, I Survived Real Estate. An incredible lineup of industry experts joined Bruce Norris to discuss perplexing industry trends, head-scratching legislation, tech disruption, and opportunities emerging for real estate professionals. All proceeds from the event benefitted Make A Wish and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This event was not possible without the generous help of the following platinum partners: the San Diego Creative Real Estate Investors Association, InvestClub, Inland Empire Real Estate Investment Club, ThinkRealty, Wilson Investment Properties, Coach Fullerton, First Lending Solutions, PropertyRadar, the Apartment Owners Association, MVT Productions, and Realty411. Visit www.isurvivedrealestate.com for event information, and see Amazon Prime or YouTube for past events.
This week is Part 1 of the radio show covering I Survived Real Estate 2018. Aaron opened by welcoming everyone to the 11th annual I Survived Real Estate. He thanked everyone who helped with the event, including MVT Pro and White House Catering, who had been there for 11 years to make it run as smoothly as possible. He also thanked The Norris Group team: Robyn, Vickie, Craig, Holly, Donna, Joey, Don, Mike, and Rich for helping make all 400 attendees as happy as possible.
Aaron next went on to discuss how I Survived Real Estate brings friends together from all over the state and experts from all over the United States to talk about real estate and raise money for charity. Cancer was their choice of a cause since they started 11 years ago. He asked anyone who had been affected by cancer or knew someone effected by it to stand
With everyone’s help, they crossed the $80,000 mark for Make A Wish and St. Jude. This brought the 11-year total to $860 grand. This year’s event sold out before The Norris Group even officially launched the event thanks to all the sponsors’ support. This had never happened before, and Aaron thanked everyone for making this a possibility. He hoped that in a couple years to hit the $1 million mark and for
everyone there to be a part of it.
The Norris Group pays 100% for the event, so 100% of the donations, sponsorships, and charity all go to donation. When he says $860 grand, it is really $860 grand. But, there is a little pressure. Aaron hoped people would be able to visit the sponsor tables. He told everyone if they went to www.isurvivedrealestate.com and hit the video link, there would be links to donate. It is 100% tax-deductible and does not go through the Norris Group.
Aaron talked about how they would see all the sponsors throughout the night, and they have really deep professional voice that says their name professionally. However, Aaron called out a few from InvestClub: Yvonne Sucich, Lee Akin, and Bailey Barness. They were recognized for competing in a little competition and raising over $2,000. The entire InvestClub team raised over $7,000.
I Survived Real Estate was to raise money for two awesome charities who support kids with life-threatening conditions. Aaron first welcomed Odette Gutierrez with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They first showed a video that focused on a little girl named Gracie. For her fifth birthday, she had a pool party. At this party, she came down with a fever that spiked to 102. When her parents took her to the local ER, they were told her platelets were a little low but it was nothing extreme. They were originally told she had mono, but they wanted to take her to St. Jude to be certain. That afternoon, the doctor called to tell Gracie’s parents that less than 1% of the cells in the flow came back abnormal. They had to do a test on the bone marrow to see whether or not it was leukemia. They took Gracie back and had the bone marrow test done, and the doctor confirmed it was their worst nightmare. She did have leukemia, and the first question her parents asked was what to do about it. The people at St. Jude told her they were not only going to treat it, they were going to cure it.
St. Jude put a team together. Michelle was the nurse practitioner, Corey was the nurse, and Dr. Jay Hall was the physician. They knew right then they were in the best place they could be. Gracie has grown to love the people at St. Jude, and she is happy about coming. St. Jude is never about being sad, and it is amazing they exist. They do 120 weeks of chemo therapy, then 2 ½ years of treatment. They will then do a bone marrow test again to make sure every bit of leukemia is gone. There is no telling how much this would normally cost, but every bit is covered by St. Jude. Gracie’s mom hopes she grows up and does something to change the world. She wants her to come back and let St. Jude have a 100% success rate, not 94%. She wanted her to be the reason it changes and give other people a reason to look forward to coming to St. Jude and be told any type of cancer is curable. Gracie’s mom thanked everyone who donated to St. Jude. Without their donations, there would not be a Gracie.
Odette came up to thank everyone for supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As Grace said, everyone hopes their will come a day when the survival rate for pediatric cancer hits 100%. Thankfully, St. Jude is working to do this. Earlier in the year, they made a $100 million investment to St. Jude Global, an initiative to bring pediatric survival rates in countries with limited resources. It does not matter where a child lives; this should not determine if they live. St. Jude continues to be a leader in the fight against pediatric cancer. Only the day before, St. Jude made an announcement of a 5-year collaboration with the World Health Organization aimed at transforming cancer care worldwide to cure 60% of children with six of the most common types of cancer by 2030.
St. Jude is able to dream big and realize these things because of supporters like those at I Survived Real Estate. No family at St. Jude ever receives a bill, not for their treatment, travel, housing, or food. All the family has to worry about is helping their child live.
The next person to speak was Stephanie McCormick, CEO of Make A Wish Orange County and Inland Empire. Before she spoke, they showed a video where different people discussed the organization’s goals. James Fahner said a child undergoing treatment for a life-threatening medical condition has so much of normal childhood taken away from them. This includes their decision-making, abilities, and normal experiences with playmates, friends, and siblings. It is so long and arduous and robs so many childhood experiences from them and their family.
Kendall Brown talked about how you will run into a family that is out of control with their life. They have circumstances imposed on them that they never would have signed up for or dreamed of being in that position. James said there are medications and treatments they can provide, yet there are pieces missing from that which can only be filled by the impact of a wish experience.
The beauty of Make A Wish is that it is incredibly simple. It is that intangible object you cannot write a prescription for or order from the pharmacy. Philip Thrush talked about how you will see a child go on their wish; and when they come back with their family you see a totally different child. Debra Regier said you see in their faces this idea of thinking outside the current moment in time. Anup Patel talked about how it is an unsaid power that these experiences can give these kids. These are kids who are living longer and better and having more fun in their life. It all started with their wish. Kendall said his favorite wish is the next one, then the one after that, and the next ten, then the next 100. As with life, a wish has less to do with what has been and more to do with what is coming.
Stephanie McCormick thanked everyone at the event for their continued participation in I Survived Real Estate. She also shared how she did a little math, and it was their sixth year being a co-recipient with their incredible partner at St. Jude. During that time, they have received nearly $325,000 from the donors. That represents nearly 70 of the incredible wishes they saw that evening. Stephanie was thrilled to be sharing the stage with St. Jude because a lot of the children who start there end with Make A Wish. It is an incredible partnership and collaborative they have together. Last year their chapter in the Orange County and Inland Empire area granted a record 341 wishes. That is the incredible news. However, the more challenging news is that the children who are eligible for a wish is around 700. They are a little over halfway there and will keep going. Stephanie told Aaron she cannot wait until they hit the $1 million mark for this purpose. Stephanie thanked everyone on behalf of Make A Wish and all the Wish kids and families. There is absolutely nothing more powerful than the smile of a Wish child. It is life-transformational.
Stephanie had just been interviewed on the radio show that week along with one of the Wish kids, Josiah Moore. He is still with us and thriving. People who work in the non-profit industry don’t always do it because it is the most glorious job out there. Some of the things they have to deal with and the emotions is very difficult. Aaron encouraged everyone to listen to the radio show, where Aaron got to talk with him and his parents about what it means to see their kid come back to life and enjoy something they never thought was possible. Josiah bragged non-stop about how he was still texting some of the players he met in Northern California.
Aaron next handed over the reins to someone who had been in the industry for 35 years. Bruce Norris has been an investor, builder, and hard money lender. He hosts the radio show and takes great joy in charts, yellow lining, and really boring legislation. Bruce said ten years ago he was speaking at an event. When he had just stepped down from the podium, a gentleman approached him who was the vice president of a billion-dollar company. He told Bruce he had a lot of respect for him, but he also felt really sorry for him. Bruce asked him why; and he said has good as his company is, he did not think he would have any chance to survive with the number of big companies out there. Bruce asked him to take down his phone number and call him in five years. He guaranteed him he would pick it up. That was ten years ago; and the company that was not supposed to have survived has raised over $850,000 for charity. They were only able to accomplish this because of everyone who was sitting in the audience, and they were “not even supposed to be there either.”
About 1:00 the previous afternoon, Bruce went over his questions. As much as he was familiar with everything, he decided to take a break. He had a property he had just done work on in Riverside that he was going to sell. He thought about four large companies Aaron had mentioned who are buyers. He got online and approached OfferPad, Zillow, OpenDoor, and Knock for an offer. Knock and Zillow responded they were not available in the area yet. OpenDoor said they were currently not buying homes in gated communities. With OfferPad, Bruce completed the request, and they said they would like to get pictures. When he said he had none, they told him they could not make an offer. Bruce wasn’t saying they should improve their models; but he had a feeling if you are really good at what you do, you will be here five years from now too.
Bruce brought up Fixer Jay to the stage, this year’s winner of the Rohnny Award. This award was created in honor of Jim Rohn, a man who changed Bruce’s life in three hours in 1981. He drove to a seminar he did not want to go to, sat at the very front table, which he hated, and was told it was a three-hour long deal. He did not think he would make it. Ten minutes in, he wrote his first note on top of the page. This is one of many notes he still has today in a binder.
The Rohnny Award was created for people who have had an amazing impact on other people’s lives. Today, Fixer Jay was added to that list of distinguished people. This list of people is very different, but they have two things in common. They positively affected the people they taught, and they had a great reputation. Jay “Fixer Jay” Decima is a seasoned real estate investor with nearly 50 years of experience. Since the early 70s, he has specialized in fixing up ugly homes and small apartment buildings. Today, he spends the majority of his time managing and overseeing his investment houses and training others who wish to pursue the lucrative profession. They put together a video that showed people whose lives he impacted.
John Schaub said when he thinks of Jay, he thinks of three words: smart, funny, and a gifted teacher and writer. His writings and teachings are easy to understand and always entertaining. As his students testified, they really work. Diane Machado said through his books, lectures, and seminars, he shows the way to buy ugly properties, or fixer-uppers, rent them, and turn them into cashflow and profit. Tony Vatsula said he has an awesome model he uses that is very unique and not a lot of people are using. He will give you all the data you need to get that mastered. Dan Shea said one time after Jay helped him buy 85 properties, he thought he was a hot real estate investor. One day during on his their telephone mentoring calls when he had a problem, Jay told him he really just had his name on 85 deeds. Dan asked him what he meant, and Jay said you have to manage them now. If you get into management, this is where you will make the big money over the years.
David Granzella told him how inspirational he was in how to run a business and treat people fairly. Steve Love first met Jay back in the mid-90s. He was so impressed with him, he drove ten hours to Redding, California to take his great bootcamp on buying houses. Paw Lim told Jay how he was full of knowledge and wisdom, and with his white hair and gold teeth, he is handsome. Most importantly, he is a genuine, real McCoy. Robert Taylor said he was such an inspiration and help to so many people, both his friends and himself, with his books and classes. Jay Parker said he appreciated his books and wisdom. David Granzella and NorcalREIA all thanked him for the decades and help he had given them. Mike Cantu said he is one of the few people he will always refer students to and the real deal if there ever was one. Mike Butler told his story about how Jay invited him to speak on his cruise, where he met Dan and Victoria Shea. Jay told him how he liked his writing style back in the day and style, and he called Mike’s senior editor to convince them to let Mike write a book as an unpublished author. Diane said she had known Jay for 20 years. In that time, he has been her friend and mentor. She could not say enough about his professionalism and extensive knowledge of the real estate investor market. Laurel Sagan said you will be a better real estate investor and person for working with him. Tony said he has a way of really making you believe you can believe in yourself and do this for yourself and get it off the ground.
Michael Morrongiello told him how much he loved learning from him over the years and really enjoyed all his knowledge, discussion, and information. More importantly, he enjoyed his wisdom and thanked him for sharing it with everyone. Robert thanked him for his input into both his life and his friends’ lives. He thanked him for helping everyone think about real estate in a different way. Dan Shea told him how he always said to make this business a business and not a hobby. David Granzella ended by saying he was so grateful for the inspiration, leadership, and the integrity with which he taught him to run a business.
The Norris Group would like to thank its Gold Sponsors for supporting I Survived Real Estate: Coldwell Banker Town and Country, Guaranteed Rate and Nathan Chabolla, In A Day Development, Inland Valley Association of Realtors, Jason Thorman with Coldwell Banker, Jennifer Buys Houses, Keystone CPA, LA South REIA, Las Brisas Escrow, Michael Ryan & Associates, New Western, NorcalREIA, NSDREI, Orange County Real Estate Investors, the Outspoken Investor, Pacific Premier Bank, Pasadena FIBI, Pilot Limousine, RealWealth Network, Rick and LeeAnne Rossiter, SJREI, Spinnaker Loans, South OC REIA, Tri-Counties Association of Realtors, uDirect IRA Services, White House Catering. See www.isurvivedrealestate.com for event information.