The 2016 Five Star Conference was referred to as the “best conference yet” by attendees and presenters alike. e Conference was held September 11-13, and featured multiple Labs, networking opportunities, and special events.

FORCE Events

The FORCE Rally, hosted by Ruben Pena, was an in-depth discussion on agent growth, buying and selling notes, valuation concepts and techniques, and the future of the REO market.

A panel consisting of Sue Dolquist, Director of Brokerage Operations, Investability; Glen Mather, CEO, Nuview IRA; Joakim Mortensen, Managing Director, Colony American Finance; Jeff Pintar, President and Founder, Pintar Investments; Greg Rand, CEO, OwnAmerica; and D’Arcy Young, President, Revest Capital Partners were the rst to take the stage after opening remarks, and discussed details of investment options, oversight, and barriers in the single-family rental (SFR) market.

The SFR marketplace was thoroughly explained in a presentation by Dennis Cisterna, CRO, Investability, followed by a discussion of agent growth, what it means, and how to achieve it, by a panel including Tracey Bitonti, Irongate Realtors, Zachary Beschorner, Fusion Realtors, Nancy Braun, Showcase Realty, and Joyce Essex, Coldwell Banker, Essex-Harvey Group.

Eddie Speed, Founder of NoteSchool discussed the ins and outs of buying and selling notes, followed by instruction on dealing with government and private sector assets led by Amy Sanchez, CEO, Precedent, and a detailed account of valuation in real estate by Steve Liang co- founder of MLS DealFinder.

Damien Chiodo, President, Keylink Asset Management, Noel Christopher, Director of Business Development, Renters Warehouse, Linda Ding, Education Program Strategist, Laserfiche, and Lisa Shepherd, Executive Director, Assero 24 compiled a panel to answer questions concerning the best practices of today’s agents, and how to diversify and adjust to future needs in real estate.

Rick Sharga, Chief Marketing Officer, Ten-X, wrapped up the presentation with his expert take on where the real estate market is headed in the near and distant future.

FORCE members had exclusive access to dozens of servicers, asset managers, and property managers in an hour of communication and networking at the FORCE Rally Power Hour. Then, they had another opportunity to network with the industry’s leaders in the private FORCE Rally After Party, which was an “IceBreaker” themed get-together with music and dancing, giving FORCE members the chance to connect in a relaxed and low pressure environment.

Lab Knowledge

FORCE members also took an interest in the REO Lab, which was standing room only, and consisted of presentations on data analytics, digital products and marketing, a Fannie Mae update, and better branding tips for agents to be noticed by servicers, asset managers, and property managers.

The Property Management Lab was another valuable opportunity for FORCE members, as they ex- plored the differences in zombie and vacant homes, property preservation’s changing focus to the larger community, and an update on the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Foreclosure Lab offered FORCE members a chance to take a closer look at the typical challenges of examination from regulatory agencies, servicers, and investors, and how to battle them. The Lab also offered details of the regulation and compliance expectations of today’s vendors, and how agents can become more attractive to servicers.

Special Conference Events

The Single-Family Rental (SFR) Certification, hosted by Greg Rand, CEO, OwnAmerica pre- sented an in-depth look at the SFR market, including common issues, such as how to design a compelling presentation of your local market and the correct way to evaluate your return on investment with SFRs. He also detailed less common hurdles such as building your own investment portfolio.

The Military Heroes Keys for Life event was a high point of the Conference, where five American soldiers and their families received the keys to their new mortgage-free home from Five Star, in partnership with Operation Homefront. The event commenced with a perfor- mance by Trace Adkins, country music legend. When speaking about the military heroes honored, he said, “People ask me why I do so much stuff for the military, and I say, ‘Don’t pat me on the back too hard. It’s really a selfish endeavor. If you have the opportunity to associate with these heroic men and women, you should do that. Because maybe some of it will rub off on you.”

Women in Housing was the final event of the conference, and showcased some of the trailblaz-
ing females in our industry. Dana Dillard, Chief Customer Officer and EVP, Nationstar Mortgage; Charmaine Brown, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Fannie Mae; and Amy Bonitatibus, Chief Communications Officer of Mortgage Banking and Credit Card Business, JPMorgan Chase shared the greatest lessons they have learned, and the importance of integrity, perseverance, and strength in the business world. The final keynote was presented by Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2001-2009), and was an unforgettable account of her experiences with some of the world’s strongest and most influential women.

The 2016 Five Star Conference was a jam packed three days of all things housing, and even a little fun, mixed with inspiration for new endeavors, and the knowledge to make them successful.