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And Then, There Were Ten
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The Grand Prize, Almost Realized

On the morning of January 1st, 2005, the Deputy Executive Director of the Apprentice Foundation, Dr. Martin Oliver, began again. No small effort lay ahead, mind you, merely the beginning of “Season II”, a grueling eight-month process of careful analysis and meticulous scrutiny – all culminating in the selection of ten rookie agents believed to possess the brightest future in real estate.

After winnowing candidates for months, pouring over thousands upon thousands of applications, reading hundreds of pages of essays, and calling too many references to count, one may think Dr. Oliver to be growing weary. But for this dedicated man, one of the many people behind the groundbreaking Apprentice program, there is no real toil, only a labor of love.

And now, only days away from the August 31st announcement of the second season’s Grand Prize Winner, we’d like to give you the opportunity to meet this truly diverse assortment of finalists. Regardless of the final outcome, each of the agents listed below will receive $5,000 worth of real estate training products, education, books and services.

Corlia MacDonald: South African Lab Tech Turned RE Agent

Corlia MacDonald, of Weichert Realtors®, was the first finalist to be announced. Having received her license at IFREC Real Estate School in Orlando, Florida, she was surprised to hear the phone ring and hear Dr. Oliver’s voice on the other end of the line, not mention the country.

Corlia responded to the call with excitement and gratitude, realizing the strength of her competition and consequently, the degree of her accomplishment. When asked to respond to Mrs. MacDonald’s good fortune, Jeff Perry, Branch Manager for Weichert Realtors® Hallmark Properties said, “Corlia has also successfully completed a two week Weichert training program, attacking her immediate assignments with a vengeance. She’s already holding open houses and advertising other agent’s listings, showing dedication, a hunger to be educated, and a genuine zeal to succeed.”

Born in South Africa, Corlia MacDonald’s parents worked as managers in the clothing and furniture business. At age seven, she became a gymnast, eventually becoming a part of the pre-junior national team. At age 16 she represented South Africa against Switzerland as a Senior National Team Member. After graduating from high school, Corlia began working for a chemical company before starting her own chemical laboratory company with her husband. Together they decided to move to the United States to provide a safer, better future for their children. Today Corlia is a proud mother of three daughters and lives with her husband in Kissimmee Bay, Florida. During May of 2005, Corlia enrolled in a real estate pre-license course offered through IFREC Real Estate School. She subsequently passed the exam on June 15 th and has entered the exciting world of Real Estate with Weichert Realtors®. “ Responding to news of her finalist status, Cordelia said: “It feels as if my life has been leading me to this, and I am keen to learn all there is to know on how to become a very successful Realtor®.”

Richard Daugherty: 22 Years in Retail, 5 Months in Real Estate

When Richard Daugherty heard the news that he had been selected as a finalist, he remarked, “There is very little that comes free in a real estate career, so to have The Real Estate Apprentice™ Foundation believe in the industry and give us an opportunity to move forward faster is indeed a blessing.”

In reaction to the good news, Mr. Charley Reisert, Broker-Owner of Century21® Realty Group Reisert in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where Daugherty works, said, “We pride ourselves on quality customer service, and Richard has really bought into that concept. His customers understand his strong commitment. A tremendous amount of hard work has already brought Richard success. We are truly proud of Richard; he is an excellent agent. “

Richard attended the Real Estate Certification Program (RECP) in Indianapolis, where he passed his state exam on March 29th, 2005, and has already sold an impressive seven properties, and is currently listing two more. His 22 years of experience in retail management, sales techniques, and motivational training has laid an excellent foundation for his current ambitions. As a seasoned, motivated, enthusiastic self-starter with a natural entrepreneurial spirit, Richard will very likely achieve the same degree of success he enjoyed in his prior career.

Kristi Beamon: Notre Dame Finance MBA Adds Up RE Sales Numbers

The third finalist to be announced was Kristi Beamon, licensed at Middleton Real Estate Training in Southfield, Michigan. Kristi, who started as a full-time agent with Coldwell Banker Schweitzer in August, responded to Dr. Oliver’s call with a surprising amount of composure and self-confidence. “I look at my previous educational and professional pursuits as fitting jointly with going to real estate school. It will lay the foundation for my career as a successful agent. I will be able to go further and do more than I would without these new resources. The Real Estate Apprentice™ Foundation grant program affords me information, insight and contacts that not all other agents have,” she said.

Darwin Conley, Manager of Career Development, Training and Coaching for Coldwell Banker Schweitzer, described Kristi as, “having cognitive skills with the highest scores that I have ever seen come through the company in the last two years. Her people and communication skills are also about as high as they could be. With her selection as a finalist for the Real Estate Apprentice, the tools that she is winning will be a huge complement to her existing skills. I especially like Kristi’s drive, her need for achievement and her lofty goal of achieving a first year income of $150,000. I perceive that Kristi is one of our top candidates to earn the Rookie of The Year Award within our company of about 600 Coldwell Banker Schweitzer agents.“

Kristi is a native of Michigan, obtaining her BA in Communications from Wayne State University in Detroit, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. She entered the real estate profession as a means of creating a successful business legacy to leave for future generations, while at the same time revitalizing local communities. Kristi has five years of automotive manufacturing finance and accounting experience. Her other career achievements include overseeing human resources for a national accounting firm, and managing operations and administration for a non-profit professional women’s organization. In the future, Kristi looks forward to establishing a scholarship foundation that will stress the importance of focus, planning, higher education, and social citizenship.

Kathleen “Katie” Wyatt: Civil Engineer Builds “Nut & Bolts” RE Career

Kathleen “Katie” Wyatt passed her real estate exam in February of 2005 at Career Education Systems of Wichita, Kansas, part of the RealtyU® network. In early March she immediately joined the team at New Home Marketing, also in Wichita. In a matter of only five months Katie has already racked up a phenomenal 11 listings and 11 sales.

Katie has not only sold new homes, but 50% of her transactions include existing homes. Beyond that, she actually sold a home over the Internet to a California buyer who had never actually seen the property. Jim Wood, Broker/Owner of New Home Marketing, described Katie as, “An awesome personality with very sharp technology skills! Ever since she came into this business she has been on fire. She actually has a civil engineering background, which is unusual, but I believe that The Real Estate Apprentice™ Foundation’s grant program has kindled a fire in her to succeed.” According to Wood, this opportunity has definitely given Katie a fresh perspective on the possibility that real estate may very well be her final professional frontier.

Katie, who has completed a five-year maintenance electrician apprenticeship in nuclear power, reacted to her selection by saying: “I think that The Real Estate Apprentice™ Foundation’s grant program is wonderful, and feel very blessed to be selected. The grant would be a fantastic tool for all new people entering the real estate industry. Simply by applying for the grant and writing the essays, I was forced to evaluate my goals, skills, and life experiences. Being involved with this program has given me an opportunity to ask others for help and guidance. I feel as if I have lived my life just to come to this point.”

Rolland Castillo: 15-Year Youth Pastor Finds New Calling in RE

The fifth finalist is a proud Texan by the name of Rolland Castillo, who took his real estate licensing courses at the Austin Institute of Real Estate, an accredited RealtyU® school. Rolland’s initial reaction to the news was pure adrenaline, “The Real Estate Apprentice Grant program is awesome!” said Castillo. “I really think that the grant program is a great idea, especially from an educational standpoint. New agents can expand their mind and increase their resources and personal skills. It becomes an incredibly valuable tool for a new agent,” he added.

As a youth pastor for the past 15 years, Rolland earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature, and has completed the coursework necessary to obtain a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling. It was while he was working part-time for Keller Williams Corporate in order to make ends meet that he began to learn about how to run a successful real estate practice. Not long after that, Rolland started as a full-time agent in January of 2005. He didn’t have a single sale for the first three months, but wise planning, good systems, hard work, and his faith in God paid off. By August, Roland had sold 9 houses, listed 14 properties, and currently has two pending offers.

Apprentice Grant Sponsorship

Grants are sponsored by First American Residential Group, Hobbs Herder Advertising & Design, iSucceed Online Real Estate Mentoring, Success Strategies Institute, McLean International, Thomson Learning, Calculated Industries, The Real Estate CyberSpace Society, Broker Agent News, RIS Media and RealtyU®.

The Real Estate Apprentice™ Foundation

The Real Estate Apprentice™ Foundation is a non-profit venture formed in 2004 to assist newly licensed agents entering the real estate industry by providing quality guidance, education, products and services in the form of 20 bi-annual grants totaling $250,000. The prestigious grants are designed to help agents overcome early obstacles and facilitate their progress toward becoming top-producing real estate sales professionals. Various leading real estate companies, service providers, and industry leaders sponsor the grants. Visit the foundation’s website for more information.

Season Three Already in Full Swing

According to Dr. Oliver, Season III of the Real Estate Apprentice competition opened July 1st, 2005 and will run through December 31st, 2005. Real estate students who have taken or will be taking their new agent pre-licensing class during the Season III time-frame or 90 days prior, or those who were newly licensed for the first time as an agent during that same time frame can enter the grant program by simply applying online at Companies interested in becoming Sponsors should contact Dr. Oliver at or by phone at 949-349-9394 ext 107.


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