Just DO It: BE the difference you want to make

By Karen A. Walker

You want to make a difference? Start by BEING the difference. And if you’re serious about being the difference, start with trust.

Famed leadership consultant Stephen R. Covey said it best: “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

John Aaron and Gene Simmons, co-founders of Florida-based Prestige Executive Funding, have each independently put mutual trust and the strength of honoring their word primary in their real estate and lending relationships long before they partnered together to better serve their sophisticated clients.

In fact, trust is so fundamental to everything they do in business that it’s second nature to them, and to their team. 

Trust is an integral part of every transaction in which they participate, regardless of client sophistication, background or anything else…. that is, regardless of anything else except the equal trustworthiness of their clients and their arrangements.


This year, at age 29, John Aaron was featured in Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30” highlight.   He achieved consistent success in the fix and flip marketplace with, according to Forbes, more than $100 million in residential properties purchased and flipped at the time of the article.

Gene Simmons, co-founder and co-president of Prestige Executive Funding, says Aaron has about 80 properties in his portfolio at any given time. Parlaying his residential fix and flip success into the commercial arena, Aaron is also purchasing large commercial apartment buildings, developing modern waterfront properties, condominiums, hotels and retail properties.

But Aaron would rather DO it than talk about it.  He’d rather lead by example than tell you what to do.

For Aaron, his early character traits and principles of good business remain the same as they did when he first started: Focus, Integrity, Quality, Consistency, a lot of Hard Work, and Giving Back.

Just for the record, Giving Back is a core motivator for Aaron.  Years ago he launched a nonprofit foundation and, as Simmons describes his young, motivated and sharp partner, “Aaron is always doing stuff for the community.  He’s at soup kitchens a lot and helping homeless and those in need. He likes going into an area, purchasing retail and bringing much needed jobs and opportunities into areas where people are struggling. He does at least five major service-oriented events a year. That’s a big part of who he is.”

New York to Florida

Gene Simmons comes from the other side of the real estate development and investment business; the lending side.  Originally from New York, he relocated to Florida years ago.

At this point in his career, with more than 20 years experience in mortgage and loan business, he’s seen his share of ups and downs in the industry.  He’s also seen—and chosen to live by—the timeless principles of good ethics and honoring one’s word, regardless of what this or that other lender is doing.

Those principles have served him well, even through some wild years for some sectors of the lending industry.  But Simmons never veered from his core path of excellence in service, good ethical practices, and high-quaiity loans.

For Simmons, it’s not solely about the money or the profit.  He takes a longer view.  For him, it’s always been about building solid, trustworthy and valuable, long-term relationships with his clients.  This makes his partnership with Aaron a solid one.

Early mentors

Both Aaron and Simmons know their area of expertise so well that they practically could do it, excellently, in their sleep.  But when you talk with either of them about their beginnings, they are each quick to point out excellent mentors in the beginning of their careers.

For Simmons it was an early boss in the loan business.  The man was renown for not only his nimble and creative loan solutions, but also, and more importantly, for the ethical way he did business. Every. Time.

For Aaron, it was a real estate investor guru. Again, this mentor was bold, challenging his mentees and always available when a student needed help. Above all, he was ethical to the core, and Aaron valued that.

But mentors without students who are willing to follow the advice of their mentor yields no fruit.  The students themselves have to be willing to DO what they are challenged to do, even if it is out of their “comfort zone” and doesn’t seem to make sense at first. 

Both Aaron and Simmons were willing to take those newbie leaps of faith, to take advised action, to “just do it,” but only because of the high level of proven trust they each had for their early mentors.

Now they, in turn, are trusted guides for their team, for each other, and for their select clientele.

Customized Solutions

“Each deal we do is customized,” says Simmons, whose first-hand, creative, ethical funding examples lie ready for sharing when the need arises.

“We are a full service commercial lending source,” continues Simmons, who often recognizes ethical, creative financial solutions that are unique for each client’s situation long before others even—if ever—figure them out.

“Our staff has over 30 years experience and are able to structure financing requests in just about every aspect of commercial lending. We cater to Corporate Executives, Music Industry Executives, Entrepreneurs and Professional Athletes as well as Entertainers and Actors from Television and Film. We pride ourselves in being extremely competitive and honest . We work closely with our more than 100 institutional relationships in order to meet our client’s customized needs, and to guide our clients every step of the way.”

Prestige Executive Funding primarily serves sophisticated clients since they are capable of, and truly enjoy, providing customized, sophisticated solutions that create exciting win-win-wins for all parties, including the local community.


In sum, Prestige Executive Funding (FundMePrestige.com) finances and provides a wide scope of investment opportunities and solutions, including Office, Industrial/Warehouses, Multifamily, Mixed Use, SBA, Lines of Credit, International, Churches, Equipment Financing, Factory, Hotels/Motels, Hard Money Loans, Private Equity Mortgage, Bridge Loans, and Development Financing.

What do you call any partnership with two trail-blazing, ethical real estate investing and lending entrepreneurs? Unstoppable. Successful. A win for all parties.

Put a more practical way, Prestige Executive Funding provides access to institutional capital, family office funds, and direct private money for funding all types of real estate investments. Lending in all 50 states. Up to 90% LTV, Prestige Executive Funding represents a group of investors who have financed more than two billion dollars worth of loans nationwide. Loans from $1 Million to 100+ Million.  Learn more at www.FundMePrestige.com.



Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents, Developers and Investors are invited to the Son Cubano Restaurant in West New York in May to learn more about Stratton Equities

April 17,2019- Parsippany NJ – New Jersey based Mortgage Lender, Stratton Equities, is making noise with their launch event; The Stratton Equities’ Spring Meet and Greet on Wednesday, May 22. To RSVP or learn more information about the Spring Meet and Greet follow the link here: https://strattonequitiesspring2019.splashthat.com/

Stratton Equities is a leading Nationwide direct Hard Money Lender that offers the most diverse array of programs in Today’s industry. Providing loans such as Hard Money, Private Money, Fix and Flip, Stated Income, Commercial, and more.

The Parsippany, NJ, flagship location is home to Founder, serial entrepreneur Michael Mikhail, and hungry Loan Officers that close their first loans in an unheard of previously – 4-6 weeks- and now they are ready to make a splash in the fast growing Mortgage lending industry with their upcoming Meet and Greet event.

After their soft launch in mid-2017, Stratton Equities focused on building their foundation of providing the most innovative programs at the lowest rates.

In early 2019, Stratton Equities became listed in the Scotsman Guide and focused their efforts on expanding outreach with the creation of their Seasonal Meet and Greets.

The focus of each event is to connect Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents, Developers and Investors- face to face- with curated one on one meetings during an entertaining affair focused on showcasing the high quality and luxury lifestyle that Stratton Equities possesses.

On Wednesday, May 22, The Stratton Equities’ Spring Meet and Greet will commence at Son Cubano Restaurant in West New York, in partnership with Remax Realtor Carlie Carreira and Media Partner, Realty 411.

Attendees can enjoy signature themed cocktails, the New York City skyline, and tasty appetizers, while they network with top influential members in the industry.

All guests will be able to take home a Stratton Equities’ VIP Gift Bag filled with products from their sponsors: Simplicity Title, Design + Build Enterpríses, United Real Estate New Jersey, Nationwide Property & Appraisal Services.

To find out more about Stratton Equities, please visit www.strattonequities.com

For more information about the event and to RSVP, please visit https://strattonequitiesspring2019.splashthat.com/

All press or media inquiries should email, Jordan Elizabeth Gelber at Jordan@strattonequities.com


Meet Your Creative Financing Experts Rebecca Rice & Jim Beam

By Sandy Fox

Our 5th Annual Los Angeles Real Estate Investors’ Expo will feature some remarkable experts. On that day, we will spotlight Rebecca Rice and Jim Beam, industry leaders in a little-known financial area. They’ve perfected a way to turn a unique and specific kind of life insurance policy into a reservoir of money you can use to simplify your real estate investing. More than that, the strategy actually compounds and increases the ROI on your investments.

A Financial Vehicle That Compounds Your Investments

When you hear from Rice and Beam you’ll find a financial vehicle beyond what most investors use. Typically investors turn to cash, mortgages, private lending or a combination of the above. Each has its own costs and limitations.

Beam, who started as a real estate investor in Florida said, “We worked awfully hard to make our money. And it seemed like someone was always standing there at the end of the day with their hand out to take our money. Closing costs, fees, taxes, interest rates.” He felt there had to be a better way.

His search led him to Rice and her specially constructed policies. He learned a way that he could:

Keep his money safe and private

Borrow money at low cost or net-zero cost

Avoid credit checks and bank approval for loans

Gain tax-free retirement income

Loan his business money and save on taxes

Pay off debt faster

Create an emergency fund that earned interest four times higher than most banks pay

He now helps other real estate investors learn how to take advantage of this system. This type of insurance policy is not new. It’s has been around for centuries and is tried and tested. Currently banks, businesses, and high net worth individuals use it to preserve and grow their money. But Rice and Beam offer a unique structure that makes it a powerful tool for even the small real estate investor.


Rice discovered Nelson Nash’s book, “Becoming Your Own Banker,” over 25 years ago. She recognized the revolutionary technique and became a protégé of Nash, building on his philosophy with concrete action plans.

It became her passion to help as many people as possible. “I help people see how money really works in the economy. It’s often not the way you think it does,” Rice says. “I love to show my clients how to reduce their debt in an extremely short period of time — faster than they ever thought possible.”

Through the years she’s structured Living Benefit policies for people from 21 to 93 years old. “Each is unique,” Rice says. “I’ve helped people profit who could only start with $100 a month. And I’ve worked with people who wanted to contribute a million dollars a year. Whatever your income or investment goals, you can use this to take control of your money and grow it faster and safer.”

Rice’s passion and dedication to her clients made her extremely successful. She became the first woman to be the top-performing agent at Mutual Trust. Then she went on to break the glass ceiling at Massachusetts Mutual as the first woman in its 170-year history to become the top life producer. She is also one of only three policy agents endorsed by the Palm Beach Letter, a financial newsletter.

Because she has written thousands of policies—and uses many of them herself — she knows every nuance of how to structure it to benefit you.


On the owner’s side, a policy looks deceptively simple and is easy to use. But the creative side takes an act of genius to give you all the benefits and advantages necessary to use it effectively in your business and investing.

Rice always learns what her client’s goals are. Then she tailors a Living Benefits policy specifically to meet those goals. Some want a pool of money to run their business. Others need free access to money for real estate investing or hard money lending. And some have their top goal to safeguard their wealth and transfer it to the next generation.

It’s possible to accomplish all those goals without invading lifestyle money,” Rice says. Lifestyle money is what you live on after paying your bills and Uncle Sam. Rice’s brilliance is that she frees up money for you to invest from other sources. Often it’s from the debt payments you are already making.


“The simplest way to use your Living Benefits policy is with hard money lending,” Beam says. “There are hundreds and hundreds of folks out there who are in need of hard money lending.” Beam works through organizations that send out leads for people who want to borrow the amount of money you have to invest —whether that’s $10,000 or $150,000 or more.

And the Living Benefits policy creates a vehicle to amplify the investment. “You borrow against your policy at 5% and you put it out on the street to go to work at 10% or 12% plus points,” Beam says. “But you’re still earning 5% on those same dollars within in your policy! Wow, what a platform to work from!”

Beam’s strength is that he can guide real estate investors in the best ways to take advantage of this platform for their specific goals.

There are a number of ways to take advantage of the policy. One of their clients buys HUD houses to rehab and rent.

Although her Living Benefits policy is only a few years old, she’s been able to use money from her policy to cut costs and increase returns.

Used for a down payment for a conventional loan and saved the cost of mortgage insurance

Used for repair costs on the house and avoided the expense and effort of a construction loan

Kept an “emergency fund” that earns 5% or so on that money instead of a bank’s pitiful near zero rate

Used a regional bank for a 5 year balloon loan with much lower loan origination costs and interest rates. She can do that because this system pays off the bank loan in just a few years—well before the balloon kicks in and interest rates rise

The client says, “The best part is that I end up with a house AND all the money that would have gone to mortgage payments!”

Can This Work For You?

You can learn more about investing in real estate using a Living Benefits policy when you attend national Realty411 events where Rice and Beam will be featured speakers. Plus, look for future issues with articles explaining in more depth how to increase your real estate returns using a Living Benefit policy.

Learn more with Rebecca Rice’s book, “Multiply Your Wealth: Essential Secrets for Financial Freedom.” Contact her directly (501) 868-3434 or online at www.rebeccarice.net – You can connect with Jim Beam at (239) 591-3781 or email: jbeam@lifewayadvisors.com