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 – You can connect with Jim Beam at (239) 591-3781 or email:


The KEYS to Unlocking ELITE Success in Real Estate

Exclusive Interview by Tim Houghten

The Founder of Rodeo Realty, the largest single-owner firm in the nation with 12 branch offices, 1,200 REALTORS ® , and annual sales and listings exceeding $5 billion, shares how he went from operating out of his garage to listing homes for $150 million.

What does it take to achieve elite success, at the top of the ultra-luxury real estate market, in the most exclusive community in the world?

Rodeo Realty is a name not just associated with celebrity real estate, but with dominating the ultra-elite markets of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California. The Rodeo Realty brand has been ranked the largest single-owner firm in California, with 12 branch offices, 1,300 REALTORS ® , and annual closed sales exceeding $5 billion. What does it take to obtain, and own this level of success?

Syd Leibovitch is the president and leader of the Rodeo Realty empire, and has been championing the crème of the crop of top-end international real estate, year after year, for 30 years. No matter what you aspire to achieve in real estate, it’s clear that Syd just might have a tip or two on how to get it.

In an exclusive interview, Syd Leibovitch gives us a peak behind the glass to see what it takes to get to the top of the real estate world, and stay there. Want elite success? Where do you start?


Rodeo Realty’s founder has been breaking through barriers since he got into real estate sales during college. Starting at 23 years old Syd says, “I sold three houses in my first month. I only went into real estate as a job for winter break. I fully intended to go to law school. But when my first sale closed, and the buyer hugged me and told me how excited she was to own a home, I was hooked!”

Syd says his family, who thought becoming a doctor or lawyer was a far better career choice, were disappointed when he began pursuing real estate. Yet, by the time he was 25 years old, he was a top-selling agent in Los Angeles. In just three years he opened his own firm. Today the world’s leading doctors, lawyers, and hottest celebrities come to Leibovitch’s firm for help in selling and securing the globe’s finest estates.


During his time studying economics and banking at California State University and UCLA, Syd ran for the relay team, track and cross country; he set new school records. His take away from the experience, and how it has influenced the success of Rodeo Realty – “Learning the value of hard work.”

People can’t ask for more than your best. Shame on you if you don’t give it to them.” – Syd Leibovitch


Last year Rodeo Realty sold at least one unit for $70M, and listed another at $150M. Yet, the surprisingly modest founder says that the majority of the firm’s transactions are in the $1M to $6M range, and that consistency is key. If you’ve ever run cross country you know you have to be able to keep up the pace, for the long haul, and often over unknown and challenging terrain. This could just as well describe navigating the real estate world. Yet, Syd says: “I did at least one deal a week for my first 15 to 17 years in the business.”

How do you create that type of consistency in results? He says, “I found something I like doing, and I do it a lot,” explaining that “if you do your best to take care of everyone you meet, the results will take care of themselves.”


Although he is a very hands-on business owner and accessible to his staff, today Syd has certainly handed on the baton to Rodeo Realty’s army of luxury real estate agents, and expert management team. Syd is very clear that he does not compete with his REALTORS ® for sales and credits them for the incredible sales figures posted. Asked how he manages to stay organized, and maintains efficient operations at such scale, Syd simply credits his “good people,” whom he says have become “friends,” more than employees.

Rodeo Realty surprisingly invites even new agents to come and train with the organization. So why work with Rodeo Realty, besides the prestige of joining one of the world’s most respected and envied real estate companies?

Syd’s Theory – “You’ve got to be the best, you’ve got to give the best.”

At Rodeo Realty this isn’t just evidenced by selling the best real estate on the planet, it is “being the best in ALL areas.”


Best Luxury Real Estate Website – ranked by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate

Best Marketing – with an in-house print shop with 30 team members

Best Internet Marketing – with an in-house team of 17 graphic artists

Best International Marketing – reaching 200M+ buyers, in 190 countries, monthly

Best Technology – with Cirrus Super Search for deep data, on the go

Best Personal Service – local expertise, global presence

Syd says quite frankly and firmly that “real estate agents that want to serve their clients the best find that ability at Rodeo Realty,” and that “if you’re not on the Rodeo Realty team that’s because you’ve got other priorities, and are putting something else first, rather than serving your clients in the best possible way.”

It’s hard to argue with that.


To reach your full potential in real estate; blaze your own trail, work hard, be consistent, give your best, leverage good people and the best tools.

Want to see what a great real estate website looks like and view some of the most exclusive real estate eye candy in the world? Check out Syd’s site at, and download the free Rodeo mobile app.


From TOP Model to Top of the Real Estate World

Kaya Wittenburg, has gone from small Midwest town, to becoming a top fashion model working directly with Gianni and Donatella Versace, to leading U.S. and global developers in selling the most breathtaking condos in the world.

Through beautification in real estate design, Kaya Wittenburg has risen to being involved in over $4B worth of real estate sales in some of the most exclusive locations on the planet.

This has included promoting exciting world-class projects in Las Vegas, Miami, Panama and the Bahamas. As a public speaker and high-profile industry personality, he has been featured on CNN, BBC World, GQ, and The Wall Street Journal, just to name a few.

I managed to track Kaya down between photo shoots to tap into some highly credentialed insights on branding new construction, and profiting from the highest end real estate investments. So, what tips can be gleaned from Wittenburg’s successes for maximizing personal performance, scooping better deals on luxury real estate, and renovating or building new projects that push new limits in ROI?

Just what can the glamorous modeling world teach aspiring real estate moguls?

How do you go from growing up in a small suburb to selling over $4B of the Most Envied Destination Real Estate on the planet?

Kaya Wittenburg says from his first big casting in Milan with Gianni Versace, the modeling world provided countless experiences in learning about people, trends and the details of effective styling. From new countries to diverse cultures and new friends, Kaya says he found “Fashion, art, architecture and interior design,” all appreciated by those he mingled with.

Of his first Versace dinner Kaya says he remembers being “Totally overwhelmed. The attention to design was simply amazing. Every plate, tray, piece of silverware at the table was a work of art.”

While some might find this level of attention to detail and priority on luxury excessive in the real estate world, it has proven to be a consistent component in the success of leading luxury brands, while delivering real lifts to profit margins.

When asked what was behind his success, Paul McRae, broker of the Galleria Collection of Fine Homes in Fort Lauderdale once pointed to his $300 per foot office wallpaper. One of the top ten Manhattan brokerage firms MNS recently achieved a $200 per foot premium on unit sales at the Edge through its efforts in marketing. Wittenburg says he is currently working with a hot brand in Miami that plans to catapult oceanfront property prices by 35% with a new luxury development.

For real estate investors seeking the most attractive returns with maximum security, the Sky Five Properties founder says, “Investors have a greater margin of safety in branded residences because resale values have been proven to be somewhat more stable than non-branded residences.”

He also comments that when it comes to renovating or designing new multifamily, conversions and condo developments one of the worst mistakes is, “A lack of creativity and sex appeal for lobbies and pool decks, which can destroy pre-construction sales efforts.”

Being one of the most transparent authorities in the world of real estate sales, Kaya has often ruffled the feathers of his competitors by openly giving condo buyers and investors the upper edge. He says, “Everything is negotiable, even in pre-construction developments,” and often offers insights on common real estate sales tactics via the Sky Five Properties Blog.


In addition to world travel, Kaya Wittenburg was blessed growing up in a real estate household with his mother actively sharing her deal-making and entertaining client-friends for dinner. It was at this young age Wittenburg caught the excitement of real estate investing.

Of course, as any investor, REALTOR ® or CEO knows, it takes regular maintenance and intentness to keep up an elite level of passion and innovation to operate at the very top of the game. To this end, Kaya has nurtured a lifelong yearning for learning and constant self-improvement. The Miami real estate innovator says “meditation and yoga practice has helped me elevate the quality of my thoughts – thinking thoughts that induce a sense of excitement, confidence, and gratitude, every day.”

While others striving to compete in this fast-based business normally wind up letting what they have learned fall to the wayside, Kaya says religiously sticking to “daily journaling makes a huge impact in long-term success,” a practice he picked up from former Florida Governor, Bob Graham.

Want to find out what’s the next big pivot for Miami real estate, and which top global label will be the next to unveil a luxury branded building in the Magic City? Kaya says we’ll have to look out for his next update.

Find out more about Kaya Wittenburg’s story and track Miami real estate trends online and via Twitter @Sky5Properties.


Welcome To Your MONEY PATCH

By Tim Houghten

Money might not grow on trees, but funding portal Patch of Land may have invented the closest thing to it…

Whether looking to grow your real estate investments with access to attractive capital, or boost your yields with passive income investments, this is one patch of the web worth checking out. Named one of Entrepreneur magazine’s ‘100 brilliant companies of 2015’, Patch of Land brings a unique twist to real estate lending and crowdfunding, and the proof is in the performance.


While peer-to-peer lending, and crowdfunding has been catching plenty of media attention, it hasn’t always been a walk in the park for fundraisers and funders. Until now the two main challenges have been the amount of work required for project promoters, without any guarantee of funding. And then a lack of track record, and organization base investment decisions on for those looking to put their capital to work. Recently, Patch of Land co-founder and CEO Jason Fritton provided a new perspective on how Patch has created a new model of peer to real estate lending. There are two things which really separate this platform from everything else on the landscape:

1. Patch offers ‘Pre-funding’, gives you your loan, and then raises funds from the crowd

2. Patch works together with institutional lenders instead of trying to replace them

This creates a true hybrid where “real estate, finance, and technology, converge.”

The startup that Fritton describes as a “tech and efficiency company” shares some threads with other peer-to-peer, online mortgage lending, and crowdfunding sites. These are that real estate fundraisers bring their projects, which are ultimately financed by the crowd. It is the execution that stands out.

Fritton highlights that his company is the “first in market to directly secure fractional investors in real estate loans.” That means Patch of Land underwrites, and gives real estate investors and professionals the funding under the supervision of SVP of Underwriting & Acquisitions Douglas Cochrane. Then Patch of Land opens up the opportunity to a range of individual accredited investors and institutional lenders.

Now operating in 25 states, and with over $600M per month in funding requests the company is able to offer retail investors, hedge funds, regional and “community banks the yields they really want, along with efficiency in origination.” In fact, Jason explains that this enables these capital sources the freedom to participate in deals they could not do directly, while permitting more common sense underwriting of deals. Operating under SEC Rule 506(c) of Regulation D, this connector empowers those with projects to raise money cost-effectively without all the marketing and substantial filing expenses of going it alone. All while delivering the due diligence investors need and crave. As of September 25 th , 2015 Patch of Land had a solid track record of performance, with no principal or interest losses.


Fritton explains that a great deal of the success has come from “the privilege to hire experts in all areas,” to grow the California based Patch of Land team. The founding and executive team now spans a wealth of technology expertise, lending professionals with billions in transactions under their belt, along with an entrepreneurial marketing team with experience in organizations like Disney. Silicon Valley appears very bullish on investing in ‘The Patch’ too, with a successful, oversubscribed Series A round of funding topping $23M, achieved in early 2015.

So far Patch of Land has perhaps been most well-known for funding single family deals, but Jason tells us they have recently funded a Ramada flagged hotel, office, and retail buildings, and are testing moving into new construction financing.

Whether you’ve got deals that need funding, or capital that deserves higher yields, Fritton says “give us a try, and come grow with us!

More details, statistics on past performance, and online tools can be found at


Bruce Norris and the Norris Group

By Bruce Kellogg

Who is Bruce Norris?

Bruce is a longtime real estate investor, builder, “hard money” lender, and real estate educator with over 35 years of experience. His history includes over 2,000 real estate transactions as buyer, seller, builder, or money lender.

He was married at 17, and had two children by age 18. He has lived on food stamps, and was fired from five consecutive jobs before entering his present business. He started by flipping houses, and he opened The Norris Group in 1997 as a “hard money” lender.

What Has He Done?

Renowned for his ability to forecast long-term real estate trends and timing, the release of The California Comeback report in 1997 gained him much notoriety. The accuracy of the extensive report led many California investors to financial freedom. His January 2006 release, The California Crash, was an in-depth look into the California market correction and the statistics behind Bruce’s predictions.

Bruce speaks and debates nationally, and has been a guest speaker at the Mortgage Bankers Association, REOMAC, Inman, HousingWire, California Association of Realtors, California Builders Industry Association, California Mortgage Association, the Real Estate Research Council, and several local and national investment clubs, associations, and service clubs. Bruce has met with local and national government officials, including FHA and Fannie Mae, to discuss market solutions and insights.

Bruce has contributed articles to many real estate magazines and newsletters, including The Business Press, Scotsman Guide, Creative Real Estate Magazine, The Orange County Register, RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure Newsletter, AOA Magazine, and The Daily Commerce. He has also been featured in: The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, Nightline ABC, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Mortgage Banker Magazine, Money Magazine, Reuters, The Associated Press, The Tribune, and numerous others.

What is Bruce Doing Now?

Bruce is also the host of the award-winning series, I Survived Real Estate. The events bring together leaders from numerous real estate sectors to discuss legal regulations, stimulus-related issues, and solutions to the current market. The events have also helped raise over $860,000 for charity since they began in 2008.

Bruce hosts the award-winning Norris Group Real Estate Radio Show and Podcast, where he interviews real estate industry leaders, authors, government officials, local experts, and economists. Guests have included representatives from the FBI, the MBA, Freddie Mac, the Appraisal Institute, HUD, Fannie Mae, PropertyRadar,, PIMCO, PMI Group, REDC, the National Auctioneers Association, and the Center for Responsible Lending, as well as Peter Schiff of Euro-Pacific Capital, and John Maudlin, to name a few. There are almost 600 shows and 250 hours of free education in the real estate radio archives.

Bruce currently serves on the Executive Board for the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California. He was awarded Educator of the Year by Think Realty in 2018.

What About the Norris Group?

Besides making “hard money” loans in California and Florida, The Norris Group educates investors. Their training is unique in that they created the Quadrant System, which takes a lot of their market timing research and layers buying and selling strategies to the market. Their learning management system has over 60 hours of content, but an investor won’t use all of it at one time. In addition, they consider the investor’s skillset and personality, and can do one-on-one strategy sessions that consider who the person is, where the market is, and how they will most likely best succeed in the business. The Norris Group recommends exploring their free content, like their radio show and weekly real estate news videos, and then explore their VIP Subscription.

What About Bruce’s Market Predictions

Bruce is worried that markets have become hot in California. Affordability numbers suggest we could still experience price increases in many areas of California. We have never had “full employment” and a great economy while experiencing a decline. However, Bruce is concerned about a number of issues including interest rates, and in some markets how hot prices have become. His long-term and short-term outlooks for California differ. He wants investors to really think about protecting themselves in the next few years, and avoid buying into the hype.

The Norris Group in Florida

Bruce has been investing in Florida since Hurricane Andrew. Over 20 years, he and the Norris Group have built houses, done “flips”, and acquired rentals, along with establishing a “hard money” lending business. Bruce exchanged some California properties into new construction rentals over the last four years and expects to see many California investors diversify by using Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 1031 to exchange into Florida properties.

The Norris Group offers readers to visit their website, www:TheNorrisGroup, to take advantage of the free items available there.