How Strategic Realty’s Catherine Emert Saved a Home with Soda Cans

Real Estate Agent with Strategic Realty, LLC 201221652

Discover the heartwarming story of Catherine Emert, a real estate professional from Strategic Realty, whose compassionate and innovative approach transformed a distressed homeowner’s life. In this powerful interview with Tony Martinez, owner of the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, Catherine shares how she went above and beyond to save a home using a unique solution involving soda cans. Witness the essence of Strategic Realty’s mission to improve the real estate industry through innovation and exceptional customer service. Let this remarkable story inspire us all to make a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.


TONY: Hey everyone, it’s Tony Martinez with the CDPE and I have a very special guest with me here today her name is Catherine Emert, she’s out of the Oregon area and Catherine and I met about a week and a half two weeks ago at the amazing Star Power conference and she shared a story with me a testimonial that just completely blew me away, but not to try to keep you in suspense but I would like to give her an opportunity to introduce herself and just tell us a little background on where she’s from what market she focuses on and what was her primary motivation for becoming a Certified Distressed Property Expert, So, Catherine welcome.

CATHERINE:  Thank you Tony. It was so great meeting you last …  two weeks ago now. I’m born and raised in Oregon. I grew up here in Central Oregon. I serve almost half the state of Oregon right now,  primarily the east side of the mountains. I’ve been in real estate since I was about 12 years old so it’s in my blood it’s what I do. Unfortunately my family was one that was impacted by the crash in 2008 and our family lost our home, and my mom was a real estate broker at the time, and so when I heard about CDPE actually last year at the Star Power conference, I knew I needed to take the course. So when you offered the course at a discount to Star Power members, I went ahead and signed up immediately and I’ve already actually been marketing to Notice of Defaults in our area.  I send a card to them saying “hey you’re not alone we’ve all been through this”, and I had one great gentleman call me and he’d been ignoring all the emails and phone calls and letters from other Realtors, and he said your letter just struck me and I knew I had to call you. So it was a very tragic story. He had lost his fiance in a head-on collision in one of our smaller towns a few months prior, and could not open the mail anymore, and he got behind on his payments. Most of the people that I was hearing from were 60, 70, 80, even hundreds of thousands of dollars behind, and he was $4000, and I said “we’re gonna save your house, how much money do you have in your bank account right now.” 

He said, ‘I only have thirteen hundred dollars,’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s okay… that’s almost halfway there. We’re halfway there, you’re gonna be okay.’ So, I was in the middle of a bunch of things, getting ready to show properties. ‘What’s your email address? I’m gonna send you some information, and I want you to focus on calling every single person that I give you.’  So, a lot of our smaller communities have a bunch of non-profit churches. He, come to find out, was a wounded veteran, so I got him in contact with our local churches. He worked part-time at a laundromat. I said, ‘You know, go and talk to everybody you know, see what they can do to help you.’ In Oregon, you get 10 cents a can for soda cans and beer cans. We told him, ‘Go cash them in, get as many cans as you can.’ And he did, and I think I sent him a total of 50 phone numbers of places and organizations that can help him. He called me a week later and said, ‘You saved me, you saved my house.’ So, I like to tell the story that I saved a man’s home with soda cans because not very many states give you a deposit back on your soda cans, and we just happened to get 10 cents a can back. So, he did it. He, in one week, came up with his $4,000 and ended up getting another $390 a month, every month, to help him with his utility bills in order to keep ahead, and he didn’t even know those programs were out there for him. So, I like to say, ‘We’re not here to just sell people’s houses, we’re here to save them.’ We have the potential and the knowledge that some people don’t have, and we can do that, we can provide that for them.

TONY: Wow, I’m blown away by this. I’m having the same Goosebumps as I did the evening that you told me this because I remember you saying, ‘Oh yeah, I helped the guy save his house through soda cans.’ And I go, ‘What?’ But, say that again, slowly.’

Yeah, when you told me that, it’s absolutely amazing. And this is exactly what the CDPE stands for. We really, really want to help people stay in their homes. We want to do everything humanly possible to help them stay in their homes. And every now and then, a story like this emerges, and it just gives me hope.

Yes, you know, because it’s just more of you, more agents, more to do what you’re doing right now. Engaging the public that in many cases are so overwhelmed with what’s going on, they don’t know what their rights are, they don’t know what their options are. Many of them will flee the property, which is the last thing that they should do. So, I just… You give me encouragement and you give me hope that the message of the CDPE is resonating. In the right hands. We can do a lot of good for a lot of people. And there’s going to be a lot of folks that are going to watch this and want to get a hold of you personally. I think that you are an excellent referral source in the entire Oregon area. I don’t mind plugging you because of everything that you’re doing so far. So, how can they personally reach you? Whether they’re a consumer needing some help, or it’s a real estate professional in a different area looking to send you a referral?

CATHERINE: So, the easiest way is actually just going to our website. Our website is Those inquiries come straight to me. You can read all about us and what we do for our community on that website, with links to CDPE websites and all of that. So, we really like to stay involved. So, feel free to reach out to me anytime.

TONY: Fantastic! Listen, thank you, thank you, thank you for everything that you’re doing. And keep those testimonials coming, yes, because this is going to inspire others and, as a result, we’re going to help a lot of people. So, God bless you for what you’re doing, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

CATHERINE: Yes, I look forward to it too. Thank you, Tony.

TONY: My pleasure.

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