It’s only fitting to meet Tracey Forrester in one of the trendiest restaurants in downtown Winter Garden. Amid the catchy lights, great music and savory menu, Tracey fits right in with stylish threads and a precision haircut that defies gravity — she looks like a lady who knows things, and someone you’d want to know. 

And your assumption would be right. Instead of talking about community problems, she sees them as opportunities to create solutions and solve them.

Those who work with her describe her as a dynamic community leader, vivacious and energetic. “I’m honored by the description,” she says slightly blushing. “I love being involved in the community and creating what I want to be a part of.”

When Tracey and her neighbors in the growing Horizon West area saw a tremendous need for business camaraderie, she didn’t wait for someone else to do something about it — she created one. Horizon West Professionals is no once-per-month, potluck type of organization, either. It’s an innovative, micro-local, referral-based 501(c)(3) networking group for those who work and live in the area. Meetings, chaired by Tracey, are high-energy affairs, and membership is industry-exclusive–only, one person per business sector represented.

It was at one of HWP’s bimonthly networking events that Tracey met Rachel Siegel, owner of Go Figure Accounting. “Right away, she seemed very knowledgeable and trustworthy,” Tracey says. Turns out, she was right. Tracey enlisted Rachel to help set up her business organization as an LLC, plus assist her with taxes and strategic planning. 

“She does my business as well as my personal taxes,” Tracey says of their three-year relationship. “One year, she saved me $17,000! Of course, that’s great, but over the years, I’ve really come to rely on Rachel’s advice. She’s more than just an accountant; she’s a friend and an advocate.”

When she’s not creating networking groups, Tracey is a full-time realtor for Miami-based Xcellence Realty and a Prepaid Legal Service Independent Associate, better known as LegalShield and IDShield.

Although Tracey has been in residential real estate for nine years, she has become most excited about LegalShield, despite only being at it for four-and-a-half years.

“LegalShield is becoming an even bigger passion than real estate because the peace of mind you get from having it is priceless,” she explains. 

Through LegalShield, Tracey advises clients about membership that offers ‘round the clock attorney access, without steep retainers or costly attorney fees. Attorney services such as living wills, power of attorney and legal review of client documents are also provided under the membership fee, along with unlimited consultation.

Tracey only sees an upside to utilizing the service for law coverage and identity protection. “If you’re proactive, instead of reactive, you’ll spend less money to deal with situations that could have been avoided, and it costs less,” she shares. “This is a very litigious society — it’s one of the oldest professions and a multi-billion dollar industry. And, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the world.”

While they may seem completely separate, Tracey gets the opportunity to combine her two favorite occupations.

“In a lot of states, including Florida, you don’t need an attorney at closing,” she explains. “Buyers and sellers have legal questions, but rather than spend $300-$500 an hour, they skip the attorney and Google the answers. Which, as you can imagine, can go horribly wrong. With LegalShield, you can use it to ask any question about the transaction, loan documents, or interpret the contracts. All as part of your membership.”

Tracey also informs her real estate clients about the advantages of LegalShield for review of contractors’ home repair contracts, and the wisdom of estate planning to protect their new purchase. 

Where Tracey’s initial goal was to make an extra $500 per month, she has more than surpassed that goal. With enough to make LegalShield and IDShield her primary focus, right after raising her two daughters, Averie, 18, and Bryce, 16, Tracey is pumped about the future.

“The sky is the limit,” she beams. “My income will continue to grow with the number of people I help. So yes, there’s unlimited income potential, but really I just love to change lives. My heart is in serving.”

Go Figure Accounting