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Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and VNARP Embark on Real Estate Trade Mission to Vietnam

Looking to tap into the growing international real estate market, members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) will join the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP) on a ten-day trade mission to Vietnam starting on March 1st. Delegates representing both groups are aiming to foster mutual investment opportunities between real estate stakeholders in both Vietnam and the United States.

“Vietnam is forecasted to be one of the top growing economies in the next few decades,” said Evan Huynh, President of VNARP. “This trade mission will give our delegates the opportunity to exchange trade experience and learn about the best practices for investment opportunities in both countries.”

Delegates from the groups will attend real estate conferences and meet with Vietnamese companies and government agencies in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, and Danang ─ three cities currently experiencing a boom in real estate development. Several delegates from the United States will be giving special presentations at these events, including: Lieu Nguyen, the President’s Liaison to Vietnam for the National Association of REALTORS®, Ron Gonzales, the former Mayor of San Jose and President of Presencia, LLC, and Hilda Ramirez, the Director of Public Relations, Events, and Education for SCCAOR.

Guest presenters for the SCCAOR/VNARP Vietnam Trade Mission (clockwise from top left): Ron Gonzales, Hilda Ramirez, Tom Truong, David Tran, Ryan Hubris, and Evan Huynh.

Hilda Ramirez, who led SCCAOR Members on a similar trip to China in 2015, said that REALTORS® are starting to embrace the global market when it comes to real estate investment. “The theme for this Inaugural Trade Mission is to ‘Connect Cultures to Create Commerce’,” she said. “Silicon Valley is home base for technology and innovation, considered one of the most thriving economies in the world, and the economic impact happening in many Vietnamese cities is truly dynamic. We are honored to have the opportunity to join VNARP in this unique opportunity. It is essential for today’s business professional to be well versed on emerging markets.”
Silicon Valley, Ho Chi Minh City, and Ha Noi all rank in the top 10 of the World’s “Most Dynamic Cities of 2017” according to the JLL City Momentum Index. This index was calculated by examining over 40 variables such as innovation capacity, technological prowess, commercial real estate momentum, and a host of other socio-economic factors.

For updates on the trip, visit the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sccrealtors

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Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation Donates $10,000 to San Jose Flood Relief

In the wake of the worst flooding to hit San Jose in decades, Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation has donated $10,000 to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund. Over 14,000 people were impacted by the overflowing Coyote Creek due to spillover from the Anderson Reservoir.

“The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation strives to help families and revitalize our local communities, and this includes assisting in disaster relief,” said Bonnie Wilson, the Chairperson for the Foundation. “We are inspired by the response from our REALTOR® Community, and we hope to continue our work in uniting local real estate professionals in giving back and enriching the lives of those affected by this unfortunate event.”

The Relief Fund, set up by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, is supporting nonprofit organizations that are providing immediate and long-term relief and recovery assistance to flood victims in San Jose. The public can help by contributing online at www.siliconvalleycf.org/sjflood.

“It is heartbreaking to see so many families displaced from their homes but I am heartened by the outpouring of community support,” said Neil Collins, CEO of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®. “I am proud and grateful that our Members responded to the needs of the community that we serve. Those impacted by the flooding remain in all of our prayers.”

The SCCR Foundation is the charitable arm of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, which is made up of over 6,000 Realtors and Affiliates in and around the Bay Area. The SCCR Foundation aims to bring organized real estate together by investing in our neighborhoods with compassion, foresight, and action.

Learn more about the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation at www.sccrfoundation.org.

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Rick Smith Installed as President of Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®

 

Rick Smith, broker and owner at Windermere Silicon Valley, has been installed as President of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR). Smith and the entirety of SCCAOR’s 2017 Board of Directors were sworn in at an evening ceremony at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose on January 20, 2017.

“I’m excited and honored to represent the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and serve as its president,” said Smith. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to take on this leadership role and help SCCAOR develop and promote programs and services that will enhance members’ ability to conduct business, while promoting real property ownership and the preservation of real property rights.”

Smith, who served as President-Elect of SCCAOR in 2015, is also a Director and Ombudsman for the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.), and has served several years on C.A.R.’s Professional Standards Committee, which has strengthened his commitment to help improving the professionalism of REALTORS® and their adherence to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics.

SCCAOR’s 2017 Board of Directors were also installed at the event. Kevin Cole will serve as President-Elect, Anne Hansen will serve as Vice President, and Brad Gill will serve as Treasurer in 2017. Other members of the Board of Directors that were installed include: Helen Chong, Craig Gorman, Doug Goss, Gene Hunt, Sandy Jamison, Don Jessup, Trisha Motter, Stephen Theard, Myron Von Raesfeld, and Linda Zimmer.

 

 

SCCAOR also honored several members at the event. Sandy Jamison received the REALTOR® of the Year Award, Sheryl Martinez received the President’s Choice Award, Grace Vaccaro received the Volunteer of the Year Award, and Anna Lopez received the Affiliate of the Year Award. In a surprise announcement, Dave Walsh was awarded SCCAOR’s highest honor, the Byron Brawley Award for Service of Self.

The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation was also present at the event, and gave separate $25,000 checks to two local organizations: Downtown Streets Team and Family Supportive Housing. The Foundation has now given out over $125,000 in grants, scholarships, and donations to organizations that are helping to improve the lives of children and families in our communities.

 

 

Click here to view photos from the event.

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Local REALTORS® Donate Over $16,000 in Toys and Pajamas to Foster Children

KAFPA and SCCAOR Members with some of the donated items from the Toy & Pajama Drive: Denise Marchu (KAFPA Executive Director), Christina Atkinson (KAFPA Program Specialist), Susan Steele (KAFPA Foster/Adoptive Family Advocate), Cassandra Guzman(KAFPA Program assistant), and Hilda Ramirez (SCCAOR Director of PR, Education & Events).

The weather called for heavy wind and rain, but members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) were determined to bring joy to local foster children this Christmas. More than 200 Local REALTORS® came together last Thursday and raised over $16,000 in cash, toy, and pajama donations for local foster teens.

SCCAOR Members weathered the torrential downpours and winter temperatures to bring both their donations and their holiday cheer to their Annual Membership Appreciation Mixer and Gifts for Teens Drive. All donations and money raised during the event went to KAFPA, the Kinship, Adoptive and Foster Parent Association, a nonprofit that provides resources and advocates for the needs of foster and adoptive Families in Santa Clara County. This year’s donation drive placed emphasis on teens, a segment of the population often overlooked during the “Season of Giving.”

Trisha Motter, President of SCCAOR, said that this year’s event was a team effort.

“So many dedicated people and groups came together to make this year’s toy drive a huge success,” said Motter. “We felt that it was important to focus on gifts for teens, as they are often the ‘forgotten group’ when it comes to holiday giving.”

The event was attended by real estate agents from all over Santa Clara County. Each attendee brought some type of donation, some individuals electing to fill bags and even boxes full toys to donate to KAFPA.

Kelly Hunt, a REALTOR® for CSR Real Estate Services, has been actively participating in the event for the last ten years. She spends the month before the event gathering donations from friends and colleagues. This year she collected a total of 405 toys and pajamas, and $1300 in cash and gift cards.

“My volunteer work over the years has been primarily focused on helping children, since they don’t always have the ability to control their environment,” said Hunt. “My clients, friends, and colleagues are what really makes the toy drive a success, and I couldn’t do it without them. I’m just the vehicle making it easier to help and to bring everyone together for the benefit of the kids.”

While organizations like KAFPA receive a majority of their donations around the holidays, it is important to keep them in mind year round.

Hunt added, “KAFPA needs donations all year long for basic necessities, so I’m working with the director to find ways to help more throughout the year. The Holiday Toy Drive is just one of many things our real estate community does to give back to the community throughout the year, and I’m always proud to be a part of helping those in need.”

For more information on KAFPA, visit www.kafpa.org.
Learn more about the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation at www.sccrfoundation.org.

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Local REALTORS® Complete Course to Become Certified International Property Specialists

Twelve REALTORS® recently finished a week long course to become designated as Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS). The designees, many who are members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR), were given hands-on experience focusing on the critical aspects of international real estate transactions.

The classes took place at the SCCAOR Offices in San Jose, California, and focused on the knowledge, research, network and tools needed to globalize real estate businesses. The course was taught by Fanny Chu, a CIPS Instructor and REALTOR® based in San Francisco. She has been teaching CIPS classes since 2007.

“I am so proud of the 12 graduates from SCCAOR that completed the course and became CIPS designees,” said Chu. “These realtors will have a clear edge when it comes to navigating the complex challenges that are faced when working in international real estate.”

 

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CIPS Graduates at SCCAOR (Left to Right): Victoria Torres, Cindy Dalla, Michael Bui, Hilda Ramirez, Qi Cammarano, Mimi Quach, Vendy Chan, Gigi Zhang, Brian Flock, Fanny Chu, Wilma Baltar, Vicky Campos

 

Much of the coursework focused on transnational transactions, which included currency and exchange rate issues, cross-cultural relationships, regional market conditions, investment performance, and tax issues.

The CIPS designation is the exclusive global designation for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the country’s largest trade association. NAR represents over 1.1 million members, but only 3500 real estate practitioners hold a CIPS designation.

Catering to foreign investors is becoming an essential skillset for real estate professionals. According to a recent report on NAR’s website, foreign buyers purchased $102.6 billion of residential property in the U.S. from April 2015 to March 2016, and this number is poised to increase. Foreign buyers accounted for the purchase of 214,885 residential properties, a three percent increase from the previous 12-month period.

And they will typically purchase more expensive homes. According to the same report, foreign buyers purchased properties valued at $277,380, compared to the median price of $223,058 of all U.S. existing home sales.

“With business continuing to becoming a global game, this designation is more valuable than ever,” said Chu. These designees are truly the global real estate professional for today’s global clients.”

For more information on the CIPS Designation, visit www.sccaor.com/international
For more information on upcoming courses at SCCAOR, visit www.sccaor.com/#classcalendar

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SCCAOR Global Investment Council Welcomes National Association of REALTORS® Delegates from the Philippines

philippinesgroup

The Global Investment Council for the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) recently hosted the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) delegation from the Philippines. The event, held at the SCCAOR Offices in San Jose, featured presentations and Q&A sessions where the delegates answered questions and discussed the current real estate trends in the Philippines. The event was attended by local REALTORS®, members of the public, and local government officials, including Milpitas City Council Member Garry Barbadillo.

“We are so excited to welcome the NAR Delegates from the Philippines to the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®,” said SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins during a presentation at the event. “SCCAOR is dedicated to working with the international community to better understand trends in the global real estate landscape, and we are proud to be a local resource for our multicultural members.”

One the delegates in attendance was Evangeline Yia, the VP for International Affairs at the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations (CREBA) in the Philippines. As a liaison between the Philippines and NAR, she discussed her positive outlook on the relationship between NAR and REALTORS® in the Philippines.

“NAR will really help REALTORS® in the Philippines level up their professionalism and code of ethics,” Yia said. “With NAR’s help, we are lifting the bar of excellence.”

The attendees at the event enjoyed traditional cuisine from the Philippines, and many guests wore traditional Filipino clothing.

Jennifer Tasto, a California based REALTOR® and currently the NAR President’s Liaison to Philippines, informed the crowd that the National Association of REALTORS® has over 4,000 International members, and almost 700 of those REALTORS® are from the Philippines.

“A lot of this success has come from the support and hard work of Evangeline Yia, CREBA leadership, and the International Real Estate Members of the Philippines,” she said.

CREBA is a non-profit that was established in the Philippines in 1973. It is the recognized umbrella organization of some 4,000 firms, individuals and associations directly or indirectly involved in land and housing, construction, allied industries and various professional fields of discipline.

Sharmin Albacete, CREBA’s Executive Director, said that his organization was chosen in 2011 as the exclusive cooperating association of NAR in the Philippines.

“As the sole partner of NAR in the Philippines, we are committed to help promote the highest degree of ethics in the real estate profession,” said Albacete. “Our partnership with NAR has allowed us to gain insights on how other countries are able to address their own housing issues and explore new ideas.”

Click here for more photos

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Dave Walsh Announces Candidacy for 2018 Treasurer of the California Association of REALTORS®

dave-walshLocal REALTOR® Dave Walsh has announced his candidacy to join the California Association of REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) leadership team as 2018 Treasurer. As one of the most influential trade organizations in the state of California, C.A.R. promotes professionalism in real estate and advocates for its members’ ability to conduct business as well as real property ownership and the preservation of real property rights.

“I’m excited about continuing to give back to a profession that has meant so much to me and my family,” Walsh said. “There is a real sense of community that organized real estate brings to the table as we work to make our communities stronger by advocating for home ownership and private property rights.”

Walsh brings more than 36 years of real estate experience to his candidacy. Having served as President of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® in 2008, during the last economic downturn, he has experienced leading through difficult times.

“I am truly optimistic about the future, but there will be challenges along the way,” Walsh said. “Technology is disrupting the real estate industry and  more change is coming to our profession in the form of tax reform. Our leaders must be prepared and ready to guide our membership through the turbulence ahead.”

Walsh serves as broker of an Alain Pinel Real Estate office and founder of the largest Open Tour and Marketing Meeting in the Santa Clara Valley. His real passion comes out though in community service and advocacy. Walsh has raised tens of thousands of dollars annually for local schools and the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation. He is also a C.A.R. and National Association of REALTORS® Director, weighing in on policy that impacts real estate at the state and national level.

The California Association of REALTORS® includes more than 100 local member Associations and more than 170,000 REALTORS®, REALTOR® Associates and affiliate members who abide by a rigid code of professional ethics.

More information about Dave Walsh can be found at http://www.davewalsh418.com/.

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Going the Extra 7,000 Miles for Its Members: Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® Gets Creative in Helping Educate About Global Real Estate

 

Members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® had the opportunity to learn first-hand about differences that exist in real estate between the U.S. and China and how to effectively work with Chinese buyers while on an excursion to China at the end of October that included a professional conference with Beijing agents.

“We have a huge percentage of Chinese buyers in the Bay Area,” explained SCCAOR President Craig Gorman. “In order to work with them effectively, you need to know about Chinese culture. The best thing is to go there and experience it yourself.”

More than 150 top-producing agents attended a one-day conference at Beijing Homelink, the country’s largest real estate agency. Some of the many topics discussed included buyer and seller representation, fiduciary duty, ethics, portals and web sites, and the tremendous influence that Asian culture has had on real estate in the U.S., for example with Feng Shui.

“There is no course that can be taught that can replace what one learns from personal experience,” said Hilda Ramirez, Director of Professional Development at SCCAOR, who led the delegation to China. “The excursion provided an invaluable look into the everyday lives of the Chinese people at a variety of economic levels. An information exchange with Homelink agents in Beijing is an experience REALTORS® dream of.”

Suzana Kubota of Coldwell Banker Previews International said she came back with a better understanding of why schools and education play such an important role in the home buying process for Chinese people and the high standards and expectations the Chinese set.

Anne Hansen, a broker with Realty ONE Group, had the opportunity to meet with young 30-somethings who aspire to be real estate professionals. “They were dying for information,” she said. “How do you get listings. How do you get inventory. They want to be trained in sales. I think they’re very passionate.”

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Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® Leads Excursion to China

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® will lead a delegation of its members to China today through Oct. 28th on a trip that will include a presentation at the Beijing Homelink Real Estate Agency, the country’s largest real estate company.

Sixteen people are traveling to China, including Hilda Ramirez, director of Public Relations, Communication and Education for SCCAOR, Anne Hansen, a REALTOR® with Realty ONE Group who serves on SCCAOR’s Board of Directors; Pauline Martinez, a broker at AALIS Platinum Properties; and Suzana Kubota of Coldwell Banker, who will all be speaking at Beijing Homelink.

“It is an honor to speak at Beijing Homelink and to lead a group of SCCAOR members to China, where they can learn more about the people, history and culture of this rapidly changing country,” Ramirez said.

“We are delighted that SCCAOR will be coming to Beijing Homelink to lead a discussion about nuances that exist between the United States and China when it comes to the real estate industry,” said Gene Shi, President of Beijing Homelink International Operations.

SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins noted that, “The Bay Area is home to a very large Asian population and with Chinese investors continuing to be a major force in our market we knew we needed to do more to prepare our members for success. SCCAOR members will be one of the very first REALTOR® associations to visit China. Over the next several days, our members will be immersing themselves in the culture and meeting with their Chinese counterparts.”

The Chinese are the biggest group of foreign home buyers in the U.S. and account for 16 percent of foreign buyer activity, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Sales from Chinese home buyers reached a record $28.6 billion between April 2014 and March 2015.

The trip to China was made available to all SCCAOR members. Participants will visit Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou.