The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) will join REALTORS® across the country to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, one of our country’s most significant laws guiding the real estate industry today.

“As REALTORS®, we stand at the forefront of advancing best practices of fair housing while committing to the highest standards of fair housing issues,” said SCCAOR President Kevin Cole. “Community by community, Fair Housing makes us stronger as we embrace diversity within all of our neighborhoods,” he said.

All year long, members of SCCAOR will lead efforts to raise awareness of fair housing issues by reaffirming their commitment to uphold fair housing laws and offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.

“The passage of the Fair Housing act represents a huge step toward ensuring that all Americans have a chance to live where they choose, but there’s still much for REALTORS® and others in the real estate community to do,” said SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968, noting that the right to fair housing “is now a part of the American way of life.” The legislation now prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin.

Click here to learn more about the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. You can also participate in NAR’s commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act by sharing your story.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) awarded four prestigious awards on January 26th during its Installation Ceremony at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. The highest honor of the night, REALTOR® of the Year, was awarded to Anne Hansen of Realty ONE Group (video). The REALTOR® of the Year Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the principles of good real estate practice, promote home ownership, and provide distinguished service to all SCCAOR Members.

Anne Hansen: REALTOR® of the Year

“I was truly honored just to be considered as one of the eight nominees,” said Hansen. “It was a very humbling experience to be chosen by my peers as the recipient of this distinguished award.”

Hansen has been a SCCAOR Member for 27 years and served on its Board Of Directors for 5 years. She is politically involved at the local and state level, serving as a Director for the California Association of REALTORS® for over 4 years.

Sandy Jamison, who won the REALTOR® of the Year award in 2016, said that Anne has a passion for being there for the good of the whole industry. “Anne is naturally sincere and caring,” she said. “One great example of this is that she recently opened her Pacific Grove home to an elderly couple after they lost their home in the Sonoma fires.”

Rob Bates: Affiliate of the Year

Another award given out at the event was Affiliate of the Year, awarded to Rob Bates of Elite Services 4 Real Estate (video). Rob has been a SCCAOR Member since 2002, has spent 3 years on the Board for the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation, currently serves on the SCCAOR Board of Directors, and is currently the Affiliate Committee Chair.

“I am so elated to be the Affiliate of the Year,” said Bates. “It is an honor to be working with such an amazing association. The leadership, committees, educational services, events and most importantly the impact of giving back to our communities – it’s priceless!”

James Dill: Volunteer of the Year

The award for 2017 Volunteer of the Year went to James Dill of Coldwell Banker (video). James has been with SCCAOR since 2004 and he has been a key member of the SCCAOR Professional Standards Committee since 2007. In addition to being on the SCCAOR Board of Directors from 2009 to 2011, he has been a member of the Education Committee, the Foundation Committee, and a C.A.R. Director.

When asked about his achievements and what volunteering means to him, James quoted the author Jim Rohn and said: “The major reason for [volunteering] is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.”

Vince Rocha: President’s Choice

The fourth award of the night, The President’s Choice Award, was given to Vince Rocha by 2017 SCCAOR President Rick Smith (video). Rocha has been SCCAOR’s Government Affairs Director for the past three years.

“I was surprised and honored to receive the President’s award,” he said. “Getting to work closely with an exceptional volunteer and person like Rick Smith during his year as SCCAOR President has been its own reward.”

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® is pleased to announce the hiring of Jodee Sousa as Marketing and Events Coordinator. In this role, she will be responsible for managing all of the Association’s events.

“I am really excited to be on the SCCAOR Team,” said Sousa. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to the Association to produce amazing, member-focused events.”

To learn more about the events that SCCAOR will be hosting in 2018, you can view this schedule. We also encourage you to check out this YouTube playlist of videos from previous SCCAOR events.

“We are pleased to bring Jodee on board,” said SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins. “She has already proved to be a great addition and I am confident that she will strengthen our Association and bring great value to our members.”

In her spare time, Jodee enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking and attending street fairs.  “The year isn’t complete without a visit, or two, to my Happy Place, Disneyland, for a churro and corn dog,” she said.

$100,000 grant to Housing Trust will help moderate income buyers with closing cost assistance

In one of the toughest markets for first-time homebuyers in years, local REALTORS® are partnering with the Housing Trust Silicon Valley to provide a $100,000 grant that will help first-time homebuyers with closings costs. With homeownership rates in 2015 at a 30-year low at 50.7% in the San Jose Metro Area, this program is meant to help hardworking families establish themselves firmly in the community through the dream of homeownership.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) and the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) saw an unmet need in assisting first-time homebuyers and applied for the $100,000 grant from the California Association of REALTORS® Housing Affordability Fund. The Santa Clara County REALTOR® Foundation and the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation are contributing the necessary operational funds to implement the grant.

The Housing Trust will grant up to $5,000 per first-time homebuyer household. Buyers looking to qualify will need to meet three key standards before applying. They must use a REALTOR® in the transaction; be considered a “first-time homebuyer” under federal tax rules; and meet the income requirement of earning up to 120% of area median income.

“I’ve seen many young families say they just can’t make it work here and we end up losing folks to areas where they can purchase that starter home,” said Rick Smith, president of SCCAOR. “This closing cost grant can make the difference for buyers just on the edge of affordability.”

“We must address the housing needs of hardworking families who live in our communities,” said Denise Welsh, president of SILVAR. “This program will aid first-time homebuyers in their efforts to attain homeownership.”

“For first-time homebuyers, closing costs are the last step to purchasing a home. These grants can make their dream of homeownership a reality,” said Eileen Giorgi, president of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation.

“We work closely with many non-profits and community groups, and what they are telling us is their workers are moderate income and can’t purchase a home. Those serving the needs of the community should have a chance to invest their future here in our area,” said Frank Cancilla, chair of the Santa Clara County REALTOR® Foundation.

“Local REALTORS® have been partners with the Housing Trust Silicon Valley since our founding in 2000 and have worked with us to make homeownership a reality for thousands of families in Silicon Valley,” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of the Housing Trust. “This is a great new way to collaborate and demonstrates their dedication to working on the issue of affordable homeownership in our community.”

For eligibility and program details, visit the Housing Trust Silicon Valley program website.

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

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.

 

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.

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.

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.”

 

cips

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

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.”

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