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/global
For more information on upcoming courses at SCCAOR, visit www.sccaor.com/education

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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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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/.

 

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.”

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.