By Sandy Jamison

Happy New Year and welcome to the new 20’s.  I’m very excited and honored to begin my term as your 2020 SCCAOR President. First, I’d like to thank Gustavo Gonzalez, your 2019 Association President for his commitment to service and outstanding job this past year. This coming year I will be joined by a very talented leadership team that includes President-Elect Doug Goss, Vice President Lisa Faria, and Secretary/Treasurer Stephen Theard. I look forward to working closely with this team and our Board of Directors to help guide our Association toward some new and exciting goals.

As President, my main goals will be to provide best-in-class member benefits at competitive prices while strengthening the Association, to develop and implement new communications strategies to enhance our member engagement and advocacy impact, and to focus on operational excellence through process and technology implementations aimed at improving productivity and efficiency.

There is a lot to look forward to as we enter this new decade. As REALTORS®, we will face a number of challenges in our market and industry but at the same time we’ll see some exciting new opportunities. SCCAOR recently opened a new Service Center in Gilroy to help serve the needs of our South County residents. The office has a membership center, a REALTOR® Store, and a training room that will soon be hosting classes and other meetings for our members.

Our Advocacy Team anticipates a busy year in 2020. Since the primary election was moved from June to March, candidate interviews and ballot measures started coming early. SCCAOR has endorsed candidates in four out of the five San Jose City Council races, and we anticipate making endorsements in Campbell, Milpitas, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Cupertino, and the Santa Clara County Supervisor’s race after March.

Measure E (San Jose-only March Primary ballot measure) will continue to tax those who want to buy or sell a home in the form of a massive increase to the local Transfer Tax. This tax increase will take the existing tax from $3.30/$1,000 of assessed value, to $15/$1,000 of assessed value – a 450% increase! We remain firmly opposed and encourage you to vote NO on Measure E.

SCCAOR will also be joining forces with C.A.R. to gather signatures for their state-wide ballot measure, The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act of 2020. I encourage you to add your signature to the list next time you’re in the SCCAOR office.

In our recent annual Member survey, 65.2% of SCCAOR Members said they would consider switching MLS providers if the option were available. In response, SCCAOR has invited the state-wide California Regional Multiple Listing Service (“CRMLS”) to make a special presentation to our members. These presentations will happen on January 14 in our Gilroy office and January 15 in our San Jose office. We hope you will be able to join us to learn about some of the exciting opportunities they have to offer. Your feedback will be immensely helpful to the SCCAOR Board of Directors as we look to address our members’ concerns. You can learn more and register to attend for free here.

I wish you a prosperous new year and I look forward to seeing you at all of our events throughout the year!

Members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) donated hundreds of toys and pajamas at their recent Member Holiday Mixer event. In addition to the donations, a total of $2536 was raised during the event, with all donations and money raised during the event went to the Kinship, Adoptive and Foster Parent Association.

“It was amazing to see the generosity of the REALTOR® Family,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, SCCAOR President. “KAFPA is an amazing organization that does great work for our community. We are truly honored to be able to support them each year with these donations.”

KAFPA is a nonprofit that provides resources and advocates for the needs of foster and adoptive families in Santa Clara County. They provide youth programming and family programming, serving over 300 foster, kinship, and adoptive parents and about 1600 foster, kinship, and adoptive and biological children.

You can view photos from the event on our Facebook page.

The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation, the charitable arm of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, recently made turkey donations to three South Bay organizations that all focus on giving back to those in need.

“As we come into this time of giving, it is good to stop and reflect on the things we are grateful for,” said Don Jessup, Chair of the Foundation. “I am grateful for all of the SCCAOR REALTOR® and Affiliate members who gave so much to make this day possible. Taking care of our community is what we do and today we helped three great organizations feed those that are in need.”

The SCCR Foundation donated a total of 250 turkeys that were split between Martha’s Kitchen in San Jose, City Team in San Jose, and St. Joseph’s Family Center in Gilroy. All three organizations provide hot meals and other assistance to those in need.

About each organization

Martha’s Kitchen: Since 1981, about 4,500,000 meals have been served at Martha’s Kitchen with the help of volunteers from surrounding communities, schools and churches of all denominations, along with individual donors in the spirit of Louise Benson’s concept of feeding the hungry in our community. (Read more)

City Team: Since 1957, CityTeam has been serving people in extreme poverty and helping them transform their lives, their families and their communities. Today, with the help of volunteers and faithful donors, CityTeam is impacting the lives of over 500,000 people each year. (Read more)

St. Joseph’s Family Center: The Food Pantry is the oldest and largest program that St. Joseph’s operates. Low income families and individuals receive nutritious, balanced food baskets, Tuesday through Friday, that help them maintain a proper diet and physical well-being. Homeless receive nourishing and filling lunch bags daily, Monday through Friday. A large assortment of fresh produce is distributed every Monday morning. The Food Pantry established and supports 10 off-site pantries located in schools and agencies throughout the South County. (Read more)

This ongoing series explores the NAR Code of Ethics through various case interpretations. Please read through the following case and try to decide if there was any Code of Ethics violations. Then click the box at the bottom to find out the answer. (These cases have been provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.)

Case #10-4: Use of “Choose Your Neighbor” Marketing Letters

REALTOR® A listed a property in a new subdivision. At the instruction of his client, Seller X, REALTOR® A did not enter the listing in the MLS, did not place a “For Sale” sign on the property and did not advertise the property online. Seller X had told REALTOR® A that he wanted the sale handled quietly, with the new purchasers being people who would “fit into the neighborhood—people with the same socioeconomic background” as the other residents of the subdivision.

Based on his conversation with Seller X, REALTOR® A’s only marketing effort was mailing a letter to the other residents of the subdivision, inviting them “. . . to play a part in the decision of who your next neighbor will be. If you know of someone who you would like to live in the neighborhood, please let them know of the availability of this home, or call me and I will be happy to contact them and arrange a private showing.”

REALTOR® A’s marketing strategy came to the attention of REALTOR® B, whose mother lived in the subdivision. REALTOR® B filed a complaint charging REALTOR® A with a violation of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics.

At the hearing, REALTOR® B told the Hearing Panel of receiving a copy of the marketing letter from his mother, who had recently moved to the subdivision. REALTOR® B advised the panel that he had checked the Board’s MLS for information on the property, had driven past the house to look for a “For Sale” sign and had searched online for any information on the property. Finding nothing, REALTOR® B concluded that REALTOR® A’s marketing strategy was to limit access to the property to individuals preselected by the current residents. “In my mind,” said REALTOR® B, “this could only mean one thing. REALTOR® A was deliberately discriminating against home buyers from other areas, or those with different backgrounds, who would never have the opportunity to learn about the house’s availability. Obviously, REALTOR® A was directing all of his marketing energies into finding purchasers who would not disrupt the ethnic and economic character of the neighborhood.”

REALTOR® A defended his actions by advising the panel that he was acting on Seller X’s instructions. Seller X appeared as a witness for REALTOR® A and confirmed this fact, adding that he and the other residents of his block had an informal agreement that they would try to find “suitable” purchasers for their homes if they ever decided to sell. Seller X felt that by broadening the marketing campaign to include all residents of the subdivision he had increased the chances of finding such potential purchasers.


The Hearing Panel found REALTOR® A in violation of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics. In their decision, the panel advised REALTOR® A that no instruction from a client could absolve a REALTOR® from the obligation to market properties without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, country of national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity, as expressed in Article 10. There was no doubt, in the panel’s opinion, that the exclusive use of “Choose Your Neighbor” letters to market the property was designed to circumvent the requirements of Article 10.

See more case interpretations here

It’s important to log in to your SCCAOR Profile and make sure all your contact info is up-to-date.

Daniela Pfuetzenreiter has joined SCCAOR as our new Membership Coordinator. She will work alongside our Membership Team to help new members join SCCAOR and assist current members with any questions or issues about their Association membership.

“One of the most exciting things about working with REALTORS® is giving them the tools needed to help people find their homes,” said Pfuetzenreiter. “And in some way, I think I am doing a part in helping them find their homes as well.”

Daniela is no stranger to the real estate industry. She worked for the San Benito Association of REALTORS® for three years as an Executive Assistant, where she handled communications, social media, tour meetings, and other membership related activities.

“We are so happy to have Daniela on the team,” said Tracey Lee, Membership Services Manager. “Her past Association experience and positive attitude make her a great addition to SCCAOR and we look forward to having her work at our new Gilroy office when it opens.”

Born and raised in Brazil, Daniela studied Journalism and Communications in college. She then lived in London, England for a year where she worked for WA International. In 2005 she moved to the United States and has lived in California ever since. In her free time, she enjoys photography, going to the beach, boating, riding her bicycle, and looking after her dogs and cats.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® would like to congratulate our incoming 2020 Leadership Team.

2020 Officers


2020 Directors

Jen Beehler
Elizabeth Monley
John Scaglione
Will Chea
Gustavo Gonzalez*
Derek Essary – 2020 SCRA Representative**

* Per SCCAOR policy, the immediate Past President is given a three-year term.

**Per SCCAOR Bylaws, one director shall be designated by the South County REALTORS® Alliance to serve a one-year term from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

This ongoing series explores the NAR Code of Ethics through various case interpretations. Please read through the following case and try to decide if there was any Code of Ethics violations. Then click the box at the bottom to find out the answer. (These cases have been provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.)

Code of Ethics Case Interpretation – Article 8: Request for Investigation Filed by Association With the State Real Estate Commission

REALTOR® A listed Client B’s residential property and sold it to Buyer C, who made a substantial deposit subject only to Buyer C’s obtaining a mortgage on terms and conditions not exceeding a specified rate of interest within 60 days.

Realtor® A assisted Buyer C by recommending a lending institution, and after processing of his application for a mortgage, a written mortgage commitment was made by the lending institution which met the terms and conditions of the sales agreement. However, shortly after the mortgage commitment was received by Buyer C, REALTOR® A received a certified, return receipt requested letter from Buyer C, advising that Buyer C had changed his mind and would not go through with the sale. REALTOR® A discussed the matter by phone, but Buyer C said he would rather forfeit his deposit and definitely would not complete the sale, even at the risk of the seller suing for specific performance.

REALTOR® A then advised Client B of Buyer C’s refusal to go through with the sale and Client B told REALTOR® A that he did not wish to sue Buyer C, but would just accept a portion of the forfeited deposit as specified in the listing agreement between Client B and REALTOR® A.

REALTOR® A then obtained a written release from the sale from Client B and Buyer C, and promised to send Client B a check for the portion of the forfeited deposit due to Client B as specified in the listing agreement. However, REALTOR® A failed to send Client B a check and Client B filed a complaint with the Professional Standards Administrator of the Association alleging a violation of Article 8 of the Code of Ethics.

At the hearing, Client B stated that he had no complaint about REALTOR® A’s services to him except REALTOR® A’s failure to provide Client B with the portion of the forfeited deposit due him, and that after several telephone calls and letters, REALTOR® A had told Client B that he would provide the forfeited monies due Client B “just as soon as he could.” Client B said REALTOR® A told him he had some unexpected expenses and therefore Client B would have to wait until REALTOR® A obtained other funds which he expected to receive shortly.

REALTOR® A admitted the facts as related and further admitted that he had not placed the deposit received from Buyer C into an escrow account, but had placed it in his general funds. He said that unexpected expenditures had caused a deficit balance in these funds, and he would pay Client B as soon as he could.

The Hearing Panel concluded that REALTOR® A was in violation of Article 8 of the Code of Ethics and recommended that the decision, when final, be forwarded to the State Real Estate Commission as a possible violation of the public trust.

The Board of Directors affirmed the decision of the Hearing Panel; ordered implementation of the recommended sanction; and requested that the President forward, with advice of Board legal counsel, the final decision to the State Real Estate Commission as a possible violation of the public trust.

See more case interpretations here

An important message for our Supra Keyholders that use iPhones/iPads:

Apple will release a new operating system, iOS 13, for iPhones and iPads, on Thursday, September 19. A new version of Supra eKEY app is now available in the Apple app store.

Important! Please update your eKEY app to this new version before you update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 13. You may not be able to access keyboxes if you use a previous version of the eKEY app with iOS 13.

To update to the latest version of the eKEY app:

  1. Go to your iPhone or iPad home screen and tap the App Store icon
  2. Tap the Updates icon in the bottom right of the screen
  3. Scroll to locate the eKEY app and select Update or select Update All at the top of the screen to update all of your apps. New Supra eKEY app for iOS 13

Over 500 Bay Area real estate professionals attended the REignite Real Estate Conference & Expo on September 19, 2019, at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose. The event featured numerous educational speakers, including C.A.R.’s Deputy Chief Economist, Jordan Levine, who delivered a keynote on the Silicon Valley housing market forecast. The event also featured an Expo Hall with over 40 exhibitors showcasing their real estate related products and services.



Links to the Speaker’s Presentations

Kenny Truong – Getting Your Social Brand to 100%
Nicole Nicolay – Stop Trying to Be Your Competition

Jordan Levine – California Housing Market Outlook
Heidi Moran – Mastering the Fundamentals is a Team Sport
Mike Bui – Market Yourself to Win Listings and Farms
John Pinto – Living Your Best Life, While Still Crushing It
Greg Simpson – Claiming Your Place in the Luxury Market
Adria Quinones-Masur – Serving the Many Faces of Silicon Valley

Thank you to all the SCCAOR Members, Volunteers, and Staff that helped make this event a success! We will see you next year!