2016-nar-global-goldThe National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) awarded the GOLD Global Achievement Program Award to the Global Investment Council of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) at its national meetings in Orlando, Florida. The award, which was won by SCCAOR’s Global Investment Council during its first year of existence, is designed to recognize and reward the most active associations in global business.

Brad Gill, the committee chair of the Council, said that it was a great privilege to serve as chair for the global investment council during its inaugural year.

“To receive such recognition from NAR this early for our council reassures me that we have created something great for our general membership,” said Gill.  “All the member volunteers on our committee as well as our staff liaisons have worked diligently this year to ensure that we will have a strong global presence here at SCCAOR now and well into the future.”

The Global Investment Council at SCCAOR coordinates with other internal committees and external organizations to make sure that its association is the recognized local resource for global real estate and multicultural clients.

NAR presents the GOLD Award to Councils that demonstrate “exceptional commitment to building members’ awareness of the global and multicultural business opportunities in their local markets.” Councils were evaluated in five focus areas: Business Plan, Marketing/Communication, Events/Education, Outreach and Benchmarking.

“SCCAOR is pleased to bring its members the resources, connections and training they need to be successful in the Global Real Estate Market,” said Hilda Ramirez, Director of PR, Education, and Events at SCCAOR. “The evolution of the internet has made investing in global real estate one of the fastest growing sectors in the profession.  It is an honor to be recognized as a NAR Gold Global Council in our first year of operation.”

 

For more information, visit www.sccaor.com/international

The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 grant to Downtown Streets Team, a Bay Area nonprofit organization aimed at ending homelessness in several local communities.

The grant will go towards supporting Downtown Streets Team’s Phoenix Fund, which will provide pots and pans, bedding, bath towels, kitchen tools, cleaning supplies and hygiene materials for homeless people across Santa Clara County.

Founded in 2005, Downtown Streets Team now operates in Palo Alto, San Jose, Sunnyvale, San Rafael, San Francisco, Hayward and Novato. They serve over 750 unhoused men and women a year, and their goal is to end homelessness in our lifetime.

Visit www.streetsteam.org for more information.

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

rp_buttons_final_vote_strokeDear SCCAOR Member,

Your vote matters! As you fill out your ballots please take the time to read about candidates and measures that the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® have endorsed or opposed for the November 8, 2016 general election.

SCCAOR studies the issues and candidates and endorses those share the REALTOR® Party values of homeownership and support a friendly climate for you to operate your business.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

And remember, every vote counts. In San Jose City Council District 4 only 14 votes separated the winning and losing candidate in the June 7 election earlier this year, so get out and vote!

Sincerely,

Trisha Motter
2016 SCCAOR President


SCCAOR Endorsements:

San Jose Endorsements
Steve Brown – District 2
Devora “Dev” Davis – District 6
Jimmy Nguyen – District 8

Santa Clara Endorsements
John McLemore – Seat 3
Mario Bouza – Seat 6

Milpitas Endorsements
Debbie Giordano – Mayor
Mark Tiernan – City Council

Campbell Endorsements
Rich Waterman

Morgan Hill Endorsements
Steve Tate – Mayor
Larry Carr – City Council

Gilroy Endorsements
Dan Harney – City Council

NO – Gilroy Measure H

There is a housing crisis and a need to spread jobs more evenly across our county and region. Measure H will make it more difficult to address either issue as each new housing or business development outside the existing city limits would need to go back to voters for approval. An urban growth boundary outlined in Measure H is not a smart growth planning tool. Instead it will make housing more expensive and jobs more scarce in Gilroy while also impacting the city budget in a negative way.

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Congratulations to SCCAOR’s Director of Public Relations, Communication, & Education, Hilda Ramirez, for being honored at the 4th Annual Latino Heritage Leadership Awards Ceremony in Santa Clara. Hilda was recognized by Senator Bob Wieckowski and awarded the “Latino Heritage Leadership Award” for her professional accomplishments in several community organizations. She is one of the founders of the National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates (NHORA), which advocates for consumer education and business leadership.

Senator Bob Wieckowski will honor several top achievers in the Latino Community on Friday afternoon when he hosts the 4th Annual Latino Heritage Leadership Awards Ceremony at the Council Chambers of Santa Clara.

One of this year’s honorees is Hilda Ramirez, the Director of PR, Communications, and Education for the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR). Ramirez is one of the founders of the National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates (NHORA), which advocates for consumer education and business leadership.

hilda-ramirez“I am so proud of Hilda’s community activism,” said SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins. “She is a very worthy recipient.”

Other honorees this year include Amanda Montez of Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Mario Vargas of All Stars Helping Kids, and members of the Hispanic Community Affairs Council. The event coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15th through October 15th.

“I look forward to honoring Hilda Ramirez and the other recipients at my Latino Heritage Leadership Awards Ceremony this Friday,” said Senator Wieckowski. “Hilda is a great advocate for housing in Santa Clara County and helps local professionals better serve their clients by improving their marketing skills. Many businesses are better off because of the training and consulting she provides on important communication issues.”

The ceremony will start at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7th. It will take place in the Santa Clara Council Chambers, located at 1500 Warburton Avenue. The event is free and open to the public; however, a limited number of RSVPs will be accepted. People wishing to attend are asked to call Senator Wieckowski ‘s District Office at 510-794-3900 or RSVP online at bit.ly/2cUlGYH .

Bob Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District in the California State Legislature, one of the more diverse areas in the state of California. His district stretches from southern Alameda County into Santa Clara County. He was elected into office in 2014. While in office he has focused on job creation, clean technologies, protecting the environment and reducing unnecessary regulations.

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Over 1,500 real estate professionals will come together at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Tuesday, October 4th for the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® 26th Annual Convention & Expo.

The guest speakers at this year’s event include a host of well accomplished and respected industry professionals. They will share valuable insight and tips on how REALTORS® can grow their business and stay relevant in today’s competitive landscape. The convention will also include technology workshops which will provide information about the latest technologies in the real estate industry.

Kristi Kennelly, a national speaker from REALTOR.com, will kick things off when she takes the main stage at 10:00 a.m. She will walk the audience through the day in the life of a mobile savvy agent. Kennelly, formerly an award-winning Broadway and professional theater actress, has been involved in real estate marketing and mortgage technology for almost 20 years.

Top industry CEOs – including Chris Trapani of Sereno Group, Sean O’Toole of Property Radar, and James Dwiggins of Next Home – will share insights on the disruption and evolution of the real estate industry. Their panel, called “If You Build It, Will They Come?”, will be moderated by Michael Soon Lee.

The Convention will also feature more than 70 exhibitors that provide products and services to the real estate industry. This will provide an excellent opportunity for REALTORS® to network and mingle with businesses and individuals that are having a direct impact on the real estate industry.

REALTORS® and those who serve the real estate industry will not want to miss this year’s event! To register and see a list of exhibitors that are attending, visit www.sccaor.com/2016Convention. You can also download the mobile app for this year’s Convention at my.yapp.us/SCCAOR.

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chiliA new King of Cuisine was crowned last night at the 2016 Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation Chili Cook Off. Congratulations to Pete Smith of Intero Real Estate Services on his winning recipe, Pete’s Fire Breathing Dragon Chili. It was delicious; ingredients included 17 pounds of beef sirloin and a few jalapenos for extra kick. For the first time in the history of the event, the same entry received top honors from both the “Celebrity Judges and the People’s Choice Award”. Pete’s name will be proudly added to the perpetual trophy. Proceeds from the event support the grants awarded by the charitable arm of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS, the SCCR Foundation.

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Congratulations to SCCAOR member Erika Carrasco of Intero Silver Creek, who was recently recognized as one of the top Latino real estate agents in the country by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals [NAHREP].

“I feel very accomplished and blessed to be able to help out many families,” she said.

Carrasco, who ranked 90th on NAHREP’s list of Top 250 Latino Agents, generated more than $32.4 million in sales volume in 2015 on 89 transaction sides. She earned $886,762 in gross commission. Based on these numbers, she was named the top Latino agent in Northern California. She was the only agent from San Jose to make NAHREP’s list this year.

The 250 top Latino agents chosen this year were selected from 700 candidates, the largest pool of applicants NAHREP has seen to date. Altogether they generated more than $5.18 billion in total volume.

This is the second time Carrasco has been named a top Latino agent by NAHREP, which recognized her last year as well. She is in the Chairman’s Circle at Intero and ranks in the Top 1% of agents.

Carrasco, who is originally from Mexico, said language has been one of the biggest obstacles she has faced as a Latino REALTOR®. She estimates that 90% of her clients are Hispanic.

“My biggest satisfaction is being able to make my clients’ dreams of owning a home come true,” she said.

By Eric Boyenga, Boyenga Real Estate

The widespread accessibilstarsity of the Internet has brought about an era of increasing transparency in the world of real estate. With more people starting their search for a real estate agent on Google rather than asking their friend or neighbor, an agent or broker’s online reputation has become crucial.  More specifically, consumers are focusing heavily on the reviews and “star count” found on popular websites such as Zillow, Yelp, Facebook, Homelight, Trulia, Realtor.com to name a few. Because of this, many consumers often start and end their REALTOR® search online, bypassing the traditional personal recommendation. Even if a REALTOR® is referred by a friend or family member, a blemished reputation or weak online presence can cause the consumer to search elsewhere for an agent.

This new online era of agent search has made it critical to build and manage your online reputation.  Having powerful reviews as an agent or a team goes a long way in helping buyers and sellers decide who they end up choosing to represent them. But going further than that, the reviews of individual agents will reflect back on their brokerage or team as a whole and vice versa. So while agents should place a heavy focus on the client experience knowing the power of positive reviews, brokers should simultaneously be keeping a close eye on their firm’s online reputation, as well as the reputation of the agents working under them. The interesting and inevitable transition from word of mouth recommendations to online reviews has transformed consumer’s search, and understanding the industry’s transformation will help agents and brokerages succeed in the modern world of real estate.

The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation, the charitable arm of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, raised more than $18,500 for those who are homeless at a breakfast event held at the Capital Club on July 28th. The Foundation’s ultimate goal is to raise $1 million for those who are without shelter in Santa Clara County.

“The purpose of the Foundation is to bring REALTORS® together to help our communities with compassion and our $1 Million Homeless Challenge aligns perfectly with our mission and goal,” explained Bonnie Wilson of Alain Pinel REALTORS®, who chairs the organization.

Wilson and all the other REALTORS® who attended the event have pledged to give 1 percent of their commissions to the Challenge.

“It was terrific to see so many REALTORS® happily donating a portion of their commissions to help the homeless through the SCCR Foundation,” said Rick Smith of Windermere Properties, who will serve as President of SCCAOR in 2017. “Housing is our business. Seeing REALTORS® step up to help those that do not have a place to live was gratifying.”

Kevin Cole was the top donor. Others included Dee Ramirez, Bob and Berta Bower, Leslie Zhong, Brad Gill, Nomita and Jagi Shahani, Barbara Lymberis, Doug Goss, Gustavo Gonzalez, Mary Tian and Jackie Walker.

“It was exciting and heartwarming to see so many of our members showing up and giving their time to learn more about eradicating homelessness from our Valley,” Lymberis said. “As a REALTOR® community, we should feel an obligation to jump into the huge, coordinated effort being made by our city, county and other organizations in helping to end homelessness right where we live.”

Guest speaker Doniece Sandoval, who is the founder and CEO of Lava Mae, said she is working with the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County to bring full-service pop-up centers to local homeless communities. Her company brings bathroom buses to those who are homeless in San Francisco. Sandoval said her goal is “to bring dignity and hospitality to the homeless.” The SCCR Foundation hopes to partner with Sandoval and provide volunteers.

Those who would like to contribute to the SCCR Foundation’s $1 Million Homeless Challenge may do so at www.realtorshelpinghomeless.com.

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