What would summer be without an outdoor BBQ? The two seem to go hand-in-hand. It’s certainly a tradition here at SCCAOR, where every year we show how much we appreciate you, our valued members, by providing a BBQ in our beautiful courtyard free of charge.

This year’s sold-out event, held last week, drew more than 400 people who were treated to great food and drinks and got to do some networking as well. Everyone got to enjoy their drinks with the commemorative glasses we gave away in honor of SCCAOR’s 120th anniversary.

To kick off the event in style, we held a reception inside our newly remodeled office with President Trisha Motter, where people could enjoy some appetizers and see the many exciting changes that we’ve made, especially to our membership department.

Don Jessup of Silicon Valley Associates, who attended the BBQ with his wife, Jennifer Chaing and their 5-year-old son, said he enjoyed the reception and the event overall.

“The reception for the new office was wonderful,” he said. “The remodel is beautiful. The BBQ was one of the best we have ever had. It was a good time for networking and seeing old friends. Thank you for giving back to the members of SCCAOR.”

We recognized several of our many outstanding members. Larry Fargher, CEO of Realcom Associates, received the Distinguished Member of the Year Award for his commitment and service to the real estate industry.

Joe Garcia of Camino Real Realty and Richard Matusich of Richard Matsuich & Associates were recognized for their 47 years of service.

A  dozen politicians cleared their busy schedules in  order to attend the BBQ. We’d like to thank them for coming as well:

  • Campbell Councilmember Jeff Cristina
  • Campbell Councilmember Paul Resnikoff
  • Campbell City Council Candidate Rich Waterman
  • Gilroy Councilmember Peter Leroe-Munoz
  • Milpitas Councilmember Debbie Giordano
  • Morgan Hill Councilmember Marilyn Librers
  • San Jose Councilmember Johnny Khamis
  • San Jose Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio
  • San Jose Council Candidate Dev Davis
  • Assemblymember Evan Low
  • Assembly Candidate Madison Nguyen
  • State Senator Bob Wieckowski

It was a great event and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s BBQ!

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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.