Page 1

Plus: From Taiwan to 2012 AREAA Chair

Kathy Tsao

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Senior Vice President, Multi-Cultural and Affordable Lending, Chase

Donna Miller


t s Li GE y ed b t n e pres

FALL 2011

D E e h t

ung o Y A s AREAssional e Prof

Trade Mission Journal

South Korea and China “Cultural Intelligence” and the Next Generation of Real Estate Practitioners

Together, we can help your clients get a home they can comfortably afford. • Affordable loan products for those with modest income: A full range of clear and competitive home loans to meet your clients’ varying needs, including home loans with a down payment as low as 3.5%. • Local, accessible experts: Our expert mortgage loan officers are knowledgeable, reliable and committed to responsible lending. • Confidence: Our expert mortgage loan officers will help guide your clients every step of the way, right down to our one-page Clarity Commitment® summary that tells them in plain language what they’re getting. Refer your homebuyers today to a local Bank of America expert mortgage loan officer, or call 1.800.344.9403 to find one near you.

Minimum credit scores apply. Not all applicants will qualify. The Clarity Commitment® summary is provided as a convenience, does not serve as a substitute for a borrower’s actual loan documents, and is not a commitment to lend. Borrowers should become fully informed by reviewing all of the loan and disclosure documentation provided. Clarity commitment is not available on all products. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED OR AUTHORIZED FOR CONSUMER DISTRIBUTION. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. © 2011 Bank of America Corporation. ARO38481 AD-08-11-0263. 08-2011


LSI offers the industry’s Gold Standard for appraisal and title management solutions with more than 40 years experience. Lenders depend on our products to deliver quality results in an environment that fosters independence and regulatory compliance. The LSI Gold Standard is the competitive advantage that lenders need to ensure that their mortgage loans are backed by products they can trust. • Full financial strength and operating transparency backed with audited financials. • Warranted products supported by the strength and stability of adequate reserves. • Stringent quality control procedures unmatched in the industry.

• Strongest information security with planned and tested business continuity and SAS-70 Type II compliance. LOOK BEYOND with LSI. Contact LSI today at 866.624.8422 or visit to learn more about Gold Standard products and technology for today and tomorrow.



866.624.8422 •

Fall 2011


Volume 3, Issue 3 O n t h e C o v e r : The future faces of Asian American Real Estate, the 2011 “A” List

ListGE d by ente pres

D theE

ung A Yo s AREAssional e f o Pr




The 2011 “A” List, Presented by theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals The 2nd annual “A” List recognizes ten upand-coming real estate professionals who serve the Asian American community Interviews by Emily Shapiro


The Power and Influence of AREAA


Kathy Tsao reflects on her journey from childhood in Taiwan to AREAA’s premier leader in 2012


Exclusive Interview: Donna Miller

The Senior Vice President of Multi-Cultural and Affordable Lending for Chase discusses neighborhood stabilization and the importance of diversity Interview by Dan T. Shanyfelt






Contents 10

What is the most important opportunity for AREAA to pursue in 2012?

Past chairs share their opinions about the future of the association


Japan Relief Fundraiser


2011 Leadership Summit

Departments 24


Photos of the June 17th event at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles / Photos by John Photography

Photos of the annual event, held at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey in Southern California / Photos by John Photography

Are Banks Lending?

A look at commercial and small business lending By Vijay Yadlapati

“Cultural Intelligence” and the Next Generation of Real Estate Practitioners

Given the changing demo­ graphics in the US, it is obvious that the next generation of real estate agents will need to be well versed in “Cultural Intelligence” By Maria Valentin


Trade Mission Journal


Underbanked Get Their Moment in the Sun

From the Editor


Chair’s Message




REO Corner


Around the Association

Recounting AREAA’s journey to South Korea and China By Tanya Reu

21 million underbanked Americans are having an impact on financial servicing trends By Barrett Burns



Jim Park is moving on as he notes it’s time for a change Kenneth Li summarizes his year as National Chair

Our multi-talented real estate expert answers readers’ questions about isolating your target market, REOs with drained pools and leveraging lender partnerships

James Lee of RES.NET discusses the impact of technology on your business

Local chapters give back through the AREAA Foundation, recognizing the HOPE Awards winners, protecting women from unlawful mortgage practices and more...


THE “OPEN NEW DOORS FOR MY BUSINESS” CHALLENGE. When you join Prudential Real Estate, you’re aligning yourself with a network of professionals who are dedicated, driven, and serious about growing their real estate businesses. Just like you. But you also get unparalleled marketing support. Forward-thinking technology solutions. A brand name that inspires confidence. And access to the full strength of Prudential Real Estate, including our Relocation services, Commercial, and Fine Homes divisions. Challenge your business to go farther with the same passion that brought you to real estate in the first place. Visit to learn more about franchising and career opportunities.

© 2011 Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. Prudential Real Estate brokerage services are offered through the independently owned and operated franchisees of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc., and its related entities. Used under license.

F r o m t h e Edi t o r Time for a Change Every four years, a hopeful Presidential candidate calls for change. As we enter the upcoming Presidential cycle, I am sure calls for change will be wide-spread and persistent. In 1992, Bill Clinton was very direct in his uses of that concept and used the campaign slogan “For people. For change.” Change can be good and is an important element of any organization’s evolution and growth. And so it is and will be for a | r | e magazine.

This editor’s note will be my last. It is certainly bittersweet for me personally.

This editor’s note will be my last. It is certainly bittersweet for me personally. Nearly four years ago, Emily Fu, AREAA’s 2008 Chair, and I began discussing the idea of starting a world-class magazine to highlight the best of AREAA as well as various challenges and opportunities facing the Asian American real estate community. We met with various publications and magazine producers initially with the idea of partnering up with someone who knew what they were doing. Ultimately, we decided to go at it on our own. Our goal was not to make a | r | e just another trade association journal. Our desire was to make it relevant and informative for people inside and outside AREAA. After all, our impact will be felt when more people understand our situation and are inspired by our work. I know Emily is as proud as I am for the great success that a | r | e magazine has achieved over the past several years. With circulation both online and in hard copies totaling 15,000 nationwide, we are certainly having an enormous influence on the Asian American housing community. And the best days are still ahead of us. Ideas only work if execution follows. a | r | e has been blessed to have the leadership of Praveen Sharma over the past three years. There is no one who is more committed and personally dedicated to creating the best magazine in the business. I firmly believe that there is no single individual who deserves more credit for the success of the magazine than Praveen. He is a unique talent and a devoted worker, and his personal focus on quality can be seen on every page one turns. Finally, I want to thank the countless volunteers who contributed various ideas and articles to our magazine over the years. I especially want to thank this year’s editorial board led by Dan Shanyfelt as well as Michelle Chang, Ivan Choi, and John Fukuda. Many times, we forget that these individuals volunteer their time and effort at the expense of their own personal and professional demands. a | r | e and AREAA are indebted to all of you for your dedication.


Fall 2011

Volume 3, Issue 3

Edi to r- i n - C h i e f

It certainly has been an honor serving as the Editorin-Chief of this outstanding magazine. But it’s the right time to hand the reins to someone who will take this amazing publication to another level. Whether it’s a | r | e or AREAA, we all have an obligation to do our best to put whatever initiative or the association in the best position and allow new leaders their own opportunities to shape the future. So, with this fading clatter of my keyboard, I leave you in good hands of current and future contributors to follow.

Jim J. Park

Cr eat iv e Di r ec to r

Edi to r Dan T. Shanyfelt

Praveen K. Sharma

Edi to r i al B oa rd Jim Park Editor-in-Chief magazine Shen-Yi Michelle


Ivan Choi

John Fukuda

A ssoci at e Edi to r Meredith Magee is a publication of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), a national nonprofit trade organization dedicated to increasing sustainable homeownership in the Asian American community. For more information visit: ©2011 by the Asian Real Estate Association of America. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily the opinions held by AREAA. Direct article submissions and advertising inquiries to: Praveen Sharma | Office: Asian Real Estate Association of America 5963 La Place Court, Suite 312 Carlsbad, California 92008 760-918-9162 Phone 760-585-1397 Fax Previous issues available online at:

A m e s s a g e f r o m K e n n e t h Li hen I was installed as the eighth chairman of the Asian Real Estate W Association of America at the AREAA/

NAHREP conference last October, I was honored to follow in the footsteps of past chairs John Y. Wong, Allen Okamoto, Emily M. Fu, Allen Chiang, and John Fukuda and to serve with 27 board members, 25 committee leaders, 19 chapter presidents and staff for our members in 2011. Our goals are to keep on building on the good work accomplished in the past and to broaden our leadership and membership to be more diversified, more geographical, and more international. I appointed 25 committee chairs and co-chairs or vice chairs from our board and local leaders from different geographic regions. I also created a default services committee, commercial committee, international committee, and strategic planning and finance (SP & F) committee to enhance member benefits and to better serve our communities. Aaron Yu and Allen Chiang head up the national default services committee and they went to many REO conventions and contacted many asset management companies and helped AREAA launch the Default Services Directory for our members and delivered it to all the major asset managers for their references. Kevin Chin, the chairperson of our commercial committee conducted our first national webinar with the help of Lina Chu, vice-chair of digital marketing. Pius Leung helped to connect hundreds of CCIM members who serve the Asian community for AREAA commercial membership. Allen Chiang and Kathy Tsao of the international committee organized our first international trade mission to South Korea and China. Emily Fu of SP & F committee invited all our past chairs to initiate an AREAA bylaw updates task force and CEO search task force. Andrew Lee and Song Hutchins of the chapter development committee work with our chapter leaders on a regular basis and to help

to add Southern California Tri-County, Inland Empire, Central Valley and San Francisco Peninsula chapters. With the help of Tanya Reu, John Wong, Allen Chiang and Andrew Lee, AREAA will have the first international chapter in Canada. Ivan Choi of fundraising, Joey Lai and David Tran of membership, Evan Huynh and Lina Chu of digital marketing, Paul Imura and Jeff Woo of policy, Christine Kim and Dawn Tsien of public relations, Michelle Chang for budget and financing, Dan Shanyfelt of a | r | e magazine, Kara Okamoto and Geremy Yamamoto of theEDGE, John Wong of education, last but not the least, Betty Sun Wong and Heather Chong co-chairs of the conference committee, which organizes our biggest event of the year, AREAA’s own fall conference in 2011... I want to thank all of them and we shall give them a big applaud for their commitment and volunteer work. I would like to thank Allen Okamoto, chairman of the AREAA Foundation and our national leaders and chapter leaders who have hosted a series of Japan rebuild fundraiser events, and the climax was the fundraising event at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. The foundation also awarded scholarships to our young AREAA leaders. Our policy making conference in DC was a huge success. Jim Park spearheaded “The Five Point Plan: Refocusing the Future of Minority Homewonership” to share with our lawmakers on behalf of AREAA, NAHREP, and NAREB. “The Five Point Plan” has been the main tool for us to influence our lawmakers for the needs of the minority communities. Our leadership summit in Los Angeles in June gathered all our national and chapter leaders to discuss how to improve our services to our members. We also voted more new board members and a new vice-chairman for 2012 at the general board meeting. I had a strong commitment to AREAA like many of our leaders do this year.

I have had the honor of representing AREAA at all the major conventions of NAR, NAHREP, and NAREB. I visited and talked to every chapter president and leaders of AREAA and worked closely with our committee chairs. AREAA’s matter was always a priority to me during my chairmanship. I traveled at least once a month for AREAA events and attended committee, executive and general board conference calls. I appreciate all the support and help from the board members, committee chairs, co-chairs and members. I would like to thank Jim Park, our president and wonderful staff: Kate Nielsen, Jennifer Yturralde, Jennifer Minimo and Praveen Sharma to organize all our events and conferences, to update our website and surveys, to arrange our conference calls and webinars... I felt so fortunate that I could devote myself from the very beginning of this organization, which was formed in Houston in 2003 with John Y. Wong, Allen Okamoto and Fred Underwood. I will always remember all the advice from our past chairpersons John Y. Wong, Allen Okamoto, Emily Fu, Allen Chiang, and John Fukuda and appreciate the help of our executive board members Kathy Tsao, chair-elect, Lidia Yun, secretary and Michelle Chang, treasurer. Of course, last but not the least, the support and respect from all our board members, committee members and advisors, sponsors and local chapter leaders and members. Special thanks to my family and my company that can support me for this great volunteer job. I appreciate that I have had the honor and privilege of serving as your 2011 chairman. I wish our new chairwoman, Kathy Tsao, and 2012 AREAA leaders huge success. Best wishes to all of you and thank you. Best regards, Kenneth Li AREAA National Chairman

a | r | e is the official publication of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. AREAA’s national leadership includes:


Executive Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Kenneth Li, Chairman Kathy Tsao, Chair-Elect John Fukuda, Immediate Past Chair Allen Okamoto, Founding Chair John Yen Wong, Founding Chair Jim Park, President Shen-Yi Michelle Chang, Treasurer Lidia Yun, Secretary

Allen Chiang Ivan Choi Louis Gonzalez Song Hutchins Paul Imura Christine Kim Mark Kitabayashi

John M. Lee Andrew Lee Cindy Lui Donna Miller Tanya Reu Charlie Suh Nancy Suvarnamani

David Tran Dawn Tsien Fred Underwood Maria Valentin Sandy Wood

Partner with Chase. Together we can make a difference. Chase proudly shares AREAA’s commitment to building strong Asian-American communities, one homeowner at a time.

When you work with Chase, you’ll experience dedicated, personal service backed by the financial strength and resources of a leader in the home lending industry.

For more information, call Denise Smith at 312-732-3989.

All home lending products are subject to credit and property approval. Rates, program terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all states or for all amounts. Other restrictions and limitations apply. ©2011 JPMorgan Chase & Co. 13328O 0711

What is the most important opportunity for AREAA to pursue in 2012?

The operative phrase is “Go East Young AREAA” and the critical imperative is to position AREAA as the key link for anyone from Asia interested in United States real estate and the key resource for anyone from North America interested in Asian real estate. Our core mission of sustainable home ownership is best achieved in healthy real estate markets and healthy real estate markets require buyers with the ability and willingness to buy. There is broad consensus that buyers from many Asian countries have the cash to buy and our experience confirms that these buyers view United States real estate as great buying opportunities. Many of our members’ clients have deep ties to the Asian countries and many of our members already work with Asian buyers. A significant number of our members also work with Americans buying real estate in Asia. AREAA’s membership has already paved the way. The Asian Real Estate Association of America is uniquely positioned to become the prime nexus for these global real estate activities. Many of its members are already culturally nuanced. Many of AREAA’s members are already multi-lingual or are in the process of becoming multilingual. Circumstances are aligned perfectly for AREAA to become the hub in this network of global real estate activity. If we build this, even more members will come. A whole paragraph of hyperbole and cliché, but darn if it’s not all true.

John Wong 2004-2005

Past chairs share their opinions

San Francisco, California Homeownership opportunities are the core of our mission. During a time of unprecedented change in housing policy, Asian Americans may face continued inability to qualify for home loans as an unintended consequence of the changing legislative landscape. AREAA must take every opportunity to mobilize our members and encourage them to get active in supporting legislation that will keep the dream alive for the immigrants and first-time homebuyers that represent the future homeowners of America.

Allen Okamoto 2006-2007 San Francisco, California

In my opinion, a great opportunity exists in catering to cash investors from overseas who are looking to capitalize on affordability in our market right now. AREAA is in a prime position to connect our members with these investors.


Emily M. Fu 2008 Atlanta, Georgia

Many AREAA members would like to expand their business globally. To facilitate this growth, this is a great time to organize trade missions for our members to experience foreign markets firsthand.

During the past three years, AREAA has experienced tremendous growth and solidified its position as a powerful voice in the real estate industry. Concurrently, the association has identified and developed a significant cadre of young real estate professionals that represent some of the most promising future leaders in the country. We must continue to develop these talented leaders through innovative AREAA mechanisms like theEDGE and our burgeoning local chapter network to ensure the next generation of AREAA members are well-positioned to meet the needs of the growing Asian American home-buying and home-owning community.

Allen Chiang 2009 Los Angeles, California

John Fukuda 2010 Las Vegas, Nevada

415 937.1650 |


Photo: S. Ciencia

Leadership – Service as past presidents, directors and committee chairs of SFAR, CAR, and AREAA by our members Education – Use of Chinese language media to educate the local Asian Real Estate Community on issues of importance Activism – Ongoing communications with local & State elected officials Participation – Founding sponsors of NAR’s HOPE Awards. Active participants in CAR’s biannual Ethnic Leadership Summit Service – Volunteer and sponsorship work to assist homebuyers and those in distressed properties

Founded in San Francisco, 1977, CREAA gives a voice to our local Asian American real estate communities through leadership, education, activism, participation & service. For a local look at San Francisco's real estate practitioners, find us at



Japan Fund Japanese American National Museum

Los Angeles




1. Reverend Hiroshi Abiko opens the evening with prayer 2. AREAA Education Foundation Chair Allen Okamoto 3. Singer and dancer Yuka Takara performs 4. The scene outside the Japanese American National Museum 5. (L to R) Dennis Lo, Lina Chu, Alisha Chen and Barry Sang







Rebuild Raiser June 17, 2011

Photos: John Photography



6-9. Members of theEDGE read letters from Japan: 6. Geremy Yamamoto 7. Scott Maeda 8. Raquel Quinet 9. Kai Ito 10. Mistress of Ceremonies, Actress Tamlyn Tomita 11. Junichi Ihara, Consul General of Japan 12. (L to R) Allen Chiang, Marie Chung, Milt Shaw







13. (L to R) Caron Ling, Kai Ito, Kara Okamoto, Raquel Quinet, Rachel Turner 14. (L to R) Tom Tran, Vinny MaNguyen, Mark Chu, Eric Tran, Evan Huynh, Dan Shanyfelt, David Tran 15. Rodney Hood, Donna Miller and Jim O’Donnell of Chase 16. Jim Park, Allen Chiang and Allen Okamoto recognize Aaron Yu for outstanding fundraising efforts 17. Fred Underwood and Gary Thomas, First Vice President, National Association of REALTORS® 14

AREAA Foundation Japan Rebuild Fund Through the establishment of the Japan Rebuild Fund, the AREAA Foundation is working to support the long term rebuilding of Japan’s housing stock that has been destroyed by the recent devastation. All donations received* will go towards efforts to rebuild homes in Japan and are tax deductible. *Please note that online donations are subject to a transaction fee imposed by Paypal and the full remaining amount will be added to the fund.






The AREAA Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to furthering the mission of AREAA.



The 2011 AREAA Leadership Summit in Marina del Rey, California marked the association’s second summit of its top leaders from around the nation. The annual invite-only event creates a forum for local and national leaders to connect and develop plans for the association’s future. Among the hot topics this year was positioning the association as a vehicle to connect real estate professionals domestically with their counterparts abroad. Photos by John Photography / Photos (L to R) 1. Betty Sun Wong, Lina Chu 2. Carmen Chong, Stephany Oliveros, Kara Okamoto 3. Caron Ling 4. Ivan Choi, Dawn Tsien, Kathy Tsao, John Wong 5. Ric Manalo, Regina Ong-Garcia, Albert Salon 6. Allen Chiang recognizes Christine Kim for AREAA Silicon Valley’s outstanding membership growth 7. Cindy Lui 8. Kayin Ho 9. Ryan Asao 10. Grace Choi 11. Fred Underwood, James Lee 12. Tom Diller, Jennifer Van Trojen 13. Guest Speaker, Dirk Zeller 14. AREAA Chapter Presidents: 1st row, seated Kayin Ho (Central Valley California), Shinglian Chu (Southern California Tri-County), Kathy Tsao (National Chair-Elect), Kenneth Li (National Chair), Michelle Chang (Arizona) 2nd row, standing Grace Choi (DC Metro), Albert Salon (San Diego), Christine Kim (Silicon Valley), Joey Lai (Las Vegas) Aaron Yu (Orange County), Andrew Lee (Greater Sacramento), Joseph Ho (Washington St.), Lina Chu (Inland Empire), James Chen (Dallas/Fort Worth), Heather Chong (Greater LA), Vicky Silvano (Greater Chicago), Dawn Tsien (NY Metro)















Even citizens of the world need a place to call home. 40°N – New York, USA

When you’re ready to settle down, consider a U.S. mortgage from HSBC. As a Premier client you will have access to Premier Deluxe mortgages with fixed and adjustable rate (ARM) options1 featuring our best rates.2 Just one of the unmatched benefits available with HSBC Premier, one of the world’s most comprehensive banking services. Are you building a life without boundaries? Would you like to? To learn more, contact a Premium Mortgage Consultant at 888346-1717 or visit

To qualify for HSBC Premier status, you need to open a Premier Checking Account and maintain $100,000 in combined U.S. personal deposit and investment balances. Business owners may use their commercial balances to qualify for a personal Premier relationship, but these balances cannot be used to meet the new money requirements. A monthly maintenance fee of $50.00 will be incurred if minimum balance requirements are not maintained. You have up to 90 days after account opening to meet the full $100,000 balance requirement. Premier customers will need to maintain combined personal and/or qualifying commercial deposit and investment balances of at least $100,000 USD or equivalent at HSBC (in the U.S. or home country) to be eligible for Premier mortgages. 1 Interest rate may increase per the terms stated in your adjustable rate note and, for both Fixed and Adjustable Rate Premier Deluxe Mortgage options, in the event you cease to maintain a required Premier relationship with HSBC Bank USA, N.A 2 Discounts and loan amount depend on specific program and may require certain Premier balances, reserves, equity and automatic payment from a Premier Checking account. Mortgage products offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. are subject to credit approval. Borrowers must meet program qualifications. Programs subject to change. Geographic and other restrictions apply. Equal Housing Lender. United States persons (including U.S. citizens and residents) are subject to U.S. taxation on their worldwide income and may be subject to tax and other filing obligations with respect to their U.S. and non-U.S. accounts – including, for example, Form TD F 90-22.1 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”)). U.S. persons should consult a tax adviser for more information. Deposit products offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC. © 2011 HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

The REALTOR® family is here to support you. AREAA members living in New Jersey or New York State are encouraged to join the New Jersey Association of REALTORS® (NJAR®) or the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) to take advantage of exclusive benefits and resources only available to members of the REALTOR® family.

NJAR® member benefits include:

NYSAR member benefits include:

• • • •

• • • • •

• • •

Lobbying and advocacy at the state Capitol. Educational and networking opportunities. FREE access to NJAR®’s online forms . 24/7 access to industry and association resources at NJAR®.com. Risk management. Professional discounts and special offers. And, much more!

For more details, visit today!

• •

FREE Legal Hotline. Lobbying and advocacy at the state Capitol. Educational and networking opportunities. Access to affordable health & dental insurance. 24/7 access to industry and association resources at Professional discounts and special offers. And, much more!

For more details, visit today!

Plus, NJAR® and NYSAR team up with PAR to sponsor the annual REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo held in December each year in Atlantic City, New Jersey. To join the REALTOR® family, you must first join a local board/association in your area. Upon joining the local board/association, you will automatically become a member of the state and national associations of REALTORS®.

Dear Dr. AREAA, I have been a full-time real estate agent for three years. I would like to start carving out a niche market for myself but I am afraid to commit to a certain area or market as I don’t want to lose out on business. I can really sell anywhere in my area. What do you suggest that I do to really identify a niche that works for me? - Newbie

Vancouver, Washington

Dear Newbie, That is a great question and one that I wouldn’t take lightly. If you think about it, it is likely that many of the agents in your market are saying that they can sell “anywhere” locally, so the question is, how are you going to differentiate yourself from them and get your phone to start ringing? Here are some guidelines to help you determine your niche:

1. S c o p e O u t t h e C o m p e t i t i o n :


Dr. AREAA O u r m u lt i -ta l e n t e d expert Answers your r e a l e s t at e q u e s t io n s

Take some time to research what your competition is doing and what demographic they are targeting. More importantly, identify what they are NOT doing. Are they blogging about the area? Where are they advertising? Is there a certain demographic they are missing (elderly, or couples with kids)? Once you find a niche that is underserved, create an easy, consistent marketing plan around that niche and get to it! Talk to your broker and ask them to help you devise a plan if you need assistance.

2. R e v i e w Yo u r P a s t S a l e s :

As sales people, we tend to always look for the next deal and we sometimes forget to review the past to identify what has worked and what has not. This is a good exercise to look at your past transactions and identify where you have been most successful. Was there a certain price point in which you excelled? Maybe you were a new construction expert and didn’t even realize it? Start jotting down these market segments and determine if you can create a niche campaign around them. If you only have a few transactions under your belt, pick three segments that you would like to serve and then research the competition (Read Tip 1).

3. P a s t E x p e r i e n c e :

Many agents have come from different work backgrounds and bring special skill sets to this business. Whether they are past jobs or hobbies that you enjoy, use what you’ve got! Are you an engineer turned real estate agent? Do you whip out CMA’s better and faster? Highlight that as you are a buyer’s dream come true! Maybe you were in a marketing position prior to getting in the business? Take some time to create creative listing presentations for sellers. No need to reinvent the wheel, just make it better.


Dear Dr. AREAA, I just received my first REO property to list. I went to perform the initial occupancy check and I found the house vacant with a giant pool that was completely drained to the bone. I don’t want to seem like a rookie and call my asset manager to ask if I should leave it drained or filled. What should I do? - REO Rookie St. Pete Beach, Florida Dear REO Rookie, The first time is always nerve racking! In most areas, a drained pool is a safety hazard and creates a liability for the property owner, in this case, the bank. Also, lenders will not finance on properties with drained pools, and they will require the pool to be filled as a condition to fund the loan. Here’s what you do: call a few local pool companies in the area and collect three to four bids to get the pool filled and cleaned. This way you can show your asset manager that you know that a drained pool is a hazard and you are already taking steps to create a solution. They are depending on you to know these things since you are the local expert. If you haven’t already, take some time to network with fellow REO brokers either locally or at industry conferences so you can look to them for answers and guidance when you run into these situations.

venture to guess that you currently just pass on contact information to your clients and the interaction stops there. It’s time to take it to the next level. The first step would be for you to meet with your lender partners and implement a communication structure that supports your clients through the sale process and, more importantly, AFTER the close. There are easy scripts you can use to support and refer each other. Make sure that there is a script in place for your lender to “toot your horn” the first time they talk to your client. Also have a system for submitting buyer offers. Have your lender call the listing agent directly and offer glowing comments about both the borrowing strength of your buyer and your professionalism. I know these scripts may sound awkward at first, but it’s much more powerful when someone other than yourself gives you kudos. If you create systematic communication scripts that you can both commit to, your partnership can only grow. Once you have solidified the first step, start thinking about creating joint marketing campaigns and events that can further the partnership and generate more business. Be careful that you are in compliance with RESPA/HUD regulations. Both parties should research what is appropriate and allowable to avoid any violations. Have fun with it and design programs that create harmony for all parties and result in promoting repeat business and endless referrals. Good Luck!

ills of the market you down got ? your ques send f o r D r. A R t i o n s EA dr@areaa A to .org

Dear Dr. AREAA, I have found a couple really good lender partners in the area that I am confident referring my clients to. I realized that I have fed them a ton of business but they don’t send me business. Is there anything that I can do to create a stronger business relationship where we work purposefully in exchanging referrals?

- Lender’s Best Friend Orland Park, Illinois

Dear LBF, It’s great that you have found strong lender partners you can rely on when it comes to your business. Many times, real estate agents and lenders stumble on to each other either by a client bringing the lender to the REALTOR, or vice versa. I would even



First Responders making a difference Bank of America provides Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program in local communities Glenda Gabriel, Neighborhood Lending Executive Bank of America Home Loans


uying a home is an important milestone in a person’s life. The decision to purchase a home requires planning for many financial considerations, including establishing a budget, determining monthly payment affordability, selecting a location and estimating additional expenses involved in purchasing and owning a home. When your clients are considering purchasing a home, Bank of America has resources they can use to learn about costs associated with a home purchase such as monthly electric and/ or gas expenses, water expenses, repairs and maintenance of the home as well as homeowners insurance and taxes. To help prepare for homeownership, we offer the Bank of America Home Loan Guide, This interactive online website is designed to guide homebuyers through the entire home loan process – from understanding how much they can comfortably afford to borrow to understanding the loan options that are right for them. The Home Loan Guide provides online tools such as payment calculators and articles that help homebuyers prepare for the expenses associated with homeownership.

Bank of America offers affordable loan products and housing programs to help qualified first-time homebuyers comfortably afford homeownership. In June, Bank of America Home Loans launched the Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program as a pilot in select markets. This program provides a $300 Visa® reward card to use for home expenses after closing a first mortgage with Bank of America Home Loans. The program is offered to qualified First Responders, including firefighters, police officers, security guards, nurses, emergency medical technicians, and other eligible medical professionals1. “First responders make valuable contributions to the well-being of our communities every day. Bank of America is proud of their efforts and wants to thank them for their support of their local communities,” says Glenda Gabriel, Neighborhood Lending Executive. “The Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program provides an opportunity for Bank of America to deepen and strengthen relationships with the community and our First Responder customers.” The Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program


The Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program is available to First Responders in seven select Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) markets1:

Baltimore, Maryland Hartford, Connecticut Detroit, Michigan Orlando, Florida Charlotte, North Carolina Columbia, South Carolina Houston, Texas *Purchased property must be located in markets above. Available June December 2011

“First responders make valuable contributions to the well-being of our communities every day. Bank of America is proud of their efforts and wants to thank them for their support of their local communities” Glenda Gabriel

is available for eligible First Responders who have a home loan application in process starting on June 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011. Loan applications must be registered by the Mortgage Loan Officer by midnight eastern time on December 31, 2011 to be eligible for the program. First Responder home loans must fund by March 31, 2012 to qualify for the Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program. The card will be sent to the First Responder in approximately four weeks after the Bank of America home loan closes.

To find a mortgage loan officer near one of the pilot cities visit and click on the “Talk to a Mortgage Loan Officer” tab. To learn more about the Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program, visit: and click on the “What’s New” tab for more information.

1 Neighborhood Champions® Reward Program is available from June 1 – December 31, 2011. All eligible customers must close on their loan by March 31, 2012 in order to receive the $300 reward card. Certain exclusions, conditions and limitations apply. To learn more about qualifying occupations and locations eligible to receive the Neighborhood Champions Reward Card of $200, please visit The Neighborhood Champions Reward Program is not sponsored by Visa®. Your reward card has an expiration date which is located on the front of the Visa reward card. Your reward card is valid until the date of the expiration listed on the card. Minimum credit scores apply. Not all applicants will qualify. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Bank of America has programs for other occupations and we invite you to speak with a mortgage loan officer to find out more information.

Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender © 2011 Bank of America Corporation. ARO326K6 Protect your personal information before recycling this document.

To find a mortgage loan officer near one of the pilot cities visit and click on the “Talk to a Mortgage Loan Officer” tab. To learn more about the Neighborhood Champions Reward Program, visit, and click on the “What’s New” tab for more information.

Are Banks Lending? By: Vijay Yadlapati

NAR Associate Commercial Policy Representative


t’s no secret that credit significantly decreased at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008. Now that the U.S. economy is showing some signs of a recovery, has lending also improved? It depends on whom you ask. Some banks say they have increased lending, while others say they would like to issue more loans, but there is little to no demand. Borrowers say they cannot obtain credit due to tighter underwriting standards and additional collateral requirements. Certain financial institutions have increased their commercial real estate and small business lending. For example, Wells Fargo & Co.’s commercial loan portfolio rose 1.7 percent from the fourth quarter of


2010. First Niagara Financial Group, a Buffalo, NY-based bank, increased its small business loan portfolio by more than 40 percent between 2009 and the end of 2010. However, these are only two examples of banks that expanded their lending portfolios. Banks that tout their lending increases are presenting a distorted picture. Although their commercial real estate and/or small business lending portfolios may have increased in size, they fail to mention how this increase was achieved. For example, some financial institutions have been gobbling up assets from the 365-plus financial institutions that have failed since the financial crisis. Others have acquired loans

Commercial Focus from competitor banks, taking control of an existing loan, rather than originating a new loan or raise the loan size for an existing borrower. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, lending actually fell 6.2 percent to $652.2 billion in 2010 from a year earlier. Also, a Federal Reserve report indicates that commercial real estate loans have fallen from $1.73 trillion to $1.46 trillion since December 2008. So why is there such a disparity between bank and federal government loan data? This is primarily due to the different ways banks and government agencies calculate lending statistics. When financial institutions report a rise in their lending activities, they often refer to new or renewed loans in a particular period of time – usually the most recent quarter. Conversely, most government lending data includes the total outstanding credit or what is owed to a bank, regardless of whether it is a new or existing loan. This balance drops as loans are repaid, but will rise as new loans are made. At the peak of the financial crisis, most financial institutions were not issuing new loans, and outstanding balances fell significantly as loans were amortized or written down, according to the Wall Street Journal. While banks such as Wells Fargo have slightly increased their lending, many financial institutions are currently not issuing a sufficient amount of loans to offset their diminishing balances. Furthermore, the banks that are issuing new loans are often only lending to the strongest firms and commercial property owners – those that tend to be larger with cash on hand. But if business owners had money sitting in a bank account they wouldn’t need a loan. Small firms, with assets of less than $1 million, have disproportionately received fewer loans than “larger” small businesses. Additionally, while high-end properties in top markets have found access to capital this year, smaller sized investment properties in mid-to-lower tier metro areas continue to struggle with lack of access to financing. Banks say this is due to a lack of demand. Then again, many creditworthy small business and property owners have been rejected for loans by multiple banks due to extremely

tight underwriting standards. In fact, almost 50 percent of the National Association of REALTORS®’ commercial membership said that lending conditions have tightened in 2011. Moreover, nearly 60 percent of its commercial membership indicated a failure to complete a transaction this year due to a lack of financing. While loan demand may be part of the reason why financial institutions are not lending, the main reason is due to high concentrations of construction and commercial real estate loans at small regional and community banks. Nearly 1,300 of these banks have what economists call “problematic” exposure to commercial real estate loans. As commercial property values continue to decline – currently down 43 percent – many banks have been forced to take huge write-downs and losses. This has caused many of these financial institutions to hoard capital, which has led to a decrease in commercial real estate and small business lending.

“...nearly 60 percent of [NAR’s] commercial membership indicated a failure to complete a transaction this year due to a lack of

NAR has been pressing policy makers to encourage more private-equity investments in these financial institutions in order to recapitalize struggling banks and bring back much needed equity into the banking system. This would allow banks to clear their balance sheets of nonperforming assets and resume lending again.


Although it is clear that a very limited number of banks have increased lending to businesses and consumers, many financial institutions are not meeting the credit demand of borrowers. The real question is when will they really start?


It is time for AREAA to use its great market presence and influence to expand its reach domestically and globally.

At midnight, I was mesmerized by the magnificent view of Seoul from my hotel room. I smiled and told myself that we made history and AREAA has finally expanded its global reach to Asia - our trade mission had begun and new opportunities beckoned. I am so excited because I know that AREAA is ready to become something even bigger and better. And it’s happening now.

The power and influence of AREAA Kathy Tsao Reflects on her Journey from Childhood in Taiwan to AREAA’s Premier Leader in 2012

The roots of my passion for helping others achieve homeownership stem from my own personal ex­periences.

Immigration is not a new phenomenon in my family history. My grandparents and parents were born in mainland China. My maternal grandparents were refugees and moved to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War (1949). My grandparents had lost everything but they managed to raise five children. Both my parents knew the only option for improving your own life was to work hard and be frugal.

Even at the tender age of six, we faced discrimination from our predominantly Taiwanese community because we spoke Mandarin. We had no

playmates because of the language barrier. Of course, both my sister and I mastered the language quickly so we could play with our neighbors’ kids in no time. As I grew a little older, I could feel the difference between being a renter versus being a homeowner and to me, the biggest difference is the sense of pride and permanency that comes with homeownership. My family immigrated to New York because my parents wanted better educational and economic opportunities for the family. As new immigrants in the US, we once again faced language difficulties and other challenges. However, we were able to overcome them and my parents bought their first home in NY in the 1980’s. My brother, my sister and I all graduated from college. My parents had achieved their American Dream


through hard work and perseverance. I am very grateful to my parents. In my 20’s I graduated from university, got married, had two baby boys and got divorced. My young boys had to endure moving from one rental to another over the next few years. It was a big struggle and this “tiger mom” made a vow to herself: “One day soon, I will buy them a dream home, so that we will never have to move again.” My greatest inspiration came from my two boys. They are my support and my rock. Finally in the mid-1990’s, this single mom became a proud owner of a home with two college graduates. My American Dream was realized, and I am thankful. I knew that I wanted to pay it forward someday. New York City is the biggest melting pot. Throughout the years, I have had many wonderful interactions with people from all around the world and it has opened my eyes and enriched my life.

As a young graduate from college working in the medical field, I got to know many Filipino-Americans. Each one of

them had two to three jobs and they had a profound influence on my life. In the early 2000’s during my visit to the Philippines, after seeing the country for the first time, I finally realized why the overseas Filipino immigrants worked so hard to support their relatives back home and why they sent back containers of “Balikbayan boxes”. I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. Back in 2006, I spent two weeks with my Korean friend’s family in Ilsan, Korea. It was the first time I learned about an unusual rental system called “chonsei”, translated as “total renting system”, as well as the less common monthly rental system, called “se”. From this experience, I am able to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of why so many Korean-Americans place homeownership as one of their top priorities in life, also expressed in Korean as “Anjoung”. From all of these experiences: it doesn’t matter if you are KoreanAmerican or Chinese-American or

Tsao recognizes Phil Bracken Photo by Ken Jacques Photography Tsao, Kenneth Li and John Wong on Capitol Hill Photo by Ken Jacques Photography

Thai-American. We all have similar dreams; we want to have our own home so our families can feel secure and safe. This sense of permanency is priceless.

We have heard many success stories, but we must not forget that many dreams were shattered during the real estate crisis over the last few years. So many Asian

Americans have not yet realized their American Dream due to various

barriers. We, as an association, must continue with our efforts to remove these barriers through education and advocacy.

Promoting sustainable home­ ownership is AREAA’s key mission and education is the means to accomplish this. Over

the years, we have worked with HUD on joint events to educate consumers and to advocate for our community. We have also worked with our national partners and rolled out

Betty Wong, Tsao and Michelle Chang Photo by Ken Jacques Photography Tsao and NAHREP Co-Founder, Gary Acosta Photo by Ken Jacques Photography

many educational consumer programs on lending, credit, foreclosure prevention, short sale and other efforts through our local chapters in various cities in the US.

According to the 2010 Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 57% of the Asians in America are immigrants to this country. Language is usually the biggest challenge. We, as an association, need to appreciate this fact and its implications so that

we can find ways to help them.

As I accept the honor as the 2012 AREAA Chair, my first priority is to give those immigrants an opportunity for home­ownership – an

opportunity to transform their lives. So, my first priority is to create an online AREAA consumer education library built with our partners so that more multilingual materials can be downloaded and distributed


Allen Chiang, Tsao, Eva Hom, John Lee and John Wong Photo by Rodney Choice

to consumers and members throughout the country. We will improve our website to have more multilingual capacities. By making all these bilingual materials more accessible to our members and consumers, we will make our educational programs more successful and far reaching.

The immigrant population and foreign purchasers have become more of a factor in home sales. In the

12 months ending in March 2011, based on a recent NAR survey, the total US Existing Home Sales was about $1.07 trillion. $41 billion of these sales were by foreign clients and $41 billion were by immigrants, for a total of $82 billion, up from $66 billion reported in 2010. That’s a 25% increase in the last year. AREAA members are in the unique position of being able to service both these client


bases and give them the information and tools they need to successfully buy and keep that home. From NAR’s survey of foreign purchasers, Canada ranks #1 with 23% of sales, followed by China #2 with 9%, and India, Mexico and the UK each at 7% tied for #3. As we continue our expansion in the US, it is also a crucial time for us to step up the leadership role internationally, especially in Canada as well as other Asian countries. I am pleased to welcome Canada as our first international AREAA chapter. We are looking forward to building up a greater international referral network via our international chapter and through our international partners.

We also need to continue our efforts to connect to AREAA’s best and brightest.

Tsao and Lou Gonzalez Photo by Ken Jacques Photography

We want to work even more closely with our local chapters by expanding our line of communications and increasing our support for local programs. We also want to tap into our local chapters for talent by having them more involved with us on the committee level and using these committees as incubators for our future leaders. Young people are our future so we will continue to expand the mentorship program and have senior AREAA leaders mentor theEDGE members to help them to expand and grow.

Very often, people ask me what you get when you become an AREAA member: “What’s in it for me?”

My answer is, “You get what you put in because the opportunities are enormous.” This is a very special time in my life. So many wonder-

ful volunteers from all over the country surround me. I look forward to having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with each and every one of you. The great spirit of volunteerism brings out the best in everyone. My philosophy in life has always been, “By helping people get what they want first, you get what you want in the end.” I would like to invite you all to continue this journey with me by becoming more active and involved with your local chapter as well as on the national level, through committees. There is a lot of work ahead of us--but believe me--I know that we can accomplish great things together and also have lots of fun doing it for a worthy cause. Unity brings strength, and with it, there is no limit to what we can give back to our communities.

Prudential Douglas Elliman


Kathy Tsao for her

extraodinary aChievements

575 madison ave new york, ny 10022 • The new

Š2011. Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. An independently owned and operated broker member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license. Equal Housing Opportunity.

“Cultural Intelligence” a n d t h e N e x t G e n e r a t io n o f R e a l E s t a t e P r a c t i t io n e r s b y M a r i a Va l e n t i n


hen considering the changing demographics in the United States, it is obvious that the next generation of real estate agents will need to be well versed in “Cultural Intelligence”. While expecting real estate practitioners to become cultural anthropologists is unrealistic, there are several skills that can be developed to assist the sales and business process.

Ideally, developing a list of “do’s and don’ts” for each target culture is the answer. But in my opinion, this can be a large undertaking that may not benefit everyone and could even cause more confusion. When training our own staff on the cultural nuances necessary for serving multicultural clients, I always like to bring up an eye-opening anecdote which has happened to me on several occasions. Being Hispanic— born in Colombia, South America— I have often greeted the Hispanic looking person with a customary hug and a Spanish “Where are you from?” only to receive a rather perplexed look with the response, “From Chicago, why?” While well intentioned, I failed to practice what I preach: when curious about a person’s ancestry, the safest way to find out is by asking, “What is your cultural background?” With that being said, it is important to know that even when the multicultural client is English-dominant or Englishspeaking only, they are still predisposed to those deepseated nuances that are part of their culture.


Although Americans think that they are “cultureless” because they live in the United States, speak their own language without an accent, and do not engage in behaviors that seem unusual, the truth is that everyone has a culture that someone, somewhere in the world thinks is different and perhaps exotic, whether it be an accent or a different way of processing information and situations. The best definition of culture that I have found is one by Brooks Peterson (Cultural Intelligence, 2004): “Culture is the set of inner values and beliefs held by groups of people in countries or regions and the impact that they have on peoples’ outward behaviors.” In our industry, some of the behaviors that may greatly impact the sales process can be notions of time, comm­ unication styles, rules about relationships, the role of elders in the decision making process, the importance of face and harmony, etc. For example, it is probably fair to say that Asians generally value respect, formality, status, and hierarchy. In contrast,

When curious about a person’s ancestry, the safest way to find out is by asking, “What is your cultural background?” Americans, Canadians, and others tend to value directness over formality and equality over status or position. Remember, neither is right or wrong; they simply are what they are. But how can the next generation of practitioners facing a global economy and the changing façade of America prepare to become culturally intelligent? Although there are exceptions to every rule, there are valid generalizations that allow us to paint a fairly accurate picture of how people from a given country are likely to operate. Below are five basic cultural dimensions that offer a solid starting point in analyzing different cultures. I am providing examples for each as they relate to the real estate and settlement process.

E q u a l i t y v s . Hi e r a r c h y A style that is based on equality may mean, among other things, that people prefer to have flexibility in the roles they play in a given situation, while one based on hierarchy may include rigid limitations about behavior, roles, and decision making.

D i r e c t C o m m u n ic a t io n v s . I n di r e c t C o m m u n ic a t io n A direct style implies that people prefer to openly confront issues or difficulties while people with an indirect style discreetly avoid difficult or contentious issues.

I n divid u a l v s . G r o u p An individual style characterizes people who prefer to make decisions individually versus the group style who prefer to make a decision based on group consensus.

T a s k v s . R e l a t io n s h i p

or her culture-based values, you will also begin to see the reason behind the behavior. If, prior to working with the multicultural client, the practitioner determines where on the scale of the dimensions mentioned above the client’s culture tends to fall, odds are that the relationship will feel better and flow more smoothly. In turn, the client will feel understood and referrals will be a natural outcome of a successful transaction.

Maria Y. Valentin is Vice President, Strategic Markets for First American Title Company and has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years. In this capacity, her goal is to educate real estate professionals, and the industry at large, on how to understand, better serve and market to the fastest growing multicultural segments. Recognized for her leadership efforts in the community, she is the 2007 recipient of the Latino Business Leadership Award in San Francisco for the corporate category.

A task style indicates that people prefer to move straight to business; relationships come later, while someone with a relationship style prefers to establish a friendship and a sense of mutual trust prior to getting down to business.

Ri s k v s . C a u t io n A risk style denotes people who prefer to make decisions quickly, with little information, while the cautious style prefers to collect considerable information before making a decision. When you see someone behaving a certain way, especially if you see it happen repeatedly, and you have an understanding of his



Betty Sun Wong, CRS, PMN

DRE# 01177178

DRE# 00932814 650.740.9928 415.298.7373

Amy Kong and Betty Sun Wong are two of the Top Producing Realtors across the nation. Fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Toisan, and English, this multilingual team has a combined experience of over 40 years and specializes in working with their Buyers and Sellers all across the Bay Area and overseas.

From New York to the World

Kathy Tsao 曹凱西 212.891.7788

Dawn Tsien 錢美清 212.891.7661

For Expertise In The New York Metropolitan Area Dawn Tsien and Kathy Tsao are leaders in delivering superior service to their clientele. With over 40 years of combined experience, working with buyers and sellers from around the world, they have specialized in the sales, marketing, and property management services of luxury condos, single and multiple family homes. From advising developers and investors, to individual buyers, this bi-lingual team has the managerial and leadership experience to deliver.

Prudential Douglas Elliman 575 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022

onna Miller is a 20-year veteran of the mortgage industry and longtime supporter of AREAA and its mission to increase Asian American homeownership opportunities. She was recently named to the association’s National Board of Directors to further advance the mission and lend her expertise to the numerous initiatives being pursued at the local, national and international levels. Miller recently discussed her new role, in addition to industry challenges, the importance of diversity, neighborhood stabilization and REO disposition, with editor Dan T. Shanyfelt. a|r|e: What is your background, and how long have you been with Chase?

Donna Mi l l e r S e n io r V ic e P r e s id e n t Multi- Cultur al & Affordable L e n di n g Chase

iew by Interv

D an T . Shanyfelt

Donna Miller: My background is as diverse as the customers Chase serves. I have had the pleasure of working in both financial services and non-profit development. With a past as an auditor of Fortune 100 firms and as an investment banker at one of the industry’s leaders, I understand how to identify opportunities and recognize the importance of managing cost. My 20 years in the mortgage business have been both challenging and rewarding. I was with Salomon Brothers when they revolutionized the industry with the formation of a secondary market for mortgage securities. I was one of the founders of Prudential Home Mortgage, which was a Salomon Brothers and Prudential creation. I remained a member of the senior management team after Prudential was acquired by Norwest Mortgage and then Wells Fargo. Although my business cards have changed, my commitment to the development of innovative solutions to customer service has remained. I have been involved in emerging market development for nearly ten years and have spent the last three years leading Multi-Cultural and Affordable Lending at Chase. My background has prepared me well for this role. It has given me an understanding of the needs of diverse communities. I take a pragmatic approach to investment opportunities and like to innovate to create sustainable solutions to make a difference in communities. I truly enjoy what I do. a|r|e: What role do industry groups, specifically AREAA, have in helping Chase achieve its goals? Chase is focused on helping communities move forward. Our relationship with groups such as AREAA helps us understand the needs of our diverse market. Your members are the voice of a community. Your insights as a group and connections in local markets offer valuable insights.

a|r|e: What are some of the steps or processes you are taking to promote diversity within your market areas? 34

Chase Multi-Cultural and Affordable Lending leaders out supporting the local community at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City

With leadership comes responsibility and we recognize how important diversity is for successful growth as a company. First priority is to better understand the needs of our customer base, one that is growing in diversity exponentially. In large part, that starts with hiring more diverse staff and creating an all-inclusive environment that supports their success here at Chase. We have established a Diversity Advisory Group for Home Lending to focus on recruiting, leadership development and retention of diverse employees. Our diverse staffing goals align well with those adopted by the new AREAA Foundation and I’m excited about the potential for leveraging that mutual interest.

a|r|e: You travel extensively throughout the United States. As you meet with brokers nationwide, what are the top challenges you hear daily from real estate practitioners and what role does Chase play in those solutions?

properties. We were one of the first to implement a requirement that the broker be based within five miles of the REO property. This increases the likelihood that the agent is a member of the community and is familiar with homebuyers in that community. This could lead to greater community stabilization. We also initiated a first look program to share listings with select non-profits so that owner-occupants have access prior to investors.

a|r|e: How does an interested broker or agent apply to service Chase REO listing inventory? Real estate agents interested in doing work for Chase should send an email to or call 877-5843290 between 8am and 7pm Central, and/or contact the Service Providers indicated below:

assistance. We work with our lending partners to expand the depth of our reach in diverse communities. We are integrated with our retail loan officers to ensure that they understand the resources available to support the multicultural markets that we serve. We work with our internal business partners to reach, educate and promote an awareness of multicultural markets. We work with groups like you to ensure that we have strong relationships and work on moving forward a shared agenda.

a|r|e: What is Chase doing to better serve Asian American consumers with limited English proficiency? Chase offers information about products and services in several languages including Mandarin and Korean.

Atlas REO Services NRT REO Experts 858-259-8758 800-711-1258

CoreLogic 800-426-1466

PMH Financial 303-467-8000

Green River Capital 801-487-3800

Precision Asset Management 310-530-0600

a|r|e: What advice would you give agents and brokers out there who are considering applying to the Chase REO Network (through its outsourcers)?

At Chase, it is important that agents meet the minimum It is clear that real estate agents want to requirements related be a trusted partner to their clients and to experience, market they need lenders to be trusted partners. They want a single point of contact to help knowledge, insurance Lender Processing REO World them help their clients through the lending coverage, capital Services 949-720-7009 process. Chase has loan officers across the requirements and nation to build personal relationships with capacity. It is important 800-430-3320 real estate agents so they can be responsive that agents maintain ServiceLink to the needs of clients. a strong record of Real estate agents want their clients to New Vista Asset 800-777-8759 closing REO deals. have a positive customer experience. They Agents are required Management want to know that their deals will get done to maintain certain – on time. Chase is committed to customer performance standards 858-794-8300 satisfaction. We are constantly evaluating in order to remain in and enhancing our process to provide better the program. Chase service to clients. is excited about our expanding AREAA a|r|e: What are some of the partnership at the local chapter level, a|r|e: Describe a typical work day programs or measures that Chase which has been focused on sharing more for Donna Miller. information about REO and short sales. has implemented with regards This helps membership growth and builds to supporting owner-occupancy There is no such thing as a typical day. My awareness in the local chapters. through the disposition of its REO team is constantly looking for opportunities to make an impact in diverse communities. assets? a|r|e: As a valuable member of the We work with non-profits across the AREAA National Board of Directors, country to support programs that educate Chase loan officers work with REO real homeowners and offer homebuyer what is your personal vision and estate agents to match homeowners with 35

Miller addresses attendees of the 2010 NAHREP/AREAA Real Estate and Marketing Convention, October 11, 2010 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

push for AREAA as we enter 2012? What an honor it is to be on the AREAA National Board of Directors! My intention is to contribute both personally and professionally to support the AREAA mission of expanding homeownership and supporting business growth. It directly aligns with Chase’s commitment as well. Specifically, gaining a voice requires a high level of confidence, especially in today’s market environment. Confidence comes from knowledge and clarity in direction. One push for 2012 then is expanding the knowledge base of the AREAA members and growing their leadership skills. This has been a focus since inception in 2003 and is even more critical at this point in time heading into 2012.


a|r|e: What do you feel is the most efficient way banks and lenders can stabilize neighborhoods in this environment dominated by distressed assets? Financial institutions play an integral role in the stabilization of neighborhoods. Our focus on jobs, education, communities and housing helps communities move forward. In 2009, JPMorgan Chase created 10,000 jobs from our community development efforts. Last year, we committed $3 billion to affordable housing and we provided over $10 billion in credit to more than 250,000 small businesses. We’re also reaching out to help struggling

borrowers stay in their homes. We’ve offered more than one million mortgage modifications and prevented 500,000 foreclosures since 2009. We’ve met face to face with more than 180,000 struggling homeowners at our centers and special events. Since 2009, we have helped to create over $569 million in annual savings for customers through the Housing Assistance Refinance Program (HARP), an accomplishment we are proud of to be sure and one that makes us even more committed to helping distressed homeowners.

• 6 Bed / 6 Bath • 6073 sq. feet • 1.09 acre lot • Hardwood Floors • Granite Countertops • Stainless Steel Appliances

Andrew K Lee, Broker (916) 537-2963 DRE Lic. # 01066064

• Custom Crown Molding •Breakfast Room with View of River • Wood Panel Elevator

Serving Greater Sacramento, California State Capitol

• Pool with 3 Waterfalls

3897 Central Ave., Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Beautiful Custom Home with Stunning American River and Sierra Mountain Views. This Gated 6 Bedroom Home Features Gourmet Kitchen, Granite Countertops, Crown Molding, Extensive Hardwood Floors, Wood Panel Elevator, Stair Elevator from Garage, Accent Floating Stairway, Elegant Master Bedroom with 2 Separate Closets and other Luxurious Features. The Exterior Features a Rock Studded Pool, Pool House, Fountains, Built in BBQ, Large Lawn Area and other Stunning Features. You Must See to Believe! Offered at $ 2,485,000

Video tour: Available in English and Chinese

Thank you all for your support to make AREAA a great 2011. Welcome to Houston, Texas, the city of new opportunities and investments. The number one city in the growth of population by 2010 census. The fastest growing rate of Asian population in the nation. The newest and largest Chinatown and Asian town in the South.

Kenneth Li 李雄 Broker/Owner CCIM,CRS,CIPS,GRI,CPM Century 21 Southwest Real Estate

6918 Corporate Dr., Suite A-5 Houston, TX 77036 Tel: 713-988-1668 x 106 Fax: 713-988-1634 Email:

Web: Company Web: Commercial Listings:

2011 AREAA Chairman Chairman: Greater Sharpstown Management District Asian American Business Council Houston Chinatown Development Co. B & D 888 Investment, LLC


t s Li GE by nted e s e pr

D E e h t

ung o Y A s AREAssional e Prof


he real estate industry has never before faced the type of changes that it faces today. Not only have the ways of conducting business been changed, the dynamics of clients have changed tremendously. Real estate agents can no longer rely on selling information as their primary business tool. To survive, they will have to strive to portray to consumers their true self as trusted advisors and as community leaders. The industry has opened more opportunities than ever while at the same time closing doors on those who are not willing to adapt. Steve Harney, a leading expert in training real estate professionals, once stated that this market would leave only the good and the great agents. The great and successful agents are those who adapt well to the application of innovative tools in their business, those who recognize that opportunities are always there for them, and those who have the courage to focus in their career path. There is an undeniable movement of younger real estate professionals who are striving for success in this evolving industry. Real estate professionals can prove success only when they are able to show their numbers of sales and their active involvement in various aspects of this industry. AREAA selects the most significant of all, the “A” List, to present to our community every year. This year, theEDGE has teamed up with a | r | e magazine to identify a select group of these up-and-coming stars who represent the future of Asian American real estate. Honorees were selected based on sales volume (2010 year end and 2011 through June), contribution to AREAA and its mission, and nominations from AREAA leaders.

Alisha Chen spotlight : Before her career as a broker, Alisha Chen was trained as a Registered Nurse who specialized in Labor & Delivery. However, between her shifts Chen became restless and looked for a more challenging position to fill her days. She answered a local newspaper advertisement, and interviewed with a real estate company.

Broker Cornerstone Real Estate International, Inc.

Irvine, CA

Though she always had an interest in real estate, Chen thought that her extreme shyness would bar her from this field. However, the Vice President and owner at National Recreational Properties gave her great encouragement. Within one year she was their top agent. “It was then that I discovered my gifts and a strength that I didn’t know I had. You can say I entered real estate by accident, but I love what I do today,” said Chen.

Chen is a prime example of a community success. She serves as the Executive Director for AREAA-Orange County. She also feels blessed to have the opportunity to work hard, generate a good living, and own her own real estate company despite the challenging market. Among her many accomplishments, she is most proud of her new agents as they maintain integrity, grow in faith, and still flourish in business as professional agents. Production: 2011: 13 UNITS $ 3,399,400 2010: 24 UNITS $ 13,659,329

Chen serves on an HOA Board of Directors, hosts community real estate seminars, leads a small group in her church, and financially sponsors missionaries. She is also involved in Operation Christmas Child, supports Prison Ministries, and other various community drives, including feeding the homeless, and caroling in senior hospices.

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: As an interning nurse in college, Chen would sing in nightclubs to pay her way through school. She has also won awards in singing competitions. Her talents and hobbies intertwine. Her hobbies include competing in bowling competitions with her dad, and contemporary, group, and ballroom dancing. In her spare time she leads one of her church’s worship teams, plays the drums, and is a novice hiker. Her talents include cooking, singing, interior decorating, and socializing with great people.

To learn more about the “A” List or inquire about next year’s honors, contact and visit theEDGE on Facebook and Twitter (areaaEDGE)

Interviews by Emily Shapiro

Photos courtesy of the honorees except where noted Alisha Chen in Taiwan


Raquel Quinet spotlight :

Quinet’s advice to young professionals: “The younger generation should consider going into real estate, because it’s an opportunity that has no limits or glass ceilings. You can create your own destination. It doesn’t matter what age you are. If you are motivated and have the right mindset, you can produce amazing results.”

Raquel Quinet is a multi-faceted and talented real estate professional. She is a go getter who in her career has taken on several different posts within the real estate business. Before moving to Arizona in 2007, Quinet owned a real estate and mortgage company in California. After her move she became a Team Leader for Keller Williams-Goodyear/Surprise. In this role she assisted in helping almost 200 agents to grow their business, as well as the company. As a result of her commitment and leadership the office became the largest real estate office in the Southwest Phoenix Valley, and had the highest market share of any office. The office became one of the top ten offices nationally in all of Keller Williams. After having her second child, Quinet decided to leave management so that she could spend more quality time with her children. To do this she became a sales agent and flourished. By the end of 2010 she was the number one agent in her office. In June 2011 she was recognized as the number one agent for most closed units as an individual agent for all of Keller Williams International. Other awards include being named by “The Wall Street Journal/Real Trends Top 400 Real Estate Professionals List” as #84, and West Maricopa Association President’s Roundtable Year Member Award (Top 10% sales volume of MLS Board).

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: Quinet is an avid runner and tries to run at least three races a year, which range from 5K to half marathons (13k). Another sport that she likes to play is golf, as it provides her and her family with valuable time together. Finally, she loves to scrapbook, and will sometimes teach classes locally or at a convention.

Production: 2011: 207 UNITS $ 21,614,500 2010: 176 UNITS $ 16,864,751

Though she has zeal for her position, she did not start out in real estate sales, but rather real estate investing purely as a hobby. As an account executive for a cellular company, Quinet decided to learn as much as she could about real estate investing. Her first step was to obtain her Real Estate License. After working for a full year in real estate part time, she decided to make this field her full time career. At the age of 19 she bought her first real estate investment property.

Quinet enjoys a round of golf


Broker Keller Williams Professional Partners Goodyear, AZ

Quinet at the 2011 AREAA Leadership Summit. Photo by John Photography

” e k i L “

n o A


Thai Hung Nguyen spotlight : Thai Hung Nguyen has dedicated his career to making the American Dream of homeownership come true for his clients. Nguyen believes that there are two components of the real estate profession that are an integral part of helping clients. They are industry related education and involvement in associations. He achieves his goal by providing the highest level of customer service possible.

Nguyen’s philosophy in work and life: “Giving before receiving.”

Certified Residential Specialist, Realtor

Westgate Realty Group, Inc. Fairfax, VA Production: 2011: 19 UNITS $ 5,344,800 2010: 43 UNITS $ 9,772,474

As tools to help him in this endeavor, he focuses on learning as much as he can through education. So far he has earned various designations including Certified Residential Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Specialist. According to Nguyen, his negotiation skills and professionalism have not only been appreciated by every referred client, but many have become friends.

Nguyen with fellow members of theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals: Kara Okamoto, Caron Ling and Scotty Maeda

Besides his zeal for the community, he has also been involved in the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS MultiMillion Dollar Sales Club every year for the past seven years. The club recognizes its members’ high volume sales. In these tough times Nguyen has been relatively unaffected. Due to the stability of suburban Washington D.C., his market has been primarily regular transactions with only 20% distressed sales.

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: Like many of his colleagues, Nguyen did not start out in real estate. Nguyen got his start as a tour guide in Vietnam special­izing in organized local and country trips for individuals as well as groups. The excursions were varied; one could be to the big cities full of hustle and bustle and others to un­ explored areas of the country. However, after graduating from George Mason University in Virginia, and taking a post as a program analyst for four years, Nguyen decided to make a dramatic change. Among his attributes Nguyen always opens up to new friends, colleagues, and clients. According to Nguyen, he works and lives his life according to the philosophy taught to him by his father, which is “Giving before receiving”.


Nguyen at the 2010 AREAA Leadership Summit Photo by Oliver Yu

Angeline Wu spotlight : “I am really glad that I was introduced to this field, as I can see myself in this line of work for a long time,” said Angeline Wu. Wu has been an AREAA Orange County Executive Board Member since 2009, and was elected to the chapter Secretary post for a second term. After college she was going to pursue her law degree. However, Wu found her calling while working as a title representative prior to attending law school. Though it was only to be a temporary position, she found her passion, “I quickly realized that this was the perfect career choice for me, and I worked diligently in building up my client base,” said Wu.

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: Assistant Vice President Pacific Coast Title Company Orange, CA Production: 2011: 1,830 UNITS $ 712,259 2010: 2,579 UNITS $ 1,299,037

While in college in 2003, she was the runner up in the Miss Los Angeles-Chinatown competition. Part beauty pageant and part scholarship, Wu explained that the competition placed more emphasis on academics. According to Wu, the competition consisted of three parts. First was a rigorous training process. The next step was a one-on-one interview with the judges. Finally, on the day of the pageant, all the contestants had to answer a question on stage, much like the Miss USA pageant. In 2004 Wu was crowned Miss Asia USA. Though we all have different definitions of success, Wu is very practical. “To accomplish success it takes a lot of motivation, perseverance, consistency, and inner drive to keep yourself going when things aren’t going your way,” said Wu.

She enjoys playing tennis, volleyball, and bike riding. Both she and her husband opt to play tennis or bike ride together at every opportunity. Since the couple are both employed in the real estate industry, and are usually very busy, they relish time together, “We try and make time to play, as a well-balanced life is our ultimate goal,” said Wu.

Alvin Kachun Lee

Wu at an AREAA event in Orange County

spotlight : Alvin Lee is one of the founding committee members of the International Business Development team in the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, or HSBC. The team was founded as a result of special needs that had to be met, including property acquirement and fiduciary help, which includes financing mortgages. According to Lee HSBC is a global company with offices in many countries. Due to the depreciation of United States currency, a global platform was needed to help clients with overseas banking. Some of his daily duties, as a Senior Mortgage Consultant, include lending services, legal advice, relationship banking services, accounting, and offering all financial solutions to clientele.

Senior Mortgage Consultant HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

Manhattan, New York PRODUCTION: 2011: 69 UNITS $ 32,489,600 2010: 101 UNITS $ 40,600,000

His goal is to help his multi-cultural clients invest in properties in the United States. To this end, he travels regularly to Asia to meet with his transoceanic clients. According to Lee, as a result of his immersion in Asian culture, his work brings satisfaction to his customers.

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: Lee received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance. According to Lee, the opportunity to work as a mortgage consultant came internally. Lee started in the business banking department, but was quickly promoted by management to the mortgage department where he has since excelled. As to why real estate is a viable career option Lee explained, “For young people it helps them to activate wealth. It is a plus for their credit history.” In his early days Lee wanted to become a soccer player, following in the footsteps of David Beckham. A big fan of Manchester United, Lee was an All-Star mid-fielder on his high school team.

Lee with 2012 AREAA National Chair Kathy Tsao during the AREAA trade mission to China

Unfortunately, according to Lee, he does not play soccer or look as good as Beckham, but he did learn team building and trust during his soccer playing years and these are credential skills for his career. In his spare time he enjoys singing. 43

GieFaan Kim spotlight :

“After learning more about the industry here in NYC, I was given a chance and the rest is history. My goal is to make some history, while I’m at it.”

Associate Broker, Director of New Business Bracha Group Keller Williams NYC

New York, NY PRODUCTION: 2011: 4 units (3 Res, 1 comm)

GieFaan Kim graduated Cum Laude with an Art degree from New York University. Though he wanted to pursue a career in film and television, Kim realized that the timing was not right. Today he works for Keller Williams NYC, Bracha Group. He has been proudly serving the New York City community for five years. His growth in the real estate industry has seen him absorb many aspects of this field, including rentals, sales, new developments, and commercial. He wants to encompass every division of this specialized area as he sees its many benefits. “As I expand my skill set to become a one-stop shop, my team also flourishes and we can take on any size project,” said Kim.

His next project is currently in the works. According to Kim, he is in the process of launching a new division, which will dramatically change the landscape of real estate. He also believes that there are untapped parts of the market sitting out there, to which he wants to bring attention. He would like to lead a new approach to the industry. $ 8,000,000 2010: 23 UNITS $ 40,240,441

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: Kim was encouraged by his family to begin a real estate career. He chose New York City as his backyard and has been entrenched in the market since 2001. As Kim explains it, “After learning more about the industry here in NYC, I was given a chance and the rest is history. My goal is to make some history, while I’m at it.” Before working at his current post, Kim worked at Prudential Douglas Elliman as a Director of New Business for Bracha Group, Associate Broker. When working with the public, he believes that a broker should have many attributes and talents. According to Kim, the most important is to be able to network and to stay coachable. By networking and speaking to strangers comfortably, according to Kim, brokers will be able to build trust with a client. Being coachable gives brokers something too, “Staying coachable allows us to continue growing,” said Kim.






Design Float






Deviant Art








Google Tal


Yahoo Buzz







App Store


Mister Won

Design Bump


Share This


e #1

oogle Buzz






WordPress (blue)



















Design Float

Deviant Art

Design Bum


Button Blue

Button Orange





Fl Share This

utton Red Delicious

Button White Flickr

Button Light Blue Twitter

Button Yellow Retweet





Slash Dot


Update #1




Digg Google Buzz

Slash Dot









Kara Okamoto

Geremy Yamamoto


Kai Ito

Rachel Turner


Ryan Asao

Google Talk


WordPress (blue)


Newsvine Gowalla



Reddit Ebay



Caron Ling

ICQ Scott Maeda

Metacafe Raquel Quinet

Thai Hung Nguyen


Sl Yelp

Cindy Lui


Ryan Edwards spotlight : “Like most people, I have worked my way up from the bottom,” said Ryan Edwards. Though he did not start out in real estate, Edwards found his way into the industry in a very odd fashion. After taking two semesters of accounting courses, Edwards realized that this field with its stringent, basic, and unchallenging tasks was not for him. So he went on the hunt for a field that would make use of his creativity. In doing so he continued on with his studies at California State University, Fullerton and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. His goals were simple. He wanted to pursue a career in either sports marketing or general advertising doing print media and television, and make the best Super Bowl commercial ever produced.

Edwards on volunteering: “ outreach events are often more gratifying than any of the financial achievements that I have made throughout my career in the real estate industry.”

Broker/Owner Safe Realty & Property Management Santa Ana, CA Production: 2011: 33 UNITS $ 13,022,700 2010: 55 UNITS $ 14,500,000

The road to his goals would not lead him to where he thought. After college and with the realization that getting his foot into the door of top advertising and marketing firms would be very difficult, he decided to take small steps and worked for a website development company that catered to Realtors. In this position he enabled brokers and agents to expand their horizons by helping them to build a complete online presence as well as generate leads. This position introduced him into the world of real estate. Afterwards, he worked for a small mortgage brokerage for over five years, where he performed loan origination. In this post Edwards was a natural. In just a short time he became one of the top producing originators, and was promoted to managing his own team of loan officers. Near the end of his post Edwards became more active with the real estate aspect and less with the fiscal aspect. This is where he cemented his real estate career.

Among other accomplishments he is very proud to be the broker/owner of a thriving real estate company. According to Edwards, he is looking forward to what the future holds for both his company and himself. Besides the work at his company, Edwards is currently involved in spearheading a very special event for AREAA Orange County. His focus is to help those in need at the most basic level through volunteering. To do this he and his volunteers, in their first ever community outreach event, will feed the homeless at a local shelter as well as feed families for Thanksgiving. In addition, he is going to help raise donations for items that are needed at the shelter. He sums it up best, “These types of community outreach events are often more gratifying than any of the financial achievements that I have made throughout my career in the real estate industry,” said Edwards.

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: Edwards learned REO from his brother who had been doing REO in Arizona. After numerous BPO certifications, training, and courses, he felt ready to apply all that he had learned in the real world. According to Edwards, the best way to learn the REO process is to have real world experience. When not at work he enjoys snowboarding, golf, and hanging out with family and friends. When it comes to golf his philosophy is one that can be applicable to life itself, “I enjoy golfing because you are in control of the outcome of each shot by the way you strike the ball, and the outcome is a direct result of training and preparation. At the same time you can be with friends and enjoy some friendly competition,” said Edwards. Finally, as each of us has our own haven from the toils and tribulations of the world, Edwards finds his on a snow covered mountain. Edwards finds freedom in snowboarding, as it allows him to empty his mind of all stresses.


Kenneth I. Chan spotlight : Kenneth Chan has earned numerous honors in his real estate career. He earned the Hong­ kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation West Coast Top Sale title. He was also ranked #119 nationally among all lenders by Mortgage Originator Magazine. He is involved in the community, and thus also serves his local Realtor colleagues and his profession by participating in, and being a very active member of, the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR)’s Cupertino and Los Gatos Chapters. Within his involvement in these two chapters, he provides lending advice, a resource for the communities, and service to Realtors. His advice to prospective buyers, especially first-time buyers, is simple yet poignant, “Be realistic with your purchasing ability. You should not overstress yourself, but you must be conservative. Always maintain a good credit rating. Finally, the toughest item is the down payment for young college graduates who are saving up. It’s tough,” said Chan. Premium Mortgage Consultant HSBC Bank USA Cupertino, CA PRODUCTION: 2011: 38 UNITS $ 30,000,000 2010: 72 UNITS $ 47,000,000

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: Chan earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, and a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then became an engineer. After 20 years of working in the high tech industry, he came to a life changing decision. “I reached a point in my career where I wanted to make a change. I wanted to do something more fun. I remembered a casual conversation that I had with a friend who made a suggestion that it might be both rewarding and fun to be a loan officer,” said Chan, who is often viewed as an affable and influential man.

“I see clients getting frustrated and as a loan officer I see myself smoothing things out for both the Realtor and the client.” When not at work he enjoys a multitude of pursuits, including skiing, listening to “good” music like Simon and Garfunkel, Baroque, soft rock, love songs, and being active in his church.

Rocio Duty

Chan with his family at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

spotlight : As a college student who turned in a thief who had stolen her purse on a bus ride to her college, Rocio Duty showed her gumption to tackle whatever problems or roadblocks came into her life. Throughout her career in real estate, she has received numerous awards, including the Chairman’s Club for 2005 and 2006. In 2009 and 2010 she received the Top Team Award. Currently she is the Secretary for AREAA DC Metro. She is also a member of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, a Housing Counselor Volunteer and a certified trainer for the Virginia Housing Development Authority. In her role as a Housing Volunteer she gets to walk a mile in her clients shoes. “I see people that are very confused with their adjustable rate mortgage loans, unemployed people, people that, due to illness, are losing their homes, and people, due to language barriers, who were taken advantage of by unscrupulous loan officers and real estate agents,” said Duty. As a result of being in this unique position, she has the opportunity to help and assist people. According to Duty, she provides them with answers to their questions, options for their situations, and she also helps them to understand the “realities” of life. Residential Real Estate Agent Keller Williams Realty-Alexandria Old Town Alexandria, VA Production: 2011: 6 UNITS $2,700,000 2010: 14 UNITS $5,900,000

Along with her counseling role, she is a Certified Trainer for the Virginia Housing Development Authority. In this environment, she educates people about the homebuying process through an overall understanding of what to expect when buying a house.

S O M E T H I N G YO U M AY N OT K N O W: She was attracted to the property management field by the components of what it takes to succeed. “I’m very detail oriented and I am also a people person. It kind of combined the best of both worlds for me,” said Duty. Even though DC living is very fast-paced and turbulent at times, Duty acknowledges that working with people keeps her grounded. Duty comes from a long line of business owners. Every generation of her family, dating back to her Chinese origins, had some kind of a business whether it was toys, groceries, import/export, home construction, or restaurants. Perhaps it is because of her roots that she developed a business savvy as a baker who would sell cakes to local businesses.


Frank Chu spotlight : Frank Chu has worked substantially to market Wells Fargo to Southern California Asian Americans. He educates and enables prospective Asian American home­ buyers through live seminars. As a result, homeowners, prospective homebuyers, and real estate industry professionals are able to achieve and sustain homeownership opportunities. Chu has many years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to Wells Fargo, he was with Bank of America for five years. His most recent role was managing a retail mortgage team located in the heart of Asian communities.

“When time permits, I love to visit new destinations around the world. I am always fascinated and I want to learn the different cultures and histories within the countries that I visit.”

Sales Manager Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Chino Hills, CA

His passion is to help promote the Multicultural Initiative to the Asian communities within his area. According to Chu, the objective is to create sustainable homeownership opportunities for diverse communities, such as the Asian-Chinese segments within his area. The initiative is comprised of four steps. First, he provides information to his clientele, usually first-time buyers, and explains the different down payment assistance programs that are available through both the city and county.

Production: 2011: 41 UNITS, $ 14,420,000 2010*: $ 33,740,000

The second step is tailored with private one-on-one meetings and consultations to discuss their personal situations while reviewing which programs and options are * best for them. Next, pre-approval begins, Units not available followed by the house search. Finally, the processing and closing of their loan occurs. It is at this stage that Chu reiterates his commitment to them and assures them that he is always there to help. Through this process he is able to help many first-time homebuyers achieve the American Dream of homeownership.


Chu at the 2011 AREAA Leadership Summit. Photo by John Photography

Originally, Chu was going to start his own import/export business, but after college, real estate evolved into his passion. His parents were involved in the real estate investing business in the 1980’s, which propelled him into pursuing his broker license. It wasn’t until after he had started selling houses that he discovered his true calling in the mortgage field. In his free time Chu is a globetrotter. “When time permits, I love to visit new destinations around the world. I am always fascinated and I want to learn the different cultures and histories within the countries that I visit,” said Chu. Chu has visited over 25 countries and says he has many more to go. He is also a burgeoning professional cook. At home he can be found creating and cooking new dishes and entertaining his family with exotic flavors.

Chu with his wife, Jenny, in the Maldives



Trade Mission Journal: AREAA

goes to

South Korea China and

E By Tanya Reu


arlier this year, I was privileged to participate in AREAA’s first international Trade Mission. The Trade Mission visited two countries and four cities: Incheon and Seoul in South Korea, and Beijing and Shanghai in China. Seventeen of AREAA’s members including, Founder, John Wong; National Chair, Kenneth Li; and National Vice Chair, Kathy Tsao participated in this event. The participants were comprised of real estate practitioners in sales, international law and accounting from across the United States. The purpose of the Mission was to determine how AREAA could play a role in bridging the gap between the United States and Asia in facilitating international real estate transactions. The main goal was to meet with various real estate influencers to better understand the real estate business in China and South Korea. There are significant opportunities for international markets between the U.S. and Asia, and AREAA can play a pivotal role for both Asian and U.S. investors alike. We were fortunate that the majority of attendees spoke fluent Mandarin and had a strong understanding of the culture, minimizing any potential barriers. Day 1: The group gathered together at 4:30 am Monday morning at the Spa under the airport. It was show time. We had to quickly shower and meet our tour guide, as the first meeting was of the utmost importance. We were having a breakfast meeting with the Mayor of the City of Incheon. We gathered with excite-

ment and anxiously awaited his and his delegates’ arrival. They greeted us and we quickly began discussing the purpose of AREAA’s Mission and the Mayor’s vision for the City of Incheon. Incheon is a special city, and with its accessible locale, has a vision to be the gateway to Asia. This special meeting was the introduction of an amazing trip that was to come. After our breakfast meeting, we met with KOTRA (Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency) representatives who orchestrated meetings for us at the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) Planning Office. They were especially welcoming upon our arrival. We discussed the development of Incheon and visited various developments, including the exclusive Jack Nicklaus Golf Club. Our morning ended with a lunch hosted by KOTRA. This wasn’t just any lunch; this was our first introduction to a traditional Korean barbeque! It was fantastic, comprised of no shoes, spicy flavors and a food spread like no other! Following lunch, we heard from lead-

ership at the Seoul location with respect to the current Korean economy. Afterwards, we finally checked into Hotel Lotte. With only one minute to spare, we checked in, changed and went down to the reception. What a turnout! There were over 40 Korean real estate practitioners including sales professionals, attorneys, accountants, government officials and the like, all eager to hear about AREAA’s Trade Mission. Day one complete – Mission accomplished! Day 2: And we’re off…Our second day began with an early morning meeting with the Seoul Association of Realtors (SAR). This meeting took place at the Tasty Coffee Shop which had a dual purpose. This was a combined coffee shop and real estate office – first I’ve seen, but what a unique proposition. We went through introductions and listened to their business challenges. This organization has been around for a long time and they were very in tune to the current market conditions. They in turn were very in-

terested in hearing about the U.S. real estate market, AREAA’s Mission and about the potential for future partnering. After wrapping up with SAR, we spent the afternoon jamming in whatever sight seeing activities we could. We had the famous Korean style chicken rice soup, saw Gyeongbokgung Palace built in the late 14th Century and bought Korean arts and crafts on Insadong Street. And how can I forget, the Korean attire that we all tried on for a group photo! We were the talk of the town! The evening ended with dinner hosted by the Seoul Association of Realtors, and once again, enjoying a Korean barbeque. We talked, ate, laughed and established the beginning of a long-term relationship. Day 3: Big day for the Trade Mission. We were leaving South Korea and transferring to Beijing. This was to be the core of our program. We left early in the morning, and as soon as we landed, we were transported from the airport to meet the senior leadership team from Century 21 China for lunch. What an amazing group. When lunch ended, we walked over to their Corporate Headquarters to witness an amazing operation. We had a very informative business meeting with the executive team and learned about the Chinese real estate market. Their operation is one of significance, having over 1,500 offices and 22,000 agents throughout the country. We were very impressed with the tremendous work ethic of these practitioners. While there are

some commonalities with the United States real estate market, it was evident that there are many differences as well. The government plays a key role in the real estate industry in China; the average age of their agent population is 23 years old; and there is an open listing inventory creating fierce competition, as if the industry did not have enough competition in and of itself. Also, they are employees, not independent contractors. After a long day, we quickly rushed to check into the hotel and head down to AREAA’s welcome reception where we again met many established practitioners and government officials. Day 4: Let the program begin! This was an important day for AREAA. We began by visiting a local new real estate project represented by one of our sponsors. We had to quickly get back to the hotel to prepare for the program component of our Mission. Practice, practice, practice! The presentation consisted of AREAA leaders sharing information with Chinese real estate leaders on local and national market conditions. We shared best practices and discussed how real estate transactions are facilitated in each country. There were about 60 attendees in total. At the conclusion of the meeting, we put together a gala event for all attendees. Networking, socializing and building long-term relationships was what our accomplishments were for the day and evening. Day 5: We visited a number of amazing project sites on our last day

in Beijing. What was quite amazing to each of us was Beijing’s advancements in technology, green initiatives, keen emphasis on education and corporate culture. We visited both residential and commercial properties and were completely awestruck. We toured each of the sites in amazement looking at the quality and detail of each. Our night ended with a hosted dinner by one of our sponsors at a very special place in Beijing. The dinner was comprised of many different types of raw lamb and uncooked vegetables that everyone had to “cook” in a communal pot of boiling soup. Delicious! We once again bonded with new friends. Day 6: We had a few hours before our flight to Shanghai so we took advantage of the limited free time and toured the Great Wall of China. What a beautiful site. The history and culture so deeply rooted. We only had 45 minutes to see whatever we could at the Great Wall so everyone dispersed. Some

walked leisurely while others tried to sprint to the tops. The steps were so big that by the time we all got back on the bus, we were winded and sore. But of course, we had to play “dress up” again. We all congregated in a beautiful park nearby, and once again, dressed in local attire…Now we were ready to leave for Shanghai. Day 7: One week in and we have a full day to sightsee. Back home in the United States it was Easter Sunday. We toured every inch of Shanghai from the Soho area with its unique boutique shops and outdoor cafes, saw the Expo where every country is represented, and saw the stunning city line of Shanghai from the Bund. The architecture was like none we had seen before, the people were fantastic and I would be remiss if I did not mention the food. A city where the “East truly meets West”. But we couldn’t let one day go by without focusing on our core mission. As such, we went through several dry runs of each presenta51

The domestic market is transcending into a more interdependent global market, with many growth opportunities outside of the United States. AREAA has taken a lead role in attempting to build a bridge across borders to help one another achieve our core missions. As industry professionals, it is imperative to position ourselves accordingly to seize these opportunities. I am proud to be a part of AREAA and support our Mission of sustainable homeownership for all Asian Americans. This trip will hold a special place in my heart and will remain with me always. I not only learned about the Chinese and South Korean real estate markets, I learned through the camaraderie and commitment of the attendees how important it is to open our minds and our hearts to truly support the industry in which we work. The trade mission provided me with an ever greater appreciation for the industry I represent, the company I work for, and the Asian Real Estate Association of America. I walked away with strong business relationships and a new extended family. Although we are home, back at our day-to-day business, the Trade Mission is not over. Now the real work begins.

tion until 1:45 am to ensure we were fully prepared for the following day’s program. Long day… Day 8: Home stretch – our final program in Shanghai begins. Our program in Shanghai was similar to the one in Beijing, however, we finetuned it to really hone in on what information was most relevant to our guests. The event was standing room only. Upon concluding the meeting, we immediately proceeded to the gala and thanked all of our guests for joining us. There was so much receptivity and interest in maintaining a relationship going forward. Day 9: We visited an absolutely breathtaking project. This project was both commercial and residential properties that were designed by an artist. It was like nothing we had ever seen. We also visited a very special development project, and when we arrived, the developers had all of the trade members’ pictures and bios posted in a visible area welcoming us so graciously. We were truly honored. The evening ended with a wonderful Shanghai style dinner hosted by our sponsors. In summary, the Trade Mission exceeded the expectations of all involved. We gained new insight and knowledge on the strong market conditions in China and South Korea, became more familiar with government and legal regulations, gained 52

knowledge on the various dynamics that impact the industry and, culminated with new long-term relationships that will prove to be invaluable. AREAA is well positioned to be the conduit to facilitate inter­national business to and from Asia. In essence, a culture defines its people. It is evident that culture is such a strong part of the Korean and Chinese people and how and with whom they conduct business. We thoroughly enjoyed learning various aspects of the culture and left with a deeper appreciation and respect for it. Receptivity of the real estate professionals in China and South Korea of AREAA’s Trade Mission was tremendous. We quickly became aware that education of one another is of upmost importance and, with the reciprocal respect of AREAA with our hosts in both South Korea and China was a giant first step to future mutual success. While our geographies are distant, and there are variances in cultures and business practices, one common denominator remains - the real estate industry was built and continues to depend heavily upon personal and professional relationships to prosper. And who knows, maybe we will have new guests at the conference!

Come to Atlanta,Georgia.

One of the fastest growing cities in the United States!

powerhouse: Atlanta; >An9theconomic largest city in the United States

> 3rd largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have business operations in the Atlanta metro area > Home to the headquarters of Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS, Delta Air Lines, AT&T, and Rubbermaid > Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is the busiest airport in the world, with daily direct flights to all of Asia

Excellent quality of life:

> Wide variety of housing options including country club estates, family-focused subdivisions, retirement communities and upscale condominiums > Excellent schools > Numerous private and public golf courses

Tremendous investment opportunities:

> Detached residential > High-rise condominium > Commercial real-estate, including retail, shopping centers, and business parks > Agricultural land development, including farming, cattle and forestry

Yangsook Ku has been a Georgia resident since 1973, and a full

time Realtor since 1990. Awarded numerous times for her sales and professional leadership, Yangsook is an educated, experienced, professional Realtor, ready to serve global clients on any size and nature of real estate needs! CEO/President, Realty Central,Inc. Broker/Owner: Realty Central of Atlanta Realty Central of Seoul , South Korea

Direct 404-309-7599 ttp:// e-fax 877-299-7296

Inaugural President of AREAA Greater Atlanta Chapter, Founded 2008 CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) CIIIS ( Certified International Investment Immigration specialist) CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) SFR (Short Sale Foreclosure Resource) REO Specialist, Designation earned from VRM and ARE University ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) GRI, E-Pro Member of: NAR,GAR,NAMAR, Cobb Woman’s Council CREW (Commercial Real Estate Woman) Atlanta Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtor AREAA(Asian Real Estate Association of America)

Underbanked Get Their Moment in the Sun By: Barrett Burns President and CEO of VantageScore


ccording to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) there are nine million households that are “unbanked”, which is defined as individuals or families who do not have an account with a depository institution or a transaction account with a money market mutual fund or brokerage firm. That’s a large number, but it pales in comparison to how many people in the United States are “underbanked”. The FDIC estimates that 21 million households fall into this category, which is defined as individuals or families who have a deposit account but also rely on alternative non-bank financial service providers, such as check cashing firms, payday lenders, auto title lenders, etc., for transaction or credit service. The sad reality is that because this market is so massive, a cottage industry of predatory lenders was created. Fees associated with payday lenders and other firms that target the underbanked are frequently much higher than what a person would pay that is served


by traditional banking services. Indeed, there’s an old saying that rings true here: it’s expensive to be poor. Extracting exorbitant fees from low-income consumers who may have dreams of owning homes isn’t doing anyone any good, especially as the foreclosure rates remain at historically high levels. Of course, not all underbanked consumers are low-income. Many of the people that do not use traditional banking services are immigrants and others new to the job market whose incomes would not be considered low. Here again, these consumers need to save so that they too have the option of homeownership. Regardless of their income, where the underbanked may have once been overlooked, today’s marketplace is an entirely different story. A number of new services and innovations launched by household names and tech innovators are focused on the underbanked, which is a good thing because the more traditional financial services the

underbanked are offered, the less reliant they are on those who seek inappropriate profit margins at their expense.

Conference Reveals New Trends This new crop of innovations and trends were on display this summer at the “6th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum” in New Orleans, which is presented every year by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). Two key trends are clearly emerging. First, many new products and companies are seeking to bring banking services to places and venues the underbanked routinely visit. And second, technology is supporting these services in ways we couldn’t have imagined ten years ago. “The understanding of the underbanked market has expanded to include people higher up on the income spectrum and it’s the consumers that are in the driver’s

seat,” said Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO of CFSI. “Customers still have a variety of needs and market disruption has created important opportunities for non-traditional players.” A prime example is GoalMine, the winner of CFSI’s “Core Underbanked Innovators Challenge”. According to American Banker, GoalMine simplifies investing and helps people invest their money in very small increments…as small as just one dollar. Through a mobile app that is expected to be available this year, users will also receive an alert reminding them of the potential savings at stake any time they walk into a preset location. In other words, before purchasing a double latte, a consumer is reminded through their mobile device that they may be spending more money than they realize and that it could be better to put the money towards their pre-set investment goals. GoalMine was one of four finalists chosen among dozens of applicants that were selected by Core Innovation Capital, which

individuals or families who have a deposit account but also rely on alternative non-bank financial service providers, such as check cashing firms, payday lenders, auto title lenders, etc., for transaction or credit service.


is a private equity fund launched by CFSI that funds innovative businesses focused on the underbanked market. Another example of how these two trends are impacting the industry is the way some retailers are seeking to bring financial services to their

to more of their hard-earned money.” Taking a different approach is PayNearMe and its first retail partner, 7-Eleven, Inc. Through this partnership, 7-Eleven customers can use cash to conduct a wide range of transactions at the check-out counter, including buying Greyhound bus

According to a presentation from New Market Partners...more than 50 percent of the underbanked have college degrees. patrons. According to presentations at the conference, among the retailers that are at some stage of rolling out financial services to the underbanked are Wal-Mart, Sears, Kroger, and even convenience stores like 7-Eleven. Wal-Mart plans to position souped-up kiosks around its stores that offer myriad banking services. Sears Holdings, which includes both Sears and Kmart stores, is serving cash-based consumers and the underserved in some other interesting ways. The companies’ layaway plans offer eight, 12, and 16-week (pre) payment options to help households afford larger purchases, and its Kmart Financial Centers are helping customers cash checks, pay bills, transfer money and purchase pre-paid cards at reasonable rates. Sears Cardholders also have free, unlimited access to their credit scores (provided by Trans­Union) and a personalized score simulator to help them understand, manage and improve their creditworthiness. “Affordable, accessible consumer financial services are vital to communities,” said Susan Ehrlich, president of Sears Financial Services. “Retailers like Sears are feeling more compelled to find new, creative ways to fill this need and do so in ways that can help our customers hold on

tickets, paying rent and other routine bills, and sending money overseas -- no bank account required. According to PayNearMe executives, the process is significantly faster and more convenient than traditional walk-up payment mechanisms, and the fees consumers pay are often either lower than traditional wire transfers or absorbed by the payee. Clearly, while some of the ideas at this year’s underbanked conference were targeted at lower income consumers, others were targeted at a wealthier demo­graphic, such as the numerous mobile device applications. The reason why? According to a presentation from New Market Partners, a provider of services to firms that seek to target the underbanked market, more than 50 percent of the underbanked have college degrees.

suited in an interest bearing account that eventually may lead to a down payment on a home. Keeping in mind that income level doesn’t necessarily mean a consumer has a robust credit record, AREAA members also should understand how innovations in the credit scoring marketplace are having a positive impact. One of VantageScore’s key differentiators is the model’s improved ability to score consumers with limited credit history. These consumers are known as having “thin files” and many of the millions of underbanked consumers fall into this category. VantageScore Solutions’ model approach is different than the other credit scores. A consumer can obtain a VantageScore even if the con­sumer’s oldest “trade,” or credit account, is less than six months old and even if they only had two “activities” on their accounts within the last two years. This approach advantages large ethnic concentrations who use credit infrequently for a variety of reasons. Obviously the more outreach to the underbanked from mainstream providers of financial services, the less exposed they are to those who seek unreasonable profits from their situations. With technology and innovative thinking, the industry appears to be on the right track.

Getting the Underbanked Sco r e d Understanding where and how clients utilize financial services is important in order to help serve them as a real estate professional. Your advice can be critical in preventing a family from throwing away their hard-earned money in the form of a payday loan, particularly when the fees saved would be much better



he real estate market has suffered significantly since the financial disaster of late 2006. No real estate practitioner can afford to rely on the status quo. In order to survive, we all must embrace the real estate downturn. We have to accept that we have to diversify, and work in a more fluid and smart way. We can all be successful, but only if we accept that the market has changed, and that we must change right along with it. Then the market started changing. The Internet was becoming more popular and Agents were forced to become tech savvy. The housing boom exploded, and the crash came soon after. Suddenly REO Agents came from everywhere as the sale type was no longer something to be looked down upon. Your ability to diversify yourself, as well as your ability to embrace technology, is critical in today’s real estate market. One of the first things you need to do as an Agent is to understand every part of the real estate transaction. You need to become a Buyer’s Agent, a Listing Agent, a Short Sale specialist, and/or an REO Agent. You need to become a jack of all trades, and embrace any type of transaction your client is looking for. You need to embrace technology. This is generally a two-step process. First, you must get online. You probably already have a website. You need to ensure that all information about your properties is available quickly and easily, including locations, multiple quality images of both the interior and exterior of the property, and neighborhood information. You do not need to have flashing images, or bright ads, because the information will draw in your clients. Do you have a blog on your website? Add one if you do not. Blogs are easy to set up through sites such as WordPress, and can make for an easy (and search engine friendly) directory of your properties and their open houses.

The Topic This Issue:

REO is Only the Beginning Guest Writer:

James Lee RES.NET


Have you taken classes to help you specialize in REO, short sale, AND standard sales? If not, you better start researching, because with the market as it is today, you never know what kind of property will present itself to you. Real estate practitioners need to be able to handle it all. The second step on technology is to find a way to do your entire real estate transaction online. RES.NET allows you to connect online to your clients, lenders, or whomever you need. The new generation of clients does not have time to come to your office to sign documents. They would rather do so from the comfort of their living rooms. Additionally, clients today are very well-informed. They want to know what’s going on at all times during the real estate transaction. If clients have a way to view the status of the transaction, they will be happier with your service. In addition, systems like RES.NET allow you to expose your talents, connect you with buyers and sellers, and allow you to manage your transactions all in one place. That ultimately gives you more advertising power as well.

AAHC’s goal is to provide financial literacy education on:  Banking, savings, credit, and money management  Homebuyer education  Reverse mortgage education services

“We also provide Foreclosure intervention and default and Reverse mortgage charge off services.”

501 (C) 3, Non-Profit

Please visit AAHC’s website at Contact: Phone: (301) 760-7636 ; Email: MD Office: Rockville, MD 20852 ll VA Office: Fairfax, VA 22031

WESTGATE REALTY GROUP, INC. Commercial. Residential. Business Brokerage. Leasing. Investment

Vinh Nguyen, CIP, CRB, TRC Broker Owner 2010 Chairman of the Board Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

Direct: (703) 609-4640 Office: (703)-208-9999 ext. 252 Fax: (703)-208-9997 Email: 7389 Lee Hwy. Suite 103, Falls Church, VA 22042

AREAA Member Network

Lidia Yun

Broker Associate, DRE #09988758 Presidential Real Estate, Inc. 1617 Azusa Ave, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745 (626) 705-5151 Phone (626) 964-6996 Fax We speak various languages Sufficient Funds Escrow Coordinating REO, Short Sale International Management Commercial Consulting Full Services

Your Ad Here $750/4 issues or $200/Issue

Advertise in

Reach the Nation’s top real estate professionals serving the asian american market

CHICAGO TITLE has been in business over 160 years and is a leading provider of title insurance, mortgage services and information services. As part of the Fidelity National Financial, Inc. family of insurers it is a member of a title insurance group that collectively issues more title insurance policies nationwide than any other title company in the United States.

Brian T. Howley Rates as low as $200 / issue visit for details

Chicago Title Insurance Company 245 Main Street, White Plains, NY 10601 • Tel: 914-684-3600 711 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017 • Tel: 212-880-1200

Around The AREAA Greater Sacramento’s 2nd Annual Golf Tournament AREAA Greater Sacramento’s second annual golf tournament was held on an unusually chilly and overcast morning on Friday, May 27, 2011 at Lincoln Hills Golf Club. The enthusiasm from the full field of 132 golfers and 20 volunteers kept everyone pumped up as preparation began for another successful fundraising event. Tom Flaharty’s foursome was hard to beat, especially since Grand Sierra Resort and Casino was the exclusive hole-in-one/par 3 sponsor for their second year in a row. This sponsor kept things exciting as the day warmed up by offering prizes ranging from $10,000 cash to a Nike golf club set for any hole-in-one. There were an additional 11 holes sponsored by various affiliates and supporters of AREAA; each provided golfers with drinks, snacks, trinkets, and their unique business propositions. What a nice, cool and enjoyable day on the course it was for all that were fortunate enough to be there! In conjunction with the golf tournament, a networking and dinner event was held in the impressive Lincoln Hills Grand Ballroom. If people did not want to golf, but still wanted to be part of this not-to-be- missed event, separate tickets were available for the dinner only. After the first hour of networking and mingling in the foyer, Herman Chan took the mic and was emcee to an enthusiastic full house of 258 people supporting AREAA of Sacramento. Harrah’s Reno and Lake Tahoe was the much-appreciated exclusive dinner sponsor that also fielded a fabulous foursome for golf. John Fernandez


excitedly commented after the tournament that Harrah’s would be participating next year because it was such a fantastic event. He was enthusiastic about his idea of providing real food at their sponsored hole. Will it be possible to roll BBQs out on the golf course? Stay tuned for the answer to that burning question. Before the scrumptious buffet dinner, there was an impressive fashion show with very slim and beautiful professional models wearing outfits from a local designer. The raffle after dinner featured 50 prizes, many donated by our generous affiliates, valued at over $5000. The grand prize was a brand new iPad2! Special prizes and trophies went to many winning golfers. The funds raised from these two events will go to AREAA Sacramento’s work for community redevelopment with Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity. A follow-up email from a satisfied participant said, “The 2nd Annual AREAA Golf Tournament was truly a first class event in every way and MAE Capital Mortgage was absolutely pleased, and proud to participate and sponsor the event. Having our company associated with an organization such as AREAA Greater Sacramento is a particular point of pride for MAE and we thank you for the opportunity.” What a wonderful vote of confidence in this chapter’s event. Many thanks go to Linn Chinnapongse and Daniel Takata for the incredible dedication and hard work that went into coordinating this important annual tournament. Photos by Phan Tran /

A s s oci a t io n 2011 HOPE Awards The Home Ownership Participation for Everyone (HOPE) Awards is a national industry awards program that was created in 2001. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing and sustaining minority homeownership, revitalizing communities and expanding affordable housing opportunities. The HOPE Awards is sponsored by a partnership of AREAA, CAREPA, CREAA, NAHREP, NAR and NAREB. Awards are conferred every other year. Winners receive $10,000 and paid travel expenses to the HOPE Awards.

FINANCE Movin’ Out Inc., Madison, Wis.

The 2011 winners are:

REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE Adamo Realty Network LLL, Miami

EDUCATION Center for Homeownership - Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Forsyth County Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C.

LEADERSHIP Travois Inc., Kansas City, Mo. MEDIA eHome America - Community Ventures Corp., Lexington, Ky. POLICY Alejandro Becerra, author and independent consultant, Silver Spring, Md. PROJECT Home HeadQuarters Inc., Syracuse, N.Y.

For more information, visit: Photos by Oscar Einzig

Kenneth Li awards Howard Mandeville of Movin’ Out, Inc. Amy Kong awards Kerry Quaglia of Home HeadQuarters, Inc.

HOPE Award recipients Sandra Noble Canon, David Bland, Howard Mandeville, Phyllis Caldwell


Around The Protecting Women from Unlawful Mortgage Lending Practices By John Trasviña Cross published from Bringing a new child into a family and buying a house are two momentous and happy occasions for any family. When HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity (FHEO) learned that some mortgage lenders had policies or practices that make qualifying for a mortgage more difficult for pregnant women or parents on parental leave, we leapt into action. We knew that treating pregnant women and parents differently when issuing a mortgage could be a violation of Photo: John Photography the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender or family status, amongst other categories. With the help of Moms Rising, a 1.1 million member strong virtual community, we are uncovering cases around the country. Our partners at Moms Rising describe the stories of mortgage discrimination their members report as “heartbreaking and infuriating.” I would add one more word: “Illegal.” I got to know Dr. Elizabeth Budde, an Asian American immigrant who has become a top cancer researcher in Seattle. Dr. Budde initially received approval for a mortgage while she was pregnant, but the offer was rescinded when she took maternity leave after the birth of her child. Dr. Budde stepped forward to bring this issue to light, and inspired others to bring forward their own stories of discrimination. A dedicated team in our FHEO office is leading the way to provide relief to Dr. Budde and other victims of discriminatory mortgage policies and to foster industry changes so that families will no longer face roadblocks to qualifying for a mortgage. This week, I accepted a Superhero Award from Moms Rising on behalf of our team, who did the real work. Together, all of us will continue to make progress for women and their families because fair treatment when getting a home loan is a real family value. Housing discrimination based on gender or against families with children was not covered when President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law in 1968, but has since been added to the list of protected groups. These types of discrimination, along with disability, race, religious and national origin discrimination, constitute important parts of our work today. For more information and HUD help on housing discrimination, call 1-800-669-9777 or visit


AREAA Central Valley Kickoff Celebration Led by Kayin Ho, AREAA Central Valley (California) launched on May 19, 2011. To recognize the occasion, local and national leaders convened at Engelman Cellars in Fresno for wine tasting and networking. Membership and more information about the chapter can be found online at

A s s oci a t io n AREAA Foundation Sale

AREAA Arizona Education News

SOLD!!!! It is truly gratifying to further AREAA and the AREAA Education Foundation’s mission to support sustainable homeownership and to increase minority homeownership in Arizona. The AREAA Education Foundation’s first house donated by JP Morgan Chase in Arizona has been purchased by Vianey Ruth Barrera. A true inspiration to others interested in homeownership, Vianey is a single woman who just recently turned 18 and became a proud homeowner on 6/29/2011. Vianey said “I have been saving my money for years since my mother passed away. When my mom passed away a few years ago, she left some money in a bank trust account for me”. Unlike some teenagers who may be prone to squandering their money, Vianey decided to purchase a home by her 18th birthday. With the help of her real estate agent, David Lee of Arizona Estate Investors, LLC, and Shen-Yi Michelle Chang, AREAA Treasurer and AREAA Arizona Founding President, Vianey realized her birthday wish and fulfilled her American Dream.

Many of you know that Arizona leads the market in foreclosures and short sales; this is certainly not news. Ari­zona’s distressed market can be rewarding to those Realtors that have embraced this market; however, changing rules, legislation, fraud, and frankly those jumping into this market for a quick buck are causing lawsuits to increase. AREAA Arizona decided to tackle this growing problem head on by working with Thomson Law, PLC in Phoenix to develop a new Continuing Education (CE) course that addresses legal issues inherent with today’s market (especially in Arizona). This new CE course titled “Legal Missteps That Can Cost You” provided three hours of Legal Issues credit and addressed the following: legal errors and their consequences, clients information and what should be disclosed, clarifying the listing agent’s role, clarifying the buyer agent’s role, and the new Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) requirements.

The class was held on June 28th 2011 and was a tremendous success! We packed the venue with over 200 Realtors. AREAA Arizona Founding President Shen-Yi Michelle Chang spoke in front of the packed room to let the attendees know that 100% of the proceeds from the class were being donated to the Japan Rebuild Fund. Also, Tom Diller the Membership Chair spoke to the group about the benefits of AREAA, including timely education like “Legal Missteps That Can Cost You”. Our chapter’s goal is to proactively support the professional and educational development of real estate and mortgage professionals servicing the growing number of Asian Pacific American homebuyers, recognizing that the housing consumers are the ultimate beneficiary of our efforts. Tom Diller AREAA Arizona Membership Chair

AREAA Greater Atlanta “A Conversation with HUD”


Adv e r t i s e r s 7th Annual AREAA National Convention.................................. Inside Back Cover

LSI - A Lender Processing Services Company........................................... Page 1

Affiniti Real Estate.................................................................................... Page 37

MongoFAX............................................................................................... Page 58

AREAA NY Metro Chapter....................................................................... Page 49

NJ Association of REALTORS/NY State Association of REALTORS......... Page 19 /

AREAA Foundation Japan Rebuild Fund.................................................. Page 15

Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.................................................... Page 29

AREAA National Facebook Page............................................................. Page 41

Prudential Real Estate................................................................................ Page 5

AREAA National Twitter Feed................................................................... Page 59

Realty Central, Inc................................................................................... Page 53

Asian American Homeownership Counseling, Inc.................................... Page 57

Redwine Real Estate................................................................................ Page 57

Bank of America................................................. Inside Front Cover, Pages 22-23

Kathy Tsao, REALTOR............................................................................. Page 33

Bank of America Neighborhood Champions速 Reward Program........ Pages 22-23

Dawn Tsien, REALTOR............................................................................ Page 33

Chase........................................................................................................ Page 9

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.............................................................. Back Cover

Chicago Title Insurance Company........................................................... Page 59

Westgate Realty Group, Inc..................................................................... Page 57

Chinese Real Estate Association of America............................................ Page 11

Betty Wong, REALTOR............................................................................ Page 32

theEDGE................................................................................................. Page 45

Lidia Yun, Presidential Real Estate, Inc..................................................... Page 59

First American Title Insurance Company, Strategic Markets Division.......... Page 2 Global EB5 Invest USA, Inc..................................................................... Page 57 HSBC...................................................................................................... Page 18 Amy Kong, REALTOR.............................................................................. Page 32 Kenneth Li, Century 21 Southwest Real Estate........................................ Page 37


To advertise or find more info, visit:

SAVE the

DATE September 23-25, 2012

Bellagio Resort

Finance your home purchase with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Put the strength and stability of a well-established lender to work for you • Rely on our commitment to helping as many customers as possible enjoy the benefits of homeownership. • Expect us to work closely with you to explore and explain options that are right for your budget and goals. • Know we work hard to help customers stay in their homes in times of financial difficulty.

Shop with reassurance

Make a standout bid on the home you want. Ease uncertainty with our solid PriorityBuyer® preapproval, backed by our Wells Fargo Closing GuaranteeSM.1

Contact Wells Fargo Home Mortgage today.

1. Available on all qualified purchase transactions. Other terms and conditions apply. See a home mortgage consultant for details. Credit is subject to approval. Some restrictions apply. This information is accurate as of the date of printing and is subject to change without notice. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801. AS795583 8/11-11/11

a | r | e Fall 2011  

Volume 3, Issue 3 Featured: 2011 AREAA "A" List-the Future Faces of Asian American Real Estate / Chase Executive Donna Miller / Kathy Tsao

a | r | e Fall 2011  

Volume 3, Issue 3 Featured: 2011 AREAA "A" List-the Future Faces of Asian American Real Estate / Chase Executive Donna Miller / Kathy Tsao