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The term “Arab” refers to a person or place, while the term “Arabic” refers to the language. Read “Building a Better Understanding of Middle Eastern Cultures: Misconceptions or Valid Generalizations?” by Christine Ghobrial, included in this issue.
First American has cutting edge resources and tools in up to 20 languages that can help you better serve the multicultural homebuyers in your area. • • •
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Now Available! Understanding Escrow - A bilingual brochure that clearly defines escrow, how it works, and the duties of the escrow holder. arabic
ضمانات صريحة أو أي،األقسام العاملة بها First تعتبر.اخلطأ ومن ذلك،First AmericanTitle مسؤولية عن السهو أو مسجلة أو عالمات Insurance شركة أنها ال تتحمل أي عالمات جتاريةfirstam.com كما،باملعلومات املقدمة ال تقدم الشركات التابعة لها أو/و. First American وFirst America Title ضمنية فيما يتعلق Financial corporation وشعار النسر وAmerican جتارية لشركة
هو “حق الملكية”؟
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” وأهميته لكES CROW ” ال فهم Understan ding “Escro w” an d
i t s
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y o u
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Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and English Only First American Title Insurance Company, and the operating divisions thereof, make no express or implied warranty respecting the information presented and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. First American, the eagle logo, First American Title, and firstam.com are registered trademarks or trademarks of First American Financial Corporation and/or its affiliates. SM - 07/2013
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Sell a house “as is” based on the home it could be Our Purchase & RenovateSM loans can help Our Purchase & Renovate loans can be used to purchase and improve most any property, including damaged or move-in-ready REO and short sale listings. Qualified buyers can finance a primary, second or investment home purchase, plus wanted or needed improvements — all with one loan. Let our specialized renovation lending team work with you to market your listings, serve more buyers’ needs, and sell more homes.
Contact your divisional diverse segment managers to locate a renovation specialist near you. Brigitte Killings Southeast AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, KS (Kansas City), KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV (Northeast) email@example.com
Mandala Jones West AK, AZ, CO, ID, KS (except Kansas City), MN, MT, ND, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY firstname.lastname@example.org
Carmen Luna Pacific CA, HI, NV, OR, WA (Southern) email@example.com
Olin Chamberlain Northeast CT, IA, IL, IN, MA, ME, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WI, WV (Southeast) firstname.lastname@example.org
Information is for real estate professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers or other third parties. Information is accurate as of date of printing and is subject to change without notice. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2013 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801. AS994132 Expires 11/2013
FALL 2013 Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 3 Commemorating AREAA's 10-year anniversary
F E AT U R E S 54
AREAA at 10 What a Difference a Decade Makes A review of AREAA's first ten years, from the initial challenges to its recent international success, and a look ahead at what's to come in the future, featuring commentary from national leaders By John Peretz
The 4th Annual AREAA "A" List Presented by Bank of America
Meet the individuals on AREAA's annual list of top producers serving Asian American communities and learn how they set themselves apart from the competition
Building a Better Understanding of Middle Eastern Cultures: Misconceptions or Valid Generalizations? From the region to language to social customs and communication style, we clear up some common misconceptions and provide you with knowledge to better serve clients from Middle Eastern cultures By Christine Ghobrial 18
One Cool Thing READ IT. USE IT. SHARE IT.
A wealth of information just a click away!
10 Questions with 2014 AREAA National Chair Ivan Choi
10+ Tips for Keeping in Touch with Past Clients
The Current and Future Faces of Real Estate Get to know two of the rising stars in the real estate industry: Christine Ko from Silicon Valley and Portland's Alexander Phan By John Peretz
10 Ways to Pick Up Buyers Buyers are out there, use these simple tips from some of the most successful agents to get your unfair share today!
10 Lessons I Learned from Starting My Own Business New and seasoned business owners alike can learn from these lessons to avoid common pitfalls on the path to profits By Stephany Oliveros
Changing How Washington Approaches Real Estate: It's Not Just for Politicians A summary of three key policy issues that are impacting Asian American homeownership and a way for you to get involved
By Becky Nguyen
Commercial Trends Q&A with Wayne D'Amico Kevin Chin interviews CCIM's President to gain insight on the commercial market, including the best opportunties and the impact of Asian investors
By Jacki Ueng
Effective ways to stay in contact with past clients that you can implement in your business right away By GieFaan Kim
Jacki Ueng and Jim Park explore this vibrant Filipino community, tasting classic dishes like Lech贸n and Balut, well, almost...
AREAA's next leader reveals all: his greatest love, darkest fears, favorite bands, and a business partnership that turned out to be a sham
Noodle Town Goes to National City
By Michael Kelly
A Conversation About Fashion in Real Estate What do fashion industry veterans have to say about the personal appearances of real estate agents? This discussion might surprise you... By Amy Kong
Boston Brimming with Optimism in Improving Housing Market A quick snapshot of the Boston real estate market and the leaders who are spreading AREAA's mission in the New England metropolis
Jim Park examines the meaning of "home" in the context of his travels during his year as AREAA National Chair
The AREAA Education Foundation Develops Leaders and Strengthens Communities With an increasingly greater emphasis on leadership development, the Foundation's initiatives are picking up steam and empowering more Asian Americans than ever before
In My Neighborhood with Tim Hur The Atlanta-area native shares some of the local institutions that have kept him "OTP" in Gwinnett County, Georgia since childhood
By John Peretz
A Message from Chair Park
My First Multi-Million Dollar Sale with Arthur Hung A gentleman walked into a New York real estate office in 2007 and asked for their best agent. After meeting Hung, he walked away with the keys to a $5.6M penthouse By John Peretz
Non-Profit Spotlight: Asian Americans for Community Involvement This multi-service agency is celebrating 40 years of promoting health, education, advocacy and the overall well-being of Northern California's Asian communities
By Kate Nielsen
By Nhi Nguyen
Around the Association AREAA members witnessed a handful of historic events this summer including the firstever international summit hosted by a local chapter and the return of one of the most popular events in local chapter history: the Inland Empire Parade of Homes
FA LL 2013
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 3 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ivan Choi
EDITOR John Peretz
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Praveen K. Sharma
E D I TO R I A L B OA R D Trang Dang-Le Sherwin Escanuela Lynette Fox Rindner Joseph Lai Felicia Morris LuAnn Shikasho Thuy Tran Bernice Wong
ASSOCIATE EDITOR 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: http://areaa.org. ÂŠ2013 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 | email@example.com Office: Asian Real Estate Association of America 5963 La Place Court, Suite 314 Carlsbad, California 92008 760-918-9162 Phone 760-585-1397 Fax Previous issues available online at: http://areaa.org/a-r-e
In our world people come first. Everyone is on the same team and focused on a single purpose – to exceed expectations.
All loans subject to credit approval. Rates and fees subject to change. Mortgage financing provided by PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company. Equal Housing Lender. © 2013 PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company. PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (NMLS no: 13649) is a wholly owned subsidiary of a state-chartered bank and is an exempt lender in the following states: AK, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IA, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY. Licensed by: AL State Banking Dept–consumer credit lic no. MC21004; Arkansas Securities Dept.- combination mortgage banker-broker-servicer lic no. 105190; AZ Dept. of Financial Institutions–mortgage banker lic no. BK 0907334; Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Actlender lic no. 4130996; CT Dept. of Banking–lender lic no. ML-13649; D.C. Dept. of Insurance, Securities and Banking–dual authority lic no. MLO13649; IL Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation–lender lic no. MB.6760635; IN Dept. of Financial Institutions–sub lien lender lic no. 11169; ME Dept. of Professional & Financial Regulation–supervised lender lic no. SLM8285; MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing & Regulation–lender lic no. 11058; Massachusetts Division of Banking–lender & broker license nos. MC5404, MC5406, MC5414, MC5450, MC5405; MI Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth–broker/lender lic nos. FR 0010163 and SR 0012527; Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department–lender lic no. 14553-MB; NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance-lender lic no. 0803658; NM Regulation and Licensing Dept. Financial Institutions Division–lender license no. 01890; ND Dept. of Financial Institutions–money broker lic no. MB101786; NY– regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services (415 Madison Ave, Ste 1405, New York, NY 10017); RI Division of Banking–lender lic no. 20102678LL and broker lic no. 20102677LB; VT Dept. of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration–lender lic no. 6127 and broker lic no. 0964MB; WA Dept. of Financial Institutions-consumer lender lic no. CL-13649; WV Div. of Financial Institutions–lender license ML31704 and broker license MB-31703. V070213.
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SM 2013 MCS Mortgage Bankers, Inc. All rights reserved. This information is for real estate and other mortgage professionals and is not intended for public use. This information is provided to assist real estate and mortgage professionals and is not an advertisement as defined in Regulation Z, Section 226.2. MCS Mortgage Bankers, Inc. is located at 20 Oak Street, Patchogue, NY 11772 Tel: (631) 475-9800 | Corporate NMLS#8115 Licensed Mortgage Banker-NYS Department of Financial Services.
M ES SAG E FRO M TH E CHAIR
There is a popular song called “Home” by Michael Bublé that came out a few years back. The lyrics go something like: Another airplane, another sunny place, I’m lucky, I know, But I wanna go home… I’ve got to go home.
Home is not just four walls and a roof. Home is an idea that helps to bring communities together, reinforces family traditions, and gives people a sense of belonging.
It feels like this song sums up my year as 2013 Chair. I logged some miles in the air this year for AREAA. And I have visited nearly all of our 31 chapters nationwide, attended numerous industry conferences, and traveled to Asia to support and promote the mission of AREAA. I think I spent more nights away from home then at home this year. Despite the exhaustion, I am always excited to see AREAA in action in communities throughout the country and, indeed, around the globe. When I see our members and volunteers committing their time and energy to AREAA, it is hard not to get recharged – no matter the miles. But as my time as chair comes to an end and as I pack my bag for the last time, I am filled with a sense of honor and privilege to have had the chance to serve this great organization. I indeed feel lucky. As I look back on the past ten years of AREAA, I could not have possibly imagined where AREAA would be today. Our founding Chairs Allen Okamoto and John Wong, I am sure, did not either. I think the three of us agree that this truly amazing success could not have happened without the true believers who embraced our mission through those years. I thank each and every one who volunteered, organized local events, signed up new members, provided financial support, and many other countless efforts for giving AREAA an opportunity to reach great heights. Of all the wonderful things AREAA represents, the greatest asset of the organization is its members – the people who make up the association. I am proud of the work our members are doing and the great leaders that are emerging all around the country through our chapters. Without these chapters and leaders, our association cannot achieve its full promise.
that serve the diverse real estate markets: Luxury, Commercial, International and Default. These directories will help highlight AREAA members and continue to showcase the great work our members are doing in markets everywhere. These accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the things that AREAA and the staff are working on every day. We have a big mission, so more work needs to be done. That’s why we need fresh legs and new minds to constantly step in and help propel AREAA forward. I am truly excited that we have a great new team in Ivan Choi and Carmen Chong stepping into the leadership role in the coming year. So as I head home, I hope you find a home in AREAA. Home is not just four walls and a roof. Home is an idea that helps to bring communities together, reinforces family traditions, and gives people a sense of belonging. I am deeply touched by what AREAA stands for and especially proud of what our members are doing to make the dream of a “home” real for so many Asian Americans and immigrant communities throughout the country. With gratitude,
JIM PARK 2013 AREAA NATIONAL CHAIR
I am also thankful for our Board of Directors and the committee chairs that guide the association’s work. From powerful lobbying activities in Washington, D.C. to helping guide our chapter development efforts to delivering market-leading member benefits to supporting young professionals to growing our international presence, our committees have done an amazing job in 2013. Additionally, with the support of committee leaders, AREAA will launch the first-ever specialized networks and directories
Obtaining a solid grasp on financial know-how Imagine a financial learning experience that’s actually enjoyable. Tools and resources on BetterMoneyHabits.com take complex financial topics and make them easier for everyone to understand. The site features videos that take a bite-sized, plain-language approach to connect people to practical, impartial financial information. The online learning experience is fact-based and conversational, and shows how small changes make a big difference. The videos address topics such as easy ways to save, steps to get out of debt, setting and sticking to a budget, as well as understanding mortgages. In fact, a healthy understanding of home loan options or how a mortgage works is critical in today’s real estate market, where homebuyers are again noticing more real estate opportunities.
Understanding how to make money work harder
Better Money Habits: Education to Achieve the American Dream By Glenda Gabriel, Neighborhood Lending Executive, Bank of America
What’s most important to have when applying for a loan to purchase a home? Today’s homeowners, and prospective ones, would likely list things like a down payment, good credit score, or preapproval — and they wouldn’t be wrong. But what about financial literacy, a healthy understanding of how a mortgage works and home loan options? While the real estate market continues to show signs of recovery, the financial knowledge deficit in our nation today not only has many potential homeowners missing out on the real estate silver linings, but may create roadblocks before, during and after the mortgage process.1 Simply put, many people remain ill-informed when making one of the biggest purchases of their lives. Achieving successful homeownership and overall financial success starts with accessible guidance to practical and straightforward solutions.
Developing better money habits is essential From understanding how a mortgage works to creating a safety net for unexpected events to basic budgeting, the best way to improve longterm financial success is by changing habits slowly, step by step. With the mortgage loan process evolving over the last few years, it is more important than ever for potential homebuyers to have access to the information and education they need to prepare for homeownership and make informed buying decisions.
According to a Zillow Mortgage Marketplace survey, homebuyers answered basic questions about mortgage information incorrectly nearly half (46 percent) of the time, with 44 percent saying they are not confident in their knowledge of mortgages or the mortgage process.2 A BetterMoneyHabits.com video provides the basics on how a mortgage works and offers advice for homebuyers, including: • Mortgage Preparation: Reviews how homebuyers can check to see if they prequalify for a mortgage to estimate their buying power and demonstrate to sellers that they’re a serious buyer. • Budgeting: Gives insight into how rates influence the amount being paid each month and how to estimate a monthly mortgage payment with an online mortgage calculator. • Understanding Interest: Provides an understanding of how initial mortgage payments are weighted so that more funds go toward interest than principal.
Ensuring better money habits One of the most exciting things we see right now is that homes are selling again, and despite rising prices, they still remain affordable in most markets across the country. Real estate professionals on the ground floor of the turnaround are taking advantage of today’s tools, products and services to empower customers to succeed in this rebounding home market. The good news is that people do, in fact, want to develop better money habits. Bank of America is offering more resources to deliver business-building strategies for real estate professionals, while offering guidance to consumers through resources like BetterMoneyHabits.com.
For more information visit BetterMoneyHabits.com
Life’s better when we’re connected 1 National Foundation for Credit Counseling; “Financial Literacy Survey”: 2013 ² Zillow Mortgage Marketplace; “Mortgage IQ Quiz”: 2013 Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. ©2013 Bank of America Corporation.
From New York to the World
For Expertise in the New York Metropolitan Area With over 17 years of experience, working with buyers and sellers from around the world, Kathy Tsao has 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, she has the managerial and leadership experience to deliver. 曹凱西專精紐約大都會地區的房地產，從對開發商和投資者提 供諮詢，到對個人購房者提供豪華公寓，單/多戶住宅的購買， 銷售，和物業管理，有超過17年專業經驗，服務來自世界各地 的買家和賣家。
Kathy Tsao 曹凱西
2012 AREAA National Chair woman
ktsao @ elliman.com 212.891.7788
575 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022
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w / 2014 AREAA NATIONAL CHAIR
Tell us something that no one would ever guess about you. want people to
After work hours, at home, I people think leave me alone. For some reason home as I at e I'm just as talkative and sociabl that knows am during work hours. For anyone hours. me well, I'm dead silent after work my dead k thin ple Outside of my family, peo silence is way too awkward.
What or who is the greatest love in your life?
My wife Melanie and little girl, Izzy. I have to say that both getting married and having a daughter really does change a guy's perspective. My mom and dad were right. You don't have any depth of understanding nor appreciation for what it does until it happens.
9 8 10 What are your three favorite movies of all time? #1 The Royal Tenenbaums #2 Gattaca
#3 Almost every Kevin Smith film
s: fear of failure I have two big fear by the Headless and being chased ng story that Horseman. It's a lo od. I know, the stems from childho al. But still very Horseman is not re scary for me.
What famous person do you most admire?
Steve Jobs. Maybe that sounds clichĂŠ. But my very first computer ever was a Macintosh 512K back in 1986. He had a vision, even back then, which ended up making huge changes in the way we work.
What's the biggest lesson in business you've learned that was never taught?
You really have to check a person out before you partner up closely with him/her on business. You need to see for yourself whether that person is truly a good person and in fact has business ability. Don't feel compelled to take a leap of faith; too much is at stake in partnerships.Â
I partnered with two people who had a ton of endorsements from industry professionals as well as a history of success. It was all a big sham. Over time I found out first-hand they were no better than con artists. It was a costly and heart-wrenching mistake.
Give us three visions of the future of real estate 10 years down the road. I'll give you two personal visions, one positive and one negative.
The positive is that everyone has an interest in real estate. Ownership represents inclusion into communities here in the U.S. Because it's a deep-seated desire, real estate will continue to evolve and be a personal goal for many, whether its homeownership or commercial ventures. Â The negative is that government policy, lobbying interests, market conditions, and real estate buying resources that make real estate access possible for the mainstream population... It will all cause real estate conditions to be more volatile in the future. Mainstream real estate access will be difficult at times. Disruptions in the mainstream population's ability to access and own real estate has a huge economic impact. Regardless of what happens, I believe those who serve the Asian segment will be successful in the future. The Asian population is the fastest growing in the U.S. AREAA and its members are making a difference and helping to ensure that access is available for Asians who have the desire. We are bridging cultural gaps, language barriers, financing needs, providing resources via government housing programs, and advocating for national policies that remove barriers for Asian buyers. In 10 years we'll look back and be proud of who we were able to help and what we all contributed to the community.
Middle East. The U.S. Middle Eastern population currently stands at about 2.3 million people with roughly 90% of this population hailing from three countries: 1) Lebanon, 2) Iran, and 3) Armenia. This overall number has been steadily growing ever since the first significant wave of Middle Eastern immigrants came here in the early 1870s, attracted to Midwest factory jobs and seeking refuge from religious and political turmoil. Los Angeles (389k), New York (274k), Detroit (141k) and San Francisco (71k) have the highest Middle Eastern populations in the country. Within these cities are strong, closeknit communities based upon their countries of origin. For example, Los Angeles has a very strong Armenian presence, while Detroit has a high concentration of Lebanese, and San Jose (San Francisco Bay Area) maintains a solid Iranian population. Of particular importance is the fact that Middle Easterners are a very viable segment of the home buying market.
THE MIDDLE EAST: REGION AND LANGUAGES
he past three years have shown a significant increase of foreign nationals purchasing real estate here in the United States. The major players in this market have been Canadian, Chinese, and Mexican foreign nationals. However, there are buyers from other countries and regions who have also taken great interest in our real estate market and you might be surprised to hear where they’re coming from. One of those regions is the
The Middle East is a region that covers Western Asia and part of Northern Africa. However, it should be noted that the exact definition of the Middle East and which countries comprise the region differ from source to source. Nevertheless, almost all definitions include Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The Middle East is home to many different ethnic groups with Arabs being the largest. The top 5 languages spoken in the Middle East are Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Berber (spoken in Algeria and Morocco), and Kurdish. Arabic is the most widely spoken and written language in the Middle East and is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world with close to 300 million people and 27 countries considering it their native or official language. Also, an interesting fact to know is that Arabic is written and read from “right to left”, not “left to right” as is English.
CLARIFYING COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS To better understand some of the many misconceptions regarding the Middle East, let’s begin with a
few terms and definitions. “Middle East” refers to a geographic region such as the various countries illustrated above. The term “Arab” refers to a person’s culture. Please remember that Arab is not defined by a person’s religious beliefs, but by their cultural identity. “Arabic” is the language that many Arabs speak, and this is not to be confused with “Arabian” which is a historical term that refers to objects (i.e. Arabian carpets, lamps, etc.). “Persian” primarily refers to people from Iran, most of whom speak Farsi. It is a common misconception that all Middle Easterners are Muslim. While the Middle East is majority Muslim, other religions are also practiced there, including Christianity and Judaism.
COMMUNICATION STYLE Arabs tend to be very indirect communicators. They are not comfortable saying “no”. In fact, a “yes” sometimes means “maybe”. The primary reason Arabs are indirect communicators is because they deeply value relationships and do not want to offend. Avoiding saying “no” helps them to save face and prevents them from being put into situations where they have to deny someone’s request. Arabs are also very emotional, visual, and passionate. One characteristic that differentiates them from most other indirect communicators is that they express themselves with hand and body gestures during a conversation and may sometimes speak a bit loudly when communicating their points. Arabs always prefer to talk about positives rather than negatives. If you need to discuss something that may be perceived as unpleasant, always try to give it a positive spin. For example, if your client is having a hard time understanding why they will need to pay for title insurance, especially given that they don’t have this expense in their own country, then the way you might want to handle this would be for you to explain to them the many benefits and protections that title insurance provides them.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS IN BUSINESS Who you know is more important than what you know. This fact might not be true for many other cultures but it is absolutely vital for Arabs! A good personal relationship is the most important factor in successfully doing business with Arabs. They prefer doing business with people they know and like. The reason why personal relationships are so valuable for Arabs during business is because they believe that relationships will last longer than any single business transaction. Arabs rely heavily on referrals from friends and family. C O N T I N U E D Referrals and word of mouth are paramount.
B U I L D I N G A B E T T E R U N D E R S TA N D I N G O F M I D D L E E A S T E R N C U LT U R E S
Understanding the Terminology Term
A geographic region where Africa, Europe and Asia meet
Refers to a person's culture (not religious beliefs)
The language that many Arabs speak
A historical term that refers to objects (i.e. Arabian carpets, lamps, etc.)
Primarily refers to people from Iran, most of whom speak Farsi
NEGOTIATIONS ARE COMMONPLACE Bargaining is very common in the Arab culture and in many Arab countries, negotiating prices is commonplace. It is expected that deals are made at prices quite different from the original sales price. Some Arabs actually take pride in being good negotiators because they see it as a valuable skill. Buying or selling a house in Arab countries is very different from here in the U.S. In the Middle East, buyers and sellers usually negotiate directly with each other.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY Family is the most important aspect of Arab society and doesn’t only include parents and siblings, but also extends to aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and often neighbors and close family friends. Family obligations and loyalty take priority over anything else, including demands of a job. The reputation of any one member of a family reflects upon all other members of that family. One person’s poor judgment or behavior can damage his relatives’ pride, social influence, and business opportunities. Males are the head of Arab families; however, women have great power within the family as well. The roles of women and men have changed a lot over the years due to many varying factors. Some of these factors include level of education, standard of living, and age. Young and well-educated couples tend to share household responsibilities more so than older generations. Depending upon age, accultura-
tion, and level of conservatism, women now share home and financial responsibilities.
APPROPRIATE GREETINGS Handshakes are the customary greeting between people of the same sex (both men and women). It is also common for people of the same sex to hug, kiss on both cheeks, and pat on the back. When greeting people of the opposite sex, you should be sensitive and observant of how they prefer to be greeted. Religion is very important for Arabs and shapes people’s lifestyle. In some cases, kissing on cheeks or shaking hands with people of the opposite sex is not allowed by conservative Muslims. It is always preferred to mimic the way your Arab clients greet you.
VIEW OF TIME Again, because Arabs are very concerned about building relationships, they usually run on fluid time. It is very common for Arabs to be late for appointments - especially social events. Private appointments may get interrupted many times to accept phone calls. With nearly 60% of all U.S. Middle Easterners owning their home, it’s clear that purchasing property is of great importance to them. By understanding a bit more of their very diverse cultures, values, and practices, we will avail ourselves to better serve their real estate needs. Education is the clear solution to dispelling the many misconceptions surrounding Middle Eastern cultures.
First American Title’s Strategic Markets Department puts cultural education first by offering tools and resources in 20 languages to address the needs of the increasingly diverse U.S. market. For additional information, please contact us at email@example.com.
CHRISTINE GHOBRIAL is the Strategic Markets Custom Solutions and Product Specialist at First American Title Company. She is responsible for creating and producing educational marketing materials that serve real estate professionals in 20 languages. Christine was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt and moved to the U.S. 4 years ago. Christine completed her M.B.A with honors with a focus in marketing from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Amy Kong, CRB,CRS,GRI,CDPE Amy@AmyKong.com 650.740.9928 BRE# 01177178
Betty Sun Wong, CIPS, CRS, PMN, CDPE Luxury property specialist
BettySunWong@Gmail.com 415.298.7373 BRE# 00932814
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.
KE E PING in
PAST CLIE NTS BY G IEFA AN KIM
here’s no point in explaining how essential past clients are to the life of our business. Our business tree’s branches will continue to bear fruit so long as they aren’t broken off. We know this, but in case you didn’t here are some stats: »»
National Association of REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of past clients, referrals, and personal contacts. According to realtor.com, an independent survey reports that 84% of homebuyers would use the same Realtor again.
So how can we keep in touch with our past clients better? The key is to understand the fine line between harassing your client versus keeping in touch. Let’s discuss ten ways you can reach your clients without being intrusive.
Us e fu l N e ws Monthly newsletters exist for a reason but don’t waste their time with junk or they’ll stop reading. Remember what “news” means. The info must be current and relevant! Share something interesting that no other broker is sharing and be concise.
The Uncommon G i ft
Take Th e m O ut
Your clients have a plethora of mugs, magnets, pens, and other stuff they won’t ever use. So stop wasting your money. Maybe it’s worth splurging a bit on a worthwhile gift. Experiential gifts are “in” and an amazing memory will be associated with you. Or, maybe a personalized bottle of their favorite wine, a great certified babysitter for a night, or tickets to a concert.
You’re still the host, but on the personal VIP level. Dinner is great, but dinner and a show are better. Wouldn’t your clients love going to the big playoff game? Guess who’s taking them? Or take them to the new exhibit at the museum. Doubledating or double-family night out can be a grand slam, but make sure it’s the right move.
Social N et wo r ki n g Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., etc. Embrace it and use it to your advantage. Clients can reveal a lot about themselves on their own pages. It can also be a friendly platform to stay in touch and you can get reactive touches if you market your business via social networking.
Host a Party
Paying attention to details can really pay off. Do you remember your client’s dog’s name? What is their favorite sports team? Where do they love to shop? Keep details like this so that when you send a card or gift it really makes them remember.
Be the host! Organize a social gathering for your best clients to mix and mingle. Holiday client appreciation events are popular. It can be in your office or at the hottest new restaurant in town! Getting involved with community or charity events offers a great excuse to invite your clients to join you in your efforts.
Le n d a Han d Offer your services to make their life a bit easier. Help them move, paint, or clean their new home. There are countless ways to give your time so make it count.
Fo llow U p with a Su rve y After closing the deal, follow up with a survey. Ask your client for feedback and how you can improve. It’ll show them you are constantly growing and care about client input.
As k fo r H e lp
Asking for help can be refreshing if you do it right. Show them how their help will make an impact. A great tool is “My office is holding a competition for most referrals this month and I need your help. Who do you know that needs to buy, sell, or rent a home in the next couple of months?”
Many of your clients need your sponsorship whether they know it or not. Look for opportunities like a client’s child’s sports team. They usually need sponsors and it’s worth it to spend a bit to have your brand on the uniforms. Your client won’t forget it.
HELLO. 你好. WE’RE SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE.
• Broaden your exposure to prospective clients. • Enhance your investor value with proven marketing expertise. • Increase market share among the home building community.
In addition to what you can do to stay in touch with clients, consider how you keep in touch. Sometimes you may want to simply leave a voicemail message instead of directly connecting on the phone. Try Slydial or other similar apps that let you go straight to the receiver’s voicemail. And remember important dates like clients’ birthdays and home purchase anniversaries. A FINAL NOTE: If you are wondering where to start, it can be simpler than you think. I recently switched to a new cell phone and the ever-so-dreadful contacts transfer changed my year. For some reason, all my contacts were doubled up so I had to manually delete the duplicates. But as I was forced to go through my contacts one-by-one, I started to take note on all the past clients I completely forgot about. Long story short, I made the effort to reconnect and it immediately added to this year’s production.
Introducing our enhanced series of innovative marketing services, serving the real estate community in: Advertising & PR Multimedia plans Website development And so much more... Now that’s a concept!
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30101 Town Center Dr. Suite 104 Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 949.363.7974
Current and of Real Estate
From Entrepreneur to Real Estate Expert
Photo courtesy of Christine Ko
You can’t really chase the money. That will all come. You really have to let people know that you’re truly advocating for them.
AREAA member Christine Ko has always taken the road less traveled. A Bay Area native, Ms. Ko attended the University of California, San Diego and graduated with a degree in economics. Shortly after, she began working at CB Richard Ellis, the area’s top commercial real estate firm. Although she learned a lot about the real estate business, financing options, market research, and the fine art of negotiating, she found the 8-to-5 administrative inside job wasn’t what was calling her. So she took a different path, first traveling for a spell in Southeast Asia, and upon her return started a brand-new gelato company in Saratoga, California, near her roots in the Bay Area. For three years, she built her company while learning practical lessons in marketing, management and customer service. But there was still something missing – the ability to have complete control over your schedule and to make more of a difference. So through one of her customers, she rediscovered real estate, this time on the residential side. Within a few months of doing real estate part time, she decided to jump into it full time and sell her growing business. And she’s never looked back. After she sold her company, she worked under a top-producing broker before changing over to the Bridgepointe Group in 2011. This gave her the ability to completely re-invent herself and create her own personal brand, becoming the “go-to person” in real estate for her future clients. But it wasn’t without some self-doubt. “I had to really get it out of my mind that I was too young, I was a woman, and I was Asian,” Ms. Ko candidly explains. “You have to cross over a bridge of confidence, and then everything comes into focus.” In 2011, she did a little more than 10 transactions while developing her personal brand and testing the waters. In 2012, Ms. Ko more than quadrupled her transactions, and this year, she’s on track to do even more.
She also found that the way to success actually begins with service. “You can’t really chase the money,” Ms. Ko explains. “That will all come. You really have to let people know that you’re truly advocating for them. I always felt I was different in that I really, really cared. And I think people can sense that. Especially in the Asian American community.” True to her word, Ms. Ko devotes a lot of time to community service, both within AREAA (Ms. Ko currently serves on the Board of Directors for AREAA’s Silicon Valley Chapter and is an ambassador for theEDGE) and beyond. Ms. Ko also serves as the 2013-14 president of the Korean American Professional Society and is a member of the California Association of REALTORS®, the National Association of REALTORS®, and the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. Along with her service in the community, Christine recently received a highly prestigious award as one of Realtor Magazine’s 30 under 30 class of 2013. This award is bestowed upon individuals who exemplify success, skills, creativity, and leadership in the real estate industry. “You can’t be afraid to do things – it’s better and a lot more fun to be involved,” Ms. Ko explains. “The business will come as people get to know the real you. And as you’re serving the community, everybody wins. Homeownership helps to build stronger neighborhoods, and adds more than just monetary value to our local market. It creates a better home environment. And that’s what we all want,” Ms. Ko concludes. At AREAA, we couldn’t agree more.
Future Faces Each issue, we profile up-and-coming AREAA members who are shaping the future of real estate by their amazing productivity and energy, within both the industry and their communities. BY JOHN PERETZ
From Dentistry and High Tech to Top Real Estate Producer Mr. Phan’s parents barely made it out of Vietnam at the end of the war, but little did they know the success that their children would attain in America out of their Portland-area home. As the second youngest of six, Mr. Phan watched as his older siblings all became successful in prominent banking and medical professions. Needless to say, the expectations were high. Right after high school, Mr. Phan enrolled at Portland State University in downtown Portland, with dentistry in mind. He even worked as a dental technician for his older brother, who is a dentist. There was only one problem – he simply didn’t enjoy it. So he made the unpopular family decision to exit the world of dentistry because in his heart he knew that wasn’t the right path for him. Always a hard worker, Mr. Phan was able to buy
His first full year in 2010, Mr. Phan completed 18 transactions with Keller Williams Realty, the No. 1-selling office in central Portland. By his second full year, Mr. Phan had 32 transactions and started to build systems that could help him sell even more. Last year, in 2012, he sold more than 60 homes and this year is projecting to do more than 70 transactions, with the only limitation being the extreme inventory tightness of the market. Now working as a well-oiled machine, Mr. Phan and his team partners Mr. Scott Hall, Mr. Trong Do, and Ms. Anjali Siddhu are on a roll. As far as his secret for success is concerned, Mr. Phan is somewhat pragmatic about it. “Honestly, just showing up every day and treating it like a business is at the core. You have to make the calls,
“We’re never really satisfied with our production from last month – we’re always looking for ways to grow our business.” his first house when he was just 21 years old and shortly afterward got his real estate license on Valentine’s Day in 2007. After graduation, he took a job with technology giant Intel in 2008, working evening and night hours as an engineering technician. These nontraditional hours also allowed him to begin work at a small discount real estate brokerage, where he started buying and selling homes for family and friends. But his entrance into real estate was also marked by the great real estate meltdown. Mr. Phan worked tirelessly at both jobs and was grateful for the security of income that Intel provided. But his work there, while important, was very repetitive, mind-numbing and lacked social interaction. In 2010, after having achieved moderate success in real estate, Mr. Phan made the bold move to leave the security of Intel and enter into the wild world of real estate on a full-time basis.
Photo courtesy of Alexander Phan
follow up on what you said you would do, and be there on a consistent basis,” Mr. Phan explains. “We’re never really satisfied with our production from last month – we’re always looking for ways to grow our business,” Mr. Phan concludes. Mr. Phan also finds time to give back to the community and to AREAA, serving on the Portland chapter’s Board of Directors. Look for Mr. Phan and his team to be around for a long time and make a significant contribution to AREAA and the Portland area. He’s just one of our many rising stars.
NATIONAL CIT Y BY JACKI UENG Photos by Tina Balch (except where noted)
Porky's Lechon , National City
, known as a beautiful county filled with a thriving community of luxurious homes, surfers, historic districts and sun, has a side that many may not have explored. Leave it up to Jim Park & Jacki Ueng in their 3rd episode of “Noodle Town” to land in National City, which is fondly called Filipino Town and boasts the highest concentration of Filipino-Americans in San Diego. National City is also home to rows of Filipino restaurants and bakeries that serve dishes from various regions of the Philippines. Jim and I visited our friends for some unforgettable experiences checking out the local food, culture and neighborhood. Little did we expect, we had a whole feast waiting for us. This episode has a spin to it, as we’ll have to add “Bizarre Foods Edition” to the title. Our lovely San Diego Chapter President Tina Balch is the consummate representation of the friendly, accommodating Filipino host, which I may add, loves to eat and celebrate life! She holds a ceremony for our initiation into Filipino culture at Porky’s Lechon. The Philippines, like many island nations, has a tradition of roasting pigs as a way of celebration. Lechón is a pork dish in several regions of the world, specifically Spain, where the word originated from, that refers to a “suckling pig that is roasted”. Lechón is a popular food in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and other Spanish-speaking nations throughout Latin America and Spain. The dish features a whole roasted pig cooked over charcoal for hours. Jim and I were overwhelmed with excitement with how warm and generous the family was at Porky’s, who had specially ordered this cute pig from a local farm and had roasted it for four hours in their oven prior to our arrival.
A Brief History of the
FILIPINO COMMUNITY IN SAN DIEGO
o understand the migration of the Filipinos to the U.S. as well as to San Diego, it is necessary to know a bit about the special connection between the Philippines and United States. Spain’s colonization of the Philippines began in 1521 and ended in 1898 when the Treaty of Paris was signed. Shortly after that signing, the Philippines became a U.S. territory but gained its independence from the United States in 1902. Since that time, the Philippines has continued its longstanding relationship with the United States that has included the provision of U.S. Naval Bases in the Philippine Islands for almost a century. That’s why cities like San Diego, where there is a strong military presence, have attracted many Filipinos to set roots in the community. Between 1900 and 1946, various groups of Filipino migrants flocked to San Diego, mostly young Filipino men who enlisted in the United States Recruiting Offices from the Philippines. Most of these young men joined the U.S. Navy for a better life and to send money back to the Philippines to help their families. Many Filipinos in the Navy were only allowed to work in kitchens, hence the amazing cooking we still enjoy today and the foundation of many of the restaurants that were started in San Diego.
TOP: Pancit, the term for “noodles” in Filipino cuisine ABOVE: Skewers of organ meat
Our group, which includes AREAA 2014 Vice Chair Carmen Chong, AREAA National Executive Director Hope Atuel, Tina Balch and AREAA San Diego chapter members, gathers around the hot-out-ofthe-oven Lechón as we begin our ceremony. It starts off with stuffing an apple into the pig’s mouth for decoration. The waiter gently slices up the pork’s back with a sharp knife, in a plaid design to get us started on the crisp pork skin. Tina does the honor by showing us the first step, by picking up a 2x2 piece of fried pork skin. The skin acts as a base, as you grab some white rice and then dip it in a gravy-like sauce, Atay Ng Baboy, which is a liver paste made with various organs, garlic, onions, brown sugar,
and secret ingredients, that were dug out prior to roasting the pig. Along with the delicious pig roast was a fine selection of traditional Filipino food like Kare Kare, Pancit Palabok, Adobo and Sisig, with a side of my favorite Bagoong, a salty shrimp paste that adds a spicy kick to any dish! Shortly after our pig roast, we went to Filipino Desserts Plus, a family owned bakery with colorfully packed snacks throughout the store. Many were made with staples of the Philippine Islands such as rice, bananas and coconut. My favorite was the “Suman”, a sticky rice cake wrapped in
Due to its close proximity to 32nd Street, where most of the U.S. Naval Fleet is docked, National City became home to these Filipinos and their families. Shortly thereafter, another wave of migrants from the Philippines came to the United States, this time precipitated by American entrepreneurs looking for cheaper labor. Many Filipinos found employment in hotels, restaurants, hospitals and other service-related industries. Because National City has been long established as the place for many Filipino-Americans, the businesses that you see here, particularly the food industry, is reflective of the make-up of the community.
C O N T I N U E D
N O O D L E TO W N : N AT I O N A L C I T Y
banana leaves. The desserts are sold individually wrapped or in pre-ordered party platters (because Filipinos love to party!). On our third stop, we went for authentic street food at Kalye Hits. As we entered this rusty joint, a large handwritten menu hung above us. We left it to Tina to do the ordering as we found a table in the back with a painting of Manny Pacquiao framed behind us. Once again, the dishes started coming out, this time in small plates. We were unsure what food was before us until we learned that they were skewers of chicken gizzard, cow liver and pork intestines. The finale of our day came when the Balut arrived. A “Balut” is a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. In the Philippines, Balut eaters prefer salt or a chili mixture to season their eggs, which are savored for their balance of textures and flavors. Tina is teaching me the proper steps. First, you roll the egg around to crack the shell. Then you peel the top of the egg and begin
to sip the broth surrounding the embryo before the shell is fully peeled. Third, you peel the whole egg and proceed to bite into the yolk and young chick inside. Depending on how far along in development the chick is, you might actually see the whole shape of it. Today in the Philippines, Balut has recently entered the trendy cuisines as an appetizer in restaurants, cooked adobo-style, fried in omelettes or even used as filling in baked pastries. Out of all the wild things I’ve eaten before, I’ll admit, this one was the most bizarre. I literally…chickened out. Pun intended. Jim and I had a great time in National City and easily agreed that the Filipinos we spent time with mirrored the friendly Asian culture of their native land. The people love to eat, have a great time, and spend it with family. I could easily see within a few hours of hanging out with them why they are such a happy culture! We were welcomed in like family immediately. Thank you AREAA San Diego for your hospitality!
LEFT: Pork skin from the Lechón RIGHT: Kalye Hits Filipino restaurant in National City
Out of all the wild things I’ve eaten before, I’ll admit, this one was the most bizarre. I literally… chickened out.
Noodle Town is an AREAA media production hosted by Jim Park and Jacki Ueng. Noodles are a staple across all Asian cultures and a symbol of long life. Noodle dishes are novelties served during celebrations as well as everyday street food. Despite all the debate, Marco Polo did bring noodles to the West! Jim and Jacki taste their way through Asian neighborhoods across America as they learn about the history, culture and food. Stay tuned for the next episode of Noodle Town! Tell us about your local Asian neighborhood and we will make our way there as fast as we can chew!
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PICK U P BUYE RS brought to you by
BY B ECK Y N G UYE N Buyers are out there, get your unfair share today! Below are 10 of the top ways to find buyers in this market, from some of the most successful agents. My tip to all agents is pick one of the methods and master it before you go on to the next.
1. USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is here to stay so connect with people through more than Facebook-connect with your audience through other media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr and more. When you are connected through social media it's important to show people you are interested in their their lives. Our business is relational.
2. CREATE YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
Ask your current and past clients to write a review about you and your services on websites such as Yelp, Google, CitySearch and others. Remember, don’t have them do it all at once!
3. SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY
Don’t just join local and national organizations, get involved. Volunteer your time and commit to various causes. Greater success comes to those who put their needs second.
4. DOOR KNOCK
FSBO’s and expired listings: their hands are up to move!
5. MARKET OPEN HOUSES
Don’t just put an "Open House" sign in the yard - tell everyone and market aggressively to the public.
6. CONTINUE SERVING PAST CLIENTS
Help your past clients take advantage of the market. See who will benefit from moving up AND moving down. Consult your client on their investment because buying and selling isn’t just about life-changing events, it can be about taking advantage of the market.
7. ASK FOR REFERRALS
Talk to your sphere of influence and database consistently. Let them know you are looking for more buyers to help them find a home or an investment property.
8. HOST AN INVESTOR SEMINAR
Invite your database and encourage them to become investors.
9. REACH BUYERS GLOBALLY
Create Proxio ads in multiple languages to reach a larger audience.
10. HOST HOME BUYER SEMINARS WITH A TWIST
Don't just advertise a home buyer seminar, target your buyers. Connect with the human resources departments of large organizations and host lunch-and-learns for their staff. Also, look to the next generation of home buyers and target colleges and universities.
AREAA GREATER LOS ANGELES
congratulates AREAA on
10 YEARS of PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP in the ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY
AREAA GREATER LOS ANGELES BOARD OF DIRECTORS PETER PARK
Executive Project Manager
areaa.org/losangeles | firstname.lastname@example.org
LES SONS I LE ARNED
f r o m STARTING MY OWN BUSINES S brought to you by
BY STEPHANY OLIVEROS
DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL
HIRE FAST, FIRE FASTER
As I was starting to build my team, I made a bad hiring decision. Not just once or twice, but three times. Even though I was armed with profile tests and situational scenarios, sometimes people are just not the right fit. Once this became clear, I had to do the right thing for the whole team.
It’s important to learn from the successes and mistakes of others. I chose three companies that I wanted to emulate. I studied how they grew, listed their strengths and weaknesses, and even interviewed some of them. I also analyzed what people said about my competitors, and how I could strive to be better. For example, most of my competitors do not answer the phone. Now I have four people rotating to take all phone calls so no calls are missed.
I CAN’T DO EVERYTHING AND CAN’T DO EVERYTHING WELL Yes, you know your business more than anyone. But you have to build on your strengths. If it is business development, delegate other tasks. In the beginning, I took web development courses, QuickBooks courses, bought all kinds of do-it-yourself books to learn new skills, thinking I could immediately implement them. It turns out, I just have to learn how to trust my employees’ skill sets and everything (almost) will be just fine.
3 BE COACHABLE 4 UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES WILL 5 TOUGHEN YOU PIVOT
Learn how to adapt to market forces. By attending national conferences and following trends closely, I am able to make immediate changes. As our local market improves, we are seeing opportunities to work with institutional buyers and on-thefence sellers.
You’re the CEO, the master of your own domain! You started this company. Great! Now what? And so what?! The fact is you don’t know everything. I learned how to be open to constructive criticism early on when a colleague analyzed our office process and pointed out issues. Taking her advice significantly improved my business.
Life confronts us with situations that might not always be to our liking. We have made mistakes, lost a client, paid a huge price for it. Instead of feeling defeated, I asked myself, “What could I have done differently?” I emerge from these experiences with a resilient mindset.
6 CHOOSE YOUR TEAM WISELY 7 ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY 8 I AM THE FIRST ONE TO ARRIVE AND LAST TO LEAVE 9 It might take time, but you will get there. The right accountant, attorney, and consultants, for example, can make a huge difference in how you handle processes, employee retention, technical, and legal matters.
You can't have it all… At least not right away, and not all at the same time. As an entrepreneur, you’re always on the go and have great ideas, so the natural tendency is to want to create multiple businesses. Focus. Great things take time to build.
I’ve learned that I am the hardest working employee in this company. If I don’t spend time building it, and don’t show I care, why would my employees? I spend as much time with my team as possible, learning who they are and teaching them the company culture.
MOST VALUABLE ASSET? PEOPLE’S TRUST!
Trust takes years to build, yet seconds to lose if you don’t treat everyone with respect, follow the clients’ processes, be familiar with your state laws, understand your market, and know your industry inside and out. Clearly defining that our company exists to provide value to our clients, to solve their issues and treat them as a most valuable customer, has afforded us the success to continue to grow.
You took the reigns of theEDGE at a time when your market and business were in a major transition and did an amazing job across the board! -Jonathan
Thank you, Raquel!
I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet and work with you. You are an extension of my family and I will be forever grateful for all your support and love. You have left your imprint on theEDGE and we all are better because of you. -With love and admiration, Linh
You’re not just a great friend, you’re family to me. No matter how busy you are, you’re always there ready to help and offer advice. Don’t know how you do it girl, but you excel in everything you do! Love ya! -Stephany
You never cease to amaze me! You are an inspiration and role model to us all. -Kara
Raquel, your leadership took us over theEDGE! -GieFaan Thank you for your leadership, dedication and friendship! -Geremy
Thanks for taking theEDGE to the next level! Great job! -Ryan I am truly grateful for all that you have done for me as a committee member, a fellow agent, and a friend. -Becky
IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD
GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA TIM HUR with
What attracted you to this part of town? Since I’ve been part of this county since 1990, when I was seven, I obviously have had no direct choice of where I wanted to live. My parents moved here because of the abundance of trees (not joking), the amazing school system (typical Asian family), and the cost of living (extremely affordable). Even though I’ve had multiple opportunities to leave, 17 years later I find myself staying in Gwinnett for the same reasons as my parents. It’s close enough to the city and the urban density for a quick drive to have fun, yet far enough to enjoy watching the stars at night from your driveway.
What’s the number one selling point that residents and new buyers rave about? Hands down the affordability. The county has homes that can cater to any picky homebuyer. We have everything, from starter homes to multi-million dollar estates one could only dream about. I’m going to make a quick plug for the amazing education system we have here in our county. People come knowing our county has the best educational system.
Can you share one of the neighborhood’s best-kept secrets? The Aurora Theater. With several shows throughout the year, not only is the theater itself amazing, the productions and shows are award-winning. I don’t know if it’s still a secret though – especially since I just bought myself season tickets and have been telling everyone to go.
What is your favorite way to spend an afternoon with the family or friends here? Spending time with friends on Lake Lanier – it’s 38,000 acres of water bliss and total fun. In the summer, lots of us go rent a boat, jet skis, have a picnic or you could just go take your family to the
Photo courtesy of SonheimHotelPhoto.com
amed after Button Gwinnett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Gwinnett County is located northeast of Atlanta, Georgia's state capital. It is one of the counties that make up the Metro Atlanta area. Since it’s outside of the Interstate 285 loop, Gwinnett is also commonly known as being "OTP” (Outside the Perimeter) versus where all the hipsters are “ITP” (Inside the Perimeter). Gwinnett is also the second most populous county in the state and home to several Fortune 500 companies.
Above: Wild Waves at Lake Lanier Islands Water Park Opposite page (clockwise from top): ›› Enjoying the beach at Lake Lanier Islands
›› The City of Duluth's fireworks display ›› A Gwinnett Braves Minor League Baseball game at Coolray Field
›› A riveting performance during a play at the Aurora Theater
Photo courtesy of SonheimHotelPhoto.com
water park. In the winter, Lake Lanier hosts one of the largest light shows – the Magical Nights of Lights – while you drive through the resort enjoying what feels like a million lights displaying the 12 days of Christmas. You finish at the end roasting marshmallows, riding ponies and enjoying a huge bonfire.
What is your favorite restaurant in the neighborhood? Lately, I’ve been hooked on Local Republic, a food joint in the heart of Lawrenceville. If you’re a foodie, you have to check this place out. I usually get their burgers. Try the “Sink” burger (whatever the kitchen decides to throw on) or go for something simple like the Jerk Chicken. Just don’t blame me if you can’t even get through one bite of the “Patrick Swayze” burger – as they say on the menu, “no refunds due to wimpiness if you can’t handle the heat…”
What types of outdoor activities does your neighborhood offer? You name it. Sports arenas, dog parks, huge outdoor fields, parks, hiking, shooting ranges, boatin’, huntin’, fishin’ – whatever your heart desires we got it. We know where our roots are but we’re growing modern real fast. Just at our pace. It’s a great mix to do anything you want to do. We sure love our outdoors. C O N T I N U E D
I N M Y N I E G H B O R H O O D G W I N N E T T C O U N T Y, G E O R G I A W I T H T I M H U R
Eddie Owen Presents – just voted Best New Music Venue in the heart of Downtown City of Duluth. You could see a great mainstream show at Gwinnett Arena, but if you love small bands and supporting local artists, you gotta check out this place.
WATCH THE BIG GAME
The Gwinnett Braves, the Minor League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, are located in Gwinnett County at Coolray Field. Why drive all the way into the city when you get the entire stadium experience, including all the pizza, hot dogs and peanuts you can eat down the street?
WATCH A PLAY/SHOW
Aurora Theater, located in the heart of Downtown City of Lawrenceville. Amazing reviews, amazing performers and hands down the best shows produced, ever. It’s seriously one of the best kept secrets in our community. If you love theater, this is the place to go.
GO FOR A WALK, JOG OR RUN
You could go for a walk or run on the Suwanee Creek Greenway, part of the City of Suwanee. It’s a 4-mile trail that’s part of 400 acres of green space.
HAVE FUN FOR FREE
Participate in and/or watch one of the city parades. Most of the cities in Gwinnett all have their annual parades throughout the year. Fireworks, floats, dancing, music – it’s SO much fun just watching them.
INSIDE THE PERIMETER
SEE LIVE MUSIC
OUTSIDE THE PERIMETER
WHERE TIM LIKES TO… GET A CUP OF COFFEE Octane Coffee – contemporary with an urban twist, they’ll even bring the coffee to you when it’s ready. That’s Southern Hospitality at its finest. READ A BOOK
Piedmont Park, located in the heart of Atlanta. Can’t go wrong there.
GO OUT FOR DATE NIGHT
Try our new 200-foot Ferris Wheel in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. Talk about magnificent views.
Lenox Square, where you’ll find all the high-end boutiques. Since I can’t afford anything there: window shopping at its finest.
HAVE A BEER/COCKTAIL
Friends and I hang out at the local Taco Mac for great wings, great beer and fun times. Just don’t ever drink and drive.
THE BEAUTY OF OUR COUNTY IS THE ABUNDANCE OF ACTIVITIES TO GET INVOLVED IN IF YOU WANT TO…WHATEVER YOUR PASSION IS, YOU CAN SERVE THE COMMUNITY.
Do you volunteer with any local organizations or causes?
Anything else you’d like to share about your neighborhood?
The beauty of our county is the abundance of activities to get involved in if you want to. I was a founding member of the Gwinnett Chamber's Young Professionals (hYPe) and the Gwinnett Mosaic Rotary Club. I also continue to serve as a board member for Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, the United Way, the Korean American Coalition and the Korean American Scholarship Foundation. Whatever your passion is, you can serve the community. I’m blessed to have made lifelong friends and mentors in each organization.
Come visit me anytime – I was born and raised in the South, where good manners and Southern Hospitality is the way of the land. There’s nothing that a good helping of fried chicken, grits and a glass of ice cold (authentic) sweet tea can’t fix.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
PRESIDENT / BROKER BRE #01177044 PRIME PROPERTIES
CO-FOUNDER / BROKER BRE #01190947 taffeco Real Estate, Inc.
AREAA GREATER LOS ANGELES PRESIDENT 2013 AREAA NATIONAL CONVENTION CO-CHAIR
2014 AREAA NATIONAL CHAIR-ELECT AREAA SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA PRESIDENT 2013 AREAA NATIONAL CONVENTION CO-CHAIR
Office: 323.933.0330 x201 Cell: 323.810.1565 Fax: 323.933.0889 www.peterparkre.com
Office: 650.573.6868 Cell: 650.906.1087 Fax 650.573.6808 www.taffeco.com
Arthur Hung with John Per etz
A $5.6 Million Penthouse – Not Bad for a Walk-in!
So, what was your first big sale and how did it come about?
Well, actually it was a walk-in, if you can believe it, in 2007. A gentleman walked into our office and said, ‘I want to look at buying an apartment, and I want to talk to your best agent.’ Fortunately, I was in the office and our manager referred the client to me. I was just really lucky that day.
Q: What was your client looking for? He actually wanted to find an apartment in a very small geographic area – maybe a three-square-block area in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. He really wanted something that had the ‘cool factor’, something that he would respond to instantly. We ended up finding a really cool penthouse for $5.6 million.
Q: $5.6 million is a great sale. Was that the original price range he was looking in?
Photo courtesy of Arthur Hung
No, not really. The initial budget was $3 million, but it soon got bumped up to $5 million. We found the penthouse with the wow factor and that was it.
Q: What did you do differently working with a client like that? I ordered a limo to drive my client around. That was different. And I really had to value the time of my client – he was a very successful entrepreneur and it was hard for him to take time off. We weren’t into wasting time at all. I had to do a lot of homework in advance. To him, brevity
was really important. I had to be prepared, precise and concise. And we had to be pretty certain that the penthouse still had upside potential from an appreciation standpoint.
Q: Now that a little time has passed, what would you have done differently? Not a lot, actually. I think it’s important to treat every one of your clients the same way, regardless of price. You have to be prepared – and knowledgeable. When I worked with that client, it was only my second year in the business, but I had come from a corporate background in technology marketing.
Q: What advice would you give to some of our newer AREAA members? No matter who you work with, just do your best to be prepared. In my case, I started off working with a lot of renters, because New York City is unique in that. But renters become buyers, buyers become sellers, and when you work with buyers and sellers, they become your best source of referrals.
ABOUT MR. HUNG: Mr. Hung lives and works in New York City and is one of Corcoran SoHo’s top real estate brokers, working primarily in residential real estate but also handling commercial transactions. Born in Hong Kong, Mr. Hung worked for the world’s second-largest software company before making the transition to real estate in 2006. Mr. Hung is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
AREAA SAN F RAN C ISC O PEN IN SU L A CO N G RAT U L AT ES AREAA ON IT S
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
AN D W EL C OM ES IN C OM IN G N AT IO N AL C H A I R
IVAN CHOI Join us today and be part of one of the fastest-growing chapters in the country!
CARMEN CHONG President
Taffeco Real Estate, Inc BRE # 01190947
E X E CU T IVE BOAR D ME MBE R S
ALLEN CHING President-Elect Pacific Union International BRE # 01719267
DEBBIE WONG Vice President-Membership Chair Better Homes & Gardens BRE # 01074881
DAVID T. CHAN Vice President Prudential California BRE # 01344760
CHRISTIE VO Treasurer Taffeco Real Estate BRE # 01385991
JEAN LU Secretary Citibank NMLS ID 483471
JASMINE CHENG Director-Education Chair Citibank NMLS ID 274593
YVONNE BATTERTON Director-Education Co-Chair Bank of America NMLS ID 481196
ANH PHAM Director-Hospitality Chair Better Homes & Gardens BRE # 01432176
MERRY YEN Director-Membership Co-Chair Prudential California BRE # 01807036
EUGENE PAK Government Affairs Chair Climb Real Estate BRE # 01344334
JUANITA LEUNG Director-Strategic Partner Chair Prudential California BRE # 01296109
LOUIS WOO Director-Technology Chair Century 21 Alliance BRE # 01281426
STERLING McNEAL Director Union Bank NMLS ID 1016649
SAM TOUS Director Frank Howard Allen BRE # 01419521
FOLGER M. EMERSON Director Chase Mortgage Banking NMLS ID 599706
ERIC TANG Director Wells Fargo Home Mortgage NMLSR ID 244025
MICHELLE LIN Advisor Red Wave Insurance
HARRY K. JEUNG Advisor WDJ & CO, CPAs, LLC
KEN SCHWING Advisor Wells Fargo/PMB NMLSR ID 271532
KARA OKAMOTO Advisor T. Okamoto & Co. BRE # 01838508
for COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Photo courtesy of AACI
T I F O R P N NO IGHT SPOByTNhLi Nguyen
In 1973, a dozen community activists in Santa Clara County, California came together to express their concerns, experiences and unmet needs as Asian Americans. They advocated for a voice that represented the Asian American community and ultimately founded the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI). At its core, AACI is rooted in advocacy, but the founders recognized the need for more culturally and linguistically appropriate services for the Asian community. Today, AACI has grown into the largest non-profit organization in Santa Clara County that focuses on the Asian American community. AACI’s mission is to improve the health, mental health and well-being of individuals, families and the Asian community. As a multi-service agency, they “provide health and human services and share best practices in the community about service delivery,” says Anne Im, the Director of Development. “We also feel that it is really important to advocate and provide leadership on key health and human service issues.” As an organization, AACI began 40 years ago and now has around 187 full-time and part-time
staff combined. Across the agency, the staff speak 40 different languages and dialects and serve approximately 13,800 clients or more a year. The majority of AACI clients are low-income individuals and families living in Santa Clara County. One third of the county's population is foreign-born and over 31% of Santa Clara County is Asian, a subset of the population that grew by 25% from 2000 to 2010. There are a variety of challenges that Asian Americans face today, yet one of the most difficult issues Asian Americans face is the subject of mental health illnesses within Asian American families. “If you look at mental health in the Asian community, there’s a lot of stigma regarding mental health issues and seeking treatment.” Anne emphasized. “I think for a lot of people in the community, it’s about overcoming the stigma and actually going out and seeking treatment.” AACI’s mental health department is staffed by about 60 mental health counselors. They provide a wide range of services to the community, offering culturally and linguistically qualified services. AACI also has a Domestic Violence Shelter and Services Program for battered women and children. However, domestic violence is another issue with much stigma attached to it. The shelter provides a support network for these individuals and shines a light on issues related to domestic violence in families. Compounded on all of these issues is the cultural and linguistic barriers to services. There is a
…we ensure that we have a diverse staff that provide a variety of services in different languages and a staff that understand specific ethnicities and cultures so we can deliver services that are culturally competent.
Photos courtesy of AACI
For more information about AACI’s programs and services, go to www.aaci.org.
large immigrant population from Asian communities that can present major challenges when seeking help. “At AACI, we ensure that we have a diverse staff that provide a variety of services in different languages and a staff that understand specific ethnicities and cultures so we can deliver services that are culturally competent,” Anne added. AACI offers a comprehensive list of services and programs, particularly the Center for Survivors of Torture, the Advocacy Program and the Youth Program. The Center for Survivors of Torture is a specialized program that began in 2000 and services individuals and families from over 60 different countries around the world who reside in the county. Survivors may have endured psychological and/or physical torture in their home country based on their ethnicity, religion, educational background, political views, and more. Some are here as refugees who have status in the U.S., while others are as ‘asylees’—individuals who are in the process of seeking status. “Our staff work with these survivors of torture in a holistic manner—from basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, to assistance from an attorney in order to apply for citizenship,” Anne says. The staff at the Center connect clients with pro bono attorneys to assist with this process. The Center also provides psychological services to treat PTSD, depression and alike when needed. AACI’s multi-service network allows them to connect clients to other services within the agency—“if there is someone who needs primary care treatment and is going through the doors of our Center for Survivors of Torture, we have a health center with physicians and medical personnel on staff who can provide primary care services,” Anne explains. “We are able to provide services internally to the community in order to try to meet them in all their needs. If not, we are
at least able to connect them to other outside services.” The Advocacy Program provides a voice for Asian Americans in the community. It advocates for issues of equality and social justice, and creates and nurtures relationships among local Asian groups and policymakers. The program also promotes civic engagement and leadership among Asians—it is ultimately to “build a pipeline of leadership for future generations,” Anne explains. AACI, along with 25 nonprofit organizations in the community, helped found the Asian Pacific Islander Justice Coalition of Silicon Valley (APIJC) to create a unified voice on policy issues facing the Asian community. The coalition meets monthly and works on issues impacting the Asian community. By taking a position on a variety of issues on the state and federal levels including: immigrant rights, social and human services, race relations, anti-Asian violence prevention and awareness, API-focused legislations, voting rights, etc., APIJC promotes advocacy through legislation by writing letters of support for bills, supporting judicial nominations of Asian judges, and much more. The Youth Program provides one-on-one interactions with AACI staff and at-risk youth in the community. Many times these youths fall through the cracks, and they do not have the same indicators that raise a red flag for school staff (truancy, failing grades, acting out and expulsion). For the AACI staff, the challenge is supporting the youth, helping them realize their potential and making sure they know that they have options in life to stay on track. AACI operates an after-school program in East San Jose and provides youth support services on campuses during the school day. Anne emphasizes that “when our staff works with the youth in the community, they build trust and mentor them
and they know the things that are going on in their families and lives—making sure they have more adult role models during this most formative period in their lives.” AACI celebrates 40 years of making a difference in the lives of many Asian Americans, families, and the community. In 1973, they were officially incorporated and founded. By 1987, AACI pioneered the first of an eventual 22 school-based family and youth counseling services, targeting the limited-English speaking, Asian immigrant population. A year later, AACI spearheaded efforts to successfully urge the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to pass a hate crimes ordinance. In 2000, AACI opened its Primary Care Health Center, which provides linguistically competent and culturally appropriate primary care health services to the local Asian American community. In 2013, AACI launched the Vision New America Youth Leadership and Civic Engagement Program. These are just a few of the many accomplishments that AACI has achieved over the years. They continue to advocate for and service the Asian American community through comprehensive programs ranging from health, recovery, advocacy, shelter, and community.
The AREAA Education Foundation is dedicated to: ›
Developing the leadership potential of real estate professionals serving the Asian American and immigrant communities.
Strengthening neighborhoods by renovating distressed properties and providing affordable housing to area homebuyers.
Raising funds for communities devastated by natural disasters.
UPCOMING LEADERSHIP TRAININGS:
CHICAGO November 18-19, 2013
NEW YORK December 5-6, 2013
SUPPORT the FOUNDATION
We invite you to support our education and communityfocused programs with a tax-deductible donation. For more information, please visit us online:
areaafoundation.org or contact KATE NIELSEN email@example.com 760.517.6131 The AREAA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
rates begin at $200/issue email firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Wayne D'Amico PRESIDENT CERTIFIED COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT MEMBER INSTITUTE (CCIM)
INTERVIEW BY KEVIN CHIN, CCIM
Where is the commercial real estate investment industry heading this year? As noted in our CCIM Institute 2Q13 Quarterly Market Trends report, the commercial real estate industry continues to keep a steady pace of growth through the first half of the year as consumers and businesses are proving that they are commit-
ted to moving forward. However, consumer confidence concerns and cautious spending, coupled with still-high unemployment figures and volatile energy costs, continue to weigh heavily on the overall economyâ€™s progress. All of these factors impact the commercial real estate industry. In a sign of the marketâ€™s rebound, 19 metropolitan markets surpassed the $1 billion sales volume threshold year-to-date. New York City retains the top spot, followed by the Washington, D.C.,
metro and Los Angeles. However, the broad-based growth in commercial deals was highlighted by strong sales activity in markets like Houston, Denver, Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego. Given the steady economic performance, we do believe that commercial fundamentals will likely stay the recovery course. Even moderate gains in employment and consumer spending will keep absorption for office, industrial and retail spaces rising, pushing vacancy rates lower.
Demand for rental housing is projected to remain strong in 2013, but competition from residential rental stock will keep rent growth in check at 4.6 percent for the year. The main concerns for the commercial sector are relatively weak hiring and capital flow at the lower end of the market, which impact small business.
How would you characterize the commercial real estate investment climate right now? I do believe that commercial real estate is a more appealing investment than it has been in prior years. Due to improving fundamentals, we are finding that investors view commercial investments as increasingly more and more attractive. More specifically, 63 percent of CCIM members surveyed in the 2QMT report said current credit conditions are also expected to improve. The interest has translated into an upbeat sales pace for commercial
properties during the first part of the year.
Which commercial real estate sectors offer the best opportunities in this market? The apartment sector definitely remains the bright star, while industrial and retail also maintained favorable conditions. However, I do think that the apartment sector could be too bright going forward, as it carries very low capitalization rates, exposing it to vulnerabilities once interest rates start to rise. While fundamentals are currently solid, the availability of apartment financing through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may cause price escalation through year-end. In addition, we have been noticing the trend of international buyers looking to purchase apartments as an investment. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, in the past 15 months, international real estate investors have sought security in the U.S. multifamily market. Canadian
investors have spent close to $3.2 billion in the U.S. multifamily market, followed by Swiss ($698 million), Israeli ($407 million), British ($291 million), and Kuwaiti investors ($272 million). Overall, international acquisitions totaled more than $300 million in each of these markets: Dallas, Houston, New York, Chicago, and South Florida.
Source: Real Capital Analytics CPPITM; Bureau of Labor Statistics Non-Farm Payroll Jobs; Recent change from Q2â€™09
Can you tell us about
whatâ€™s happening in the other sectors?
Rising trade has boosted the demand for industrial space. E-commerce is expected to increase 62 percent by 2016, and is affecting the industrial market in a positive way. Same-day pickup and online delivery options are requiring more urban infill industrial development and more e-commerce distribution centers in UPS and FedEx hub markets. Many e-commerce industrial users are choosing build-to-suit over leasing existing facilities. Demand for office buildings has advanced, with net absorption total-
ing 4.1 million square feet in the first quarter of 2013. Supply of new office space was slower than prior quarters and half the pace of demand—there were about 1.7 million square feet of new completions. Vacancy rates for office properties are expected to hit 15.7 percent by the end of secondquarter 2013 and to continue declining to an average of 15.6 percent by year-end. The decline in vacancies is expected to be accompanied by a 2.6 percent rise in rents. The retail sector is expected to absorb a net 12.5 million square feet this year. With new construction at a low 1.0 million square feet in the first quarter, availability rates are projected to decline to 10.5 percent in the second quarter. Bank ground leases maintained a 225-basis-point premium over general retail net leased properties in the past year and cap rates have compressed 85 basis points to 5 percent. Low prices, low default rates, and no landlord duties make these assets popular with 1031 and fixed-income investors. What influence are
Asian investors having on the U.S. commercial real estate market?
In the past 12 months, capital flows from Asia into U.S. commercial real estate amounted to $10.6 billion dollars as tracked by Real Capital Analytics. The bulk of these transactions are in the major coastal international gate-
way markets. This data only accounts for transactions over $2.5 million. If you speak with brokers in markets with large Asian populations you will discover that there are a tremendous amount of transactions involving foreign capital occurring under this level also. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal cites that the pace of investment dollars from Asia to U.S. commercial real estate is accelerating. Reasons for Asian investment include long-term diversification, immigration through EB-5 programs and strong U.S. property rights. Asian capital has contributed to the recovery of property values and the restarting of construction projects stalled by the great recession. What’s the value of
the CCIM designation in the current environment? Why should someone seek out a CCIM? With the economy still in recovery mode, the education and relationships available through CCIM are more important than ever. The CCIM skill set prepares professionals to handle the market’s evolving challenges. Being the largest network of qualified commercial real estate professionals gives designees a larger net to cast to reach a broader base of opportunities. Since my first course back in 1989, the number of deals I can
directly attribute to CCIM relationships are too numerous to count. I have never spoken to someone who took a CCIM course who didn’t believe he or she could make more money as a result of their new knowledge and skills. In a recent survey of our designees, we found that CCIMs rated the following benefits as the most important benefits of holding the CCIM designation:
»» Knowledge attained from CCIM designation education
»» Credibility with other real estate professionals
»» Differentiation from other real estate professionals
In addition, CCIM offers invaluable education programs and courses to CCIMs. For example, during the 2013 AREAA National Convention, Carmela Ma, CCIM, will be teaching the CCIM Course on Residential Real Estate Financial Analysis designed for residential real estate agents who want to expand their business to include the sale of single-family homes, condos, duplexes, four-plexes, or small commercial properties to investors. Simply stated - CCIMs are the total package. We provide our clients and employers with the assurance that every decision will be made in the best interest of their investment objectives.
Take the next step
CCIM Cultural Diversity Education Program The Cultural Diversity Education Program (CDEP) was created in 2002 to develop a critical mass of minority CCIM designees who can positively impact their respective communities and the commercial real estate industry in general. At present, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian-Americans are underrepresented in both the commercial real estate industry and within CCIM Institute.
Learn more at:
www.ccim.com/cdep WAYNE D’AMICO, CCIM is Principal of Wayne D'Amico & Co., Inc. dba PropertyPolitics.com, a Connecticut Real Estate Corporation and Advisory firm providing diversified services in over $660,000,000 of commercial and investment real estate projects in the areas of Consulting, Tax Assessment Validation, Brokerage and creative financing from local to global client base.
KEVIN CHIN, CCIM serves as managing director for Sperry Van Ness specializing in retail transactions across the country and apartment transactions in the San Francisco Bay area. With over 25 years of industry experience, Chin has conducted transactions valued at over $300 million.
Changing How Washington Approaches Real Estate: It’s Not Just for Politicians. By Michael Kelly
QUALIFIED MORTGAGES (QM) AND QUALIFIED RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE (QRM) UNDERWRITING
In the wake of the global financial meltdown, caused in part by the collapse of the housing market, lawmakers passed the comprehensive Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act. A key part of this legislation was the establishment of a nationwide standard for mortgage loans that ensures homebuyers receive loans compatible with their financial resources, commonly known as Qualified Mortgages and Qualified Residential Mortgages. To determine this set of criteria, the Dodd-Frank Act mandated the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to rule on the defining characteristics of these loans. In early 2013, the CFPB released a ruling on how these loans, particularly QM, will be defined and implemented. The final ruling establishes a set of minimum requirements to determine the ability-to-pay element of a QM or QRM including factors such as current and expected income, employment status, and certain non-mortgage payment obligations. The rule also enumerates the specific requirements of these types of mortgages. With some exceptions such as certain rural properties, a qualified mortgage will generally be prohibited from containing balloon payments, interest-only payments, negative amortization, and terms lasting longer than 30 years2. To lend under the guidelines of these mortgages, creditors must ensure that potential borrowers do not exceed a debt-to-income ratio of 43%3. Additionally, the final rule also provides these loans with special legal protections. The loans designated as QM and QRM will be legally entitled to the presumption that the borrower has satisfied the ability-to-pay requirements, thus protecting the lender in a legal “safe harbor” from any litigation brought against him or her. This final ruling by the CFPB, along with a number of other pieces of legislation regarding mortgage, will produce significant changes in mortgage
n the face of years of uncertainty and sluggish recovery, the housing industry has almost completed its slow ascent to pre-crisis levels. As confidence in the market increases, the real-estate business is well on its way to recovery. An integral component in this recuperation is the increasing demand for housing by a growing minority population, particularly the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Despite this promising news, homeownership in AAPI communities has declined from 58.9% in 2010 to 58.0% in 2011 and 56.6% in 20121. Additionally, there are current developments at both the state and federal levels that have the potential to profoundly affect the trajectory of the housing recovery. If certain regulatory and executive policies remain ambiguous and restrictive, recovery in the housing markets runs the risk of being stymied. In this article, three policy issues and their solutions will be addressed and explored as they relate to the AAPI community.
lending that will affect the housing market for years to come. Although the issuing of this final rule by the CFPB has paved a way for responsible lending practices, a number of important issues must be addressed regarding availability of credit. With the establishment of these lending guidelines, a number of non-conventional borrowers who do not yet have well-established credit could face difficulties in acquiring loans specified as a QM or QRM. To ensure that both lenders can supply an adequate amount of credit in the market and all qualified borrowers are able to secure reasonable mortgages, the CPFB must continue to provide dynamic and flexible rules and modifications to the underwriting of QM and QRM lending. If the underwriting of these lending rules remains static, there is a significant risk that homeownership among AAPI families will not exceed the relatively low rates of the past few years. Access to reasonable mortgages is a feature of the “American Dream” that the AAPI community should enjoy. Policymakers responsible for QM and QRM guidelines must strike a balance between starving and oversaturating the market of available credit and adopt mortgage rules that are reasonable for deserving borrowers.
IMMIGRATION AND THE EB-5 VISA
In recent months, the topic of immigration reform has occupied a significant portion of debate in Washington D.C. Despite politically charged statements made on both sides of the aisle, what is truly at stake in the country’s immigration debate is the long-term health of the U.S. economy. In a world that is becoming increasingly connected, U.S. policymakers must pursue immigration policies that preserve the competitive edge of the United States on the world’s economic stage. It is simply impossible to separate a competitive U.S. economy with real estate transactions. In order for the U.S. economy to remain healthy relative to the global market, immigration policies that favor growth in the domestic real estate market must be prioritized. One such policy that has been a driving force in the growth of the U.S. housing market is the EB-5 Visa program. This program grants foreign nationals the opportunity to live in the United States if they have invested at least $500,000 to $1,000,000 (depending on the market) in a new commercial enterprise or troubled business and have provided at least 10 jobs to the U.S. economy. Because of this program, a large number of wealthy industry leaders in countries like China, Japan, and South Korea have been able to invest in the United States’ economy. Despite the fact that attracting this type of investment capital is crucial to our economic
U.S. Census Bureau - Table 22: Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity of Householder: 1994 to 2012 This information was acquired from http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_ability-to-repay summary.pdf 3 HUD: “HUD Studies Show Counseling Helps Families Prepare for Homeownership and Keep the Homes they Have” http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_release_media_advisories/2012.HUDNo.12-085 1
recovery and growth, this program has only been mandated to last until 2015. However, recent debate surrounding comprehensive immigration reform has put a spotlight on this program and efforts have been made by legislators to make this program a permanent fixture of U.S. immigration policy. Propositions like these represent sensible and rational immigration policies that the AAPI community recognizes as essential to putting the United States back on the right track to economic preeminence.
OVERCOMING LANGUAGE BARRIERS
One of the most challenging obstacles for the AAPI community to traverse in the realm of homeownership is cultural and language barriers. Because of these linguistic challenges, achieving a clear line of communication between the lender and borrower can be difficult. In a more sinister light, this lack of communication is sometimes exploited through predatory lending practices, thus posing a serious threat to sustaining stable homeownership in the AAPI community. Prospective homebuyers with limited English proficiency (LEP) try to remedy this by relying on an informal network of family and friends who have a greater grasp of the English language and U.S. business culture for guidance and clarification on documents such as mortgage agreements, which puts unnecessary strain on the home-buying process. Despite the fact that government agencies have made some effort in providing in-language educational materials regarding the home-buying process, most notably Spanish, the problems stemming from LEP Asian Americans are largely unnoticed and unrepresented. This lack of assistance is even more troubling when considering the fact that numerous Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) studies have found that pre-purchase assistance to LEP homebuyers significantly decreases delinquencies in mortgage payments and home foreclosures. With a diverse range of languages and cultures, Asian Americans face a staggering amount of LEP-related problems. To accommodate for these unique circumstances, government on both the state and local levels must allot a higher portion of its budget towards providing pre-purchase housing counseling, reading materials in a variety of rarely translated languages like Hindi, Laotian, and Hmong, and foreclosure mitigation counseling. Once these barriers are removed, a path will be cleared to responsible homeownership for many AAPI families.
ith an array of issues that the AAPI community faces, it may seem like a sole individual’s efforts to produce much-needed change in Washington is futile. However, now is an important time for community advocates like yourself to come together and accomplish extraordinary things for AAPI homeownership. Fortunately, AREAA provides ways for you to get involved and actively influence prominent politicians involved in these policy issues. Each year AREAA hosts a National Policy Day in which AREAA members are given the opportunity to meet with a number of key representatives and policymakers to discuss issues that are relevant to providing sustainable homeownership opportunities to AAPI families across the United States. In addition to National Policy Day in Washington D.C., AREAA’s Policy Committee also offers the association's members a chance to get involved in directing efforts that have very real impact on the laws and regulations that are decided upon by our nation’s most prominent political figures. Thanks to AREAA, it has never been easier to have your voice heard by our country’s leaders; all you need to do is simply act.
POLICY DAY MAY 5-6, 2014 www.areaa.org
W HAT A DIFF E RE N C E A D E C A D E M A K E S By John Peretz
ike the sun rising in the Far East, AREAA has experienced unparalleled growth to become the preeminent real estate force in the Asian American community in the United States and beyond. But in fact, like the story of so many Asian immigrants, the rise to become the voice of the Asian American community wasn’t easy, which makes the journey even more remarkable. Rewind the tape by 10 years, and you’ll find the very beginning of AREAA. Nestled in a boardroom at the Houston Association of REALTORS®, a group of real estate pioneers gathered for an intense two-day meeting. Led by John Yen Wong, Allen Okamoto, Kenneth Li, Jim Park, Fanny Chu, Fred Underwood, Roddy Cheung, Pius Leung and Lauris Tam, the group was interested in brainstorming how to start an organization to serve the emerging Asian American marketplace. The gathering gained so much energy and momentum that AREAA was formed out of that meeting. But how do you begin to piece together an organization that is so varied and diverse? Mr. Fred Underwood, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)'s director of diversity, remembers the meeting well. Six years earlier in 1997, he was part of an NAR group to help bring diversity to its national association. “The initial challenges facing AREAA were enormous,” Mr. Underwood begins. “Asian real estate organizations were not organized under one big umbrella. Because of cultural and geographic nuances, the few Asianoriented organizations tended to be very localized and serving one spe-
cific ethnicity, like Chinese or Korean interests. There wasn’t a single organization that had a true national presence, and certainly not one that included all the various Asian ethnicities. So that was one big challenge. “And in the early days, before all the chapters and national prominence that exists today, AREAA was really more of a confederation than an organization,” Mr. Underwood concluded. Led by the vision that a national organization was sorely needed for the underrepresented yet growing Asian American community, the leaders marched on. Mr. Wong became the first chair of AREAA in 2003. “Those were interesting times,” recalls Mr. Wong. “We certainly had the drive and the vision, but we didn’t have any money or any members. But we knew what we were doing was right and was really needed in the market.” AREAA’s 2013 Chair, Mr. Park, helped push AREAA to highlight the issues facing Asian American homeowners in partnership with UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center, which was funded largely by a Freddie Mac contribution. In order to create a national presence, Mr. Park understood the need for the Asian American community to come out of the shadows because of the lack of data and national focus. In 2005, Mr. Okamoto was installed as AREAA’s second chair. A second-generation Realtor and former San Francisco Association of REALTORS® (SFAR) president, Mr.
2003 John Yen Wong installed as chair
The first logo
The initial challenges facing AREAA were enormous...Because of cultural and geographic nuances, the few Asianoriented organizations tended to be very localized and serving one specific ethnicity, like Chinese or Korean interests. There wasn’t a single organization that had a true national presence, and certainly not one that included all the various Asian ethnicities. – FRED UNDERWOOD
2005 Allen Okamoto installed as chair
Jim Park joins as president and CEO First full-time employee: Shelley Dawson
National Convention in Long Beach, California
chapters, and the Los Angeles-based leader was instrumental in the creation of AREAA’s education foundation to help mentor younger AREAA members. In the midst of the real estate downturn in 2009, AREAA remained strong as Mr. John Fukuda became chair. He helped create theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals, making sure AREAA maintains a strong leadership connection between generations of membership. First chapter launched: The following year in 2010, Mr. AREAA Greater Chicago Li became chair, and AREAA had its first international trade missions to China and Korea. Membership reached the magical 10,000 mark. It was fitting since Mr. Li had been one National Convention in of the original founders through his Las Vegas, Nevada commercial real estate practice in Houston. In 2011, Ms. Kathy Tsao was installed as chair and took the AREAA torch to great heights, making 38 different trips on behalf of AREAA in her 52 weeks of official service. Traveling out of New York was not an easy task, but one Ms. Tsao would do all over again. “This really has been Emily Moerdomo a very special relay team,” Ms. Tsao Fu installed as chair says candidly. “Sure it was hard, but I loved it and would do it all over again in a minute.” 2012 proved to be another pivotal year. Mr. Park was officially installed as chair at the end of that year, and the association kept its growth on track. In New York City, AREAA held its first Global Summit, which attracted more than 600 attendees from eight different countries. AREAA also hosted a three-city conference with National Convention in China’s version of NAR, the China Los Angeles, California Real Estate Association. An eventual memorandum of understanding was signed between AREAA and CREA, a major accomplishment in opening the doors to China and beyond. This year marked trade missions to the Philippines and Singapore, the opening of the first local internationAllen Chiang al chapter in Vancouver, B.C., the secinstalled as chair
Okamoto knew firsthand the need for fair real estate representation within the Asian American community. You see, in 1955, Mr. Okamoto’s father was denied membership in SFAR based solely on his Japanese ethnicity, a wrong that was righted many years later when they granted his father the status of “member for life”. In fact, the early leaders were forging a way for all of AREAA’s diverse Asian ethnicities to work together, regardless of their specific Asian heritage. Through the tireless working of AREAA’s leadership and its many unnamed but selfless volunteers, the association reached a milestone in 2006 when it hired its first full-time employee in Shelley Dawson and Mr. Park assumed the duties as president and CEO of the organization. By the end of the year, AREAA had reached the 4,000-member mark. Part of the early success of the organization was the ability to attract key industry partners and sponsors, the majority of which continue to this day. AREAA was off and running. In 2007, Ms. Emily Moerdomo Fu was installed as AREAA’s first female chair, and the association held its second national convention in Las Vegas with more than 700 attendees. Ms. Moerdomo Fu was one of the first pioneers for international expansion, both from her home market in Atlanta and with AREAA on a national basis. 2007 also marked the year that AREAA launched its first two chapters, first in Chicago and then in Las Vegas. Ms. Nancy Suvarnamani was AREAA’s first chapter president in Chicago and contributed to AREAA in very meaningful ways on the local, national and international levels. By 2008, a| r|e magazine was launched, and Mr. Allen Chiang became chair of AREAA. Membership had grown to more than 8,000 members, and momentum was building rapidly. During Mr. Chiang’s year, AREAA was able to add eight more
Launch of a|r|e magazine
4/28/2008 12:39:02 PM
big part of that,” Ms. Atuel concludes. Ms. Raquel Quinet, the 2013 chair of theEDGE, knows what their mission is firsthand. “theEDGE exists to create future leaders and to shape the future of the organization. AREAA has so many great ideas, trade missions, global buyers and such. AREAA always seems to be ahead of the game.” If you’ve never been to an EDGE event, you should go to one. The future of AREAA is in their hands. AREAA will also be active on the research front in future years, especially from an international perspective. That’s because AREAA members are the bridge to Asia and beyond, through their language, cultural and business expertise when dealing with Asian buyers and investors. Ms. Robyn Lau, an AREAA member from the newly formed Vancouver chapter, clearly understands the importance of being on the global forefront. “As soon as you entered your first ‘www’ on your computer, you became part of a global economy. It’s not just local anymore,” Ms. Lau recently commented. Ms. Lau works with a number of Asians, IndoCanadians and Persians in her real estate practice, which is 40 percent international. In five years, Ms. Lau believes, her business will be at least 60 percent international. Her translation team speaks six different Asian dialects. And Ms. Lau is not alone on the international front. It is estimated that the majority of AREAA members have done international transactions, far above the industry average as a whole. Former AREAA chair Ms. Moerdomo Fu is currently on a trip to Asia with representatives from her home state of Georgia and totally believes that international business is borderless. “AREAA has always kept a strong focus on the original mission, but this is only the beginning. The international market is wide open and
National Convention and installation of John Fukuda as chair in Las Vegas, Nevada
theEDGE is founded
Aperture Life Photography
1st Annual Leadership Summit in San Francisco, California
National Convention and installation of Kenneth Li as chair in Las Vegas, Nevada
2nd Multicultural Real Estate & Policy Conference National Convention and installation of Kathy Tsao as chair in San Francisco, California
Multicultural Real Estate & Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
ond Global Summit held in Honolulu and the first international event held by an AREAA chapter in Vancouver led by Ms. Tina Mak. But what’s on tap for AREAA as it enters its next 10 years? Well, AREAA is committed to expanding its role on the international stage and is poised to become the primary connect point for everything related to Asian and American real estate, both domestically and globally. This will be accomplished through several main initiatives. First, AREAA Global (the newly formed for-profit owned by AREAA) is designed to help the nonprofit entity sustain itself financially and to support AREAA members' efforts to expand internationally. AREAA Global was conceived to create revenue opportunities for AREAA and its members through various avenues, including global real estate investments, property management services, the marketing and sales of real estate developments around the world as well as the training and framework for possible EB-5 transactions. The AREAA Education Foundation was developed to make sure the association has a pipeline of younger real estate professionals that will be ready to take over leadership roles, both now and in the future. Ms. Hope Atuel, the executive director of AREAA since January of 2012, sees the huge importance of this. Ms. Atuel was formerly in the marketing and membership of an appraisal real estate services organization in Chicago. “In my old position, we did a membership survey and found out that our average member was in his early 60s, predominantly Caucasian and almost entirely male. So we started a membership initiative to broaden our appeal to create a younger and more diverse group. “That’s how I was first introduced to AREAA. When I heard about their mission, and how selfless everyone is, I instantly knew I wanted to be a
1st Annual Global Summit in New York City
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
China-U.S. Real Estate Summit in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen
National Convention and installation of Jim Park as chair in Las Vegas, Nevada
2013 Leadership Summit in Sonoma, California
Global Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii
National Policy Day
As we take AREAA to the next level, the core values of what started AREAA will always be there. But now we realize it’s also about building wealth for our Asian American communities and creating inter national business opportunities. AREAA is really accelerating.
1st Annual National Policy Day
Bellagio Photo Services
opportunities. AREAA is really acAREAA is leading the way,” Ms. Mocelerating.” erdomo Fu concludes. When Mr. Ivan Choi assumes the And look for AREAA to continue role of AREAA chair at the national its momentum with trade missions convention in Los Angeles in Septo various countries across the globe, tember, he will have a great team in with a special emphasis on Asia. Like place. AREAA has grown to more many of AREAA’s initiatives, what than 30 chapters, and its memberbegan as a simple idea has expanded ship base has never been stronger. well beyond the AREAA doorstep “We have a lot of chapter growth for many of its members. To date, yet to come,” Mr. Choi suggests. “We AREAA has gone to Korea, China, haven’t even begun Taiwan, Thailand, to reach a saturaJapan, Vietnam, tion point. And France, Singapore while we will stay and the Philippines. true to our core AREAA members mission, the global are always welcome focus is going to and encouraged to expand, with India attend these highbeing a market tarlevel events that can geted for new conbring back a world nections. We also of new connections want to provide an and tangible busieven better level of ness opportunities. chapter support. Ms. Fanny Chu, “We’re very bullone of the original ish on our future,” founders of AREAA, Mr. Choi concludes. gets a little reminisMr. Park likes cent when talking to tell the story of about AREAA tothe AREAA logo day. “No one would and what it means. have really thought “It’s really a variait would grow to tion on a Chinese this scale so fast. symbol that means We have so many mankind, and of people that really – ALLEN OKAMOTO course it looks like care about AREAA, a roofline. I think it and the enthusiasm represents the meaning for AREAA is so infectious,” Ms. Chu comments. in a very significant way,” Mr. Park Mr. Okamoto definitely agrees. suggests. “At one of our first board meetings, So as AREAA goes into its next we wanted to advocate for equal opdecade, it’s all about becoming the portunity housing for Asian Amerione voice for everything related to cans. We had no idea that AREAA Asian American real estate, working would be able to take off and become to develop a meaningful mentor prothe true voice for Asian American gram for its younger members and real estate across the country. As we giving members the opportunity to take AREAA to the next level, the capitalize on the global landscape. core values of what started AREAA If the next 10 years are as successwill always be there. But now we reful as the first 10, the future is surely alize it’s also about building wealth bright. And there’s no reason to think for our Asian American communities otherwise. and creating international business
Trade Mission to the Philippines
S AV E
2 0 14 A R E A A
NATION A L CONV ENTIO N
D AT E
B E L G I O
Featuring Top Producers Serving the Asian American Community
he Asian Real Estate Association of America's annual "A" List is a reflection of the non-profit organization's diverse and talented membership. The list recognizes top producers serving Asian American homeowners and communities. The award program is open to all active AREAA members and the top 50 in each of
two categories: previous year's sales volume and transaction sides, make the list. The individuals on this, the 4th annual, list spoke to us about what sets them apart in their markets, their keys to success in 2012, and why they joined and support AREAA. Read on to see who made the list, in addition to some of our favorite responses.
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Volume Rank
Woodland Hills California
MY KEYS TO Dedication, persistence and knowledge SUCCESS? 2
Modern Realty Co
Pacific Union International
2012 Volume $119,265,950
WHAT ATTRACTED The people! ME TO AREAA?
Los Angeles www.modernrealtyco.com $109,549,112 California I believe that our work ethic is what sets us apart. Modern Realty has long-lasting relationships with sellers and buyers of all classes, both individuals and institutions, for the last 30 years. Our company continues to invest in technology and marketing best practices that keep our clients coming back and sending us referrals. We are truly grateful for this. San Francisco California
I believe in the mission of AREAA of promoting homeownership opportunities to Asians. As a first-generation immigrant, real estate ownership has been my family's path to success and I believe that everyone should be provided this type of opportunity! 4
Advantage Realty Group Advisors
MY KEYS TO Thinking outside the box and investing in seminars that teach me the marketing strategies that other industries are using to succeed in this economy, and applying them to the real estate industry. SUCCESS? 5
Boca Raton Florida
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Sides Rank
Modern Realty Co
Los Angeles California
Woodland Hills California
Realty Group Inc
Coon Rapids Minnesota
Ryan Hill Realty, LLC
Boca Raton Florida www.g-sig.com 472 Â The biggest key to our success last year was focusing on constant improvement by paying attention to our KPIs and listening to our clientsâ€™ needs. We decided to spend our time focusing on current clients and improving our performance with them instead of chasing new ones. Improving performance brought more business from existing clients and we were even fortunate enough to have a few new clients reach out to us.
Ryan Hill Realty's innovative buyer and seller initiatives, cutting edge technology, marketing and our stellar team of professional staff and brokers are the keys to our success. We recruit and hire the best in the industry, and provide on-going training and development to continue to deliver the best results for our clients...AREAA continues to educate Ryan Hill Realty on how to best serve the Asian communities seeking homes for their families or investors looking for high returns.
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Volume ( #6 - 16 ) Rank 6
Christophe Choo Real Estate Group - Coldwell Banker Previews
WHAT SETS ME APART?
2012 Volume $47,578,000
I have always been an innovator using cutting edge marketing as well as traditional techniques in a different way.
Climb Real Estate
Pacific Moon Real Estate Inc.
Realty Group Inc
Luxe Estates Collection
the Corcoran Group
EXIT Realty Gallery of Homes
SEBASTIAN Edgestone Real Estate, Inc STOFENMACHER
WHAT SETS ME APART?
My relentless pursuit of success.
JOHN "JACK" TYRRELL
Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc.
WHAT SETS JACK APART? Business acumen: Jack uses his keen negotiation skills and creativity to structure deals that average agents would not have thought of.
WHAT ATTRACTED JACK TO AREAA? AREAAâ€™s international network and influence in the marketplace.
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Sides ( #6 - 15 ) Rank
EXIT Realty Gallery of Homes
Advantage Realty Group Advisors
Miramar International Bakersfield
AREAA plays a key role in my production. Whether it is education, industry networking, business sourcing, or introductions to cutting edge real estate technology - I can always count on AREAA to expose me to the tools I need to not only maintain our level of success, but stay ahead of my competition.
Scott Realty Professionals
Through AREAA I have been exposed to many successful real estate concepts. I changed the company name and separated the businesses into separate departments for Waterfront & Luxury, Property Management (vacation rentals), REO (includes regular real estate) and a concierge service for absentee owners of luxury homes. After Paris [AREAA trade mission], I changed the way we use technology. After Hawaii [AREAA Global Summit], I added four branch offices. As a member of a dozen organizations, I find AREAA has benefited me more and cost me less than any other organization.
Goree and Thompson Real Estate, Inc
Keller Williams Premier Realty
Elite Real Estate and Management
Huntingdon Valley PA
Home Buyers Realty
WHAT SETS ME APART? A willingness to share and learn from others. Learning from others across the country gives me a huge advantage because their insight saves me time and frustration and I can implement systems in my business rapidly.
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Volume ( #17 - 29 ) Rank
Goree and Thompson Real Estate, Inc
KW Peninsula Estates
WHAT SETS ME APART? My knowledge of the micro markets, network of influential clientele and ability to source off-market listings to gain a competitive advantage for my clients. PETER PARK
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO AREAA?
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO AREAA? Getting more in touch with my culture and working with more Asian Realtors and clients www.a2zreo.com
People! It's like a big family that supports your endeavors and opens new doors of opportunities and brings in resources. AREAA is about giving back to the community that we belong to. AREAA offers so much of what is needed for an agent to be successful not just business wise but as a member of the community.
Miramar International Bakersfield
Home Buyers Realty
Ryan Hill Realty, LLC
Pfeif Residential Group
Elite Real Estate and Management
Century 21 Landmark Network
MATIAS Edgestone Real Estate, Inc STOFENMACHER
Scott Realty Professionals
Berkshire Hathaway California
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Sides ( #16 - 25 ) Rank
Pfeif Residential Group
WHAT SETS ME APART? The extent of experience acquired over my 33 years as a Realtor and 28 years in REO gives me an edge as most issues that come up have been seen before. Solving problems is my specialty. 17
Century 21 Landmark Network
WHAT SETS ME APART? We have many good Realtors in our marketplace. I think what we do differently is we utilize a lot of technology to increase the visibility of our listings: YouTube videos, Facebook postings, Trulia, just to name a few. Technology truly can be an advantage. 18
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO AREAA? I believe in AREAA's mission statement, as well as the leadership and members that make up AREAA. It's great to be part of an organization that not only helps the community, but its members become successful in the field of real estate.
Nevada Realty Solutions
Chico Homes Real Estate Sales Inc
I have a great deal of respect for the mission of increasing sustainable homeownership in the Asian community, and found that the individuals I met through [AREAA] held themselves to a high professional standard.
Select Service Realty
Coldwell Banker Premier Realty
Edgestone Real Estate
Luxe Estates Collection
Pacific Moon Real Estate Inc. Huntington Beach CA
Affiniti Real Estate
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Volume ( #30 - 42 ) Rank
WHAT SETS My concept that there are no boundaries or borders for businessâ€ŚI offer the opportunity for all to build their wealth ME APART? through real estate, whether they be first-time buyers or multi-million dollar hedge funds and the community I service is anywhere these clients set their sights on. 32
Keller Williams Realty
WHAT SETS Since I am also a developer and investor, I have a very strong investment and development background and ME APART? experiences. I encouraged and helped many of my past clients to take advantage of the rising real estate market to buy real estate and guide them on the flipping process. I have also started working with many international buyers from Asia buying investments in the Boston area.
Keller Williams Premier Realty
Nevada Realty Solutions
Affiniti Real Estate
Chico Homes Real Estate Sales Inc
RE/MAX Estate Properties
VICTORIA ERFLE Select Service Realty
First Team SnS
Coldwell Banker Quality Properties
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Sides ( #25 - 36 ) Rank
Keller Williams Realty Professional Partners
MY KEYS TO SUCCESS? Adapt to the changing market, be consistent in lead generation and continue to grow. 27
No one works harder as a team than we do. WHAT SETS ME It's about the client we are in business with. APART? We always want to make sure we provide unparalleled service and bring them results!
MY KEYS TO Three things: persistence, consistency and hard work. SUCCESS? 28
BRANDY NELSON Keller Williams Realty
2012 Sides 130
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO AREAA? The personal connection with being Asian American and the connection of the relationships that I have built through the years.
WHAT ATTRACTED Through AREAA I've met like-minded professionals who ME TO AREAA? became good friends. There is a sense of community and openness that you can't find anywhere else.
Crown Point Realty
WHAT SETS Communication. We are all very busy but it is important to keep the lines of communication open ME APART? to your clients, Realtors, etc. 30
Edgestone Real Estate, Inc
VANDANA CHIMA EXIT Realty Platinum Group
My keys to success in the last year have been to stay focused on my goals, to create an amazing team, to work hard and to continuously adjust who I am and my skills as a Realtor in this ever-changing market.
RE/MAX Estate Properties
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Volume ( #43-50 ) Rank
Coldwell Banker Premier Realty
Keller Williams Realty Professional Partners
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Realty World Advance Group San Bruno
MY KEYS TO SUCCESS? Referrals through the AREAA network and exceptional customer care. KEIKO OKUBO
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO AREAA? The people and leadership and the fact that getting involved with AREAA opens up an opportunity to act on my belief that “Sharing is the key to building a community.”
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO AREAA? Initially I was attracted by the opportunities to meet banks’ default departments and executives. Now I’m more interested in helping the organization in its endeavors and being connected and involved with the leaders. I am very proud of AREAA’s leading edge with regard to its global real estate business and also looking forward to leading the group for the Japan Trade Mission in October. GINA DUNCAN
Maui Real Estate Advisors
The key to my success is having assistants that are very good at supporting the team's goals. I also block my schedule to spend as much time as I can giving personal attention to my clients. Our team strives to keep on top of new methods of marketing, and I make it my goal to answer my phone or return calls immediately. I consider AREAA an important component of my success and I value the connections and friendships I've made with others in the organization. AREAA has the best educational events that I've attended and the quality of the organization and leadership is exceptional.
AVERAGE 2012 VOLUME
AVERAGE 2012 SIDES
The 2013 AREAA "A" List by the Numbers
28 FIRST-TIME "A" LIST HONOREES
Top Sales Professionals by 2012 Sides ( #38 - 50 ) Rank
Coldwell Banker Quality Properties
First Team SnS
Prudential Utah Real Estate
I focus on my big WHY and PURPOSE every single day. I work hard every day so I can use my own money to build an orphanage in Vietnam by 8/15/2014. I grew up in a poor village in Vietnam and suffered through poverty but because of that it made me who I am today. 41
Pacific Union International
Expert Real Estate & Investment
Keller Williams Realty
Nevada Realty Solutions
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
MY KEYS TO SUCCESS? Leverage, adding talent to my team and keeping my focus on what counts most which is generating leads. 46
WHAT SETS ME APART? My professionalism, attitude, and level of service. This is a service not sales industry.
Prato Real Estate
WHAT SETS My random out-of-the-box marketing that is ME APART? far from traditional but gains attention.
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO AREAA? A greater sense of community and bringing agents together to promote and increase our level of professionalism. CA
WHAT ATTRACTED A golf tournament brought me to the group and meeting many of the members made me join! ME TO AREAA?
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Climb Real Estate
JLM Properties Inc
Berkshire Hathaway California
AREA A BUSINESS NETWORK
CALIFORNIA Rita Chen
Broker Associate, DRE #01260676 Presidential Real Estate, Inc. 5404 Walnut Ave., #E, Irvine, CA 92604 (949) 933-6123 Phone (949) 654-2622 Fax email@example.com www.ritachen.com Top Producer in Southern California Successfully Closed over 500 Transactions Specializes in Multi-Million Dollar Estates Specializes in Relocation Properties Provides Real Estate Investment Consulting
Your San Diego Connection
Broker, CAP, CIPS, CRS, GRI, ePRO, PMN, RMS
President of San Diego Association REALTORS® Secretary of Women’s Council of REALTORS® California State Charpter
Linda@buy858.com Promptly pay 25% referral fees We speak your language
DRE # 01333651
Dedicated to helping you put buyers into homes Jennifer Yang Home Mortgage Consultant 514 Washington Blvd Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 310-991-1070 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wfhm.com/jennifer-yang NMLSR ID 484337 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2013 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801. AS995280 Expires 8/2014
Share your favorite moments in AREAA's 10-year history with us on Facebook:
Ron Sudman CEO
Management One Franchising Corp.
620 Newport Center Dr. 11th Floor, Newport Beach CA 92660 (949) 721-6695 • Fax (949) 721-6686 email@example.com • www.managementone.com
AREA A BUSINESS NETWORK
Broker/Owner AREAA New Jersey Chapter President
Point Honors and Associates 2760 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Suite B Duluth, GA 30097 (404) 512-2322 Cell (404) 954-2322 Office firstname.lastname@example.org www.pointhonors.com
Nextage M3 Realty 1910 Oak Tree Road Edison, NJ 08820 (732) 603-0700 Office (732) 877-8009 Cell Meiling@NextageRealty.com www.NextageM3Realty.com Servicing Central NJ Including: Middlesex County – Edison; Mercer County – Princeton; Hudson County – Jersey City/Hoboken
President, Asian Real Estate Association of America - Greater Atlanta Chapter President's Liaison to South Korea National Association of REALTORS®
NEW YORK Billee Spodek
Licensed Sales Associate Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 86 Glen Cove Road East Hills, New York 11577 (516) 398-6374 Cell (631) 236-1385 Fax (516) 621-4336 Office Aricoleinc@gmail.com Billee.Spodek@cbmoves.com Twenty years of expertise on Long Island, handling discerning (multimillion dollar) clientele with the utmost success.
rates begin at $200/issue email email@example.com for details
S T A Y C U R R E N T on AREAA EVENTS and I N I T I A T I V E S
A CONVERSATION ABOUT FASHION IN REAL ESTATE By Amy Kong
ne day, someone asked me about the role of fashion in real estate. My response: a noticeable one. As the global luxury market continues its upward ascent, so does the future of real estate into ever more luxurious and futuristic high-rises: from Manhattan's fascinating 56 Leonard to the fashion-inspired Baccarat Residence in New York City. Whether they think about it or not, every real estate professional is contributing to their neighborhood's scenery. I recently had lunch with some good friends who happen to work in the fashion industry. Cindy, a personal shopper; Anne, a buyer and store manager for a high-end fashion designer; and Gavin, another store manager for a different high-end fashion designer, and I were enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon when the topic of discussion turned to fashion choices among real estate professionals. The topic soon turned to hot gossip among these fashion-sensitive professionals. I'll relay to you some of what was saidâ€Ś
ABOVE: With a key accessory, an all-black outfit can be simple yet still make a statement BELOW (LEFT AND RIGHT): If you're looking for versatillity, pick a jacket that you love; it can be matched with a skirt or pants for different looks and occasions
Anne: Looking at some of these real estate agents hosting open houses, leading people walking around properties, walking up and down the stairs and going outside to the backyard showing the beautiful views and manicured landscapes just gives me heart attack. Cindy: Why?? Anne: You just cannot believe her high heels almost twisted her ankle when she was walking around the beautiful landscape. When she handed me the property flyer, I could see her chipped nails and she had mascara all over her eyes. Not to mention her sweaty smell. Gavin: Tell me about it...I once was house hunting with my mother's Realtor and I almost choked in his car because of his over the top cologne. I guess he was trying to cover the cigarette smell in his car. The worst thing was his white socks with black leather shoes. Me: Wow, I did not realize you guys are so mean and had such critical expectations of Realtors. They are not models, they work really hard every day just to make a decent living. Come on, be nice. Cindy: Don't get us wrong! We are not mean, a Realtor is a professional and they are supposed to act like and look like one. I guess the important thing is to respect your clients and yourself by being open and projecting an easy-to-approach image. Me: Cindy, you have any suggestions in this regard? Cindy: The golden rule is CLEAN and TIDY.
Do your hair and make sure you are free of grease and dandruff.
Fix up your nails (including the gentlemen).
Wear something comfortable and professional. For example, if you know that you are going to do a lot of walking up and down, dress comfortably yet fashionably, like a ballerina, which is in fashion now. A pant suit will also give you some flexibility.
Do not over-accessorize your outfit because you don't want to be a wind chime that makes a lot of unnecessary noise.
Be aware of your body odor. Proper body lotion or a light fragrance might help-absolutely nothing over the top. Ask your friends to give you their honest opinions when you cannot smell yourself.
Make up can make you look sharp and smart. Fix it up from time-to-time, especially towards the afternoon. Anne: Totally Cindy, this way people will find you easy to approach and pleasant. Me: On top of that, I would suggest a great jacket and a little black dress for ladies. A little black dress will last from daytime appointments to after-work cocktails and dinner. A versatile black jacket with a nice cut that fits your body type will last you forever. You can mix and match it with pants, skirts or even jeans. I still get compliments on a jacket that I got over 15 years ago, amazing. The important thing is, they make you look very professional.
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T O PA R T I C I PAT E O R L E A R N M O R E D E TA I L S A B O U T T H E T R A D E M I S S I O N , C O N TA C T AT S U K O Y U B E : a y @ a t s u k o y u b e . c o m | D I R E C T: 4 0 8 . 3 6 6 . 2 6 3 3 | C E L L : 4 0 8 . 8 5 8 . 2 1 6 9 FA C E B O O K . C O M / A R E A A J A PA N T R A D E M I S S I O N
A R E A A Ta k e s a C l o s e r L o o k a t One of Our Newest Chapters
B Chio Chan
Boston Brimming with
I m p r ovi n g H ousi n g Mar ket BY JOHN PERETZ
nickname of “the Athens of Ameroston and its surrounding areas ica,” a much-preferred nickname make up a magical and historithan the sometimes condescending cal blend of some of America’s “Beantown.” most important early history. Today The nickname Beantown came Boston is blooming as America’s about because of an early colonial 10th-largest metropolitan area as obsession with Boston baked beans a new mix of Asian and Hispanic made with the molasses or sugar immigrants fill the area with a rich traded from the West Indies. In fact, tapestry of diversity that adds to one the dish is no longer popular in the of the oldest settlements in North greater Boston America. Boston is truly a special place and AREAA is proud to say it’s home to one of our newest chapters. Boston has been around a long time – founded in 1630 by Puritan colonists, to be exact. It was the ›› Median Sales Price scene of many of the (Single-Family Residence): Revolutionary War’s $541,500 most famous moments, including the Boston ›› Median Sales Price (Condominium): Massacre, the Boston Tea $422,000 Party, Paul Revere’s “mid›› Over 100 colleges and universities night ride” and the Battle ›› Asian population: 9% (up 85% since 1990) of Bunker Hill. The city boasts many ›› 27% of population foreign-born “firsts,” including Ameri(#6 among 25 largest cities in America) ca’s first public school in 1635 and the first subway area and it’s rarely served as a spesystem, all the way back in 1897. cialty in area restaurants. With more than 100 colleges and Boston’s housing market continues universities, the Boston area proudly to improve, as well. In June of 2013 holds Harvard, America’s oldest unithe median sales price for a singleversity and perhaps most prestigious family home in the Boston area hit university located in Cambridge, just the $541,500 mark, up 7.8 percent across the Charles River, as is the from a year earlier, while the condoworld-renowned M.I.T. and Camminium median sales price imbridge College. This focus on higher proved 5.5 percent to $422,000 from education has earned Boston the
AT A GLANCE
AREAA Boston leadership during a boat cruise hosted by the chapter in June 2013
ties and was named the rookie of the year for her company. In 2006, Ms. Ye opened up her own Keller Williams Realty office in Cambridge that now has 60 agents, but is actively involved in selling real estate. Last year, Ms. Ye sold over 70 homes and did almost $25 million in volume. Mr. Truong, vice president of the chapter, is also a first-generation American immigrant, having come over at the age of 7 years old during the fall of Saigon in the Vietnam War. His father stayed in Vietnam while his mother escaped with eight children in tow, first moving to Guam, then to a small town in Ohio before moving the entire family to the Boston area. Mr. Truong worked as a CFO for a major publicly traded company before tiring of the rat race and getting into real estate in 2005. Mr. Truong sees the AREAA chapter’s mission as “being the one voice of Boston for the Asian American home-buying community.” Ms. Ye wholeheartedly agrees. “Since Boston has such a large and growing Asian-American community, we need to step in and have a voice for our community and at the same time offer business opportunities and education for our AREAA members.” The Boston installation gala was attended by more than 300 people, including heavyweights from the Boston market. The chapter already has more than 75 members and hopes to get to the 200-member mark by the end of the second year. In attendance at the inaugural event was AREAA’s 2013 Chair Mr. Jim Park. But the event also included several of the top representatives from the Greater Boston Real Estate
For membership and chapter updates, visit AREAA Boston online:
June of 2012. There are hopes that with these price increases inventory may loosen a bit. Months-supply-ofinventory decreased 33.6 percent for single-family units while decreasing 37.7 percent for townhome-condo units in June. As prices and interest rates continue to rise, most experts believe that sellers will come back into the market, helping to add new listings to a market that really needs them. Long known for its proud IrishAmerican heritage, Boston has seen an increase in foreign-born Hispanic and Asian immigrants. In fact, since 1990 the Asian population in Boston has grown by 85 percent, and Boston’s Asian population is 50 percent higher than the national average at almost 9 percent. This cultural diversity has made a significant impact on the cultural diversity of the Boston area. In 1970, approximately 15 percent of Boston residents were foreign born; today that number has almost doubled to 27 percent. In fact, Boston now ranks sixth out of the 25 largest American cities for foreign-born residents. This bourgeoning Asian market has set the tone for AREAA’s new Boston area chapter, led by Ms. Jessica Ye and Mr. Tom Truong. Last year, Ms. Ye and Mr. Truong met at the NAR conference and expo and decided to go in together and start a chapter. Ms. Ye is an American success story, having emigrated from China when she was just 8 years old. She started investing in real estate when she was 18 years old, learning to flip properties while attending college. After college, Ms. Ye went on to get her real estate license and in her first year in the business sold 37 proper-
Board, the nation’s oldest and New England’s largest. Both Mr. Greg Vasil, the CEO of the GBREB, and Mr. John Dulczewski, its executive director, were in attendance along with other key colleagues. “We see a very large and emerging population of Asian-Americans coming into the market, and they have specific cultural needs. We want to have our members be able to serve them in the right way, and we see AREAA as one of the critical ways to do that,” Mr. Vasil explained. “We also see a lot of things that we can do together with AREAA, such as offering CIPS designation classes. It’s an opportunity to really raise awareness of what the real estate boards can do to help all of our members and communities. “We also see that AREAA can help the large amounts of Asian students that come to our universities to study — that’s a somewhat hidden market that requires a special skillset to communicate with the families from their native countries,” Mr. Vasil concludes. Ms. Ye goes on to say, “I credit the success of our local AREAA chapter to the incredible Board of Directors and committee members in a wide variety of industries. We couldn’t do it without such a vibrant and diverse group.” So as the Boston housing market improves, and the Asian-American community gets a strong new voice in the Boston marketplace, look for the new AREAA chapter to do great things. It certainly deserves all of our support.
Jessica Ye and Tom Truong advocating for Asian American homeownership in Washington D.C.
The AREAA Education Foundation Develops Leaders and Strengthens Communities By Kate Nielsen
At a time when the Asian American population is the fastest-growing community in America, opportunities for real estate professionals who work with these consumers are also on the rise. To best take advantage of these opportunities, strong professional and community leadership will be essential to helping more Asian Americans become homeowners. The AREAA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to develop the leadership potential of real estate professionals serving the Asian American and immigrant communities. As an independent, charitable organization affiliated with AREAA, the foundation is uniquely positioned to provide general leadership education that compliments chapter leader training presented by AREAA. Originally, co-founders Allen Okamoto and Allen Chiang launched the Foundation as a result of the perception of a leadership shortage among real estate professionals serving Asian Americans. “Many of them were very successful in business, but they were not shining stars in their communities. There was a need for an organization that would provide leadership education specifically for young professionals who work with Asian Americans, while helping current AREAA leaders become more effective,” Chiang said. “The Foundation has a great deal of potential to help the Asian American communities remain strong and
grow,” said Foundation Chair Allen Okamoto. “From the beginning, we recognized that we can play an important role in developing leaders to advocate for these communities,
the basis of the Foundation’s program launched in July 2013. This year, in order to bring leadership education to more people, the Foundation announced the first
Our goal is not only to strengthen leadership skills, but to inspire AREAA’s real estate professionals to take on leadership roles within their communities, and become role models for future leaders. – Allen Okamoto
Mentorship programs have been linked consistently with achievement. Mentees who have participated in mentorship relationships report: »» Higher levels of confidence »» Stronger connections with others in their industry »» Greater productivity »» Increased career satisfaction.
Mentors report significant personal regional Leadership Enhancement while supporting the growth of Asian satisfaction from helping someone Programs for AREAA chapter leadAmerican homeownership across reach their full potential. ers across the country. The first two America.” were held in Costa Mesa, California “Our goal is not only to strengthand San Mateo, California. Addien leadership skills, but to inspire tional programs are planned for ChiAREAA’s real estate professionals to cago in November and New York in take on leadership roles within their December. In 2013 alone, the Founcommunities, and become role moddation’s programs will attract more els for future leaders,” he added. than 250 participants nationwide. The Foundation’s first leadership class was selected from two dozen applicants who competed for the opportunity to attend a four-day The first mentorship group will participate in the program through the end of program at Columbia UniOctober. The mentors and mentees are: versity in New York in DeMentor: WINNIE DAVIS , Coldwell Banker and past AREAA Board Member cember 2011. Immediately Mentee: RACHEL TURNER , Sotheby’s International Realty after the program, the six members of the class parMentor: CARMEN CHONG , Broker, Taffeco Real Estate ticipated in mentorship Mentee: LINH TRAN , Broker/Owner of Meridox Real Estate meetings with executives Mentor: JOHN LEE , Pacific Union and past AREAA Board Member from Realogy and JP MorMentee: KARA OKAMOTO , T. Okamoto & Co. and past chair of theEDGE gan Chase in New York. For more information about how AREAA members can participate in the program, This group also created a please contact Kate Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Geremy framework for a mentorYamamoto at email@example.com. ship program that formed
The AREAA Education Foundation’s programs are supported through donations from corporations, non-profit foundations and individual donors. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit
www.areaafoundation.org Day one of the Foundation's Leadership Enhancement Program, in Costa Mesa, California / Photo: Jeff Lu
“Our goal is to bring professional leadership training to more AREAA members nationwide, and expand our program to four or five regional programs in 2014,” Okamoto said. “Ultimately we want to make regional leadership enhancement training available to all AREAA chapter leaders and prospective leaders.” To complement regional leadership programs, the Foundation initiated a new mentorship program in July that will pair AREAA leaders and members for a three-month period. Launched in partnership with theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals, the objectives for this program include enhancing the professional skills of real estate professionals affiliated with AREAA, strengthening the professional networks of both mentors and mentees, offering opportunities for recognition, and demonstrating a unique member benefit that the Foundation and theEDGE bring to AREAA professionals. In addition to its leadership enhancement
programs, the Foundation is dedicated to helping to rebuild housing in communities that have been hit by natural disasters. Following the earthquakes and tsunami that struck Japan in 2010, the Foundation instituted a fundraising campaign to help rebuild Japan, and received more than $400,000 in donations from AREAA members, real estate asso-
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, and they will say: we did it ourselves. – Lao Tzu
Your generosity is very much appreciated.
sary, built 11 structures in Ishinomaki City, high on a hill which is safe from future tsunamis. Ten of the buildings are permanent individual residences, and the other is a wooden building that will be used as a community center. The building of additional permanent homes is in the planning stages," said Okamoto. A second donation will be made before the end of 2013 after a second recipient is selected. In another pursuit to support a region ravaged by disaster, the Foundation partnered with AREAA Metro New York, Inman, Asian Americans for Equality and other community organizations to host a fundraising event for victims of Hurricane Sandy earlier this year.
ciations, sponsors and friends. “After considerable research, we decided to offer the donation to a project that we felt was a good fit. The Kagakuin University of Tokyo, in celebration of their 125th anniverLinda Akutagawa, President and CEO of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics Inc. (LEAP) helps members of the Foundation's Leadership Enhancement Program sharpen their leadership skills in Costa Mesa, California Photo: Jeff Lu
VANCOUVER TRADE MISSION DRAWS BIG INTERNATIONAL CROWD Tina Mak, the president of the newly formed chapter of AREAA in Vancouver recalls the day the idea for the Vancouver Trade Mission was hatched. “It was Jim Park’s idea and my board thought it was crazy. We are a start-up chapter and we are going to host hundreds of people for a trade mission? Crazy!” By all accounts the “crazy” idea that became the Vancouver Trade Mission and Summit, presented by Century 21 July 15-17, was a huge success. Attended by AREAA National Chair Jim Park, as well as National Directors Tanya Reu, Vicky Silvano and Nancy Suvarnamani, the event exceeded target attendance with over 200 delegates, 50% of which came from the U.S. Said Jim Park, the “AREAA Vancouver Summit helped to strengthen the dynamic partnership between Canada, U.S. and Asian real estate leaders. For the U.S., Canada is the biggest real estate trading partner. “The education and networking at this summit was exceptional and is truly historic for U.S. and Canada real estate referrals.” Part of Vancouver’s success was attracting nationally-recognized speakers, including Mark Foreman, Senior VP of Century 21 USA; Sherry Chris, CEO & President of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; and Janet Case, CEO of Proxio. The fun and adventurous side of AREAA Vancouver was on display at the cocktail reception on Day One. At the end of a two-man lion dance performance the costume was lifted to reveal chapter president Tina Mak and VP Ian MacLeod as the performers (those of you who remember his Scottish kilt outfit at last fall’s National Convention know he is always up for a show). The room exploded in laughter. “AREAA Vancouver's first Summit was a tremendous success” said Tanya Reu. “This is an industry milestone in Canada as the AREAA Vancouver chapter offers a very unique platform for its membership. My advice, don't miss
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future Vancouver events." Vancouver provided its own heavyweight presenters including Jack Lee, President of the North America Taiwan Chamber of Commerce, and Don Lawby, President of Century 21 Canada. Canadian HGTV celebrities Sarah Daniels and Phil DuMoulin from the show Urban/Suburban and Kelly Deck from Take It Outside provided star power to the event. There was also a very informative session on marketing luxury properties to follow along the new luxury focus of AREAA, and the event wrapped up with a sold out luxury property tour sponsored by RE/MAX Collection. Tour participants were treated to homes ranging from a $10m waterfront dream home on the beach in West Vancouver to a $22m resorted 1923 mansion in Vancouver’s historic Shaughnessy neighbourhood. Visiting from Seattle, Brad Vancour commented “What a great city to visit, and such a highly organized event for a newly formed chapter. The luxury property tour was just fantastic, and informative given I now live in the U.S.” In addition to real estate industry education, there were presentations on immigration and its related economic impact, which was extremely timely and relevant for real estate professionals focusing on international business. Presenters included Deputy Principal Officer U.S. Consulate Vancouver Joseph Salazar and Anton Mandap, Philippine Deputy Consul General. Many who participated and attended the Vancouver Summit were calling to make it an annual event. If this is the case, it is highly recommended that AREAA members take the opportunity to visit one of the most outgoing chapters in the AREAA family and take in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. – Greg Lowe & Ian MacLeod Photos by LuxuryHomes.com
AREAA INLAND EMPIRE PARADE OF HOMESâ€ŚWHERE DREAMS COME HOME! The Parade of Homes event, first held in early 2011, was one of the first large-scale consumer events in Southern California created and hosted by AREAA Inland Empire. Right after the founding president, Lina Chu, launched the Inland Empire chapter in December of 2010, she decided to design an event to help the depressed housing market in the region by eliminating the excess bank-owned vacant homes in the neighborhood and helping homebuyers find their dream homes. She worked with her chapter VPs, Victoria Erfle and William Lim, and the board of directors to create an event where homebuyers could benefit and also could help the local housing market. With that in mind, the dream team came up with four components for the Parade of Homes event: 1. Multi-lingual press releases/conference to help distribute the news to local and Asian American communities and make homebuyers aware of the event. Press releases and a pre-event press conference involve Mandarin, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, and many local TV and radio channels, and newspapers. 2. Educational sessions for homebuyers to familiarize them with the homebuying process and financing options by having their questions answered by related vendors and servicers like mortgage, escrow, title, insurance, inspection, termite, warranty and other companies. The idea was to gather all the resources needed to assist homebuyers in each step of the homebuying process. 3. Guided bus tour to visit available properties in the area that homebuyers can place an offer on the same day and, ultimately, purchase. 4. Two days of massive open houses coordinated with local real estate brokers and agents. The first Parade of Homes event took place in March of 2011 and it was very well-received by the local Asian American communities. More than 350 homebuyers attended the event and over 130 homes were open to welcome the participating homebuyers. More than 200 local real estate agents and mortgage professionals volunteered and helped with the event and everyone felt excited to be participating in such a meaningful event. Because of that unprecedented success, AREAA Inland Empire has continued organizing the same event each year. With consistency and great efforts by the subsequent chapter presidents and VPs Shawn Luong, Tracy Wu and Rosalind Girard; and directors Tom Blank, Dennis Lo, Quyen Tran, Wendy Hua, Scott Kueny, Chun Fan and the rest of the board; and passionate sponsors like Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Chase Bank, NHSIE, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Alfa Escrow; this event has become a signature event for the chapter. In May of this year, the IE chapter has expanded the event to the North Los Angeles area by creating a joint event with the AREAA North LA chapter. Today, the Inland Empire real estate market is one of the favorite markets for Asian American homebuyers and home prices are bouncing back slowly. It is great to see the recovery of the local housing market and to think that the Parade of Homes has at least made some direct or indirect contribution to its recovery.
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â€“ Lina Chu and Tracy Wu / Photos by Jeff Lu
AREAA WASHINGTON CHAPTER SUMMER MIXER AND CHARITY FUNDRAISER Summer was in the air on July 11th, as the AREAA Washington Chapter held it’s summer mixer and charity fundraiser. The crowd of 130+ got an opportunity to hear AREAA Chair Jim Park and Washington REALTORS® President Mark Kitabayashi talk about AREAA’s mission and the current real estate trends while enjoying some cocktails and appetizers at Suite Lounge in Bellevue, WA. HopeLink, a non-profit that offers an integrated array of programs that enable families in crisis to make progress toward and achieve self-sufficiency, was this year's sponsored non-profit. HopeLink benefitted from having great raffle prizes donated by this year’s sponsors, such as: Wells Fargo, HomeStreet Bank, Bank of America, Union Bank, Chicago Title, First American, Cobalt Mortgage and the Burnsteads. Some of the items won were an Apple iPad, a Kindle Fire, and a $50 Apple Store gift card. As the night set many could attest that it was a great opportunity to learn about AREAA and help HopeLink raise approximately $1000. – Eric Campbell / Photos by Carrie Callaway
AREAA OC ’S REALTOR SUMMIT AND EXPO EVENT On Friday, July 12, 2013 AREAA Orange County held its very first Realtor Summit at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine. AREAA OC’s board of directors and Realtor Summit Committee planned and prepared for this event for four months and are grateful to the sponsors: Wells Fargo, PrimeLending, Citibank, Chase, and the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR). Without these partners' joint marketing efforts and sponsorship dollars, this event would not have been possible. The heart of the success of this event, with well over 300 attendees, was the Realtor Summit Committee, along with the support of the board of directors and the volunteers that worked tirelessly to make this event successful and provide value to the attendees. CAR chief economist Leslie Appleton discussed the economic status of the housing market, where the trends are going and how this affects real estate professionals to a crowded room during the morning opening session at the Summit. Classes in lead generation, continuing education, certification and designations (such as the Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource and the Equator Platinum certification) were well-attended throughout the day. The networking reception in the evening gave the attendees a chance to relax and connect and network with other highly-esteemed real estate professionals. AREAA national representatives Ivan Choi, 2014 Chair; Hope Atuel, Executive Director; and Thi Nguyen, Chapter Relations Manager; and staff support were in attendance at the event. During this event, AREAA leaders also took the opportunity to promote the upcoming AREAA National Convention in September. Several new members signed up to join the AREAA OC chapter and also signed up to attend the National Convention. Overall, this event offered high-quality education, networking opportunities, connection and reconnection with fellow real estate professionals. – AREAA OC Board of Directors / Photos by Jeff Lu
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GLOBAL IS THE NEW LOCAL EVENT HOSTED BY AREAA METRO NEW YORK On July 24, 2013, another successful, sold out event was hosted by AREAA Metro New York Chapter at The W Hotel. The event showcased top industry experts on a panel discussion, moderated by 2014 Chair Ivan Choi, followed by business roundtable sessions featuring various topics including technology and social networking, financing options, professional networking, real estate tax and finance, AREAA and international marketing, and working with international buyers. Speakers included: Sherry Chris, President & CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; Janet Choynowski, CEO of Immobel and Real-Buzz; Nikki Field, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor/Associate Broker of Sotheby’s International Realty; Eric Barron, CEO of Keller Williams New York City; Gordon Hoppe, SVP/Director of Sales of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group; Arthur Hung, Licensed Associate Broker of Corcoran Group; Joseph Kluemper, Managing Director of WTAS, LLC; and Alex Flores, Private Banker of Wells Fargo Mortgage. The event was sponsored by Wells Fargo.
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– Angie Lee / Photos by James Park (2Be Photo)
PREMIER NETWORKING & PREVIEW OF BACCARAT HOTEL & RESIDENCES HOSTED BY AREAA METRO NEW YORK Members and guests of AREAA Metro New York Chapter attended Premier Networking & Preview Event at Baccarat Hotel & Residences Sales Gallery on June 24, 2013. More than 150 real estate professionals attended an exclusive preview of Baccarat unit enjoying hors d’oeuvres and champagne throughout the evening. Baccarat Hotel & Residences is the newest masterwork in New York City by renowned architects Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, inspired by Baccarat’s remarkable crystal and heritage and brought to life by award-winning interior designer Tony Ingrao. Anticipated occupancy is Q3, 2014. The event was sponsored by Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, TriBeca Associates, and Starwood Capital Group. Visit: http://www.baccaratresidencesny.com for more details. Photos by Chris Nicodemo
AREAA GREATER CHICAGO AND REOMAC DINNER MEETING This year is all about partnerships and collaboration. On June 20, 2013, REOMAC and AREAA Greater Chicago hosted an informative and exciting dinner meeting. The educational sessions and dinner were held at the historic Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile at 505 N Michigan Ave. Two hot topics were discussed: reducing risks when dealing with HOAs and property preservation, and market trends. Ivan Choi, Hope Atuel, Mital Amin, came into town to join the local chapter. Among the speakers was Richard C. Ford II, Deputy Fire Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department, who talked about the large red “X” marks on vacant buildings, how to avoid this mark, and bring the property in compliance. With delinquency rates declining, short sales and deeds-in-lieu increasing, and REO inventory low, we have seen most REO professionals reconsider their business model to account for shifts. One of the speakers on market trends was Menash Zadik, Regional President for Invitation Homes in Illinois and Minnesota. The evening ended with a dinner at the Intercon and more networking at Michael Jordan’s restaurant. – Stephany Oliveros / Photos by James Park
AREAA GREATER CHICAGO AND NORTHSIDE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. HOMEBUYERS EXPO On July 13th, AREAA Greater Chicago hosted a homebuyers expo, alongside Northside Community Development Corp. at DeVry University's Chicago campus. Northside CDC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, whose mission is to foster community development and create and preserve affordable and diverse housing opportunities in Chicago through education, training, advocacy and development. The event started with an early breakfast at 8:30 a.m. for AREAA members, directors, volunteers and officers of Northside CDC and guests. The new Chicago chapter Chair, Elizabeth Goodchild, was also introduced. Participants of the expo included AREAA Greater Chicago's lender partners: Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and Citibank. Also in attendance at the exhibit hall were real estate offices that showcased their respective neighborhoods and towns: CHI Properties, Coldwell Banker Evanston, Pearson Realty Group, Century 21 SGR, Weichert Goodchild Realtors, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Country Financial, Illinois Housing & Development Authority and more. In addition to meeting exhibitors, participants were able to attend five sessions with the following topics: Homebuying: Step-by-Step Process & How to Avoid Rookie Mistakes, Buzz About Short Sales & Foreclosures and Where’s the Money? Lunch was provided through the generous support of Panda Express. The event wrapped up with a raffle drawing of four $250 gift cards. This event wouldn’t have been possible without our hardworking board of directors, sponsors, guests and volunteers from Northside CDC, headed by Executive Director Chris Zala. It was a successful event with great turnout from the community. We’re looking forward to hosting another one next year! – Stephany Oliveros / Photography by James Park
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AREAA SAN DIEGO SUMMER BOOT CAMP EVENT On July 25, 2013 AREAA San Diego held its Summer Boot Camp event at the Sheraton Hotel Mission Valley in San Diego. Registration began at 8:00 a.m., however, our board of directors were hard at working preparing the final logistics from 6:00 a.m. We had over 100 attendees at the event, and they had the opportunity to network over continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Topics at the event were well-received because of the diverse program that was offered to the attendees. Subject matter covered: short sales, reasons deals fall apart, mobile technology, the do’s and don’ts in networking, 1031 exchanges, how to increase inventory in a tough market, commercial 101, money-making strategies and investment in non-performing notes. In addition, presentations also covered government programs regarding principle reduction and short sale laws and taxes. Paul Horn spoke to a packed house and, as always, entertained and engaged with the audience, as did the other speakers before him. A networking and dinner reception followed and there was much fun, entertainment from a live band, and attendees got a chance to unwind and connect with old and new friends. During this event, our directors signed up several new chapter members as well as National Convention attendees. The team members and sponsors were well-received and appreciated it, making this one of the most successful events for AREAA San Diego. – AREAA San Diego Board of Directors
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AREAA SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA UPDATES MAY 16, 2013 Identifying the demand and need for condominium purchasing in San Francisco and the Peninsula, AREAA SF Peninsula held an educational seminar at 333 Market Street in San Francisco on how to conquer condominium financing. This was a free event to our members and was very well-attended. Speakers, who provided a wealth of information, were from Citibank, Wells Fargo, Union Bank, Bank of America and Polaris Pacific. AREAA SF Peninsula continues to push forward by providing up-to-date educational topics to its members. JUNE 4, 2013 Live and in person, AREAA SF Peninsula managed to bring to its members North America’s leading real estate coach and trainer, Mike Ferry. The focus was on how to possess key elements every agent must implement to build a profitable real estate business. The event was held at the beautiful Green Hills Country Club and was well-attended with over 140 individuals. Through the contacts of AREAA SF Peninsula, this event was a very special treat to its members and non-members. JUNE 8, 2013 AREAA SF Peninsula and AREAA Silicon Valley joined AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement) at their first 5k Run for Wellness fundraising event on the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, California. Rob Mayeda from NBC was the MC for the event.
AUGUST 8, 2013 “Going Global”, held at the South San Francisco Convention Center on August 8, was yet another successful educational event for AREAA! This event was well-attended by dozens of top-notch real estate agents looking to learn more about the ins and outs of providing service to the overseas buyer. Guest speakers included one of the founding fathers of AREAA, John Wong, whose “Lifestyles of the Rich and Asian” presentation included some eye-opening demographic statistics about Asian consumers. Tax attorney Robert Wood and CPA Raymond Leung presented "The 3 Major Concerns of the Foreign Investor": ›› Income Tax ›› Transfer Tax (the Unified Gift and Estate Tax) ›› Asset Protection The esteemed REALTOR and lender panelists included top agents successfully navigating the international Asian market: longtime top producer Betty Sun Wong, two national CIPS instructors, Jim Walberg and Fanny Chu, and 2010 SAMCAR President Jennifer Tasto. Lender panelists included Shaveta Sareen from Bank of America, Jean Lu of Citibank, Eric Tang of Wells Fargo, and Winnie Ho of HSBC. Richard Chan of First American Title spoke about their new offices in Mainland China to help overseas buyers and explained the intricacies of wiring foreign funds into the United States. In closing, author, consultant, and trainer Michael Lee presented on building multicultural relations. “It’s been an exciting year and we can’t believe how fast things are moving! The best is yet to come!” says AREAA SF Peninsula 2014 President-Elect Allen Ching. “We still have a mixer coming up, and our installation dinner to look forward to. Our focus for the remainder of the year will be to encourage new members to step into leadership positions for 2014.”
JUNE 19, 2013 AREAA SF Peninsula, in conjunction with Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking, hosted a very special and ultra exclusive event that was only open to 75 individuals. The event was like no other. Attendees included the Bay Area’s top producing REALTORS and affluent clients. The event consisted of a reception upon arrival and then a sit-down dinner where attendees enjoyed the works and a feature presentation from acclaimed humanitarian photographer, Lisa Kristine and Chris Kovarik of Wells Fargo Private Bank. The venue was none other than the pre- Join us to find out what the entire buzz is about! mier business and social club: the City Club Of Visit: www.areaa.org/sfpeninsula San Francisco at 155 Sansome Street. JULY 11, 2013 Back by popular demand, the “Every Hour is a Happy Hour with AREAA SF Peninsula” mixer returned! Held at San Mateo Prime Restaurant, attendees mixed, mingled, and reconnected with old and new colleagues and friends. This was a complimentary event to all members with appetizers and finger foods provided.
A D V E R T I S E R S First American Title Strategic Markets
Tim Hur, Point Honors and Associates
Gary Kawano, Everbank
AREAA Education Foundation
Benny Kim, Century 21 E-N Realty
AREAA Greater Los Angeles
Amy Kong, Realty World Advance Group
AREAA Japan Trade Mission
Meiling Kravarik, Nextage M3 Realty
AREAA National Convention
Jasmine Lee, Seller's Choice Escrow
AREAA San Francisco Peninsula
Linda Lee, Keller Williams Realty
Bank of America
MCS Mortgage Bankers, Inc.
National Association of REALTORS® Global
Boston National Title
Peter Park, Prime Properties
California Association of REALTORS®
Billee Spodek, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Rita Chen, Presidential Real Estate, Inc.
Ron Sudman, Management One Property Management
Chinese Real Estate Association of America
Charlie Suh, RE/MAX Tri-City Realty
Tower Escrow Inc.
Carmen Chong, taffeco Real Estate
Kathy Tsao, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
The Credit DVD
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals
Betty Sun Wong, Pacific Union
ENGVEST Commercial Real Estate Investments
Jennifer Yang, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
2014 AREAA Global Luxury Summit
Young Ahn, Century 21 Fine Homes & Estates
Inside Back Cover
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page 70 page 12 Back Cover page 39 page 9 page 71 page 70 page 51
Inside Front Cover
I N T E R E S T E D in ADVERTISING? C A L L P R AV E E N
E M A I L P R AV E E N
page 3 page 21 page 70
GLOBAL LUXURY SUMMIT
SAVE t h e
NEW YORK AP R IL 1 3 - 1 5 , 2 0 1 4
Have a World in Common with the Best in the Business As foreign investment surges, knowledge and preparation are key to growing your international business. Earning the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation provides the foundation you need to minimize risk and maximize potential.
EDUCATION ~ NETWORK ~ BUSINESS TOOLS
realtor.org/earncips firstname.lastname@example.org +1.312.329.8369
Volume 5, Issue 3 Featured: AREAA's 10th Anniversary and the 2013 "A" List