International Buyers Snap Up North American Real Estate While the Window of Opportunity Is Still Open
A Closer lo o k at Vancouver C Anada' s Gate way Cit y to Asia
E x p lo r i n g the U n i q ue Fa c e t s of the
The Rise of eSignatures // Global Opportunities & Ambitions // The Asian American Vote // Credit Score Recovery and more...
Our newly enhanced Agent Resource Center helps you manage and grow your business. The Agent Resource Center, your one-stop shop for all information related to Bank of America® home loans, has been enhanced through the consolidation of several standalone sites — Strategic Alliances, Neighborhood Lending, REO, and Short Sales — into one. It’s a great place to learn about Bank of America’s home loan resources and processes so that you can educate your buyers and increase your sales. At the new Agent Resource Center, you can: • Explore industry resources and tools that you can offer your homebuyers to help them become successful homeowners. • Gain key insights into housing market trends and mindsets of today’s homebuyers. • Learn about Bank of America’s loan products and the affordable housing assistance programs that Bank of America participates in to help drive successful home ownership. • Access information to help you market and sell REO (real estate owned) properties and find loan solutions to help more homebuyers. • Get the education and program information that you and your clients need to successfully navigate the short sale process.
• Find out about the variety of strategic alliances offered by Bank of America to help you generate business opportunities. • Access the Home Loan Planner, an online resource to help guide your clients through each step of Bank of America’s home loan process, with easy-to-follow checklists, to-do lists, and tips to help them stay on track. Now, at the Agent Resource Center, you can get current mortgage rates, read the latest real estate news, and watch helpful videos on current loan products and programs as well as discussions by lending and housing experts. You can also access many helpful newsletters, such as the Weekly Economic Summary, Agent Newsletter, Market and Homebuyer Insights, and more. There is even a search field where you can help your buyers locate a Bank of America loan officer in their town. The Agent Resource Center is constantly being updated to provide you with the latest Bank of America home loan news, information, events, and resources to help you manage and grow your real estate business.
To learn more, visit bankofamerica.com/neighborhoodlending
©2012 Bank of America Corporation. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. This is not a commitment to lend. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. ARB301S2 08-2012
Did You Know?
The United States is home to the largest Japanese-speaking population outside of Japan. Read “Exploring the Unique Facets of the Japanese Culture” by Kristen Galaudet, included in this issue.
First American has cutting edge resources and tools in up to 18 languages that can help you better serve the multicultural homebuyers in your area. • • •
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Hindi Hmong Japanese
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Korean Portuguese Punjabi
• • •
Romanian Russian Spanish
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Now Available! What Is Title? A bilingual brochure that clearly defines title and title insurance, explains the different types of title insurance, and provides examples of risks that title insurance protects against. - Available in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and English
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 - 01/2013
©2013 First American Financial Corporation and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | NYSE: FAF
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Our Purchase & Renovate loans can be used to purchase and improve most any property, including damaged or move-inready 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, OH (Cincinnati), SC, TN, VA email@example.com
Mandala Jones Central 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 California 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 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. AS980861 3/13-6/13
Spring 2013 Volume 5, Issue 1 O n t h e C o v e r : The San Francisco skyline at dusk (Photo: ÂŠOcean Photography/Veer)
f e at u r e s 18
Exploring the Unique Facets of the Japanese Culture From behavioral philosophies to body language, understand some of the cultural nuances specific to the Japanese American community that can help you communicate more effectively with clients and counterparts in this market By Kristen Galaudet
A Closer Look at Vancouver: Canada's Gateway City to Asia
Diversity means opportunity in Canada's gateway to Asia; find out why the nation's third largest market consistently ranks as one of the world's most livable cities By John Peretz
International Buyers Snap Up North American Real Estate While the Window of Opportunity is Still Open International buyers are in a frenzy over the U.S. market, which was recently ranked as the most stable and secure real estate investment, best opportunity for capital appreciation, and boasts 4 of the top 5 cities for global real estate investment By John Peretz 34
From New York to the World
Kathy Tsao 曹凱西 2012 AREAA National Chair woman
For Expertise In The New York Metropolitan Area With over 15 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 15年專業 經驗，服務來自世界各地的買家和賣家。
575 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022
2012 R E B VEMECTIONS e in th NO EL TE
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The Asian American Vote in the November 2012 Presidential Election
An infographic highlighting key findings of a recent AALDEF report
By Raquel Quinet
Helping Borrowers Recover from Low Credit Scores and Creating the Homebuyers of Tomorrow Your client could climb back to prime-level credit sooner than you think, find out how... By Barrett Burns
Supporting Victims of Hurricane Sandy
How theEDGE raised $20,000 for victims of Hurricane Sandy
A Message from Chair Park
Past Chair Perspectives
In My Neighborhood with Raquel Quinet
Jim Park examines why AREAA members, both Asians and nonAsians alike, embrace the Asian culture and the association
AREAA's former leaders encourage today's real estate professionals to expand their global business
The top producer shares details on the unique charm and excitement of Verrado, a neighborhood outside the desert metropolis of Phoenix
By John Peretz
Tapping into the Global Real Estate Market 5 simple tips that will help you attract and serve international clients
Knock. Knock. Bring the World to Your Door with AREAA Net, Powered by Proxio
A practical guide to the powerful tool that will get your listings seen and translated around the world
What You Need to Know About Estate and Income Tax Planning for Real Estate Investors
We uncover how your clients can use the new real estate tax provisions to their advantage in a Q&A with Trinh Doan and Mitch Drossman of U.S. Trust
Jim Park's conversation with Nancy Suvarnamani and Tanya Reu on the association's international efforts
The Rise of eSignatures
In today's tech-centric business world where time is money and eSignatures have become widely accepted, you can't afford to rely on pen and ink any longer
AREAA’s Global Ambitions: Connecting Our Past to Our Real Estate’s Future
The 2013 AREAA Leadership Summit
Photos from the annual meeting of local and national leaders, held this year in Sonoma, California
Around the Association
With an inaugural chapter installation in New Jersey, Lunar New Year Celebrations, and a special event with the Sacramento Kings, local AREAA chapters are staying busy around the country
A d v e r t i s e r s 2013 AREAA National Convention
Inside Back Cover
AREAA on Facebook
Bank of America Home Loans
Inside Front Cover
Bill Hunt Worldwide
Bernice Brubeck-Wong, AllAboutProperties
Rita Chen, Presidential Real Estate, Inc.
ENGVEST Commercial Real Estate Investments
First American Title Strategic Markets
GieFaan Kim, KW | NYC
Amy Kong, Realtor
Meiling Kravarik, Nextage Realty
Linda Lee, Keller Williams Realty
Caron Ling, Realtor
Loan Modification Scam Alert
National Association of REALTORS Global
Raquel Quinet and the Results Group
Betty Sun Wong
Nancy Suvarnamani, Century 21 S.G.R., Inc.
theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals
Kathy Tsao, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
I n t e r e s t e d in Advertising? R at e s a n d i n f o o n l i n e
C a l l P r av e e n S h a r m a
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S p r i n g 2013
V o l u m e 5 , Iss u e 1 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
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W h y O u r M e m b e r s E m b r ac e the A s i a n C u lt u r e and A RE A A
Asian Americans, like the Jewish community, have excelled in various aspects of the economy and culture, despite the relatively small size of their population. No doubt, our impact has truly redefined the fundamental well being of the country and its global competitiveness.
Is it because we look alike? Or is it because Asian Americans are the fastest growing and the most economically dynamic immigrant class to ever arrive onto the shores of America that is driving a renewed interest in all things Asian? It is true that over the past decade Asian Americans have been the fastest growing population, surpassing most experts’ expectations regarding the community’s growth. Additionally, the education level of Asian immigrants is off the charts. Fully 50 percent of Asian immigrants have a bachelor’s degree or higher. For Asian Indian immigrants, it’s an astonishing 70 percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher. This educational attainment speaks not only to the current economic potential, but more importantly to the future of our community and the deep influence we will have for decades to come. However, you don’t have to wait for the future to see the impact our community is having on the U.S. economy and the real estate market. Our community’s impact can be felt every day. For instance, in California, where Asian Americans represent almost 14 percent of the population, we purchased 26 percent of all residential properties in 2012. How is it possible that the Asian American community can have that kind of disproportionate impact on the real estate market with a purchase rate that is essentially double that of its population? Our impact on the economy, culture and real estate can be felt well beyond the size of our population for sure. Recently, there have been several magazine and newspaper articles about how Asian Americans are becoming the new Jews in America. I consider this quite confusing for me since my kids consider themselves both Jews and Koreans already. Nevertheless, there is something that rings true in these articles. The crux of the story is that Asian Americans, like the Jewish community, have excelled in various aspects of the economy and culture, despite the relatively small size of their population. No doubt, our impact has truly redefined the fundamental well being of the country and its global competitiveness. Economic impact and large purchasing power aside, I see other reasons why people gravitate to AREAA and the Asian American community. As I traveled to various AREAA chapter events, I have seen our members exude pride in the success of our association and the contributions Asian Americans are making to our community. AREAA represents that symbol of success and achievement for our members. While many Asian American members share many common experiences as immigrants or as children of immigrants, I also see a unique emotional connection that brings together non-Asian individuals to the mission of AREAA and a deep embrace of the Asian culture. Recently, two of our newest chapters elected non-Asian Americans to lead their local AREAA affiliates (North L.A. and Boise). I asked one of those new chapter presidents, Jill Rand (who heads up AREAA’s North L.A. chapter), a simple
question: Of all the various nonprofit causes, why AREAA? With her contagious smile and bubbly disposition, she said “I was looking for a way to have a better understanding of Asian culture since my local market has a very high Asian American population. Also, I feel a very strong connection to the Asian American community, primarily due to cultural values including respect for family, education and tradition.” Jill certainly is not alone in her view. AREAA has welcomed people from all facets of our business and community. I am proud of that openness AREAA represents. I also ran across AREAA members like Sean Aske from Arizona, who is married to a Korean American. Sean has worked tirelessly for the association in Arizona and I wanted to understand what motivated him in one of my recent visits to a chapter event there. Was it that he wanted to look good for his bride? He told me that his mother-inlaw’s inability to communicate effectively with her mortgage bank and the lack of support for people with limited language motivated him to get involved with AREAA and make a difference for others who are experiencing similar challenges. In the end, his engagement with AREAA is as personal as that of my involvement and does not have any less meaning. That’s what I love about this organization. We have created room for everyone to embrace the cause and contribute to the organization no matter where they come from. It really is all about the heart and that’s why I believe AREAA’s future is strong and bright.
Jim Park 2013 AREAA National Chair
Pa s t C h a i r P e r s p e c t i v e s
In a real estate market that is becoming increasingly international, what advice would you offer to real estate professionals to help them ma ximize opportunities globally?
Jo hn Wo n g
Al l en Ok amoto
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
he Global market is not just coming. It is already here in your market space, and not including this segment in your business will cost you market share. Who are these buyers? "The Chinese Millionaire Wealth Report 2012", published by GroupM Knowledge and Hurun, identifies more than 1,060,000 Chinese with net worth of at least $1,600,000 and 63,500 Chinese with net worth greater than $16,000,000. This report only analyzes China, and there are a plethora of able buyers from many other countries: Asian, European, and Latin American, who are also interested in buying United States real estate. Tap into this market. Among the various skills and tools that are needed to grow this business, there are three that I consider critical for the Asian segment. First, understand that Asia is not a single country and develop country specific business tactics that can be a template for adaptation as you expand your global business to other countries. Learn the cultural and business nuances of how these buyers transact business. Support for developing business tactics can be found at AREAAâ€™s national conferences, and the Global Summit in particular, offers education and training sessions to hone a memberâ€™s skills in understanding the global real estate market. They also offer opportunities to network with AREAA members who have already integrated international clients into their business. Second, build an infrastructure that supports working with buyers whose first language is not your own. Work in collaboration with an agent who currently speaks that language, or consider learning that language yourself. While this may sound extreme to some, consider that corporate America, in its efforts to build business into other countries, strongly encourages or requires proficiency in the language of that country. If the size of the business opportunity is sufficiently large, it is worth the investment of time and attention. Also, learn how to use services such as "Google Translator" or "Bing Translator". While not perfect in the translation of business correspondences, I find that they are improving very quickly. I do recommend having a multi-lingual attorney or other professional prepare contracts rather than solely relying on software for this task. Third, construct a cost effective way to market yourself and your properties to buyers half a world away. AREAA Net, powered by Proxio, is a huge included benefit for AREAA members. It is a platform for displaying your listings domestically and globally with field names translatable into many languages. It is also a tool for members to build a network around the world with other members who have buyers just waiting to discover your real estate market area. This is a must have (members already have it), must use tool. Take the steps to build global into your local real estate market, and do it now. The window is open, but so many agents are going through this window, that it could bottleneck and you end up playing catch up to markets someone else already controls. Remember the REO market?
or most of my professional real estate career, I have been involved with international sales, primarily with Japan. Unfortunately, in the early 1990s, Japan entered a recession which curtailed the inflow of capital. But soon the residential market in the United States started to take off and my office serviced the local Japanese Americans in their pursuit of the American Dream of homeownership. In 2003, AREAA was formed to promote homeownership among the Asian community, but over the years the mission statement of the association has been evolving. As AREAA has expanded we have found that a great number of our members are interested in international business. So about three years ago, a meeting was held in New Orleans with future chairperson Kathy Tsao, Allen Chiang, Ken Li, John Wong and myself to discuss possible trade missions to Asia. From these meetings came AREAA's first travels to China and Korea. Since then, AREAA has visited Taiwan, Viet Nam and China and have scheduled trips to Singapore and the Phillipines. A group now has been formed to explore the possibilities of a trade mission to Japan. We believe that the potential of international business is unlimited. For somebody interested in tapping into this market I would suggest that they join AREAA and attend the organization's annual Global Summit, to be held this year in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 21st-23rd at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. For more information please go to areaa.org/summit.
Kath y Tsao 2012
New York, New York
echnology has made the world smaller, and made the global opportunity bigger because time and distance are no longer barriers to the business industry. More and more foreign investors are investing in the U.S.A. and this trend will continue. Every day, capital is flowing from one neighborhood to another and from one country to another. As a result, it is important not only to think globally but act globally as well. I would like to encourage our members to attend the AREAA conferences because you will learn and understand the latest market data and trends from industry experts. They will help you build the right strategy, so you can develop new business potential. AREAA also creates some of the most unique and exceptional networking events and international trade missions to help expand your global connections, experience and maximize your business opportunities.
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VOTE NOVEMBER 2012 in the
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS PARTY ENROLLMENT
SOURCE The Asian American Vote A Report on the Multilingual Exit Poll from the 2012 Presidential Election, A Special Presentation of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
27% Not Enrolled
2 % Other Party
96% of Bangladeshi Americans 92% of Asian Americans in the District of Columbia
86% of Asian Americans Obama 18 to 29 years old IMPORTANT FACTORS
INFLUENCING the VOTE for
Voted for Romney 31
Voted for Obama
om y/ Jo Ec on
bs Ci He vil alt Ri gh h ts/ C ar Im e m igr an tR igh ts Ed uc at io W n om en â€™s Iss Te ue rro s ris m /S ec ur ity O th er Fa ct or
of Asian American
voters polled were
LI M ITE D E N G LI S H PRO FI CI E NT (LE P)
defined as speaking English "less than very well"
of Asian American voters polled
IDENTIFIED ENGLISH AS THEIR NATIVE LANGUAGE
Korean Americans identifying themselves as LEP voters:
MAIN SOURCE of NEWS ABOUT POLITICS and COMMUNITY ISSUES
T E L E V IS IO
data from this report :
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. Visit AALDEF online:
2% OTH ER
HER 4 % OT DIO
5% 1 6%
ASIAN AMERICAN FIRST-TIME VOTERS
54% of Vietnamese Americans 81% of Asian Americans in Louisiana
were required to prove their U.S. citizenship Sh a een
were directed to the wrong poll site or voting machine/table within a site
voters complained that poll workers did not know what to do
had to vote by provisional ballot
215 165 136 183
complained that their names were missing or had errors in the list of voters at poll sites GR A
27% of Asian Americans 60 to 69 years old
voters complained that poll workers were rude or hostile voters complained that no interpreters or translations were available when they needed the help
The multilingual exit poll surveyed 9,096 Asian Americans in 14 states, revealing voting preferences, party affiliation, key issues of concern, and need for language assistance.
Pa i d A dv e r t i s e m e n t
MontereyBayLifestyleisintheAir.com Blue skies, clean great schools, businesses, countless recreational opportunities scenery—the Monterey Bay region California Blue skies, clean air,air, great schools, businesses, countless recreational Harbor sealsand andexquisite barking Sea Lions entertain visitors along theof shoreline. has it all, and much more. LessMonterey known than Francisco and LosThe Angeles, Central areaparadise, is a real estate investors’ More opportunities andmuch, exquisite scenery—the BaySan region of region the is also a birdCoast watcher’s and home to overdream. 90 different affordable metropolises, and certainly citiesofrimming the enormous Monterey each have theirofown California has than it all, the andcoastal much, much more. Less known than more San beautiful, the species sea birds and a stop over dozensBay of different species unique charms represent uniqueCoast opportunities to live, study and work in. Francisco and Losand Angeles, the Central area is a real estate migrating birds. The United States’ government has made it easier than ever for international investorsend to come California. The EB5 bill, which approved investors’ dream. More affordable than the coastal metropolises, and The northern of theto bay has also been designated aswas a sanctuary. last fall, is a beautiful, foreign investment VISA program that offers an unprecedented opportunity forofbusiness professionals eager to live and work certainly more the cities rimming the enormous Monterey Bay Santa Cruz is one four World Surfing Reserves, in honor of it’s topin the US. And there are few places more attractive, both from an economic and aesthetic standpoint, than the Monterey Bay region. each have their own unique charms and represent unique opportunities quality surfing breaks and in recognition of how much of a role the sport Just 14 hours away from Asia, across the Pacific Ocean that connects the Monterey Bay area to countries throughout the Pacific Rim. Cross Pato live, study and work in. plays in the city’s lifestyle. cific travelers can hop on a commuter flight from the Monterey Airport, or drive the scenic 75-mile stretch from Santa Cruz to the San Francisco The United States’ government has made it easier than ever for The natural geography of the Monterey Bay region, combined with strict International Airport. The San Jose International Airport is even closer: just 35 miles from Santa Cruz. international investors to come to California. The EB5 bill, which was regarding emissions, air quality along theand Central Monterey, the city on the south end of the bay, has been the gateway forregulations explorers and immigrants fromensures Japan, the China, the Philippines approved lastover fall, is a foreign investment VISA program that offers an Coast is excellent. The prevailing breezes as giant blowing the Europe for four centuries. The city’s global heritage has helped make Monterey the language capital of the act world. Homefans, to the Defense unprecedented opportunity for business professionals eager to live and air off the land and towards the water. Visitors flock to the region, not just Language Institute, which began as a Japanese-language school, the institute teaches two dozen different languages to nearly 4,000 military work in the US. AndA there are few places attractive, both an for it’s clean, air, butintotwo takedozen in partdifferent in numerous recreational activities students today. few miles away, the more Monterey Institute offrom International Studies offersfresh instruction languages to civilian stueconomic andcity aesthetic than the Monterey and bask it the beautiful landscapes. Sandy beaches, rockyThe shores, dents. The is also standpoint, home to a translation serviceBay thatregion. employs about 2,000 translators speaking over 170 different languages. wide rolling range Just hours being away from Asia, across Pacific Ocean that hills, majestic redwood forests and lush farming field—many growing of 14 tongues spoken make thethe city a wonderful andconnects welcoming environment for visitors from the Pacific Rim and beyond. theLanguage Monterey schools Bay areacompromise to countries throughout Rim. Cross fruits, vegetables, and are winelocated grapes—all form theCounty. backdrop just part ofthe thePacific educational opportunitiesorganic in the region. Eight otherherbs colleges in Monterey Pacific hop on a commuter the at Monterey Airport, dozens of different activities. Hiking, bicycling, whale watching, Theretravelers are two can more colleges in Santa flight Cruz from County the northern end offor the bay, including the University of California-Santa Cruz. There are also or adrive scenic 75-mileand stretch fromelementary, Santa Cruz to the San Francisco riding on the beach, wine tasting the many different widethe array of public private middle and high schools horseback in the region, including Santa Cruz’s PacificatCollegiate School. The charter school,Airport. which served students in grades 7-12, is is consistently named of the and nation’s top ten educational facilities. International The San Jose International Airport even closer: just one vineyards wineries in the Monterey Bay area are popular, as is sailing, area is Santa also nationally renown as one of the best areas to study marine biology. Top notch research facilities are County locatedisalong 35The miles from Cruz. golfing, shopping and sight-seeing. Monterey home the to southern, central and northern theofbay, which is in thethe center of the Bayworld-renown National Marine The sanctuary one Monterey, the city on the ends southofend the bay, has been gateway forMonterey several golf Sanctuary. courses, including Pebble encompasses Beach, where the of the most diverse marine in the the Philippines world. Southern are frequently spotted inisthe kelp just offshore, feeding onmarkets, crabs, explorers and immigrants from ecosystems Japan, China, and Sea Otters annual AT&T tournament held. Artbeds galleries, museums, farmer’s shellfish Humpbacks whales, as wellhas as helped California Gray Whales, and renown gigantic Blue Whales migrate through bay. HarEurope for and over sea four urchins. centuries. The city’s global heritage make spas andOrcas the world Monterey Bay Aquarium are just the a few of the bor seals barking Sea Lions visitors along the shoreline. Themore region is alsoattractions a bird watcher’s paradise, home overCruz 90 different Monterey theand language capital of theentertain world. Home to the Defense popular in the area. Othersand include theto Santa species of sea birds and a stop dozens of differentschool, species birds. Language Institute, which began asover a Japanese-language theof migrating Beach Boardwalk, an amusement park that has been the backdrop for The northern end of the bay has also been designated as a sanctuary. Santa Cruz movies, is one ofand fourthe World Surfing Reserves, in honor it’s topthe quality institute teaches two dozen different languages to nearly 4,000 military numerous Mystery Spot, where visitors canofponder surfingtoday. breaksAand in recognition how much of a of role the sport plays in the city’s lifestyle. students few miles away, theof Monterey Institute International mysteries of gravity in this unique attraction. The natural geography of the Monterey Bay region, combined with strict regulations regarding emissions, ensures the air quality along the CenStudies offers instruction in two dozen different languages to civilian For more information about the Real Estate investment potential in this tral Coast is excellent. The prevailing breezes act as giant fans, blowing the air off the land and towards the water. Visitors flock to the region, students. The city is also home to a translation service that employs unique region, contact For more information about the unique not just for it’s clean, fresh air, but to take in part in numerous recreational activities and bask itBB theWong. beautiful landscapes. Sandy beaches, rocky about 2,000 translators speaking over 170forests different languages. Thefield—many wide Monterey Bay Area, visit her website at www.montereybaylifestyleisintheair. shores, rolling hills, majestic redwood and lush farming growing organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and wine grapes—all form range of tongues for being spoken make theactivities. city a wonderful welcoming com. the backdrop dozens of different Hiking, and bicycling, whale watching, horseback riding on the beach, wine tasting at the many differenvironment for visitors from the Rim andBay beyond. ent vineyards and wineries in Pacific the Monterey area are popular, as is sailing, golfing, shopping and sight-seeing. Monterey County is home to …Bilateral between Pacific Rim countries is paramount Language schools compromise just part of the educational opportunities several world-renown golf courses, including Pebble Beach, where the annual AT&T trade tournament is the held. Art galleries, museums, farmer’stomarkets, development forin the global In particular, tradeCruz and in spas the region. Eight other colleges are located in Monterey County. and the world renown Monterey Bay Aquarium are just a few of the economic more popular attractions the area.economy. Others include the Santa investment between China and California presents great opportunities in There are two more colleges in Santa Cruz County at the northern end of Beach Boardwalk, an amusement park that has been the backdrop for numerous movies, and the Mystery Spot, where visitors can ponder the providing peace and prosperity for both China and the U.S. MBITA themysteries bay, including the University of California-Santa Cruz. There are also of gravity in this unique attraction. looks forward providing new member BB information Wong and the AREAA a wide arrayinformation of public and private and high schools For more about theelementary, Real Estatemiddle investment potential in in this unique region, to contact BB Wong. For more about the our unique trade promotion and investment services with a focus on the Monterey theMonterey region, including Santa PacificatCollegiate School. The charter Bay Area, visit Cruz’s her website www.montereybaylifestyleisintheair.com. Bay region… school, which served students in grades 7-12, is consistently named one between the Pacific Rim countries is paramount to economic development for the global economy. In particular, trade and of …Bilateral the nation’strade top ten educational facilities. LIVOTI investment between China andasCalifornia great opportunities providing peace and prosperity for both China and the U.S. MBITA The area is also nationally renown one of thepresents best areas to study marine in-TONY President of the Monterey Bay International Association (MBITA). Bay A looks forward to providing new member BB Wong and the AREAA our trade promotion and investment services withTrade a focus on the Monterey biology. Top notch research facilities are located along the southern, leading international trade association, the MBITA represents over 60,000 region… central and northern ends of the bay, which is in the center of the importers, exporters, trade promotion service providers and private Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary encompasses -TONY LIVOTI investors working to create jobs and economic development by providing one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world. Southern Sea President of the Monterey Bay Trade Association A leading international trade association, the MBITA represents over international trade promotion and investment services. Currently, the 60,000 Otters are frequently spotted in theInternational kelp beds just offshore, feeding(MBITA). on importers, exporters, trade promotion service providers and private investors working to create jobs and economic development by providing MBITA is working with US Congressman Sam Farr to brand and market the crabs, shellfish and sea urchins. Humpbacks whales, as well as California international trade promotion and investment services. Currently, the MBITA is working USinternationally. Congressman Sam Farr to brand and market the Monterey Bay with region Gray Whales, Orcas and gigantic Blue Whales migrate through the bay. Monterey Bay region internationally.
ALLABOUT PROPERTIES Brubeck-Wong REALTORS®
Amy Kong, CRB,CRS,GRI,CDPE Amy@AmyKong.com 650.740.9928 DRE# 01177178
Betty Sun Wong, CRS, PMN, CDPE Luxury property specialist
BettySunWong@Gmail.com 415.298.7373 DRE# 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.
Exploring the Unique Facets of the
Japanese Culture It was a journey that began in Shimoda, Japan in January 1806. An eight-member crew set out aboard the Inawaka-maru on the final leg of its last voyage only to be caught in an unyielding storm that swept them out into the Pacific Ocean. Water supplies ran dry after only 14 days. Twenty-six days later, the rice provisions ran out. Surviving only on rainwater and freshly caught fish for 40 days, the crew of the Inawaka-maru was rescued by an American ship and treated for starvation. After a harrowing voyage aboard a drifting ship, the crew touched their first land in over four months when they docked in Oahu, Hawaii. It was May 5, 1806 – the first recorded arrival of Japanese to the Hawaiian Islands. Over 200 years later, the U.S. is home to almost 1.2 million Japanese Americans with over 215,000 living in the Hawaiian Islands – the densest Japanese population in the country. Because Japanese immigration to the United States virtually halted in 1924, they have the oldest demographic structure of all Asian groups in the U.S. which has led to a unique categorization of their generations.
By K r i st e n Ga l au d e t
tend to be extremely protective of their culture and society, which makes it essential to understand and respect their beliefs and customs when doing business. In traditional Japanese culture, there are three high-level philosophies that govern behavior and encourage peace and harmony. Below are each of the three philosophies, their meaning, and how to abide by the principle in the business world.
J a pa nese Behav io r a l Philo so phies in B u sin ess P hi lo so phy
Categ o r i z ati o n of J apan es e A m e r i c an G ener at io ns 1 st Generation
2 nd Generation
3 rd Generation
4 th Generation
Born in Japan and later immigrated to the U.S.
Born in the U.S. with at least one parent born in Japan
Born in the U.S. with at least one grandparent born in Japan
Born in the U.S. with at least one greatgrandparent born in Japan
Let’s put those generational categorizations into perspective. My mother-inlaw was born in Japan, making her an Issei. My husband would then be Nisei and our children will be Sansei. Regardless of where they were born, the Japanese
H ow to Abi d e by t h e P ri n c i pl e i n B u s i nes s »»
Avoid self-assertion and individualism to preserve group harmony.
Preserve good relationships despite any differences in opinion that may occur.
Build strong relationships that are based on trust as they are vital for business success.
Show sincere empathy and loyalty.
Avoid confrontations when possible.
Try not to criticize or embarrass your customer; offer them an “out”.
Imagine Another’s Feelings
The notion of saving face is not a foreign concept to most Asian groups, but in the Japanese culture it is said to have originated in the form of seppuku, more commonly known in the U.S. as hara-kiri. Seppuku, a form of ritualistic suicide
by disembowelment, was originally part of the samurai honor code and thus reserved only for samurai as a voluntary way to die rather than fall into the hands of the enemy or as a form of capital punishment for offenses against the government. While seppuku is considered an ancient ritual, it has been used in Japan as a means of saving face in business as recently as 2001. That is how vitally important saving face can be to their culture. The three philosophies, while very important, are overarching tenets that influence behavior, but what are the cultural nuances that will likely affect your day-to-day interactions with your Japanese customers?
Hie r a rc h y Japanese are very conscious of age and hierarchy. Even twins are not equal; there will always be an older brother or sister. Hierarchy may affect such things as where people sit in a room (the oldest or highest ranking tends to sit furthest away from the door), who is greeted first (always greet elders first), who is served first at a restaurant, and how low you bow upon greeting. Traditionally, you bow lower and longer to someone who is older or of a higher rank and at the same depth as someone of equal status. Corporate employees in Japan may bow hundreds of times per day, but most Japanese Americans acknowledge that the bow is not a common greeting here in the U.S. and a slight nod of the head will still demonstrate that respect. That being said, if you attend events or live in an area with a significant Japanese population, you may still see Japanese bow to each other. To determine your hierarchy, a Japanese customer may ask you questions such as “How old are you?”, “How many people report to you?”, “Are you married?”, and even “How much do you earn?” These questions are not intended to be rude or intrusive but to determine your position within your company and within society.
Co mm u ni c ati o n As with many Asian cultures, Japanese tend to be indirect communicators. Generally, indirect communicators will be more cautious about what and how they say something, preferring to express their views and opinions delicately. Conflict is avoided whenever possible and contentious issues will either be discreetly confronted or evaded altogether. Because of this, Japanese customers may be reluctant to use the word no. In order to receive a direct answer, you may want to phrase questions to give your Japanese customer the opportunity to say yes. For example, if you sense your customer is in disagreement with something you have said, rather than asking, “Do you agree?” you might ask, “Do you disagree?” Another common display of indirect communication in the Japanese culture, which ties closely to saving face, is apologizing. Most Japanese apologize about a dozen times daily, whether or not the incident is actually their fault. Individuals are not the only ones who apologize on a consistent basis; corporations in Japan issue apologies even for minor product errors and service issues. If the occasion arises when you should apologize to your Japanese customer, be sure to show sincerity. Silence also plays an important role in communicating with the Japanese. It is said that what you do not say is just as important as what you do say. Omissions and pauses can be as communicative as words and a respectful period of silence may last anywhere from 10 to 15 seconds. As Americans, we tend to be uncomfortable with silence and feel the urge to “fill the gap” with idle chatter. Learn to become more comfortable with silence and allow your Japanese
customer the opportunity to respond. Japan is a high-context culture in which a great deal of information is exchanged non-verbally.
Bo dy La ngua ge Did you know that non-verbal communication is so vitally important in the Japanese culture that there are entire books written for foreigners who are travelling to or doing business in Japan that explain how to interpret nonverbal cues? Body language that we may see as an everyday gesture could mean something entirely different to your Japanese customer. Here in the U.S., we express sadness in the form of a frown. In Japan, that frown may be understood as disagreement. To Americans, a thumbs down motion is seen as “bad” or used to boo someone. In Japan, that same motion means “take a hike” or “get lost.” When we’re surprised, we tend to open our eyes wide and arch our eyebrows. In the Japanese culture this may be interpreted as flirting. These are only a few examples of how non-verbal cues may express a different message than you intend. If you work with a significant Japanese client base, study the differences in non-verbal communication and always be aware of what your body language is saying to your customer. The United States has the largest Japanese-speaking population outside of Japan, but you do not need to speak the language in order to effectively communicate with Japanese customers. Communication with any culture is not solely dependent upon language but on your knowledge and understanding of the nuances between their culture and your own. When you raise your own cultural awareness and intelligence, it will not only help you to better communicate with your customers, but also with any person you interact with. First American Title’s Strategic Markets Department puts cultural education first by offering tools and resources in 18 languages to address the needs of the increasingly diverse U.S. market. For additional information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristen Galaudet is the Strategic Markets Research and Development Specialist for First American Title. Kristen uses her 7 years of marketing experience and diverse background to facilitate the development of multicultural marketing programs from research through execution. She is responsible for building training courses explaining nuances of different multicultural communities that are aimed at teaching First American Title staff how to better serve customers of all cultures.
S t a y C u r r e n t on AREAA e v e n t s and I n i t i a t i v e s www.areaa.org
Smart Marketing. Solid Representation. I Do More Than Help Sell Homes & Buy Dreams, I Help You Live Your Hawaiâ€™i Life.
Providing exceptional service and local knowledge to benefit Oahu.
808.753.7464 | Caron@HawaiiLife.com
With Hawaiiâ€™s most trafficked real estate website and a national television show, we make it easy to connect buyers and sellers from around the world and right next door. We embrace technology, while maintaining a strong human connection to the buyers and sellers we represent. Oahu | Maui | Big Island | Kauai
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C O M M E R C I A L R E A L E S TAT E I N V E S T M E N T S Daniel C. Eng | CCIM, CPM® President 469.916.8828 ☎ 214.926.3666 mobile email@example.com
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吳家盛 Daniel C. Eng | CCIM, CPM®, GRI Broker #0514529 214.926.3666 ☎ firstname.lastname@example.org
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A Closer Look at
Vancouver Canada’s Gateway City to Asia By John Peretz
Gently tucked between the Pacific and the majestic North Shore mountains, Vancouver pulses with true international flair and revels in its ranking as one of the world’s most livable cities in survey after survey. It’s also the Asian gateway to Canada and, fittingly enough, the first international chapter of AREAA. So what makes Vancouver so unique, and how did it become such an important gateway? And what’s up with the housing market up there? Recently, AREAA took a closer look. Perhaps the biggest reason for Vancouver’s appeal lies in its diversity, on almost every level. The Vancouver metropolitan area has the fifth-most Asians in all of North America, at roughly 650,000, but the second-highest concentration of Asians at 33 percent, trailing only Honolulu in that category. According to data from the census of Canada, the Vancouver metropolitan area has a population of 2.3 million, making it third largest in Canada behind Montreal and Toronto.
In the city of Vancouver itself, over 50 percent of city residents are not native English speakers. This gives Vancouver an amazing, international tapestry that proudly earns its nickname as the “city of neighborhoods”. Take a short stroll and you’ll experience Chinatown, Little Italy, Japantown, Greektown, the Punjabi Market and just about every kind of restaurant and nightlife you can imagine, not to mention world-class hotels and shopping. Vancouver’s place on the world stage may have started with hosting the World’s Fair in 1986. Expo ’86 was a huge success and coincided with Vancouver’s centennial. It featured pavilions from 54 different countries and drew 22 million people. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver gave the city and region the exposure it deserved, reaching nearly every corner of the globe with approximately 1.8 billion viewers. But by that time the cat was out of the bag. Already, Vancouver twice has been voted the world’s No. 1 city to live in, and has been among the top five in the Mercer quality of living report for the past six years. In 2012, it was the only North American city to make the top 10 list, similar to 2011.
AREAA Leadership in Vancouver Ms. Tina Mak, founding president of AREAA in Vancouver, has been practicing real estate in the area for over 20 years. Ms. Mak has hosted her own weekly radio show targeted to the Chinese community on AM 1320 since 2007, and has been a speaker at several major real estate conferences across North America. In 2013, she was named to the Inman News Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders list. “Vancouver is such a fabulous melting pot,” Ms. Mak explains. “It’s hard not to have a strong international clientele, but you do have to work at it.” She estimates that at least half of her business comes from international clients, including Middle Eastern, European, Persian, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and of course, Chinese. Ms. Mak speaks fluent Cantonese, Mandarin and English. “AREAA has a great opportunity to become the voice for the Asian real estate market, not only in North America, but beyond. That’s one of the things that really attracted me to AREAA,” Ms. Mak explained. Ms. Mak and her team look to advance AREAA in Vancouver through three mandates: first, to promote "Vancouver is opportunities for Asian buyers locally and offshore to invest such a fabulous in British Columbia; second, to provide cross-cultural melting pot. education; and third, to promote Vancouver as the gateway It’s hard not to to North America. have a strong She also believes that Vancouver should become the hub international for real estate information on the area. “We have to position clientele, but you do have to ourselves as the expert source, since we know the market better than anyone. Why would anyone go to Toronto when work at it.” we have the answers right here?” Ms. Mak stated. Tina Mak AREAA’s Vancouver chapter vice president is Mr. Ian Founding President MacLeod, a real estate veteran with nearly 20 years of AREAA Vancouver
experience. Mr. MacLeod works with an international client base in project management, marketing and sales on major developments both in the Vancouver area (Ravens Wood) and in the U.S. on projects in California (Terranea) and Hawaii (Hokulia). He is also the president of LuxuryHomes.com, a web portal for high-end properties with services for agents, brokers and affiliates. “AREAA is a great organization to work with and network,” Mr. “The minute we started writing www MacLeod explains. “It’s a terrific on our computers, we stepped away from local markets and became a gateway to meet many of the global economy." - Robyn Lau heavy hitters in real estate, both in Vancouver and on an international front. I’ve been to several AREAA events, and I’ve been really impressed with the strength of the membership. When the chance to become involved with AREAA came up in Vancouver, I didn’t want to miss it,” Mr. MacLeod concluded. Ms. Robyn Lau was born and raised in the Vancouver area, and is a relative newcomer to the real estate business (less than five years), but has already made her mark. Lau proclaims: “The minute we started writing www on our computers, we stepped away from local markets and became a global economy. You’ve got to work with it and market your business and client base with that outlook in mind.” Ms. Lau has a client mix that is 35 to 40 percent international right now, but expects that number to flip in the next five years. Her team speaks six different dialects, which she uses to service her buyers and sellers. “Getting connected with other professionals that understand and actually ‘get’ the global perspective is what attracted me to AREAA,” Ms. Lau explains. “I’m afraid that those who don’t adapt to an international mindset are going to get left behind, or significantly reduce their business opportunity,” Ms. Lau concludes. C o n t i n u e d
A C lo s e r Lo o k at Va n c o u v e r
The Vancouver Real Estate Market Unlike the U.S. real estate market that hit the skids in 2006 and didn’t show signs of a recovery until 2012, the Vancouver real estate market has been on the upswing for the past 10 years (except for a one-year downturn in 2009). This has been fueled in part by buyers from China, a strong Canadian dollar that rose close to 70 percent against the U.S. dollar since 2002 and Canada’s less stringent immigration policy. The question is whether Vancouver can sustain this sort of momentum in the long run. Vancouver has always been priced at a premium, befitting for its exceptional location and diversified workforce. It has long been the priciest housing market in Canada, overtaking Toronto in the early 1990s and never looking back. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties dropped 22.7 percent from 2011 levels. However, the MLS Home Price Index dropped just 2.3 percent to $590,800 compared to the year earlier. And, the number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS in greater Vancouver declined just 2 percent to 58,279. So, what does the future hold for the Vancouver housing market? That depends on whom you ask. With increased speculation that China might be on a real estate bubble, will that help attract buyers from mainland China who are looking for a relatively safe haven to mitigate the risks of the Chinese marketplace? (L to R) Greg Lowe, Tina Mak and Ian MacLeod Or does the make the most of an opportunity to share native possibility exist that pride at an AREAA international reception in 2012 no one knows when Photo courtesy of Ian MacLeod and even if the bubble in China will burst, least of all those caught in the speculative buying in their homeland? Will buyers from other countries continue to see Vancouver’s possibilities? Most economists suggest a subtle softening in the short term, both in demand for housing and in pricing. There are also concerns about affordability indexes on local housing. But Vancouver appears ready to weather a minor correction. Since 1980, Vancouver home prices have trended upward at a faster rate than any other market in Canada, and there’s no reason not to think that won’t hold true in the future. But with a relatively strong Canadian economy, and in particular, a diversified British Columbian economy, the future looks bright. After all, Vancouver is a very special place.
#1 Team in NYC by GCI #2 Team in America by GCI
8AssociateeBroker KellerrWIlliamssNYC,,FoundinggMember BrachaaGroup,,ManaginggDirector ALCCBoarddMemberr20133--AREAAAEdgee2013 InvestmenttSpecialist Commerciall&&LuxuryyResidential
In My Neighborhood
Raquel Quinet City: B u c k e y e , A r i z o n a Neighborhood: V e r r a d o
Approximately 25 miles west of downtown Phoenix, Verrado is a
Raquel Quinet Chair theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals Pictured above with husband Brad and sons Brexton (3) and Bryce (7)
master-p lanned community located in Buckeye, Arizona. Bay Area transplants Raquel and Brad Quinet fell in love with the community at first sight. In fact, they loved it so much that within 24 hours of driving home to California, they were back on the road, heading back to Verrado to show Brad's parents, who also fell in love. We spent a little time with Raquel to find out why she loves to call this little corner of the world home.
The community gym
What attracted you to this part of town? Relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area to the desert, I wanted to make sure that there was more grass and green trees than desert rock landscaping. Verrado is a place to experience the best of home, town, and Arizona. It has a small town design complete with its own Main Street District, amenities and recreational facilities. Verrado’s name is derived from the Spanish word verdad, which means truth and authenticity.
What’s the number one selling point that residents and new buyers rave about? You never have to leave the community if you don’t need to. Verrado has its own shops, restaurants, golf course, gym, pools, fire department, hospital and great schools. Every home is built with a porch and it has the small town feel where everyone knows everyone. Everyone is connected through our neighborhood Facebook and the neighborhood website. You can join sports teams and clubs, covering everything from cooking to scrapbooking to playing volleyball on a team at any age. Verrado has been recognized for the following: »» One of the Best Places to Live in Phoenix - May 2008 by Phoenix Magazine »» Best Selling Housing Developments in the U.S. »» Raven at Verrado Golf Course: ›› 2012 Best Courses You Can Play by Golfweek ›› #1 Golf Course in Phoenix by Golf Digest ›› Top 10 New Golf Courses You Can Play by Golf Magazine
Raven at Verrado Golf Course
Enjoying the bicycle parade
The Fire Department
Main Street Lofts
Can you share one of the neighborhood’s best-kept secrets? Our best-kept secrets are the community life and celebrations that Verrado puts together. They are one of a kind and no other neighborhood does it like Verrado. Some of our biggest events are: Independence Day: The celebrations include the resident golf tournament, apple pie baking contest, children’s patriotic bicycle parade down Main Street and the fabulous fireworks display, which is one of the most popular fireworks shows in the West Valley.
Verrado High School
Verrado Middle School
Founder’s Day: Verrado honors its unique heritage at the annual Founder’s Day celebration. The weekend-long festivities kick off with Friday night cocktails with neighbors and friends at Verrado Grille. Saturday starts with the Family Rock ‘n’ Walk interactive walk/ run with music, activities, and plenty of surprises along the way. Saturday night is what everyone waits for, as there is a full concert in front of our community center. The concerts have featured: Train, the Beach Boys and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy.
Hometown Holidays: This special community gathering celebrates the spirit of the holiday season. Kids can sit on Santa’s lap, toast marshmallows, throw snowballs, ride a train or do activities. New Year’s Eve: The clubhouse has a theme every year and this is truly a red carpet event where everyone gets dressed up. Cocktails, dinner, a live band and a DJ are some of the things to look forward to. There are always small events throughout the year that never make Verrado a dull town.
What is your favorite way to spend an afternoon with the family here? Our favorite way to spend an afternoon with the family is either a walk up to Main Street followed by a cup of coffee while the kids play in the park or a round of golf and lunch at Verrado Grille. During the springtime, we love going to Music on Main, where local bands play live music every week. The kids usually run around with their friends while the adults enjoy a glass of wine or drink and play bags.
What is the predominant architectural style? Verrado offers homes with distinct architecture. There are lofts, row homes, single family homes and custom homes. Home designs are based on C o n t i n u e d
I n M y N e i g h b o r h o o d w i t h Ra q u e l Q u i n e t V e r r a d o / / B u c k e y e , A r i z o n a
Grazie Pizzeria and Wine Bar
RAq rrado R A q u e l ' s g u i d e to v e rra Get a Cup of Coffee
Read A Book
Communit y Center
Grazie See Live Music
Watch the big game
Go out for Date Night
traditional craftsman, western regional farmhouses, ranch hacienda and other architectural styles that have front porches.
What is your favorite restaurant in the neighborhood? There are three restaurants in our neighborhood. Ground Control is our café and full restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also offers an upscale pub. Grazie Pizzeria and Wine Bar provides traditional Italian fare and is home to an authentic wine list. The Verrado Grille is our golf clubhouse and combines great food and breathtaking views of the golf course and mountains. Of the three, you will most likely find our family on the patio area of Verrado Grille.
Get Active Trails
Get a Drink
What types of outdoor activities does your neighborhood offer? Verrado has more than 50 parks to enjoy. The parks are ideal meeting places for neighbors
to gather and for children to play just beyond the front door. Within every two blocks there is a park that has its own individual character. Verrado also offers 21 miles of paths and trails. Six miles are on pathways that span across the community, connecting the neighborhoods to one another. The additional 15 miles of trails explore into the White Tank Mountains. This is perfect for running, hiking or biking.
Do you volunteer with any local organizations or causes? Our family will volunteer with the different events that are planned in the community.
Anything else you’d like to share about your neighborhood? Every Thursday night if you want to do date night, kids can be dropped off for free babysitting. Verrado is a town that really puts their residents first.
AREA A Business Net work
California Rita Chen
Linda Lee DRE #01333651
Broker, CPA, CIPS, CRS, GRI, ePRO, PMN, RMS
Broker Associate, DRE #01260676
President-Elect San Diego Association of REALTORS® Treasurer Women’s Council of REALTORS® California State chapter
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
Keller Williams Realty 3830 Valley Centre Dr #705-855 San Diego, CA 92130 (858) 720-9699 Phone (858) 720-6699 Fax Linda@buy858.com www.buy858.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
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Broker/Owner AREAA New Jersey Chapter President Nextage M3 Realty 1910 Oak Tree Road Edison, NJ 08820 (732) 603-0700 Office (732) 877-8009 Cell Meiling@NextageRealty.com www.NextageM3Realty.com
Specializing in the: - Acquisition and disposition of distress properties - The representation of international investors - Residential/commercial property consulting Representatives fluent in over 20 languages.
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Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.areaa.org/a-r-e for details
The Rise of e Signatures W h at u s e d to b e a luxu ry i s n ow th e n o r m , e s p e c ia lly a m o n g to p AREAA p r o d u c e r s
Real estate agent and AREAA member Thai Hung Nguyen had a problem. There was a glitch with their local buyer’s VA loan and they needed documents signed right away. But his seller was at the airport getting ready to board a plane to Vietnam. Thai Hung Nguyen of Westgate Realty Group in Falls Church, VA sings the praises of eSignatures after saving a deal with a client signing at the airport just before takeoff.
North County San Diego transaction coordinators Michelle Liggett (L) and Ilima Martinez Kam (R) use eSignatures for 90% of their transactions.
Without the required signatures from both parties, they were staring into a delay of at least a week, not to mention a mountain of paperwork revisions and costly international shipping fees. Fortunately, Mr. Nguyen was able to reach his client minutes before they shut the airplane door, and his seller was able to e-sign the required documents right from his Smartphone. Just a few years ago, that wouldn’t have been possible. Stories like this are popping up all over the real estate landscape. And it’s not just the “save my deal” scenario. The convenience of eSignatures is making top producers even more efficient and effective. Ilima Martinez Kam recently started her own business as an outsourced transaction coordinator in North San Diego County. She works for several high-producing agents and a real estate team and, along with her business partner, Michelle Liggett, handles about 300 transac-
tions a year. She estimates that eSignatures account for a full 90 percent of her transactions. In the past, if you were using an eSignature solution, you were considered an early adopter. But as the real estate industry continues to evolve and uses more technology, if you’re not using eSignatures, you may be missing out. As the real estate market heats up in many U.S. markets, the use of eSignatures as a business tool is also coming into play. Sean Aske works the rapidly changing Phoenix market, one of the hardest hit markets in the real estate bubble from a few years ago. “The abundance of foreclosures and distressed property sales have brought in pools of investors, especially in the lower-priced properties. Inventories are shrinking fast, and I’ve probably written a lot of offers in the past year. Multiple offers and counteroffers are the norm. Writing that many offers, often times in the field, without the
use of eSignatures would be nearly impossible. It’s been a huge time saver,” Mr. Aske explained. “The only downside to a market like this is it freezes out the first-time home buyer(s), who have almost no chance against ‘all cash’ deals or investment pools. We’re seeing a big influx of Asian and Canadian buyers,” Mr. Aske concluded. The same goes for other hot markets, like Dallas and Seattle. In Dallas, AREAA member Trang DangLe says it’s turned into a seller’s market. “We’re seeing multiple offers and there’s a ramped-up speed required to do business. You have to be fast and efficient, be able to sign counteroffers, and be on time,” Ms. Dang-Le stated. She recently had a client who lived in Dallas and moved back to Singapore. “We were able to do the entire transaction with ease and speed. We didn’t incur international shipping fees or delay the process. It’s just so convenient,” Ms. Dang-Le concluded. In Seattle, Justin Kim is experiencing a similar phenomenon. “It seems that every properly priced property is getting multiple offers. During the recession, builders stopped building, and as a result, there was a lot of pent-up demand. There’s about 40 percent less inventory than a year or two ago,” Mr. Kim suggested. He does almost all of his transactions with eSignatures.
So, what took eSignatures so long to catch on , considering the U.S. federal ESIGN Act was enacted in 2000 by President Bill Clinton and gave the same legal validity to an eSignature as one done with a pen and ink? For one, certain states were slower to adapt than others, especially in the area of real estate law. For example, the state of New York just began allowing electronic signatures in September 2012. Fannie Mae also approved eSignatures for their online forms in 2012. But some banks still want a pen and ink signature for documents, although that, too, is rapidly changing. The REO market is choppy for eSignatures as well, at least for the moment. But officially, real estate purchase and sale agreements can be executed electronically now in all 50 states, according to Ken Moyle, chief legal counsel at DocuSign. The fact is eSignatures offer a convenience to real estate professionals and their clients, as well as an electronic trail of
especially easy and AREAA member Helen Liustreamlined. If you DesVeaux services the Castle Rock, use an iPad, tablet deCO area, just south of Denver. Her vice, or smartphone forms provider has integrated eSin the field, make ignatures into its product to make sure your eSignature things easier. “It’s just so easy to "Multiple offers "We’re seeing “It seems that every “It’s just solution works on use,” Ms. Liu-DesVeaux explains. and counteroffers multiple offers and properly priced property so easy to that as well. Not all of “Just fill it out, tab to the next secare the norm. there’s a rampedis getting multiple offers. use. Just fill them do. tion, and you’re done.” One area Writing that many up speed required During the recession, it out, tab Jenny Cui, foundthat could use some improvements offers, often to do business. builders stopped building, to the next ing (and current) is REO transactions where a “wet” times in the field, You have to be and as a result, there section, president of the signature is still required, and the without the use fast and efficient, was a lot of pent-up and you’re AREAA Austin ChapU.S. Department of Housing and of eSignatures be able to sign demand. There’s about ter, uses dotloop or Urban Development also requires done.” would be nearly counteroffers, and 40 percent less inventory DocuSign, depending originals (no copies or faxes). “So Helen impossible." be on time." than a year or two ago.” on where the transacin those cases, it’s a little less con Liu-DesVeaux Sean Aske Trang Dang-Le Justin Kim Colorado R.E. tion originates. She revenient,” concluded Liu-DesVeaux. The Aske Group DFW iRealty Preview Properties Company cently worked with a The use of technology in the Phoenix, AZ Dallas, Tx Bothell, WA Castle Rock, CO family from Shenzhen, real estate industry is key to staychanges and updates. And for real includes free eSignatures as part of China, who were buying a home for ing ahead of the pack. Electronic estate agents who used to spend a its dotloop-NOW offering. For $20 their children, one of whom was attransaction management, online lot of their time trying to coordimore a month, you can upgrade to tending the University of Texas. In forms, cloud storage, compliance nate signings and schedules, it’s a dotloop-PREMIchecklists, digital showings, and huge time saver. UM, which ineSignatures are necessary tools for John Lee, a top real estate brocludes unlimited the most productive and savvy real ker in San Francisco (and former cloud storage, estate professionals. treasurer of AREAA and president phone support, Mr. Lee manages to hold it of the San Francisco Association of templates and all together through his profesRealtors), spoke about the efficienmore. sional network and technology. He cies. “I do about 100 transactions a DocuSign is was about to embark on a travel year, and if I didn’t use technology used by many schedule that would keep him out in my real estate practice, I couldn’t AREAA memof the Bay Area for 60 percent of John Lee do nearly that many. The use of bers, and is one of the next month. “I keep in touch Pacific Union San Francisco, CA eSignatures is critical because it’s the most widely with my clients and stay on top of such an incredible time saver.” known eSignathings,” says the 100-transaction Mr. Lee was on the committure solutions. pro. “Most of my clients don’t even tee that selected the eSignature Alternatively, know I’m gone.” vendors for the San Francisco AssoAuthentisign And that’s one of the sweetest ciation of Realtors, which includes is offered as a things about integrating technolDocuSign and Authentisign. “The member benefit ogy into your practice. We all only time I don’t use eSignatures by many MLSs, struggle with work-life balance, is when I’m dealing with clients associations and especially in the real estate busithat don’t have email or are not brokerages in the ness where weekends and long very computer literate, which is U.S. and Canada. days seem to come standard. To a very small percentage,” Mr. Lee Other solutions be able to get away, travel, and be continued. “It’s also great for my include Digital Ink (by zipLogix), addition to her Caucasian clients, with your family can be the best international clients, who are more Adobe EchoSign, CTMeContracts, Ms. Cui works with a large Asian reward of all, especially when it likely to be all-cash buyers.” The and SIGNiX. clientele composed of Chinese, doesn’t compromise your business very day we spoke with Mr. Lee, he Often, real estate agents and Vietnamese, and Indian families. goals. was closing a purchase with a client brokers receive member-negotiated from Malaysia. pricing on eSignatures as part of So, what companies offer the the member benefit program with AREAA Austin founding president, Jenny Cui, of Keller best eSignature solutions for the their state or local association, Williams, serves Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian real estate industry? That depends MLS, or brokerage. Many of the clientele using dotloop and DocuSign. on whom you ask. eSignature solutions are integrated Sign up for free eSignature service from dotloop at: AREAA members can benefit with their required online forms www.dotloop.com/areaa from the dotloop solution that vendor, which makes e-signing
"I do about 100 transactions a year, and if I didn’t use technology in my real estate practice, I couldn’t do nearly that many. The use of eSignatures is critical because it’s such an incredible time saver."
W h at Yo u N e e d t o K n o w Ab o u t E s tat e a n d I n c o m e Ta x Planning f o r R e a l E s tat e Investors
w i t h
state and income tax planning for real estate investors present not only the typical issues confronted by most taxpayers, but unique issues due to the complexity of owning multiple properties, likely in multiple entities and spread across various locations. Along with those unique issues, come unique opportunities. a | r | e talks to Trinh Doan, Private Client Advisor and Mitch Drossman, Director Wealth Strategy of U.S. Trust about these unique opportunities.
At the end of 2012 Congress avoided the “fiscal cliff” through a compromise agreement on the matter of taxes. Did that compromise include any estate or gift tax provisions specifically applicable to owners of real estate?
While there were a few odds and ends provisions relating to income tax aspects of real estate ownership, there were no provisions that were specifically targeted to real estate.
So does a real estate owner/investor have to change their estate plan or be concerned about any other estate or gift tax issues?
PRIVATE CLIENT ADVISOR U.S. TRUST
Director Wealth Strategy U.S. TRUST
years based on inflation). The fact that this exemption is much higher than the $1MM it would have been had not Congress acted, presents the opportunity to take advantage of some estate planning techniques that have been around for many years.
OK, what types of things should I be concerned with? For example, is there any difference between having a net worth comprising mostly of liquid assets vs. real estate assets?
Yes, there are some important differences. While value is value and real estate assets will be subject to the same estate tax as a portfolio of marketable securities upon death, real estate assets offer significant opportunities for pre-death planning that are not available with stocks and bonds.
While value is value and real estate assets will be subject to the same estate tax as a portfolio of marketable securities upon death, real estate assets offer significant opportunities for pre-death planning that are not available with stocks and bonds.
Just because the changes contained no specific references to real estate does not mean that the changes do not affect real estate owners. There are aspects of the new law that definitely apply to real estate owners and most of these impacts also present opportunities. The biggest change is probably the fact that the combined lifetime gift and estate tax inclusion is not permanently set at about $5MM (in fact the exemption is $5,250,000 for 2013 and will go up in future
Families owning assets in the form of marketable securities generally must engage in an additional step in order to make the most efficient use of lifetime gifting opportunities. One of the major building blocks of many estate planning techniques is to depress the “taxable value” of assets by using fractional interest discounts. For example, a gift of $1MM of stocks, bonds and cash to a child will transfer $1MM of “value” to that child. However, if a parent makes a gift of a 20% interest in a business enterprise worth $5MM to the child, the child still receives an asset that could be worth $1MM, but because the child is only a minority shareholder of the enterprise (the parent still owns 80%), the child would not be able to immediately “realize” that value (who would buy it? And how much would a third party pay?). The tax law recognizes this restriction on a minority shareholder’s rights by allowing the gift to be discounted. In other words, it is less likely that a third party would pay $1MM for a 20% interest in a $5MM enterprise, for at least two reasons: i) lack of control for the 20% owner; and ii) lack of liquidity - how many other third party buyers realistically exist for a minority ownership interest? Thus, the “value” of a gift of a 20% interest in that $5MM enterprise will be considered to be worth something less than $1MM, with the consequence that the parent would “use up” less than $1MM of his valuable lifetime exclusion.
But, I don’t own an operating business, so how does this planning strategy apply to me?
First of all, you may not have an “operating” business, but the real estate you do own might be held in some sort of entity (e.g. LLP, LLC, S-Corp, etc), if so then the tax law allows similar discounts for non-operating business. Secondly, even if your real estate is not held in some type of entity, there are similar “discounts” that will apply to gifts of fractional interests in real estate.
This sounds great, but are there other issues one must consider?
As with the vast majority of estate planning techniques you must always remember to examine any potential “non” estate tax aspects. Gifting of fractional interests in real estate (or entities owning real estate) can provide substantial estate (or gift) tax transfer savings, but there are income tax implications that could arise. You may be aware that upon death, the heirs will inherit assets with a “step-up in basis”. What this means is that the embedded appreciation in those assets (i.e. the excess of the value over the cost basis) will “disappear” and never be subject to capital gains income taxes. In other words, upon the death event, the heirs would be able to sell all of the real estate and pay no income taxes. But, when you make a gift of assets, there is no step up in basis and the recipient of those assets will eventually have to pay capital gains tax on the difference between what they sell it for and what you paid for it, not what it was worth when you gave it to them. Furthermore, when you gift real estate assets to your children, they would generally be required to continue taking depreciation deductions at the same rate you had been – they could not re-start the depreciation schedule at the value on the date of gift.
Are there any other pitfalls when making gifts of real estate?
For families with large and varied holdings who have been invested in real estate for many years, it is not uncommon for them to have what is commonly referred to as “negative basis”. This concept is much too complicated to explain here, the general consequence of the existence of negative basis is that when such real estate is sold, it is possible for the measure of the taxable capital gain to exceed the proceeds received from the sale. When assets with negative basis are the subject of gifts, it is possible that taxable income to the donor could be triggered.
As with the vast majority of estate planning techniques you must always remember to examine any potential “non” estate tax aspects.
Are there any other estate or gift tax issues unique to a real estate owner vs. other liquid assets?
One significant issue that many real estate owners could face relates to the fact that real estate is an illiquid asset. Upon death, the estate’s tax liability could be as high as 50% (depending on the estate size and state residency). If most of the assets are tied up in real estate, then the estate could face problems in raising the cash, on a timely basis, necessary to pay 50% of that value to the federal and state governments (generally speaking this tax would be due no later than nine months after date of death), without having to sell at firesale prices.
How can one address this liquidity problem?
Our planning team at U.S. Trust typically works with the families and their attorney to implement asset diversification and estate plans to minimize this risk. Each family’s financial and planning requirements are unique thus we approach each situation with a customized approach toward assessment and recommendation.
I do not have any children (or my children already have enough), so I am not interested in making more gifts to them, are there any other techniques that could save estate taxes?
Charitable gifts of real estate - gifts of real estate to charities will save estate taxes because those assets will not be owned by you at your death. But, in addition to being an estate planning technique, gifts to charity can also save income taxes. The amount of the deduction available to the donor, for income and gift tax purposes, or for estate tax purposes, depends upon the nature and value of the property being transferred. If the property owner contributes encumbered property to a charity, thereby discharging his outstanding obligation, the amount of the discharged obligation is treated as a cash payment from the charitable organization to the taxpayer. The amount of the charitable deduction for such a transaction is the fair market value of the property contributed less the amount of the obligation from which the taxpayer was discharged.
I nternatio nal Buyers Snap Up No rth American Real Estate Wh i le th e Wi n dow o f O ppo rtun it y Is Sti ll O pen By John Peretz
Across the United States, it’s happening every day. AREAA members are working with international clients, helping them get a piece of the “American Dream.” But what’s going to happen on the international buyer front in 2013 and beyond? Most indicators suggest continued strength and investment opportunity as the U.S. economy continues its slow but steady path to improvement, and the infamous housing bubble burst gets farther behind in the rear view mirror. According to the National Association of Realtors, total sales volume to international residential clients for the 12 months ending in March 2012 was estimated at $82.5 billion, up 24 percent from the previous 2011 estimate of $66.4 billion. International sales were reported as representing 8.8 percent of the total market.
NAR splits residential international buyers into two groups: those with a permanent residence outside the U.S. who purchase property for investments, vacations, and visits of less than six months, and clients who are recent immigrants (less than two years) or temporary visa holders residing for more than six months for professional, education, or other reasons. This suggests that there are two primary reasons for international purchases, namely buying to diversify an investment portfolio and purchasing property to live here. Mr. Jed Smith, an NAR economist and managing director, believes that the increase in international investment was driven by a number of factors. “First, the U.S. market was pretty thoroughly beaten down. And then, foreign currencies have appreciated against the U.S. dollar in many countries, making the real estate value in America even more appealing,” Mr. Smith explains.
©drnadig/iStockphoto, New York City ©Jan Novák/Veer, Houston, Texas ©Davel5957/iStockphoto
Opposite Page (clockwise from top left): San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge ©jovannig/Veer, Washington, D.C.
Top G lo ba l C i t i es f or Most Stable and Secure Real Estate Investment Real Estate Investments 1. New York, USA 2. London, UK 3. San Francisco, USA 4. Washington, D.C., USA 5. Houston, USA
1. USA 2. Canada 3. Germany 4. Australia 5. UK 6. Sweden
B est O p p o rt u n i t y f o r C api tal A ppreciat ion 1. USA
Source: AFIRE annual survey of global cities for real estate investment
“For many international buyers, the upside potential is just way ahead of the downside. And, what you get for your money is generally a lot more here than in other countries,” Mr. Smith concludes. International buyers tend to be upscale and buy properties significantly above median U.S. prices. Then there’s the global aspect of what’s going on in the rest of the world. “There’s a feeling that the U.S. economy is definitely turning the corner, and investment in U.S. real estate is considered very safe,” according to Mr. James Fetgatter, chief executive of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. Mr. Fetgatter’s group recently completed its 2013 U.S. conference in New York City with a record number of attendees. AFIRE’s members are primarily foreign companies who invest in real estate; their advisors, managers, lawyers, and accountants; and U.S. institutions who invest in international real estate. Although they are involved mostly in commercial projects such as large
basis points, but as the U.S. economy and occupancy rates improve, they’re very bullish about their investments,” Mr. Fetgatter explains. In the AFIRE annual survey of global cities for real estate investment, four American cities made the top five. New York led the list, followed by London, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Houston (for the first time). “The ‘gateway cities’ have always done well, but we’re seeing a big rise in San Francisco, because high tech is back. Houston made the list for the first time because of its energy-related businesses, and investors are following the jobs,” Mr. Fetgatter concluded. America also led the way as the country providing the most stable and secure real estate investments, followed by Canada, Germany, Australia, the U.K., and Sweden, according to the AFIRE survey. The same AFIRE survey found that the U.S. is rated as the country providing the best opportunity for capital appreciation, according to its members, followed by Brazil, the U.K., and Turkey (making the list for the first time).
office buildings, big multifamily units, and industry and retail projects, it’s a telltale sign of how international investors view the U.S. real estate market. Their average member has an $8 billion portfolio. “It’s very clear that America is seen as a safe haven for real estate investment, and there’s not a lot of great alternatives,” Mr. Fetgatter explains. “The common wisdom is that China and Hong Kong may eventually burst, but of James Fetgatter Chief Executive, AFIRE course no one can predict the future. And Europe still hasn’t Note the ominous omission of China, solved all of its economic problems. where there is a lot speculation that There’s been some flight capital comthe bubble is near. ing out of the Middle East, although International investment in real most of that money has been going to estate can also help create new job London. opportunities. Mr. Fetgatter referenced “In many markets outside the U.S., the EB-5 visa program that essenthere’s been high inflation, and groups tially provides a way for foreigners to have made a lot of money and want receive their green cards when they to take some of it invest in a $500,000 enterprise that off the table and creates employment in the States. “It’s diversify.” a different objective than just capital For real estate appreciation,” Mr. Fetgatter stated. investors, the U.S. “In that instance, they’re looking to Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate offers a very secure preserve their capital and get a green www.afire.org environment. card. And since each investor has to “Many of our mem- invest $500,000, the entire enterprise National Association of Realtors bers already have can be worth several million dollars www.realtor.org/global a decent ‘spread,’ depending on the number of individual making maybe 300 investors.”
on the web
The AFIRE information bodes well for the North American residential real estate market, since many of the investment fundamentals are very similar. In most instances, you can follow the big money and follow the growth. Nationally, according to NAR, 27 percent of Realtors reported having worked with international clients in the 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. But it’s estimated that this number is at least double for AREAA members, because of the inherent multiple language advantage and broader international connection network. So, what are the advantages of working with an international client base, and how do AREAA members do an even better job of tapping into it? For one, most international buyers come prepared to buy. More often than not, they’re all-cash buyers, or have a substantial down payment. This is a huge advantage in price negotiations and also shortens the normal closing timeframe. Second, once you tap into your niche, there are usually more transactions in the pipeline. Like anything, networking plays a big key, but the international client opens up a new market, and there is usually more business down the road. There are friends, colleagues, and extended family members who may want to follow the same path. So, what’s the key for AREAA members to get their fair share of the pie? We asked several AREAA members that same question. Ms. Emily Moerdomo Fu joined AREAA years ago and served the association as 2008 National Chair. More recently, she has been very active in the Greater Atlanta chapter. Ms. Moerdomo Fu has seven people working for her team, which does about 100 transactions a year, about 70 percent of which are international clients. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Ms. Moerdomo Fu speaks Indone-
“It’s very clear that America is seen as a safe haven for real estate investment, and there’s not a lot of great alternatives.”
C o n t i n u e d
I n t er n at i o n a l B u y er s S n a p U p N o rt h A m er i ca n R e a l Estat e
“You have to have a global mindset... Travel really opens up your mind, and knowledge is power.” Kathy Tsao New York City
sian, several dialects of Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), and knows how to speak some Japanese and Korean. Not bad for someone who has been in Atlanta for 35 years! To cultivate her relationships, Ms. Moerdomo Fu travels overseas with various economic development teams, chambers of commerce, and state government agencies. “Atlanta is becoming very international and in the past several months the market has really stabilized,” Ms. Moerdomo Fu explains. “We prearrange everything, both in our visits overseas with various organizations and when people travel to Atlanta.” Ms. Moerdomo Fu sees three important factors in international investment in real estate. “First of all, it’s safe. The government is not going to come in and take their investment away. Second, the dollar is a little weak right now compared to other currencies, so that makes it even more attractive. And third, there’s the immigration factor. A lot of clients want their children to go to school here, and maybe even stay after graduation, so they buy a place to stay instead of renting,” Ms. Moerdomo Fu concludes. She estimates that 90 percent of her international clients are all-cash buyers, with the remaining 10 percent doing some financing to build up credit with banks that have branches in their native country. In Houston, which broke into the top five global cities for real estate investment according to the most recent AFIRE member survey, AREAA co-founder Mr. Kenneth Li weighed in on the subject. “Houston is one of the most international cities in America,” according to Mr. Li. “It’s become a true gateway city because of its energy and oil business. But it’s diversified as well. The Texas Medical Center is the largest and one of the most prominent in the world. There’s nonstop air service from a number of major cities, includ-
ing Dubai, Istanbul, and starting this American university, or diversify some July, Beijing. Plus, the widening of the of their investments. Panama Canal means larger cargo ships Mr. Tran helped organize the highly can go to the Port of Houston when the successful AREAA trade mission to project is completed in 2015.” Vietnam, where he has some business Mr. Li’s current business mix is 30 interests, with family and colleagues. percent international and 70 percent “Like anything, once you get to know local, but Mr. Li expects that to be a country, you know it’s nuances, and closer to 50/50 in the near future. Mr. not all of the activity is in the largest Li says that the majority of his listings cities. There’s a great quality of life and are for commercial property, and that terrific housing values in small to midHouston is very affordably priced. He sized cities that still have a large Asian works with a mix of Asian, Canadian, population,” Mr. Tran concludes. Middle Eastern and German Ms. Kathy Tsao, past chairinvestors. woman of AREAA, also works It also helps that with a lot of international Houston is adding buyers, sellers, and renters about 80,000 new jobs in New York City. “You annually. And since have to have a global mindthat growth is primarily set,” Ms. Tsao suggests. Her driven by energy and international client base medicine, new jobs comes not only from tend to be higher payher Asian roots but also ing and more internafrom a strong European tional in scope, which contingency with clients adds to Houston’s from Sweden, Spain, and appeal. Ireland, among others, Mr. David Tran, an many of whom found AREAA member and Ms. Tsao through the according to past chapter president Internet. Emily Moerdomo Fu: from Sacramento, was “Working with intergetting ready to leave national buyers requires for a three-week busia certain skill set. You reness trip to Vietnam. ally have to be a careful Mr. Tran feels that listener and put their there are plenty of opneeds first,” Ms. Tsao portunities for interexplains. national investment in In four years, Ms. non-gateway cities, such as Las Vegas, Tsao has traveled with AREAA to Sacramento, and Phoenix. China, Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan. “Look, a lot of these cities have “Travel really opens up your mind, and great homes that are well below knowledge is power. In China, a major replacement value, which makes for residential development really dwarfs a great real estate investment. And if one in the U.S. — there might be two, the price is right, they can generate a three or four phases to a project, and decent cash flow almost right from the each one could have as many as 500 to start,” Mr. Tran explained. 1,000 units,” Ms. Tsao continues. Most of his international clients “And when you’re working with are all-cash buyers and are looking to different buyers and renters, you immigrate, send their children to an have to understand their nuances. For
The 3 Key Factors in international real estate investment
1. Safety 2. Weak Dollar 3. Immigration
"[Houston has] become a true gateway city because of
"Like anything, once you get to know a country, you know it’s nuances,
its energy and oil business. But it’s diversified as well. The
and not all of the activity is in the largest cities. There’s a great quality
Texas Medical Center is the largest and one of the most
of life and terrific housing values in small to mid-sized cities that still
prominent in the world."
have a large Asian population."
Kenneth Li // Houston, TX
David Tran // Sacramento, CA
I n t er n at i o n a l B u y er s S n a p U p N o rt h A m er i ca n R e a l Estat e
According to Keller Williams Realty international consultant Bill Hunt
“Upwards of 40 percent of international students will purchase a home in their university town rather than live on campus or rent an apartment.”
example, a lot of younger buyers won’t overseas. So, you could ask permission answer their cell phone right away, to work directly with their outside but they’ll respond to a text message agents and offer your services with almost immediately. And they utilize their social media channels a lot more. When you’re working with renters, therefore one has to be able to respond quickly in a fast paced Use AREAA Net Obtain environment,” Ms. Tsao areaa.org/net Certifications concludes. Mr. Bill Hunt, former Participate in Put AREAA On president of Century Trade Missions Business Card 21 China and current international consultant Promote for Keller Williams Join Other l anguages Realty, has a great way Trade/Economic Spoken to connect with interDevelopment Orgs national buyers, as does Mr. Sean Aske, AREAA Network member in Phoenix. Locally and Engage in According to Mr. Internationally Social Media Hunt, “Upwards of 40 percent of international students will purchase a home in their university town rather available properties for sale or lease, than live on campus or rent an apartand give advance information to ment.” students and parents so they’ll use you Mr. Hunt recommends that AREAA once they arrive. members establish a professional and Mr. Aske does exactly that, working personal relationship with the univerwith Asian and other international sity housing department to better unstudents and faculty at Arizona State derstand the university requirements, University, his alma mater. He believes housing needs, and student mix. Once there’s a need for honest, accurate you make those connections, you’ll information, especially when it comes be considered one of their valuable to explaining all of the real estate and consultants to assist incoming internaloan options for international students tional students with their off-campus and their families. housing needs. So does Ms. Paulina Rassavong, Mr. Hunt also suggests that many AREAA member in San Diego. “Right universities have agents operating now, about 30 percent of my busi-
Maximize Your Global Potential
"We recently closed a transaction with a Hong Kong family buying a condo for their enrolled student child, a $525,000 cash transaction." Paulina Rassavong // San Diego, CA
ness is international,” Ms. Rassavong explains. “But in five years, I’d like it to be 75 percent international and 25 percent local.” In fact, she and her staff speak English, Thai, Lao, Spanish, Chinese, and French. Ms. Rassavong works closely with University of California San Diego staff and their international students and parents. “We recently closed a transaction with a Hong Kong family buying a condo for their enrolled student child, a $525,000 cash transaction,” Ms. Rassavong explained. Ms. Rassavong markets her real estate practice with the tagline “East Meets West” and services primarily Chinese, Thai, and Japanese clients. She also travels to Bangkok frequently, where she has two people working for her there. After a recent trip to China, she’s also a firm believer that Hong Kong and China will experience the same real estate bubble that hit the States starting in 2007. Ms. Rassavong adds, “Make sure you have an experienced international agent on your side of the transaction table in such important deals.” There are many other ways to get involved in the booming international market. You can learn how to better leverage your AREAA membership. Be an active member in AREAA Net, which is powered by Proxio. Within AREAA Net, you can build your network with other global real estate professionals and also push your current listings to the largest international marketplace of properties. Plus, you can translate
your information, create marketing materials, and communicate in 19 different languages. See the special AREAA Net article in this edition of a | r | e magazine. You can also leverage your international credentials. For example, many national brands have special global or international certifications, as does NAR. Having AREAA on your business card and website can also help establish your global power. And if you speak other languages, promote that as well. You can join AREAA on its annual trade missions. So far, AREAA has hosted trade missions to Vietnam, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines. There are opportunities outside of AREAA that can help with your connections as well. Other trade and economic development organizations are active in bridging the international marketplace with your local community. You can also use social media, including the new SocialSearch Facebook app, which is offered through AREAA Net and Proxio. And don’t forget to network, both on a local and international level. Build and expand your network — it’s what will get you through tough times, and you never know whether your next client will be from around the block or across the world. The world has never been smaller — or more connected. Use it to build your real estate practice.
Sean Aske works with international students and faculty at Arizona State University. He believes there’s a need for honest, accurate information, especially when it comes to explaining all of the real estate and loan options for international students and their families. Sean Aske // Phoenix, AZ
Tappi n g I nto the
Global Real Estate Market by R a q u e l Q u i n e t
he business trends of free trade and globalization are not limited to import and export operations. Real estate investing has also gone global thanks to the rise of legislative and technological innovation. Forward-thinking Realtors ® in certain regions of the United States, such as Miami, Las Vegas and Phoenix, have been taking advantage of the growing number of foreigners interested in the real estate bargains left behind by the bursting of the housing bubble. Now that the housing market recovery seems to be on track to continue through 2013, real estate agents should focus on attracting international buyers as part of their business. Real estate has truly gone global in the 21 st century, and the Internet has certainly been a catalyst in this regard. In the past, investing in international properties was limited to vacation properties or major commercial real estate deals that were only available to a select few. International real estate transactions these days involve many different types of clients, from families moving abroad to foreign investors looking to diversify their portfolio. Most international buyers are purchasing properties with cash. For real estate agents who are looking to make the most out of the burgeoning recovery, attracting Asian buyers could turn into a smart and profitable endeavor in 2013. Here are some tips to consider when attracting global buyers:
Understand the Global Real Estate Market Location, location, location may no longer be the absolute tenets of the real estate industry. Communication, networking and understanding the needs of clients are just as important as location when it comes to attracting global buyers. The first step is to realize that the international real estate market is not limited to foreign buyers coming into the United States with suitcases full of cash. The global real estate market has a unique culture that presents the following client profiles:
»» »» »» »» »»
Foreigners looking for investment opportunities. Foreign visitors interested in vacation homes. Members of immigrant communities. Foreign students and workers who might consider making the U.S. a permanent home. U.S. citizens moving abroad.
The common denominator shared by the clients profiled above is their interest in acquiring homes outside of their home countries. Realtors® should also understand the factors motivating their search for real estate abroad; for example, how much do investors know about regional market conditions or how long does a foreign worker expect to stay in the country.
Ac q u i r e a n d S h a r e Knowledge There is a strong chance that international clients have already become informed about national or regional market conditions by browsing information available online. Since these clients are seeking out this information on their own, real estate agents should do likewise with regard to the cultural background of their prospects. Realtors® are compensated not only for their ability to put deals together but also for their professional knowledge. To this end, prospects appreciate events such as homebuying seminars; these activities can serve as cultural acquisition and networking activities since the Realtor can take the opportunity to announce his or her services to foreigners from the same ethnic background as those who attend the seminar. Advertising and journalism professionals working at foreign media outlets can also be great sources of cultural information. To network with them, real estate agents can offer themselves as subject matter experts, purchase advertising space or offer to contribute articles and press releases.
Get Around the Language Those Realtors® who are already bilingual and proficient in at least one Asian language will have a clear advantage when trying to get international clients, but those who are not bilingual will find that many prospects already have fair to advanced command of English. Despite this likely English proficiency, Realtors® should at least learn to correctly pronounce a few key useful phrases and expressions. Some real estate offices go as far as hiring bilingual staff, which is always a great idea. When this is not possible, having translators on call can go a long way in getting through a transaction. Bilingual mortgage brokers can also be powerful allies in this case, particularly if they are able to offer some level of financing to foreigners. Other professionals to check with on the language issue include closing and escrow agents.
Obtain the Certified International Property Specialist Designation The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) offers the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation to members interested in serving the interests of foreign buyers. More than just a fancy certificate, CIPS is a great introduction to the nascent, yet lucrative, international real estate market. CIPS Realtors® get the benefit of NAR's efforts in becoming a globally-recognized professional association as well as the support of a network of about 2,000 international real estate specialists. The best thing about CIPS is that foreign clients can obtain peace of mind when verifying these credentials; this is crucial for prospective buyers who have traveled across the world to invest in real estate abroad.
Join organizations such as AREAA Networking with other professionals and joining other organizations like the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) can be beneficial. Organizations like these allow you to create your own referral network system both in the U.S. and across the globe. AREAA can provide a wide variety of tools from networking, educational classes, learning from other experts in the field, and can give you an opportunity to attend a trade mission to better understand the different Asian countries. In addition, AREAA offers their members an international MLS and global real estate network by Proxio.
Next Step: Find out more about the CIPS Designation... Online www.realtor.org/earncips Email email@example.com Phone +1.312.329.8369
The Bottom Line for Realtors The current environment is ripe for Realtors ® and other real estate professionals who wish to attract global homebuyers and investors. Those who already have an affinity with Asian communities should already know that the Far East region is producing a high number of wealthy individuals. Smart investors in Asia know about the ongoing recovery of the U.S. housing market, and many would enjoy being able to seize this opportunity. It is important to note that these investors are looking for more than just an opportunity; they are in need of valuable allies. The esteemed Asian values of respect and loyalty may just open the doors to well-prepared Realtors ® in the sense that they are likely to gain clients for life.
AREAA ’ s Global A m bi t i o n s
Co n n ecti n g ou r past to ou r r e al e state ’ s futu r e
w i t h
Jim Park’s conversation with two AREAA leaders on the association’s international efforts
wo-thirds of the Asian American community emigrated from Asia, bringing with them a desire to succeed in their adopted homeland as well as deep roots and relationships back from where they came. As the global community’s reach becomes even more connected through technology and deepening economic interconnections, there are unique opportunities for AREAA members in the years ahead. Today, approximately a quarter of all foreign investments are coming from Asia and that dollar amount is accelerating every year. I believe this trend will continue due to three factors:
The U.S. housing market and commercial opportunities are relatively stable and offer low costs with solid upside potential relative to many parts of Asia. Political and economic instability around the world will continue to accelerate investors’ interest in the U.S. housing market (flight to quality as some would call it). The U.S. is still viewed as the land of opportunity by many in Asia and their desire to send their kids to school in the U.S. and take up residence in the U.S. continues to be strong.
As I worked with AREAA’s leadership to develop our plans for 2013, I knew the international component of the association would be critical to our long-term success as an organization. For that reason, I asked two amazing individuals to lead our efforts in this regard. I asked Nancy Suvarnamani, a long-time AREAA leader and a great businesswoman, to head up our International Committee. She has put together a great group of AREAA leaders to help expand AREAA’s reach into Asia and to ensure that our members can benefit from education and business relationships from overseas. Secondly, I asked Tanya Reu, a dynamic executive from Realogy, to serve as AREAA’s second annual Global Summit chair. I knew that our Global Summit last year really put AREAA on the map in a fundamentally different way. AREAA is not just viewed as a vehicle to serve the growing Asian American community but we are now viewed as truly a global enterprise with unique relationships that cannot be replicated by anyone else in the industry. I felt 2013 was the time to institutionalize our brand as truly global, and we took a leap of faith by going out to Hawaii for our second summit. With so much riding on the summit, I saw no one else who could turn this ambition into reality like Tanya. I had the privilege to ask each of them a few questions about themselves, their views on the international program and the Global Summit.
J i m P a r k : Why did you personally get involved in international real estate? Nancy S u va r n a m a n i : I got involved because I saw the tremendous opportunity it held to increase my firm's business. Since we opened in 1989, my firm has been heavily engaged in new residential and commercial construction. I envisioned Asian capital as providing the equity funding for some of these projects.
have helped me to extensively broaden my contacts.
J P : As International Committee Chair, what is your goal for 2013?
NS : To brand AREAA as the go-to organization for Asian capital looking to invest in the U.S. real estate marketplace. By doing so I hope to bring concrete business opportunities to our members who will be representing these Asian investors and future immigrants.
J P : How successful have you
J P : What is your plan for
been in bringing capital from Asia to the U.S. and Chicago?
maintaining the relationship
NS : Somewhat suc-
international AREAA website which would contain an extremely detailed "how to" guide for purchasing assets in the U.S., addressing all the legal, financial, and economic challenges they will face; and an international property database of AREAA's members' listings; and an AREAA directory of members with specialized knowledge of property types and areas of the country to assist Asian buyers.
J P : Why is it important for AREAA to visit the Philippines this year?
Reu on her participation as an AREAA delegate in China and South Korea:
"...one of the most significant development experiences for me cessful. We had over $20 million lined up for both personally and professionally. I not only learned about a commercial developthe differences in the real estate industry in each respective ment at 18th and Canal country and the nuances of each transaction but more in Chicago last summer. importantly, cultural fluency and the importance of building The plan was to build a Thai shopping and and maintaining strong relationships across borders." professional center to complement Chicago's Chinatown to the south. The with various Asian countries NS : I see this visit as a deal unraveled due to environAREAA has met with over the continuation of our efforts mental soil issues that could past few years? to brand AREAA as the go-to not be overcome. We have, organization for Asian invesNS : My plan is twofold: however, been able to move tors and the Asian immigrant first is to personally maintain much of this capital into resicommunity alike. With a large contact through copious and dential projects in Chicago's Filipino population already in frequent correspondence West Loop neighborhood. I the United States and historic about what is happening in the hope to raise more capital this ties between the two countries U.S. marketplace; and more imsummer for some mixed used going back to the late 1890s, I portantly... I want to be sendprojects in Chicago. see this trip as vital to establish ing these contacts information J P : How did you develop our identity with this most about the tools AREAA has and your international client base? important investor and future will develop to serve the Asian immigrant community. investor and future immigrant NS : Initially, I developed it through my family's contacts in Asia; later, by attending every international symposium and conference offered where I networked relentlessly. AREAA's trade missions
communities in buying U.S. assets. Among the tools I have outlined to serve these communities and win business for AREAA members is an
J P : So, it is not because our Executive Director is of Philippine descent?
NS : Well I can't say that it hurt. We are all proud of our
heritage. But in all seriousness the Philippines has a special affinity with the U.S. That is why we are going.
outreach efforts and research based on the growing Asian demographic fueling the real estate industry.
J P : What makes this Summit
J P : How can AREAA members
J P : You attended one of AREAA’s
TR : The Global Summit is unique
get involved with international real estate business?
first trade missions to Asia. How did that trip influence you personally and professionally?
in its content offering and attendees. We intentionally offer unique educational opportunities for real estate practitioners both domestically and internationally. The emphasis is on how these global trends impact the Asian American community. AREAA
NS : AREAA members can first start by understanding the cultures and business practices of various Asian nations. A great starting point for doing so would be to take the CIPS classes and earn the accompanying designation. Another practical step would be to network on the international stage. One way to expose yourself to this business is to go on [future AREAA] trade missions and to attend the Global Summit in Hawaii in April. This is where you will meet international investors and global real estate players. This is where you will start to form international connections. This is where contacts you develop will lead to referrals and business ventures.
J P : What if they have never done international business, is it possible to get involved through AREAA? NS : It is not only possible but there is no better way to do so. AREAA has many members who have practiced on the global real estate stage for many years. There are no better mentors around. These are generous, accomplished people who are willing to help members get started in the international field and help them make the necessary contacts to do international business.
J P : Thank you Nancy for your passion and vision for our international program. Next, I want to turn to Tanya Reu, who has worked tirelessly on the Global Summit with a team of AREAA volunteers and staff.
J i m P a r k : How did you get involved with AREAA? T a n y a R e u : I learned about AREAA through Realogy’s diversity
TR : Attending the first trade mission to South Korea and China was one of the most significant development experiences for me both per-
unique from other real estate conferences?
it pertains to policy that impacts the Asian community. The Global Summit will focus on all areas in order for attendees to leave energized, prepared for any market that presents itself, knowledge with how to differentiate yourself as an expert in a niche area and lasting friendships.
J P : How has AREAA differentiated itself in the marketplace in terms of global real estate?
Suvarnamani on building her international client base:
"Initially, I developed it through my family's contacts in Asia; later, by attending every international symposium and conference offered where I networked relentlessly."
Tanya Reu and Nancy Suvarnamani with AREAA delegates in Tiananmen Square
sonally and professionally. I not only learned about the differences in the real estate industry in each respective country and the nuances of each transaction but more importantly, cultural fluency and the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships across borders. Finally, I built long-lasting friendships that truly feel like family with the delegates. We all experienced a monumental opportunity together and the memories, education and experiences will remain with me forever.
J P : As Chair of the 2013 Global Summit, what is your goal for the Summit?
TR : The main goal is for all attendees to walk away gaining something, be it education, new relationships, business development opportunities and a new or renewed passion for AREAA’s mission. I intend for the Global Summit to be the premier, must-attend real estate conference of the year focused on the importance of the Asian community in the U.S. and the global opportunities within residential and commercial real estate.
has a unique opportunity to be the conduit for global Asian real estate as they are the first trade association to bring the diverse Asian communities together under one organization. The connections that are made at the Global Summit are very unique given the overwhelming interest in the Asian community.
J P : What do you want AREAA members to get out of this summit? TR : I would like AREAA members to recognize the tremendous opportunities that the association offers them and to become further inspired to be even more active members in their local chapters. AREAA provides
TR : AREAA members have unique skills that are desirable in the industry. They have an understanding of the Asian culture, in some cases speak multiple languages and have relationships with real estate professionals or consumers in other Asian countries. AREAA National has taken a smart, proactive approach to expand their outreach efforts globally in facilitating eight trade missions and identifying strategic partnerships worldwide. This provides a unique platform for global real estate referral opportunities.
J P : Why do you think major real estate brands are interested in working with AREAA on international real estate opportunity? TR : AREAA is a
strategic partner that complements an industry that is underrepresented within certain market segments. Major real estate brands benefit by learning more about how to effectively conduct business with the Asian community through AREAA members, can Nancy Suvarnamani leads delegates during a trade mission to Thailand leverage international relationships for future business development opportunities a global platform for long-lasting and can share with AREAA members relationships, business development the potential benefits of being partopportunities, education on global nered with a well-recognized real real estate trends, best practices to estate brand worldwide. enhance production and advocacy to inspire others to activate our voice as
Bring the World to your Door with
by J o h n P e r e t z
Push your listings internationally and network globally in 19 languages. It’s like having a personal translator on your team.
kay, we’ve heard the expression that all real estate is local. But with the influx of foreign buyers, a renewed interest in the U.S. real estate market, and the global reach of the Internet, that simply may not be true anymore. At least not for AREAA members. With the introduction of AREAA Net, a powerful benefit of your AREAA membership, you can take advantage of an international network for your listings and international networking with other global real estate professionals. Some AREAA members have suggested that this is just like LinkedIn™, except it’s specific to real estate. The entire AREAA Net platform operates in and translates in 19 languages, and actually tracks 30 agent languages. So if you’re working with a client from Vietnam, China, Thailand, India, or Russia, like so many of our members do, you can provide listing information in their language of choice. So whether they’re looking to buy, want their family members to buy, or want to sell and move back to their native land, you’ve got it covered. AREAA Net (powered by Proxio) provides global exposure to all of your listings. With a few simple clicks, you can add your listings to the world’s largest searchable collection of international properties with over 3 million listings and 500,000 real estate professionals in over 115 countries. And, you can have your professional real estate information and listings translated into your choice of up to 19 different languages and 55 currencies. That’s because AREAA Net is seamlessly integrated into the Proxio network that includes 25 national real estate associations participating on six of the seven continents. This includes global exposure on WorldProperties.com, the official website of the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations, and other international websites. Mr. John Wong, founding chair and past CEO of AREAA, was instrumental in bringing AREAA Net to its members. “Our goal has always been to create the best real estate network, and to position AREAA as the ‘go to’ hub for understanding North American real estate. We want our members to be in the middle of the transaction, able to network
with other members and clients, and grow their real estate businesses by monetizing the AREAA Net opportunity through referral fees and real estate commissions,” Mr. Wong explains. “AREAA Net provides an amazing bridge that connects all of our members, young and old, near and far. And if you’re on the front end of building your network through AREAA Net, you’re going to have a big advantage,” Mr. Wong continued. Many AREAA members, because of their inherent language advantage, have worked with foreign buyers or sellers, or know of agents
"AREAA Net provides an amazing bridge that connects all of our members, young and old, near and far. And if you’re on the front end of building your network through AREAA Net, you’re going to have a big advantage” - John Wong
who have. According to the National Association of Realtors, almost a quarter of foreign buyers come from Asian markets. The states with the most foreign investment are Florida, California, New York, Texas and Arizona. So, if you’re an AREAA member in those states, you should pay special attention to AREAA Net. Ms. Robyn Lau, an AREAA member in the Vancouver chapter, puts it this way: “The minute we started writing www on our computers, we stepped away from local markets and became a global economy. You’ve got to work with it and market your business and client base with that outlook in mind.” Ms. Lau works with a number of Asians, Indo-Canadians, and Persians in her real estate practice, which is 40 percent international. In five years, she believes that number will flip to an international client base of at least 60 percent. Ms. Lau’s translation team speaks nine different Asian dialects. But even if you aren’t bilingual or speak multiple languages, the AREAA Net translation service provides a huge business advantage. And if you do speak different languages, you can let your connection know
How to put AREAA Net to work for you in
First, you need to login to AREAA.org/net using your AREAA Net credentials and begin your personal set-up. You simply click the “Profile” link at the upper right.
Second, in the “Profile” window, use the pull-down lists to choose your desired currency, dimension units, and date and digit formats. Select your primary language (this will determine the interface for the system each time you log in) and second and third languages if you are multilingual. Let people know if you pay referral fees, and then add your professional information, a photo (very important), and change your password if you want to. Remember to scroll down to “Save.”
3. PROPERTY SEARCH
Make yourself familiar with the AREAA Net search functionality. The search function automatically defaults to your own country, but you can select any country in the drop list. You can select a variety of search filters, including one of more than a dozen property types, and even refine them on the “Advanced Search” screen.
4. ADD INVENTORY
Use the “Inventory” menu on the left to add or edit property listings. The owner information is not shown in search results, but it is seen by the listing office. You can select to list a property as “Private” or “Network”, which restricts all agents from seeing property details, depending on your preferences. On each tab, be sure to select as many description fields as apply to your listing, because they will be translated on the marketing flyers that agents can print or email to buyers.
5. PUBLISH YOUR LISTINGS
To post your listings to Facebook, simply select “Publication” from the left menu. Choose a property to post, and then click the button to publish. To remove a listing, simply select a property and click the “Remove” button.
To create your professional referral network, click “Network” and then “Agents” to find any agent in the AREAA Net system. You can find agents by location, language spoken, group affiliation, name (first or last or partial), search terms, or real estate designation. Open an agent’s profile by clicking on their name. To invite an agent into your network, click on the “Invite” button in the profile, or click the “Handshake” button in the agent list.
7. JOIN GROUPS
Check out all of the groups in AREAA Net. Not all groups are open to everyone (some require an affiliation or membership besides AREAA), but it’s a great way to find agents who share common interests. Click the “Info/join” button to see the group details and members.
by identifying those languages through the easy AREAA Net dashboard. And you don’t have to just think internationally; there are many connections to be made right here in North America. You can use AREAA Net in your listing presentations to show prospective clients how you can market their home to foreign buyers in their native language, which can give you a big advantage, especially in larger markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, and Dallas. All things being equal, it’s one more way you can differentiate yourself. Listing presentation materials that showcase AREAA Net are available on the portal. The ease of use of AREAA Net is another big member benefit. You can even take another listing and present it to your potential buyer in their language of choice. The translation is highly reliable, and you can accomplish the task with a click on the country flag that represents the language. You can view listings immediately, select the language, then print or email the information. You can also print marketing materials in different languages. And with a single click you can change measurements (from feet to meters, or vice versa) and select specific currencies with current exchange rates. These tools really simplify international business. Social media integration is included in the AREAA Net platform in two ways. When you are uploading your listing, in the “Publication” step, you can also choose to publish your listing to Facebook where it can be viewed in multiple languages. But there is a Facebook app upgrade that makes it even easier, though there is a small monthly charge. The app connects to your MLS, making it incredibly easy to provide a listing search on Facebook, where you can engage with clients and their friends. Ms. Janet Case, the co-founder of Proxio, AREAA Net’s platform, actually started the network when she wanted to buy a property in France but found it extremely hard to connect with other real estate professionals overseas. It’s an amazing story that’s replicated on a daily basis with so many AREAA members. That’s why AREAA does its annual trade missions to countries like China, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. It’s all about connections. But, like everything else in life, it’s also what you put into it that matters. “Networking is a verb, which is an action word,” explains Ms. Case. “You have to take the time to build your network and upload your listings to AREAA Net to maximize its full value. But it’s an amazing tool and a huge listing advantage,” Ms. Case concluded, “and it can help agents make money.” At AREAA, we couldn’t agree more.
Join the AREAA Net Global Networking Challenge The bigger your professional network, the more successful you will be -- so we're providing an incentive to get going with AREAA Net!
From now until June 30, 2013, the agents who build the biggest networks, and the agents who build the broadest networks, will win prizes. We’ll be awarding first, second and third place winners in the following categories: »» Most Agents in your Network »» Most Countries in your Network First Place
Free 1 Year Upgrade to Global Agent
Free 1 Year Upgrade to Free 1 Year Facebook Premium Agent App
Get Started: www.areaa.org/net Spring 2013
Helping B o r r o w e r s R e c o v e r from L o w C r e d i t S c o r e s
C r e a t i n g the H o m e b u y e r s of T o m o r r o w by B a r r e t t B u r n s President & CEO, VantageScore Solutions
Like you, I’ve read countless stories about the housing market’s collapse. Each article includes staggering statistics related to foreclosures, billions of dollars lost by investors, and billions of dollars in home equity erased. Reading these statistics, it’s easy to become desensitized to the effect of the housing market’s collapse on families and communities. It was devastating in ways many of us cannot imagine. Of course one way we can see the effect is in people’s credit scores. Many borrowers missed payments, defaulted on mortgage loans and other accounts, and maxed out their credit cards. These behaviors have a significantly negative impact on credit scores. It’s natural and completely understandable that people are more focused on the negative data behind their credit scores than the positive data. Thus it’s easy to see why some can have a defeatist view of credit score recovery. VantageScore Solutions’ aim is to help borrowers understand how the data in their file is treated, and to empower and incentivize them to take actions that improve their score. Moreover, there are ways we can help these individuals bounce back more quickly. My message to the membership of AREAA this Spring is to reach out to those who you know have had a tough time managing their debts and share with them how they can improve. Please take the ideas in this article and communicate the information to your clients.
years, it does not continue to drive down your credit score for the entire period. Even a bankruptcy eventually stops weighing down your score. This is because as information ages, credit scoring models give it less weight. That means that your credit score can and will change as the information in credit files grows older and loses impact.
Score Recovery The converse of this is also true. New, positive information and more recent credit-related data reported to the three national credit reporting companies (CRCs) --Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion -- such as on-time payments, balance reductions and added unused credit, can have an upward effect. The VantageScore model weighs newer information more heavily, and that creates opportunity for taking action that helps a score recover from negative events. Figure 2 below is one of my favorite representations of how recovery can work. The chart clearly illustrates when negative information on a credit file will stop impacting a VantageScore credit score – even though the negative information will still be in the credit file. Of course the negative event that triggered the score drop needs to be corrected, i.e. if a credit card balance remains near 100% of the total credit limit each month, then the credit score will continue to suffer. But if the balance is paid off or significantly reduced, then the negative impact to the score goes away after approximately three months, as shown on the chart. Imagine how many consumers might work to pay down credit card balances if they understood this?
The Basics of Negative Credit File Information First things first: let’s go over how long negative information resides in a consumer’s credit files. Information, especially negative information, doesn’t stay in your credit files forever. Generally, both positive and negative events reported by lenders drop off the file after a set period of time, and typically the only negative item that remains in your credit files indefinitely is an unpaid tax lien. Other items disappear at different rates. The table in Figure 1 provides the length of time that certain types of negative credit information generally remain in your credit files. If one of these things has happened to your client, impress upon them to not give up hope! Even though these items stay in credit files for the length of time indicated in Figure 1, they do not factor into credit scores for the entire time they are in the file. In fact, the impact these items have on credit scores diminishes over time. In other words, although a late payment stays in your credit files for seven Public records include information filed or recorded by local, state, federal or other government agencies that is available to the general public. The types of public records that can affect your credit score include judgments against you from bill collectors or in small claims court, or tax liens levied by a government authority.
Figure 3 below shows that the speed of recovery can be relatively fast—a short nine months—until a consumer returns to a prime-level credit score after dropping into subprime (below 700 on the VantageScore scale of 501 – 990). Many lenders view borrowers with prime credit scores as creditworthy for a variety of credit products. This illustrates the importance of new and on-going positive data appearing in the credit file, reflecting improved recent behavior versus the behavior evidenced in the older data. Your clients are likely most concerned with improving their credit scores to levels where they can qualify for credit. Perhaps they will not receive the best terms offered to someone with a very high credit score, but they would qualify for certain loans from mainstream lenders. Additionally, consider that there are thousands of lenders in the United States and they all do not view risk the same way. In fact, two lenders might view the same credit score very differently. For example, lender A, who specializes in providing auto loans to high-risk consumers, might offer a loan with a relatively high rate to a borrower, while more-conservative lender B might decline that same consumer. Lender A presumably has equipped itself to handle higher risk loans, while lender B lacks the capacity to take on the additional risk. The message for your customers is to shop around for the right lender for their credit needs.
A study from The Brookings Institution2 demonstrates that use of utility and telecommunications data to help determine credit scores considerably improves the likelihood that unscoreable consumers will obtain a score. The study used a sample of “thin file” consumers (which it defined as “those with little credit history”), and found that “scoring utility data reduced the percentage of thin-file consumers who could not be scored from about 65 percent to just 4 percent. The scoring of telecommunications data had an even greater effect, declining from 68 percent to less than 1 percent.” With some 96 million of the nation’s 300 million residents renting, rent payment histories are also very predictive and widespread. According to Experian, rent payments account for 56% of a renter’s recurring monthly expenditure as Figure 5 below demonstrates.
How Newer Data Streams Can Help Now, what if I told you that simply making other payments, not directly associated with credit products offered by lenders, can help further? It can and it does. I’m speaking about what’s commonly referred to as “alternative data”. This data includes payment histories on rent, utility and telecom (cell phone) accounts. Since its creation in 2006, the VantageScore model has factored this information into a person’s credit score, provided that the information is reported to one or all of the three national CRCs. Since 2006 the reporting of alternative data has gained steam, and its continued growth is important to population segments that are critical to the housing market:
1. 2. 3.
Previous homeowners now renting: Whether they were foreclosed upon, sold their home, or for whatever reason, these individuals are prime candidates for future homeownership. First-time homebuyers: Obviously, first-time homebuyers are likely renting, and their future participation in the home market is critical to its rebound. Those outside of mainstream credit market: Many consumers live outside of the mainstream lending market for numerous reasons. These consumers may be unscoreable using traditional credit scoring models, thus likely disqualified from traditional mortgage loans.
C o n t i n u e d
“Give Credit Where Credit is Due”; Political and Economic Research Council, The Brookings Institution Urban Markets Initiative; 2006; Pg. 21. Spring 2013
...missed payments on these accounts can hurt consumers’ credit profiles, but on-time payments have no corresponding positive benefit. Is this fair? Research from Experian shows that 32% of renters are unscoreable without consideration of rental-payment history. When their rent payment is used to calculate a credit score, 87% become scoreable. More widespread reporting and usage of this data has needlessly come under fire. Critics charge that reporting of this information to the CRCs will harm consumers’ credit profiles because of the times renters are late with their payments. These critics fail to appreciate that when these accounts become severely delinquent, collection agencies take over and their activity is reported to the credit reporting agencies now and most certainly factors into consumers’ credit scores. In effect, preventing this information from being reported means missed payments on these accounts can hurt consumers’ credit profiles, but on-time payments have no corresponding positive benefit. Is this fair? It certainly isn’t to the millions of unscoreable consumers who otherwise may be frozen out of the mainstream credit market, or to those who stand to benefit from the positive impact that on-time payments would have on their credit scores. Legislators in Congress are stepping up to address this issue. Last year Rep. James Renacci (R-OH) introduced the ‘‘Credit Access and Inclusion Act’’ (H.R. 6363), a bill that, if enacted, would have amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act to clarify that it is permissible to report to a consumer reporting agency the performance of a consumer’s obligations under a real property lease, a subscription agreement, or a consumer’s payments for services provided to the consumer by public utilities for the services of such public utilities. Rep. Renacci’s bill enjoyed bipartisan support and was cosponsored by Reps. Keith Ellison (DFL –MN), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Mike Capuano (D-MA). While passage of this bill would have made it easier for furnishers of this information to report the data to the three national CRCs, Congress adjourned without voting on the measure. However, we have been told that Rep. Renacci hasn’t given up the effort and plans on reintroducing the ‘‘Credit Access and Inclusion Act’’ in the new Congress and pressing for its enactment. Be it policy making or education, we all have our part to play in the recovery of the housing market. Empowering the homebuyers of tomorrow with knowledge about credit reports and credit scores is an important step in this process. Helping them become better managers of their credit helps them in the short run to get approved for mortgages, and in the long run allows them to maintain a healthy financial lifestyle.
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Supporting Victims of Hurricane Sandy by theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals Photos by 2Be Photography
October 29, 2012 was the horrific day Hurricane Sandy struck the whole northeastern U.S. with excruciating winds speeding at a rate of 175 mph, and abominable floods. New Jersey and New York had the most devastating results due to the hurricane as the people in the city woke up to houses that were torn completely apart, bodies that had drowned in the flood, and buildings that had completely crashed down from the storm. About 5.2 million people were left without electricity, with a speculation of eleven tragic deaths, and according to The New York Times, more than $42 billion cost in repairs. January 15, 2013 marked the day theEDGE took a tenacious stand, in better hopes to raise money for this calamitous event, which turned out to be a huge success. theEDGE decided to kick off the Inman News Conference in New York with this remarkable event and a new partnership was formed. It is more than safe to say that theEDGE proved their ambition to empower, inspire, educate and connect other young professionals as a remarkable amount of $20,000 was raised for Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE). Our committee member, GieFaan Kim felt passionate about making sure the organization that we chose was going to help housing in the Asian American community. AAFE has been a long-lasting community organization that has a strong record for helping Asian Americans in the local community with their focus on housing. They help develop affordable housing, educate the Asian American community with regards to real estate advice and assist small businesses in need. After the catastrophe of Hurricane Sandy, “AAFE responded incredibly fast to the to the needs of the Asian American community affected by the disaster and their Sandy Relief fund is targeted towards the specific community in which we also serve,” said Kim. In addition, Korean American Community Foundation (KACF), as a conduit, is a leading and trustworthy fundraising organization in the city that caters towards the Asian American community and supported us with their advice and generous donation of $10,000. theEDGE would not have been able to raise such an immense amount of donations if it wasn’t for the partnership with the AREAA Foundation, AREAA Metro New York, and the Internet entrepreneur and founder, Brad Inman from Inman News. Special guests from all over the country came to participate in this casino night. This long, fun-filled night included casino games, delicious desserts, drinks, and astonishing raffles. The raffles included a N.Y. Health & Racquetball Club membership, an Equinox membership, Radio Star and Karaoke tickets, an Image Powerhouse
30-minute photo shoot, a Ti-Hua Chang and Fox-5 N.Y. tour, VIP seats to the Live with Kelly and Michael Show, a Give’s drinking game set, Give’s Paws and Tail Dog’s Set, an admission ticket to the 2013 AREAA Global Summit, an AREAA membership, and Broadway tickets to Mama Mia! The night was filled with laughter and entertainment as the special guests willingly proceeded to surpass the goal for donations, while creating a productive, positive atmosphere. A very gracious thank you goes out to the following people; this event would not have been such a success without their precious time and effort (photo number): »»Brad Inman, Inman News (1) »»Sherry Chris, CEO, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate (2) »»Austin Allison, CEO & Founder of dotloop (3) »»Luis Ortiz, Million Dollar Listing NYC (6) »»Christopher Kui, Executive Director of AAFE (5) »»Jim Park, AREAA Chairman (not pictured) »»Ivan Choi, AREAA Chair-Elect (4, left) »»Allen Chiang, AREAA Foundation (7, far left)
2 0 1 3 AREAA Le a d ers h i p S um m i t
Photos by Paul Rollins aunched in 2010, the annual AREAA Leadership Summit was developed to be a forum for local and national volunteers to come together, craft a plan for the year's initiatives and brainstorm innovative ways to move the association forward. Over the years, it has become much more than that, with a distinct class reunion feel. Friends, both old and new, share ideas, stories and often laughs. AREAA newbies absorb knowledge from those who have been around since day one. The 2013 Leadership Summit was held in February at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in Northern California's beautiful wine country. Celebrating its tenyear anniversary in 2013, AREAA has seen many changes in its first decade. However, something has remained consistent from the first convention in Long Beach to this Leadership Summit: the real estate professionals show up because they support the mission of increasing sustainable homeownership in the Asian American community.
1. David Tran, AREAA Greater Sacramento 2. Jim Park ('13) and Ivan Choi ('14), AREAA National Chairs 3. Shawn Krause speaks to the Qualified Mortgage rules 4. Don Datanagan makes his case for the famous Table 3 5. Ivan Choi, Peter Park, Carmen Chong and Jim Park 6. Mark Chu, AREAA Central Valley 7. Justin Kim, AREAA Washington State 8. Nancy Suvarnamani shares her association expertise 9. Dan Shanyfelt keeps everyone in order 10. Lina Chu, AREAA Default Services Committee 11. Alisha Chen, AREAA Orange County 12. The AREAA Foundation's Allen Okamoto and Allen Chiang 13. Ed Park, AREAA Greater Los Angeles 14. Darryl Freeman enjoys the winter edition of a | r | e 15. John Yen Wong, AREAA Founding Chair 16. Regina Ong-Garcia and Eric Tran share their ideas 17. Meiling Lee, AREAA New Jersey 18. Jacki Ueng and Vandana Chima, AREAA Network
2 0 1 3 A RE A A L e a d e r s h i p S u mm i t P h o t o s b y P a u l R o l l i n s
19. Peter Park, AREAA Greater Los Angeles 20. Joe Han, AREAA Silicon Valley 21. Tracy Wu, AREAA Inland Empire 22. Jill Rand, AREAA North Los Angeles 23. Sherwin Escanuela, AREAA Las Vegas 24. Vernon Barsatee of AREAA Boston and Stephany Oliveros of
28. Angela Yin Cesal, AREAA Arizona 29. Jacki Ueng, Vandana Chima, Raquel Quinet and Arianna Gallegos enjoy a reception for AREAA leaders at Benziger Family Winery
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Photo courtesy of Vandana Chima
AREAA Greater Chicago
25. Jim Park, 2013 AREAA National Chair 26. Carmen Chong, AREAA San Francisco Peninsula 27. Local and national leaders brainstorm ways to promote and grow
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AREAA New Jersey Installation On Thursday November 29th 2012, the first board of directors of the Asian Real Estate Association of America New Jersey Chapter were installed at Pierreâ€™s of South Brunswick during a gala event attended by over 200 real estate professionals. The event included guests from sponsors like Ray Catena, New Jersey Association of Realtors, Romasia Bank, Cardinal Financial Bank, RE/MAX Champion, Citibank, Wells Fargo and AREAA Metro New York. AREAA New Jersey's goal, at the state level, is to provide professional development, educational opportunities, promotion of local businesses through membership and networking events with local industry leaders, policy makers and in partnership with other professional organizations. In addition, the chapter places an emphasis on community outreach programs, demonstrated by a donation of $1400 from the proceeds of the installation gala to the NJ Sandy Relief Fund. Photography by JVT Photography
the A s s o c i at i o n
AREAA New Jersey Lunar New Year Celebration AREAA New Jersey held its first Lunar New Year celebration on Thursday February 7th 2013. The event included guests from sponsors like LX Home Inspection, DCH, Sino Monthly, Beautiful Touches, Cardinal Financial Bank, Sovereign Bank, YY Beauty, Real Estate Mortgage Network and Nextage New Generation Realty, among the many that helped make the event such a huge success. In their continuing support of the NJ Sandy Relief Fund, AREAA New Jersey made another donation of 10% of the proceeds from this event to the fund.
AREAA Greater Sacramento Bounces Along! Our Chinese New Year Celebration 2013 was shared with the Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets (and we really liked seeing Jeremy Lin play ball!)... But, it was a great win for the Sacramento KINGS! This was our second Community Assist game with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings partner with organizations to help raise funds in a creative way. This year we had 130 people enjoy the game and a pregame networking event in a Kings private lounge area sponsored by Padi Goodspeed of Peoples Bank. There were many smiling faces as families and old friends enjoyed delicious skewers of garlic shrimp, satay, Korean beef, and piping hot steamed bao. The smiles continued with the appearance of three Asian women from the Kings Dance Team. Pictures taken and great memories made for everyone on February 10, 2013!! Thanks to Lisa Ung and Daniel Takata for organizing another great networking event. - LuAnn Shikasho
the A s s o c i at i o n
AREAA Reception at MBA’s Summit in Dallas It was a star filled evening of AREAA Leaders, AREAA members, friends and special guests. The gathering was held at the 2013 MBA National Short Sale and REO Summit in Grapevine, Texas at the beautiful Gaylord Texan Resort. The grand resort and the Presidential Suite’s 180-degree views would set the stage for an equally amazing event. Among those in attendance were the AREAA National Chairman, Jim Park, special guests Sharon Bartlett of Freddie Mac, Vincent Humphrey of VRM, Scott Keller of Keystone Asset Management, Janette Fitzgerald of LRES, Matt Martin of Matt Martin Real Estate Management and many more. Also in attendance were AREAA chapter leaders, national committee members and AREAA members from across the nation. Whether new to AREAA or an AREAA veteran, the feeling was the same; everyone was so friendly, welcoming and open to talk. Eartha, a new member to the Dallas Chapter stated that this was her first AREAA event outside of her chapter events and was surprised at how open and approachable everyone was. “No one was standoffish and I felt really comfortable…” Other attendees mentioned that they saw more familiar faces and friends at the AREAA event than they had seen
all week during the conference. The day following the event, conversations could be overheard about how great the event was. Other discussions that were heard in passing mentioned that they were glad that AREAA opened the event to everyone because it was one of the best functions they had attended all week. Bringing members and friends together in a casual and comfortable environment allowed people to connect and reconnect. It didn’t matter if they were new to AREAA or a longtime supporter; the feeling of family and friends was in the air, confirming the power of AREAA to bring industry leaders and practitioners together once again. This event was a success and enjoyed by AREAA members and friends alike. It could not have been possible without the AREAA Default Committee and theEDGE, who co-hosted the evening. Also, a huge thank you to AREAA Dallas/Fort Worth, who stepped in to help run the event smoothly the entire evening. Without this type of commitment from local chapters and committees working together, we could not have held such a well-received and successful event! Thank you to all who were involved and attended. - Ryan Edwards, theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals
2 0 1 3 A R EAA N a t i o n a l E v e n t s N a t i o n a l P o l i c y D ay M ay 7 - 8 Wa s h i n gt o n , D .C .
N at i o n a l C o n v e n t i o n September 19-21 Lo s A n g e l e s
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September 18-21, 2013 hyatt Regency centuRy Plaza
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