Page 1



Building one unified voice for


Americans in the

housing community

Real Insight

Understanding the Asian Buyer

The Art of Gift Giving

Ideas to help you respectfully show appreciation for your Asian clients

In my


Exploring West l.A. with Jacki Ueng

Real Estate


Agents in an Airstream


The Foreclosure settlement: Help for Homeowners // 2013 AREAA Committee Chairs // National Convention Recap 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

©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

April 18-19, 2013

at the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®

Bridge the lucrative resort/second-home and global markets to benefit your business, and learn: • Who is buying in your local market? • How do you market yourself globally? • What are the investment opportunities for your clients in Las Vegas? • What types of visas are available for global buyers? • How can you grow your global referral network? The two-day event ($149) includes the Resort & Second-Home Markets Course (core course for RSPS certification) and Global Day, as well as a networking reception to build your referral network. A la carte registration options are available.

Register today at Questions? Contact us at 312.329.8246 or

MBA’s NAtioNAl

Short Sale

and reo Summit 2013

February 21–23 Gaylord texan dallaS, tx

BRINGING SOLUTIONS TO THE MARKETPLACE MBA is pleased to announce a brand new event, focusing on the issues around short sales, distressed assets and REO properties. In collaboration with the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), we are bringing together servicers, realtors, brokers and asset managers from all over the country to explore innovative ways to stabilize markets and revitalize communities. Take advantage of this unique opportunity for training in the latest neighborhood stabilization techniques, including short sales, REO-to-rental programs and investment strategies, along with outstanding sessions, networking and business development opportunities.

register today. Visit conferences 11910

Make listings more marketable Purchase & RenovateSM loans can help

Motivate buyers to consider more homes for sale — including damaged and move-in-ready REO and short sale properties. With a Purchase & RenovateSM loan, wanted or needed improvements can be made right after closing.1 • Generate more interest • Attract more prospects • Work more effectively

Contact one of our regional diverse segment managers to locate a renovation specialist near you. Pacific Division

West Division

Northeast Division

Southeast Division

Sandra Speed Southern CA 626-399-3737

Milton Dellossier AZ, UT 602-405-3347

Shawn Howard IL, IN 708-536-8199

Jeanne Goldie AL, GA, MS 404-493-2689

Rosy Davalos Northern & Central CA 510-798-2957

Nicole Wright MN, ND, SD 612-741-8931

Vilma Lorenzini, NJ 732-991-8079

Sharon McLendon NC, SC 919-819-6965

Grace Mejia Greater Bay Area 916-410-5553

Valerie Copenhaver CO, ID, MT, WY 970-817-0954

James Wright OH, PA, Southern WV 267-255-4667

Christine Valdez FL 813-601-5530

Desolina Avila Los Angeles County 323-449-4446

Sam Noel KS (except Kansas City), NE, OK, Northern TX including Dallas/Fort Worth 316-347-6561

Cristina Hoffman CT, NY 516-330-3299

Donna Greene DC, DE, MD, Northern VA 410-736-9680

Eliana Williams IA, MI, WI 414-628-4437

Daniel Caro KY, TN, Southern VA, Cincinnati, OH 443-386-7718

Manny Delgadillo NV, OR, Southern WA 702-308-8652 Carmen Luna Southern CA & HI 619-992-4193

Viola Solomon NM, Southern and Western TX including Austin, Houston, San Antonio 832-722-6222 Mandala Jones AK, WA 404-938-0302

1. Restrictions apply. 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. ©2012 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801. AS967553 11/12-2/13

Brent Berry AR, Kansas City, KS, LA, MO 913-396-1535

Winter 2013 Volume 4, Issue 4 O n t h e C o v e r : Jim Park (Photo by StacLy Dixon)

f e at u r e s 24


Building One Unified Voice for Asian Americans in the United States Housing Community After 20 years, Jim Park is working tirelessly to help shape strong leaders in real estate and mortgage - get a rare glimpse into his life and learn how he is motivated by the immigrant experience By Ivan Choi


In My Neighborhood: West Los Angeles


Travel blogger and title rep Jacki Ueng gives us an insider's look at some of the hot spots and local institutions that make West Los Angeles one of the nation's most desirable markets


Real Estate Innovation: Agents in an Airstream Is mobile the future of real estate storefronts? We had a conversation with Chris Lim about Climb Real Estate Group's new retail store: a 120 square foot stainless steel trailer that travels around San Francisco to serve clients in a variety of locations


To access resources in additional languages, follow the links below:

中文 (Chinese):

한국어 (Korean):

Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese):




Contents 20

The Art of Gift Giving

Ideas to help you respectfully show appreciation for your Asian clients

Departments 38

A recap in photos from the association's annual event, which attracted federal policy makers, top industry executives, entertainers and real estate practitioners who are dedicated to increasing Asian American homeownership

By Geremy Yamamoto


Real Insight: Understanding the Asian Buyer

Savvy agents know that Asian buyers are distinctive compared to the general market. Learn how‌ A summary of agent interviews conducted by Anne Bitter Group


By Francey Youngberg


Teamwork, Leadership and Communication

Driven by these guiding principles, the 2013 AREAA National Committee Chairs are ready to serve the Asian American community By Juan Gutierrez



The Foreclosure Settlement Provides Help for Homeowners HUD is taking steps to assist homeowners who are recovering from the housing crisis -- and ensuring that AAPI communities are not left behind

The 2012 AREAA National Convention

Finding New Revenue Sources: Property Management and Flipping Homes

Tips for profitable flips and advice to maximize your property management revenue By Arianna Gallegos


AREAA Metro New York Installation

Photos and quotes from the newly installed directors of the association's chapter in the Big Apple


A Message from Chair Park


Past Chair Perspectives


Around the Association

From his initial support as a sponsor to his new role as Chair, Park can sum up his dedication to AREAA in two words: motivation and inspiration

AREAA's former leaders discuss their greatest accomplishments while serving as the association's National Chair

From hosting casino nights to rehabbing homes and even lacing up their running shoes, AREAA chapters are finding ways to give back and support causes in their local communities

A d v e r t i s e r s 2013 AREAA Global Summit

Back Cover

2013 AREAA National Convention

Inside Back Cover

AREAA on Facebook

page 37

AREAA Trade Mission to the Philippines

page 11

AREAA Twitter Feed

page 49

Bank of America Home Loans

Inside Front Cover

Rita Chen, Presidential Real Estate, Inc.

page 43


page 49

Daniel Eng, ENGVEST

page 43

Meiling Kravarik, Nextage Realty

page 43

LCG Capital Advisors

page 42

Linda Lee, Keller Williams Realty

page 43

Loan Modification Scam Alert

page 5

MBA's National Short Sale & REO Summit 2013

page 2

National Association of REALTORS Global

page 1

Nancy Suvarnamani, Century 21 S.G.R., Inc.

page 43

theEDGE, AREAA Young Professionals

page 15

Kathy Tsao, Prudential Douglas Elliman

page 43

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

page 3

I n t e r e s t e d


A d v e r t i s i n g ?

R at e s a n d i n f o o n l i n e


w w w.a re a /a-r-e


C a l l P r av e e n S h a r m a

760 -692-5721

Winter 2013

Volume 4, Issue 4


Creative Director

Ivan Choi

Praveen K. Sharma

Associate Editor

Editori al Board

Joseph Lai

Darren Lennemann

Caron Ling

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: Š2012 by the Asian Real Estate Association of America. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily the opinions held by AREAA. Direct article submissions and advertising inquiries to: Praveen Sharma | Office: Asian Real Estate Association of America 5963 La Place Court, Suite 314 Carlsbad, California 92008 760-918-9162 Phone 760-585-1397 Fax Previous issues available online at:


I n s p i r a t i o n and M o t i v a t i o n 2013 marks the 10-year anniversary of AREAA. An idea among a handful of individuals and a deep commitment on part of a few believers to turn this idea into action has brought AREAA to where we stand today. I had the privilege of witnessing the growth of AREAA over the last ten years from multiple vantage points – from being one of the original financial sponsors to serving as the President and CEO of the association to being a board member to now taking the role as 2013 Chair.

Ten years ago, I certainly could not have imagined the full scope of what AREAA would ulti-

AREAA has inspired countless individuals to become better business people and community leaders. I think that is the most powerful thing about AREAA.

mately accomplish for the Asian American community and the impact we would have on the real estate market in such a short period. A handful of visionaries started it, but an army of supporters over the years brought life to our mission every day and in every community.

In early days, we had to aggressively market the idea of AREAA to sponsors and real estate practitioners. Why should someone join AREAA? Why is AREAA needed in the market? We would get these types of questions at our meetings in those days. At times, we were accused of being separatists – reverse racism to say it more bluntly. While that type of nonsense doesn’t rear its ugly head as much these days, I am always conscious of what inspires and motivates someone to join the association and why individuals would dedicate their precious time in support of AREAA’s mission. So, we must always be ready to say why AREAA is needed and why we are critical to the real estate community. If we cannot answer that convincingly, then our days will be numbered.

The challenge of aggregating a diverse Asian community together is no small feat. The Asian American community is dynamic and evolving; and over the past decade, our community has been the fastest growing segment in the country. Bringing individuals of various Asian heritages together under one roof was a big challenge. Ultimately the collective good of the community and a sense that together we can be more impactful was so compelling that the idea of AREAA took hold. Now we have 24 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, and more chapters will be coming online in 2013.

My early motivation for supporting AREAA was simple: Asian Americans lacked a common voice in the policy and business world and our community needed an organization to stand up on our behalf. What ultimately motivates different individuals to support AREAA is as diverse as our community. Some believe in the idea of being part of a larger network of friends and colleagues. Others feel that AREAA is critical to his or her business, and the association helps

them stay current and ahead of the real estate curve. These and other views help galvanize our organization, and bring individuals with different needs and perspectives together for a common purpose.

But beyond the various personal motivations to join and stay as AREAA members, I am always touched by members that are inspired by the experience and the opportunities AREAA creates throughout the country. Whether it’s having the opportunity to meet the President of the United States through AREAA or working on a local chapter project to fix up homes of needy families or becoming lifelong friends with like-minded business leaders from other parts of the country, AREAA has inspired countless individuals to become better business people and community leaders. I think that is the most powerful thing about AREAA. We are leaving small ripples in the pond that will touch people thousands of miles away.

I have met many AREAA members who have been inspired by AREAA’s programs and initiatives, and they have achieved great successes both personally and professionally because of AREAA. That’s really the power of AREAA and why the organization is continuing its focus on efforts that inspire and motivate our members. Whether it’s our expanded focus on international outreach, luxury home strategy, education and training, or public policy, there are many aspects of AREAA that will motivate our members.

In today’s market, it’s not good enough to be decent at what you do. We must be great entrepreneurs and market makers. AREAA has built a well-deserved reputation for bringing the right business leaders together. I am proud of what this organization and its members have accomplished in those short ten years, but I am even more excited about the next ten. And I am humbled by the opportunity to help guide this organization over the next year. There will be lots of work ahead of us as well as a great deal of fun, but I am most excited by making the long term impact our community deserves. I hope you will be inspired by our mission and motivated to serve our community. With deep gratitude for your service to our community,

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 A R E A A' s f o r m e r l e a d e r s d i s c u s s t h e i r g r e a t e s t a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s w h i l e s e r v i n g a s t h e a s so ci a ti o n' s N a ti o n a l C h a i r

A l len O k am oto

J ohn F u ku da

San Francisco, California

Las Vegas, Nevada



When I became the Chair of AREAA we were really in our infancy as an organization. We had a vision of what we wanted AREAA to be and some of the national sponsors showed tremendous interest in us. John Yen Wong and I, over the first two years of our existence, worked very hard but it was when Jim Park became our Chief Executive Officer that AREAA truly started on the road to national prominence. Now, ten years later, under the guidance of Jim Park, our dedicated staff and our past leadership, AREAA is now a true player on the national scene.

K athy Tsao 2012

New York, New York First, I want to thank my predecessors that established an amazing foundation for my leadership team. Our 2012 highlights include: Engagement and Empowerment - Connected chapters for cohesive organization and a sense of collaboration within AREAA. Effective Organization – Bylaw changes locally; transparency and accountability nationally. Advocacy - Strengthened relationships with government agencies and community outreach organizations to advocate for homeownership opportunities in our AAPI community. Alliances – Joined leading industry organizations to expand our educational and networking platform and generate business opportunities for our members. Overseas Partnerships - Initiated a formal international trade mission program that, within a short period of time, has made incredible progress in developing strategic partnerships overseas. Marketing - Attracted new sponsors, increased magazine advertising, designed a prototype premium gift for AREAA. Looking forward to a great 2013!!

While I was fortunate to have many exciting and wonderful initiatives take flight during my tenure as Chairman of AREAA: 10 new national committees created and launched, doubled membership growth, MOU signed with HUD, capacity-filled conferences, sponsorship growth, etc., there are three accomplishments that stand above the rest. My Chair-Elect year was spent understanding the needs of AREAA and connecting with the current and future membership base. Through my travels, I identified critical fundamentals that needed to be created, nurtured and/or expanded. The first was the professional development of the current leaders of AREAA (i.e., chapter leadership, committee chairs, and directors). This manifested as the AREAA Leadership Summit, which was launched in June 2010 as an annual event to bring together AREAA leaders from around the country. The second was local chapter development. AREAA is, at its foundation, a grass-roots organization dedicated to helping homeowners and the local chapters do the heavy lifting in this department. Several new chapters were launched using a template designed during my time. The third, and perhaps most significant endeavor, was to ensure AREAA’s long-term health and viability as an organization by recruiting and engaging a new generation of AREAA leadership. My idea became theEDGE. In January 2010, I gathered in Las Vegas, four mid-20s practitioners (Kara Okamoto, Geremy Yamamoto, Kai Ito and Rachel Turner) that I had met during the previous year and formed this dynamic organization, which has proven to be one of the most exciting and successful AREAA initiatives ever.

Pa s t C h a i r s i n t h e N e w s F u W i n s Go v e r n or ’ s of t h e Y e a r Aw a r d

I n t e r n at i o n a l


Emily Moerdomo Fu, 2008 AREAA Chair, founder and CEO of Capital Investment International Inc. and The FU|REO Team, was named winner of the 2012 Governor’s International Individual of the Year Award. Emily Moerdomo Fu is a long-time resident, successful real estate professional and expert on international business and government relations between the State of Georgia and the People’s Republic of China. Emily was honored for her effort in developing the State of Georgia's international community, contributions to international business, creativity in developing international relationships, and driving economic development in Georgia. 10

O k a m o t o R e c e i v e s F or e i g n M i n i s t e r ’ s Co m m e n d at i o n Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Hiroshi Inomata awarded AREAA Founding Chair Allen Okamoto with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for his work in serving the community and creating a mutual understanding between the U.S. and Japan. Through individual contributions and non-profit leadership, Okamoto has played an active role in preserving the San Francisco Japantown community and spreading awareness of Japanese culture throughout the nation. Among countless achievements in Japan-U.S. relations, Okamoto orchestrated a fundraising effort for victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami through the AREAA Foundation, raising nearly $500,000 to assist in rebuilding efforts.

March 13 - 19, 2013



Expand your business by strengthening your knowledge and understanding of business practices


and the real estate market in the Philippines. Meet with real estate associations, government organizations, developers, banks and more. Grow your network globally and establish yourself as the local expert in the international real estate community.

R e a l E s tat e I n n o vat i o n

Agents in an



limb Real Estate Group unveiled its new innovative retail store, a stunning 1961 20-foot Airstream Globetrotter trailer featuring stainless steel walls and seamless floors and ceilings. The mobile mini store, at 120 square feet, is one of the smallest real estate storefronts to date, which will allow it to be placed in a variety of new locations to allow consumers to interact with Climb Real Estate agents and appeal to a wide range of customers. Climb Real Estate Group’s sleek stainless steel trailer will move throughout the city of San Francisco over a 90-day pilot program. Chris Lim, marketing director for Climb Real Estate Group and owner of Lim Gallery, spent a little time with us to discuss the mobile office, from design concept to client experience.


Restaurants and retailers have employed the cart/truck concept for decades, though it has yet to take off in the real estate industry. What similarities do you see in these mobile businesses that will translate to opportunities in real estate? Chris Lim: As a consumer services industry, we must adapt to our client's needs and lifestyles. We were inspired by the food trucks in San Francisco and fashion trucks in Los Angeles. At Climb, we believe that all retailers need to respond to the way that our customers live and work. With a vintage Airstream, we are able to be in a multitude of locations including high-traffic shopping destinations, in front

Photos courtesy of Climb Real Estate Group

Airstream Features: Lounge Seating desk high speed Wi-Fi solar panels Doggie Treats

of our high-rise communities, company work campuses, and new construction development sites.

From a real estate agent's perspective, explain how doing business on wheels is different than in a brick and mortar office. CL:

It's actually quite the same. The Airstream is equipped with a desk, lounge seating, high speed Wi-Fi, and power derived from solar panels. Our goal was to provide a seamless experience for our agents whether working from home, on location, at the office, or in the Airstream.

can they expect once they climb aboard? CL: The location of our Airstream is announced on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter. Once homebuyers climb aboard, they are able to experience the Climb brand and a taste of our office location. They are treated to complimentary coffee, free doggie treats for their pets, and available Wi-Fi. Buyers and sellers can talk to agents in a comfortable and casual atmosphere.

The Airstream underwent a serious renovation to get ready for business, what was your design inspiration for the makeover? Let's talk about the client ex- How did you create an invitperience. How will homebuyers ing office environment in such a locate the mobile office? What small space? 13


We wanted to allow new customers who had not previously been to our commercial location to experience the brand. Our inspiration for the Airstream was our current office, which marries modern design with green elements and an open-concept floor plan. The first thing we did was to completely eliminate the bathroom, kitchen, dinette, and sleeping areas from the trailer. We wanted the Climb Airstream to feel like a lounge space, much like how our office is used.

What has been the greatest challenge in taking your business on the road? CL: The greatest challenge has

been being able to accommodate all our agents who have embraced this new way to work and the opportunity to meet new clients. We simply don't have enough Airstreams!

How do the maintenance and operating costs transactions -- could mobile storefronts be the compare with that of a commercial office space? future of real estate? CL: The costs are significantly less. Rather than renting a commercial space for one year, we can own a fully refurbished Airstream for about 33% of the cost.

Given the cost savings of the mobile office -- and widespread use of tablets and phones to manage 14

We absolutely believe that a mobile office suits the way agents work today. With the advent of electronic signatures, tablets, and Open Home Pro software on a Simplicit kiosk, we believe we are changing how real estate is done. And that is the manifesto of Climb Real Estate Group.

e r E i m p power s In

EducatCeonnect facebo o areaaE DGE

I n


N ei g h b o r h o o d

Jacki U e ng


West Los Angeles P h o t o s

b y

J a c k i

U e n g

The glamour. The nightlife. The beaches. The natural beauty. Overall, it's difficult to find a more desirable location in the United States than West Los Angeles. Home to celebrities and some of the nation's most successful individuals, the west side of the nation's second most populous city is an easy sell in real estate -- to those who can afford it. To get to know some of the local institutions that give this little corner of the world its distinct character, our guide is none other than the Bohemian Vagabond herself, Jacki Ueng.

What at t r act ed yo u t o t h is part of t ow n ?

Jacki Ueng Title R e p Ticor Title Travel Blog ger

I was given the opportunity to start the Ticor Title brand in Beverly Hills/West L.A. in 2006. West L.A. has some of the most expensive and beautiful real estate in the nation, with areas including: Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Hollywood Hills, Bel Air, Westwood, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. I was up for the challenge. This luxurious area has an abundance of everything you need: the best restaurants (upscale, food trucks, organic and ethnic), nature, nightlife, wealth, beautiful people, yoga studios, farmers' markets, beaches, gorgeous houses and not to mention the celebrity spotting!

What ’ s t he n u mb e r o n e s el l in g p oint t hat r es id en t s / bu ye rs r av e about ? It’s always sunny in Southern California! The home values remain high because people always want to live here; they don’t become affected nearly as much as other areas. West L.A. is an affluent, safe area Sunset in Santa Monica


with many trendy neighborhoods. You get the big city feel but can still find suburban pockets with families walking their dogs and playing with their kids.

C a n yo u s h a r e o n e of t h e n e i g h b or h oo d ’ s b e s t - k e p t secret s? Not sure if it’s quite a secret, but Californians value their health, are eco-friendly and support local farmers. We have farmers' markets happening almost every day in a different part of town and a lot of vegan/organic restaurants popping up which provide a great environment to raise a family and live a healthy lifestyle.

W h at is yo u r favor i te way to s pen d a n af t er noo n wi th th e fa mily h e re? Laying out at a hotel pool like the W Westwood or Mondrian. L.A. embodies that work hard, play hard mentality. We’re working 24/7, yet we seem to

Shopping on 3rd Street Promenade

always be lounging. We don’t need to be in a cubicle to get our work done. With our iPads and iPhones, we can get deals done just about anywhere: by the pool, at the bar or over a hike. We just need to make sure the deals are closing.

W hat i s th e p red o minant arc h i tectu ral st yle? Mediterranean, Modern and Spanish style seem like constant favorites. Venice, Culver City and Mar Vista have a lot of very contemporary houses and remodels replacing smaller bungalows. Brentwood and Santa Monica seem to favor large Mediterranean style homes. Pacific Palisades has a lot of East Coast traditional homes like Cape Cods and colonials.

W hat i s yo ur favorit e r e staur ant i n t he neighbor hood? There are too many as I’m a major foodie and it’s unfair to pick one! I’d highly recommend visitors stop by Katana in West Hollywood, which embodies the L.A. culture. You can go at any time of the week in the evening, find a spot in the patio area and enjoy the fine ambiance overlooking the glitz and glam of the Sunset Strip. It’s

The view from Temescal Canyon

a great place to start before heading out to town, right across from the Mondrian Hotel (Sky Bar). We love to sip sake martinis, nibble on skewers and savor the fine sushi selection and great service.

Enjoying a nice view of the Hollywood sign

W h at t y p e s of o u t d oor act i v i t i e s d o e s yo u r n e i g h b or h oo d off e r? Hiking trails, beaches, mountains. The tough decision is which scenery are you feeling? That’s the great thing about L.A. You could literally sunbathe at the beach or pool one day, and go snowboarding the next. I love hikes. A view of the city? Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. A more tropical, nature-ish hike that ends in a waterfall? Temescal Canyon in Pacific Palisades. A strenuous mountain biking trail or all-day hike? Mandeville Canyon in Brentwood. All have views of the Pacific Ocean. I also love going paddle boarding or kayaking in Marina del Rey while seal and bird spotting.

I s t he r e a co mmu n it y or cult ur a l c en t er t h at you of t en vis it ? L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA - is filled with endless 17

The Malibu coastline

Santa Monica State Beach Park

Where Jacki Likes to. . .

I n M y N e i g h b o r h o o d with J a c k i U e n g // W e s t L o s A n g e l e s

Get a cup of coffee Literati Café has coffee, tea, fresh detox juices and healthy food. It's a great place to work on your laptop and get your creativity flowing. Read a book West Hollywood Library just finished renovating and is absolutely stunning and modern. Get some peace and quiet Sweating out my toxins and meditating the mind at Hot Yoga (100 degree heat) at Core Power Yoga in Brentwood. There are many other studios popping up on every corner -- like Starbucks! Shop 3rd Street, Santa Monica is the best with four blocks of shops, restaurants and street performers, and with the renovation of the old mall into “Santa Monica Place”, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for, with some great restaurants on the top deck overlooking the beach. Find a good deal Melrose for boutique shops. Also, Santee Alley in Downtown L.A. if you’re up for some grunge and hustling. This is the spot to find a good deal before it hits the mainstream market. See live music Grab a blanket, picnic basket, sneak in a bottle of vino and head to the Hollywood Bowl, especially in the summer time! Watch the big game Love Bru Haus in Brentwood for a few brats and some of the best hand-crafted beer in the world. If it’s packed, you can go next door to Q’s or Cabo Cantina. Go out for date night Abbot Kinney, Venice. Cozy boutique restaurants. Watch a play/show Laugh Factory in West Hollywood.

art, exhibits, shows, community activities and conservations.

Do yo u vo lunt eer wi t h any lo cal Nonp rof i t s or causes? I’m the Membership and Social Media Chair for "Room to Read" L.A. Chapter (online at, which is a non-profit that builds schools and libraries in developing countries throughout Southeast Asia


and Africa on a mission to eliminate illiteracy and gender inequality. We host monthly events and an annual gala to fundraise.

A ny t hing el s e you ’d like to sh a r e a bo u t yo ur neig h bor hoo d? If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! Oh yeah, and watch Entourage, it’s kind of like that.

Go for a bike ride Short bike or rollerblade ride from Santa Monica to Venice, or a longer road trail along Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu! Have fun for free First Fridays in Venice, museums offering free wine, food trucks galore, street performers and locals out for a good time. Have a beer/cocktail Café Roma in Beverly Hills has a great happy hour and outdoor seating on comfy couches and great music.

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Rates begin at $200 / issue

Contact us at or visit for details

Id e a s t o h elp you


sh ow

a p p r e c i ation for your Asia n clients B



e r e m y


m a m o t o

In Many Asian cultures, exchanging gifts is strongly rooted in tradition.

Linh Tran of Meridox in SoCal has a similar approach to Okamoto. “I take a lot of mental notes when working with my clients. When showing them a house they might comment on With the holidays upon us, it is a good time Kenny went on to say, “I like giving gifts that a specific mirror or fruit tree in the back. Asians to address the importance of giving gifts to will make a lasting impression and constantly love fruit trees,” Linh said, laughing. “These clients. Whether a closing gift to celebrate a remind my clients to continue sending valuable mental notes help me select the right custom new home or something to bring joy during the referrals. Sometimes I order sharp cutting gift for each client. I always get a customized holidays, what kinds of gifts are you giving to knives from Cutco, because they will go to my gift and a bottle of champagne for each client. your clients? client’s house and sharpen the whole knife set I like to leave a nice bottle of champagne on  When doing business with your Asian once a year as a continued service. This is a ice accompanied by flutes on the day of the clientele it is good to take note of their constant reminder of my service.” We joked as I closing. The new homeowners can celebrate particular culture. For example, in their accomplishment with a toast. I’ve Malaysia you wouldn’t give a gift until you even bought Lakers tickets for my clients had established a strong relationship with that I know are die hard Lakers fans, but the recipient. Concerns about corruption they would have to have bought a really Do’s may bring a frown upon any gift that expensive house to be on that list,” she could be construed as a bribe. However, joked. (She must buy Clippers tickets for é é Fruit trees or indoor plants in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, her lower end clients!) exchanging gifts is an essential tradition. Kai Ito Watanabe with Prudential in é é Gift cards for home improvement Part of this tradition is the gracious style Torrance commented, “I really get to know é é Nice bottle of wine or champagne used to present gifts. Make sure the gift is my clients through the whole transaction beautifully wrapped. and figure out their style so I can select a é é Floral centerpieces or Edible In Japan and Hong Kong it is very personal gift that suits them. From local Arrangements to clients’ important to use both hands when restaurant gift cards to vacuum cleaners workplaces presenting a gift. In Singapore a recipient to iPads to nice potted indoor plants, may “graciously refuse three times” I try to figure out what would be most é é Present gifts in a memorable or before accepting your gift. Take note useful to them. Sometimes I find out their surprising manner, beautifully wrapped appropriately of your clients’ ethnic move-in day and pick up food and drop background when selecting a gift that is it off since they don’t have any food in Don’ts memorable and not offensive. the refrigerator yet and moving is such a Reflecting back, some of the gifts I have hectic process. Typically I find the more ³ ³ Knives, letter openers, or any given to clients in the past have not been personal the gift, the more meaningful it other sharp objects that great, like the time I gave a shovel is to my clients.” ³ ³ Clocks to a client who kept complaining about Jonathan Gineo with Weichert Realtors that tree with the root problem in his in Connecticut had an interesting ³ ³ Gifts that involve the numbers 4 backyard. I might as well have told him response: “In Connecticut we are limited or 9 to “Quit complaining, don’t be lazy, and to the amount of money we can spend on dig the tree out yourself!” Hopefully he no gifts for clients. For closing gifts, I usually ³ ³ Handkerchiefs longer has the root problem and still owns purchase gift cards from Lowe's and Bed the fifteen-dollar shovel! asked about it being a bad gesture, since a sharp Bath and Beyond. For the clients I get repeat In hopes of getting ideas for gifts, I have edge symbolizes the severing of a friendship in business from I send Edible Arrangements to interviewed some members of theEDGE to many Asian cultures. “Yeah, I try not to do the their office. I have to be careful with some of my get some insight into thoughtful and creative whole knife thing for most of my Asian clients corporate clients, as some of their companies gifts they have given in the past, which have and I’ll stick to the flowers,” Kenny joked. do not allow them to receive gifts of any kind. left long-lasting impressions on their valued Kara Okamoto in San Francisco has kind I used to give nice bottles of wine but now try clients. It was rather shocking to see how much of a different approach. She emphasized the to stay away from that direction as it might thought they put into the process and very importance of putting a lot of thought into offend clients that do not drink.” interesting to hear some of their stories. selecting the right gift for her clients. “The gifts The consensus seems to be that a gift to a Kenny Truong with Michael James in Oakland, I give are usually very personal. I never give the client is more than just a nice gesture. It is a CA said, “What I do is send out nice flower same gift twice. I try to focus on what each symbol of deep appreciation and an expression center pieces a few times a year to my valuable client is interested in and get them something that you have taken the time to find something clients directly to their office. This not only accordingly. I try to avoid electronics because meaningful for an important person, your client. makes my clients feel good, but this gesture they quickly become obsolete and rather look Whether celebrating the holidays, birthdays, or generates referrals from their co-workers. for items with a longer shelf life. For example, closings, take some time to reflect on a good When was the last time you received a nice for some of my more traditional clients I like to gift that demonstrates thoughtfulness and flower arrangement directly to your office?” get a nice Japanese tea set for their new house.” sincere appreciation on your part.

Client Gift Do ' s a n d Do n ' t s


R e a l I n s i g h t Understanding the Asian Buyer

Savvy agents know that Asian buyers are distinctive compared to the general market. Here’s how… Top real estate agents are jockeying to get out ahead of the world’s investment flow and develop an understanding of new high net worth clients from emerging markets. The explosion of wealth in China – and other Asian hubs – has created a steady pipeline of prospective clients for U.S. agents who are positioning themselves as trusted advisors to help diversify these clients’ holdings with real estate investments in the United States. Asian buyers come to the market with different backgrounds, different cultures and different mindsets that greatly influence how they handle their real estate transactions. Here are some key traits about this client segment that will help you break through.

Cash is King.


summary of in-person interviews conducted by Anne Bitter Group, an independent research agency

working in conjunction with AREAA. 26 real estate agents were interviewed at the AREAA National Convention in Las Vegas on September 24, 2012. ©2012 Bitter Research Limited Photo: ©

Cultural factors inform a deepseated reluctance to borrow. In many Asian markets, borrowing is viewed as shameful so financing rarely plays a major part in the deal. In fact, agents we talked to say that around 85% or more of foreign sales are cash deals.

The real estate tax conundrum. Culturally, property tax is not a familiar concept for this client segment and it can become a sticking point. One agent noted “the first question is often ‘how much are the taxes?’ not ‘how much is the property?’ Agents sensitive to this can incorporate it early on into client education.

Risk and Negotiating are in their DNA. Many agents told us that their Asian clients are natural gamblers and thrive on risk but also move on from losses much more quickly than general market buyers. And negotiating is seen as a necessary part of the game. In a tight market, agents go to great lengths to educate these clients about how far they can go before losing a deal.

Be prepared to hand hold. This is a ‘high involvement’ client segment that demands personal attention and operates with a sense of urgency. Expectations for agents to respond quickly, be incredibly well-versed in the fine details and also ‘wine and dine’ are common when dealing with this group.

Privacy is highly valued. Feng shui goes a long way. Asians clients are especially attuned to keeping their business dealings private, particularly within their own communities. They respect and value agents who show discretion at all stages of the deal.

This Chinese belief system has an impact on the buying process. In addition to building layouts and design, numbers are particularly important. Many will not buy on a certain day; others must have certain numbers in the contract.

The Generational Difference Challenges such as buyer education, cash flow assistance, entertainment and translation all become more timeconsuming for international and 1st generation buyers who can be very unfamiliar with the process and who may lack English language skills. Realtors notice a clear continuum that Asian buyers go through as they leave their countries of origin and become increasingly Americanized in terms of their attitudes and behaviors related to buying, investing and borrowing.


International and first-generation buyers are often less techsavvy, value face-to-face interactions and primarily deal in cash. By second- and third-generation, English fluency is less of a barrier and familiarity with U.S. real estate is typically higher. While some are still torn between heritage-based values (i.e. no borrowing) and their own more modern tendencies, most agents see little differences compared to their other general market clients.

A multi-faceted approach Realtors across the country are employing a range of tactics to penetrate the Asian market and build their businesses.

Community Involvement

Community Education

Use of Asian Media

Targeted Marketing Materials

Hiring of Asian Realtors

Traveling Overseas

There are important country and regional differences to keep in mind when dealing with Asian buyers‌

Chinese from the North are known to be very direct and quite loyal, while Chinese from the South will want to negotiate more and are less loyal.

Hmong and Filipino buyers are often insistent on living among communities of their own people.






Japanese clients are reportedly much more likely to rent as they tend not to stay in this country for more than a few years.



P h i l i pp i n e s

Thailand Vietnam

Vietnamese buyers from the North prefer the East Coast; those from the South prefer the West Coast.


Building one unified voice

Asian Americans for




States housing


After 20 years, Jim Park is working tirelessly to help shape strong leaders in real estate and mortgage By Ivan Choi


n April 2010 Henry Cisneros was backstage at the Desert Springs Marriott in Palm Desert, California. In his mid-60s, at over six feet tall, he was standing quietly amidst the slew of stage crew cables, speaker equipment and lighting accessories that bring life to the main stage at major speaking engagements. With over 1,000 real estate and mortgage professionals out front taking their seats, anticipating his remarks on the state of housing, Cisneros was reviewing his speech making last-minute notes with a pen. Getting jaded about the future of U.S. housing was easy given the endless headlines and public debates on how real estate might recover in this country. So at this event,


David Garibaldi paints a portrait of Jim Park (Photos by Bellagio Photo Services)

I was nervous about seeing Cisneros again. My way to relieve the trepidation was to name-drop Jim Park. Plus it would be fun for me to do that. One of my Park with his three children: Elliott, Nathan and Sophie in 2003 running jokes with Park has been that he possibly can’t know all of these people. How can one man be connected with so many prominent figures in U.S. housing, whether politics, business or community non-profits? This would be a perfect test to see whether someone like Cisneros in fact knew Park. “Secretary Cisneros?” I asked, extending my right arm out for the handshake. Cisneros looked up from his notes. “Very nice to meet you, I assume you’re Ivan, the one who’ll be introducing me onstage this morning,” Cisneros replied with a beaming smile. Nodding my head to affirm I went for the Park name-drop. “You know Mr. Secretary, I’ve actually met you before at the Renaissance Housing event in Del Mar. Jim Park has become a good friend of mine over the last five years.” Without any pause Cisneros responded with the smile of hearing an old friend’s Park in Carlsbad, California (Photo by Stacey Dixon) name, “Oh yes, Jim.

attendees were in need of inspiration - especially from someone like Cisneros, a housing and political

heavyweight who is most notably remembered for his public service as the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1993-97 under President Bill Clinton. 26

My role was to give opening remarks, then introduce Cisneros and bring him to center stage. I had met

Cisneros in passing a year prior at another annual housing event in Del Mar, California, hosted by Jim Park, his business partner Gary Acosta and housing expert Phil Bracken. Even so,

He’s a truly exceptional person. Back at HUD while I was serving as secretary, Jim and I used to work together on

serious housing issues.” Cisneros went on to cite specific initiatives. In that moment however, Cisneros’ comments about Park were a blur because I had only one thought in my mind: What is up with Jim? How does he know everyone?


fter seeing Jim Park in public, speaking on housing topics, providing business advice to real estate professionals and discussing policy with key figures in politics, real estate and banking, people often ask basic questions about Park. Who the heck is he? What is his story? What makes him go? It can be hard to describe Park. He’s articulate and wellspoken, delivering messages equally well whether an impromptu group of five people or a formal event in front of 2,000. Along with leading the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), he serves on the boards of other community non-profits as well as businesses. He holds posts like being an appointed member of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council, or Chairman Emeritus of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). Park is also a businessman serving as an owner of New Vista, a real estate services firm based in San Diego. On top of all

Park is dedicated to ensuring that Asian Americans have a voice in the U.S. housing arena, and that the specific needs of the Asian community are not lost inside the mainstream population.

of that, Park is a family man with his wife Judy and three kids, Nathan, Elliott and Sophie.

he tells it, Park didn’t know any English. He learned the language from watching American shows and sitcoms

states. “Neither the family business nor my days in college were without struggles, but that [Irvine]

As I went lobbying through the halls of Congress I thought to myself, if our community is not here to voice our views and needs, who will speak up for us? Jim Park with President Barack Obama at APAICS 18th Annual Gala Dinner at the RitzCarlton in Washington, D.C., May 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Pinning Park down into a specific archetype of a person is impossible because he does a number of things. And he’s the type of guy you can throw in to seemingly any situation with anyone and not have to worry about it. One thing is for certain though. After more than 20 years in housing, Park is dedicated to ensuring that Asian Americans have a voice in the U.S. housing arena, and that the specific needs of the Asian community are not lost inside the mainstream population. While not always readily apparent today, Park’s personal story is that he is an immigrant. Born outside of Seoul, South Korea, Park and his family arrived in the U.S. in January of 1975. He was nine years old. As

like Happy Days. His family settled for a short time in a Santa Ana apartment. Park recalls, “My sister and I were the only Asian Americans in our elementary school… We had to learn to adapt and assimilate.” In his formative years, Park began to experience the significance of homeownership on families. “Somehow my parents saved enough money to buy a home -- a townhouse,” he remembers. That led to equity and the opportunity for Park's parents to move their family to Irvine, this time a single-family home where the “roof was all ours”. “The equity that accumulated in that home sent me and my sister to college, and helped to start the family business,” Park

as a low-income housing lobbyist that led to a leadership role within HUD and then ultimately an executive position with the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC, known as Freddie Mac). “Those years really influenced my sense of justice and power of what a community can do when it comes together,” Park explains. “America’s unique governing structure and independent spirit gives disenfranchised communities the opportunity to speak up and have their voices be heard in a way that is not possible in other countries.” In hearing Park’s account, it is clear that he is driven by the immigrant experience and the ability of communities of people to organize so that their specific needs can be addressed. Housing happened to become Park’s focus due to his own family experience back in Santa Ana and Irvine. Summing up his experience walking through Capitol Hill as a young lobbyist, Park recalls, “As I went lobbying through the halls of Congress I thought to myself, if our community is not here to voice our views and needs, who will speak up for us?” During his last few years in D.C. working at Freddie Mac, Park got involved with AREAA. Founded in 2003, just a short nine

home gave me and my family opportunities that otherwise would have been impossible.” Graduating from Woodbridge High School in 1983, Park earned degrees in studio art, economics and political science at the University of California at Irvine in 1988. After college graduation, Park moved to Washington, D.C. where he completed his master’s degree in public policy at George Washington University Park didn’t know any in 1990. English. He learned He would the language from remain in D.C. for watching American the next shows and sitcoms 18 years, like Happy Days. starting off his work life


years ago, AREAA needed leaders and support. “I got involved when it [AREAA] was just a concept. John Wong, Allen Okamoto, Fred Underwood and a handful of Asian leaders saw the need and potential for a truly national organization in our community,” Park says. “I was lucky enough to help the organization financially [via Freddie Mac sponsorship] at AREAA’s beginning in 2003.” For Park, it became apparent that AREAA had the chance to be the voice for Asians in housing. Two years after AREAA’s founding in 2003, Park finally moved out of D.C. and returned home to Southern California, settling down in Carlsbad. The move did three things for him: 1) His wife Judy -- who happens to be Jewish -- had been wanting to move into a more suburban environment where their three kids could grow up away from the bustle of a major city. 2) With the founding of New Vista in 2005, Park could be near his business partners and focus on building up the firm. 3) Park could also become heavily involved with AREAA. Today AREAA has become a truly national non-profit organization that successfully serves the Asian segment. With full attention from policymakers and housing agencies in D.C., and banking executives and real estate leaders from around the country, AREAA has grown to 24 local chapters, 12,000 members, a raft of committees that cover everything from internal development to public policy and new initiatives like global real estate. Park has quietly dedicated part of his life and is cred28

Jim Park, together with sons Nathan and Elliott, wife Judy and daughter Sophie, accepts the AREAA Person of the Year Award in October 2010 (Photo by Ken Jacques)

It’s not good enough to be in business. We must be great leaders, entrepreneurs and market makers.

ited with being a major contributor to AREAA. However, he in turn credits others for the success. “We were lucky to recruit great board members and local leaders through the years. No matter how many hours you’re willing to work, nothing beats an army of doers and believers coming together to organize and serve as a voice for our community.” Park has contributed in ways that have helped AREAA thrive. “Jim has always had a strong commitment to political engagement and leadership in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” says

Underwood, an AREAA founder, whose family incidentally has a recognized role in helping to establish modern South Korea. Whether single-handedly garnering corporate fundraising support, or utilizing his political and business connections, in the last decade Park has been on a constant string of travel, meetings, conversations and work to help establish AREAA as the pre-eminent trade organization for Asians in housing. With so much now personally invested into AREAA and the satisfaction of seeing the organization grow, one of the central questions is where AREAA will go in the future, and how it will be differentiated from other multicultural organizations. Park is optimistic about the Asian American community, observing that, “AREAA members have a nice advantage because the

The Park family in Italy, November 2010: Jim, Judy, Nathan, Elliott and Sophie

The Chinese character "Ren". to Jim Park, it represents "...the simple human desire for shelter that protects our family and promotes our ability to pursue opportunities".

The AREAA Brushstrokes, conceptualized by Park and his paintbrush

Jim Park: a true Californian

Asian community is economically strong… And it will only become more significant in the future. Despite the advantage, we [AREAA members] need to continue to innovate and improve ourselves to fully be in the driver’s seat. The default business will be with us for a few more years, but at some point will come to an end. We all need to retool our businesses so that we can be diversified, and have the ability to help others in the community,” he says. One of the key objectives Park has identified for AREAA is to focus on developing future leaders. “It’s not good enough to be in business,” Park bluntly states. “We must be great leaders, entrepreneurs and market makers.” Sure enough for 2013, aside from AREAA’s upcoming annual convention in Los Angeles, the Global Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, and National Policy Day in Washington D.C., Park is placing heavy emphasis on AREAA’s Leadership Summit in Sonoma, California in the early part of the year. “Our leaders in the chapters and national committees haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to be a part of a large organization like AREAA. Many of our members have spent their work lives in local markets, so this Summit

is our chance to bring everyone together. We have a chance to engage in discussion and workshops that will help everyone understand and practice in leading people and organizations.” The upcoming 2013 year is a major milestone for AREAA. This young organization will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Being involved since the beginning, Park is partially responsible for AREAA’s logo. It resembles a stylized house, with a roof that looks painted as if by a paintbrush. Park explains that it is a variation on the written Chinese character “Ren,” which symbolizes mankind and humanity. “For me, this character represents the simple human desire for shelter that protects our family and promotes our ability to pursue opportunities. We need to ensure that others hear about and understand the relevant topics in our Asian American com­ munities across the country.”


T h e Foreclosure Settlement Provides Help for


By F r a n c e y Y o u n g b e r g

or nearly a decade, the Asian Real Estate disproportionately high foreclosure rates during the housing Association of America has played an important crisis, most notably Southeast Asians in the Central Valley of California and in Queens, New York, where close to 50 percent role, and provided an important voice, to ensure Asian American communities have a pathway to of foreclosures have been South Asian-occupied homes. Fortunately, as 2012 draws to a close, Americans are starting homeownership. Particularly these last three-plus to feel a sense of hope about our economy for the first time in years, AREAA’s partnership has been absolutely critical to efforts made by the U.S. Department of Housing and half a decade – and a big reason is a rebound in the housing market. The number of families falling into Urban Development (HUD) to push back foreclosure is half of what it was in early against what has been a historic crisis – A dra mat ic D r o p 2009, housing construction is growing one that has taken a toll on all of America’s faster than at any time since 2008, the communities – including, specifically, in W e a lt h face d strongest year of home sales since the crisis the Asian American and Pacific Islander by t h e n at io n ' s began. Rising home values lifted 1.3 million (AAPI) communities. Together, we’ve made fa st e st g r ow in g families above water in the first half of 2012. progress in our housing market, in AAPI In addition, the December 7th employment communities and across the country. And, immigrant gr oup report shows that private sector payrolls today I want to discuss the tools we’ve Asian American increased by 147,000 in November. Over provided to make some of this progress h o u s e h o l d w e a lt h the last 12 months, the unemployment possible – as well as the additional tools we ( av e r ag e ) rate has decreased by one full percentage need to build on it. $ 1 6 8 , 1 0 3 in 20 0 5 point as a result of growing employment, The housing crisis and subsequent and the labor force participation rate has recession devastated many communities D r o p p e d been essentially unchanged. Most recently, across the country. AAPI communities the unemployment rate declined from were hit especially hard and continue to 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent in the past month, face challenges as the recovery continues. reaching its lowest rate since December In 2005, prior to the foreclosure crisis, to $78 ,06 6 2008.  Asian American household wealth averaged i n t h e 4 ye ars Actions taken by HUD, in partnership $168,103. Just four years later, that average with other federal agencies and State fell to $78,066, a decline of 54 percent. Fo reclosure Crisis Attorneys General from across this nation, The implications of this dramatic drop in have been critical to this progress and wealth are particularly problematic, given Asian American our recovery from this historic crisis. that Asian Americans are now the fastest P o p u l at i o n 2 0 0 0 - 2 0 5 0 The Administration’s revamped HAMP growing immigrant group in the country. The '10: and HARP programs have provided loan 2010 Census found that the Asian American '00 modifications for distressed homeowners, population increased from 10.2 million and increased refinance opportunities for to 14.7 million, representing a 43 percent ' 5 0 *: '10 millions of Americans. Additionally, the increase in just 10 years. Furthermore, it is * Projected landmark $25 billion agreement reached projected to grow another 134 percent in last February with federal agencies, 49 the next 40 years. state attorneys general, and the five largest mortgage servicers A 2010 report by the Center for Responsible Lending found that Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific (representing 60 percent of the market) provides significant Islander communities show an “increased risk” of foreclosure. financial relief to homeowners and establishes meaningful new Furthermore, some AAPI communities have suffered homeowner protections for the future. Under the settlement,


5 4%

Followin g the

43% 134%

standards in this settlement, these new requirements will give people the confidence that lenders and servicers are following a comprehensive list of rules that will protect consumers should they ever lose a job or have a medical emergency that puts their home at risk. In addition, the settlement forced banks to pay $2.5 billion dollars to the states, and, to date, more than $1 billion has been allocated for housing-related purposes – including nearly a quarter billion dollars for housing counseling and another $50 million for legal aid. We hope that these funds we be used to supplement existing programs, including the housing counseling grants HUD provides to organizations such as the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Development which help them better serve AAPI families struggling to keep their homes. These resources have made a significant difference for those in the AAPI population with limited English proficiency. In addition to our work in the housing counseling arena through the settlement and our Office of Housing Counseling, we continue to collaborate with the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders to provide better access generally to limited English proficient populations. The Office of ...some AAPI communities have suffered disproportionately high foreclosure rates Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) continues to translate HUD vital documents during the housing crisis, most notably Southeast Asians in the Central Valley of into AAPI languages, increasing the number percent of California and in Queens, New York, where close to of AAPI languages available from 7 to 15. To date, they have translated over 100 vital foreclosures have been South Asian-occupied homes. documents into many of those languages. stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure with a dignified exit from Recently, Hurricane Sandy related resources have been translated to the most relevant languages for the affected areas. a property they can no longer afford. Because of the settlement, On September 28, 2011 HUD awarded Limited English banks have provided over $10.5 billion in completed and trial Proficiency Initiative Program (LEPI) grants in the amount of principal reduction modifications that help borrowers stay in $649,000 to seven local community organizations. These awards their homes, lowering monthly payments on over 118,000 loans and actually reducing struggling homeowners’ loan balances support local organizations serving diverse communities across the country that will help ensure persons who are LEP have by more than $88,000 on average. It also shows that over access to information in their native languages on HUD housing, 37,000 underwater homeowners who remained current on their programs, services and activities. mortgage throughout the housing crisis but could not refinance In addition, HUD continues to promote internal use of its through no fault of their own have been able to reduce their Interpretation Line, which allows HUD staff to communicate with interest payments to today’s historically low rates because of customers in over 170 languages. Among the languages offered the settlement. These early results suggest that the settlement are Asian languages, such as Burmese and Punjabi, and Pacific is on track to provide the consumer relief that the banks were Islanders languages like Chamorro and Marshallese. Usage of the obligated to provide. Interpretation Line steadily increased over the course of fiscal Lastly, as of October, because of the settlement, the five year 2012 with the introduction of additional employee resources servicers were required to comply with tough new customer service standards that are designed to put an end to the lost and training. HUD values its partnership with AREAA to address housing paperwork, dropped calls and runaround that harmed so many and lending discrimination facing the AAPI community. It is families. These include fundamental reforms such as providing critical that you continue to provide insights into the needs of a single point-of-contact for homeowners seeking help and the the AAPI community, assist us in disseminating information to development of an online portal where homeowners can securely your members and provide feedback on the debate on housing upload documents without fear that they will be lost in the finance reform, the future role of FHA, and programs designed shuffle. One of the settlement’s most important features is that to help homeowners. it provided the Monitor with the authority and the resources he needs to impose millions of dollars in additional fines and Fr ancey Young berg , Deputy Assistant penalties should one of the banks fail to meet the settlement’s Secretary for Public Engagement for the U. S. requirements in a particular area. AREAA can encourage their Department of Housing and Urban Developmembers to visit to get more info or to ment (HUD), serves as HUD representative to file complaints with the Monitor. the White House Initiative on Asian American Building upon the framework outlined in the settlement, the and Pacific Islanders. new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is putting in place a single, straightforward set of commonsense rules that families can count on when they’re buying a home. Combined with the banks committed to not simply cutting a check for their abuses, but to actually helping homeowners. The settlement is also providing $1.5 billion in direct payments to families who were foreclosed on between 2008 and 2011. AREAA can help encourage borrowers who received a notice from their Attorney General and/or Rust Consulting, the settlement administrator, to send back their application form or complete it online by January 18, 2013. This will allow them to receive their share of settlement proceeds – likely to be between $1,500 and $2,000 depending on response rate. By providing tens of billions of dollars to families, the agreement represents the second largest joint federal-state settlement in the nation’s history. Last month, the official status report from the Independent Settlement Monitor showed significant progress on the consumer relief, including the broadest and most robust principal reduction program in our nation’s history. As of September 30, 2012, the nation’s largest mortgage servicers had distributed over $26.1 billion in direct relief to nearly 310,000 homeowners, or roughly $84,385 per homeowner. More than $19.4 billion of the overall completed consumer relief has come in the form of debt forgiveness to help borrowers



Bellagio Photo Services

AREAA Leaders Profile

Tea mwork, Lea d e rship M e e t t h e 2 0 1 3 A RE A A Nat i o n a l C o m m i tt e e Cha i r s

Aaron Yu

A s th e A s i a n R e a l E s tat e A s s o c i at i o n o f Am e r i c a l o o k s f o r w a r d to another stellar year in

2013 of promoting sustainable homeownership opportunities in Asian-American communities, the organization once again will have a strong and dynamic leadership team that will help guide the way. The national committee chairs will continue to advance the mission of AREAA by advocating for policy positions at the national level that will reduce homeownership barriers facing the Asian American community and increase business opportunities for mortgage and real estate professionals that serve this growing community. Creating a powerful national voice for Asian American real estate professionals takes expertise and vision. AREAA will use its broad array of real estate, mortgage, and housing-related talents to serve association members in the coming year. We invite you to get to know the 2013 AREAA national committee chairs.


Chapter and Member Development Chair Aaron Yu is vice president in charge of REO and new business development at Central Escrow, one of the largest independent, minorityowned settlement services company in Southern California. He and his team oversee thousands of properties across America. Yu is very much involved in the local community and is currently the Orange County AREAA chapter president. “My role as chair of the AREAA National Chapter Development Committee and National Director plays a vital role in the

development of new AREAA chapters in the United States and abroad,” says Yu. “One of the committee's core missions is to establish a presence in the top 25 cities that have a strong Asian American presence. By establishing a local chapter in these cities, we provide the local communities with educational programs that focus on home preservation and home ownership.” Yu will work to help communities become more knowledgeable about the home purchase process and how AREAA may assist in the dream of homeownership. “I am proud to say that AREAA has

changed the way I view homeownership. As a professional in the real estate industry, I always focused primarily on my individual transactions and clients. However, by being involved with AREAA local and nationally, I've realized how important it is to have a collective voice on the national level. I am proud to be part of that voice to help make certain changes in our Asian American communities.”

Kevin D. Chin

Commercial Chair Kevin Chin serves as managing director for Sperry Van


C ommunic ation By J u a n G u t i e rr e z

Ness, which specializes in apartment transactions in the San Francisco Bay area and retail transactions across the country. Chin has conducted transactions valued at more than $300 million and boasts more than 25 years of industry experience. He believes the AREAA Commercial Real Estate Committee’s mission is to provide members with educational, business development, and networking opportunities to expand referrals and build their skills. In addition, he hopes

the committee will be able to increase the number of commercial real estate professionals within AREAA to be reflective of their community’s population. “Presently, minorities are underrepresented in the commercial real estate industry,” says Chin. “If these two goals can be fulfilled, AREAA members will be able to better serve their clients and expand their business opportunities.” While the work of the AREAA Commercial Committee may not directly promote homeownership, it does give Asian Americans a path to building equity

through investments in real estate. “We anticipate the continued slow and steady recovery in commercial real estate. This recovery so far has been only seen in select major markets. The coming year should see this recovery extend to secondary markets as investors chase higher yields. Interest rates will continue at their historic lows. With the influx of investors coming from Asia, AREAA members with their multi-cultural skills can be a tremendous resource to these investors as long as they have the proper training and resources.”

I va n C h o i

N ati o na l Ch air- Elect Ivan Choi is senior vice president for Matt Martin Real Estate Management, LLC, based in Arlington, Virginia. He is a key member of the executive and planning team and an expert in all facets of real estate, lending, default management services, and business development. Being a second-generation Asian American, Choi’s perspective relates to the immigrant community. “In AREAA, we have a diverse group of members from a generational perspective,” says Choi. “I think my role will impact

2 0 1 3 A R EAA L e a d e r s A s p i c t u r e d a b o v e (Oppos i te page, L to R ) A aron Y u, Cha pte r a n d Me m b e r Deve lo p m e nt Ch a i r; Da n S h a n yf e lt, Po li c y Chair ; Raq ue l Quin e t, th e EDGE Ch air ; Carm en C hong, Nationa l Co nve nti o n Co - Ch a i r; Jo ey L a i , Me m b e r S e r v i ces Ch a i r ; Pe te r Park, National Convention Co - Cha ir ; J i m Park, 201 3 Natio n a l Ch a i r ( A b ove, L to R ) N a ncy S u va r n a m a n i, I nte rn ational Chair ; L in a Ch u, Default Ser vi ces Cha ir ; Ivan C hoi , Nationa l Ch a i r-Ele c t ; K ev i n D. Ch i n , Co m m e rc i a l Ch a i r; Ta n ya R eu, Gl obal Summit Chair


My goal is to have a significant turnout at next year’s Global Summit with a compelling speaker line-up and opportunities for our members to develop international relationships to better understand how real estate is transacted in Asian countries and network with the best in the business. Tanya Reu Global Summit Chair


AREAA AREAA and Leaders the Asian Profile community in trying to founded tie generations AREAA’s Greater together and serve a broad Chicago Chapter. audience when it comes to Suvarnamani hopes to make a housing topics in the United positive impact on AREAA and States.” the Asian community it serves. Choi hopes to improve and “I look forward to working bring visibility to sustainable with our leadership and homeownership rates in the members to grow the Asian American community. membership of AREAA According to the 2010 U.S. greatly in 2013, expand Asian census, Asian Americans make American homeownership up less than 6% (or 17 million opportunities, and increase people) of the total population. business opportunities for That means that not a lot of AREAA members through both attention or resources get domestic and international focused on Asian American opportunities,” says homeownership. Suvarnamani. “I would love to “As it stands, real estate see us grow to an organization activity is still muted no of more than 40,000 in the near matter how you look at it,” future. Under the direction of says Choi. “A relatively low Jim Park, Ivan Choi, and the number of transactions, Board of Directors, I believe we discounted sales prices, can achieve this goal.” stale valuations, lower owner Suvarnamani believes the occupant rates, historically trends that will affect the real high loan delinquency rates, estate market include a strong overhang of loans still in the housing recovery in established foreclosure process, fewer neighborhoods where the mortgage products, extended median income is high, a weak loan underwriting turn times, and deteriorating market mortgage guideline and pricing in marginal neighborhoods overlays…the list goes on.” where median income is low, N a n cy large numbers of short sales S u va r n a m a n i and REOs in the less wellInt e r n at i on a l Ch a ir established neighborhoods causing prices to continue to Nancy Suvarnamani is the pastfall, and a growing influx of president of the 17,000-member foreign capital into the real Chicago Association of Realtors. estate market driven by a great One of her chief goals as the value and a desire to diversify association’s president was to assets. expand members’ awareness of international real estate P e t e r P a rk business opportunities. Since N ati ona l Co nvent i on founding Century 21 S.G.R., Co -Chai r Inc. in 1989, Nancy has grown her three offices into one of Peter Park has been a real estate the most productive Century licensed broker for more than 21 franchises in Chicago by 26 years. He comes from a specializing in structuring multi-cultural background and international real estate is trilingual (English, Korean transactions and in raising and Spanish), traits that have equity capital for construction proven to be vital in culturally developments in the United diverse Los Angeles. Park has States and Asia. In 2008, she been frequently featured on

Korean National television as a United States REO expert and has done numerous speaking engagements at national conferences and local associations. He is also active in the community by organizing foreclosure prevention events and pro-bono services with local schools and churches. “As president of AREAA Greater Los Angeles, it is all about education, networking, and bringing resources to the table,” says Park. “We need to look beyond the regular real estate that we do and go outside of the box and see if we can bring in other types of real estate business to our members. We need to educate them so that they can take advantage of these opportunities.” Park hopes to continue to improve the level of professionalism and knowledge of AREAA members and to ensure they understand what it is to be ethical in business. The consumers in the Asian community will benefit when they have better prepared agents with specific areas of expertise. “I encourage my own agents to have a specialty of their own whether it is short sale, probates, or something else. In real estate there is a marketing side, there is a technology side, and a customer side. One person cannot possibly do that all well, this team concept will be the future.”

Carmen Chong N ati ona l Conv ent ion Co -Chai r

Carmen Chong currently serves as the AREAA San Francisco Peninsula chapter president and is the founder and CEO of taffeco Real Estate in San Mateo, California. In Chong’s role as founding chapter president of AREAA San Francisco Peninsula, she has identified top professionals

from the San Francisco area to serve on the board of directors, assist in the development of the chapter and ultimately further the mission and vision of the national association in the local community. The chapter hosts educational events centered around relevant issues that affect sustainable homeownership, thus allowing AREAA members and the community to become better informed. In addition, these events provide invaluable business opportunities to the chapter's members. The educational workshops and seminars, along with lively mixers, are wildly popular with the best professionals in the real estate industry and other housing related professions. In her capacity as the AREAA National Convention Co-Chair, Chong will work with Peter Park to organize speakers and seminars that the entire AREAA membership will enjoy. “I am very excited with this role as 2013 will be AREAA's 10th Year Anniversary,” says Chong. “Lots of planning and preparation are ahead in order

AREAA need to to deliver Leaders support an exciting Profile Asian and Americans powerful in the home program to our buying process as well as world-class conference.” through its lobbying efforts in Ta n ya R e u shaping policy. Global Summit Chair “I am honored to be the Chair for the 2013 Global Tanya Reu is the senior vice Summit that will take place president of human resources in Honolulu, Hawaii from and diversity outreach for April 21 – 23, 2013,” says the Realogy Franchise Group Reu. “AREAA has focused on and for all corporate services global outreach efforts for at Realogy Corporation. the past 18 months and has In this role, Reu leads the had much success building strategic development and bridges internationally. This implementation of human year, the first Global Summit capital initiatives to align with was held in New York City overall business needs of the and there were nine countries organization. represented. My goal is to Reu hopes to focus on have a significant turnout at growing the association to next year’s Global Summit better reflect the changing with a compelling speaker demographics of the nation line-up and opportunities and properly support Asian for our members to develop American communities. international relationships to In her capacity as a national better understand how real board member, she will work estate is transacted in Asian to ensure the association countries and network with stays true to its mission of the best in the business.” promoting and supporting sustainable homeownership Joey Lai opportunities for Asian Me mb er Servi c e s Chai r Americans. Reu hopes to do this by making certain that members have the tools they

Joey Lai currently serves as branch sales manager at Wells

Fargo Home Mortgage and is a past president of the AREAA Las Vegas chapter. As Chair of the Member Services Committee, Lai and his group are tasked with providing a tangible benefit/ value proposition for being part of AREAA as well as being a voice and guide for members who do not have a local chapter. By providing more membership value to prospective members, it helps attract more members who will share the vision of AREAA and help service the Asian home-buying community. Lai sees another strong year for short sales as well as the re-entry of homeowners who were previously foreclosed on or had to short sale. With lending rules requiring anywhere from two to four years to re-qualify for financing, Lai believes 2013 will be the year where we see people who have been on the sideline because of credit issues re-enter the housing market because of the lower price points and the lessons learned the first time around. “As AREAA continues to grow and expand internationally, it is also

2 0 1 3 A R EAA N a t i o n a l E v e n t s P h i l i pp i n e s Tr a d e MI s s i o n M a rc h 1 2 - 1 9

N a t i o n a l P o l i cy D a y M ay 7 - 8 Wa s h i n gt o n , D .C .

Global Summit Apr i l 2 1 - 1 3 Honolulu

N at i o n a l C o n v e n t i o n September 19-21 Los Angeles


important that we do not lose sight of helping the domestic AAPIs in reentering the housing market if they were previously challenged with foreclosure or short sale,” Lai says. “Many will be able to re-enter the market and not even know what their options are or where to start. Our association should encourage our membership to get out and inform the public of their options and ability to get back in to affordable housing.”

Raquel Quinet

the EDGE , AREAA Youn g Pr ofes s io n a l s , Ch a i r In 1999, Raquel Quinet decided to get her license to purchase her first rental property and become a real estate investor. Her stellar career in the industry has allowed her to co-own real estate and mortgage companies, manage offices, operate a top-producing real estate team closing more than 250 homes annually, and become involved with the leadership team as a recruiter for Keller Williams Realty Professional Partners. Most recently, she was recognized as one of the Top 4 Individual Agents for Keller Williams Realty International and has been featured on Arizona Fox News.

AREAA As Chair Leaders of theEDGE, Profile AREAA Young Professionals, organizer her focus will be to inspire, of the Inland Empire empower, educate and conParade of Homes and nect through information, also has partnered with networking, innovative techseveral organizations nology, social media, AREAA to create educational education, and leadership. programs for fellow real theEDGE will help to further estate professionals and AREAA's mission of promothomebuyers. ing sustainable homeown“My role as the AREAA ership and creating new National Default Chair business opportunities for will allow me to represent its members. Operating in AREAA in the default different cities across the space to bring more nation, theEDGE will bring awareness to different innovative ideas to members organizations regarding so that they may implement AREAA’s mission,” says them in real estate business. Chu. “We will also invite “We want to find young different organizations to talent who believe in getting create a solid partnership involved in the community to promote AREAA’s and AREAA and who are goals, such as assisting interested in carrying out AREAA with our constant our mission,” says Quinet. community outreach efforts “We will focus on events to the Asian American and educational classes communities and to help for AREAA members and our members increase their co-host with local chapters opportunities to service this utilizing webinars.” dynamic and expanding market.” Lina Chu Chu hopes to focus on D efault S e rv i c e s Chai r communication to the community in order to increase Lina Chu is the founding education opportunities. president of the AREAA “In our 2013 plan we have Inland Empire chapter and included many consumer is a broker for Gainspot, outreach events. Main Inc. dba Realty Prodigy. goals of these events are She devotes a good portion to provide key information of her time to community to not just the potential activities and helping homeowners, but also to homebuyers. She is the

S t a y C u rr e n t on


people that have lost their homes due to foreclosure previously and guide them through a secure and sure road back to homeownership. Hopefully, by learning from previous experience, we will be able to create even stronger and sustainable homeownership for all future homeowners within Asian American communities.”

Dan S h a n y f e lt P o l i c y Ch a i r

Dan Shanyfelt is the owner of Miramar International Inc., the largest certified minority-owned brokerage in Bakersfield and Kern County (sales and agents) and the largest independent regional brokerage in the Southern San Joaquin Valley (units and volume), with five office locations throughout Kern County. In his role as National Policy Chair, Shanyfelt will direct the association's advocacy efforts including AREAA's annual five-point policy plan and National Policy Day, a coordinated effort leading AREAA members to Capitol Hill to advocate for the needs of Asian American home buyers and owners.

A R EAA e v e n t s


a nd I n i t i a t i v e s


” e k i L “

n o A


1 2



he 2012 AREAA National Convention hit new highs for the host organization. With over 1200 participants and countless new connections made among attendees hailing from Asian, American and European countries, the event was an international success. These photos tell stories from the three-day convention by highlighting some of the individuals who made an impact on the event: from policy makers to top industry executives to entertainers and, of course, real estate practitioners who are dedicated to increasing Asian American homeownership. P H O T O S B Y B e l l a g i o P hoto S e r v i c e s (unless otherwise noted)







Back by popular demand: the Asset Manager Roundtable (1) and tech expert Michael Tchong (2) return from last year's convention. Congressional Recognition: Allen Chiang, Congresswoman Judy Chu and Kathy Tsao (3). The Nation's Housing leader: HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan (4). Attendees enjoy the international welcome reception (5). Century 21 President and CEO, Rick Davidson (6). Bank of America Neighborhood Lending Executive, Glenda Gabriel (7). Realogy Franchise Group President & CEO, Alex Perriello (8). Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services President Earl Lee and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Executive Vice President, Portfolio Business Manager, Brad Blackwell (9). AREAA 2012 National Chair Kathy Tsao (10). China 12


Real Estate Association President Mr. Liu Zhifeng (11). Expo Hall: Chase representatives (12) and the grand opening welcomes attendees with a bang (13). Convention co-Chair Raquel Quinet (14). Next Page ›› Quicken Loans Chief Information Officer, Linglong He (15). Real Estate Celebrities: HGTV's Property Brothers, real estate agent Drew Scott (16) and licensed contractor, Jonathon Scott (17). Sacramento Members: Zoritha Thompson, David Tran, Thanh Pham and Samantha Tov (18). AREAA Supporters: Wendy and Wally Knipp (19). AREAA NY Metro President Angie Lee and AREAA DC Metro President Grace Choi (20). Subject Matter Experts: Colony American Homes COO, Jay Mckee (21) and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate President & CEO, 13

Sherry Chris (22). theEDGE late night event at Vanity Night Club (photos by Lux Delux): Linh Tran, Geremy Yamamoto, Kara Okamoto, Rachel Turner (23) Caron Ling and Stephany Oliveros (24). Thanking the outgoing chair: Kathy Tsao and John Wong (25). Chase SVP & Regional Retail Sales Manager, Wendy Coyne (26). Convention Co-Chairs: Raquel Quinet and Joey Lai (27). Newly Installed: 2013 AREAA Chair Jim Park (28). AREAA Person of the Year: Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton, Secretary of Transportation under George W. Bush, and AAPI advocate (29). David Garibaldi gives a sensational performance: the painter produced magnificant portraits set to music (30) and (31).



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e l y t S m a N Gang In a surprise performance just before karaoke, the 2012 AREAA National Convention went...

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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 Servicing Central NJ Including: Middlesex County – Edison; Mercer County – Princeton; Hudson County – Jersey City/Hoboken

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Finding New



Property Management and


Homes I

by: A r i a n n a G a l l e g o s

n many of our markets nationwide, we have seen inventory diminish and have watched as the real estate market shifted from REO to short sale. As prices continue to stabilize, even less distressed homes will hit the market. This issue, among other factors, has left many industry professionals looking for alternative ways to generate revenue. You can always count on AREAA to provide timely content for educational events. This past year, I volunteered on the Planning Committee for the National Convention. As we put together the agenda for the event, there was a strong consensus that we needed to add something about property management and flipping homes. Both are hot topics in the real estate world and can be a great way to diversify your business. This is why I started my company, Diamond Bay Realty and Property Management, with my two dynamic partners in the spring of 2012. As Realtors, we don't just rely on open houses to get new clients; we have several lead-generating activities. So why not explore ways to apply this strategy to your business overall? At the National Convention, I moderated a session called "Finding New Revenue Sources: Property Management and


Flipping Homes". In this article, I will highlight the main points from the session. If you were unable to attend my hope is that you find these ideas valuable. To start, here is a brief background of the three expert panelists. Vinny MaNguyen is the President of AREAA Greater East Bay and Owner of Michael James Real Estate in Oakland, California. He has worked extensively in REO and he consistently creates astonishing returns in the flip market. Jennice Doty is the General Manager at Keller Williams Integrity First, Operating Partner for KW Commercial and the Managing Partner for TCT Property Management Services, LLC in the Phoenix, Arizona market. She recently co-authored the book "Hold", which teaches you how to find, buy, and rent houses for wealth. Edwin Covarrubias is Co-Owner of Smooth Sailing Realty & Property Management in Sacramento, California, and is my partner at Diamond Bay Realty and Property Management in Emeryville, California. He started investing in real estate in 1997, and he is the only person I know who predicted the market and liquidated 95% of his real estate portfolio is 2005. Edwin has served on the AREAA Greater Sacramento Board of Directors and currently serves on the Board for Rebuilding Together Sacramento.

T i p s f o r p r o f i ta b l e f l i p s We started with Vinny, who had some valuable points in his presentation. The first thing he mentioned is you cannot flip in every market. There are a lot of TV shows out there that make it look like it’s possible to make a profit anywhere, and that is simply not the case. In Oakland, California, where Vinny primarily flips, he has identified pocket markets within the city. Perhaps you can do the same in your home market! These “pocket markets” are in areas that were not considered desirable a few years ago, but have now transitioned to “up and coming” neighborhoods. These homes are usually older and need not only cosmetic repairs but structural repairs as well. Vinny and his team have built good relationships with the staff at the planning department and understand the processes the city has put in place. This networking allows for a seamless remodel. With flipping, time is money, and this saves plenty of time! The second point Vinny made was something we all hear: know your market! When Vinny set out to understand the flip business, he spent hours on the MLS each day tracking properties that were being flipped. He wasn’t just looking at the purchase price or what improvements they decided to do or forgo. He also took note of which paint colors would yield a better return, and how not to over-improve a property. Vinny monitored each house to see how the market responded. This took time and patience. Another key factor in successful flipping is to get a great construction team together -- one that is moderately priced and does quality work in a timely manner. This includes everything from a landscaper to a roofer to everything in between. Vinny has taken this a step further and works with an interior designer for design decisions. The third timely tip from Vinny addressed low inventory. Nationally we are at a seven-year low and home builders are at a 50-year low, according to the National Association of REALTORS. Vinny has addressed this issue by taking the time

income is generated and what expenses to anticipate. Make sure you price out insurance, technology, licensing and association fees before you get started. For income, run numbers that include leasing fees every time a new lease is signed, and the monthly management fees collected. Having real estate sales as part of your business will bring in additional revenues. There are two ways to structure this: the traditional “split” based on percentage of the commission, or the latest trend is a 100% commission flat rate model. This is what Edwin has done at Diamond Bay. Edwin’s next takeaway was: fully understand your market segment. You first have to decide who your client base will be and go after those types of accounts. Here are some items to consider: do you want investors with multiple properties or just Advice to Ma xi m ize you r one or two? Clients that live in the area or out of state/country Pro pe rt y Manage m e nt Reve n u e investors? Will you manage single family homes, residential Jennice Doty says that whether you are looking to do income or commercial property? Edwin says pick one and refer residential or commercial property management, her tips apply the rest of the business. You can network and build a great across the board. She started her segment by pointing out that referral business with other PM companies. In closing, Edwin stressed the importance of implementing if you are going to do property management (PM), it should be your sole focus. If you plan to implement sales, flipping, etc. the latest technology and protocols for your team, clients, residents and other third party vendors. into your business plan, you should have Once you have your technology in place, one person or partner designated for each If you want to increase your you need to create systems for your team to division. PM is extremely time-consuming and there are a lot of moving parts. If you chances of success, don’t try to follow. This will help your team move fast and cut costs overall. Diamond Bay uses a want to increase your chances of success, don’t try to be Superman/Superwoman be Superman/Superwoman and paperless online transaction management system for its real estate transactions and do it all. If you’ve never done PM, do it all. If you’ve never done called Skyslope. Both Diamond Bay and you should think about partnering with Smooth Sailing use the software Appfolio someone who has the experience and PM, you should think about for property management. Some benefits sees the business from the inside out. include background and credit checks This will take time, but you will make less partnering with someone who for applicants, residents can pay their mistakes learning this way. This structure is also a good solution if you would like has the experience and sees the rent online and even submit a request for repairs. Also, this software sends rental PM to be a part of your business model business from the inside out. listings to all of the major online marketing but you prefer not to be directly involved. sources with one click. All leases are signed Jennice always becomes her client’s trusted advisor and recommends that you do the same. PM is on an iPad and emailed directly to the resident and uploaded to more than collecting rents and coordinating repairs. Make sure Appfolio. Edwin says you have to plan and adapt for the future. you understand your client’s investment strategy and learn Your team and clients expect nothing less. Thank you Vinny, Jennice and Edwin for this useful information. how to analyze their portfolio. There are forms available to help at: Thinking like an investor and Most importantly, I urge you to go out and do great things with understanding the numbers will give you a competitive edge the information. I humbly look forward to continuing in my role against the competition. Very few take the time to internalize as Vice President for AREAA Greater East Bay. I encourage any the analytics that go into purchasing investment properties; if AREAA member to get involved and make a difference in your you do this, your retention rates for your investor clients will community. The change you want to see in the world starts with you. Good luck with your business in 2013! skyrocket. Now you’ll speak their language and earn respect. The last major point Jennice covered was building your team. She selects and recruits top talent to grow her business. You want to create a great team that feels like family. Only hire For additional questions, you may contact: people you want to work with and fit into the office culture you Vinny MaNguyen are creating. Make sure to do team building events and celebrate to become friendly with all the listing agents in his area. He is constantly networking and goes out of his way to get to know the key players in the market. Vinny has the listing agent write up the offer for his clients, and in most cases he will not ask for a referral fee because that may sour the relationship. His thinking is this: even though he is “missing-out” on a commission based on a $200,000 deal, the same house will turn into a $400,000 listing in 3-6 months. In the meantime, he has maintained a positive relationship with the listing agent who will help him get the house for his client now and potentially in the future. Vinny and his team regularly get their clients a 20-100% return within 4-6 months.

success! Before Edwin gave his points, he agreed with Jennice; you have to build a passionate, educated and energetic team. He added, in order to serve a larger demographic, it’s important to have team members that are bilingual. Edwin says in order to do property management and/or implement this into your current model you have to analyze how

Jennice Doty

Edwin Covarrubias

Arianna Gallegos


The AREAA Metro New York leadership team has adopted the organization’s mission to increase awareness in homeownership opportunities for the communities we serve. One of the newest goals for this upcoming year is to launch a consumer/professional educational series program, serving all five boroughs (counties), which make up New York City. Our vision is to provide quality education and training; the purpose of education is not only to fulfill on-going needs of consumers and real estate professionals in the community but to effectively increase awareness of our organization’s mission through the program and new business opportunities will be awarded to our members as a result. - Angie Lee, A REAA Met ro N .Y. P res id en t

Want to get to know the AREAA Metro N.Y. leadership team a little better? Find out what AREAA means to them… AREAA is a great way to be connected with talented individuals both locally, nationally and internationally. I’ve been a part of AREAA Metro New York before its implementation and it’s exciting to be able to help the organization grow. Having worked in real estate for more than eight years, I’m proud to be a part of an organization dedicated to increasing homeownership in our communities. - Celi n e P ili , Met ro N.Y. S ec ret a ry I am an immigrant from Hong Kong, and a tennis and jazz enthusiast. AREAA’s message of progress and building strength through education and connection resonates with me. Having served for the past 15 years in a variety of mostly health- and community-oriented volunteer positions, I believe in service. Also, as a practicing, top-producing real estate broker in New York, where one has to focus on deal-making for one’s clients, serving on AREAA’s board provides a welcome balance and opportunity to give back to an industry that has given me plenty. - Art hur Hun g , Met ro N .Y. Vice P res id en t Sorry, what is AREAA? Although quite embarrassing and shameful to admit, I had never heard of AREAA when I was first tapped on the shoulder to get involved. My initial reaction was more selfish than anything. I had just lost my job at Goldman Sachs after 10 years of dedicated service, and needed a positive energy boost to shake my mind out of the shock and disbelief. Taking on the new role at Metro N.Y. definitely kept me busy and motivated, especially as I became more bullish on the future of Asian American homeownership and empowering the U.S. economy. Yet, more importantly is that AREAA leadership has humbled me and taught me what true community service and responsibility is. AREAA and the people who need our support are my adopted family, and what better way to build that bond than through the lasting power of the home? - Andrew Pak , Met ro N .Y. Vice P res id en t


AREAA Metro New York Officer Installation O c t o b e r 1 7, 2 0 1 2 / / Ph o t o s b y 2 b e p h o t o . J a m e s & J o s e p h

AREAA Metro New York’s Leadership Direction and Vision for 2013

AREAA Metro N.Y. 2nd Anniversary and Installation: a West Coast Perspective By : K e n dr i ck K i m

D i r e c t o r , A R EAA Or a n g e C o u n t y

On October 16, 2012, I arrived at Long Beach Airport to fly JetBlue to New York, JFK. The flight was at 12 p.m. and I arrived at JFK at almost 1 a.m. on October 17, 2012. It was one of the longest stateside flights imaginable and it did not help that we could not land for a while because of the presidential election debates on Long Island, so we were flying around for an additional two hours prior to landing. I was tired and very annoyed and thought to myself, "Man why am I traveling to New York again?" However, when I finally landed in JFK, and got some much needed rest at the President of AREAA Metro N.Y.’s residence, I felt very welcomed and everyone was quite hospitable. We started our day in the morning and Mrs. Angie Lee, President of AREAA Metro N.Y., was in full force in final preparation for the chapter's second anniversary event. I was able to attend the Manhattan Association of Realtors global summit and meet individuals from FIABCI there and also again that evening at the AREAA anniversary event. We had over 200 people in attendance and the New York State Senator came to speak at the event. I was very impressed by the venue, the event, and especially the dedication of the Metro N.Y. chapter and their leadership to host this successful event. Kathy Tsao, Fred Underwood, Tanya Reu, and other AREAA directors were in attendance to support the Metro N.Y. chapter, and it was awesome to see a congratulatory letter from Mayor Bloomberg addressing AREAA Metro N.Y. New York native Yoshi Nori Takita was kind enough to take me on a tour of other burroughs, including Queens and Brooklyn. New York is definitely the city that never sleeps and the real estate opportunities in Manhattan are limitless. In my opinion, Metro N.Y. is one of the powerhouses for AREAA on the east coast, and we can definitely learn from each other and exchange ideas. I myself would love to bring back some of the ideas and events to Orange County, California and share them with the west coast chapters.

Support for

Superstorm Sandy Victims

Our hearts and thoughts go out to all the victims of Superstorm Sandy as we enter this holiday season. AREAA and our partner organization, ASCEND, sponsored a donation drive at our holiday party on December 10th, and we encourage our members and supporters to stay active and be creative about using our skills and influence to help provide long-term relief and assist in rebuilding our communities.

D o n at e T o d ay



A Night i n Mo n te C a rlo… A Night to Remem ber! By Debbie Wong, AREAA San Francisco Peninsula VP and Membership Chair Under the leadership of President Carmen Chong, AREAA’s fastest growing chapter consistently lives up to its reputation of providing the best education and networking opportunities on the S.F. Peninsula! In lieu of the traditional installation dinner, the forward thinking board members of the San Francisco Peninsula chapter of AREAA decided to change it up and instead hosted a fun evening of dancing, eating and game playing: “A Night in Monte Carlo”. President Carmen Chong and AREAA SFP Public Relations Chair Allen Ching presented awards of appreciation to the chapter’s 2012 Double Diamond Sponsor Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Diamond Sponsors Bank of America and Chase, Emerald Sponsor Sterling Bank, and Jade sponsor JCP Geologists. An acknowledgment was also given to Union Bank as a 2013 Diamond Sponsor. Angelina Ornelas from Bank of America and Jorge Aguilera from Chase have once again agreed to support the chapter as 2013 Diamond Sponsors. Chris Spence from Citibank was also present and will be looking to become a 2013 Diamond Sponsor. Representing AREAA National was Executive Board Member Andrew Lee, who is also the president of AREAA Greater Sacramento. President Vinny MaNguyen of AREAA Greater East Bay joined members of his local board in attendance, along with Nick Pham, the AREAA Silicon Valley past-president. Christine Hsu from; Marla Wong, AREAA SFP Director of Technology from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; and many Realtor members from: Alain Pinel, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Dot Real Estate, Frank Allen Howard, Pacific Union, Prudential, Realty World, taffeco Real Estate, Red Wave Insurance, Chicago Title, Fidelity National Title company, PG&E and others were in attendance! “Education-wise, 2013 will prove to be even better than our first year,” states AREAA SFP Education Chair Jasmine Cheng. She adds that upcoming events will cover topics such as: SFR certification, social media marketing classes for the iPad, Facebook, LinkedIn, life after foreclosure or short sale for homeowners, the international market, promoting diversity in homeownership and more. AREAA San Francisco Peninsula is always looking for new talent to join this dynamic, energetic chapter. Please contact us at for more information or go to and become our member. Photos by Frank Jang


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AREAA G reater Sacramento on the Mov e!


he fall of 2012 has been a busy season for AREAA Greater Sacramento. On September 24, during the national convention in Las Vegas, a complimentary networking Brazilian BBQ dinner was held as a Greater Sacramento member benefit. Fifty-six members and affiliates took advantage of this unique opportunity in Las Vegas, meeting with fellow chapter members and leaders at an informal dinner. The room was abuzz with excitement as members chatted and ate dish after dish during three hours of getting to know new people from Sacramento. Thanks to Chapter Director Daniel Takata's efforts, this first-ever gathering of local members during a national convention was a success. "Wow, this turned out great! It's a member benefit that should definitely be continued," Daniel remarked at the end of the night.

A s s o c i at i o n


he annual membership meeting was held on October 17. There was a contested election for Board positions with a complimentary sushi bar for lunch. These two elements made for a wellattended meeting at which every vote counted. Competition for Board positions showed just how much AREAA's presence and influence has grown in Sacramento. Andrew Lee will be the chapter's president in 2013. n Sunday afternoon, 10/21, Sacramento AREAA had their first poker tournament fundraiser and BBQ dinner. Casino Royale graciously hosted the group and all that participated had a lot of food and fun, while interacting in a casual environment.



y Sister's House held its annual "Run For a Safe Haven" on October 27. AREAA Greater Sacramento showed up in their signature red T-shirts, emblazoned with the AREAA logo on the back, to participate in this fundraiser. The Sacramento chapter sponsored the 18 enthusiastic walkers and runners that woke up early for this good cause. Lisa Ung, newly elected Chapter Director, remarked, "This is an organization that we can support that meshes well with our mission statement of sustainable housing in the API community. We need to help women and children have safe housing!" My Sister's House provides shelter to battered Asian/Pacific Islander women and children and also has a multilingual hotline available to help this community. It was a "feel good" morning for the members that got together and exercised for a great cause.


arly in the morning of September 29, more than 200 members and friends turned out to assist in rehabbing 10 homes in South Sacramento. Chapter Vice President Randall Hom and the team from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage were instrumental in supporting AREAA's biggest community outreach project to date. "Together, with just a little effort, we can change people's lives!" Hom said. The chapter joined forces with NAHREP, NAREB Realtists, and Rebuilding Together Sacramento for a beautifyingthe-neighborhood effort. Dozens of workers transformed each property, filling up 40-ton dumpsters in front of each house. Much of the skilled labor had been completed in the weeks before this special day; however, there was still much work left to be done by all the enthusiastic volunteers. As the homeowners participated, it was obvious that this day would change these families’ lives for the better.


"Go Global with AREAA" seminar was held on November 8. This was a valuable session for helping real estate practitioners and affiliates understand some of the differences in thinking and behavior of Asian clients. If people are a little more knowledgeable and respectful of one another's culture, only good things can come from this. The panel of speakers enlightened the group about Iranian, Persian, Pakistani, Vietnamese, and Chinese customs. Betty Wong was kind enough to drive in from San Francisco to grace our panel to provide her insight and tell her story. 50


Building Relationships Abroad


Title 101 in Det roit

A s s o c i at i o n

On October 24, AREAA Metro-Detroit sponsored an event titled “Title 101”. The featured speaker was Marx Elias from First American Title. Mr. Elias reminded those in attendance that a home will most likely be the largest financial investment that most will make in their lives. However, it is not just a financial investment; it is an investment in one's future and one's family’s future. The event covered features of First American Title’s Eagle Owner’s Policy as well as shared some of the differences between title policies with or without standard exceptions. A policy with exceptions does not insure the new owner against any claims or liens that were not recorded at the time the property was examined. A policy without exceptions insures the new owner against any claims, liens, survey and boundary issues that were not recorded at the time that the property was examined. It will insure the new owner up until the time where the deed becomes of record in the county.

The 2012 National Association of REALTORS Convention brought together real estate leaders from around the world. As usual, AREAA maximized opportunities to connect with their foreign counterparts. At the event, representatives from AREAA and the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Associations Inc. (CREBA) signed an MOU to create a mutual understanding and networking opportunities between their respective members (photo at right). CREBA is the largest real estate umbrella organization in the Philippines. AREAA leaders also enjoyed another opportunity to connect with the executives of the French national real estate federation, FNAIM, as pictured at right: Thierry Cheminant, Director ESI FNAIM Real Estate Academy; Jean-François Buet, President FNAIM; Léo Attias, Vice-President FNAIM; Kirkor Ajderhanyan, President World Council of Brokers FIABCI and President International Relations Committee FNAIM; Gilles Ricour de Bourgies, Vice-President and President Paris Region, FNAIM; Nicolas Thouvenin, CEO, FNAIM.

AREAA A rizona Diversity Pr ogra mPut It Local , Ta ke It Glo ba l

ARE AA A r izon a Hallow een Mixer 2012 Mixing It Up Among AZ


Nine Secrets for Working with Global Clients AREAA Arizona provided a diversity program to AREAA Arizona and Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS (SEVRAR) members at the SEVRAR Conference Room on October 29. National speaker Bernice Ross shared her “Nine Secrets for Working with Global Clients” with the attendees to provide better customer service to their global clients. The lecture provided for a better understanding of cultural differences, information on reaching more global clients through global Web 2.0 strategies, and tips on converting global client leads into closed business successes. A special networking luncheon allowed for experiencing a wonderful international fare. After the class, Polynesian dancing was performed highlighting an important aspect of the Asian/Pacific Islander culture. It set the stage for the perfect ending. PHOTOS: 1. Scott Chang, AREAA Arizona Event Co-Chair; Shen-Yi Michelle Chang, AREAA Arizona Founding Chairwoman; Tom Diller, AREAA Arizona Marketing Chair; Sean Aske, AREAA-Membership Chair 2. Multi-lingual real estate homeowner guides in Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese 3. Polynesian dancers 4. Jennifer Van Trojen, AREAA Arizona President; Shen-Yi Michelle Chang; and Grey Sehnert, NAHREP-Arizona President 5. Grace Du, AREAA Arizona Community Outreach Co-Chair; ShenYi Michelle Chang; Sean Aske; Kurt Nishimura, AREAAArizona Education Chair

Real Estate Associations!!!!



AREAA Arizona, the Ari­ zona Association of REALTORS (AAR), SEVRAR, Scottsdale Association of REALTORS, WEMAR, NAHREP-Arizona, and NAREB hosted a Halloween Mixer at Lucky Strike in downtown Phoenix on 10/25/12. With over 250 attendees, it was a “scary success”!

C ha ng El ect ed to AAR Board



AREAA Arizona Founding Chairwoman, Shen-Yi Michelle Chang, was recently elected to the Arizona Association of REALTORS (AAR) Board of Directors. AAR is the largest statewide REALTOR Association in Arizona, compromised of over 55,000 members, and overseeing some 21 individual REALTOR Associations. 51


AREAA CA Ora n ge County’ s 1 st Annua l Ch arity Cas ino Ni ght Event By Kendrick Kim, AREAA CA OC Director The excitement was palpable on Thursday, September 13, as AREAA California-Orange County held its first annual charity casino night at Eurocar Showroom in Costa Mesa. Exotic cars of every shape and color greeted guests who walked around and daydreamed of owning at least one of these European beauties. AREAA CA OC selected three local non-profit organizations to raise funds for: Disabled American Veterans-Orange County Chapter, Girls Inc., and American Red Cross of Orange County. A delighted representative from each of these wonderful organizations was in attendance and spoke briefly about what their organization does and how they benefit the community. Among the nearly one hundred attendees were Ms. Kathy Tsao and Mr. Jim Park, AREAA National Chairs in 2012 and 2013, respectively. In addition to these national executives were representatives from AREAA Southern California TriCounty, AREAA Inland Empire, AREAA Greater Los Angeles and theEDGE: AREAA Young Professionals. Attendees enjoyed the camaraderie and, of course, trying their luck on the gaming tables for the chance to win some terrific prizes. Most importantly, they came to support these charities that, like AREAA, are dedicated to serving and promoting the well being of our communities. It was great to see so many friends not just open their hearts, but their wallets as well. Many enjoyed delicious Asian fusion catering by Komodo and a festive beverage or two. ‘Lady Luck’ graced several of our guests with her presence and our very own president-elect, Alisha Chen, gave pop star Beyonce a run for her money, singing live in the Karaoke Corner. It was an evening full of fun and laughter. I speak for my fellow board members and advisers; Casino Night would not have been possible without the support of our generous event sponsors and our many volunteers. This successful partnership is the perfect example of what AREAA chapters do for the community. AREAA CA OC is passionate about providing education and value to our members, giving back to the community and doing good works, and acknowledging others that share in serving our community for the greater good. Everyone stay tuned for next year’s event!


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Volume 4, Issue 4 Featured: Creating One Unified Voice for Asian Americans in Housing