SILVAR is proud to announce SILVAR member Bernie Leung is among 50 finalists vying for a spot in REALTOR® Magazine‘s 2023 Class of 30 Under 30. Leung is a REALTOR® with Compass Menlo Park.

Every year, REALTOR® Magazine‘s Class of 30 Under 30 recognizes top accomplished real estate professionals nationwide. Selection of finalists is based on business success, innovation, and community involvement. The finalist who receives the most online votes is guaranteed a spot in this year’s 30 Under 30 class and will be the Web Choice Award winner. Judges then select the other 29 honorees from the field of finalists.

Born in San Francisco, Leung has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Menlo College in Atherton and graduated from both Stanford University’s Influence and Negotiations Strategies and Harvard University Negotiation & Leadership Program. He is also an event organizer for Silicon Valley Startup: Idea to IPO, a 26,000+ member organization.

He believes in real estate and wants to make his clients happy and them make their dream of homeownership come true. “I have a super client obsession,” Leung remarked.

Ironically, it was Leung’s father who pushed him to get into real estate. “My dad would say there are only two paths in life – stocks and real estate.” He got his real estate license in 2016, “just to make my dad happy.” Previous work as an accountant for a non-profit got him a job in DeLeon Realty’s finance department. Then one day, the firm was short-staffed and asked him to host an open house. It was then that he discovered that his natural talents and skillset were well-suited to a people businesses like real estate. Transitioning from finance to becoming a real estate agent was inevitable.

During his seven years at DeLeon Realty, he became the most senior top producing agent at the firm. From 2019-2021, Leung’s annual sales volume ranged from $40-50 million. He is happy his dad pushed him toward real estate.

“My dad is both my mentor and hero,” he exclaimed.

Today, with Compass, Leung is a solo agent and a top producer with a current sales volume of $34 million. His average sales transaction is $3.8 million.

Leung said he entered the 30 Under 30 contest because at age 28 (he’ll turn 29 next month), being the youngest REALTOR® with his sales volume in a market dominated by much older peers, he wants to show younger or new agents that anything is possible and prove that you can succeed in real estate despite being under 30 years old.

“Age is just a number. My goal is to inspire the next generation of movers and shakers in real estate to defy all odds and find success by carving out their own unique path,” said Leung.

Leung has a chance to do just that by being part of REALTOR® Magazine‘s 30 Under 30 Class of 2023.

Voting is now open. See Bernie’s profile HERE, then click on Read More and vote, or you can directly vote for him HERE.

You can vote once every 24 hours per candidate. The voting period closes March 31 at 10 AM PT.

SILVAR wishes Leung the best of luck in the contest!


The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) 2023 leadership team was installed on February 2 at the Los Altos Golf & Country Club. 2002 California Association of REALTORS® President Robert Bailey administered the oath of office to 2023 SILVAR President Jim Hamilton and 2023 C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey installed SILVAR’s 2023 officers and board directors. 2021 C.A.R. President Dave Walsh served as master of ceremonies. 2007 C.A.R. President Colleen Badagliacco led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, and 2022 C.A.R. President Otto Catrina delivered the Inspiration Message.

Joining Hamilton as lead officers are Eileen Giorgi, a REALTOR® with Christie’s International Sereno, President-elect; and Jeff Bell, broker manager of Coldwell Banker Realty Cupertino, Treasurer.

SILVAR’s 2023 board directors are Brett Caviness (Compass), Past President; Joanne Fraser (Compass), Region 9 Chair; Denise Welsh (Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno), National Association of REALTORS® Director; District Chairs Jasmine Lee (Coldwell Banker Realty), Menlo Park-Atherton District; Stacey Woods (Compass), Palo Alto District; Patricia Robison (Intero), Los Altos-Mountain View District; Tracey McNeely (Compass), Cupertino-Sunnyvale District, and Tammie Peters (Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno), Los Gatos-Saratoga District; and Directors At-large Alan Barbic (Barbic Real Estate Group), Elizabeth Doyle (Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno), Jimmy Kang (eXp realty of California), Sunita Merchia (Merchia Realty), Navneet Parmer (Real Estate Experts) and Suzanne Yost (Compass).

A broker associate at Compass Los Gatos, Hamilton has extensive involvement in REALTOR® association leadership at the local, state and national levels. At SILVAR, he has served as president-elect, board director, and chair of the Los Gatos-Saratoga District. He also served as 2002 treasurer and 2005 C.A.R. president and as an NAR director and regional vice president. He was president of the South Bay Association of REALTORS®, and named REALTOR® of the Year by both the national and local Associations of Realtors, including SILVAR in 2019 and the South Bay Association.

Read more HERE

The California Association of REALTORS® formally apologizes for its past discriminatory policies, including Proposition 14, a successful 1960s ballot initiative that overturned the State of California’s first fair housing law. C.A.R.’s leaders issued the apology in a press release and in a live press conference.

Regrettably, the California Real Estate Association (CREA), now known as C.A.R., once played a leading role in segregation and exclusionary practices in housing. California communities still grapple with wealth and homeownership inequities. For decades, CREA promoted policies that encouraged discrimination and the idea that neighborhood integration would negatively impact property values. The Association endorsed racial zoning, “redlining” and racially restrictive covenants.  

“The Association was wrong. We not only apologize for those actions, we strongly condemn them, and we will continue working to address the legacy of these discriminatory policies and practices,” said C.A.R. President Otto Catrina.

CREA was behind Article 34, a law passed in the 1950s that remains in place that makes it very difficult to build affordable housing in California. The Association also excluded women and people of color from membership.

In the 1960s, California’s first fair housing law, the Rumford Fair Housing Act, was passed. CREA actively encouraged its members to support Proposition 14, a law that overturned the Rumford Act and modified California’s constitution so that the state could not prohibit private property owners from engaging in discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the proposition as unconstitutional.

In the years since the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and other fair housing laws, C.A.R. has prioritized understanding and addressing the unique homeownership barriers impacting communities of color and other historically excluded communities. 

“We have continued to unpack our difficult and sometimes obscure history of opposing fair housing laws, promoting segregation and racial exclusion prior to the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As an organization that deeply values inclusion, we can’t change the actions of the past, but we are taking bold action now to help build a more equitable and just future,” said Catrina.

For instance, C.A.R. recently sponsored a law requiring periodic implicit bias training for all real estate salespersons. Additionally, C.A.R. helped shape a new law that strengthens consumer protection in instances of appraisal bias.

Currently, C.A.R. is working to address the legacy of discriminatory policies in a variety of ways. These include:

● Offering a closing cost grant for members of underserved communities.

● Donating to the Black Wealth Builders Fund, a down payment assistance program for Black home buyers in the Bay Area.

● Partnering with and sponsoring the work of nonprofit organizations that support greater homeownership for members of underserved communities.

● Sponsoring and supporting a variety of policies that address supply and affordability challenges for communities of color. 

● Co-sponsoring a bill that would overturn Article 34, a law California REALTORS® helped pass in the 1950s that makes it much harder for California communities to build affordable housing.

● Supporting a law that provides a system for redacting restrictive covenants in property records. 

“The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) has always promoted homeownership for all. We have promoted C.A.R.’s Fairhaven simulation, an innovative online simulation training, where agents walk in the shoes of a homebuyer facing discrimination. The training provides customized feedback that agents can apply to daily business interactions,” said Brett Caviness, president of SILVAR. “We have also introduced a number of diversity, equity and inclusion programs to our members, so all are aware that discrimination is not allowed in any facet of real estate.”

Every day REALTORS® across the nation put themselves in positions where they can be victims of dangerous crimes. Whether it’s putting up signs along the highway, meeting a new client, or showing a house to a prospective buyer, your personal safety is often at stake. To raise awareness about this important issue, the month of September is officially designated by the National Association of REALTORS® as REALTOR® Safety Month.

“The safety of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®’ 5,000 members is a top priority. An open house can be a great sales tool, but it also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time. Thieves and assailants have been known to prey on open houses. We always caution our members to be watchful of suspicious behavior when hosting an open house,” said Brett Caviness, president of SILVAR.

Take these steps to stay safe at open houses:

  • If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at an open house.
  • Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.
  • Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
  • Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and email.
  • When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.
  • Avoid attics, basements, and getting trapped in small rooms.
  • Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you.
  • Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.
  • Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

For more information on REALTOR® and consumer safety, visit

Have you ever walked in the shoes of a homebuyer facing discrimination? Fairhaven, the National Association of REALTORS® fair housing simulation for REALTORS®, uses the power of storytelling to help members identify and address discriminatory practices in real estate.

Visit the fictional town of Fairhaven and work against the clock to sell homes while confronting realistic scenarios of discrimination in the homebuying process. Throughout the simulation receive actionable feedback that you can apply to your daily business interactions.

The training also includes powerful testimonials demonstrating the impact of housing discrimination in real people’s lives. Hold yourself accountable and make sure you’re adhering to fair housing laws by exploring the town of Fairhaven.

Get started now and complete the training HERE.

To learn more, visit

The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR)has formed a new partnership with the Silicon Valley LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. A Memorandum of Understanding between the local REALTOR® association and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance local chapter was approved by SILVAR’s Board of Directors at its meeting on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The collaboration will allow both groups to identify opportunities that cultivate LGBTQ+ leaders and mobilize members in support of mutually beneficial federal policies, among other pro-LGBTQ+ and real estate industry initiatives.

“SILVAR has long championed homeownership for all, and this includes the LGBTQ+ community. We’re proud to announce our partnership with the Silicon Valley Alliance as we celebrate Pride Month in June and work toward initiatives that will benefit the real estate industry and our communities as a whole,” said SILVAR President Brett Caviness.

Homeownership in the U.S. is currently around 65%, while LGBTQ+ homeowner rates are lower, at about 49%. The LGBTQ+ community continues to face housing discrimination and does not feel they are welcome in certain communities where they would like to live. Nearly half of renters do not pursue homeownership due to fears of discrimination.

The National Association of REALTORS® amended its Code of Ethics in 2011 and 2014 to ensure REALTORS® uphold housing protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community. NAR has worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development as it has reinforced its Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“SILVAR’s partnership with The Alliance is in line with NAR’s core values to lead change while advancing diversity and inclusion,” said SILVAR CEO Paul Cardus. “SILVAR and Silicon Valley LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance have a shared commitment in protecting private property rights and advancing the American Dream of homeownership for all.”

“The Silicon Valley LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is grateful for the partnership and support SILVAR has offered us without hesitation,” said Jessa Walsh, Silicon Valley LGBTQ+ Alliance president. “Homeownership is the single most fundamental building block for creating long-term and generational wealth. It’s a challenging goal for anyone, especially in Silicon Valley. It’s our goal through the Alliance to ensure no one in our community experiences additional barriers in their pursuit of homeownership based on who they love or how they identify.”

Silicon Valley LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance vision is to create a world free of housing discrimination. “We believe it is imperative to educate ourselves, our agents, and our staffs on how to work with the LGBTQ+ community and ensure there is an inclusive space for everyone within our real estate industry,” said Walsh.


According to NBC Bay Area News, thieves recently targeted a home for sale in east San Jose and stole a refrigerator. It is believed thieves cased the home during an open house held a few days earlier. The home was apparently vacant at the time. The thieves returned three days later to steal more items, but their attempt was thwarted since this time, there was an occupant in the home and the police were contacted.

Below are safety tips from the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® for members to share with their clients that may help avoid being a target of theft. Agents may also want to consult their clients on whether or not to indicate a vacant property is “staged” in the MLS public remarks.

• Make the home look occupied. Use automatic timers on lights, a TV, and/or radios and set them to go on and off at different times to make your house appear occupied. Install motion detectors on the exterior of your home and garage/shed.

• Keep curtains/blinds closed and lock all doors and windows. Use wooden stakes inside door/window frames to prevent them from being opened from the outside.

• Keep the property maintained, grass mowed, and leaves raked. Trim trees and shrubs so they can’t conceal burglars.

• Inform the police and trusted neighbors that the house will be vacant for an extended time.

• Ask neighbors to keep an eye on the property and call 9-1-1 immediately if they see or hear any suspicious activity. Ask them to park their vehicle in the driveway and/or pick up fliers or circulars that may be left on the front porch, driveway, or in the newspaper box.

• Consider installing an alarm system and/or security cameras.

• Consider hiring a house sitter to prevent the home from being vacant during the selling period.

• Refrain from putting “For Rent” or “For Sale” signs in front of your property.

• Never leave a spare house key under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes, or other hiding places.

• Place the lockbox out of plain sight, so it is not easily visible to passersby.

• Don’t place posts on social networking sites that inform others that the house is for sale.

View the NBC Bay Area news broadcast HERE.

The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® celebrated Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with leaders of local Asian real estate associations. At the virtual event were Sang Kang, president of the Korean American Association of Realtors & Lenders of Northern California (KARL); PK Patel, president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America Silicon Valley (AREAA SV); Dexter Lat, former president and current board director of the Chinese American Real Estate Association (CAREA); Frank Cancilla, president-elect of the Filipino American Real Estate Association Silicon Valley (FAREPA SV); and Paige Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP).

KARL’s mission is “to synergize the leaders of real estate and lenders within the Korean American communities in the greater Bay Area by facilitating continued professional development of its members and affiliates,” said Kang.

KARL has about 100 members from all real estate-related professions. Kang highlighted upcoming association events and invited SILVAR members to join, saying, “We are open to all races who are interested in the Korean culture.”

From its formation 12 years ago, Patel said AREAA has grown to 42 chapters in the U.S. and two in Canada, with a membership of 56 ethnicities speaking 26 languages. AREAA promotes sustainable homeownership opportunities for Asian American communities.

Humbled to be AREAA SV’s first Indian American president, Patel said getting involved with AREAA “has transformed my life and business.” He indicated AREAA goes beyond business and helps the community through its cleanup program and other projects like Stop Asian Hate Crime, and advocates at the national level to reduce homeownership barriers facing the Asian American community.

Nguyen said San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population outside Vietnam. VNARP is centered on quality education for its members and outreach. Events associated with Vietnamese fashion and culture, its annual golf tournament and food distribution drives are some of many ways VNARP supports and gives back to the Vietnamese community.

Nguyen announced VNARP has officially launched a Southern California chapter. She added, “We’re open to all. Half of our membership is non-Vietnamese.”

Cancilla said FAREPA was formed in 2002 to elevate the level of professionalism of Filipino American real estate professionals through education, networking and partnership, and to create a united voice within the real estate industry. Cancilla said even if he is not Filipino, FAREPA welcomes everyone.

“If you are involved in our organization, you’ll be welcomed in the family,” said Cancilla.

CAREA focuses on the social and economic well-being of associates and in enhancing the image of Chinese Americans in real estate. Like the other groups, CAREA welcomes everyone.

Lat said he was nervous joining CAREA in 2007 because although he is part Chinese, he did not speak the language. Yet right away, CAREA members were welcoming and put him at ease.

Lat imparted the message from all the leaders. “We invite you to join our associations. Don’t just join one, join all, because you not only get to expand your network of friends, you’ll learn about every culture. Their ways of negotiation are different from others. These soft skills to negotiate and communicate, how to get along with other people, make you a whole person, makes you a better person of the world. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Having more friendships shows you are not alone in this business.”

SILVAR Past President Joanne Fraser shared news that Apartment List recently named San Jose the best city for Asian professionals in four categories: Community & Representation, Economic Opportunity, Housing Opportunity, and Business Environment. San Francisco ranked sixth.

San Jose is home to 382,815 Asians and San Francisco, 300,339, according to U.S. Census numbers. “That puts the Asian population at 37 percent and 34 percent of the overall population of the two cities, respectively. They are your clients,” Fraser told SILVAR members.

Last month on April 27, after an absence of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® were among over 2,000 California REALTORS® who once again traveled to the State Capitol for Legislative Day. Legislative Day is the California Association of REALTORS®’ pinnacle REALTOR® legislative event. REALTORS® make up the largest business interest group that comes to Sacramento each year to meet with their elected officials and discuss issues affecting homeownership and the real estate industry.

At a morning briefing held at the Sacramento Convention Center, C.A.R. President Otto Catrina welcomed members to the event. He noted the REALTORS®’ presence at the State Capitol showed they value homeownership and private property rights.

“We need to remember to fight for homeownership, private property rights, free enterprise and responsible government. We are here to support not just our business but our clients,” said Catrina.

C.A.R.’s new CEO John Sebree greeted California REALTORS® and reminded them that April is Fair Housing Month. Sebree said, “We all have the opportunity to be part of the transformative solutions to make sure all people have access to homeownership.”

Sebree mentioned C.A.R.’s partnership with nonprofit housing organizations to provide closing cost grants up to $10,000 for eligible first-time homebuyers from underserved communities, and C.A.R.’s fight for and successes in fair housing legislation, including legislation that removes discriminatory language in property records.

Among the speakers at the morning briefing were Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, who indicated “homeownership is a fundamental principle.” Gallagher urged REALTORS® to continue educating legislators on the need to drive housing costs down for California families and belief that legislators can work across the aisles to ensure the California dream of homeownership remains viable for the future. He estimated 2.5 million homes need to be built by 2030.

“We must move through all the obstacles to make sure that the dream of homeownership can be achieved,” said Gallagher.

Senate Majority Leader Emeritus Robert Hertzberg spoke on the need to build more homes. “It’s all about housing. Homeownership is the backbone of our community. It builds generational wealth. It is something we need to focus on at the core, the opportunity to give people hope, and help the ‘missing middle.’”

The highlight of the morning was California Governor Gavin Newsom’s address to REALTORS®. Newsom fiercely chastised critics and stressed, “facts matter.” He indicated California had 21% growth five years prior to the pandemic. Last year, California’s economy, along with two smaller states, grew the fastest. California grew 7.8% last year.

Newsom noted the state is dominated by venture capitalists, and that the state is number one in factory jobs, in manufacturing, and in household income growth. California had the largest surplus in the U.S., and was able to give $12 billion in tax rebates last year.

Additionally, the state has passed 31 housing bills and 17 bills pertaining to CEQA, but Newsom said, “We got more work to do to address housing at all income levels.”

Newsom thanked REALTORS® for keeping the economy moving, for all they did during the pandemic, and for creating opportunities for families and contributing to the state’s growth.

“I have pride in this state. I think the best days are ahead of us. We are moving in the right direction as we haven’t done in the past,” said Newsom.

Every April, REALTORS® commemorate the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to remind every American that all persons have equal access to housing and that fair housing is not an option; it is the law.

“Homeownership is the largest single contributor to intergenerational wealth for American families, but it has not been accessible to all Americans on equal terms. Fair housing and equity issues are still prevalent in California,” says Brett Caviness, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®.  

According to the California Association of REALTORS®, housing affordability for white/non-Hispanic households fell from 38 percent in 2020 to 34 percent in 2021. Seventeen percent of Black and Latino households could afford a median-priced home, down from 19 percent and 20 percent in 2020, respectively.

Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law three C.A.R.-sponsored bills and two fair housing bills that require implicit bias training for real estate professionals, address the supply and affordability challenges that disparately impact people of color and address appraisal bias.

“A home seller, home seeker, and real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law,” says Caviness.

A home seller or landlord cannot discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. They cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as their agent to convey any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate.

Buyers or renters have the right to expect:

  • housing in their price range made available without discrimination.
  • equal professional service.
  • the opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices.
  • no discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing.
  • no discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing.
  • reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities.
  • non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling.
  • freedom from harassment or intimidation for exercising their fair housing rights.

Under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, REALTORS® cannot deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® cannot abide by a request from a home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in a sale, lease or rental.

If you suspect discrimination, you may file a complaint at

June 2023


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 69 other subscribers