REALTORSafety2011

REALTORS® should review safety tips because they face more on-the-job risks than many other business professionals. REALTORS® are at risk when they show homes to strangers or meet them at open houses, and even when they put themselves out on the internet and on social media. Attackers look for unsuspecting, vulnerable targets, so prevention is the best self-defense. If you act like a victim, you could be one.

Below are general safety tips provided by Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® Past President Karen Trolan, who teaches the safety and self-defense course to SILVAR REALTORS® every year:

  1. Be aware that social media is a tool used by criminals to track their prey as agents leave a web trail on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Don’t post where you will be, especially if you will be hosting an open house alone.
  2. Be Aware; notice anything out of place or unusual. Be suspect of everyone. Don’t let your guard down.
  3. Walk erect and proud to deter criminals. Don’t act like a victim; show strength.
  4. Always have your cell phone where it is easily accessible. Pre-program emergency numbers into speed dial, including 911.
  5. When confronted by an assailant, don’t engage! Stay calm and think! Use your sales skills to talk them out of it and let you go.
  6. Use the Military 5-point Contingency Plan. Let people know: – WHERE you are going. – WHO you will be meeting. – WHEN you will be back. – WHAT to do if you don’t return. – The ACTION to take if they cannot contact you.
  7. Always meet a client for the first time in the office or a public place.
  8. Leave your property tour itinerary with the office or colleague/family, with the addresses of the properties you plan to show.
  9. When visiting a property with a client you don’t know, take separate cars. If they make you feel uneasy, bring along a buddy.
  10. When showing a home, do not venture into confined or closed-in areas where you might get trapped, like basements, bathrooms, or walk-in closets. Know where the exits are. Always position yourself between your clients and a safe exit.
  11. At the home, look around the room for items that you could use as a weapon, in case of emergency. Be aware that an assailant will try to take the weapon away from you.
  12. If you are in a bad situation and can’t call for help, press call (preset) and leave the line open so the person on the other line can hear and get help for you. You can also get a “panic alert” or security alarm system for your phone.
  13. Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, escape the situation immediately.
  14. When confronted by an assailant, the best thing you can do is scream as loud as you can and run!!! Get away from the situation.

When you’re in a confrontation, you only have a few seconds and a few moves to try. Before an attacker has gained control of you, you must do everything you can to inflict injury so you can get away. Be smart by being aware and prepared!

 

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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is calling on members to donate funds to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation to support storm victims in Texas. Martin Edwards, president of the NAR foundation board, said, “Harvey may require our REALTOR® family’s largest effort since Hurricane Katrina—or even 9/11. Hopefully, REALTORS® across America will heed the call to donate, as on-the-ground membership in Texas will be stretched beyond belief.”

NAR is asking members to join in this effort with a personal donation to the Foundation. You can do so in less than one minute using your credit card on NAR’s secure online form. Or you can send a check payable to RRF to REALTORS® Relief Foundation, 430 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Write “RRF Contribution” in the memo line.

Please send your donation today so your contribution can reach people who need it now Together, as REALTORS®, let’s continue to make a difference.

3_FB_FloodTheHouse_Facebook_Cover
The National Association of REALTORS® is asking all REALTORS® to urge their Members of Congress to support the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Without congressional action, the NFIP is set to expire on September 30.

Please respond to NAR’s Call for Action and urge your member of Congress to pass “The 21st Century Flood Reform Act” H.R. 2874 as soon as possible. Persuading Congress to extend this program is very important to the industry, its members and their clients. If the NFIP lapses, more than 40,000 real estate transactions per month will be in jeopardy.

H.R. 2874 contains numerous provisions of critical importance to consumers and REALTORS®:

  • Reauthorizes NFIP for a full five years, avoiding the uncertainty of short term extensions and potential shutdowns
  • Caps NFIP rates at $10,000 per year for property owners
  • Directs FEMA to develop more granular rate tables, to ensure fewer properties are over charged by NFIP
  • Sets aside $1 billion for flood mitigation assistance grants
  • Increases access to private market flood insurance

TAKE ACTION HERE

Represent Investors and Become One Yourself

Real Estate Investing is a new course that will teach REALTORS® how to work with investors as they set their goals, plan, evaluate, and acquire properties, as well as manage them. REALTORS® will also learn how to become real estate investors themselves.

One of the priorities of National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Bill Brown is to help REALTORS® prepare for retirement by providing education on becoming a real estate investor, not just helping others invest in real estate. While REALTORS® are busy helping homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership, they themselves lack retirement assets. “Too many REALTORS® don’t have the assets to retire,” according to Brown said at the 2016 Leadership Summit in Chicago. Brown wants members to make sure they can take care of themselves when they retire.

Real Estate Investing will be offered at SILVAR on Tuesday, September 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with NAR 2012 and 2009 Instructor of the Year David Wyant. SILVAR is co-sponsoring this course with the West San Gabriel Valley Association of REALTORS®. Cost is $110 for members and $125 for non-members. Register at ims.silvar.org, or call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100.

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There’s been a lot of talk about immigration these days. This is a topic that impacts real estate, especially in Silicon Valley, a place that has attracted foreign buyers. So the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) Global Business Council has teamed up with the California Council of Residential Specialists to offer a Lunch & Learn on “What Every REALTOR® Needs to Know About Immigration” on Wednesday, September 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at SILVAR.

From featured speakers Sophie Alcorn and Lisa Wendl, you will learn about:

  • U.S. immigration policy
  • Some common immigration statuses
  • Immigration pitfalls and red flags
  • How immigrants can qualify for mortgages

Alcorn is a Stanford-educated, New York Times-featured expert on U.S. immigration law. She founded Alcorn Immigration, where she and her team obtain visas and green cards for highly-motivated individuals.

Wendl obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fudan University in Shanghai and MBA in finance from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She worked as a business analyst at a biotech company for three years, then got into the field of real estate lending and investment where she has worked for 25 years.

Cost is $15 for SILVAR and CRS members and $20 for non-members and at the door. Register at ims.silvar.org, or call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100. Seating is limited. These events fill up quickly, so make sure you register early.

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Criminals continue to hack email accounts and many are targeting REALTORS® and their clients. This scam is especially alarming in the Bay Area because home prices are high, inventory is low, and buyers are trying to close deals quickly because of the competitive market.

According to a recent news report, the email of a REALTOR® was hacked by criminals who had monitored the REALTOR®’s correspondence with her client. When it came time for the client to wire the remainder of the down payment to close escrow, the hackers sent an email message from the REALTOR®’s account to her client telling them to wire the money to a fraudulent account. Luckily, the amount was off and the client called the REALTOR® to verify the amount.

REALTORS® and their clients need to be on high alert for email and online fraud. The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® is asking REALTORS® to follow and share with their clients these prevention tips issued by the National Association of REALTORS®:

  • Immediately contact all parties to all of your upcoming transactions and inform them of the possibility of this fraud. Attorneys, escrow agents, buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and title agents have all been targeted in these scams. You can also download and distribute NAR’s online fraud prevention handout, accessible here.
  • If possible, do not send sensitive information via email. If you must use email to send sensitive information, use encrypted email.
  • Immediately prior to wiring any money, the person sending the money must call the intended recipient to verify the wiring instructions. Only use a verified telephone number to make this call.
  • Do not trust contact information in unverified emails. The hackers will recreate legitimate-looking signature blocks with their own telephone number.
  • Never click on any links in an unverified email. In addition to leading you to fake websites, these links can contain viruses and other malicious spyware that can make your computer – and your transactions – vulnerable to attack.
  • Tell your clients that if an email or a telephone call ever seems suspicious or “off,” that they should refrain from taking any action until the communication has been independently verified as legitimate.
  • Clean out your email account on a regular basis. Your emails may establish patterns in your business practice over time that hackers can use against you. In addition, a longstanding backlog of e-mails may contain sensitive information from months or years past. You can always save important emails in a secure location on your internal system or hard drive.
  • Change your usernames and passwords on a regular basis, and make sure your employees and licensees do the same.
  • Make sure to implement the most up-to-date firewall and anti-virus technologies in your business.

 

 

AHWD

Today more than one-third of all Americans are minorities. In fact, in California 43 percent of families speak another language at home other than English. You can maximize your earning potential by learning to work in Silicon Valley’s culturally diverse market. Enroll now in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) At Home With Diversity® certification course which SILVAR is offering on Monday, September 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This six-hour course taught by NAR certified international instructor David Wyant will teach you how to access and analyze demographic data to assess cultural attributes in your local market; how to attract and serve multicultural and international clients; and how to develop a business plan to address specific needs of those clients.

Earn the confidence of your potential buyers and obtain the At Home With Diversity certification. You will also obtain a pin and logo to add to their website and business card.

Cost of the course is $110 for members and non-members. Registration is on a first-come first-served basis. Register at ims.silvar.org or call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100.

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LEARN TO BE A LEADERJoin “Learn to be a Leader,” a workshop that will help develop and enhance your leadership skills in real estate and in your community. The leadership workshop will be held on Thursday, September 7, from 9:30 a.m. (check-in) till 3:30 p.m. at SILVAR. The workshop will include guest speakers and the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership 200 Program, which will be facilitated by Steve Francks, RCE, CAE, CEO of the Washington Association of REALTORS®.

Steve Francks is an innovative leader recognized for his contributions on a regional and national level and has served as 2011 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Association Executives Committee chair. Francks is a NAR Leadership Program facilitator. He will be facilitating this interactive course that will prepare you to assume greater leadership responsibilities within your association and beyond.

The following special guests will share their leadership experiences:
Linda Lee is a 2011 graduate of the NAR Leadership Academy and holds various leadership positions at local, state and national levels – as president of Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS®, state secretary and 2015 president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® California chapter and NAR national chair of Conventional Financing and the lending policy committee. Lee is also NAR’s President Liaison to China.

Joe Simitian is a Santa Clara County Supervisor who represents the Fifth District, which includes Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Stanford, and portions of Sunnyvale and San Jose. His public service includes stints as a member of the California State Senate and California State Assembly, mayor of Palo Alto, and president of the Palo Alto School Board. He served as an election observer/supervisor in El Salvador and Bosnia. His community involvement includes service with Adolescent Counseling Services, Acterra, Leadership Mountain View, and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

At the leadership workshop you will learn to:
• Develop your leadership style
• Participate effectively in meetings
• Learn conflict resolution tools
• Develop strategic planning skills
• Manage risk

This leadership workshop is being coordinated by SILVAR’s Global Business Council and is open to all real estate professionals. Cost, which includes lunch, is $25 for members and $40 for non-members. There is limited seating for this course, so register today at ims.silvar.org, or call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100.

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WVCS check-2

Silicon Valley’s economy is booming, but pockets of poverty exist. Non-profit agencies that provide housing and support services to the low income and homeless say despite the region’s economic prosperity, they are seeing more families and youth in need.

“Life can change suddenly for anyone. When crisis hits, things happen and a family can become homeless,” said Kohinoor Chakravarty, director of Development and Communications for West Valley Community Services (WVCS).

At a meeting held in the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) office in Cupertino, Chakravarty said the agency, which serves underprivileged families and the homeless in Cupertino, Saratoga, West San Jose, Monte Sereno and Los Gatos, provides 672,380 pounds of food to low-income and homeless families and $167,829 in emergency assistance for rent, utilities and deposits. Its food pantry provides 1,223 individuals with groceries, household items, diapers and personal care items. The agency also has special programs that help families during the holidays and school year with holiday food baskets and shopping spree, its backpack program and back-to-school event, which helps over 100 children shop for clothes for school.

WVCS has also opened food pantries in De Anza and Foothill colleges for about 200 students who are homeless, with no food or place to live. “High rents forced their families to move out of the area, but these students chose to stay because they know finishing their education is the only way to get out of the cycle of poverty,” said Chakravarty.

Marie Bernard, executive director with Sunnyvale Community Services, told REALTORS® that homelessness and hunger in Santa Clara County are exacerbated by skyrocketing rents. One-bedroom apartments are renting for $2,542 on average, and two-bedroom apartment rents average $3,228.

“For many families, it’s a choice of rent over food,” said Bernard.

Like WVCS, SCS is the first stop for families seeking help. Last year, the agency helped 7,991 low-income residents, a 16 percent increase from 2015. The agency has also extended its help to the Alviso area, where there are many people who are underserved and families whose homes are red-tagged because their utility bills are backed up for six to eight months.

“Keeping people fed and housed is the best economic investment our county can make,” said Bernard. She said while it costs to feed and help the poor, it would cost more if the county did not provide the help.

Chakravarty and Bernard said the non-profits cannot provide their services without help from residents who volunteer to help sort the food and distribute them to needy families. Local grocery stores donate food to their food pantries.

“Without volunteers uniting behind us, we cannot do this work. You can make it happen because you are our community,” Chakravarty told the REALTORS®.

SILVAR’s Cupertino/Sunnyvale District, through the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, has donated $750 to West Valley Community Services. The donation will be used to purchase backpacks for WVCS’s Back-To-School Backpacks program. Pictured above with the big check are Cupertino/Sunnyvale District tour director Mark Burns with Chakravarty.

 

 

 

 

cips-logo
Take advantage of discount offer for five courses!

Registration is now open for the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®’ 6th Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Institute on September 11-15. The CIPS Institute will provide the training and tools to position yourself as a global expert. Upon completion of the five courses, you will have the opportunity to earn the prestigious CIPS designation, the only international designation offered by the National Association of REALTORS®.

What will it cost?
SILVAR is providing a deep discount for the entire CIPS Institute, which includes five courses.

  • $450 – Paperless Option. Bring an electronic device to class each day and you will be provided with a link to the PDF of the manual for each course which you can download.
  • $500 – Paper Option. This includes a hard copy manual for each of the five courses.

Continental breakfast and lunch each day, courtesy of our Sponsors of the Day:

Darrell Monda, with TourFactory
Janet Case, with Proxio
Kyle Chuang, with Farmers’ Insurance
Anita Rodal with AFEX and SBPI Services
Suzette Reboton with HSBC

* This offer is being extended to both members and nonmembers for a limited time. Regular price for the CIPS Institute is $600.

What will I learn?

  • International business transactions, roles and expectations
  • Currency conversion
  • Cultural awareness
  • Legal and tax requirements
  • Ownership and transaction principles of international real estate
  • Specifics about the real estate markets in Europe, the Americas, and Asia

Who is the instructor?
2012 and 2009 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) International Instructor of the Year David Wyant, CIPS, CRS, GRI, ABR, RSPS, TRC, AHWD, SFR, SRES, MRP, GREEN, e-Pro, who is assisted by his wife, Patsy, will be returning to Cupertino to teach the CIPS Institute. The Wyants travel abroad each year teaching CIPS in other countries and are able to share the latest developments taking place in real estate markets around the world.

How do I register?

  • Complete the registration form below and email or fax to SILVAR.
  • Members may register online for the paper option at ims.silvar.org.
  • Non-members and those who want the paperless option may register by contacting SILVAR Public Affairs and Communications Director Rose Meily at (408) 200-0109 or email rmeily@silvar.org.

CIPS CLASS SCHEDULE AND REGISTRATION FORM

 

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