On Thursday, SILVAR President Suzanne Yost updated members of the Cupertino/Sunnyvale District on the state of the Association. Yost announced the Association is financially secure (SILVAR hasn’t raised dues since 2002) and stressed that SILVAR highly values its membership.

SILVAR offers many valuable member benefits, including PRDS Forms, a complete line of paper and online forms for residential purchase and sales transactions. PRDS Forms were developed specifically for Silicon Valley’s REALTORS® by Silicon Valley REALTORS® who saw the need. These forms are highly acclaimed and available online free of charge as a SILVAR member benefit.

Yost assured members their dues dollars are very well spent, especially on government affairs. She highly credited SILVAR Government Affairs Director Adam Montgomery for his work in successfully warding off many point of sale and transfer tax proposals that could have hurt homeowners had they passed. A recent example is proposed regulations that would have included sewer lateral inspection and compliance mandates at the transfer of property for homeowners in southern San Mateo County. She added since it is a large association with a strong government affairs staff and many accomplishments, “SILVAR has a footprint” at the local, state and national REALTOR® level.

Yost noted SILVAR’s District Council system is an especially good model that emerged upon the merger of the five boards in 1995. This model provides another level of opportunities for leadership. Having more people “with ears close to the ground” helps ensure that the Association meets the needs of agents working in all five districts.

Members are very lucky to be doing business in Silicon Valley, said Yost. Recent speaking engagements before the New York State Association of REALTORS® and the Michigan State Association of REALTORS® brought home this fact, she said. While REALTORS® everywhere have had to face tough markets during the past three years, Silicon Valley’s housing market is improving due to its location and strong tech and other innovative industries.

SILVAR’s president encourages members to take part in the Association. Join your District Council, get involved in activities at the District and Association level, volunteer for RSVP (REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program) and help others in your community, Yost urged.

“We always want to develop new leaders and give you the opportunity to become leaders,” she stressed.

Yost is excited about a couple of new Association components this year. There is SILVAR’s Young Professional Network (YPN), which welcomes all members – the young, as well as the seasoned professionals. SILVAR is also developing a Global Business Council, an initiative which will have a strong education component to help REALTORS® learn how to effectively work with international buyers. She added that SILVAR highly values its Affiliate members and a group is currently working on written policies and guidelines for Affiliates.

Last, but not least, Yost urged members to continue to stay positive. “The numbers are getting better,” said Yost. “2012 is the year we’ll come out of this. 2012 will be better.”