SILVAR Global Business Council Chair Jennifer Tasto welcomes everyone to the association’s global heritage potluck.

Over 30 SILVAR members attended “Global is Good Business,” a heritage potluck promoting SILVAR’s global business initiative on Monday. The event featured an array of traditional California and ethnic dishes, social networking, and an education segment in which real estate professionals with international experience spoke briefly about the importance of doing business globally.

SILVAR Global Business Council Chair Jennifer Tasto and SILVAR President Suzanne Yost explained SILVAR’s global initiative and the purpose of forming a Global Business Council. They said the number of foreign and immigrant buyers has steadily grown in recent years, and SILVAR would like to provide members with the tools and resources that can help them succeed in this market.

Janet Case, CEO of Proxio, explained how the international MLS can help REALTORS® extend their market reach and gain a competitive advantage. “Silicon Valley home buyers come from many cultures and from many parts of the world,” said Case. “Proxio provides multilingual marketing services to agents and brokerages, so they can serve multicultural and foreign buyers better, and global marketing tools that gain international exposure for sellers.”

Kenneth Chan, premium mortgage consultant with HSBC, and Citi mortgage consultant Evelyn Figueira said foreign buyers experience financing challenges like meeting mortgage requirements, moving funds from their country, and foreign income and asset verification. “It’s not as simple as having the money to buy property,”said Chan.

Michael Repka, managing broker and general counsel for DeLeon Realty, said foreign investors are drawn here due to business opportunities, the stability, and appreciation potential. “Real estate is becoming increasingly global,” stressed Repka.
Zach Benjamin, Business Development and Outreach Manager for the National Association of REALTORS® Global Business and Alliances Group, identified some tools and resources from NAR that can help agents, including NAR’s Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation.

SILVAR is offering the five CIPS courses required to fulfill the classroom requirements for the designation on November 26-30 at an early bird registration price of $550 for any AOR member, if they register by Monday, October 15. These courses are open to the public, as well. You don’t have to be a REALTOR® in order to enroll in these courses.