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2flags-china

Learn about “Doing Business with China” on Thursday, October 2, 1-2:30 p.m. at SILVAR, where panelists will share their experience with Chinese buyers and sellers. This event will focus primarily on the REALTOR®, the lender and the escrow perspectives.

Amy Sung, a REALTOR® with Pacific Union International Real Estate – Menlo Park, and Mark Wong, a REALTOR® with Alain Pinel REALTORS® – Saratoga, will present the REALTOR® perspective; Kenneth Chan, premier mortgage consultant with HSBC – Palo Alto, will present the lender perspective; and Jessie Wu, escrow officer with First American Title Company – Cupertino, will present the escrow perspective.

“Doing Business with China” is the first of a quarterly series of programs that will explore different aspects of doing business with clients from other countries. This educational event will give members the opportunity to learn the “nuts and bolts” from real estate professionals that have worked with Chinese clients and are familiar with the real estate rules and regulations of the country. They will share their experiences, including challenges they have encountered when closing a deal.

Cost is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers, if registered by Wednesday, October 1. Cost is $20 at the door. Chinese dessert snacks will be served at this event. Members may register at ims.silvar.org or call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100.

REALTORSafety2011

One of the most common reasons that people find themselves in dangerous situations is that they weren’t paying attention. Take a few precious seconds during the course of your day to assess your surroundings.

Take 2 seconds when you arrive at your destination.
• Is there any questionable activity in the area?
• Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
• Can you be blocked in the driveway by a prospect’s vehicle?

Take 2 seconds after you step out of your car.
• Are there suspicious people around?
• Do you know exactly where you’re going?

Take 2 seconds as you walk towards your destination.
• Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet?
• Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along the street?
• Is anyone loitering in the area?

Take 2 seconds at the door.
• Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
• Is someone following you in?

Take 2 seconds as soon as you enter your destination.
• Does anything seem out of place?
• Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?

Safety in Just 10 Seconds
It takes just 10 seconds to scope out your surroundings and spot and avoid danger. Make this “10-second scan” a habit in your everyday work as a real estate professional. Then share it with someone else.

(Source: “What You Can Do About Safety,” REALTOR® Magazine, September 2000. Courtesy Night Owl/Vector Security, Landover, MD.) This article is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit.

REALTORSafety2011
By now, you are aware of potential dangers that face real estate agents when they are meeting clients, showing properties or hosting open houses, and in their cars. There is one more place to consider: the office where you work. You can help safeguard your business (and your personal) property, and the safety of all who work in the office, with a few procedures and precautions:

1. Know staff in other nearby businesses and be aware of their schedules.
2. Ensure that all doors other than the main entrance are secured.
3. Make certain windows are not obscured so that passersby can see in.
4. Make sure there is a clear exit route from the service desk to the door.
5. Never allow visitors to wander freely about the business. Have the person whom they want to see come to the front office area and escort the individual to the meeting area.
6. Have a visitor log book and policy on issuing visitor tags that limit access to certain areas and hours of the day.
7. If you encounter an individual while working late or alone, indicate to that person that you are not alone. Say something like, “My supervisor will be right with you and should be able to assist you.”
8. Keep personal information private. Avoid discussing where you live, after-work or vacation plans in front of customers, new coworkers or anyone in general with whom you are not comfortable.
9. Never leave valuables, purses or wallets tucked behind counters or on desks.
10. Lock away personal letterhead and business cards to avoid use by unauthorized people.
11. Mark equipment for easy identification in the event of theft or damage. Maintain an inventory of all marked items.
12. Lock up audio/visual equipment when not in use.
13. Secure spare and master keys in locked cabinets.
14. Protect client information. Most offices keep sensitive personal information on their computers and/or in paper files—names, Social Security numbers, credit card or other account data—that identifies customers or employees. If this sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to fraud or identity theft.

(Source: Sonoma County Crime Crushers)

This article is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit. Visit NAR’s REALTOR® Safety website at http://www.REALTOR.org/Safety for more safety tips.

REALTORSafety2011
Each year in September, both the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and SILVAR remind members to keep REALTOR® safety foremost in their mind, especially when hosting an open house and during showings. Open houses can be a great sales tool, but hosting one also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time.

There have been cases reported across the nation of REALTORS® who have been harmed or killed when alone during an open house. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your open house will be successful. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.
1. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and email.

5. 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.

6. Avoid attics, basements, and getting trapped in small rooms.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

(Sources: Washington Real Estate Safety Council; City of Mesa, Arizona; Nevada County Board of REALTORS®; Georgia Real Estate Commission)

Visit NAR’s REALTOR® Safety website at http://www.REALTOR.org/Safety

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