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Left to right are Lehua Greenman (Membership Committee Chair), SILVAR President Chris Isaacson, Joe Brown, San Mateo County Supervisor William Slocum, Larry Tringali, Steve Trolan, Supervisor Joe Simitian (who served as auctioneer), Tom Gordon, Bill Weseloh, Mike Frangadakis, Kelly Hutter, Derrick Felton, Bill Moody and Frank Limon.

Left to right are Lehua Greenman (Membership Committee Chair), SILVAR President Chris Isaacson, Joe Brown, San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum, Larry Tringali, Steve Trolan, Supervisor Joe Simitian (who served as auctioneer), Tom Gordon, Bill Weseloh, Mike Frangadakis, Kelly Hutter, Derrick Felton, Bill Moody and Frank Limon.

SILVAR members honored the country’s veterans this week, including their own, at the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club. More than 150 members and guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, beverages and live music, while bidding on fabulous items at the live and silent auctions on Wednesday night. Thanks to the generous donations from sponsors and members who bid generously, the event grossed over $45,000 for the SILVAR Veterans Scholarship Fund.

The SILVAR Veterans Scholarship Fund is a new component of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation’s focus on education. The scholarship fund will support eligible U.S. veterans and eligible dependents of deceased veterans residing in SILVAR’s traditional service area who wish to further their education.

Leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance was Bill Weseloh, a longtime SILVAR member and U.S. veteran. Tina Kyriakis, also a SILVAR member, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Serving as masters of ceremonies were Santa Clara County District 5 Supervisor Joe Simitian, who also was the evening’s auctioneer, and Lehua Greenman, Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation trustee and chair of SILVAR’s Membership Committee.

SILVAR President Chris Isaacson and Greenman welcomed guests to the special event. They recognized special guests present, including San Mateo County District 4 Supervisor Warren Slocum, who is also a U.S. veteran, having served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam 1966-67. They noted the country’s veterans have made many sacrifices “so we can live free and with liberty.”

A highlight of the event were the presentations of the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition “for outstanding and invaluable service to the community” from U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo and a Certificate of Commendation from the County of Santa Clara presented by County Supervisor Joe Simitian to the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® and all REALTOR® Veterans.

The presentations were followed by a recognition of all U.S. veterans present at the event, including those who had registered, but were unable to be present that evening. Recognized at the podium were Supervisor Slocum, Bill Weseloh (U.S. Army), Frank Limon (U.S. Army 1965-68, Vietnam 1965-67), Mike Frangadakis (Vietnam 1967-70, currently with the California State Military Reserve); Derrick Felton, (U.S. Army 1988-1992, Persian Gulf), Tom Gordon (U.S. Air Force 1984-1988, Edwards Air Force Base, CA.); Steve Trolan (U.S. Army 1981-85, Fort Shafter, HI 1987-1994, U.S. Army Reserve, 12th Special Forces); Larry Tringali (U.S. Navy Corpsman 1967-69), Kelly Hutter (U.S. Air Force 1985-1993), Bill Moody (U.S. Army, Vietnam 1966-68); John Tripp (Pacific Theater, 1947-1956); and Joe Brown (U.S. Air Force 1969-73, Vietnam 1970-71).

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Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® packed the training room yesterday to learn more about working with Indian clients. Indians are a close second to Chinese as top foreign buyers of Silicon Valley property. Their cultural nuances, traditions and spiritual beliefs, were discussed by panelists at “Doing Business with Indian Clients,” a program hosted by SILVAR’s Global Business Council.

Sharing the information with members were REALTORS® Sue Bose with Referral Realty – Cupertino, Nomita Shahani with Alain Pinel REALTORS® – Saratoga, Umang Sanchorawala with Alain Pinel REALTORS® – Palo Alto, and supervising loan officer with PNC Mortgage Jimmy Kang. Mark Wong, chair of SILVAR’s Global Business Council, served as moderator.

The REALTORS® presented important information about vastu, the ancient Indian science of architecture. Vastu, which is the counterpart of the Chinese feng shui, can influence Indian buyers in their purchase of a home. According to Bose, the principles of vastu take into account the sun’s rays, earth movement and geomagnetic forces, with fire, water, earth and sky as important elements. Design and construction of buildings are based on vastu so that harmony is created where people who live and work.

Many homes in India are built in the shape of a rectangle or square with a courtyard in the middle, open to the sky, said Bose. Kitchens face southeast with the belief that the gods rule in the east. Winds come from the northeast, so doors and windows should be structured accordingly. Shahani added a pie-shaped lot with the front yard at the tip and the backyard at the larger portion of the lot would be attractive to an Indian buyer because the lot is likened to the shape of a cow, with the tip as its head. The cow is sacred to Indians.

Most Indian buyers “have it all mapped out,” said Bose. They have already done their homework about the home, the neighborhood and the school they want their children to attend. They can also be very aggressive in negotiation, and when their offer is accepted, they think they have overpaid and want to counter or want something more in return.

“It’s just their nature to negotiate,” explained Sanchorawala. “They feel better if they get something more in return.” He said paying for the cleaning or extra work that needs to be done can often appease the buyer.

Be patient with Indian buyers because it is hard to connect with them for the first time. They are not good at returning phone calls. The agent will need to follow up with them multiple times. Sanchorawala said many Indians feel they are important to their job, so they will not interrupt their work day by returning an agent’s phone call.
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This is a rendering of the REALTOR® Village to be built in the Philippines. NAR provided seed money to help construct containerized housing in the town of Bogo, Cebu in the Philippines.

This is a rendering of the REALTOR® Village to be built in the Philippines. NAR provided seed money to help construct containerized housing in the town of Bogo, Cebu in the Philippines.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has partnered with the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Association, Inc. (CREBA) to build a REALTOR® Village in the Philippines. CREBA is the exclusive partner of NAR in the Philippines, one among over 82 real estate organizations delegated with stewardship of the NAR name and programming. SILVAR is NAR’s Ambassador Association to the Philippines and maintains a cooperative relationship with CREBA.

The REALTOR® Village is a project of the Philippine American Society of Arts & Culture in cooperation with NAR and CREBA that will provide containerized housing, the first of its kind, to promote socialized housing in the town of Bogo, which is located in the island of Cebu, Philippines. NAR provided seed money for the project.

Super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that struck the country in November 2013 killed over 6,000 people and disrupted the lives of over a quarter of a million Filipinos, leaving them homeless. The proposed containerized housing can withstand wind of up to 100 miles an hour. The units are considered green buildings. The sustainability plan will consist of equipping recipients with aquaponics and dry hog farming. The recipients will also be planting fruit trees. The target is to build a village of 60 units, including a multipurpose center, health center and library.

A ribbon cutting ceremony attended by NAR Past President Steve Brown and NAR Treasurer Michael McGrew was held a day before the July 27-30 NAR International RELATORS® Conference hosted by CREBA in the Philippines. SILVAR member and past Global Business Council chair Jennifer Tasto, who currently serves as NAR’s President’s Liaison to the Philippines, represented NAR and SILVAR at both events.

SEE VIDEO OF REALTOR® VILLAGE RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY HERE

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