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Nina Yamaguchi, managing broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Cupertino, shared prospecting tips with members at a recent Silicon Valley Association of  REALTORS® Cupertino/Sunnyvale District tour meeting.

Yamaguchi said with market is changing. Inventory for the entry level market is tight and the luxury market is passed its peak. It is highly likely that the lack of inventory and a dip in sales because of it will continue.

“With that framework, it is more important than ever to get listings,” stressed Yamaguchi.

Here are some of her suggestions:
1. Don’t ignore expired listings. Check with the former listing agent about the status of the expired listing. There also are many internet sites that help find people for a fee, such as beenverified.com, peoplefinders.com. intelius.com and theredx.com.

2. Don’t ignore print. While online is popular, many people still like print, especially seniors. Silicon Valley has many senior residents. Advertise in the newspapers, send out Just Listed and Just Sold cards. Follow these up with a phone call or door knocking.

3. Tap your sphere of influence – friends, family, former co-workers.

4. Tap into your database of referrals and past clients.

5. Door knock in neighborhoods where a home has just sold, or send out “missed opportunity” mailings. It may interest neighbors to know that the house on their street sold at a good price.

6. Get with technology. Text a short video or a pre-listing presentation.

7. Use social media and post on Facebook.

8. Invite the neighbors to your open houses.

9. Farm around your successes.

10. Do the basics.

“All the basics still work,” said Yamaguchi. “You need to be consistent and show up.”

Yamaguchi said her top farmers do everything consistently, from sending out mailers, advertising in the newspapers, maintaining a strong internet presence, door knocking, to holding open houses every weekend.

“I’m a firm believer in open houses because they are a great way to get buyers and sellers,” said Yamaguchi.

In closing, Yamaguchi shared this quote from Nelson Mandela: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

“If you are fearful, you are not going to get anywhere. If you follow your hopes you’ll be successful,” said Yamaguchi.

 

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The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® joined the Silicon Valley real estate community in congratulating the 2016/2017 leadership team of the Chinese American Real Estate Association (CAREA) at the association’s installation dinner held at the Mayflower Restaurant in Milpitas last Friday. SILVAR President Karen Trolan administered the oath of office to 2016/2017 CAREA president Jennifer Chen, the officers and board of directors.

Chen is owner and president of J C Investment Consulting in San Jose. Serving with Chen as the 2016/2017 officers and directors are Coco Tan (Keller Williams Realty), immediate president; Yuan Chang (Intero Real Estate Services) and Wilson Chai (Bank of America), vice presidents; Kenny Tang (East West Bank), treasurer; David Wang (Century 21 Realty Alliance), secretary; Joyce Sun (GB Commercial, Inc.), membership; John Luk (GD Commercial, Inc.), founder and lifetime honorary chair; David Bonaccorsi, Esq. (Law Offices of Bernard, Bagley & Bonaccorsi, LLP), legal advisor; John Wong (Wong & Chin, CPAs), Wai Man Chan (Finance Eagle Strategies LLC), Sheena Chang (Vantec USA), advisors; and Dexter Lat (Realty World One Alliance), Mattie Wei (Re/Max Accord), Tracy Qui (KC& Association Insurance Agency), Leslie Chao (GD Commercial), Barbara Kuang (Allstate-BnW Associates, LLC), directors.

Chen thanked SILVAR and the 400 real estate professionals at the gathering. She noted their presence “shows why since 1988 CAREA has achieved great success by connecting together real estate agents, developers, escrow agents, loan agents, appraisers and property managers.” Chen’s theme for her term is “Will to Succeed.”

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This week members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) Cupertino/Sunnyvale District learned many California cities like Sunnyvale, and regional resources like the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, want to get the word out to homeowners that they can reduce energy and get cash incentives and rebates if they perform energy upgrades.

Nupur Hiremath, sustainability coordinator for the City of Sunnyvale, told members reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key component of the city’s Climate Action Plan. By taking action to reduce their energy consumption, residents benefit with lower water and energy bills, increased property values and improved comfort in their homes. The city benefits, too, because Sunnyvale is one of 50 cities and counties competing as a semi-finalist in the Georgetown University Energy Prize of $5 million dollars for future energy-saving programs.

Hiremath said Sunnyvale’s Energy Efficiency Retrofit Grant Program provides homeowners with dollar-for-dollar matching grants of up to $5,000 for eligible energy efficiency upgrades like wall, floor and attic insulation, air-sealing, caulking and weather stripping, replacing light bulbs with high-efficient CFLs, home energy audit, insulation of water pipes, installation of energy efficient windows, furnaces and water heaters. The work must be done by a City of Sunnyvale licensed contractor. Applicants must meet income requirements. The City also offers loans to help homeowners make energy and safety improvements.

Sunnyvale residents may check out a Do-It-Yourself Home Energy-Saving Kit from the Sunnyvale Public Library. The kit contains supplies and devices that can help measure and lower utility bills and energy use. Residents get to keep free items from the kit, such as fluorescent light bulbs, faucet aerators, a low-flow showerhead, outlet gaskets, weather stripping and water leak detection tablets.

San Mateo County energy efficiency specialist Rachael Londer shared information about the California Home Energy Upgrade Program, which offers rebates and incentives for home energy upgrades, provides free home upgrade advisors to help homeowners, and connects them to trained participating contractors. Eligible improvements include air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, installing a high-efficiency furnace, air conditioners, water heaters and windows. Rebates are based on a point system. The more points you have by combining upgrades, the higher the incentives you receive. Incentives are awarded at $10 per point up to a maximum of $3,000. Applicants need not meet any income requirement.

Studies show the market value of a home increases as much as $25 for every $1 decrease in annual utility bills. Both Hiremath and Londer said REALTORS® can guide buyers and sellers to consider energy efficiency home remodel decisions. They urged them to share the information on energy efficiency programs with their clients.

REALTORS® can visit the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability website  and click on the “For Realtors” tab for information on energy upgrades and rebates which they can share with their clients. To learn more about the program or find a participating contractor, visit www.BayAreaEnergyUpgrade.org. Homeowners can also call a Home Upgrade Advisor at (866) 878-6008.

 

Last year the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff proposed a radical program to force homeowners to decommission or remove their wood-burning fireplace at the point of sale. Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) and other REALTORS® from the nine Bay Area counties spoke out against this proposal. The REALTORS® attended meetings, sent letters, and lobbied elected officials on the BAAQMD Board. The proposal was eventually dropped. Instead, the BAAQMD adopted advisory requirements that are now incorporated into the PRDS residential real estate forms. BAAQMD has also developed a rebate program as an incentive to remove wood-burning fireplaces.

Homeowners looking to switch their wood-burning fireplaces to gas or electric can receive a substantial rebate from the BAAQMD. Rebates can range from $750 to $12,000 depending on the project. There is a total of $3 million dollars in rebates available.

The rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The money is expected to cover rebates for about 1,500 homeowners with 40 percent set aside for low-income homeowners, those who live in areas most heavily impacted by winter smoke, and those who do not have access to natural gas pipelines to heat their homes. The larger grants, those at $12,000, will only be for low-income individuals.

Homeowners can apply for rebates here, or call (415) 749-5195.

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