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The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®’ (SILVAR) fifth Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Institute took place this week with 17 students registered. The students, many of whom are SILVAR members, hail from the San Francisco Bay Area. One traveled all the way from Canada. Many are well-traveled and come from different cultural backgrounds. All were eager to learn more about the international real estate market and how to grow their global business.

The courses were once again taught by 2012 and 2009 National Association of REALTORS® International Instructor of the Year David Wyant, assisted by his wife, Patsy. The Wyants travel around the country and the world teaching the CIPS courses. This is their fifth trip to Cupertino. Each time they come, they remark about Silicon Valley’s growth.

Wyant also noted, “Silicon Valley REALTORS® are among the most intelligent in the nation.”

The CIPS Institute provides training in international business issues, including currency conversion, cultural awareness, legal and tax requirements, ownership and transaction principles of international real estate, and specifics about the real estate markets in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. The week-long CIPS Institute includes two required core courses and three elective courses. Students must pass a multiple-choice exam at the end of each course.

Upon completing the required five courses and fulfilling other necessary requirements, graduates of this year’s CIPS Institute can receive their CIPS designation and have the opportunity to be recognized at the 2016 NAR REALTORS® Conference and Expo, which will be held in Orlando, Fl. on November 4-7.

Thank you to this year’s CIPS Sponsors of the Day, who provided breakfast and lunch each day. They are Amy Ku, VP Mortgage Sales Manager for Northern California with HSBC Bank; Janet Case, CEO of Proxio; Anita Rodal, international liaison with AFEX (Associated Foreign Exchange) and president of SBPI Services, Inc.; Darrell Monda, owner of TourFactory Bay Area; and Larry Tringali, owner of Property Inspection Service.

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Congratulations SILVAR 2015 CIPS graduates!

Congratulations SILVAR 2015 CIPS graduates!

The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) 4th CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) Institute ended on Tuesday. This year’s Institute had a total enrollment of 31 students. SILVAR welcomed back instructor David Wyant and his wife and assistant Patsy Wyant.

This year’s students were a very diverse and well-traveled group from all over the Bay Area, Southern California and Arizona. Once the students complete and submit their CIPS applications to the National Association of REALTORS®, they can receive their CIPS designation and get pinned at the NAR Conference and EXPO, which will be held in San Diego November 13-16.

A highlight of the last day was a visit by Joe Schneider, NAR manager of Global Business Development and Outreach. Schneider spoke to the students about the value of the CIPS designation, especially in Silicon Valley, which continues to attract many international buyers.

At the end of the last course, SILVAR’s Global Business Council hosted a CIPS Reception, which was also attended by SILVAR CIPS designees, who shared their global real estate experiences with the students. Jennifer Tasto, NAR Liaison to the Philippines, also reported on the International REALTOR® Conference held in the Philippines and NAR’s project to build a REALTOR® village for Super Typhoon Hainan victims there.

The success of this year’s CIPS Institute would not be possible without our generous CIPS Sponsors of the Day. Each sponsor had very informative presentations.

Darrell Monda, owner of TourFactory Bay Area, took students on a virtual tour of homes, a platform that works as a very good marketing tool, especially for foreign buyers who cannot physically be at a property they are interested in purchasing. TourFactory has certified aerial photographers and is the only company in Northern California that has a waiver from the FAA to use drone photography in its business.

The students enjoyed Kyle Chuang’s presentation, which included tips on how to take a multiple choice exam, a requirement at the end of each class day. Chuang, who is with Farmers Insurance, also tested students on home insurance information helpful for their clients.

Janet Case, CEO of Proxio, introduced the REALTORS® to the international networking platform that links REALTORS® and their listings with other agents around the world, including real estate developments. Proxio translates listings in 19 languages, 55 currencies and metric measurements. Case said studies show 20 percent of U.S. families do not speak English at home. In California, the percentage is higher – 43 percent. Proxio is a free benefit for SILVAR REALTORS® who are members of MLSListings Inc.

Kenneth Chan, premier mortgage consultant with HSBC, focused on how foreign buyers who don’t fall under the 2-2-2 rule (provide a two-year U.S. residency, two-year work history and two-year credit history) can qualify for a mortgage loan, other obstacles foreign buyers face, and success stories.

Anita Rodal, international liaison with AFEX (Associated Foreign Exchange) and president of SBPI Services, Inc., educated the students on foreign currency exchange and SBPI Services’ captive insurance program, which enables Chinese investors to take millions of dollars out of China and invest the money from the policy in real estate.

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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.

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.

CIPS SCHEDULE AND REGISTRATION FORM

MORE ON SILVAR’S GLOBAL BUSINESS POTLUCK, INCLUDING PHOTOS

The Cupertino First-time Home Buyer Seminar held last Saturday was well-attended.

The City of Cupertino and SILVAR’s Equal Opportunity Committee partnered to present a First-Time Home Buyer Seminar at the Cupertino Community Hall last Saturday. SILVAR members served as panelists in discussions focusing on credit information and tips for first-time home buyers. A third segment of the seminar was presented by The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County.

Presenting advice on credit, Richard Miller (Proficio Mortgage Ventures), Kenneth Chan (HSBC), and Jimmy Kang (Bank of America) stressed now, more than ever, your FICO score is very important. Miller recommended that potential buyers check their FICO score at least once a year to make sure their credit report is accurate; six credit cards are ideal; and make sure debt on each credit card is no more than 30 percent of the allowed credit. Chan informed international buyers of requirements for buying property here in the U.S. Kang talked about the different loans available for buyers.

A panel of REALTORS® with Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty), Nina Daruwalla (Coldwell Banker), Grace Keng (Re/Max Real Estate Services), and Moise Nahouraii (Referral Realty) informed prospective home buyers that these days, in addition to having a good credit rating and history, they need to get pre-approved by a lender before they start looking at homes or contacting a real estate professional. They differentiated between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent, stressing REALTORS® pledge to abide by a Code of Ethics. They reminded buyers there is no “perfect home,” but with the help of a REALTOR® who is knowledgeable and employing good negotiating strategies, one can find the best property for the best value and clinch the deal.

Dan Lachman, program manager of The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, then shared information on programs that provide financial assistance to first-time homebuyers, including the Closing Cost Assistance Program (CCAP), the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) and Equity Share Co-Investment (ESCO).

“Almost 80 percent of all home searches today begin on the Internet. With just a few clicks of the mouse, home buyers can search through hundreds of online listings, view virtual tours of neighborhoods and homes,” said Tess, Crescini, chair of SILVAR’s Equal Opportunity Committee. “Many prospective home buyers don’t realize a lot of preparation is needed before their search. We hope we were able to educate them about these important steps, so their home buying experience can be successful.”

Crescini moderated the SILVAR panels, along with Sue Bose, who is also a member of the committee. The weekend seminar was held in observance of Affordable Housing Week. Also represented at the event were credit counselors from SurePath, West Valley Community Services, Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley, Project Sentinel and Habitat for Humanity.

See article and more photos on here.

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