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Nineteen members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) completed the 2021 SILVAR Leadership Academy on Sept. 23. The SILVAR Leadership Academy is a six-month training and development program structured to help participants develop their leadership knowledge and abilities and encourage them to get actively involved at SILVAR and eventually assume a leadership role. Candidates were asked to complete an application that included questions on issues and topics that impact the business of real estate, their civic involvement and leadership aspirations. Attendees were required to complete all sessions in order to graduate with their class.

The sessions touched on a variety of topics, including the REALTOR® Association Structure at the Local, State and National Level, How Organized Real Estate Helps You and Your Business, Communicating & Conducting Meetings Effectively, Resolving Conflict Situations & Building Consensus, Local, State and National Legislative Actions That Affect Your Business, and Fair Housing and Implicit Bias in Real Estate. The guest speakers from local, state and national organizations involved in real estate included U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo, 2020 California Association of REALTORS® President Jeanne Radsick, 2005 C.A.R. President and SILVAR National Association of REALTORS® Director Jim Hamilton, NAR Director of Governmental Advocacy Sydney Barron, C.A.R. Senior VP for Governmental Affairs and Chief Lobbyist Sanjay Wagle, C.A.R. Manager of Public Policy John Scribner, and attorney for Californians for Homeownership Matthew Gelfand.

Two sessions were devoted to the new NAR L.E.A.D Vision Course. L.E.A.D. stands for Lead, Elevate, Accelerate and Deliver. The course focused on creating a vision, team building, leadership styles, active listening, and other topics. It was the first time the course was taught to members of a local/state association. Steve Francks, CEO of the Washington Association of REALTORS®, and Suzanne Yost, chair of SILVAR’s Leadership Academy Committee, taught the eight-hour course.

The last session focused on “A Leader’s Role in Fair Housing, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.” Guest speakers included Farrah Wilder, Vice President & Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at C.A.R.; Allen Okamoto, Broker, T. Okamoto & Co., Founding Director & Director Emeritus at the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and NAR Board Director, and Matt Difanis, Broker, Champagne, Illinois and NAR Board Director.

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A REALTOR® workshop hosted by the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) early this month brought together board directors and representatives of neighboring REALTOR® and multicultural real estate associations interested in strengthening their leadership skills. “Learn to Be a Leader 2” is the second leadership workshop the local REALTOR® association has conducted that was partly funded by a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Diversity Initiative grant.

Key speaker California Assembly Member Evan Low shared his views on leadership and his experiences as a former Campbell City Council member, mayor and state legislator. Low’s talk was followed by the NAR Leadership 300 course facilitated by Steve Francks, CEO of the Washington REALTORS® Association and NAR Leadership Academy instructor.

Low said the concept of leadership is subjective depending on the characteristics one likes, and it can have misconceptions, often bringing leaders in conflict with opposing sides. “We are put on a pedestal that sometimes is unattainable. We are supposed to have all the answers, but we are human also,” said Low.

Whether in a professional or community organization or politics, a leader should be able to communicate. “Make a person feel you are invested in them. It’s a people business that needs a personalized touch,” said Low.

No matter the differences, leaders should have respect. “A leader is someone who gains your respect because you know where his heart is,” added Low.

The California Assembly member indicated engagement is important, particularly in this environment. “We are all Americans, we are all human. We need to create an environment that supports all of us. We must be all together,” said Low.

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LEARN TO BE A LEADERJoin “Learn to be a Leader,” a workshop that will help develop and enhance your leadership skills in real estate and in your community. The leadership workshop will be held on Thursday, September 7, from 9:30 a.m. (check-in) till 3:30 p.m. at SILVAR. The workshop will include guest speakers and the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership 200 Program, which will be facilitated by Steve Francks, RCE, CAE, CEO of the Washington Association of REALTORS®.

Steve Francks is an innovative leader recognized for his contributions on a regional and national level and has served as 2011 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Association Executives Committee chair. Francks is a NAR Leadership Program facilitator. He will be facilitating this interactive course that will prepare you to assume greater leadership responsibilities within your association and beyond.

The following special guests will share their leadership experiences:
Linda Lee is a 2011 graduate of the NAR Leadership Academy and holds various leadership positions at local, state and national levels – as president of Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS®, state secretary and 2015 president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® California chapter and NAR national chair of Conventional Financing and the lending policy committee. Lee is also NAR’s President Liaison to China.

Joe Simitian is a Santa Clara County Supervisor who represents the Fifth District, which includes Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Stanford, and portions of Sunnyvale and San Jose. His public service includes stints as a member of the California State Senate and California State Assembly, mayor of Palo Alto, and president of the Palo Alto School Board. He served as an election observer/supervisor in El Salvador and Bosnia. His community involvement includes service with Adolescent Counseling Services, Acterra, Leadership Mountain View, and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

At the leadership workshop you will learn to:
• Develop your leadership style
• Participate effectively in meetings
• Learn conflict resolution tools
• Develop strategic planning skills
• Manage risk

This leadership workshop is being coordinated by SILVAR’s Global Business Council and is open to all real estate professionals. Cost, which includes lunch, is $25 for members and $40 for non-members. There is limited seating for this course, so register today at ims.silvar.org, or call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100.

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