International real estate, in our backyard


I just returned from our FIABCI Spring Business Meetings in Alexandria, VA, and as always the meetings proved to be both educational and great business. A quick recap….

Most of my clients and friends know that I work in the international real estate market, but not all know how that applies directly to my business right here in Portland. It’s simple – while all real estate is local, to be truly effective we have to operate on the global stage.

Consider this:
1. Trade between the United States and Canada (our largest trading partner) is at the rate of over $1,000,000 per minute.
2. Closer to home, Oregon and Canada trade $16,000,000 in goods daily – and bilateral trade supports 88,750 jobs in Oregon.
(source for both, Canadian Embassy briefing, Washington DC, March 26, 2010).

How does this affect a local seller of real estate?

While all sellers expect their property to go on the MLS and the broker’s website – unique, high-end and investment properties need more. Much more. This is where FIABCI members can offer a seller a tremendous competitive advantage over every other broker.

  • FIABCI members are members of Proxio, a global MLS exchange for practitioners who work with international clients.
  • We can broadcast messages directly to FIABCI members around the globe to announce our special properties. This is supply and demand at work; I can maximize the supply of potential buyers.
  • At each business meeting, we can promote our featured listings to brokers from around the world – FACE to FACE. In the age of social media, we all know that face to face networking still yields the best results.

Prior to the meetings, many of us also attended a class on Global Real Estate that was conducted by a visiting professor from University of Denver. We were reminded that the United State is still considered the best real estate market in the world, so it is key to promote our local market outside our backyard.

So, as the U.S. continues to attract global real estate buyers, I will do my part to make sure that Oregon is on the world’s radar!

International | Lessons from Bogotá

“The least a democratic society should do is to offer people wonderful public spaces. Public spaces are not a frivolity. They are just as important as hospitals and schools. They create a sense of belonging. This creates a different type of society—a society where people of all income levels meet in public space is a more integrated, socially healthier one.” Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá

The video is a little long, but great to watch.

Waxing Philosophical


Last week our house was burglarized. I believe it was a random event, and it’s been a learning process. This week we’re taking steps to minimize the risk of this happening again. We live in a very nice neighborhood, and perhaps that was part of what made our home a target.

I’m surprised that I never felt angry. After the shock wore off – and relief that my dog was safe – I wondered what was the thief’s motivation. Drug money? Economic desperation? Just a thug? In the end it doesn’t matter because we’re safe. Then I chuckled to myself – “well, non-attachment is an important zen principle that’s hard to learn. Is there such a thing as forced non-attachment?”

I’ll return to regular posts once things are back to normal and I get mildly re-attached to some new stuff – like a replacement computer!

by Ven. Thich Thien An

One of the most important teachings of Zen Buddhism is non-attachment. The teaching of non-attachment may be easy to understand, but it is not easy to practice. Nevertheless, it is very essential to cultivate non-attachment if we are to live a serene and happy life in a world of constant change ; for this reason it is introduced here.
Our world is a world of desire. Every living being comes forth from desire and endures as a combination of desires. We are born from the desire between of our father and mother. Then, when we emerge into this world, we become infatuated with many things, and become ourselves well-springs of desire. Through desire we give rise to attachments. For every desire there is a corresponding attachment, namely, to the object of desire. For example, we are most conspicuously attached to our bodies. When someone threatens the body, we grow anxious and try to protect it. We relish physical comforts and the enjoyment of the senses. Thus, we are strongly attached to the body. But if we consider this attachment, we will see that it is a potential source of suffering. For the body is constantly changing. We wish we could remain alive forever, but moment after moment the body is passing from youth to old age, from life to death. We may be happy when we are young and strong, but we contemplate sickness, old age and the ever present threat of death, anxiety overwhelms us. Thus, we seek to elude the inevitable by evading the thought of it. The lust for life and fear of death are forms of attachment.
We are attached not only to our bodies but also to our possessions. We continually weave a net of clinging around our clothes, or car, our house and our wealth. We loath to part with these things and always try to accumulate more of them. We are also attached to memories concerning the past or anticipations of the future. Many people write diaries because they cannot part with their experiences, but wish to preserve them in such a form that they can always recollect them. When explorer climb a high mountain peak, what do they do ? They leave their name on a rock trees. When the astronauts landed on the moon, they left their footprints ant the American flag. These attachments are based on the egocentric point of view, with its offspring, the notions of ‘me’ and ‘mine’.
Even spiritual experiences may become objects of attachment. Through meditation we may gain some unusual experience or even satori ; then we become attached to these attainments. This is another form of attachment. Zen Buddhism teaches us to extinguish attachment in order that we may discover the state of absolute freedom which is rightfully ours. The path to freedom is difficult to follow, but if we have sufficient determination, we can do it.