Category Archives: Nota bene

A picture is worth…

…about $5.7 Billion!

I took this picture during the Washington D.C. Embassy Briefings at the Canadian Embassy awhile back. To underscore how important Canada is to the United States economy, they have posted a US map with various statistics for all 50 states.  The “1” indicates that Canada is Oregon’s largest trading partner.

I work  directly with a number of real estate professionals throughout Canada, too, so please let me know if I can help.

International Business Council

I’m pleased to be the next Advisory Board Chair for the International Business Council, at the Oregon Association of Realtors.  I’ll be meeting next week with colleagues at OAR to form a 2011 Plan.  As we all know, international commerce is crucial to our state’s economy – and real estate is a significant piece of that pie. Stay tuned!

About the International Business Council:

The Oregon Association of REALTORS® International Business Council works to expand awareness of opportunities in international real estate. Members learn how real estate practitioners around the world are developing strategies to succeed in a global economy, how cultural diversity can be a win-win for REALTORS® and clients, and how to provide added value to international clients in Oregon. The International Business Council increases understanding of worldwide investment opportunities in real estate through a combination of networking and education. Joining the International Business Council is the first step to adding a global scope to individual REALTOR® business plans.

The Oregon Association of REALTORS® is currently the ambassador association to the country of Vietnam, where new real estate licensing laws were recently adopted. Vietnam was granted unconditional normal trade relations (NTR) status by the United States through a Presidential Proclamation signed by President Bush on December 29, 2006. (Source, U.S. Dept. of State). In 2007, the Oregon Association of REALTORS® was named the International Ambassador Association of the Year by the National Association of REALTORS®.

For more information or to become a member of the International Business Council, please contact me at 503-490-4116 or email steve@sagepacificliving.com.

A Banner Day for Equality & Housing

This video was filmed by a colleague in the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, as we attended the National Association of Realtors® Annual Delegate Meeting yesterday. The result of this vote is significant, as it holds Realtor® members to a higher standard than many state laws.

NAR Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination

The change to Article 10 of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics passed in a roll-call vote by a greater than 9-to-1 margin. It had been previously approved by the Professional Standards Committee and the Board of Directors at the 2010 Midyear Meetings in Washington D.C.

Here is the amended language of Article 10:

REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

A related recommendation amending Standard of Practice 10-3 was approved as well:

REALTORS® shall not print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to selling or renting of a property that indicates any preference, limitations or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

The amendment was discussed prior to the vote. A few of the questions raised were:

1. Is “sexual orientation,” without qualifiers or any further explanation, the right phrasing?
2. Is NAR denying private property rights (ostensibly, the right of property owners to refuse to do business with people of a certain sexual orientation due to their moral beliefs)?
3. Should NAR precede the federal government in adding sexual orientation as a protected class?

In response to the third question, a delegate from Minneapolis pointed out that the purpose of the Code of Ethics was to hold REALTORS® to a higher standard. Another delegate who approved of the amendment said the Code of Ethics was a living document.

Delegates approved the Code change by voice vote, but one delegate called for a vote by ballot.

In ballot voting weighted by size of local association, the amendment passed by more than 93 percent.

– Brian Summerfield, REALTOR® Magazine

NAR & Smart Growth

Some people are suprised to learn that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is a full supporter of smart growth principles. Placemaking is more than just building homes and sprawling on to untapped lands.  While there are many areas of the country that do not embrace smart growth, Oregon has been a leader for decades.

I’m proud that my national association is an active participant in this area.

Successful Growth Begins with Five Principles

There’s no stopping growth. By 2020, this country will need to house 53.7 million more Americans than in the year 2000.

How will we live? Differently. The average household will be smaller. More people will remain active into their 80s; they will want shopping, entertainment, and medical services within walking distance. Empty nesters may gravitate toward revitalized city neighborhoods.

Struggling with traffic congestion and watching precious open space disappear, many homeowners will say “enough” to sprawl.

What to do? Grow smart! Smart growth focuses on the existing assets of the community, the long-term implications of various development patterns, and the fiscal impacts of these patterns. The bottom line: some ways of growing are more likely to succeed in the long run.

Each community defines smart growth for itself, but the National Association of REALTORS® hopes to see all such efforts guided by five principles:

  1. Make a commitment to housing opportunity and choice, a wide range of urban, suburban, and rural homes at all price levels for a diverse population.
  2. Build better communities with good schools, low crime, quality public services, efficient transportation systems, ample recreation areas, open space, a strong employment base, and a viable commercial sector.
  3. Protect the environment by controlling pollution and encouraging preservation of natural resources and properties of historic significance.
  4. At the same time, respect our Constitutional rights to freely own, use, and transfer real property.
  5. Implement fair and reasonable public sector fiscal measures to ensure that the cost of new infrastructure is shared proportionally among those served.

Source: http://www.realtor.org/government_affairs/smart_growth/principles

Certified International Property Specialist

I am excited to announce that I have earned the designation of a Certified International Property Specialist. This designation is awarded to Realtors who have completed  two core courses, three elective courses, have  successful experience involving international real estate transactions, and have demonstrated other global professional experience.

There are over 14,000 members of the Oregon Association of Realtors.  Fewer than two dozen have achieved a CIPS designation.

What does this mean for my clients?

International real estate opportunities are everywhere. New people move to the U.S. from other countries every day and foreign-born individuals residing in the U.S. move to new markets.  Americans in your current market invest in property overseas.

For sellers: As a broker with nearly a decade of experience, I have developed a comprehensive marketing plan which recognizes that opportunities come from a myriad of sources. That next buyer may be from across town, from across the state, or from around the globe.  I have made a significant investment to give my clients’ properties the widest exposure, in order to maximize price and minimize marketing time.

For buyers: I love working with buyers, too!  Even when selling locally there are international components. Different cultures view the home-buying process uniquely and often have different priorities.  Having worked with clients from almost every continent I often draw upon those experiences – and have met amazing people along the way.

This is just a brief overview.  While the world of real estate has in some ways become border-less, it is no less complex. Please put my passion for real estate to work for you.