RSIR Draws Attention from Asia’s Leading Real Estate Publication – Property Report

BeijingBlog
In a recent article entitled Foreign Firms Bullish on Asian Real Estate Expansion Plans, Property Report took note of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s new Asia Desk and concluded that numerous real estate firms are entering the Asian marketplace to tap the rise in foreign buying in the US. Given that “International” is our middle name, it makes sense that RSIR has taken some leadership in promoting the Pacific Northwest through attending luxury property shows, generating editorial content in Asia, hosting local events and of course, helping to establish the first Mainland Chinese affiliate at Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty.

 

Property Report is Southeast Asia’s leading luxury real estate, architecture and design magazine. It presents up-to-date information and coverage of industry trends and innovations. Each issue incorporates an in-depth Special Report on a business trend and a Market Focus on a real estate hot spot, interviews with leading industry figures and news stories on villas, land, condominiums, construction, finance, legal issues, in addition to extended interiors and architecture features. A total of 32,000 copies are printed every month and Property Report is distributed at newsstands throughout Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. It is also available at more than 30 business class lounges at airports in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong, including gate service at all Emirates flights out of Bangkok, over 200 five-star hotels around the region, including 90 in Hong Kong, and more than 30 marinas, golf clubs and private clubs in Asia.

RSIR Hosts 2014 Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit at Connoisseurs of Life Showroom

On October 15, more than 200 guests and members of the Asian Real Estate Association of America Greater Seattle Chapter attended the 2014 Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit at the Connoisseurs of Life Showroom within the Kirkland Branch Office of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). The much anticipated event was six months in the making and provided an enlightening discussion about the exponentially rising consumption of international home buying and foreign direct investment in the region, most notably by Chinese nationals. On October 19, the Puget Sound Business Journal editorialized the event, borrowing a quote from the panel “We Haven’t Seen Anything Yet”.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: The 2014 Board of Directors for AREAA’s Greater Seattle Chapter along with committee members who coordinated the 2014 Pacific Rim Summit event.

In addition to RSIR, corporate supports included Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Seattle Magazine, Union Bank, Bank of America Home Loans, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Cobalt Mortgage, Seattle King County Association of Realtors, Homestreet Bank, RPM Mortgage, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, East West Bank, Airfield Estates and Y Cider.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA Red Carpet

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: Guests arrived early to a red carpet and VIP registration desk where board members of AREAA personally greeted each attendee and shared information about AREAA.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

The atrium at RSIR’s Kirkland branch office was transformed into a trade show of sponsors and included a hosted wine bar and passed bites prepared by A Platinum Events. A large step-and-repeat backdrop provided by Seattle Magazine encouraged photographs amongst guests.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA Red Carpet

PICTURED ABOVE: Corporate sponsors for the AREAA event mingle with guests in the lobby of the Connoisseurs of Life showroom in downtown Kirkland.

The Pacific Rim Summit drew a panel of industry leaders including, Angela Bi – CEO of Visas Consulting Group, Kevin Brown – Senior Global Real Estate Advisor and Association Broker for Sotheby’s International Realty in Manhattan, Tere Foster – Managing Broker, Premier Executive Director, CRS, GRI for Windermere Real Estate, Wendy Lister – Vice President, Managing Broker for Coldwell Banker Bain and Tom Chang – SVP, Director of Pacific NW Region at East West Bank. The conference was moderated by Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. The keynote presenter was Mauricio Umansky from LA-based brokerage firm The Agency.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: More than a dozen sponsors helped underwrite the program including banks, lenders and real estate companies that support AREAA’s goals to bring the industry together.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Leah Li, Miss Chinatown USA 2013, made an appearance and took photographs with guests and was seen here with RSIR Brokers Jodi Long (left), Carrie DeBuys (right) and Chad Zinda, Designated Broker.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR Broker Lili Shang (left) visits with Min Christ, a developer and EB-5 regional center sponsor behind the Southport Hotel in Renton, which recently broke ground using foreign direct investments from China.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: Industry panelists (left to right) Tere Foster, Kevin Brown, Tom Chang, Angela Bi and Wendy Lister presented to a packed audience that spilled into the atrium with standing room only.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

“AREAA provides our industry with a platform to collaborate and work on a shared agenda like attracting international home buyers to our region and encouraging foreign direct investment,” said Jones. “While many different real estate brands were represented, I think our guests quickly realized that we are not competitors when we work together. The reality is we are a marketplace competing against alternative markets like Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to name a few.”

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: Current AREAA Seattle Chapter President Justin Kim (above) welcomes the many new and existing members to the first annual Pacific Rim Summit and introduces Dean Jones (below) as moderator.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

As event moderator, Dean Jones introduced the panelists and briefly shared his own story about immigrating to the United States, drawing parallels about the exponential rise in Asian home buying, given his home town of Vancouver, BC is largely considered the epicenter of the trend. Having just returned a day earlier from the Grand Opening of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty in Beijing, China, Jones confirmed that the Seattle area is “definitely on the map” overseas and he predicted a steady rise in demand. He provided a presentation highlighting the trends in the US and deferred to the panelists to share their experiences about what’s happening locally.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Foreign home buying in the US is anticipated to surpass $92 billion in 2014, representing approximately 7-percent of the total activity in US housing and marking a dramatic increase over prior years.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: China is clearly the fastest growing country for international home buyers in the US – Canada still represents more unit sales but Chinese command far more in aggregated sales volume.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Transactions from Chinese home buyers in the US increased the greatest in 2014, while Canada actually declined considerably in part due to a weakening Canadian Dollar.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Jones highlighted the motivations for international home buying and the effects on certain sunshine states and summarized that there may soon be more Chinese buying for education and immigration than Canadians buying second homes for vacations.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Chinese typically spend the most on their US home purchase compared with the other top five international markets.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: A high percentage of international home buyers are paying cash but Chinese are most dominant with all-cash transactions, as US home purchases are largely influenced by their goals to diversify their portfolio and American real estate is viewed as a financial safe harbor.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Seattle was highlighted as an emerging marketplace for Asian home buyers because the American Dream is more easily attained here. It’s the closest mainland port to Asia, there’s an abundance of renowned private and public schools, and a pristine natural environment.

“With the Chinese, the real estate axiom is no longer LOCATION-LOCATION-LOCATION,” said Jones. “It should be LOCATION-EDUCATION- ENVIRONMENT.”

Jones outlined the fact that Seatac Airport is actually up to two hours quicker and less expensive to fly to primary Asian markets versus other West Coast hubs in California. Said carriers like Hainan Airlines and Delta Airlines are competing for business, providing more flights at lower costs. He stated many schools in the region are top-ranked in the country and that the University of Washington’s freshman class is comprised of 10% foreign-born students, with half coming from China. From an environmental perspective, Jones said the Pacific Northwest climate is actually preferred given the natural beauty, clean air and water. In addition, Washington’s favorable tax environment is preferred, as there is no state income tax compared to California, which has the highest combined tax environment in the US not to mention higher-priced real estate.

“The University of Washington is actually ranked 15th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities – that’s the highest on the West Coast but for several other universities in California,” said Jones. “Ultimately, parents want to send their kids to a school where they can receive a great education, graduate with honors, secure gainful employment, afford to buy a home and raise a family in a healthy and prosperous environment. That’s what we offer here.”

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: To make the market “matter”, several RSIR initiatives were shared with the audience including attending luxury property shows, networking with centers of influence overseas and creating dynamic websites that compare and contrast gateway markets in the US such as DragonandthePearls.com.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: International buyers prefer the ability to quickly compare competitive markets on attributes such as weather, taxes, Asian demographics, foreign owned businesses, flight paths, and median home prices before they focus on individual home purchase opportunities.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Compared to other “hedge” cities where immigration and international home buying has inflated property values, Seattle actually remains a more affordable marketplace and may even be globally undervalued given the prosperity of the diversified economy, high job growth and more recent discovery by international buyers (most notably the Chinese).

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR has been very active in helping to establish the first mainland Chinese affiliate in Beijing and has been promoting the Seattle metro area with targeted editorial within publications distributed throughout Asia.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Seattle and an attractive Pacific Northwest lifestyle are promoted through a hit movie called “Beijing Meets Seattle”, which has also resulted in global media exposure highlighting Chinese home buying such as with Bloomberg News.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Advertisements promoting Seattle-area EB-5 investments and immigration services are found throughout Asia, such as the billboard shown above, which was discovered in the Beijing Capital International Airport.

Following the digital presentation, a conversation began with each of the panelists covering their personal experiences working with Asian home buyers and insights on the trends.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Panelist Tere Foster estimated that 40-percent of her impressive business is with Asian home buyers and she’s supported by a Mandarin-speaking translator to facilitate the transactions.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Panelist Kevin Brown shared a story about how one of his Chinese clients purchase a $6 million presale condominium in New York City for their two-year-old daughter and in a demonstration of the appreciation potential attracting foreign buyers, the new owners have turned down offers of $8 million and $9 million so far to date.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Panelist Angela Bi presented on the incredible expansion of wealth of mainland China, and based on her research with HURUN, she estimates that the majority of these consumers are either in the process of emigrating or plan to emigrate from China.

“Since the Canadian government abolished its foreign direct investment program last spring, more than 57,000 Chinese applicants that planned to move to Canada now have to find alternative solutions to emigrate from China,” said Bi.  “From what we see, more and more clients are attracted to Seattle. I think we have a lot of opportunity to collaborate, make money and have fun together.”

Interestingly, RSIR originally broke the story, which resulted in a King 5 News broadcast.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Panelist Tom Chang presented on the size of the Chinese economy, which will most likely soon eclipse the US GDP and drew conclusions about the impact on the Seattle/Bellevue metro area.

“We haven’t seen anything yet”, proclaimed Chang during his presentation, suggesting that this is just the beginning of Chinese home buying activity in the region. “In addition to residential consumers, our bank has been involved in more than $100 million in commercial land acquisition by Chinese nationals.”

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Panelist Wendy Lister offered examples of how her team targets international clients by preparing marketing materials in Mandarin, performing Feng Shui studies at her properties, and pricing properties with asking prices ending in the number eight, as just a few examples.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Panelists enjoyed their discussion and responded to several questions from the audience.

Title sponsor Merrill Lynch representative John A. Rial provided some perspective on global wealth trends and introduced the keynote speaker Mauricio Umansky – a top-selling broker in the US and partner in The Agency. Remarkably, after only a few years in business, The Agency today has seven offices, more than 100 brokers and has generated an excess of $4 billion in sales.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: John A. Rial, Senior Vice President of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, was the title sponsor for the AREAA event and provided an overview of global wealth trends.

Umansky shared his many secrets to success, which included finding balance between his hectic career and caring for his family but also being bold in business and not fearing failure. Offering inspiring insights, much of his presentation was relatable to the audience, many of which were brokers exploring how to reposition themselves for a share of the Asian home buyer bounty that’s coming ashore.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA Mauricio Umansky

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: Keynote presenter Mauricio Umansky of The Agency offered an insightful perspective of global real estate sales at the top of the marketplace, where transactions are commonly in excess of $30 million. In addition to being a top-producing broker, Umansky can also be seen on several hit TV reality shows such as Million Dollar Listing LA and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (wife Kyle Richards shown below in family portrait).

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Incoming AREAA Seattle Chapter President for 2015, Ian Wang was announced and introduced Carmen Chong, AREAA National Chairwoman 2015.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Carmen Chong, the National Chairwoman of AREAA, flew into Seattle to share her story of immigration to the US and the community that she found in organizations like AREAA.

AREAA Seattle Chapter board members announced the Pacific Rim Summit’s philanthropic partner as the Asian Counseling and Referral Service, to whom partial proceeds of the event and raffle drawing were gifted.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Upon conclusion of the discussions, each of the panelists were presented with a red glassybaby gift from AREAA, which was symbolic given the illuminating information provided.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Among the many sponsors and supports, Dean Jones accepted a plaque from Miss Chinatown USA, Leah Li, on stage.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR Broker, Chris Doucet holds up her fateful tickets in hopes of winning one of the many prizes being raffled off by Mauricio Umansky. Prizes ranged from complimentary VIP tickets to the After Glow party following the event to Seahawks tickets.

Following the various presentations and announcements, VIP guests were treated to an After Glow reception at the Maison DeLille wine lounge, which fronts the RSIR Kirkland branch office. Attendees were treated to live music by The Voice’s Mycle Wastman, fine wines by DeLille Cellars and photo opportunities with the panelists and celebrity guests.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Mycle Wastman, best known for his appearance on The Voice, was a musical guest during the After Glow party held at Maison DeLille.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: After Glow party-goers (left to right) – RSIR’s Carrie DeBuys, Stacy Jones, Andrea Savage, Christine Kipp and Andrea Hakim

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: All systems go, RSIR’s IT Director Cameron Alavi finally enjoys a well-deserved glass of wine after orchestrating a comprehensive audio/visual package for the AREAA events.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: AREAA board member Louis Howard surprises the audience with his very capable music skills as he busts out a few tunes with Mycle Wastman.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: The Snap Bar photo booth was a popular spot for guests, including Mauricio Umansky, who opted not to wear the gimmicks.

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit AREAA

PICTURED ABOVE: Stacy Jones hosted a private dinner for the keynote speaker and several out-of-town Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates who visited for the AREAA event and is seen here with Mauricio Umansky and Volterra restaurant owner Michelle Quisenberry.

For more information on AREAA visit AREAA.org