Illinois REALTORS® Global Business Council to host Ghana delegation next week

Illinois REALTOR® Vicky Sampah is spearheading an effort to help a delegation from the Republic of Ghana learn about real estate industry regulation.
The delegation is scheduled to visit with Sampah and other REALTORS® in Chicago next week. Two years ago, the Illinois REALTORS® hosted a parliamentarian and real estate practitioner delegation from Ghana to share experiences and give counsel about regulating the real estate industry. The group has incorporated some of the amendments Illinois REALTORS® suggested in 2015 but the policy has not been passed in Ghana’s parliament.
Illinois REALTORS® welcomes the delegation members back and is happy to share its advocacy expertise and be part of the global community of real estate.

4 questions: REALTOR® Silvano to be sounding board for NAR global efforts

Vicky Silvano

During the Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., REALTOR® Vicky Silvano was presented as the 2018 NAR Global Business Alliances Liaison.

Silvano, a broker associate for Century 21 SGR in Chicago, is one of 16 NAR committee liaisons who will start their new duties after the NAR Conference & Expo in Chicago in November. Appointed by NAR President-Elect Elizabeth Mendenhall, the group is collectively known as the president’s enlarged leadership team.

Silvano began learning about her new responsibilities by shadowing the current Global Business Alliance Liaison, Mark Kitbayashi of Seattle, during the week of legislative meetings and NAR activities in the nation’s capital.

As Chair for the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) in 2016, she helped successfully lobby for the U.S. Census Bureau to gather separate information on behalf of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) instead of under the heading of “other.” She also serves on the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Global Council, and she joined the Illinois REALTORS® Consulate General Liaison Program as a consulate general for the Philippines.

“I am very excited about the new position,” she said.

Q1. What does a global business alliances liaison do?

In the global arena, I will be the eyes and ears of NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall and let her know what’s happening in several areas – the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Advisory Board, the Global Business Council Forum and with the Global Business Alliances. Using my feedback, she can look at our current programs and depending on the specific issues, evaluate if we need to do something different to better serve the general membership.

Q2. Global has long been a passion. Why do you think it’s so important for members to be aware of cross-border opportunities?

In 2016, global business transactions created 102 billion business opportunities, and to not highlight them means lost business opportunities for our members. The more our members can take advantage of these opportunities, the better off they’ll be.

Q3. Your work with AREAA resulted in the successful “No Other” campaign. What impact did that have on the industry and why was this so significant?

The “No Other” campaign resulted in the disaggregation of data by the US Census Bureau which has been much needed to understand the housing challenges and needs of the AAPI community. Prior to July 2016, the quarterly housing report lumped Asian Americans into a category with mixed races and various ethnic groups that are very different from AAPIs. With a stand-alone category, the data is much more accurate for our community.  From an industry standpoint, real estate professionals and service providers can better understand what’s going on with housing trends for AAPIs and provide better support to increase the rate of homeownership for our community. From a Policy perspective, the government can now focus on the issues and needs of the AAPI community and address them accordingly.

Q4. What’s the best thing about being in real estate?

I’ve been a top producer and achieved a lot in my career, but my legacy is what I accomplished through AREAA for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. For me, the greatest success is making sure the needs of those communities are being served, and that issues are being heard and resolved to expand the homeownership rate in the AAPI community.


Illinois REALTORS® meet with Japanese Consulate

(l to r) Keizo Shirakura, Hisayo Matsumoto, REALTOR® Ayumi DeLoney and REALTOR® Vicky Silvano.

Another successful connection was made within the Consulate Liaison program this week. REALTOR® Ayumi DeLoney, Broker with Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty and Illinois REALTOR® Liaison to the Consulate General of Japan led a discussion with Economic Consul staff to discuss ways we can partner and share information that will result in broadening the Illinois economy and raising awareness of the REALTOR® brand globally.

(l to r) Vicky Silvano, Keizo Shirakura, Hisayo Matsumoto and Ayumi DeLoney.

Also, according to Erik Brejla with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, “Japan is an important part of the economic landscape of Illinois. Japanese companies employ roughly 50,000 Illinois residents so we appreciate the Illinois REALTORS® engagement with the Consulate’s office in order to foster a unified message that Illinois is open for business and is a leader on things like infrastructure, logistics and technology.”

Joining DeLoney at the meeting was Global Policy staffer, Sharon Gorrell, and Chair of the Consulate Liaison Working Group, REALTOR® Vicky Silvano. The three met with Hisayo Matsumoto, Special Researcher for the Consulate General, and Keizo Shirakura, Economic Section Consul, and shared statistics on Illinois and the recent 2017 Housing Forecast.

Shirakura stated, “We are glad to have a source to share economic data and real estate information and look forward to working together.”

(l to r) Sharon Gorrell, Keizo Shirakura, Hisayo Matsumoto and Ayumi DeLoney.

Illinois REALTORS® engage local partners in global business

Several members of our Consulate General Liaison Program (l to r): Ahmed Badat (S. Africa), Maurice Hampton (Canada), Betty Milam (Ecuador), Andy Velkme (Latvia), John LaTourneau (Ireland) and Mikus Kins (Lithuania).

Several REALTOR® partner groups gathered last week in the Chicago area to learn more about serving the real estate needs of international customers.

On Thursday, the Illinois REALTORS® sponsored the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Global Council event, “CANADA: What You Need to Know: Country, Culture, Clients and Costs!” Speakers discussed tax policy, marketing strategies, international mortgages, culture and geography of the provinces, and the housing market. Attendees asked questions and listened to short presentations during a series of roundtable discussions. Global staff members of the National Association of REALTORS® participated as well.

On Friday, the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS held their monthly Global Business Council meeting. Bill Caton, Principal of Caton Commercial and a founding member of the Council spoke about the 2017 MIPIM real estate conference in Cannes, France. Several of the Illinois REALTOR® Consulate Liaisons also participated in the meeting and the discussion included strategies to promote commercial international business efforts.

The state and local associations are developing programming and strategies designed to better equip members to serve international real estate customers and to motivate them to expand their sphere of influence into the global realm. The Illinois REALTORS® are excited to be part of the expansion and excitement!

Activities help consulate liaison program keep growing

(l to r) Lithuanian Consul General Marijus Gudynas, Sharon Gorrell and REALTOR® Mikus Kins discussed mutual benefits of working together.

Earlier this month, members of the Illinois REALTORS® Consulate General Liaison Program met with their consulates and with each other for training and networking in Chicago.

For example, REALTOR® Mikus Kins, Consulate General Liaison to Lithuania, and Global Policy Advisor Sharon Gorrell met with Marijus Gudynas, Lithuanian Consul General and explained our liaison program. They discussed ways Gudynas and the REALTOR® community can work together to promote real estate in Illinois, in addition to fostering relationships with the real estate community in Lithuania.

“Cooperation with the Illinois REALTORS® could help establish mutually beneficial relationships between Lithuanian business representatives and the REALTOR® community in Illinois,” said Gudynas. “I hope that it encourages the sharing of best practices and knowledge that results in new business opportunities for Illinois and Lithuania.”

Kins and Gorrell also shared information on the NAR Global program and how it is expanding to more countries.

Also, the entire liaison team heard from representatives of the state of Illinois as well as global staff members from state and national associations. Topics included Consular corps in Chicago, assets of the state of Illinois and resources available for meetings and activities with the consulates.

The day ended with a series of “speed networking sessions” to help liaisons learn about each other. The training and networking is designed to help develop a strong network that grows into a true global asset for the Illinois REALTORS®.