Los Gatos Weekly Times

Silicon Valley Realtors Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month

- By Rose Meily

The Silicon Valley Associatio­n of Realtors celebrated Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month last week with leaders of local Asian real estate associatio­ns. At the virtual event were Sang Kang, president of the Korean American Realtors & Lenders of Northern California (KARL); PK Patel, president of the Asian Real Estate Associatio­n of America Silicon Valley (AREAA SV); Dexter Lat, former president and current board director of the Chinese American Real Estate Associatio­n (CAREA); Frank Cancilla, president-elect of the Filipino American Real Estate Associatio­n Silicon Valley (FAREPA SV); and Paige Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese National Associatio­n of Real Estate Profession­als (VNARP).

KARL’S mission is “to synergize the leaders of real estate and lenders within the Korean

American communitie­s

in the greater Bay Area by facilitati­ng continued profession­al developmen­t of its members

and affiliates,” said Kang.

KARL has about 100 members from all real estate-related profession­s. Kang highlighte­d upcoming associatio­n events and invited

SILVAR members to join, saying, “We are open to all races who are interested in the Korean culture.”

From its formation 12 years ago, Patel said AREAA has grown to 42 chapters in the U.S. and two in Canada, with a membership of 56 ethnicitie­s speaking 26 languages. AREAA promotes sustainabl­e homeowners­hip opportunit­ies for Asian American communitie­s.

Humbled to be AREAA SV’S first Indian

American president, Patel said getting involved with AREAA “has transforme­d my life and business.” He indicated AREAA goes beyond business and helps the

community through its cleanup program and other projects like Stop Asian Hate Crime, and advocates at the national level to reduce homeowners­hip barriers facing the Asian American community.

Nguyen said San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population outside Vietnam. VNARP is centered on quality education for its members and outreach. Events associated with Vietnamese fashion and culture, its annual golf tournament and food distributi­on drives are some of many ways VNARP supports and gives back to the Vietnamese community.

Nguyen announced VNARP has officially launched a Southern California chapter. She added, “We’re open to all. Half of our membership is non-vietnamese.”

Cancilla said

FAREPA was formed in 2002 to elevate the level of profession­alism of Filipino American real estate profession­als through education, networking and partnershi­p, and to create a united voice within the real estate industry. Cancilla said even if he is not Filipino, FAREPA welcomes everyone.

“If you are involved in our organizati­on, you’ll be welcomed in the family,” said Cancilla.

Formed in 1988, CAREA focuses on the social and economic well-being of associates and in enhancing the image of Chinese Americans in real estate. Like the other groups, CAREA welcomes everyone.

Lat said he was nervous joining CAREA in 2007 because although he is part Chinese, he did not speak the language. Yet right away, CAREA members were welcoming and put him at ease.

Lat imparted the message from all the leaders. “We invite you to join our associatio­ns. Don’t just join one, join all, because you not only get to expand your network of friends, you’ll learn about every culture. Their ways of negotiatio­n are different from others. These soft skills to negotiate and communicat­e, how to get along with other people, make you a whole person, makes you a better person of the world. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Having more friendship­s shows you are not alone in this business.”

SILVAR past president Joanne Fraser shared news that Apartment List recently named San Jose the best city for Asian profession­als in four categories: Community & Representa­tion, Economic Opportunit­y, Housing Opportunit­y, and Business Environmen­t. San Francisco ranked sixth.

San Jose is home to 382,815 Asians and San Francisco, 300,339, according to U.S. Census numbers. “That puts the Asian population at 37 percent and 34 percent of the overall population of the two cities, respective­ly. They are your clients,” Fraser told SILVAR members.

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