Meet Anna Maria Valenzuela, President, Women’s Council of Realtors Silicon Valley
Q: Can you define your current position as President of the Women’s Council of Realtors?
AMV: As a President of the Women’s Council of Realtor’s, I work alongside a dynamic team of professionals. Together we bring education, resources, tools and training for women in the real estate community and beyond. As leader of the organization, it is my call of duty to diligently bring value, unity, and strength to the organization. While each member of the board holds different positions, I do my best to collaborate with each one to support their roles and assist them in being successful individually and collectively. I have the privilege of traveling for National and State conferences throughout the year. I also enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with high profile leaders in the community and top producing Realtors across the nation. As president of the Silicon Valley, it is my honor to not only represent the local network but to serve at the state level in different committees.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your term as President?
AMV: My focus is on the following goals:
· To create a stronger foundation for the membership.
· To create growth individually and collectively.
· To continue building confidence and bringing healing.
· To provide women with resources, tools, and training for success in business and in their personal life.
· To make a difference in the wider community.
Q: Tell us about your career as a Realtor?
AMV: I became a licensed Real Estate agent in 2002. It was in 2007 that I became a full-time agent and that was precisely when the market took a downturn. My success in real estate came from being more than an average sales agent. At this time, I got involved with the Women’s Council of Realtor’s. This, in turn, gave me the opportunity to sharpen my skills as an industry leader, along with additional knowledge and expertise as a professional. I successfully negotiated short sales and pre-foreclosures the first few years in business. A few of my listings stayed on the market for two years. The market was challenging back then, but nothing compared to the disaster I encountered in my personal life when I suddenly lost my oldest son Jonathan. It’s been 5 1/2 years since that tragic event. I have my ups and downs, but I am grateful because each day is a new beginning. Today I am strong, and I love being a Realtor. I’ve been living in Silicon Valley for over 35 years. I’ve sold homes in most areas and beyond. I take pride in providing my clients the highest level of service when it comes to buying or selling a home. My commitment is always to their success. I love the art of old Victorian homes with their charm and intricate features, but new construction and traditional homes are the core of my business. Excellence is my motto and my association with Keller Williams Bay Area Estates is a prime example of it.
Q: How has technology changed in Real Estate?
AMV: There is always something new with technology in Real Estate. For the real estate professional nothing is more important than the online presence, the client relationship management, and having everything you need at our fingertips. Unfortunately, for some, the personal touch is lost. Technology has forever changed the course of Real Estate and how we run our business on a day-to-day basis. The benefits that come with technology are simply amazing and almost irreplaceable … but on the opposite side of things, nothing will ever replace the face-to-face interaction.
Q: Since tax reform was signed into law I've seen a few different articles. First is the potential of a 10% downturn in Bay Area pricing. I’ve also seen an article that predicts home prices in the Bay Area will go up further, as residents stay in their current home to enjoy the full property tax right-off. Can you give us your insight on how you think this will play out in 2018 for Bay Area buyers and sellers?
AMV: First of all, the potential of a 10% downturn in Bay area pricing is completely out of line. Even with the talk of the U.S. tax overhaul hitting the wealthy, the Bay Area is still set for additional home price gains, simply because we are in a technology-fueled economy. The second and most important indicator is the supply and demand in housing inventory. There is a high demand and a persistent shortage causing values to soar even higher.
As a Real Estate professional, I have experienced people’s concerns regarding the tax reform. Some will consider selling their homes and moving out of state to save money on taxes. Others will consider selling because they want to capitalize on the equity and avoid a loss if prices decline. In other instances, people are not changing their outlook and they want to stay put, when this is a great time to sell. On the buyer side, we are experiencing a lot of activity, buyers are determined to beat higher interest rates. Unfortunately, as rates continue to move higher, borrowing becomes more expensive, putting high-cost homes out of reach of the average homebuyer.
Q: Any further predictions for the next two or three years?
AMV: Yes! According to Edward Petterson, the scale of wealth in the Silicon Valley and the scale of the technology sector is going to outweigh the effect of the tax reform. Housing in America’s most expensive region is going to get even pricier. We have great weather. Unemployment is at it’s lowest. Job growth and opportunities are limitless. Goodness and wealth will continue to follow the Silicon Valley!
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
AMV: I think that some if not most of the issues that women encountered back in the early 1900’s are still the same challenges we face today. Discrimination, blatant and subtle sexism, sexual harassment, underrepresentation in politics, we are at a higher risk for poverty and a most of this is due to the lack of confidence. It is time that we break down these societal and personal challenges by striving for and achieving leadership roles in business and the communities we serve.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
AMV: Be fearless. Know your strengths and weaknesses but focus on your strengths. You must adopt a mindset of a winner. Believe in yourself. Be open minded and listen to understand. Be coachable and stay humble. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. You are the sum of the five people you surround yourself with. Let your actions speak louder than your words.
Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
AMV: I have earned a few awards as a Real Estate Professional and as a graduate at the Bible Institute. I am also an active leader in my church. I won a two of first place trophies as a Toastmaster and public speaker, but none of the above fulfilled my life as much as being able to say that I am more than a conqueror spiritually, as a leader, in business, and in the communities, I serve. Being able to experience beauty in strength after I endured an unmatchable loss is by far my greatest accomplishment. As a Real Estate Professional, I must say that I am honored and humbled to be back in full motion doing what I love as a Realtor and representing the Silicon Valley Women’s Council of Realtor’s as a 2018 President.
Five Things About Anna Maria Valenzuela
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl is not only an amazing leader advocating for women. She is also a prime example of perseverance and optimal success. I am inspired by her strength and message of resilience, empathy, and gratitude in the face of personal turmoil because that is exactly where I am coming from.
2. What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
Passion rules, but strategy matters. I heard this from a business coach and it truly has shaped the way I do things especially in business.
3. Do you have a favorite Movie?
One of my favorite movies is The Pursuit of Happiness by Will Smith
4. Where is your dream vacation?
My next vacation will most likely be to Mexico, but I recently added my dream vacation to my bucket list and that would be to travel around the world.
5. Do you enjoy cooking? If so, can you share some of your favorite meals you enjoy making?
I love to cook! Some of my favorite meals are the traditional Mexican foods. We have a wide range of delicious foods, so there is always something different to choose from. One of my family’s favorite is a non-traditional dish that I make around the Holidays every year and that is a Capered Turkey. We also love seafood. I make shrimp cocktail, Ceviche, and Clam Chowder.
Anna Maria Valenzuela-Realtor®
Keller Williams Bay Area Estates