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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Realtor panel discusses local challenges

A panel of members of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors discussed their lead-generation strategies and the challenges they face in their business at a recent meeting in Mountain View.

The panel included Diyar Essaid from Coldwell Banker, Michael Galli from Alain Pinel Realtors, Beth Tomkins from Sereno Group and David Kim from Intero Real Estate Service.

According to panelists, due to the shortage of inventory, the housing market has become highly competitive for agents and homebuyers. With mortgage interest rates inching upward, many buyers see the window of opportunity for homeownership but face a short supply of homes for sale and competition from all-cash buyers and investors.

The panelists practice lead generation in many ways, from open houses to door knocking, direct mailing and print and Internet advertising.

They advised other agents to find a niche in which they are comfortable.

Galli said he spends a great deal on print advertising, which generates referrals indirectly. This type of marketing takes time, effort and money to administer, but it works for him, he added.

The greatest challenge for Tomkins is balancing business with family. Although many enter the real estate field because they want more flexibility time-wise, a highly competitive market can be a big challenge for agents with young children. Her advice to those with growing families is to make sure that they are organized and maintain a schedule.

Kim said the emotional drama of real estate could be a challenge for agents. He noted that due to the limited inventory, buyers get very stressed and frustrated when other buyers, particularly those presenting all-cash offers, win out every time they place a bid on a house.

A major challenge facing agents is managing buyer expectations, Essaid said. She noted that some buyers don’t take rejection well and will either bow out of the market or make the wrong move.

Essaid added that she first educates her clients about the market, preparing buyers by showing them homes for approximately six to eight weeks. They discuss the houses – what they like and don’t like, and review the disclosures. During this time, they will see which homes sell and for what price, learning more about the market and preparing for when they decide to jump in. It also increases the trust level between her and the clients, Essaid said.

“Trust is paramount,” she emphasized.

Galli said agents should be honest with their clients and “tell them like it is.” He also indicated that it’s important for agents to “get up to speed” with technology, because high-tech tools enable efficiency. The file-hosting system Dropbox, for example, facilitates business when synced to a smartphone or a computer.

Tomkins advised agents to get to know one another, because they will one day be sitting across from each other at the negotiating table.

“There is strength in knowing each other,” she said.

Galli summarized the panel’s definition of success as “having happy clients and a balanced life.” Kim added that it’s important to “be happy and do the best you can.”

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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