Fri09192014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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