On October 9, 2014, the AABANY Real Estate Committee and the Solo & Small Firm Committee presented “Understanding Diversity and the 411 on Foreign Real Estate Investors,” a CLE program and networking dinner. This AABANY Event was also co-sponsored by: Asian American Real Estate Association- New York East Chapter; Queens Asian Bar Association; Fidelity National Financial; East West Bank; and Skyline TRG Title Agency. The event took place at Mudan Banquet Hall in Flushing, New York and was attended by 60 attorneys and real estate professionals. Panel speakers included Pablo Wong, Senior Vice President of Market Development of Fidelity National Financial; Margaret T. Ling, Esq., Senior Underwriter Counsel, Skyline TRG Title Agency; and Janny Cheung, First Vice President, Commercial Real Estate, East West Bank.

Pablo Wong discussed the statistical breakdown and population changes of the foreign markets and how they affect the U.S. home ownership and the real estate market. He raised key points on understanding foreign investors.

Janny Cheung presented on how foreign investors are gaining strength in the U.S. commercial real estate market. She focused on China as a source of global capital and spoke about the current wave of China real estate investment in New York City. She further discussed the evolving role played by East West Bank in partnering with the global investor on the many cross border transactions taking place. 

Margaret Ling was the final speaker. She discussed the legal substantive points of representing foreign buyers and sellers. She stressed the importance of knowing your client and exercising due diligence in explaining all the facets of buying and selling to the foreign client. In addition, she spoke about the Asian client and the need to understand the cultural aspects and nuances of Feng Shui in regard to a real estate transaction.

Thank you to all those who made this event possible: sponsors, organizers, speakers, and attendees. Those interested in becoming more involved in AABANY’s Real Estate Committee should contact Co-Chairs Margaret Ling (margaret.ling@aabany.org), Wendy Yu (wendy.yu@aabany.org), or Edward Kang (edward.kang@aabany.org). Those interested in becoming more involved in AABANY’s Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee should contact Co-Chairs Wendy Yu (wendy.yu@aabany.org) or Cary Chan (cary.chan@aabany.org). 

(Photos courtesy of Yang Chen and Francis Chin.)