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APR in the News

Alain Pinel Realtors Names Rainy Hake Chief Operating Officer

June 25, 2015

Bay Area Firm Appoints Youngest COO of Top Real Estate Companies in Nation

SARATOGA, California — Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), California’s largest independent real estate broker, has promoted Rainy Hake to the office of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), making her the youngest COO of the top residential real estate companies nationwide. Effective immediately, Rainy will oversee all of the day-to-day operations of the company, including managing the Marketing, Technology, and Training Departments, as well as leading the company’s strategic vision. Paul L. Hulme will remain President and CEO.
Rainy has been an invaluable member of APR since 2003, holding a number of roles including Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs and her most recent role as Executive Vice President. As a member of the executive team, Rainy has led the strategic roadmap for the firm in all areas of operations. During her tenure, APR has increased its national ranking from 11th to 5th largest in the nation based on sales. In the past two years, she has overseen an increase in profits by 26%, greatly outperforming the market.
“Rainy’s contributions to the firm are immeasurable. She has helped introduce new innovations and modern marketing practices in our ever evolving brokerage,” said Hulme. “She has proven through her strategic leadership, diligent performance, and service that she possesses the experience, energy, and creative ingenuity to ensure APR remains the Bay Area’s premier real estate company.”
Rainy is a licensed broker with nearly 20 years of luxury real estate experience and is a member of FIABCI-USA International Real Estate Federation and the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). In addition to her real estate experience, Rainy has also acted as an international brand strategy consultant for some of the world’s leading business brands including L’Oreal Paris, Wells Fargo Bank, and McCann Worldwide. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s in Business Administration in International Marketing and Strategic Planning from the University of Oxford, England.

Market Updates

Larry Knapp Comments on the Local Real Estate Market

July 25, 2009

Alain Pinel Realtors’ President & COO Larry Knapp made these recent comments on the local real estate market:
“All indications are that the market at the lower-end has not only bottomed out – but is on the rebound.  Almost everywhere around the Bay Area first-rate properties priced under $1 million are selling, and in many cases selling in multiple-offer situations.

Inventory has dropped considerably since this time last year, and the market is vigorous. On average, the number of homes closed in the first six months of this year for all seven Bay Area counties was up 28% over 2008.

The bigger question for many of our agents who work in the luxury market is what’s happening there. Between October of 2008 and June of 2009 closings of homes over $2 million hit the wall.  Year-to-date through June, closings in this segment were down 50% to 80%, depending on where you were in the Bay Area. On average for our entire market area, closings above $2 million were down 57%. Until October 2008, few luxury markets had felt the impact of the slumping economy.  After October it was quite dramatic.

Starting in late April and continuing through June, open business in the over $2 million market has shown notable improvement over previous months. While still below last years numbers, the rate of decline grew smaller. 

In June, pending sales for homes over $2 million across the Bay Area was down only 21% from 2008. While certainly slower than last year, it is still a healthy improvement over the first five months of this year. This trend in open business has continued into July.

We have also heard of a healthy “shadow market” in the extreme upper-end where homes above $10 million are being quietly marketed and sold under confidentiality agreements – not through the MLS but through the network of agents who are known to specialize in that selective market. For a number of reasons, these clients choose to work behind the scenes and outside of the public eye.

There are two phenomena taking place once a property goes into escrow. First, there is twice as much work required to get the sale closed compared to a couple of years ago. Second, sales on the whole are taking much longer to close. In the past we could have expected most open sales to close in 30 to 45 days; it is now commonplace for those same sales to take between 60 and 90 days.  With this in mind, tracking open business is a much better indicator of what is happening today than tracking closings.

Perhaps our biggest challenge is the situation in the appraisal arena, particularly as it relates to conforming loan product. There is an enormous disconnect from the old way of doing things versus the new. Regulations that have been introduced to try and avoid the abuses of the past have the appraisal evaluation business in disarray. Appraisers who are not familiar with the nuances of our Bay Area micro-markets are often struggling to justify sales prices. While some might say that this is needed, the new system is not open to drilling into facts on comps that should be considered in many cases.

A good example of this appraisal issue is an REO property that came on the market in the South Bay a couple of months ago. It was listed at a really great price for the neighborhood: $450,000. The listing generated eleven offers, with most over $500,000, and the highest being $570,000. A sale in the mid $500,000’s could have been supported with a good appraisal, but instead, the third party asset management company chose to take a $350,000 all-cash offer. How would you like to be a shareholder in the bank that authorized that decision? But, more importantly, it set a very low comparable sale for the neighborhood that is not a true reflection of market value.

In today’s appraisal environment, an appraiser would likely ignore the facts and stand on the $350,000 price as a comp in the neighborhood. The facts are that the property had eight buyers willing to pay over $500,000 for the property. The consequences of the seller’s decision and the new appraisal rules will end up doing damage to all of the other property owners in the area.

In closing, I’m happy to report that our open business for June and into July was very positive in all of our markets around the Bay Area. In addition to the robust market under $1 million, we are finally seeing a generous amount of activity in the $1.5+ million properties, including a good number of sales in the $2 to $4 million range. Our open business for June was the best we’ve seen since June of 2007.

Whether this level of activity will sustain itself is yet to be seen, but it certainly is a breath of fresh air to see the buyer demand at such a high level.”

APR in the News Community Spotlights

Don Faught Elected 2010 CAR Treasurer

June 17, 2009

Don Faught of Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) was elected the 2010 California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Treasurer at the CAR Board of Directors meeting. He will commence his duties as Treasurer in November and will take the official oath of office at the January 2010 business meetings in Palm Desert.
Faught has been a CAR member for over 20 years, and has been a CAR Director since 1997. He has served as Chair on many CAR committees including the Federal Issues Committee, and was the 2008 Vice-Chair of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee. Faught has also been a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Director since 2002.
“With 11 years experience in Strategic Planning, Budget and Finance at my local association I know how to plan, finance and build a vision for the future,” Faught said. “The next few years present unprecedented challenges for our members, and we need to give them the information, education and technology they need to successfully compete in the new real estate market.”
Faught, Vice-President and Managing Broker for the APR Pleasanton and Livermore Valley offices, is one of the leading real estate professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is very involved in both the local and state level of the Realtor Associations, helping to ensure that Alain Pinel Realtors remains at the forefront as one of the nation’s largest real estate firms.
For more information about Alain Pinel Realtors, please visit

APR in the News

APR Los Gatos Manager Jeff Barnett Named SILVAR Realtor of the Year

May 27, 2009

Jeff Barnett of Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) was named Realtor of the Year by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR) at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton, CA. This is Barnett’s second time winning this prestigious award; he was also the recipient in 1998.
Barnett is a highly regarded and well-respected realtor and a long-time member of SILVAR. He has served as past president, and has been involved with many of SILVAR’s boards at the local, state and national levels. SILVAR, one of the largest trade associations in the Silicon Valley, represents over 4,500 realtors and affiliates.
Barnett, regional manager for APR in Los Gatos, serves on SILVAR’s Board of Directors, on the Board of Directors of MLSListings Inc., and the newly-formed Board of Directors of the National Association of Realtors Credit Union. He has also served twice on the California Association of Realtors Executive Committee.
Barnett joined APR in 1991 as one of its original sales agents. His astute knowledge of the business, marketing savvy and boundless energy quickly earned him a top spot in the emerging company and led to his transition from a highly successful sales agent to Vice President of the Los Gatos office and later, Manager of the South Bay. As Vice President and Manager of the South Bay, Barnett utilizes his 18 years of experience to oversee and streamline operations for APR’s Los Gatos Office and surrounding areas.