The Association of South Asian Real Estate Professionals (ASARP) held its first Inaugural Gala at the Cascade Banquet Hall in Bensenville on Jan. 29.
The function marked beginning of a new era in the community outreach for real estate professionals. ASARP is organized as a not-for-profit association to reaffirm commitment to provide the leadership the South Asian community requires in order to achieve the cherished objectives of property ownership inside and outside the United States.
Pradeep B. Shukla was appointed President and Kanti N. Patel, Vice President. Other appointed first directors are: T. Paul Chawala, Al-Haroon Hussain, Babubhai Patel, Marsha Collins, Swati Saxena, Suchi Bhagat, Vickey Sampa, Vikram Sarda, Bimal Pandhi, Raj Patel and Nat Zala. Tom Krettler, past president of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®, administered the oath of office to the new appointees. Also present were Iftikar Sheriff, Tonya Corder (director of NAR and another past president of the Mainstreet) and other invited guests. The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) was represented by Ann Trandai, president of Chicago chapter.
South Asia consists of eight nations, surrounding and including India: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. The ASARP is intended to serve members in five major ways:
- Educating real estate professionals in the matter of specific needs of this community;
- Providing effective outreach to the community by enriching their real estate experience;
- Providing effective liaison with local, state and national associations;
- Acting as an effective political arm for South Asian professionals; and
- Providing effective service tools to U.S. investors for making smart investment decisions in South Asian markets.
Kanti Patel welcomed and introduced the guests. He invited them to join this crusade for greater education, outreach and effective liaisons.
Harsha Shukla explained several reasons for a separate association for the South Asian community. She explained that India is large by many indexes: 1/3 the size (square miles) of the U.S.; the second largest population in the world; the 10th largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the third largest by purchasing power parity.
She noted the Indian middle class is growing and is estimated between 250 to 300 million. With a rapidly developing middle class, non-immigrant Indians are also in a good position to invest in the U.S. Indian Americans or Indo-Americans are Americans of Indian ancestry, representing about 1 percent of the U.S. population. According to the 2014 NAR report on international home-buying activity, buyers from India and South Asia purchased about $5.8 billion in U.S. properties, with a median price of $342,857. Indian Americans purchased mostly single family detached homes but about 6 percent bought for commercial/rental use. Language, cultural, religious and social differences and traits require that the demand of this community are differently perceived and satisfied.
Pradeep Shukla said a two-way bridge has to be built so that U.S. real estate professionals can learn about the different languages, religions and social traits of these communities and so that South Asians can be effectively educated and represented in real estate transactions.
He said the world’s second costliest individual home (the costliest is Buckingham Palace), valued at about $1 billion, is owned by an Indian (Mukesh Ambani) and also Chicago’s costliest penthouse in Trump Tower was also purchased by an Indian (Jatin Shah). Shukla urged members to work as a team to help ASARP succeed in its future endeavors.