The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) continued its 20th-anniversary celebration with the installation of 2024 and 2025 President Jamie Tian and the debut of its 20th-anniversary video at its recent National Conference in Chicago.
Tian, the 32-year-old CEO and Co-Founder of RealiFi Realty in Beverly Hills, Calif., is AREAA’s youngest President. The UCLA graduate spent more than 11 years as a Realtor at Rodeo Realty before launching her firm this summer. Tian is a first-generation Chinese immigrant. Born in China, she spent her earliest years living with her parents, both structural engineering professors and researchers, in their Hohai University lab. At that time in China, all property was owned by the government and you couldn’t buy or rent a property even if you had the means, so the lab was the only place they had to live. When Tian was two, her parents set off for America in search of the American Dream of Homeownership. Her mom left to start her Ph.D. work at the University of Pittsburgh while her father went to a similar program at the University of Oklahoma. After staying behind with her grandparents in China for two years, Tian joined her father and lived in student housing in Oklahoma before the family reunited in Southern California three years later.
“I am truly a product of the American Dream,” Tian, a former National Association of Realtors “30 Under 30” honoree, said. “Looking back, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for my parents to be apart from each other and their daughter as they sought a better life. We eventually rented a one-bedroom apartment in Long Beach and my parents saved every penny until they ultimately bought a home in Irvine. Without that home, I would not be who I am today. I met my future husband Jason in Irvine. My parents refinanced the house to pay my UCLA tuition. While at UCLA, Jason and I got our real estate licenses, and I was hooked on this as a career. It is all because of that house.”
Along with sharing Tian’s unique perspective, AREAA debuted a 20-minute film that captured the organization’s history and important work in advocating for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. The film begins with AREAA founders John Wong, Jim Park, and Allen Okamoto at the National Japanese American Memorial in Washington, D.C., where they address the impact of the World War II internment camps.
AREAA CEO Hope Atuel and numerous past Presidents then comment about AREAA’s growth and wins including working with the US Census to disaggregate homeownership rates of the AAPI community rather than listing them as “others.” Additionally, AREAA lobbied successfully for alternative credit not recognized by FICO scores to be considered for mortgage applications.
“As we celebrate 20 years of achievements at AREAA, I am in awe of what the organization has accomplished,” Tian said. “Yet with the proliferation of laws in certain states that prohibit the purchase of homes for Chinese and other nationalities, who came to America to work, study, and contribute back, I am more determined than ever to ensure that AREAA’s mission and what we fight for every day is in the hearts and minds of our members. Yes, we have come a long way, but our fight is not over and the work to ensure that everyone's lives can be changed through real estate cannot be taken for granted.”
For more information and to join AREAA visit AREAA.org.
Founded in 2003, the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) is a national nonprofit trade organization with more than 18,000 members dedicated to improving the lives of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community through homeownership. Visit areaa.org for more information.