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RealiFi Realty co-founder and CEO Jamie Tian is the Asian Real Estate Association of America‘s newest — and youngest-ever — president, according to an announcement late last week. Tian, 32, will oversee the 20-year-old organization and its 18,000 members for the next two years.
“As we celebrate 20 years of achievements at AREAA, I am in awe of what the organization has accomplished,” Tian said in a prepared statement. “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.”
The National Association of Realtors “30 under 30″ honoree launched her real estate career with Rodeo Realty while completing an environmental science degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
At Rodeo Realty, Tian became the brokerage’s top producer and one of the go-to agents for properties in Bel Air, Beverly Hills, DTLA, Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood, West LA, Westwood and the Sunset Strip. Tian left Rodeo Realty in June 2023 to launch an independent brokerage, RealiFi Realty.
“I am truly a product of the American Dream,” she said of her journey as a first-generation Chinese immigrant.
Tian was born in China and spent her first two years living with her parents in a Hohai University lab, where they both taught and researched structural engineering. Yearning for greater opportunities, Tian’s parents immigrated to the U.S. to complete doctoral degrees at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Oklahoma.
After living with her grandparents for two years, Tian joined her father in Oklahoma. It would be another three years before the family would reunite and move to Southern California.
“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,” she said, while noting it was impossible for her parents to own a home in China. “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,” she added. “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.”
The newly-minted president said she looks forward to building upon AREAA’s rich history and activism, which includes working with the U.S. Census to disaggregate homeownership rates of the AAPI community and have alternative credit not recognized by FICO to be considered for mortgage applications. The group has also been pivotal in #StopAsianHate, a movement to call attention to the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes due to misinformation about Asian people — specifically those of Chinese descent — being responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.
Tian said she plans to specifically focus on bills like Florida’s SB 264, which limits the real property rights of immigrants, including Chinese nationals. She also plans to strengthen the bond between AREAA and NAR and bolster AREAA membership among younger generations of AAPI agents.
“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,” she said.