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The Maui Real Estate Blog

AREAA Korean Trade Mission: Day 2

Real Estate Summit With KAR

Kim chee and spicy pickled radish—traditional Korean banchan before breakfast

Day 2 started again in the lobby and we gathered together to head just outside of Seoul proper, to the head office of the Korean Association of Realtors. Luckily we arrived a little early, and we got to indulge in a traditional Korean breakfast of beef noodle soup and the ubiquitous banchan appetizers.


This savory beef/noodle soup was perfect for a chilly Seoul morning. 

The soup came out piping hot and went perfectly with the cool radish and cabbage side dishes. We slurped up our bowls happily, and Alex even exclaimed that he wished Western breakfast was more like this, much to the delight of our KTM hosts. After breakfast, we made a short jaunt across the street and got ready for the morning’s Summit at the KAR HQ.

Grace Choi, our team leader, and the lovely ladies from United Escrow Co., Hester, Topanga and Michelle 

We entered the classroom and got to meet the rest of the people on our AREAA KTM, including representatives from Lennar International, United Escrow Co., and the Selami Law Office. These 3 groups would be giving presentations later on to priovde further insight into U.S. home building, the escrow process, and real estate law.

Networking prior to the start of our Summit. 

As we learned the night before, a huge part of doing business in Korea (at least initially) is the exchange of business cards. I actually had the misfortune of learning this the had way as somehow I ran out of business cards before the end of our dinner. Rest assured, I was NOT making that mistake again, and I brought my whole stack of Korean translated cards just in case.

I hope to do business with Danny Chang in the near future!

It was such a pleasure to meet many of the members of the Korean Association of Realtors, as well as some of the members of our group that I had yet to talk to. Everybody was so friendly and intelligent, it was a fantastic selection of professionals in this room. After about 15 minutes of mingling, we sat down and got ready for the start of the presentation part of the Summit.


The Summit kicked off with the President of the Korean Association of Realtors (KAR), Mr. Haekwang Lee.

There were many informative presentations given during the Summit, from KAR and Lennar International, to United Escrow Co and Selami Law Firm. The session also included a question and answer period to provide further information to the attendees.

AREAA & KAR Korean Trade Mission Committee Members

After the Summit, we gathered at a nearby Korean restaurant for a lunch hosted by KAR. We got to indulge in some traditional dishes, including fermented crab, spicy daikon, grilled bulgogi beef, fried fish, just to name a few! We all sat on the floor, in typical banquet fashion, and enjoyed eachothers company and the very tasty food.

What a pleasure it was to meet Mr. Lee, who has such a strong vision for KAR. 

Members of both KAR and AREAA in front of the KAR building.


Cheap eats on the side of the street in Seoul

An Afternoon at the National Assembly of Korea


Playing tour guide on the way to the National Assembly of Korea.

Next we were shuttled off to the Korean National Assembly, where we were to meet with various heads of state, including Mr. Ki-choon Park, Chariman, Korean Land Infrastructure & Transportation Commitee, and Mr. Joo Ho-yoong, Chairman, Policy Committee of the Saenuri Party. On the way over, I had the opportunity to invite the whole bus to an upcoming Certified International Propery Specialist (CIPS) event that is going to be held next Febuary in Bangkok. I hope to be able to take some of these people up to Chiang Mai during that trip, as that’s when the RE/MAX Chiang Mai office will have its grand opening!


Crossing the Han River looking towards the Korean National Assembly.

The AREAA Korean Trade Mission ready to take over the National Assembly.

We all sat in a large conference room where we learned a little about Mr. Park from his associate, before meeting the man himself. I was lucky enough to have parts of his speech translated for me, as my Korean still isn’t up to par.


It was an honor to meet Mr. Ki-choon Park, Chariman, Korean Land Infrastructure & Transportation Commitee.

We all gathered for pictures afterward and it was an exciting experience all around. The influence and scope of AREAA was now more apparent than ever, and it made me very proud to bring my son around for this day so that he could witness it all first hand.

The AREAA KTM members gathering around Mr. Ki-choon Park after a very informative meeting.

We were also lucky to talk with Mr. Joo Ho-yoong, Chairman, Policy Committee of the Saenuri Party.

After our meeting with Mr. Park, we went downstairs to meet Mr. Ho-yoong and listen to a brief presentation. Again, it was so exciting meeting dignitaries of this level on my first trip to a foreign country, and I was very happy to be apart of this special trade mission.

Gazing down upon the massive Legislative room.

Finally, we got to see the massive room where all the politicking is actually done, the Legislative hall. We felt as if we were in a C-SPAN episode! The sheer size of the room was extremely impressive, and we all got to take a group photo in front of the law making floor below.


Good vibes, smiles, and shakas—a couple Ambassadors of Aloha!

What a tremendously informative and exciting day this was! After leaving the Assembly, we gathered on the bus back to our Lotte Hotel where we to have an hours rest before a fancy dinner in the evening. I’ll be posting that blog later this evening, but a little preview, it was a 10 course meal served in a restaurant that’s held some of the most powerful politicians in the country. So be sure to stay tuned to the blog for that next update!

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