REALTORS® Expand Influence Across Globe

The National Association of REALTORS® is expanding its presence across the world in an effort to educate more practitioners living in other countries as real estate increasingly becomes a global business.

More international real estate conferences and summits will be held in the U.S. and abroad this year to connect American REALTORS® with those overseas, NAR’s Global Business Alliances Committee announced during the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Here are a few of the biggest ones:

  • The first-ever International REALTOR® Conference will be held July 27 to 30 in Manila, Philippines, with the event’s main goal being to help REALTORS® in all corners of the globe conform to the Code of Ethics. “The REALTOR® brand is no longer an American brand,” said Shonee Henry, GBAC’s regional coordinator to Asia Pacific. “It’s now a global brand.”
  • Tony Hanna, president of the Association of Professional Real Estate Agents of Mexico, announced a new initiative of the organization called AMPI USA. It’s aimed at teaching REALTORS® in the U.S. how to do business in Mexico. Courses on the topic will be offered at the AMPI International Real Estate Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which will be held June 24 to 28.
  • In November, the Miami Association of REALTORS® will be holding its 21st annual International Real Estate Congress, a popular networking event that brings foreign investors and developers together with real estate professionals in a world-class city. But for the first time in its history, part of it will be held in the host city of NAR’s REALTORS® Conference Expo, which is San Diego this year, so those already planning to attend NAR’s event can experience IREC as well. MAR has partnered with the San Diego Association of REALTORS® to host the second leg of the event Nov. 10 and 11 just before the kickoff of NAR’s conference on Nov. 13. The first leg of IREC will be held in Miami Nov. 8 and 9.

Several delegates from NAR’s partnering organizations in foreign countries also were on hand to explain how NAR has helped them expand the REALTOR® brand at home.

Greece: The Greek economy is only now entering recovery mode, said Nikos Manomenidis, president of the Central European Real Estate Associations Network. That’s ushering in expanded opportunities for practitioners there, which has prompted a move to strengthen real estate standards there. Greek real estate organizations are now in the process of establishing the country’s first MLS, and they are adopting NAR’s Code of Ethics.

Canada: An astounding 72 percent of REALTORS® in Canada don’t collect referral fees, said Pauline Aunger, president of the Canadian Real Estate Association. That’s a lot of money being left on the table, particularly for the 10 percent of Canadian REALTORS® who work with international buyers and sellers, she said. CREA is working with NAR to teach its members how to establish and use referral fees, and CREA has also partnered with NAR to create the country’s first course for the Certified International Property Specialist designation.

Romania: In the 10 years since he first attended an NAR convention, Dan Negulescu, president of the Romanian Association of Real Estate Agencies, has helped build the country’s “mini NAR.” The organization has launched Romania’s first MLS, established commission structures, and adopted the Code of Ethics.

Taiwan: Michael Tseng, vice president of the Taipei Association of Real Estate Brokers, was the first Certified Commercial Investment Member designee in his country. Since then, he has launched several CCIM  initiatives, eventually making courses for the designation part of standard curriculum at Taiwanese universities. Higher-ed institutions in the country now also provide coursework for students to get their real estate license.

Jamaica: Five years ago, Jamaican REALTORS® launched their first MLS, and that’s a big reason why the nation has become the most popular in the Caribbean for U.S. buyers looking to purchase a second home, said Howard Johnson, past president of the REALTORS® Association of Jamaica. The country now has 700 REALTORS®, which represents 60 percent of all real estate practitioners in Jamaica, and they are hosting several trade missions a year from American associations.

—By Graham Wood, REALTOR® Magazine