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  1. 1. Global your business has no borders. International Real Estate best practices case studies FROM THE CLASSROOM TO YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS
  2. 2. © 2008 by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® All rights reserved. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® International Operations 430 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611 USA Phone: 312-329-8392 IMPORTANT NOTE: The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, its faculty, agents, and employees are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, financial, tax, or other professional services through these materials. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the reader should seek competent professional advice. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® thanks the following individuals for their contributions of expertise and experience. Debra Allen, TRC, ABR, e-PRO Timothy McFadden, CIPS, e-PRO Harold Bagwell, CIPS Roger Minkoff, ABR, CIPS, GRI Christopher Hall, TRC Nittaya Pichedvanichok, CIPS, CCIM, CRB, CRS, GRI, TRC Jacqui Jeffress, CIPS, CRS, GRI, TRC Jack Peckham, CCIM, CIPS Leon Katz, CIPS, CRB, TRC Marsha Price, CIPS, TRC Teresa King Kinney, CAE, CIPS, RCE Terry Theodorou, CIPS, TRC Berith Malmberg, TRC Pam Ward, CIPS, LTG, RCE, TRC James Wyatt, TRC
  3. 3. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies: From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office Contents Lessons from the Case Studies ......................................................................................................................................... 1 SIMA Leads to Business in Panama .................................................................................................................................. 3 International Arkansas ..................................................................................................................................................... 5 A Commercial REALTOR® Goes Global .............................................................................................................................. 7 The Wide Angle View ....................................................................................................................................................... 9 International Real Estate in the Backyard........................................................................................................................11 Associations Connect Markets ........................................................................................................................................13 International Referrals Made Simple ...............................................................................................................................15 The Adventure Continues ................................................................................................................................................17 I Want To Be Your International Strategy ........................................................................................................................19 Use the Internet to Reach Out Globally ...........................................................................................................................20 An Unexpected Journey ..................................................................................................................................................21 Finding the Mother Lode at the Panama Spectacular ......................................................................................................23 Just Go and Get Out There! .............................................................................................................................................25 You Can’t Go It Alone—Network .....................................................................................................................................27
  4. 4. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies The Certified International Property Specialist Network of NAR International provides specialized services to real estate professionals-—both domestic and international—who are interested or involved in the international real estate arena. Buyers and sellers involved with international real estate transactions are encouraged to work with a REALTOR® who is a member of NAR's CIPS Network and has earned the prestigious CIPS professional designation. The CIPS designation is the educational foundation of the Network. CIPS designees have successfully completed an intensive seven-day program of study focusing on critical aspects of transnational transactions and also have proven hands-on experience in international real estate transactions. The Transnational Referral Certification is awarded by the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations (ICREA) to real estate professionals who complete the required course of study. This certification attests to the practitioner’s knowledge and readiness to manage international referral business, as a referring or receiving agent. When initiating an international referral, look for the Transnational Referral Certification. Certified real estate professionals are attuned to international referrals and will abide by ICREA business principles. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  5. 5. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office Lessons from the Case Studies  What can I do right away to develop international real estate business? What can I do tomorrow? Next week? In the near future?  How do I get started in international real estate if I can’t afford to travel to other countries?  What is the value of studying international real estate and earning the CIPS designation if my market is local?  How can I transfer what I’ve learned in the classroom to daily business? We put these questions to some members of the CIPS Network. They responded with insider tips and practical advice you can implement today. The following stories are the voice of experience—from beginners to veterans. Are you wondering if involvement in international real estate is right for you? The real estate professionals whose stories follow are experiencing the global market at home and abroad. They can attest that international real estate begins with your mindset and at the front door of your office. Whether you are working toward the CIPS designation or have already earned it, these case studies offer ideas you can use and role models for success. The adventure is just beginning. The CIPS Designation Means Professionalism Network! Network! Network! The CIPS designation opened the opportunity for It is absolutely about networking and referrals, the me and gave me the confidence to pursue it. business relies on it and you cannot do it on your Roger Minkoff, ABR, CIPS, GRI own. Effective networking is just vital. James Wyatt, TRC After I became a CIPS, the real work began. I came away with the tools to find the answers for my new Learn where others come from and what their international clients. I knew the important areas of specialization are. questions to ask. Marsha Price, CIPS Leon Katz, CIPS, CRB, TRC Association Participation is a Plus When I refer a client, the CIPS or TRC designations If members take advantage of all of the show that they have gone the extra mile to invest international marketing tools and relationships in the profession. established for them, they have an unbelievable James Wyatt, TRC marketing opportunity plus a real competitive advantage in the marketplace. Get Out There and Meet People Teresa King Kinney, CAE, CIPS, RCE When I travel I talk to everybody. Just listen and you will learn a lot. Take advantage of the fact that I can confirm the value of attending international you are there and talk to everyone. You don’t have meetings, expanding your network, and to change yourself, just be respectful of others and establishing friendships and connections open to learning.. worldwide. My advice to you now?Attend Marcella Paz Cohen, TRC meetings. Make contacts. Berith Malmberg, TRC 1
  6. 6. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies There is no such thing as a buyers’ market or a Participate in your real estate association and earn sellers’ market, there is only an agents’ market. the professional designations—CIPS and TRC— The agent who continues to prepare for change because it helps you network and you will inspire will continue to succeed in the quickly changing each other. world of real estate. Christopher Hall, TRC Harold Bagwell, CIPS Personal Contact Makes the Difference Sell Locally, Think Globally Today I probably have the same clients over and I think a lot of times REALTORS® get the impression over and I didn’t do it through e-mail because that that “I don’t want to list property in Timbuktu, so was not around—it was personal contact. why should I take this class?” The point that they Pam Ward, CIPS, LTG, TRC are missing is that international real estate is in their back yards. You have to be an outgoing person and have the Jacqui Jeffress, CIPS, CRS, GRI, TRC ability to communicate with strangers in order to build relationships. But the key to success is really The buyers and sellers you are working with today in the follow-up. may be your international connections tomorrow. Debra Allen, ABR, e-PRO, TRC Teresa King Kinney, CAE, CIPS, RCE A Mentor Can Help The global market is everywhere. As clients For someone just getting started in international become more global, it becomes more important real estate, having a mentor is really a help. It’s like to have the education, contacts, and connections having an older brother or sister who can help you to assist them. and you can learn from their experiences. Harold Bagwell, CIPS Marcella Paz Cohen, TRC Pick a Country and Get to Know It When I was in my early twenties I found it all a bit Start by finding the country or area that interests daunting because I was dealing with much older you. Book a vacation to a country you are people, it was an age thing. If you are young and interested in, research it and follow up on your feeling daunted by it all, try to find someone to research, visit places, talk to real estate mentor you. professionals. James Wyatt, TRC Timothy McFadden, CIPS, e-PRO Develop Your Web Site Use the Internet to reach out. Combine the CIPS knowledge and the Internet, to work fast, effectively, and cost-efficiently. Take the evergreen principles of real estate marketing and apply them to how you do business on the Web. Jack Peckham, CCIM, CIPS Expand Your Mindset You need to be with people who think out of the box and think out of the borders too. Pam Ward, CIPS, LTG, TRC, RCE 2 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  7. 7. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office SIMA Leads to Business in Panama Last April, I attended the SIMA Once the education programs miles from my office—and I convention in Madrid, Spain. It began, I heard prestigious attended a property showcase was a wonderful, very speakers discuss subjects as for one of his developments. entertaining, and educational diverse as comparisons between There is currently a lot of experience. the U.S. and European markets, interest among my buyers for new real estate and computer those properties. platform capabilities, and opportunities in the booming Panama is In! Arizona real estate market. I But, best of all is that as a result learned about growth in of the networking with Panama, met with several REALTORS® I met at SIMA, I was Panamanian developers, and able to participate in a trip to made some great connections. Panama arranged by Carla Rayman, a broker-owner from SIMA Yields Local Referrals Sarasota. In Panama, we met The best thing I did in Madrid, with several groups. Grupo Debra Allen, TRC, ABR e-PRO however, was to complete the Capital, a one-stop real estate Prudential Arizona Properties requirements for the brokerage and legal firm, gave Gilbert, Arizona Transnational Referral us detailed information about Certification (TRC). As a TRC, I legal ownership in Panama for have access to an international non-citizens. Grupo Corcione This was my first time attending referral network within which I gave us a tour of their an international convention and can market homes worldwide residential developments, I didn’t know what to expect. for my sellers, and receive buyer Ocean Park II and Greenbay I The orientation program was referrals from other TRCs and II, properties with very well planned and gave me a around the globe.As soon as I phenomenal panoramic views very good start in the returned home, I followed up located in Costa Del Este, the networking process. with my new colleagues by most valued real estate master telephone, e-mail, and postcard. plan project in Panama. The On my first night at the The response was following day we met with Jose convention, during the social overwhelming. I let it be known Boyd, a broker with many years hour, I made contact with in my local sphere about the of experience in Panama, who several U.S. brokers, agents, and success of trip to SIMA. When educated us on the Panamanian developers. Through the course one of my clients told me he market and explained how of the week, in the business as was moving to the Sarasota referrals are done between U.S. well as in social settings, I met area, I was able to refer him to a and Panamanian agents. agents from many countries, REALTOR® I met at SIMA who including Bulgaria, Spain, works just minutes away from Business is everywhere! On my Panama, Jamaica, and where the client was moving. flight home I met a man who Argentina. They were all very She responded promptly to my was looking for property in the friendly, well informed about client, and was able to help him Dominican Republic, but found their real estate markets, and find a home, where he will be the prices too high. I told him eager to share information with relocating shortly. about Panama, about its growth me. In Madrid, I met a developer and the very reasonable cost of from Scottsdale—just fifteen living, world-class health care, 3
  8. 8. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies and hurricane-free tropical Follow Up Is the Key to developers was inspiring. You climate. As an extra incentive I Success have to be an outgoing person told him about the low taxes, In retrospect, SIMA was the best and have the ability to stable economy, and the U.S. convention I could have communicate with strangers in dollar currency. I gave him my order to build relationships. But card and Jose Boyd’s card. the key to success is really in the When I got back to my office, I follow-up. I am certainly found an e-mail from the man Business is planning to attend the SIMA on the airplane to me and Jose convention again in next year. everywhere! Boyd expressing an interest in purchasing a home in Panama. First published in Global Perspectives Currently, we are scheduled to in Real Estate, third quarter, 2006 meet in Panama in July for a home-finding trip. attended to get started in international real estate. The networking with U.S. and foreign brokers, agents, and Debra Allen is a REALTOR® with Prudential Arizona Properties in Gilbert, Arizona. In 2007 she was honored as Prudential Arizona’s Top Listing Agent. She specializes in properties in Panama and Mexico and her latest project is a vineyard development in Mendoza, Argentina. Her hometown is Bremen, Germany and she is fluent in German. Ms. Allen is also a Master Trainer for the US Army Family Readiness Program. Debra Allen 4 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  9. 9. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office International Arkansas fish out of water in my little business longer, and were At the age of 23, I found myself home town, and now my generally the top producers in back in my home town of perfectly laid plans were fizzling. their markets. So, I began to Pocahontas, Arkansas, look around for a course I liked, beginning a Undeterred, I called Ken Gill, a and found the CIPS program, career in REALTOR® I had met in my pre- and a subject that revived real estate. licensure course who I knew was something about which I was It’s a small working towards his broker’s deeply passionate. town of license and planning to take about 6,000 over the relocation department I flew to Redondo Beach, people, in a firm in Little Rock. He California for a CIPS Institute. It most of recommended I talk to a was a wonderful learning whom I’ve flourishing company in my area, experience and I made friends known my a wonderful startup experience. and contacts there I still talk to whole life. Ken’s wide-ranging network— on a regular basis. But, I practice Harold Bagwell, CIPS one of the keys to success in this in a little town in rural Arkansas. RVI REALTORS® business—helped me in ways I How in the world was I going to Pocahontas, Arkansas could not have imagined. My use a CIPS designation there? I new broker taught me that my was aware that people were pre-licensure courses hadn’t scratching their heads It’s a quiet town where the prepared me for the real-life wondering if I had completely Delta meets the Ozarks. One situations I would encounter in lost my mind. I was the only side is flat, row-crop terrain the day-to-day practice of real CIPS, not only in my area, but where we farm rice, soybeans, estate. the entire state of Arkansas! and corn. Drive across the river But, I had a plan—to bring and you get into what we locals The average sales price of a global markets to me. call “God’s country” rolling hills, home in Pocahontas, Arkansas is five great little rivers, beautiful $55,000. It’s not a market in The World Comes to views, and amazingly well-kept which a REALTOR® can Pocahontas ranches. specialize—there’s not enough Let me bring you up to date: business. You have to know a While agents across the country Having lived abroad, traveled little bit about a lot of things in are scrambling to find buyers here and there, and worked in order to survive. At the time, and sellers, in my little Arkansas an international business, I now the U.S. housing market was town, I am having a record year. found myself wondering, “What booming and many of my My client list includes Honduran next?” My plan was to get my friends were wondering why I builders, Korean investors, real estate license and go to was here instead of in a major Italian homebuyers, and work for the small company metropolitan market. California transplants for whom where my parents had bought Arkansas is like another country. and sold real estate for years. CIPS Designees are Top Things are good. When I went to see the broker Producers to inquire about when I could “Educate yourself,” my broker Recently, a CIPS designee from start work, however, he told me said. He taught me that agents Atlanta, Georgia gave me a he really didn’t have room for with many designations made listing referral in excess of $3.5 me. I was already feeling like a more money, stayed in the million. The only international 5
  10. 10. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies factor in this deal is the CIPS My CIPS designation has more Network. It’s a domestic deal It’s Always an Agents’ Market than paid for itself—not just with two CIPS designees at the The global market is financially, but with the friends helm, no international buyer or everywhere, even in rural and colleagues I’ve met along seller, just two REALTORS® Arkansas. As clients become the way that have greatly working with the resources we more global, it becomes more enriched my life. The media have been given and have important to have the often talks about a “buyers created. education, contacts, and market” or a “sellers market” connections to assist them. If but I’ll leave you with this Not long ago, I sold a farm to a you don’t know the agent in a thought: There is no such thing Korean investor—a 900-acre as a buyers’ market or a sellers’ ranch they planned to subdivide market, there is only an agents’ into an equestrian Your market is market. The agent who development. They fell in love bigger than you continues to educate and with the beautiful Ozark think. prepare him or herself for Mountain pastures and woods change will continue to succeed with a fishing stream flowing in the quickly changing world of right through the middle of it, real estate. Your market is and decided against developing neighboring state where your bigger than you think. it. They wanted to sell it and clients want to buy a second reinvest it into a cash-flow home, or how to effectively property. I helped them find refer a buyer to a real estate First published in Global Perspectives investment property—an 80- professional in Europe or in in Real Estate, third quarter, 2008 unit apartment complex about Mexico, they will find someone an hour from the ranch, and who does. I hear agents say they another fifteen minutes from can’t afford to take classes or the second home I sold them on attend conferences. I say you a lake in a golfing retirement can’t afford to miss them. community. Harold Bagwell traveled most of the world before beginning his real estate career as a REALTOR ® in Pocahontas, Arkansas. He is the broker-owner of RVI REALTORS® and currently the only CIPS designee in Arkansas. He was named one of REALTOR® Magazine’s “30 under 30” in 2006. Harold Bagwell, CIPS 6 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  11. 11. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office A Commercial REALTOR® Goes Global Land in California, a seller in the clear they were also from all were full of immigration Philippines, a buyer in India and over the world. officer’s stamps from many a deal closed in Hong Kong. parts of the world. Going global can be financially When Susan invited me to rewarding and lots of fun too. attend a seminar called “Going Four Countries, Two Global and Selling Local,” I Continents, One Deal didn’t think I needed to attend. I Among the people I had the was a commercial REALTOR®, good fortune to meet was a happy with what I was doing. I Philippine land banker who liked went because she wanted to go. to purchase, hold, and develop But, that class was so interesting land. He owned thousands of to me, I decided to continue acres of land around the world. with the full program and One of his California properties become a CIPS. The CIPS was a very large parcel of land— program really opened my eyes. more than 5,000 acres. His It also opened new doors to an original plan was to develop the Leon Katz CIPS, TRC exciting international real estate property, put up schools, a golf Commercial Brokers, Inc. practice. course, housing, and Torrance, California commercial centers. Knowing Acquire the Tools, Learn the the parcel was probably too I started to write this story in Questions small to realize his vision, I Hong Kong at the end of the After I became a CIPS, the real asked him if he would sell it. He AREAS exhibition sponsored by work began. The education gave agreed, and I began to market NAR and the U.S. Commercial me a starting point from which I my new listing in the new world Service at MIPIM-Asia. could find and serve of the Internet. I posted the international clients, property at The real story began about eight understanding that different years ago, when I fell in love cultures, laws, and points of with a Filipina real estate view were all important. I came One Deal Leads to the Next away with the tools to find the In the process, I learned a lot broker, Susan Barlin, CIPS, who answers for my new from my client—a very special had immigrated to the United international clients. I knew the man with an interesting States in 1991. She had just important questions to ask. background. He introduced me opened her own brokerage to to other investors, and I became cap several years as a top sales I began to learn about my very busy. agent. I noticed her clientele was really diverse—new chosen country, the Philippines. At the same time, I began to Then, a local broker— immigrants, first-time buyers, travel widely, and to meet many representing an Indian client— move-up buyers, and even high- very interesting people, learning contacted me about the land end luxury buyers. What caught many things about their listing. After quite some my attention, however, was that cultures, beliefs, and business research and due diligence, his her clients were not necessarily practices—a self-directed client expressed a real interest from the Philippines or the education. In fact, I traveled so in the property. In the midst of United States. They were from extensively, I had to get a new the negotiation, I left on a real everywhere. When I looked at passport because all the pages estate trade mission to China my own investor clients, it was 7
  12. 12. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies and went from there to the headed for Thailand, for another possibility of opening operations AREAS exhibition to market my series of meetings. Since I in a third country. services to overseas investors. So, what does all this mean? For The Indian buyer suggested we me, it’s been fun and exciting to meet in Hong Kong to negotiate think and work globally. I've After two days of his purchase of the 5,000 acres learned that doing business with in California. negotiations in people from other countries, Hong Kong…I though challenging, is very After two days of meetings and closed the sale of worthwhile. I've learned a lot negotiations in Hong Kong, California land and continue to learn and study aided by the Internet, the cell owned by a the international market every phone and the fax machine, I Philippine resident, day. It all begins with a little bit closed the sale of 5,000 acres of to a buyer in India. of education and a desire to do California land, owned by a something internationally. Philippine resident, to a buyer in India. First published in Global started to write this, a number Perspectives in Real Estate, first About two months have passed of international opportunities quarter, 2007 since I began to write this have come my way, including an article. I’m leaving for the offer from a foreign buyer to airport in two hours, after a purchase 32,000 acres of land in series of meetings with the U.S., the signing of a joint government officials and venture development business leaders in Vietnam. I'm agreement between parties in two foreign countries, and the Leon Katz is president of Commercial Brokers, Inc. (CBI) and LRK International Realty Investments, Inc. of Torrance, Calif., and one of the founding members of CREBA, Inc. (USA), part of an international group of REALTORS ®, developers, financial and political members committed to improving real estate development in the Philippines and to expanding into other countries. Leon Katz, CIPS, CRB, TRC 8 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  13. 13. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office The Wide Angle View I strive for total globalization, Properties Create U.K. Buyer that and they have a “here not just one referral. I aim to Referrals today and not gone tomorrow” cement a relationship and then It is important to note that agent in the UK to support build business on the back of essentially referrals are property them. Everyone’s happy! business and this can be agents based. We in the UK need the from one country to another. product to develop the referrals. Education, Distinction, When it comes to referrals, Inspiration some REALTORS® might think What is important? Education, agents in the UK have a list of Training! I was among the first ready buyers; they are basically in the UK to earn the looking for access to a client Transnational Referral bank. If only that were true. The Certification designation reality is that we need the because I’m always looking for properties to create the buyers an edge—obtaining best and nowadays the choice is property to market and finding phenomenal so the property or buyers. The TRC is a distinction location has to stand out from both in the UK and USA and the crowd. brings agents and REALTORS® together naturally to Christopher Hall, TRC There is constant TV coverage in collaborate. Christopher Hall Estate Agencies the UK about real estate. It has Norwich, Norfolk, U.K. created a greater demand to buy abroad but it has also There is no reason in this day confused buyers as now they I want to cement a and age why I shouldn’t be don’t know where! The U.S. relationship and generally offers great value for then build capable of marketing the the money, but buyers don’t properties listed by REALTORS® business on the buy on price alone. You have to in the U.S. and selling them to find a way to narrow it down back of business. the client of, for example, a and make your properties German or Australian agent. attractive. Buyers need to have Participate in your real estate properties to look at —a good association and earn For me, there’s excitement and picture tells a thousand words professional designations, CIPS an adrenalin rush with every —and proof of a good location. and TRC. Why? Because not only deal. I like to say that I’m wide- angled in my view of are you viewed as Immediately after my last visit knowledgeable and a international real estate and I’m to Florida I referred some professional but, take it from passionate about it. My visits to clients, by e-mail, to a me, it helps you network and the US and contact with REALTOR®. The clients took a you will inspire each other. That REALTORS® not only refresh me flight to Florida on Friday said, just getting qualifications but fuel me with excitement and afternoon, spent Saturday and and a designation is not enough. a rush that lasts for a couple of Sunday viewing properties and You need to prove it. My months. Can you imagine what a made an offer on Monday question is “are you a good rush that is? morning before departure. The closer?” deal closed a few weeks after 9
  14. 14. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies No Need to Wear Down Your don’t have to wear your shoe forward to making lifelong Shoe Leather leather down by traveling the friends, enjoy, and do business. For those just starting out, I’d globe either to meet the right recommend using the NAR people. You can come to NAR liaison officers in countries to conferences and also large get market information and for associations’ events, like Florida hooking up with the brokers in or California, and international other countries that are part of events such as SIMA, and meet the association network. You other professionals—look Christopher Hall is a Past President and Honored member of the National Association of Estate Agents. He is also a frequent speaker on investment and property matters around the globe. His agency’s Web sites feature properties throughout the UK, the European Continent, the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as the United States. He is well- known as a real estate technology trendsetter and has won Gold in Estate Agency of the Year’s Innovation category. Christopher Hall, TRC 10 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  15. 15. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office International Real Estate in the Backyard I think you learn best from International Real Estate is Hungary. Denver has a very experience and maybe when Local active Hungarian community. you have some suffering with it. I think a lot of times REALTORS® Three years ago we hosted an get the impression that “I don’t inbound trade mission from want to list property in Budapest and now we’re going Timbuktu, so why should I take to try to do a trade mission from this class?” The point that they Denver to Budapest. Denver are missing is that international also has a trade mission going to real estate is in their backyards. India. Denver has communities of people from Mongolia, Vietnam, Look around and see what Korea, Russia, and Hungary and associations are in your city. Call we have a large Hispanic the embassies and consulates community. All these different find out what kind of activities people are living in Denver. You are going on. Join the World meet them in your everyday life Jacque Jeffresss,CIPS, CRS, GRI TRC and you meet them as clients, Infinity Real Estate Services so you need to understand Westminster, Colorado them. Why take this Pre-real estate, I did sales. I sold class? The point is Pre-CIPS, one way I learned was losing $5,000 in a listing everything from cosmetics to international real situation where I did not diesel fuel additive. I worked in estate is in the understand the culture that the country club management for a back yard. client was coming from. And in very long time too. From these the same time frame, I had a experiences, I found that I have phone call from my Web site the ability to connect and bond Trade Center, they have events from a gentleman from France, with people and build all the time. Go on the trade who saw my Web site, and was relationships. I just plain like missions. Advertise yourself. looking for a residence for his people and it’s fun for me. When you choose your niece who was coming to specialty—your country—find Colorado to attend school. As How to get started international out if they have a local we’re talking and having a very real estate? First of all, I think newspaper. Doing business in nice conversation, his English you need to decide what area is Mexico is not an easy thing—tell was perfect, I realized that he’s of special interest to you. I people that you know how to do talking square meters and I’m chose Mexico—Puerto Vallarta a solid transaction there. It just talking square feet. So, both is my strong interest. Now I’m takes some leg work and a little situations convinced me that I working with an agent I met imagination. For example, I didn’t know what I was doing through the CIPS classes on a developed a brochure a couple and it was high time that I development project in Mexico. of years ago to show what’s learned. I also have a special interest in available in Denver and it lists area in square meters and prices in euros. 11
  16. 16. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies Believe It, Achieve It lets me be physically and what you can dream you can So often agents have blinders on mentally capable. achieve and I’ll just keep on about doing business the way going. they’ve always done it. And to Yesterday, I met a REALTOR® me—we’re changing everything who is in her seventies and way and if I don’t change with it, I’ll out in front in terms of get left in the dust. And, I plan technology and I wanted to say to do real estate as long as God to her, “I want to be you when I grow up!” I really believe that Forty years of professional experience in sales and management has enabled Jacqui Jeffress to build a substantial real estate business serving the metro Denver area. She spent five years in Madrid through a military transfer in the early ‘70s and developed an affinity for the language and the culture. This European experience, as well as further travels, enhanced her ability to work with foreign nationals from many different cultures. She actively sponsors baseball and soccer teams in the metro Denver area and enjoys watching those games when some of her twelve grandchildren are playing. Jacquelyn Jeffress, CIPS, CRS, GRI, TRC 12 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  17. 17. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office Associations Connect Markets International real estate is such what had been an informal establish credibility. Through an important part of the Miami relationship with them. At about relationships and exposure, as market. NAR’s programs and the the same time we started well as the NAR services, Cooperating Association working with the Eastern connections, and resources that relationships have served as the European Real Property we tied into or helped create, basis for everything that we do Foundation (the forerunner of we’ve helped our members internationally. the International Real Property tremendously. I believe we have Foundation—IRPF) to see how actually helped make markets we might assist with their too. FNAIM1/Paris is a good efforts. And, we also connected example. When we first got with the Russian Guild of together, they were just starting Realtors. We actually became their MLS and still struggling to partner associations with the make it operational. Now Paris Brazilian and Russian and RAMB are the first in the associations before NAR world to do an international IDX launched its Ambassador with our members’ listings. Program. Now, if you go to the Russian Guild of Realtors Web The Competitive Edge site, there is a link to Miami If members take advantage of Teresa King Kinney, CAE, CIPS, RCE properties on it and we have a all of the international REALTORS® Association of link to their properties. marketing tools and Greater Miami and the Beaches relationships established for Miami, Florida Associations Connect Markets them, they have an unbelievable If NAR had not had these marketing opportunity plus a In fact, it all began with a phone international relationships we real competitive advantage in call from NAR, about thirteen would not be where we are the marketplace. Everything years ago, asking what our today. NAR’s Cooperating that NAR has created and association was doing to assist Association agreements have allowed us to tag onto helps members with international enabled our members, through RAMB members go into any marketing. We started by all of the past thirteen years, to market, even if we don’t have a putting a small blurb in our connect with other markets and relationship with that market. newsletter announcing the our association to connect with And, NAR’s message that you formation of an international other associations. It’s been like don’t have to travel to do group and there was a huge a sister-cities relationship for international business is such an response. With that, we were real estate. important one. Almost the off and rolling. entire local Miami market is Making Markets internationally connected. We The first international Over the years a lot has changed emphasize to members that the relationship we had with any for us. Once we brought buyers and sellers you are association was with SECOVI. international practitioners working with today may be your Brazil is so important to the together and started learning international connections Miami market and vice versa. from them, we were able to tomorrow. We’re constantly One of our members who was create a unified presence in the showing our members how to also an active member of marketplace that members SECOVI helped us formalize could piggyback on and use to 1 Federation Nationale de l’Immobilier 13
  18. 18. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies get business from the and services to help markets happened because one member Transnational Referral System. connect, the business happens. wanted to do referral business. A REALTOR® in Sarasota, who TRC Makes Referrals A had been a member of FNAIM/ I recently attended the Russian Reality Guild of Realtors Annual The TRC course makes referrals Congress. Being there is truly real. RAMB presented the first like being family. There’s an When national Transnational Referral immediate connection. The Certification (TRC) course in associations same is true of the relationship French for Paris association create platforms with SECOVI, even the first time members. We demonstrated and services to I went there. The relationships how to search Miami listings in help markets are very strong and so is the French, forward listings to connect, the level of trust and admiration clients and customers, and set business happens. between the associations and up automatic searches. leaders. It’s amazing how much you learn can from other NAR has helped us recognize associations and other markets opportunities too. For example, Paris for many years and knew that you can apply in your own we didn’t know anything about about our ties with the Paris association. SIMA at first. But, when SIMA association, had been trying to asked RAMB to get involved, we start referral business. At that Can you imagine? It all started knew it was a high-quality and member’s urging, RAMB, the with a phone call from NAR. worthwhile expo because of Sarasota association, and Florida Today, we probably have ten NAR’s involvement. Now, we association met with the Paris times the number of RAMB have an established relationship association’s executive members involved in with SIMA, we’ve attended for committee. When the international real estate five years in a row, taken FNAIM/Paris delegation compared with thirteen years exhibitors, and promoted it to attended the NAR Convention ago. And, RAMB recently our members. for the first time, we helped set completed its twelfth Annual up a meetings for them to International Congress. Market to Market connect with other markets. For NAR’s market-to-market example, we connected them initiative is so important with [the] Manhattan because when national [association]. Associations have associations create platforms to follow through, but that all Teresa King Kinney is Chief Executive Officer of the 7,000-member REALTOR® Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches, which includes a 1,000-member Local International Council. She is a veteran of 35 years as an association executive for REALTOR® associations. Ms. Kinney states that the key components of a successful international program are education, information, marketing, and networking. Teresa King Kinney, CAE, CIPS, RCE 14 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  19. 19. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office International Referrals Made Simple I was accustomed to doing to take a job in another country. Let You Clients Know Your referrals within Sweden, and in People are moving to Sweden Are International Scandinavia—the northernmost from around the world and I I got this referral just because part of Europe, which also believe that international my client knew I was going to includes Denmark, Norway, and referrals will become more the U.S. to meet a lot of foreign Finland—but this was my very commonplace in Sweden in the brokers. The experience taught first experience with a really future. me to talk about my business “international” referral. and let my clients know that I Attend Conventions, Make have the ability to represent Connections them internationally. I’ve been a My first international referral CIPS Network member for actually began about 10 years almost five years. That ago when I attended my first involvement is beginning to pay NAR Convention in my role as off right now. I’ve done my President of the Swedish second International referral. Association for Real Estate And the third one is on its way. Agents, Mäklarsamfundet. I’ve attended regularly since then. A couple of years ago, when I was Berith Marlmberg, TRC leaving to go to the Convention, The experience Skandia Maklarna a client in Sweden asked if I taught me to talk Goteborg, Sweden could help him out. He had a about my business property in the Bahamas that he and let my clients Referrals are not very common wanted to sell. I had absolutely know that I was in Sweden, perhaps because no idea how to manage this, but international. of course I said yes. I brought Swedish people only move an the information about the average of once every 27 property to the Convention and years—within large cities, began to look for a broker from The second referral was fun perhaps once every 10 or 12 the Bahamas—perhaps rudely— because it got me started in a years—and rarely outside of by reading name badges very new career as a private Sweden. Compare that with the carefully. At last, at the detective. Another broker in the United States, where people International Welcome Bahamas contacted me. He had move, on average, every seven Reception, I ran into a man from a client who wanted to buy a or eight years. the Bahamas. He promised to special property and he couldn’t help me and took the property find the owner who had lived in But the world is getting smaller information back to the Sweden but was no longer at and smaller. Young people are Bahamas with him. It was the address under which the traveling a lot. After finishing almost two years before he property was registered. He school they become found a potential buyer, but he asked me to help him find the backpackers and travel all over finally did. owner and offered to split the the world. They get to know a lot of people and learn a lot commission with me. about the countries they visit. So, when they start their Just when I was about to give up careers, it’s no big deal for them the search, I made some final 15
  20. 20. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies phone calls to people who lived So, I can confirm the value of Attend meetings. Make in the house where the man attending international contacts. Just keep walking! used to live and to some meetings, expanding your neighbors in that area. I learned network, and establishing First published in Global the owner of record was friendships and connections Perspectives in Real Estate, first deceased, but that he had a son. worldwide. Every trip, every quarter, 2003. I quickly found the son who very journey, begins with just one pleased to hear that something step. You’ve already taken your he thought was absolutely first step towards international worthless was not. And I was referrals by joining the CIPS happy to collect my commission. Network. My advice to you now? Berith Malmberg is managing director of Skandia Maklarna in Goteborg, Sweden and has been in real estate for more than 25 years. She served as president of Mäklarsamfundet, the Association of Swedish Real Estate Agents (ASREA), for six years, is appointed by the Swedish government as a member in Board of Supervision of Estate Agents, and serves as managing director for. You can reach her at +46 31.403900 or at Berith Malmberg, TRC 16 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  21. 21. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office The Adventure Continues I started out in business started listing properties in brokerage, working for a firm Thailand just after the 1997 I’ll take an Atlanta real estate based in Colorado, in Asian economic crash. This was group to Thailand in January. It’s telecommunications company during the time of the Thai baht been all success. I gained a mergers. I was recruited to disaster and most of the world’s second family in Thailand and a Georgia by one of the leading construction cranes were sitting steady stream of buyers. The brokers in Atlanta. idle in Bangkok. In 1999 we had adventure continues. listings on two high rises in Bangkok and had to figure out CIPS Directory the First Place quick what to do. My broker to Look kept saying to me, “I don’t think I use the CIPS referral directory we can do this.” And I kept for everything including saying, “We’ll find a way to domestic referrals. I know I can figure it out.” count on a CIPS designee. For me, the CIPS designation is the I already had some international lifeblood of what I do. When I experience but I was struggling was recruited into GMAC, I over what to do with these would never have had the properties. I enrolled in a CIPS confidence to get involved in class and met the current international real estate. CIPS Timothy McFadden, CIPS, e-PRO officers of the International Real gave me the credentials and the Metro Brokers/ GMAC Estate Council in Georgia. confidence. It’s a huge network. Real Estate Through the CIPS connection, I Atlanta, Georgia met and talked with another Now, the CIPS directory is the designee and had an first place I look. It’s a When I relocated to Georgia, opportunity to see her business distinction for domestic too. It business brokerage required a plan for a similar property. says the person is someone I can real estate license in the state of trust—they are the best and Georgia and I was licensed in About the same time that I most reliable. I think that other Georgia in 1996—the same year relocated to Georgia, I also designations do not compare to as the Atlanta Olympics. I’m started an e-mail CIPS. now with GMAC Metro Brokers, correspondence with a Thai high which is both the largest GMAC school student who wanted to Find the Passion, Find the franchise in North America and come to the U.S. for studies. I Confidence the largest real estate firm in made a trip over to Thailand, For someone just starting out in Georgia. We have more than met the exchange student who international real estate I would three thousand agents and had been e-mailing and the say start by finding the country there are seventy languages whole family. It turned out that or area that interests you. Book spoken in our company. a member of the family was an a vacation to the country you attorney. My family-connection are interested in, research it and Two Thai High Rises, One attorney is now my go-to guy for follow up on your research, visit Economic Crisis Thailand. He came to places, talk to real estate I was always interested in doing Washington DC in 2007 to professionals. Say you are business in Asia and began attend the Midyear Meeting and interested in the country, shake exploring places. I actually visited the capital. hands, invite other real estate 17
  22. 22. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies professionals to lunch—it go to Vietnam. I said that I Be local around the world. creates and solidifies would never go there. But, I had Telephone technology is relationships. Find what you are the opportunity to visit and stay developing rapidly. You can passionate about and you will in a home. I got to know a family transfer calls from your office to find the confidence. The your cell phone seamlessly and question is “what difference are The CIPS virtually anywhere in the world. you going to make with your directory is the CIPS designation?” Finally, go where your first place I look. competition is not. I attend the Look at your strategy. You can It’s a distinction national restaurant show and book your vacation first and for domestic too. I’m there because my then work in your business or It says the person competition isn’t. I talk to your business first and work in is someone I can restaurant franchisors to find your vacation. Decide what is trust. out about their development most important to you and take plans and formulate a business it seriously. Invest in your strategy based on what I learn. whose children were studying in business. Getting the the U.S. and I spent a Christmas connections is what you want to with the family. It was a accomplish. wonderful experience and it closed the “war chapter” for me Personal Connections Make on Vietnam. I now do business the Difference there. Personal connections make all the difference. I was reluctant to Timothy McFadden is the 2008 president of the Northeast Atlanta Metro Brokers Association of REALTORS ® and 2009 president of the International Real Estate Council in Georgia. He entered the real estate business after having careers in the Federal Credit Union, retail technology stores, business brokerage, consulting, and as a writer. He has invested more than two decades in doing business with the international community. His real estate services include residential and commercial markets throughout southern states as well as Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, and other areas of Asia. Currently he is the broker for commercial real estate, business brokerage, and land and international real estate for Metro Brokers/GMAC Real Estate in Atlanta. Timothy McFadden, CIPS, e-PRO 18 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  23. 23. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office I Want To Be Your International Strategy Earning the CIPS designation also named exclusive Cabela’s Trophy Properties has prepared me for the most international regional manager. enabled me to combine my exciting business and personal passion for real estate with my challenge of my life, as exclusive Representing Cabela’s Trophy love of outdoor sports. But, I international regional manager Properties is a new endeavor for believe that home buying for Cabela’s Trophy Properties. the company. If you enjoy should not be an extreme sport. outdoor and wilderness sports, then you are probably familiar with their retail stores and catalogs. Their trademark is The The CIPS World’s Foremost Outfitter® and designation they have provided everything opened this for the sportsman, from opportunity for equipment to services, since me and gave me 1961. The Cabela’s Trophy the confidence to Properties is a natural outgrowth of services for their pursue it. clientele. The CTP Web site is like a “lifestyle MLS” because it Roger Minkoff, ABR, CIPS, GRI focuses exclusively on CIPS Opened the Door Minkoff & Associates, recreational properties. The With my extensive background REALTORS®, LLC CIPS connection is an extended in real estate and land St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. network and family. I hope to development, and my love of use the CIPS network first to nature and the environment, I enroll brokers who list CIPS gave me the confidence to have the rare opportunity to recreational and outdoor-sports approach the executives of enjoy to the maximum both my oriented properties and co- Cabela’s and say that I’d like to vocation of real estate and my market under the Cabela’s be your international strategy. avocation—outdoor sports. The brand. The outcome—a new CIPS designation opened this opportunity to participate in opportunity for me and gave me It must be obvious that I love Cabela’s Trophy Properties in the confidence to pursue it. sports. The relationship with the U.S. Virgin Islands and I was Roger Minkoff is the principal broker of Minkoff & Associates, REALTORS ®, LLC. In addition to recruiting brokers worldwide for exclusive country territories as CTP participating brokers, he assists buyers, sellers, and investors anywhere in the world. He is international regional manager for Cabela’s Trophy Properties. Roger Minkoff, ABR, CIPS, GRI, TRC 19
  24. 24. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies Use the Internet to Reach Out Globally The world is really flat, you work fast, effectively, and cost- Corporation using early know. That may sound a bit efficiently. technology and a huge strange, but the Internet has computer to match buyers and enabled service levels and Use the Internet to Reach Out sellers. Today, we can reach out Take the evergreen principles of and touch a client in two real estate marketing and apply minutes. Just imagine five years them to how you do business on from now how we will do the Web. For example, we used business? to send thousands of postcards. Today, take the knowledge of The Web Changes Everything communication and how to Can you envision how market with postcards—that technology and the Web will methodology—and combine it change the way we do business? with the Web. Use the Internet I believe we can’t even see five to reach out and touch clients— years down the line and predict Jack Peckham, CCIM, CIPS in Tokyo, the Far East, the UAE, Real Estate Cyberspace Society Switzerland, or anywhere. Boston, Massachusetts Everything we Recently, I had a listing on a $12 are doing today communications we’ve never million hydro-electric dam in on the Web is had before. Everything we are New England. There’s a small making the doing today on the Web is pool of buyers for a property world smaller making the world smaller and like that and how many buyers and flatter. flatter. can I reach with the usual marketing methods? The point how we will do business. Think For those who are just starting is, through the Internet I was about what we can do today out with a CIPS designation, my able to reach out to a targeted with e-mail, live online chats, message would be first, that you list of potential buyers virtual tours, online conventions have to understand how others worldwide. There were thirty and expositions, matching do business—that’s the value of inquiries within the first three buyers and sellers, matching the CIPS education. Second, use days and a Swiss buyer under properties with buyers. If we the Internet to reach out. contract in the fourth week. can do all of this today, imagine Combine both, the CIPS what we can do in five years? I knowledge and the Internet, to I first got involved with believe we are walking through technology in 1962 when I a door called “awesome.” founded the Data Realty John M. Peckham is executive director of, the Real Estate Cyberspace Society. His syndicated column, Selling in Cyberspace appears in the New England Real Estate Journal, the Florida Real Estate Journal, and many other publications. He is the author of A Master Guide to Income Property Brokerage. In more than forty-five years in real estate, he has sold more than $1 billion in commercial/investment properties. Jack Peckham, CCIM, CIPS 20 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  25. 25. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office An Unexpected Journey People often speak about California who was serving as who is culturally sensitive hindsight and how if they had the NAR President's Liaison to should ask if the customer only known yesterday what they Thailand, approached me. Nita believes in fêng shui. Some may know today that they could was looking for a CIPS in Boston. say that they do and others may have done a better job. In many Nita needed help finding a not. Nita believes that it is ways that is true, but what we second home in Boston for advisable to inform your often fail to think about is how customers from Thailand. Their customers that you have much we gain from an children were to attend various worked with others who believe unexpected event. schools in the Boston area and, in fêng shui; then let the because these students were far customer tell you if it is an from home, their parents important factor and what wanted them to have a place to would be considered good fêng congregate. shui. Each country has different beliefs. For example, a west- Two weeks later, the customers facing door may not be good for came to Boston. We toured a buyer from Thailand but may properties in various Boston work for a Chinese or neighborhoods. They chose a Vietnamese buyer. The four-bedroom condominium in REALTOR® must discover what is Marsha Price, CIPS, TRC one of Boston's most beautiful important to the individual Coldwell Banker Residential buildings—but not without customer. Brokerage consulting Nita! Because of the Boston, Massachusetts relationship that Nita had Last May, at the REALTORS® established with these Midyear Meetings in customers, and she knew some Washington, D.C., I attended the of the issues that they would CIPS International Breakfast. As not feel comfortable discussing is the custom in such a small with a new REALTOR®. When group, we all introduced Nita flew to Boston to inspect ourselves. It is always the property, she was equipped interesting to listen to where to sort out fêng shui issues that Nittaya Pichedvanichok, CIPS, others in the group come from pertain to the purchase of new CCIM, CRB,CRS,GRI,TRC and what their areas of property. Her relationship with Coldwell Banker Ambassador specialization are. That act of the customers and her Realty introducing oneself is a way of knowledge of fêng shui helped Whittier, California re-affirming the concept of a the transaction move forward small well-networked group of and the buyers felt secure with Going the Extra Mile real estate professionals that their decision. Nita and I But this is not where the story operates in a very large world. combined our strengths to make ends. Two months later our the buyers feel comfortable and customers returned to Boston A Unexpected Contact Pays the transaction go smoothly. to take their children to school Off and close on their new At the conclusion of the The Fêng Shui Factor condominium, which still breakfast Nita Pichedvanichok, a Sensitivity to a belief in fêng needed to be furnished. CIPS designee from Whittier, shui is important. A REALTOR® Subsequent to a closing, I would 21
  26. 26. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies normally not continue working customers had planned. They necessary in order to assure that with the buyers. Because these found their beautiful new condo all would go smoothly. We were customers were from a different cleaned and fully furnished. in constant contact with the country and culture, I cleared buyers and one another. I like to my calendar and for one week I think that in an industry based worked with them to find on service, we have provided furniture, sheets and pots and the extra service the buyers We combined our pans, rugs, lighting, televisions needed. Nita and I have learned and everything else needed to strengths to make and gained much this furnish a home. Just because the buyers feel experience. the transaction was closed did comfortable and not mean that it was the transaction go As my friend Nita says, “life is appropriate to leave my smoothly. always beautiful.” customers to find their own way in a new and different culture. I First published in Global needed to include services that I Combining Strengths for Perspectives in Real Estate, second would not ordinarily provide. Success quarter, 2005 Two months after the closing Only as a collaborative effort the occupants of the could this have worked as condominium arrived. In the smoothly as it did. Nita and I meantime, I had scheduled and partnered well, exchanging received deliveries of all the information throughout the merchandise and made sure process, learning from one that all was arranged as my another, and improvising as Marsha J. Price, CIPS, TRC is a relocation expert who specializes in the purchase and sale of luxury condominiums and homes in downtown Boston and Cambridge. She is a Research Affiliate with MIT and is currently working with the City of Boston on a study of the real estate market with the goal of addressing the affordable housing issue. Nittaya Pichedvanichok, CIPS, CCIM, CRB, CRS, GRI, TRC has offices in Whittier, California and Bangkok. She specializes in apartment buildings and other development projects and in serving international clients and investors. She speaks Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, English, and French. Marsha J. Price, CIPS, TRC Nittaya Pichedvanichok, CIPS, CCIM, CRB, CRS, GRI, TRC 22 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  27. 27. From the Classroom to Your Real Estate Office Finding the Mother Lode at the Panama Spectacular My husband, Kosta, and I have put together a plan, and go for always been very international. A Big First Step it. He was born and raised abroad, Now came the next big step— has worked in several countries, making contacts in Panama. As Then, we began to establish a and has visited many more; I CIPS, we received an invitation reputable network of lived in Europe for three and a from former Ambassador Juan professionals around us—a half years. So, it seems natural Sosa to the Panama Spectacular lawyer, a title company, a that a nice portion of our 2005. This annual event hosted developer/builder, and a real business in South Orange by the U.S.-Panama Business estate agent who worked with County, California is with foreign Council promotes real estate them. We met and networked nationals relocating or buying investment between the U.S. with the very first licensed real investment properties. and Panama. Before our trip, estate agent in Panama—whose one of our biggest concerns was license number is 0001—and how, after we made the trip and many other reputable agents found the contacts, we could be who adhere to a Code of Ethics assured of getting paid for any like our own. We researched business we transacted. I sat ways to hold title, ways to down, considered what we obtain a residency visa, and wanted to accomplish on this ways to retire to Panama for trip, and drew up a business U.S. baby boomers with an eye plan. on the international horizon. Terry Theodorou, CIPS, TRC Barton Wyatt Estate Agents TRC A Perfect Fit with CIPS Finally, Kosta and I reviewed our Virginia Water, Surrey, U.K. The advent of ICREA's plan and decided that, for the Transnational Referral portion of our trip where we We started to keep an eye on Certification (TRC), a perfect fit would actually go out and visit Panama. It has an easy flow of with our CIPS designation, was properties, we would split up to currency. It also had the the answer to our concerns. As a cover as much ground as infrastructure that we were TRC, if you send a referral possible. This turned out to be seeking. Kosta and I are overseas via the Transnational great decision, because Kosta proponents of ecotourism, and Referral Contract designed by found a project he truly believed we like tropical climates. We the International Consortium of in. wanted a country that had a Real Estate Associations, and stable political climate offering the agent on the other end Panama is Spectacular easy repatriation of funds, plus somehow forgets to pay you, The PanCanal View project is a a good quality of life with some you have the right to a review luxury gated condominium of the creature comforts to by an ICREA arbitrator. There complex of three 35-story which we are accustomed: high are guidelines and a process in towers where you can "be a speed Internet access, our place to enforce the agreed witness to history from your favorite TV shows, good medical upon payment. There are own home" when the expansion facilities, shopping, and penalties and serious of the Panama Canal takes entertainment. Finally, we consequences for not complying place. sought a place where English with the findings of the was a second language, and one arbitrator. This gave us the that wasn't too far from home. confidence we needed to really 23
  28. 28. International Real Estate Best Practices Case Studies When Kosta introduced me to provided compensation for his decided to host a Panama Living the developer, my first question Project Manager who is the Seminar in Irvine, California. We was, "Can we get the exclusive developer's real estate agent in had five weeks to get the first right to sell your project in one together and we sold 50 California in the U.S.?" He said percent of the junior yes, we shook on it, and went ICREA's penthouses located in phase on to discuss the terms of the Transnational one—approximately $3.6 agreement. Then, he took us on million worth of real estate—in a tour of the project site and the Referral four hours. Last week, surrounding areas. We were Certification is a Ambassador Sosa introduced thrilled with the location and perfect fit with me to someone as "the the potential it offered. our CIPS American REALTOR® who has designation. sold more real estate in Panama We continued finalizing the than anyone else in the U.S." terms of our agreement for ten days after we returned to the Panama, and for our subagents First published in Global Perspectives U.S. It wasn't easy as our here in the U.S. And, it gave us in Real Estate, third quarter, 2005 developer was in Dubai at that the Exclusive Right to Sell all time, and there was a ten-hour properties in the PanCanal View time difference. We'd awake at project in the U.S. midnight to work with our developer via telephone and fax After we secured our Exclusive to Dubai. Finally we were Right to Sell in the U.S., the real rewarded with an agreement work began, marketing the everyone could live with. It project and getting it sold. We Terry Theodorou, CIPS, TRC is REALTOR® with Buy A Home In America in Lake Forest, California. She is also vice- president and co-founder of KT Home Loans. Terry Theodorou, CIPS, TRC 24 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®