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IRPF’s Recent Progress in Vietnam

IRPF consultant Dennis McDermott conducted a thorough and successful Strategic Planning Session and Structural Audit with the leadership and staff of the Vietnam Real Estate Association in Hanoi this past March. Although Dennis conducted an initial strategic planning session with the association a year prior, in March, 2008, he was hard pressed to gather all of the necessary information. At the time, he did not have adequate access to staff, financial documents and other VREA leaders nor sufficient time with the staff available, which IRPF and the consultant had expected to be granted.

(From left: Mr. Minh, Mr. Nga-VREA General Secretary, Dennis McDermott Mr. Chuong, and Dr. Toan of VREA during a planning session.)

A recent change in leadership and the willingness of VREA staff in 2009 to improve operations contributed greatly to the success of the second session. Dennis reported, “The strong commitment of the new VREA leadership to assistance with a structural audit and strategic planning was evident from the moment I passed through Vietnamese customs.”

After conducting the planning session with leadership and staff of VREA, Dennis concluded, “In my view, VREA’s mission, objectives and strategies are more than adequate and better than many associations’ documents I’ve read. What is more important is that VREA adopt and continually implement the theories of strategic and annual planning.” He noted that the Associations’ strengths are in Technical journals and publications, Strategic planning/thinking, government relations, and ethics and self regulation programs.

Dennis identified one of the main challenges that VREA faces is bringing in the local association in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) which is organized, strong, and competent. One of Dennis’ main recommendations to VREA is that they “introduce now the concept and advantages of a “Three-Way Agreement” while encouraging the formation of local associations. VREA needs to make the argument that the Member needs services provided by both the Local Association and the National Association. Therefore, each geographical level is as important to the Member as the other; no more and no less.”

Dennis concluded, “I do believe VREA can improve rather quickly (within two years) if it focuses on the most important things first and not try to do too much at once.” The association’s main area of focus is currently on education and training. IRPF plans to help underwrite expenses to deliver a course on Real Estate Advanced Practices (REAP) through the Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) in Ho Chi Minh City and a Train the Trainer program in Hanoi in the coming months.

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