Regional Coordinator's Message: Zola Szerencses
The countries in central and eastern Europe are all working, at varying rates of progress, to institute reforms that will help their real estate industries operate in a more professional and transparent manner. Long-accepted practices in the U.S., such as exclusive listing agreements and cooperation between agents, are not present in many markets.
Romania, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Greece have made the most substantial progress. Of these, it is particularly noteworthy that Romania now has a Multiple Listing Service. Additionally, Serbia was the most recent country in this region to sign a cooperative agreement with NAR at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando.
NAR’s role in central and eastern Europe has been one of supporting each country’s efforts, largely through coordination between a NAR President’s Liaison and key representatives from the designated Cooperating Association. Currently, some of the most active relationships are with Romania, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Russia. (See NAR’s Global Alliances directory to identify specific individuals and associations.)
Attending the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo is always an excellent first step. Beyond this, if you are interested in networking more extensively with the right people from a particular country in this region, here are three points of contact to explore:
First, reach out to the appropriate President’s Liaison. See if they can provide any networking advice. Depending on their background and experience, they may be able to help you identify the most important participants (for your market niche) and make suggestions regarding networking practices in this country.
Secondly, touch base with the appropriate Ambassador Association. Depending on their level of involvement, they may be able to provide additional advice.
Explore networking opportunities with the Cooperating Association. Many of these groups host annual association meetings (also called general assemblies) that provide excellent face-to-face networking opportunities and will deepen your understanding of local real estate practices.