2019 Global Year in Review

2019 was a banner year for NAR Global, thanks to the efforts of NAR volunteer leaders and NAR's bilateral partner associations around the world. The Global Network, in which we are all stakeholders, has developed to a point never seen before, and is poised to deliver on the goals that we all seek for our respective associations:

  • Help our members expand their international business and ultimately make more money
  • Help professionalize the industry by offering more educational courses to raise the level of professionalism of the average agent
  • Help develop real estate markets to increase transparency, efficiency, and the ease of doing business by adopting worldwide best practices

See and share a slideshow of NAR Global events in 2019:

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Global Engagement – Overview

NAR continued to grow key aspects of its business:

  • We welcomed 4 new partners from 3 different countries, growing the world's largest global real estate network to 104 partners in 73 countries.
  • NAR Global played an instrumental role in NAR and Affiliate related educational courses being taught in 24 different markets within the 5 continents.
  • IRM membership continues to grow, building and adding value to the REALTOR® brand across the world.
  • After a recent revamp of the Ambassador Association Program, we saw continued growth and value delivered to both U.S. associations and associations in 45 other countries.

After an incredible 2019, NAR Global is poised to deliver even more value to REALTORS® and real estate associations across the world. From the bottom of our hearts, we cannot thank our volunteers enough for their leadership and tireless efforts in connecting the world.

Here are some examples of how NAR has touched each region over the course of 2019:

Asia Pacific Region

“Our Asia Pacific region had an amazing and productive 2019. Our Global Coordinator and Global Ambassadors gave it their all and made it a seamless transition for our partners and members.” – Nancy Suvarnamani, NAR Global Coordinator to the Asia Pacific Region

Some of the biggest accomplishments of the year include the successful regional event we helped organize, the many NAR and NAR-affiliate courses our global volunteers helped coordinate, new partners, who bring more global opportunities, the existing Ambassador Association and Bilateral Partner alliances that were revitalized, and so much more that we have done together.

Highlights in this region:

  • The Asia Pacific Region once again hosted a successful IREC in Japan, with 560 attendees.
  • 15 countries hosted CIPS courses in 2019. Six of these 15 were in Asia, in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Mongolia, and Cambodia.
  • A few new partners were added in the region:
    • Global Real estate Association of Seoul (GRAS)
    • The Real Estate Institute of Victoria
    • The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia
  • REACH®, NAR's technology growth accelerator program, debuted in the Asia Pacific region. The first REACH® Australia class was announced on December 9. The REACH® team continues to work to penetrate Southeast Asian markets.
  • A session called "Focusing on Asia" was held at the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Nine of our partner associations participated.
  • Two Ambassador Associations to Asia, Greater Bergen REALTORS® (Korea) and Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® (India) had great meetings with their counterparts, GRAS and NAR India respectively. Plans have been made for the groups to work together and provide resources to their respective members.
  • Chicago Association of REALTORS® hosted a completely-sold-out trade mission to Thailand in July.

Central America and the Caribbean

“2019 has been a very active and productive year for the Caribbean and Central America. We greatly appreciate everyone’s contribution: our global ambassadors, NAR staff, ambassador associations, and country leaders who made this happen." – Carla Rayman, NAR Global Coordinator to Central America and the Caribbean

Highlights in this region:

  • The region’s first International REALTORS® Conference (IRC) was held in Jamaica in December.
  • The REALTOR® Association of Jamaica held the largest CIPS class on record.
  • Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) were signed by Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, and Panama.
  • Belize, Bermuda, Bahamas, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama were all represented at this year’s NAR REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.
  • Panama made an inbound trade mission and visited Sarasota, Florida and attended the Florida REALTORS® conference.
  • NAR was represented at The Bahamas's, Bermuda's, and Jamaica’s annual general meetings.
  • The Dominican Republic held its 30th anniversary of the AEI and an Entrepreneurs Conference later in the year.
  • AMPI in Mexico held both an International Summit and Congreso.

Eastern Europe

"I would like to thank all our Eastern European Global Ambassadors and all of our Cooperating Associations, NAR Global staff, and leadership for making 2019 a great success and a solid foundation for the years to come." – Zola Szerencses, NAR Global Coordinator to Eastern Europe

Highlights in this region:

  • We had our very first Eastern European Regional Summit meeting, held in Belgrade, Serbia, with 2019 NAR President John Smaby, in April.
  • Two International Board of Directors from Eastern Europe, from Serbia and Romania, attended the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo
  • Hosted 2019 NAR President in Romania and acknowledged the Romanian partners' successes.
  • We held several NAR-approved and recognized designation courses throughout the region.
  • We focused on providing valuable courses and guidance to our co-op associations, to help them build their memberships, their member’s businesses, and build their referral businesses with NAR's membership of 1.4 million REALTORS®.
  • Our co-op associations signed several Memorandums of Understanding with local and state associations throughout the US.
  • The International REALTOR® of the year, Dan A. Negulescu, from Romania, is from our region.
  • Delegates from a record number of countries in our region attended the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.
  • We appointed two in-region Global Ambassadors to help launch our 2020 goals and keep our strategic plan moving in the right direction and on schedule.

South America

“2019 proved to be a great and very successful year for this region, and most of the countries in it experienced an increase of International REALTOR® members compared to 2018. Triggered by the need and interest for real estate education, NAR and affiliate designations and certifications made a huge impact on this region, and over 350 real estate professionals benefited from this. 2019 was also the year where the project NAR en Español took off as a great regional tool to bring together Spanish-speaking professionals from South America, resulting in regional engagement levels never seen before. Last but not least, we have to highlight the creation of a couple YPN chapters in the region modeled after those within the NAR network” – Mario Rubio, NAR Global Coordinator to South America

Highlights in this region:


  • Brazil put together two successful CIPS Institutes and increased the number of designees from 20 to 100.
  • The COFECI Global Women’s Real Estate Conference in Aracaju, Brazil in July was very successful, with 700+ attendees.
  • Thirty delegates from Brazil attended the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.


  • Conducted CRS & ABR courses
  • Re-Launched the International REALTOR® Member (IRM) program and increased number of IRMs to 71.
  • MLS was implemented in the most important cities through regional associations.


  • Organized a full CIPS Institute in September and CRS classes in August.
  • A delegation attended the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.
  • Had a delegation to the newly formed YPN group in South America.
  • Increased number of IRMs.
  • Communication was established to bring other NAR designation classes in 2020.
  • MLS technology is being developed.


  • NAR designation classes are being programmed for 2020.
  • CRS classes were offered in 2019.
  • Started planning an inbound trade mission with members of Pinellas REALTOR® Organization for August 2020.
  • Despite challenges resulting in changing leadership halfway through the year, the region increased its number of International REALTOR® Members.

Western Europe

“What a great year 2019 has been for NAR and our Western European partners! Congratulations to all the local and real estate leaders who have made this a memorable year for the region, and very special thanks to our Regional Coordinator and Global Ambassadors for empowering and engaging the local bilateral partners by delivering knowledge, resources and experiences that have helped expand NAR’s footprint in the region and elevate our local member’s success and professionalism. It has also been great to see how the regional partners have engaged with Local and State Boards in the US, which will be key to keep educating our local members about the region's opportunities” – Hanne Sagalowsky, NAR Global Coordinator to Western Europe

Highlights in this region:

  • Western Europe welcomed two new NAR bilateral partners in 2019, one from France and one from Italy.
  • SNPI France became NAR’s 100th Bilateral Partner, a big milestone in NAR´s Global history.
  • NAR actively participated in Europe’s largest real estate show, MIPIM, in Cannes, France.
  • NAR actively participated in the real estate event EXPO REAL in Munich.
  • NAR’s bilateral partner in Ireland, IPAV, launched its first ever MLS. NAR and Ireland’s Ambassador Association played key roles in this success.
  • The region set a record-breaking number of participants who attended the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. Every single country from the region was represented.
  • We successfully asked our partners to help us promote our convention in their newsletters and online.
  • Western Europe (Denmark & France) sent several groups of real estate students to the U.S. to shadow American REALTORS®.
  • Our partner Portuguese International Realty Alliance (PIRA) hosted the first CIPS Institute ever in Portugal.
  • We started reaching out to individual brokers to get them interested in participating in our conventions. This resulted in 50+ additional participants in San Francisco.
  • Finland sent its entire board of directors, in addition to the president and the CEO, to the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

United States of America

Throughout the U.S., as part of the state and local association structure of NAR, there are over 130 global groups who provide education, networking, and programming as it relates to foreign investment in their markets. In addition to that, they act as a REALTOR®-driven community organization, helping REALTORS® build partnerships with globally-minded businesses, mortgage brokers, attorneys, and other relevant local entities as well as positions their association as the voice for global real estate in the local market.

With over 130 global groups in the U.S. in 2019, representing the opportunity for over 500,000 REALTORS® to participate in these discussions and opportunities, NAR continues to work in a variety of ways to help build, support and engage both the associations and their members. In addition to that, NAR has the Ambassador Association Program, which connects NAR's bilateral partners with a state or local association to help enhance member connections to real estate opportunities and share association best practices around the world.


  • NAR staff visited over 20 state or local associations in 11 states to discuss global investment in the US and ways in which to access and capitalize on that business through the local markets.
  • Many trade missions between our U.S. and non-U.S. partners, new Memorandums of Understanding and numerous new business relationships have been formed as a result of the Ambassador Association program.
  • Thirty-four global groups across the United States were awarded either Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond recognition in the NAR Global Achievement Program. These groups represent the best of the best in the global space and continuously provide opportunities for members and business partners to work together to capture their share of the global market.
  • One hundred and eight students attended NAR's direct-delivery course, “Global Programs for Associations” to learn how to build and grow global programming at the state or local level, and we’re proud to say that in 2019 we added four brand-new global groups.

REALTORS® Conference & Expo

Thank you to the approximately 1,600 international attendees from 68 countries who were in attendance at the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco! With all of the meetings happening at once and for those who were not in attendance, here are some global highlights you may have missed.

  • San Francisco Association of REALTORS® and Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®' Global Councils worked together to host a bus tour of properties in San Francisco for delegates from over 30 countries and provided the opportunity for 177 members and international members between the two groups to build relationships. Way to go! #Collaboration #Global
  • NAR signed two bilateral partners from Australia and one from Korea.
  • Twenty-five sessions were presented in the Global Theater on the Expo Floor.
  • The NAR en Espanol session was a HUGE success! Read more about the event.
  • Eleven sessions throughout the conference were translated into Russian, Spanish and Portuguese, with two additional sessions adding Mandarin and French to the translation services.
  • A write-up was published in REALTOR® Magazine on the Global Business Councils Forum topic Cross Border Collaboration.
  • The Global Business Alliances Committee passed a motion to amend NAR’s Policy Position on the H-2B Temporary Worker Visa Policy. This amendment was approved by the NAR Board of Directors on Monday, November 11, 2019. View all recommendations approved by the NAR Board of Directors, including the one from the Global Business Alliances Committee.
  • International Night Out was sold out to over 800 guests this year, who danced all night and celebrated the following awards:
    • Dan Negulescu, International REALTOR® of the Year
    • Linda Lee, NAR Global Ambassador of the Year
    • SIRA (Spain), NAR Bilateral Partner of the Year
    • Mainstreet REALTOR® Organization, Global Outreach Effort
    • Texas REALTORS®, Ambassador Association of the Year
    • Diamond Global Achievement Program Awards: West San Gabriel Valley REALTORS®, Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®, and Osceola County Association of REALTORS®