By now, you probably know that NAR maintains partnerships with trade associations, franchises, and government agencies in 60 countries across the globe. What may not be as clear, however, is just how NAR designs and implements strategies to ensure that these partnerships create valuable networks and business opportunities for members while raising the Association's profile as a thought leader in the global real estate sphere. The following text may be a bit more technical than what you are used to reading here.  It is part of an internal white paper on NAR's strategy in the Asia region and is a terrific example of how we hope to position the association as a global hub of critical information and activity:

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a semi-governmental organization, similar in scope and purpose to the European Union, fostering trade and economic collaboration between 10 countries in the Southeast Asia region.  These include six—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—in which NAR maintains cooperating association relationships. In 2015, the organization will implement the “ASEAN Financial Integration,” which will create industrial and fiscal standards and regulations applicable to all member states.  According to NAR’s partners in Thailand and Singapore, this standardization of economic practices will create a bloc, similar to the EU model, which would rival China, Japan, and Korea for economic influence in the Eastern Hemisphere.

The ASEAN Financial Integration will impact a broad cross section of the industrial spectrum, including real estate.  Regulatory regulations in NAR’s partner countries range from the sophisticated (Singapore) to the non-existent (India and Vietnam), with most countries actively seeking to create and implement standards.  The 2015 ASEAN Financial Integration provides an opportunity for real estate professionals to help create a set of standards that will raise the profile of the practitioner while creating a safe business environment for property owners and investors.  Leadership of NAR’s cooperating associations in the region, as well as government-supported regulatory bodies in the Philippines and Vietnam, have expressed interest in working together to drive integrated regional real estate regulation.

NAR has begun to employ an exciting regional strategy in Southeast Asia, rather than treating each bilateral partnership as an exclusive entity having little impact on its neighbors.  Over the course of the next 1-2 years, NAR will deploy a hub-and-spoke model.  This model will position the Association as the hub of a network, which, through education, International REALTOR® Membership, and access to key individuals and organizations, creates relationships between critical regional actors, and indeed between those actors and NAR members in the U.S.  This strategy also positions NAR and its services as essential to the development and success of regional real estate standards, while allowing its partners to adapt the information and relationships to meet their specific needs.

This approach was piloted during NAR’s Annual Conference in San Francisco, where the Association hosted its first Southeast Asia Regional Roundtable on Sunday afternoon.  The purpose of the Regional Roundtable was to start an ongoing dialogue between NAR’s cooperating associations through which they would learn the status of their respective countries’ regulatory efforts and determine how best to work together to create the strongest possible integrated industrial standards.  Highlights included:

  • The presence of nearly 100 delegates from ASEAN countries, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Presentations delivered by association leaders from Singapore, the Philippines, and UAE on the regulatory practices in their respective countries.
  • Remarks by ARELLO President-Elect Jeanne Jackson-Heim on on the general state of real estate industry regulation around the globe.
  • Announcement by Dr. Loan Do, vice chair of the Ho Chi Minh (HoREA-Vietnam) Real Estate Association, that HoREA will be creating a sub-association in 2014 for the purpose of establishing a legal venue to build IRM population.
  • Over an hour of impromptu networking after the conclusion of the two-hour formal program.

NAR will continue to convene “Regional Roundtables” twice yearly while working with individual cooperating associations to meet performance objectives, as measured by membership, fulfillment of education recommendations, and Annual Conference participation.  We believe that this regional strategy, driven by the imminent ASEAN Financial Integration, will change the game for REALTORS® looking to build relationships with Asian buyers and investors.


What do YOU think? Stay tuned to The Global View for even more background on NAR's activities abroad, including an upcoming profile of our budding partnerships in Vietnam!