Q: What is a trade mission?
A: Trade missions are international trips (inbound and outbound), organized for the purpose of exploring international business opportunities, learning about a specific foreign market, and building agent-to-agent relationships. They are often facilitated by NAR Cooperating Associations (outside the U.S.), state or local associations (in the U.S.), or like-minded real estate organizations.
Q: What should I expect from an outbound trade mission?
A: When participating in an outbound trade mission the sponsor should provide, in writing, a list of general expectations for the trip. Typically these trips include some of the following elements: visits to real estate brokerages or NAR Cooperating Association offices, meetings with related industry professionals, property tours, and other cultural or educational opportunities. In many cases, activities fit into multiple categories.
Q: What is an NAR Cooperating Association?
A: NAR maintains formal relationships with more than 85 organized real estate associations around the world, giving REALTORS® confidence in working with professionals that abide by a code of ethics. These bilateral partnerships exist in over 65 countries to help you establish partnerships and referral opportunities. See a list of the current Cooperating Associations.
Q: Should the trade mission work with or visit an NAR Cooperating Association?
A: Most U.S. groups traveling abroad anticipate working closely with the NAR Cooperating Association in that country. Generally, this is recommended.
Q: What is an NAR Ambassador Association?
A: NAR Ambassador Associations act like a “Sister City” program. This program links a foreign Cooperating Association with a U.S. state or local REALTOR® association. The Ambassador Association works closely with a President’s Liaison and Regional Coordinator to expand global business opportunities, and should be notified (if they are not already involved) of a trade mission to their assigned country.
Q: Can only NAR Ambassador Associations visit the country they are assigned to?
A: Any group is welcome to visit a given country. However, if an outbound group plans to visit a country, they should advise both the Ambassador Association and the NAR President’s Liaison of the trade mission in the early planning stages. However, be aware that if a Cooperating Association has limited resources, it may prefer to invest them with their U.S. partner and, consequently, may be unable to accommodate other groups.
Q: How many people constitute a trade mission?
A: While a certain number is not required, a minimum of 15 is considered a general industry standard. Experience suggests that 20-30 people is about right for a real estate group and that more than 30 may be difficult to manage for some host groups.
Q: Do I need to have the CIPS Designation to participate in a trade mission?
A: You don’t have to have your designation to participate, however taking the CIPS designation courses will better prepare you to work with different cultures and give you a well-rounded knowledge of how business is conducted in various countries. There are CIPS designees in over 50 countries and the ability to connect with them through your designation network could help foster additional business. See the list of CIPS courses.
Q: What does a typical trade mission itinerary look like?
A: Here are some itineraries from past trade missions:
- Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS/Vietnam
- Texas Association of REALTORS/International Cruise
- Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS/Mexico (inbound)
- Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS/Ireland
- New York State Association of REALTORS/Italy
- Pinellas International Council/Inbound (various)
- SouthEast Valley Association of REALTORS/Inbound (various)
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