At the State and Local Forum on Global Business in San Francisco last month, leaders on the association staff and member side gathered to discuss best practices, new ideas and challenges involved with starting or growing global programs at REALTOR® organizations. The next scenario from the Forum deals with finding resources for global programs in a smaller board that doesn't have a lot of members or money:

We are a small board, with fewer than 1,000 members and only two full-time staff people. However, we're in an area that’s received a high level of interest from overseas real estate buyers because of its reputation as a resort and leisure area and favorable cost of living. We don't have a global council and aren't sure we can start one, but we want to provide some way to raise our members' awareness of opportunities and challenges that exist in international real estate. How can we do this with our very limited resources?

Here are some of the ideas the group came up with at the Forum:

  • Whether you form a council or not, help members understand the value of higher global awareness by passing along news and research on international business and real estate trends.
  • Consider partnering with another local association to pool resources for global programs.
  • Review NAR’s global resources at Also, check your state association’s Web site to find out if there is any global information there.
  • Connect with local professionals and institutions that have experience dealing with foreign individuals and businesses. These can include local economic development/trade organizations, colleges and universities, immigration attorneys, area hotels and resorts, companies in areas such as technology and engineering that tend to bring in large amounts of employees from overseas, etc.
  • Collect information on which members hold the CIPS designation, speak a foreign language, have experience with international real estate transactions, etc.

And here’s more advice from NAR Global staff:

Consider hosting a CIPS Local Markets course. This can provide a good introduction into international real estate transactions and get some of your members interested in pursuing the CIPS designation. Members who go through the course may also arrive at the conclusion that they should create a global business council, and drive its creation and organization.

Also, do a little digging into what international real estate opportunities exist now. Explore direct flights from overseas cities to airports in or close to your local market. Take a look at key statistics in NAR’s state-by-state international business reports and share them with your members.

Read the last post on Global Challenges discussed at this year’s Forum.