by Alejandro Escudero, Manager of Global Alliances and Business Development
National Association of REALTORS®
Colombia. A global success story.
The NAR Global mission is “to render the global real estate markets accessible, profitable and ethical for REALTORS® to conduct business.” While in the U.S., we enjoy a regulated and well developed real estate industry, this is unfortunately not the case in many overseas countries and therefore is one of the main challenges many of our bilateral partners face locally.
We are often asked what we do in the Global department, and why it matters to the real estate industry. Because of our success in the United States, we are able to share our best practices and experience with those countries who need our help most. I want to briefly highlight a success story which involves NAR and our bilateral partner in Colombia, FEDELONJAS, a consortium of 20 local real estate associations. This is one of those stories that makes me feel proud to work for NAR, an example of tangible real success that proves our work to be a life changing experience for others.
Colombia, just like many of its neighboring countries in South America, does not have a regulated real estate industry, it’s sort of a wild wild west where consumer and professional rights are often violated, it’s a market that can never work as such. The need for regulation is key for an industry to develop and more importantly, for a market to ensure security and good practices between the different players.
With NAR’s support in 2016, FEDELONJAS was able to access a Reaume Foundation grant (created by and named after a past NAR President) to launch a Plan for the Modernization of the Real Estate Industry in Colombia. Initiated at the NAR convention last year in Orlando and recently launched at their National Congress, FEDELONJAS built three different teams to implement the whole project. The overall plan includes actions involving three different Business Areas:
- Legal. There is a team of Lawyers working on a Proposal of Law for the Colombian Congress regulating the Real Estate Industry. This proposal includes:
- Industry Regulations protecting consumers and professionals
- Real Estate License
- Real Estate Agent’s Public Registry
- International. This action line will connect the Colombian Market to the world, increasing the presence of International REALTORS® and CIPS designees in the country, and enhancing the relationships and attendance of Colombian Real Estate Agents to NAR Business Meetings and events.
- Professional Skills. Helping the regional boards, FEDELONJAS is developing a whole line of actions & activities oriented to increase the professional skills of the real estate agents along the country. The main lines of this part of the plan are:
- Training. Already designed and developed National Training Plan with all the contents needed to be a succesfull Real Estate Agent. (Selling Skils, Legal, Financing, Taxes, etc…) This plan includes the certification of the teachers to bring the classes all over the country.
- MLS. In less than one year, 6 new Regional MLS created in different regions of Colombia, which means that we have 10 MLS connecting the Agents all over the country.
- Web. Using the MLS sources , we will launch the FEDELONJAS web of properties before end of this year, with real information about listings all over the country.
- Tools. FEDELONJAS will implant some cutting age technologies for the agents to help increasing their productivity levels. (CRM, Digital Marketing, etc….)
“In all of the three lines, the support and vision of NAR it's been abslolutely essential,” said FEDLONJAS Advisor, Alfonso Gordon. “NAR has been a continuous example on how to implant the vision of the Real Estate in the country, and much of the three lines of action follows the structure and vision of the NAR vision, boards, committess , etc.”
In all of the three areas, the support, vision and structure of NAR has been instrumental and we´re proud to say that Colombia´s real estate market is now one step closer to the requested professionalism and their voices will be heard at a National level.
For more information on NAR Global’s programs and services, visit nar.realtor/global.