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Agreement with IRPF and Services SETA

The International Real Property Foundation (IRPF), in fulfilling its mission of creating viable, private real estate markets worldwide which are essential for strong democracies and developing economies, has collaborated with the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) to co-sponsor training for the real-estate market in South Africa. After diligently working towards the signing of a Service Level Agreement over the past year, IRPF is pleased to report that on a recent trip to South Africa, IRPF President and CEO, Norm Flynn and CEO of Services SETA, Ivor Blumenthal signed the agreement on August 20, 2008.

IRPF and Services SETA have agreed to offer a full calendar of Continuous Professional Development (CDP) activities which culminate in the award of a Professional Designation. Since its initiation, the partnership has delivered courses in brokerage management, brokerage sales training, commercial real-estate, leadership training, and advocacy and will continue to do so throughout 2008 and into 2009.

The objective to train a total of 350 individuals by the first quarter of 2008, providing Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) training for 100 candidates, Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) training for 100 candidates, Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) training for 50 candidates, a Train the Trainer program for 50 candidates, and an Advocacy program for 50 candidates is being met with over half of the trainings completed and preparations for future trainings underway. The ultimate intent is to have 800 individuals trained on a yearly basis. These trainings will secure designations and constitute local chapters to build networks of professionals to allow for peer consultation and continuing education.

The first training on government affairs and advocacy, targeted to leaders of the associations to become active advocates for real property issues at the state and federal level, was a great success. Subsequently, two Train the Trainer courses, two courses from IREM and one course from CRB have been completed to date, all receiving great reviews from participants and local coordinators. Global affiliation of individuals receiving designations is an important element of this component; thus, once individuals have been trained and secured designations, these networks of professionals will be constituted to allow for peer consultation and continuing education. IRPF is eager to continue training with the second CRB and third IREM sessions to be delivered in September and October and to launch CRS courses the last quarter of 2008.

The SSETA and IRPF agreement will leverage South African tax payers’ funds as part of a 1% excise tax used to train disfranchised individuals whereby 83% costs associated with the training of 350 individuals will be underwritten by SETA and 17% by IRPF. Essentially, SETA is paying for the costs of the course for the individuals being trained and IRPF is paying for instructor funding and travel expenses.

The joint venture of IRPF and Services SETA reveals the scope of success that can be made in emerging real-estate markets with cooperative effort. Both organizations have great faith in the opportunities presented for the South African real-estate community through providing education and resources for professional development.

Norm Flynn and Ivor Blumenthal at the signing of the Service Level Agreement

The partnership between IRPF and Service SETA will continue to impact the lives of South Africans by providing valuable opportunities for the real-estate community in their professional careers and by increasing knowledge through essential training courses. The collaboration will pave the way for establishing a common voice in the South African real-estate industry while building the foundation for transparent market pricing which is vital for meeting international standards. For every 1 part of costs underwritten by IRPF, SSETA underwrites 5 parts.

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