October 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the International Real Property Foundation's (IRPF) efforts developing real estate markets in emerging economies. As the Foundation celebrates this milestone, it is important not only to reflect on its success but also to look toward the future. IRPF is currently engaged in important work in Central Europe, India, and Eastern Africa. However, IRPF faces a financial challenge due to budget cuts in Washington, DC. Without continued funding, the potential of these projects is in jeopardy.
Established in 1992 as an independent, non-profit organization, IRPF was designed to help in the transition from centrally planned to market driven economies in Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union. Over the past 20 years, IRPF's influence has affected real estate markets globally. An outcome of IRPF's strategy is the presence of 180,000 practitioners in developing markets served by 78 self-sustaining associations.
IRPF & NAR
The relationship between NAR and IRPF is multi-faceted and extensive. The Foundation was set up with the active support and assistance of the National Association of REALTORs. Throughout the years NAR has continued to provide support and services. Additionally, NAR members serve on the IRPF board of directors.
IRPF's Recent Programming
Over the past few years, IRPF has focused on emerging markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and established the East Africa Regional Real Estate Training Center (EARRETC) serving real estate professionals in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The EARRETC is a mechanism to deliver technical assistance at an affordable price for real estate associations in the region. Although successful training programs have positioned the EARRETC and its member associations to professionalize the markets in East Africa, additional training on property rights, focusing on women in the industry, is requested from the field.
In 2007, IRPF helped establish the National Association of Realtors-India which rapidly expanded throughout the country and has contributed to a much stronger industry. IRPF's current efforts in India are aimed at improving the professionalism of brokers and agents in the densely populated country while working with developer associations. IRPF is focused on bringing International Valuation Standards to India, working through the National Housing Bank, and assisting NAR-India to become a more democratic organization by bringing leadership and ethics training to the association's local chapters.
Other current programming focuses on bringing about transparency in Central and Eastern European markets through the development of data aggregation systems that provide access to reliable and timely information on properties. Through the financial support of NAR and the Reaume Foundation, IRPF is assisting the Central European Real Estate Associations Network (CEREAN) and local service provider FlexMLS implement an MLS throughout Romanian.
Help IRPF Succeed for 20 More Years
After twenty years, the funding that IRPF has received from USAID and other sources is now beginning to dwindle. In order for the Foundation to continue its valuable work and deliver much-needed programming in host countries throughout the world, the IRPF needs assistance.
To learn more or make a contribution, please visit www.IRPF.org