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NAR Ramps Up Global Focus

January 1, 2011

New NAR outreach program for local associations complements REALTOR.com’s new international features.

More than $66 billion in U.S. residential real estate was sold to foreign buyers and recent immigrants in 2009, which represents 7 percent of the overall housing market, according to research by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

To facilitate and increase international transactions, NAR is expanding member and association education efforts while REALTOR.com is adding new international listings in 2011, as well as translation and conversion tools.

NAR’S Global Business and Alliances Group recently published a white paper, “Local Market Assessment, Case Studies,” featuring a six-step process to help local
associations identify and reach their global buyers. The publication aims to challenge the idea that some areas don’t have global buyers by citing case studies in Alabama, Kentucky, and Colorado, where significant ties to international communities have been identified.

“In the past year, we’ve been sharing with members information to help them identify new potential international buyers and how to reach them,” says Janet Branton, NAR’s senior vice president of global business and alliances. “Our efforts now extend to state and local REALTOR® associations.”

NAR recently announced a new initiative to partner with local associations to produce globally focused business plans to provide members with education and programming. NAR’s Global department has also hired a new outreach manager, Zachary Benjamin, whose job is to help local associations and members develop a global mindset.

In March, NAR Global staff will be at the Association Executive Institute in Dallas to answer questions on the outreach program and how to establish global business councils. A series of Web seminars for association executives via REALTOR.org is also planned for 2011.

“While all real estate in the U.S. is local, the same is not true for property owners,” says NAR President Ronald Phipps. “The U.S. continues to be a top destination for international buyers from all over the world. Foreign buyers understand the value of owning a home in this country and can rely on REALTORS® to help guide them through the process of buying property in the U.S.”

Local associations, such as the Denver Board of REALTORS®, have taken note of this trend and are helping their members seize a share of the global market by establishing global business councils, extensions of local associations dedicated to globally themed education, programming, and networking. (Read more about Denver’s activities at REALTOR.org/global/volunteer_highlight.) For more information, contact NAR Global at 312-329-8246, or visit REALTOR.org/global.