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Realtors Congregate in Washington for Mid-Year Meetings
email this pageprint this pageemail usJohn K. Glaab - settlement-co.com
May 25, 2010



Each year, the National Association of Realtors stages two Conferences and Trade Shows. The smaller session is called the "Mid Year Meetings and Expo". It is always held in May in the same city, Washington DC, and attended by about 7,000 Realtors. The larger conference moves from city to city and more than 25,000 register for that one. Earlier this month I attended the Mid-Year Meetings.

The meetings/events I attended were the two part Real Estate Symposium, Certified International Property Specialist breakfast, the Global Business Alliances Committee, An Embassy visit, The Resort and Second Home Real Estate Committee, International Networking Reception, Economic & Residential Business Trends Forum International Forum and Resort and Second Home Forum and the International Local Council Forum.

David H. Stevens, HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Commissioner gave the keynote address. This was followed by a Legislative and Political Forum featuring Edward Gillespie, former advisor to George W. Bush and Terence Mc Auliffe, former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, co- chairman of Bill Clinton's re-election committee and more recently Chairman of Hilary Clinton for president. The two politicians put aside their partisan views and engaged in a friendly if not some times amusing discussion of how to fix Washington. It was their shared position that the law makers in Washington to put aside their personal views and work together to get the U.S.A. back on track.

The second part of the morning session, was a Town Hall meeting, "Strengthening & Stabilizing the U.S. Mortgage System". Forrest Sawyer, veteran journalist and former ABC, NBC CBS and NBC news anchor, was an entertaining and amusing moderator of a lively panel discussion. The six person panel included members of the financial, real estate and academic communities. The recurring theme of this session was that the banks have let the country down in many ways.

In the afternoon, Ron Insana, Senior Analyst CNBC and financial industry expert led a panel discussion. The four panelists represented the real east and financial industries. Realtor John Mc Conklin from Austin TX explained the real time portfolio theory. "Banks that can accurately determine changing value, in real time, of real estate properties that back loans in their portfolios will have a competitive edge in the future."

Day two started and ended with social events. It is always a pleasure to attend the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) breakfast and network with people from around the world. At the breakfast. New CIPS Designees received their certificates and pins. In the evening the Global Business Alliances group hosted the International Networking Reception. This presented a chance to visit with old friends from various parts of the world.

NAR has changed the name of its International Section to Global Business and Alliances Group. I was the lone member of the Mexican Association of Realtors (AMPI) at the new group's committee meeting. Reports were table from the Certified International Property Specialists (The course leading to official CIPS designation has been shortened by one day and the course formerly called "International Finance" is now "Transactional Tools." Ninety four Realtors received CIPS Designations in 2019, including fourteen at the mid year breakfast. The courses are being presented in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, in June of this year,) and the International Real Property Foundation.

Norman Flynn, President of the International Real Property Foundation, reported on: (a) his work with associations in Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya and (b) a new think tank PLATFORM, being promoted by the French. He stated that Realtors from India and the Arab countries have been active. It was reported there are now 10,000 world-wide who are Trans National Certified. A change at realtor.org allows one to go to "research," type in "international" and receive news form around the world.

In Conference news, it was reported the Conference in San Diego last November was attended by 1,363 foreigners, the largest contingent ever. Simultaneous translation in four languages, Spanish, Japans French and Portuguese will be available at the November Conference in New Orleans. It will be called NAR di Gras. Sarah Duchess of York will deliver the keynote address.

Each year in May, small groups of CIPS Realtors attend briefing sessions at various Embassies. This year The Phillipines, South Africa, Belize and the United Kingdom opened their doors for us. I went to the Embassy of South Africa. (Two years ago, I went to the Mexican Embassy, where we met with the country's formidable NAFTA team.)

Following the Economic Issues & Residential Real Estate Business trends Forum, NAR issued a news release with this heading, "Two Economists Project Improving Housing Market but Timing Uncertain." (By the way, I have just received the U.S. housing sales statistics for April and they are positive.)

Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD chief economist for NAR, and Mark Zandi chief economist and co-founder of Moody's Economy.com, were the speakers. Both agreed that job creation is the key to an economic and housing recovery. Yun expects a slightly higher demand for housing and a fairly even level of foreclosures entering the inventory pipeline before easing in 2011.

Zandi also forecasts improving demand for housing, but with foreclosures rising later in 2010 before easing in 2011. He said home prices may continue to weaken this year. "The housing crash is over - nearly. We are now near the bottom," he said. "There will be no real price growth in 2010 or 2011. Whether home prices weaken is unclear, but it will take two more years to work off excess home inventory at the current sales pace."

WRITER'S NOTE: It is my opinion that no resurgence in the Mexican market can be obtained until the U.S. market strengthens. Good news, the sale figures for April have just been released and they are positive.

The Past President of NAR Charles Mc Milan and his team worked hard to convince the U.S. Government to introduce the $8000 first time buyers grant and later to extend it.

Finally there were two other interesting sessions. A diverse panel addressed the International Forum and Second Home Forum. The speakers included Oscar Gonzalez, Presidential Liaison from NAR to the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professions (AMPI): Paul Filey, Mayor of Madison, AL; and Rob Mehta from Edicna MN. Rob specializes in selling real estate in the Thailand market.

Barbara Gaxoet, C.E.O. of AMPI, and Adrian Arriaga, Past President's Liaison to AMPI and now a member of the Texas Real Estate Commission, spoke at the International Local Forum. Barbara answered the question, "What is AMPI?" and the advantage for NAR members to become International members of AMPI. Adrian spoke in general about the international market and described the success trade mission of Texas Realtors that came to Guadalajara and Lake Chapala/Ajijic two years ago." One part of the trip the Texans will never forget was the visit to Tequila and the fiesta there."

Next year, the mid year meetings will again be in Washington from May 9-14th. This year's annual Conference will be in New Orleans (NAR di Gras) November 3-8th and next year it will be in Anaheim November 9-14th. The National Association of Realtors is America's largest trade association representing 1.12 members. It has 300 full time employs in Chicago, Ill., and 200 in its new "green" building in Washington.

For further information: john.glaab(at)settlement-co.com
John Glaab has been a member of NAR's International Section for over a decade. He has earned the Certified International Property Specialist designation and is a founding member of AMPI Los Cabos. He spends half the year in La Paz, Baja California Sur and the other half in Uruapan, Michoacan. For further information, contact John at John.Glaab(at)settlement-co.com.



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