Each year, the GBA Committee meeting amazes and overwhelms me. In a good way, of course! I walk in at 7:30 am, a solid hour before the scheduled start time of the day, and I am hardly the first person in the room. About 100 people have already beat me to it, and are in line to receive their translation headsets. Delegations from China, Peru, Japan, France, Mexico—all over the world—are ready and eager to get their day started. At the front of the room, the unmistakable voice of Deborah Boza-Valledor carries through as she navigates the room to facilitate networking. “San Francisco! We need a REALTOR® from San Francisco! I have an agent from Peru who is looking to make a referral with you!” It’s only one example of the multiple connections she made this morning.
As the meeting gets underway, our Global Business & Alliances Committee Chair, Furhad Waquad, announces that we have a whopping 820 people in the room from 50 countries. The energy and enthusiasm is palpable as members of each delegation carry flags and wave when their country’s name is called. Jamaica, Iceland, the Dominican Republic, and Ghana are all represented for the first time, and the crowd cheers when we learn that Uruguay will soon meet with NAR President Steve Brown to sign a bilateral agreement.
On to the programming of the meeting. One of my favorite parts of the GBA Committee meeting is that it’s not your standard governance meeting. The focus is on educating our international real estate professionals on how they can improve their business practices. This year, attendees were treated to a discussion about new technology tools available to them. The technologies that were represented:
REALTOR® Property Resource: One of the most exciting announcements of the morning is that RPR is now available to our International REALTOR® Members. This is an incredibly valuable tool, as many investors and purchasers of US real estate begin their searches from a distance. RPR offers detailed property information for 166 million parcels of land in the United States. Agents can create detailed reports for everything from tax and assessment information from over 3200 US counties, mortgage/lien information, flood maps, drive times, radial search, and school district zones. For commercial agents, it can help determine the best geographic locations for a particular business based on consumer buying habits in the area. For more information on the product, visit narrpr.com.
REALTOR.com/International: Eleonore Rojas, Vice President of Partnerships and Product Integration at Move, Inc. provided an update on the Realtor.com international site. There are currently over four million property listings from over 35 countries, and more (including Chile) are coming soon! She provided some interesting detail on which countries are searched the most. For example in the Americas, the top searched countries include Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico. In Europe, it includes France, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.
It was a busy morning, with additional presentations from REach, ListHub, and an international franchise real estate panel. Premier Access conference attendees can listen to the full session for free.