RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

APR 2017

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE April 2017 45 {Business Building} But if you look more closely at glob- al real estate, you'll find a lot more going on than just home sales and purchases. In countries around the world, real estate is becoming more refined, transparent and pro- fessional. This transformation isn't due to any far-reaching regulations or policies; it's emerging from the ground up—from agents and bro- kers themselves. In March, more than 6,000 real estate professionals represent- ing 60 countries attended the an- nual RE/MAX R4 Convention in Las Vegas. Even among the highly energized crowd, the international groups stood out, waving flags, sing- ing national songs and boisterously cheering on their colleagues. These same passionate profes- sionals are making a significant impact on the real estate scene in their home countries. In a glob- al real estate industry filled with unique, local differences—but often low standards for ethics, education and regulations—they're setting a new standard. In countries throughout Europe, South America, Asia/Pacific and Africa, members of this new wave of real estate professionals are getting educated. They're focusing on the customer. They're instilling transparency and trust in the sys- tem. They're setting the bar high and challenging the status quo. In essence, they're revolutioniz- ing an entire industry in their coun- tries—all to the benefit of brokers, agents and their customers. Happening Here Given the global nature of real es- tate, what happens elsewhere nat- urally reverberates closer to home as well. Throughout the U.S. and Canada, in markets big and small, global real estate happens. No longer is international real estate reserved for metropolitan areas, coastal re- sorts or ski destinations. Even in the smallest communities, people are looking overseas for invest- ment opportunities or vacation get- aways. Additionally, vacation rental services such as Airbnb and VRBO offer incentives—and revenue po- tential—that make second homes even more attractive. In the past, international trans- actions often involved an element of "cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for- the-best." With the maturation and evolution of the real estate industry abroad, this is becoming less and less of a concern. Trusted Colleagues Knowing there's a trusted agent or office on the other end of an inter- national transaction provides peace of mind for all parties involved. In turn, this stimulates growth and opens up more opportunities. Cli- ents feel more comfortable seeking out a wider variety of properties, and agents enjoy more referral and other business opportunities. One of the highlights of any R4 Convention is the Global Referral Exchange. This event started out years ago with just a few tables with some handouts and computer screens showing looping "Visit (in- sert country)" videos. Today, it's a full-blown international party with giveaways, networking in a variety of languages, lively demonstrations of regional traditions and an infec- tious multicultural energy. While enjoying the Global Referral Exchange this year, I couldn't help but reflect on how the growth of this event parallels that of international real estate in general. In what was previously a situation where people were mostly winging it, you now find processes, order and systems. It's more sophisti- cated and thought out. Opportunity has grown exponentially. And, per- haps most notably, there's a pas- sion and energy where everybody can feel comfortable, be confident and celebrate the difference they're making. RE Geoff Lewis is president of RE/MAX, LLC. For more infor- mation, visit www.remax.com. Global Pros Shaping an Industry by Geoff Lewis T oday's real estate industry is more global than ever. No surprise there; we all know that.

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