La Paz, BCS, Mexico - More than 17,000 REALTORS® gathered in New Orleans earlier this month for the 2014 National Association of Realtors® (NAR) annual Conference and Expo.
Following is a quote from friend Jo Anne Poole who hails from Baltimore, MD:
Home from the Annual Realtor Conference. Conference was held in New Orleans where attendees numbered 17,000. Conference kicked off with the Realtor Habitat Build, moved into business meeting, education sessions and trade show. Friends were installed as Officers at NAR and our Institutes, Societies and Councils. What a week, In addition to all the work, we shared lots of laughs and hugs, good food and enjoyed meeting celebrities that joined us. President, Bill Clinton, Cal Ripken, Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords, Jennifer Hudson and Jackie Joyner Kersee. Hope you enjoyed the conference. Realtors Rock!
There were many successful associations, meetings, educational sessions and social events galore and a Celebrity Concert by Jennifer Hudson.
Among the memorable events were the International REALTOR® Welcome Reception, the Inaugural Gala, the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Breakfast, and the 'International Night Out.'
The international reception provided an opportunity to renew acquaintances with many old friends from around the world and make new friends. At the Inaugural Gala, former U.S. President William Clinton administered the Oath of Office to incoming NAR President Chris Polychron. Both men from Arkansas shared anecdotes from the past in Little Rock where they lived. International Night Out was an elegant affair. Awards were handed out to REALTORS® from around the world.
Certified International Property Socialist Designees (CIPS) convened for a special breakfast. At the event 420 new Designees received their PINS and certificates. Instructors formed a receiving line as the new people were recognized. Outside of the U.S. large groups from Thailand and The United Arab Emirates are the new members. Mexico's new Designees are from Guadalajara, Morelia, San Miguel de Allende and Tabasco.
The Global Theatre on the Expo floor was a very popular place. It was co-sponsored by COFECI-CRECI, the Brazilian Real Estate Association and CILA, the Real Estate Confederation of Latin America (Mexico is a member.) Representatives presented information on countries starting on Friday and running to Monday.
One theme on Sunday was "A World of Opportunities," This segment featured Panama, Colombia and Mexico. Past President Sergio Gomez from the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) made a six minute presentation outlining opportunities for investment in Mexico. Tina Mak, Founder of the Vancouver Section of the Asian Real Estate Association of America was one of the presenters on Saturday. Her theme was "Vancouver: Gateway to North American Opportunities."
Sunday morning the FIABCI (International Real Estate Federation) World Council of Brokers staged a session "Referrals and Doing International Referrals." Representing FIABCI were World Council of Brokers President Farook Mahmood and Barbara Schmerzler, FIABCI World Council of Brokers Director General.
On the podium from NAR were Janet Branton, Senior V.P. Commercial and Global Services and Dr. Lawrence Yun, Senior V.P. & Chief Economist. Dr. Yun provided a snapshot of the U.S. economy as it relates to real estate and gave us a look at what will likely be the situation in 2015.
The large ballroom at the Morial Convention Center was filled to capacity for the General Session. Outgoing NAR President Steve Brown gave a "state of the industry" address and thanked all who had helped him in 2014, especially NAR staff. The parade of flags is a recent addition to the General Session. Presidents of real east associations from around the globe parade on stage waving their national flag.
The Keynote address was delivered by Captain Mark Kelly, Coordinator of Space Shuttle Endeavour's final mission. Special guest was Mark's wife Gabrielle, inspirational U.S. representative and co-author of "Gaby, a Story of Courage and Hope." She also said a few words to the audience and was given a standing ovation.The 2015 NAR Conference and Expo will be in San Diego, California.
John Glaab is Director, International Marketing at The Settlement Company, Mexico's oldest title and escrow company. A Certified International Property Specialist, he is a founding member of AMPI Los Cabos and the new Global Mexico Real Estate Institute. In 2012, John was named the International Real Estate Member of the Year by NAR. For further information, contact John at John.Glaab(at)settlement-co.com.