Learn about global real estate either internationally or domestically through CIPS courses

Two options to obtain your Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation are being offered in the coming weeks.

Want to stay local? The full course is offered by the Chicago Association of REALTORS® during the week of Aug. 28. Expand the August drop-down menu to get the details. Register here.

If you want a little adventure, the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® is partnering with the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers in Dublin, Ireland to host a CIPS Institute the week of Oct. 16. To find out more and register, go here.

However, if neither of those options work, the National Association of REALTORS® lists plenty of others during August, September, October and November. See the NAR schedule.

Illinois REALTORS® adds to Consulate General Liaison team

Claire Sylvestre (left) is the latest addition to the Consulate General Liaison team. Joining her is Sharon Gorrell.

The Illinois REALTORS® Global Business Council is excited to add Claire Sylvestre, broker with @Properties in Lincoln Park to the Consulate General Liaison team!

While going over the details of the program we decided to dive into a bit of French culture by having lunch at a little cafe and enjoy a few French classics, Salade niçoise and Tarte flambée. Sylvestre is a native of France and has been working in the real estate industry here in the U.S. since the mid-90s. She began her career in real estate in Ohio but has been here in Illinois for more than a decade.

Claire is no stranger to international business. She has been involved in corporate relocation and is a long-time member of the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago. She is active with the French Consulate and is looking forward to sharing the importance of REALTORS in an international transaction. She is actually heading to France for the month of August to visit family and also do a bit of real estate!  She is excited to share her expertise with the Illinois REALTORS® and be part of the Global team!  Welcome Claire!

Foreign investment in U.S. real estate surges 49 percent; Illinois in top 10

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Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate reached a new high from March 2016 to April 2017, according to a annual survey released by the National Association of REALTORS® earlier this week.

Foreign buyers amassed $153 billion in residential property compared to the same period a year before, according to the NAR 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate. Transactions grew in each of the top five countries where buyers live (China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and India) and almost half of all foreign sales were in Florida, California and Texas. Rounding out the top five states were New Jersey and Arizona, while Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia and New York were top destinations. Members can login in see the report or the press release.



Illinois agencies join Illinois REALTORS® in industry forum with Ghanaian delegation

Greg St. Aubin (standing) was just one of many who shared information about the real estate industry with visitors from Ghana.

Real estate industry representatives and elected members of Parliament from the Republic of Ghana visited Chicago Wednesday to learn about how Illinois REALTORS® practice and regulate real estate in Illinois. They also learned how we work to promote Illinois and expand opportunities for homeownership.

The day began at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) offices with Kreg Allison, Director of Real Estate for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) outlining the basic regulatory infrastructure. Greg St. Aubin, Illinois REALTORS® Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, explained how we interact with the IDFPR and then shared some thoughts on the potential real estate regulatory policy that the Parliamentarians are considering.

Mike Drews, Immediate Past President of the association, shared the process that REALTORS® follow to help buyers and sellers purchase and sell homes. He discussed agency and how REALTORS® protect consumers and serve their clients.

REALTOR® Vicky Sampah, Vice Chair of the Illinois REALTORS® Global Business Council, spearheaded this study visit and is committed to helping her home country become more organized and professionalized. She began by going back to Ghana and helping real estate practitioners form their own association, now known as the Ghana Real Estate Professionals Association (GREPA). Her most recent victory is helping to facilitate a bilateral agreement with the NAR so GREPA members can be international members of NAR.

The day continued with Erik Brejla from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. He shared information on Illinois infrastructure and amenities. The delegates took away some ideas on how to promote Ghana and its assets.

The day ended with a breakout session led by Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Assistant Executive Director Debra Olsen and Managing Director of Homeownership Tara Pavlik. They explained how Illinois promotes access to housing through down payment programs for first-time home buyers and helps fund the development of new affordable housing. Ghana is considering an agency similar to IHDA, so many of the members were taking notes and asking questions. Sharon Gorrell, Policy Advisor for Global Business, highlighted how Congress sets the policies, agencies like HUD develop the rules and distribute the funds and then IHDA administers the dollars.

Another breakout session focused on advocacy. Michael Scobey, Director of Local and Global Programs, facilitated that discussion and shared examples of talking points Illinois REALTORS® have used in the past. Also, he helped them understand the importance of an organized and unified voice.

Having a consistent and informed message will help Ghana’s real estate practitioners have a voice in their own regulation and facilitate the growth of the real estate profession.

Illinois REALTORS® Global Business Council to host Ghana delegation next week

Illinois REALTOR® Vicky Sampah is spearheading an effort to help a delegation from the Republic of Ghana learn about real estate industry regulation.
The delegation is scheduled to visit with Sampah and other REALTORS® in Chicago next week. Two years ago, the Illinois REALTORS® hosted a parliamentarian and real estate practitioner delegation from Ghana to share experiences and give counsel about regulating the real estate industry. The group has incorporated some of the amendments Illinois REALTORS® suggested in 2015 but the policy has not been passed in Ghana’s parliament.
Illinois REALTORS® welcomes the delegation members back and is happy to share its advocacy expertise and be part of the global community of real estate.