by Richard Silver, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Toronto, Ontario
Over the past week (July 8-August 1,2014), I have been very honoured to be a guest of the National Association of REALTORS in the U.S. or as I like call it, THE MOTHERSHIP, to take the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) courses.
40 of us were chosen from Canada, Mexico, Europe and the U.S. to take a week of classes, each day different but focusing on International Real Estate. Now of course, your first question would be, do I have a lot of Foreign Buyers or Sellers? My reality, as an agent working in Downtown Toronto since 1980, is that the cultural diversity of Toronto, has forced me to become fairly knowledgeable about customs of different cultures when negotiating. Most of this was learned as I sat across from buyer agents and became aware of the expectations and cultural norms that I strove to understand.
The most important part of the week for me was the realization that knowledge of cultural diversities has been of benefit to my clients. Understanding and respecting norms within different communities has been a great assist in keeping negotiations alive and successful by understanding cultural divergence.
Each day of the last week dealt with differences in laws, cultures and business practices in the Americas, (south, central and north), Asia, and Europe. At the end of each day, we had to pass an exam to continue and though a very tiring week, the information and the networking were exceptional. The class contained two Past Presidents of NAR, two from the Canadian Real Estate Association as well as incoming Presidents of both groups, and leadership from Canada and the United States. Many business cards were traded, new relationships were made and referrals promised.
In the next couple of weeks, our group will become the next designates of the CIPS, Certified International Property Specialist. This group of 2500 around the world will network internally to provide information and refer business to members in other countries. We will be able to provide our clients access to a wealth of knowledgeable real estate professionals, whether they are looking to immigrate, migrate or just want to be a more educated “Snowbird”.
I am looking forward to connecting with other CIPS designates and being able to serve my clients better as we move to a more borderless Real Estate Market. Shelter and property rights are important to everyone and may just be the answer to World Peace!