by Jan Hope, Vice President, NAR Commercial & Global Services
I serve as Vice President of the Commercial & Global Services department at NAR. The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) program resides in my area so it was natural to pursue earning the designation. And I’m so glad I did! The classes broadened my awareness of real estate landscapes abroad, and I learned a wealth of information about foreign cultures, customs and economies.
I used to think Global Business simply meant conducting transactions outside the United States. And I was partly right. However, going ‘Global’ was also happening in my own back yard. To make that point, I use an example of going to my local grocery store and noticing the vast number of ethic products on the shelves. The stock went beyond a shelf or two. Entire sections of different ethnic foods were available. It led me to wonder…who in my neighborhood is buying these products? Once my awareness was heightened, I began to see the diversity everywhere in my community. I knew I had to get educated.
This past June, I took the five CIPS classes necessary to earn the designation. Because I’m in Association Management and not real estate sales, one additional course is required focused on laying the foundation for associations to create global councils and programs, and design strategies to engage members and enhance value. It was a fantastic week of education and I made new friends from the experience as well.
The new information has already served me well! More than 1,200 international members attended NAR’s convention in New Orleans, giving me the opportunity to put into practice some of the things I learned about their cultures. The littlest details — how you approach someone or shake hands to how you accept or offer a business card proved valuable and provided insights into gaining the trust of NAR’s international members and partner associations.
Earning the necessary points to qualify for designation was fairly easy as I was able to use my schooling, the eight years I lived in the culturally diverse Hawaii, and travel abroad toward points credit.
So here I sit, a staff veteran (of 31 years) of the National Association of REALTORS, newly “pinned” and proud to share the experience with you all!