Earning my CIPS in Canada


When I first joined the NAR Global team earlier this year I was thrilled to discover that NAR encourages staff to earn their CIPS designation. I was even more excited to learn I would be taking Global Real Estate: Local Markets and The Business of U.S. Real Estate, two of the five required courses for the designation, in Toronto.

As soon as I landed I hailed a taxi and headed straight for the city. It did not take me long to see how diverse the city of Toronto is. I was particularity impressed with Toronto’s Chinatown, as the streets were crowded with restaurant goers and shoppers well into the night. Despite Canada’s close proximity to the U.S., I felt far away from home. I knew this was the perfect place to indulge in culture and complete my designation.

The following morning, I headed to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to join my fellow CIPS-hopefuls in the first course of the week, Global Real Estate: Local Markets. Business cards were exchanged and introductions were made. I was surprised to see how diverse our class was, with some attendees hailing from as far away as Russia, Armenia and India, among others. Over the course of the two days I was there I heard from each person firsthand about their culture’s attitudes and customs toward real estate transactions and how they paralleled the course, which made the classes even more enjoyable and interesting. As the courses progressed we discussed some ways to prospect for global buyers locally. Below are some key takeaways for getting started:

Know your resources
Knowing what resources are available to you can help you stay informed. Reach out to your REALTOR® association (or, if you reside outside the U.S., reach out to an NAR Cooperating Association) and ask about what resources they can offer. See how other local businesses are reaching out to foreigners in your community.

Research and look for “glocal” clues
Do your research to discover who the foreign buyers are in your market, where they come from, and what language they speak. Look for “glocal clues” in your market. For instance, I discovered a wonderful Korean market within walking distance of the TREB building. This would be a “glocal clue” of the Korean population nearby.

The following day was the Business of U.S. Real Estate course. Ironically enough, this course was held a day after the first U.S. Presidential debate. I found it very interesting and surprising how closely other countries such as Canada are watching what is transpiring here in the U.S. It was a good reminder of how connected events are throughout the world. Even though I may look at it as the U.S. election, the issues at hand will have a global impact. Whether or not our new leader will impose further regulations on immigration, taxes on foreign investors, etc. were all topics of discussion. It’s important to stay current on major shifts in any country’s leadership both domestically and abroad. Whether it be a new U.S. president or the Brexit, all countries are affected by the decisions of one. My experience with all five CIPS courses was very eye-opening as to how connected the world really is, and how important it is to be a CIPS as the global shift continues.

I feel fortunate that NAR encourages staff to earn their designation. If you will be at the CIPS pinning breakfast on Saturday, November 5th make sure to say hello! –I will be standing proudly with the rest of the new CIPS designees waiting for my pin! If you have not registered yet, click here to do so. I hope to see you there!

Charlee Gibson

Charlee Gibson is a Marketing Coordinator for the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial & Global Services division. She can be reached at cgibson@realtors.org.

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