Last November, I had the luck of attending Chicago´s annual convention for NAR (National Association of Realtors), together with a group of members of Club Noteges; and I came back with my backpack full of ideas, contacts, anecdotes and learned a lot about the American market. In which -everything had to be said-, through lights and shadows, like in any other place in the world.
Putting aside the most controversial things -that we have as well-, because I have already said «everyone cooks beans everywhere», I would like to summarise the main keys that I have taken from this trip, those that I think can be of interest to any person who is directly or indirectly related with this passionate industry.
Only seeing this building that NAR has in Chicago -as a flagship of this association-, we have an idea of the power that this lobby has and its capacity for gathering such an important collective. Surely, we all have heard about the “American dream” -that is to own your home-. And they made it very clear, that this process can last years to any family, it must not be in the hands of whoever, in fact, they have a very restrictive legislation, which guarantees that achieving your dream in a safe way.
In this point, I admit that I felt real admiration, because they are more advanced. But sure, while in Spain the COAPI (Real Estate Agents College) is celebrating its 70th anniversary; the NAR counts 110 years since its foundation, and of course, those 40 years of difference can tell. Mainly, in that sense of union and partnership, that always gives a better image to customers; thus, it gives a unification of criteria, and so, a better service to our clients.
Without going further, this week the CACI was approved (Andalusian Real Estate Quality Practices Code), but sure, this is only in Andalusia. Meaning, that in our country there are other 16 regions without this regulation, and which is even worse, without any specific law that regulates an activity like this, that exists since the beginning of the world. However, in USA there are 13 States -that are more than regions-, and it was more than a century ago that they got an agreement in this matter. So, I will stop here this topic, because I do not want to show that “Spanish complex”, because people who know me very well, they know it is not something that I like.
Another event that caught my attention, because it is different, was the concept of Market Center -which is the equivalent of a real estate fair-, that is just another concept to ours. Here, if we go for example to SIMA (Real Estate Fair of Madrid) -only for using one of the most popular and well known-, we see how too much focus is on the product, saying, new houses promotions and properties for sale. However, in this American model, it is included a wider variety of things of interest for the real estate professionals: innovations, services, workshops, technological tools and even cars, -although I can say at this point, they fall in the sections of American topics. Definitely, it is a more useful forum.
Also, I was very surprised about their proactivity for the networking; up to the point that sometimes you can feel like they are too extravertive. For them, anytime is good for getting close to any mate and giving him their visit card, introducing themselves and it was like an elevator pitch, -and I would dare to say that with certain anxiety-, make a presentation in less than one minute, say good bye and “attack” the next closest target. For us, it seems a bit impressive -and everything needs to be said-, in my opinion, our style on this, is a little more elegant.
Finally, -and in this point I am going to show off as a Spaniard- in regarding with conferences, training and celebrities, I must recognize that NAR has a very important potential of improvement. I could give a lot of examples and anecdotes in that sense, but as I said in the beginning, I prefer to keep only the positive things -which is a lot-, and I think that along the article you can notice that.
As a conclusion, I must thank my travel mates for those “skin hours” that they awarded me and a lot of experiences that I kept in my bag, an uncalculated value. Specially, there was a sentence with a deep meaning, which will be in our memories forever, and only the people that was lucky of being present during its exposition could interpret: “after last, no one goes”.