Posted last 2011-10-24  |  
Global real estate has come of age. Solutions to market concerns have become widely accessible through global networks that work swiftly across vast oceans. Philippine real estate industry players recognize the vital importance of investment information, communication and linkages in bringing solutions that work both locally and internationally. Our global endeavours for the country’s real estate industry take a monumental turn with the strong presence of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in the Philippines. Real estate professionals need a trusted global ally – which NAR embodies – to reinforce our steps in conducting our business in a world without borders.

In November 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting NAR President for 2011 Ronald Phipps during the Annual REALTORS® Convention and Expo in New Orleans, where the idea of being official organization partner was first offered to CREBA. Having been in my eight-year hiatus within semi-retirement, I had to honestly and humbly decline, unsure about whether or not the incumbent CREBA leadership would be willing to accept, or at the very least interested. As the country’s largest umbrella organization of stakeholders from the allied industries of housing, construction, and real estate development, I was even in doubt CREBA was the right partner given NAR’s membership nature and dominant composition.

As NAR enters a new age after a century in existence, however, it redefined its position to include all kinds of professionals engaged in all aspects of the real estate business and profession. This gradual shift in practice, already prevalent in Brazil, Japan and other countries, galvanized CREBA’s role as the exclusive steward of the NAR name and programming, with the unique authority to protect the use of the REALTOR® trademark and brand name in the Philippines.

In the presence of His Excellency Vice-President and housing czar Jejomar C. Binay in January 27 of this year, the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA) entered into a long-term bilateral accord with the NAR - the “voice for global real estate” representing over 1.3 million members in the United States as well as in 60 countries across the globe – conferring upon CREBA the distinction as the only NAR Cooperating Association in the Philippines. To implement our side of the partnership, CREBA created the CREBA-NAR Global Real Estate Council led by Evangeline A. Yia as Chairman, Domingo D. de Vera as Vice-chairman, with Dr. Mary Gaw So, Josephine A. Cortez, Daniel R. dela Cruz, Avelina P. Acuna and Robert Marie C. Sy as members. Julius G. Topacio serves as Vice-President for Global Real Estate Alliances.

Barely three months after the official launching of the membership campaign last March 31, International REALTOR® Membership (IRM) and NAR affiliation in the country rose to more than 350, heralding Philippine membership as the biggest in Asia. CREBA led a series of oath taking rites in Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City in the presence of the NAR President’s Liaison to the Philippines, Asuncion “Shonee” Henry. NAR-certified IRMs enjoy exclusive use of the distinctive and globally recognized REALTOR® trademark and logo, access to the largest online real estate library in the world, a searchable international brokers directory and other tools proven to leverage real estate professionals in international business, among other membership benefits. The CREBA-NAR alliance was timely as the local property sector enjoys its most dynamic cycle in recent history. Property stakeholders therefore must be committed to drive the land and housing development as a top catalyst for economic and social progress. In the light of government’s commitment to a technically-competent, responsible and respected corps of licensed real estate brokers, appraisers, consultants and salespersons through R. A. 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act of 2009, the NARCREBA cooperation exists to promote strict adherence to a Code of Ethics that will uplift the standards of practitioners in the Philippines and make them globally competitive and at par with their counterparts in the international real estate community. Real estate practitioners play a vital role in the social, political, economic development and progress of their respective countries. The NAR-CREBA pact strongly conveys absolute and esteemed commitment to make Philippine practitioners globally competitive in the international real estate community.

NAR views land as a most vital resource. Its “wise utilization and widely allocated ownership will determine the survival and growth of free institutions and of civilizations.” REALTORS® affirm therefore that the interests of a nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership.

NAR allows property professionals to embrace a global outlook in the practice of their profession or area of expertise which is crucial to succeed amidst a rapidly increasing competitive market. This network serves as a source of intelligence and information-gathering exercise which enables us to tap into the wealth of experiences and knowledge of our colleagues worldwide. The NAR links Filipino practitioners to a world of information, contacts and new opportunities that would unleash bigger and brighter things for the Philippine real estate industry in the long run.

Peaceful and prosperous times or otherwise, real estate activities always provide a safe enclave for investments. If we are to keep and raise investors’ confidence, we must finally get through the walls that divide the sub-sectors of the industry, bury the past and look forward to a future for Philippine real estate that is brimming with potential, speak and act promptly – but in unison. The NAR concept of alliance and partnership makes all
of us live in anticipation that the local industry can move beyond its boundaries and carve a niche in the global community.