The National Association of Realtors has signed an agreement with a real estate association in Mexico that allows its members to use the Realtor logo and registration mark.

All of the members of the 50-year-old Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios (Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals) will become Realtors in January, NAR announced.

“This is an important initiative. Not only will it create a wealth of new business opportunities for NAR’s members in the United States and AMPI members … in Mexico, but also it will help promote standardization of international real estate practice,” said Pat Vredevoogd Combs, NAR president-elect, in a statement.

It is the first reciprocal membership agreement that NAR has entered into with a foreign real estate organization.

AMPI members will join NAR under the association’s international membership category.

Galo Blanco, AMPI’s 2006 president, said in a statement, “This joint venture reflects AMPI’s desire to be more closely linked to international business standards and practices, and opens up opportunities for members on both sides of the border to do more business together.”

AMPI has about 2,500 members and is a founding member of the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations.

“NAR chose AMPI for this groundbreaking partnership, in large part, because its members adhere to a strict code of ethics like that of NAR. AMPI’s high standards of practice will help increase the positive perceptions of Realtors worldwide,” Vredevoogd Combs stated.

NAR noted in the announcement that there is a growing number of U.S. citizens who are buying second homes and retirement homes in Mexico, and residents of Mexico are also buying U.S. property more frequently.

“Mexico is attractive to second-home buyers from the United States, thanks to the availability of properties near the ocean and mountains, reasonable costs of resort properties, and lifestyle considerations. Thanks to a favorable legal and financial infrastructure, the number one foreign destination for retirees from the United States is Mexico, with over 1 million Americans living there,” according to the NAR announcement.

To assist U.S. Realtors who want to engage in business opportunities with AMPI members, NAR is launching a four-hour course, “Doing Business in Mexico,” which will begin soon in Mexico and at the NAR annual conference in New Orleans in November, the association announced.

Mexican President Vicente Fox spoke during the AMPI meeting. Expansion of the housing sector and home-ownership opportunities has been a focus during his administration, and about 2.4 million families in Mexico have become new home owners during his six-year term, which ends in December, the association noted.

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