Two international real estate organizations — FIABCI and ICREA — say they’re exploring unification and are one step closer to that goal with the approval of direct membership affiliation in each other’s organizations.

FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation, is a federation of almost 100 national real estate associations, more than 3,000 individual real estate professionals and more than 65 academic institutions located in 68 countries worldwide.

ICREA, the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations, is an alliance of more than 45 global real estate associations that operates the international property listings portal

Last year, the National Association of Realtors — a founding member of ICREA a decade ago — resigned from the group, citing restrictions in its agreement with operator Move Inc. governing the operation of the listings portal.

Under the terms of the operating agreement, NAR said it is barred from participating either directly or indirectly in any other site that displays U.S. residential properties for sale.

ICREA had previously limited the display of U.S. property listings on to framed results from NAR submitted a letter of resignation to ICREA in November, when developed a new listings exchange and referral system that allows for the public display of residential listings and member-to-member posting of residential listings.

Move plans to add international property search capabilities with language translation and other tools to, and will publish listings it receives from the National Association of Realtors’ bilateral partner associations in 60 countries sometime this year.

In a statement, FIABCI and ICREA said they have been meeting periodically during the past 18 months "to discuss opportunities to cooperate in order to optimize the combined strength of the two groups and maximize the benefits for the professional real estate community throughout the world."

On May 27, FIABCI World President Alex Romanenko and ICREA Chairman Alan Tennant signed an alliance that the groups said was a formal step toward unification.

Both groups have approved direct membership affiliation in each other’s organizations. Immediate past ICREA Chair Peter Bolton King has been appointed to represent ICREA on the FIABCI Board, and Romanenko will have a seat on the ICREA Board effective today.

ICREA membership in FIABCI was ratified during FIABCI’s May 20 general assembly in Cyprus. FIABCI’s membership in ICREA will commence July 1, following a mandatory 30-day comment period.

"The two boards will pursue a unification dialogue in the coming months in close consultation with their respective membership to enable an open decision making process," the groups said.

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