When your state’s sunny weather and waterfront homes are a magnet for international buyers, why not encourage cross-border cooperation between Realtors?

That’s exactly what trade groups Florida Realtors and the Canadian Real Estate Association and have set out to do. The two groups signed a memorandum of understanding last week to develop “a mutually beneficial relationship for their respective association members,” the associations announced in a joint press release.

The agreement is a first for CREA, which represents more than 120,000 Realtors across Canada. Florida Realtors represents 180,000 Realtors in the Sunshine State.

“Approximately 22 percent of international sales in Florida in 2017 were Canadian transactions, and that is a big number when you consider the volume,” Eric Sain, Florida Realtors’ president-elect, told Inman via email.

“This is an affirmation of the value of international collaboration and agreement to exchange information,” he added. “There is no legal relationship, but an understanding of the parties to agree to endeavor and exchange information in general field of real estate, promote professionalism in the real estate industry and other activities that provide mutual benefits.”

According to Sain, this means the trade groups will collaborate in these specific ways:

  • Engaging key government officials to increase awareness of Realtors’ role. “We will each engage our own government officials with reports, data and statistics showing the international sales between the two countries to try to have more favorable legislation towards foreign investments in our respective areas,” Sain said.
  • Share relevant data/statistics/insights on Florida-Canada real estate activities. “Our Realtors will have the ability to share relevant research and statistics with one another, making it much easier to respond to inquiries in each other’s respective markets,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau in a statement.
  • Provide annual updates on joint activities and services. The partnership will promote “networking and relationships between the associations and membership for referral purposes,” Sain said. Whether the two associations will jointly offer products and services has not yet been determined, he said.
  • Act as resource for trade missions. “Trade missions are both inbound and outbound as our Realtors travel between Canada and Florida as a group to visit to familiarize with the sites, venues and communities, to network, to exchange ideas and discuss favorable relationships for client referrals. We also meet with Realtors to learn what their companies and associations are doing to attract clients and promote the Realtor image,” Sain said.
  • Promote the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation for international business activities.

According to Sain, CREA and Florida Realtors will host events at their conferences to introduce their members to each other and participate in global conferences to promote their respective markets and Realtors.

The associations also hope to improve professionalism in the real estate industry by educating their members on what they should expect from international relationships and by encouraging their members to interact and learn best practices from each other, he added.

No money is changing hands as a result of this partnership, Sain said.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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