What a tremendous response! While common grammar does not advocate opening a thank you speech with a loud exclamation, there was nothing common about the Largest Real Estate Convention India has known. This was the 3rd Annual Convention of NAR India and a stupendous success that defied all expectations. We had members from all over India and the entire world attending this epic extravaganza for realtors, builders & professionals from financial institutions to learn, network and share knowledge. The biggest ever in the world of Realtors, this event was the first of its kind and was the place to be for every practicing & aspiring realtor in the country. It was an eye opener for everyone connected with the real estate industry.
Our stalwart speakers took the cake with their spellbinding speeches and intense audience interactions. Ronald Goss emphasized on the role and importance of Property Management in the real estate industry by answering relevant questions like why an owner/investor would turn to third-party property management. He pointed out that true value of real estate management lies in the ability of investors to manage in case of recessions and added that the primary goal of a Property Management Company is to provide effective and efficient operations, increase the value of the asset by lowering down the maintenance costs and maximizing revenues. Property management firms make many property owners turn to property management services to avoid stress and hassle.
The Panel discussion on leveraging Global Networks yielded many incisive insights. Speakers included Norman Flynn, Jeffery Hornberger, Gretchen Faber, Bill Armstrong, Baro Shalizi, Naresh Malkhani, and Farook Mahmood.
Norman Flynn spoke about how NAR has expanded all across the world into 79 nations, of which NAR India was formed only 3 years ago. He appreciated NAR India as the group that started functioning in a very short lead time of 4 months which otherwise takes around 19 months. He ended by congratulating the NAR India group on its success.
Baro Shalizi recommended that Indian realtors increase their business opportunities by utilizing NAR and NAR-India’s partnership. He emphasized that NAR offers unparalleled growth with 80 bilateral agreements and strategic partnership across 60 countries. He suggested realtors take the CIPS certification (Certified International Property Specialist) which can help in getting personal contacts, global referrals, and access to worldwide market research.
Farook Mahmood focused on the functions of The International Consortium of Real Estate Associations (ICREA) mentioning that worldproperties.com is available in 20 languages & provides links to locating properties worldwide to the professional ICREA members’ roaster. Questions from the audience included queries on Indians in U.S. wanting to buy homes in India and Indians in India wishing to buy property in the U.S. via loans.
The question of how women can contribute to Indian Real estate was answered by Ms. Gretchen Faber. She said that only women can show a better way to other women and lend a helping hand. She was happy to say that around 57% realtors in the NAR group are women. She also made it clear that everyone in the association helps each other with all kinds of issues. The association offers a chance to arrange leadership trainings, share best practices across table and so on. Mr. Armstrong added that the rate of involvement of women in Real estate is increasingly positive and growing. Mr. Baro ended the conversation by saying that women practitioners ought encourage each other and there is no ceiling for women’s growth and income.
Mr. Ravi Verma emphasised on the need for synergies not only between the stakeholders within the real estate sector but also between associations such as CREDAI and NAR-INDIA, who represent these different stakeholders. He further mentioned how the agreement between CREDAI and NAR-INDIA can be extremely beneficial as NAR-INDIA can leverage the broker network to create value for the developer under CREDAI umbrella. Speaking on financing problems, Mr. Verma highlighted the difficulty that the current developer community faced in raising project finance. He also pointed out that the shortage of housing is complemented with a demand supply mismatch that exists in the market. This is where the importance of brokers comes in as the broker can address this by estimating demand.
The association which has been forged between CREDAI and NAR-INDIA will trickle down to local associations. NAR brings knowledge & expertise which includes training from NAR USA, knowledge partnership with the Indian School of Business (“ISB”) and other affiliates. The research and expertise that these partners bring along can be beneficial to all the stakeholders.
Mr. Madhusudan Menon spoke about the continuous focus on financial inclusion and the rapid pace at which the government was driving this point, thus creating an immediate need for businesses to focus on the ‘bottom of the pyramid’. Speaking about his company, Micro Housing Finance Corporation (“MHFC”), Mr. Menon cited examples of telecom sector where merely through penetration the sector today has managed to charge one of the lowest prices globally. While giving an overview of MHFC, Mr. Menon showcased the lack of availability of funds for lower-income household mostly involved in the informal sector of the economy. Through various examples of his customers and how they have benefitted from the mortgage solutions provided by his company, Mr. Menon showed how a profitable business model was possible by tapping the customers belonging to the lower income ranges.
He however added that a few challenges still exist for the business to scale up. Challenges are what NAR-INDIA has faced since its inception. And it is these very challenges that have inspired us to offer this professional platform for Realtors across the country. India is an economic powerhouse today and anyone who thinks otherwise is out of sync with the changing times. One of the first to bounce out of the global recession, India is on the forefront of global trade and economic clout. Of course there will be challenges and but naturally, we will rise to the occasion. This is a country that believes in ‘Unity in Diversity’ and we are proud to embark on this journey to unify Realtors across India. Join NAR-INDIA and herald the age of ‘The Great Indian Broker’