Economic Development: New Opportunities for NC REALTORS®
BY: MIKE LANDES
The term “economic development” can mean many things to different people. To some, economic development means bringing business back to their local community. To others, it might mean a changing landscape in their community as new residents move in and provide a new identity for the neighborhood. The term may even feel like an impenetrable piece of jargon spoken by politicians and experts.
To REALTORS®, though, economic development means new opportunities in their professional lives. Recognizing the connectivity of real estate to economic development, NC REALTORS® has taken a series of important steps to help REALTORS® all over North Carolina learn about how developers and local development organizations can affect the day-to-day business of real estate. NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee has taken the lead on educating REALTORS® about the process of economic development.
In 2017, the committee created an Economic Development Toolkit as a resource for local associations and members interested in entering the economic development world. Under the leadership of 2018 Chair Guy McCook and Vice-Chair Tony Harrington, the committee has brought greater exposure of economic development’s basic practices, culminating in the organization of a year-to-year State of Real Estate event hosted by NC REALTORS® on behalf of REALTORS® all over North Carolina. Economists, developers and leading brokers in the commercial and international real estate fields will come together to speak to REALTORS® about their work and explain how individual brokers and agents can connect their business to opportunities generated by economic development. Join us for the State of Real Estate event, April 11-12 in Wilmington.
NC REALTORS® committees have also contributed to the Economic Development Committee’s efforts to educate members. The REALTORS® Commercial Alliance has placed its focus on bringing speakers from the economic development field to present their work to commercial brokers. Meanwhile, the NC Homeowners Alliance, NC REALTORS®’ grassroots advocacy initiative, has supported economic development referenda in counties all over the state, helping to pass local bonds dedicated to school construction and infrastructure development.
The Economic Development Committee’s most ambitious effort has come in the form of its Global Network, an initiative designed to raise the profile of North Carolina as a valuable investment home for out-of-state and foreign buyers. NC REALTORS® sent a delegation to the MIPIM 2018 International Conference in Cannes, France, the largest real estate-focused trade show in the world with over 24,000 attendees, more than 5,000 of whom are potential investors. NC REALTORS®’ delegation traveled on to Vienna, Austria to build ties and solidify our state’s relationship with the Austrian Real Estate Association (OVI), NC REALTORS®’ sister organization abroad. OVI’s leaders, including Elisabeth Rohr, OVI’s vice president and a member of NAR’s Board of Directors, took the time to introduce our delegation to the intricacies of Austrian real estate while viewing a number of Vienna’s most sought-after residential properties.
In order to give REALTORS® the tools to build their profile in the international marketplace, NC REALTORS® hosted the state’s first Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Certification at the Cape Fear Association of REALTORS® office in Wilmington this past August. The CIPS Certification involves a week-long intensive course designed to introduce REALTORS® to the different cultures, customs, and legal frameworks of real estate around the world. NC REALTORS® plans to offer the CIPS Certification again at the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® office in 2019.
While services for REALTORS® are paramount to building a better understanding of economic development, NC REALTORS® is also working closely with development agencies and organizations to build a coalition of groups working toward the common goal of better opportunities for investment around the state. Those agencies and organizations include the NC Economic Development Agency, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and the Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIMs) within the REALTOR® community. These efforts coincide with NC REALTORS®’ cooperation with the Governor’s office, including appearances by members of Governor Cooper’s cabinet, such as Secretary of Commerce Tony Copeland, to speak to our REALTOR® members.
At the end of the day, NC REALTORS® has recognized an opportunity for its members: a greater literacy in the process of economic development and an understanding of its contributors will help our members’ business. REALTORS® can approach economic development from a variety of different directions: legislative, economic, social and international. NC REALTORS® is dedicated to making sure REALTORS® have every chance to pursue those opportunities, and to providing the means and education to guide our members as they expand their professional interests.
Join us for MIPIM 2019
NC REALTORS® is excited to be sending a delegation to attend the 2019 MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France. MIPIM is an opportunity for NC REALTORS® to engage with foreign investors, bring new business to North Carolina’s commercial sector and take the lead on encouraging local and statewide economic development. Representatives from NC REALTORS® will attend MIPIM from March 12 – 15, 2019. For more information visit global.ncrealtors.org.