The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation is the exclusive global designation of NAR®. This premier designation is awarded by NAR’s Member Development Team to REALTORS® who complete the coursework and meet practical experience criteria that demonstrate knowledge and familiarity with global clients.

The five-day Institute is offered each year at HAR and only an elite number of REALTORS® have earned the CIPS designation in the state of Texas. It takes commitment and time to place the letters CIPS after your name. (Public Service Announcement: pronounce CIPS by saying each letter separately, the same as you do for HAR.)

The CIPS Designation is the only designation of its kind in the real estate community. It is synonymous with advanced global expertise, a distinct understanding of a global buyer, and comes with powerful brand recognition, with designees in nearly 40 countries. If you and an agent in another country both have the CIPS designation this can prove invaluable for a global transaction.


The state of Texas is fast becoming a destination for investment and relocation for people from India, Mexico and Canada, as well as other countries to our south and in Europe and Asia. International homebuyer activity added $7.8 billion to the Texas economy from April 2018 to March 2019, according to the 2019 Texas International Homebuyers Report released last fall by Texas REALTORS®.

Texas ranked third in the nation for homes sold to international buyers, behind Florida and California. Texas accounted for 10% of all homes purchased by international homebuyers in the United States, with 18,310 home sales out of 183,100 nationwide. Texas was particularly popular with buyers from Mexico and India. Of all homebuyers from Mexico, 28% purchased a home in Texas. The next closest state, California, had 10% of the total homebuyers from Mexico. Among buyers from India, 13% chose Texas—just behind first-place Florida, with 14%.

In February, on HAR.com, global visits to the website were from Canada, India and Mexico, with The UK, The Philippines, Germany, Australia, Pakistan, Viet Nam and The Netherlands rounding out the top 10. On the commercial side of real estate, Texas is the third-most popular destination for buyers who work with REALTORS®, according to the 2019 Commercial Real Estate International Business Trends report from the National Association of REALTORS®. Dallas was the fifth-most popular U.S. market for commercial real estate purchased by international buyers with a dollar volume of $2.9 billion, and Houston was ninth at $2.2 billion.

Texas is seen as a solid state for investments due to its strong economy, business environment and large metropolitan areas. Investors are interested in residential and commercial real estate in Texas where they can deploy their resources to make an attractive return. Specifically, international investors are looking at Texas for large-scale investments in subdivisions and master planned communities. The world continues to see Texas as a strong environment for international real estate investment opportunities.


When you become a CIPS designee, you gain immediate access to business-enhancing products and services that are offered exclusively to CIPS designees. In addition to joining the CIPS network and use of the prestigious and internationally recognized CIPS logo and brand, you will receive:

“Find a CIPS” Directory Listing on the NAR Global website: Be easily found by referring agents and consumers alike with a featured profile in the enhanced CIPS Directory.

Include your designations/languages/cultures on HAR.com: Be sure and enter any designations you have as well as if you speak another language or specialize in another culture so HAR members and consumers can find you in the searchable database on HAR.com

Referral Contract Form from NAR: This NAR referral contract form will help you define the terms and conditions of a referral transaction.

Global Listing Agreement from HAR & listings featured in Area 82 of the HAR MLS: Form 301 found in HAR Forms manager can help you with your global listing agreements so your international listings can then be entered into Area 82 of the HAR MLS.

NAR Global Marketing Center: An online platform that enables you to access and print all the materials from one location. This platform enables you to easily customize, download and print CIPS-branded marketing materials and reports. Carry out your next marketing campaign in just a few clicks by uploading your mailing list, printing, and shipping directly to potential clients—all from the website.

NAR Private CIPS Online Communities: CIPS designees have access to a private Facebook page for facilitating referral and knowledge exchange.

Invitations to Exclusive Events at NAR Meetings: Join fellow CIPS designees for networking and referrals at exclusive events during REALTORS® Conference & Expo and Midyear Legislative meetings.

Invitation to the Annual HAR CIPS reception in the Greater Houston area: Meet the CIPS designees located in the Greater Houston area to exchange ideas and for referrals.

Testimonial: “The return I’ve had from the CIPS certification has already far exceeded the cost of the courses. Among our circle of friends, a foreign national couple decided to work with me over another REALTOR® close friend. I believe this is primarily due to their confidence in my ability to better service their needs thanks to my CIPS training. We just closed escrow, within 6 weeks of me getting my CIPS, so yes, it was definitely worth it!” Kelly Mazola, CIPS Henderson, Nevada


In addition to completing 5 CIPS courses you must submit a CIPS designation application demonstrating your experience in global real estate. This application requires that you earn 100 points in elective credits. Elective credits can be earned by speaking other languages, possessing additional NAR designations, attending international conferences and education sessions, and international transactions. Applications are accepted by NAR throughout the year; a one-time only processing fee of US$75, along with prorated dues are required when you submit your designation application. Once approved, you must maintain your designation by paying dues annually. Annual CIPS designation dues are US$220.

The coursework at HAR in June includes the following one-day classes:

Day 1: The Local Markets course is an analysis of the international real estate business environment, including capital flow, currencies, government regulations, and cultures. The practical aspects of international brokerage, networking, marketing and selling are discussed.

Day 2: Transaction Tools provides the tools needed to present investment information to international clients in their currency and area. Students will learn how to measure investment performance, prepare financial projections, and understand the effects of taxes and exchange rates on investments. This course is waived for CCIM designees.

Day 3: The Americas and International Real Estate course centers around professionals who work with Caribbean, North, Central and South American investors. Historical and cultural influences, regional relationship and investment opportunities are covered along with a special focus on Mexico. (Our course instructor, Richard Miranda, CIPS, currently serves as the Presidential liaison to Mexico for NAR and is experienced in conducting real estate transactions there.)

Day 4: Europe and International Real Estate covers the logistics of how to conduct real estate transactions with clients from the European countries.

Day 5: The Asia/Pacific and International Real Estate course covers the real estate practices for Asia and the Pacific. Emphasis is placed on culture influences, economic trends and assessing investment opportunities. A special chapter on working with the Japanese is included.


The CIPS Institute will be offered in a virtual classroom setting at HAR this month. The dates are October 26-30. There is a weekend between the first two days and the last three so members can have a break and catch up on their business during that time. Unique activities along with special guest appearances have been planned.

Due to reduced overhead costs, (this year, breakfast and lunch and snacks will not provided each day for five days), HAR can offer this year’s Institute for $399, so if you have ever thought about earning the CIPS global designation, this is your year! Register HERE.


Simply register and we will “see” you in class on June 18!