As we leave behind a very successful 2013, we look forward to a new and exciting year ahead. In 2013, the HAR International Advisory Group had many accomplishments. We focused on reaching out to our REALTOR® members by making them aware of the benefits of working locally and thinking globally. We started the year providing quarterly “Around the World in 60 Minutes” lunch and learn programs in which we provided international updates and helpful information of benefit when dealing with international clients.  For instance, a program called “What is Feng Shui?” turned out to be a great success. The program sold out with many on a waiting list as well as international tax law, probate law and how to input listings in MLS Area 82. Furthermore, the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation course was offered at our HAR Central office over the summer, followed by a CIPS designees networking event.

In 2013, we also began producing a series of videos in different languages and countries in order to promote HAR International at large. Members and the public can view the videos on YouTube under HAR International.

Additionally, during the spring, many of our members participated in the TAR cruise to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, which provided MCE courses on how to conduct business in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico. We also took the opportunity to build a strong relationship with local organizations.  We attended property tours and network with local REALTORS®. We are also currently working closely with AMPI (Mexican Association of Real Estate Agents) Monterrey to arrange an inbound/outbound member exchange program and are eager to implement that this year.

During the fall, the International Advisory Group participated in the Fiestas Patria’s Parade in downtown Houston, celebrating the independence of Mexico and many of the Central and South America countries. Our focus was to provide awareness to our community. As in previous years, we have reached out to the community by providing hot meals to the patients and family members of the Ronald McDonald House.

We finish the year receiving a very prestigious award from NAR for our yearly achievement with a Platinum Level for the 2013 Global Council Achievement Program as well as Course of the Year Award. We are thrilled to have won these awards and we look forward to another prosperous new year.

We will continue to offer the “Around the World in 60 Minutes” program in 2014. In late summer or early fall, HAR will host a CIPS designation program. We will continue to reach out to the community by participating in Fiesta’s Partias Parade and giving back to the community by volunteering with different organizations.

We want to continue increasing awareness among our members and provide them with the tools needed to assist them in their business when working with international clients. HAR International will send a survey to REALTOR® members, so stay tuned for all of the upcoming events. We encourage other REALTORS® to get involved with our activities and tap into an opportunity to serve the world in our local markets.