As incoming 2017 chair of the HAR International Advisory Group (IAG), I would like to first recognize our 2016 chair, Cathy Trevino, for her leadership and commitment to the group.  A BIG Thank you to Lori Carper, HAR IAG director, and Aracely Arrazolo, administration, and to all the volunteer and honorary members that contributed toward making 2016 a fantastic year.


We finished 2016 by receiving the prestigious Platinum Award from NAR.  Congratulations to all IAG members for such a great recognition.  The PRESSURE is on for 2017 to step it up a notch and try to earn NAR’s  newly implemented Diamond Award.

In 2016, we continued our focus on reaching out to our REALTOR® members by making them aware of the benefits of working locally and thinking globally.

We started the year by creating five new sub-committees, identifying leaders and assigning members to each sub-committee.  This allowed for the members to work on their favorite committee and to focus on task driven projects.

The Communication subcommittee, led by Enid Cruise-Cleland, worked and finished the first draft of the new look of the HAR International website, created and administered the annual HAR global membership survey and created a private Facebook page for the group among other projects.

The Education subcommittee, led by Deborah Trahan, worked hard at providing great education programs including the “Around the World in 60 minutes” Lunch & Learn series that was offered four times throughout the year; the CIPS Institute was taught by one of our members and instructor, Richard Miranda, and the International 101 day class was a sold-out event, just to mention a few of the global education classes provided this year.

The Outreach subcommittee, led by Pius Dawson, was very successful at building strong relationships with the British, Brazilian, Mexico-US and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the Panama, Brazil, and Mexican Consulates.  The HAR IAG co-chair participated as a keynote speaker at the “Houston Gateway to Americas” trade conference in October.  In 2016, several of our members attended the AMPI Convention in Mexico and different international conferences.

The Member Value subcommittee, led by Susan Annoura, hit a home run by providing the first draft ever composed of the “International Listing Agreement,” probably one of the most valuable documents to be provided by the HAR IAG to the membership. More work will still have to be done but having a document titled “International Listing Agreement” was a huge accomplishment.

The Public Relations-Media subcommittee, led by Minor Taylor, succeeded at increasing awareness of the HAR International program in our community by inviting the local press to attend our global programs and several of our members represented HAR IAG in the Houston Livestock Rodeo International Committee as translators for international visitors. Several members wrote monthly international real estate news articles that were featured in the monthly HAR magazine.

HAR sponsored and held the first ever CIPS statewide reception at the TAR Convention in Galveston in September.

As we leave behind a very successful 2016, we look forward to a new and exciting year ahead. Many initiatives were started through the leadership of our past chairpersons.  It is my commitment to implement some of the projects already started and to provide the membership with new education, outreach, and member value programs.

Among some of the 2017 initiatives and goals are to have the first ever “International Listing Agreement” finalized and approved by the HAR Board and make it available to the membership for all international listings, finish the development of the HAR IAG website, build new relationships with ACOBIR Panama, host trade missions to Mexico and Panama, offer the CIPS Institute next August, start an international real estate networking program and continue offering education classes to enhanced the members knowledge on how to practice international real estate.

We look forward to continue to be actively involved with the City of Houston, The World Affairs Council, The Greater Houston Partnership, affiliate organizations such as AAREA, AREAA and FIABCI and to continue our community outreach volunteer work at the Ronald McDonald House Houston.

We strongly encourage our members to expand their international real estate knowledge and to consider attending the upcoming programs and classes that will be offered in 2017 by the International Advisory Group.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you as the HAR IAG 2017 Chairperson.  It will take a VILLAGE to accomplish the objectives outlined for 2017.  I am looking forward to working with you all!

Nelly DeLourdes Mitford, CIPS, ABR, MCNE, TRLP-2013
MP International Real Estate•