The repeat NAR Diamond Recipient, HAR Global Advisory Group, is scheduled to have its best year yet. Yes, instrumental changes have been implemented to this group, benefiting all 52,000+ HAR members.

Previously, we had a handful of honorary members, now expanding to 30. These members include all five NAR Global Ambassadors in TX and global groups from other associations around the State, where we now have a reciprocal relationship, enabling us to be transparent in what we are all doing globally. This combined body will portray one voice from Texas to our international partners. With this minor move, we have expanded our outreach to Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Lewisville, and El Paso REALTOR® Associations. Along with the International Department of the Houston Mayor’s Office and Greater Houston Partnership, we will have access to international programs our city and State have planned for the year.

Locally, we are continuing the TREPAC Destination Dinners. An Italian-themed night at the end of January and an Octoberfest later, but many more are in the works throughout the year. Sign up for at least one of them; they are informative and fun. Do you have a suggestion for a theme? Let us know. Last year, these dinners combined created $64k in investments to TREPAC!

The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS®) designation prepares REALTORS® to service the growing international market in their local community by focusing on culture, exchange rates, investment trends, and legal issues. Agents should not think they have to sell foreign real estate. Global means more than foreign. More than 4.7 million immigrants reside in Texas, or 17 percent of the population. It only makes sense to understand how foreigners buy and what their expectations are for purchasing a home. Different cultures behave in different ways. Understanding cultures and business practices is critical. The Realtor® who understands this can more easily create win-win situations with the consumer.

CIPS classes are already being planned twice this year in H-Town, the first at the end of April and the second in late September. If these dates do not fit your schedule, maybe “sink your teeth” into this CIPS class: take the CIPS coursework at Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania, Romania. Yes, we go above and beyond to make the experience exceptional, and many other CIPS classes are scheduled worldwide. Look on NAR’s global site for information.

We have an inbound mission trip with AMPI Mexico REALTORS®, attending our Houston Rodeo and HAR mentorship program at the end of February—and an outbound mission trip to Portugal in April. Later outbound trips include Belize, Acapulco, Mexico, Munich, Germany, and Romania.

Houston has the third-largest consular corps in the nation after New York and Los Angeles. There are 94 consulates in Houston. Utilizing these contacts, we have formed alliances to assist international people moving to Houston.

We have a Global Information Exchange (GIE), that runs parallel to the MLS. Here, international listings are posted by members of HAR.  We are working on the possibility of linking another international MLS to our current system, which will show listings all over the world posted by REALTORS® and agents from different countries.

We will continue to support Houston local charities and non-profits—The Ronald Mc Donald House, The Christian Community Service Center, Sister Cities Houston, and many more.

Our Advisory group members are all specialists in their fields of expertise. Take the time to meet with some of them to discuss what and how we can help you personally, your team or even your brokerage build their global brand. We are here to help, guide, and assist you on your path to success. Should you need an international speaker, we have them on board. Please use them and take advantage of everything we have to offer. These combined minds make the global program successful and educates your team members and clients.

The Houston Global REALTORS® tremendously enjoy what they do; they network locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. They inspire and “Ignite Others.” That’s Who We R.

On behalf of all my colleagues, I wish you a prosperous 2024.

Pius Dawson, CIPS, AHWD, TRLP, CPE
2024 HAR Global Advisory Group Chair