Cooperation with international real estate associations is crucial for attracting FDI in Serbian real estate market
We talked with Nenad Djordjević, Chairman of the Board of the Real Estate Cluster, about the current situation in the real estate market, its expansion and the potential.
At what pace is the Serbian real estate market developing?
— In the past two years, the prices and the turnover in Serbia’s real estate market stood at around 35%. Prices of apartments in certain parts of Belgrade grew the most, while the demand for construction land in Belgrade and Novi Sad and agricultural land in Vojvodina has increased. The market is awaken-ing, which attracted a lot of foreign investors investing in housing and business complexes. There is also stronger interest in investing in logistics centres, warehouses and industrial facilities.
What role does the Cluster play in this segment?
— Real Estate Cluster is an association that was formed in 2010 by companies interested in regulating the real estate market, reducing the shadow economy and boosting the competitiveness of the domestic economy in this area, with the support of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications.In late 2011, we launched the initiative for the establishment of the Group of Real Estate Brokers in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, which had been lobbying for the adoption of the Law on Real Estate Brokerage Services, and in cooperation with the line ministry, implemented a series of activities aimed at curbing the shadow economy. In the past few years, we have partnered with leading professional associations from abroad with the view of sharing experiences, train employees according to the standards implemented in the most developed world economies and to attract FDI. We became a Direct Principal Member of the International Real Estate Federation FIABCI. FIABCI was founded seventy years ago in Paris, has chapters in 68 countries and is a permanent consultant to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).FIABCI members are real estate brokers, project designers, auditors, real estate consultancies and others. Following the signing of a Bilateral Cooperation Agreement in 2016 in Orlando, the Real Estate Cluster became an exclusive partner of the National Association of Realtors in Serbia. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is the largest professional organization of real estate professionals in the world, founded in 1908, which has over a million members in the United States and some 300,000 members abroad.NAR is the largest trade association in the United States, after the US Chamber of Commerce, which members generate about $50 billion in total annual revenue. NAR advocates the interests of real estate industry and property owners in the US government and has one of the most influential lobby groups in the US Congress, the RPAC (Realtors Political Action Committee). NAR has concluded cooperation agreements with associations in more than 100 countries around the world. Last year, the Real Estate Cluster concluded a Cooperation Agreement with the Russian Guild of Realtors (RGR), a leading professional association in this field in the Russian Federation.This year, together with the RGR, we will harmonize our long-term cooperation plan which will define measures for improving business cooperation between the members of the two associations. In cooperation with the NAR and with the support of IHC Global, the Real Estate Cluster has organized a series of specialist training for agents, SRS (Sales Representative Specialist) course, ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) course and others. The course programmes have been adapted to our specific conditions and while Dr Slaviša Pešić, Vice President of the Expert Council of the Real Estate Cluster, translated the relevant literature in the Serbian language. In addition to Serbia, the courses were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina (in Sarajevo and Banja Luka).
The conference titled „Learn to Succeed“, organized by the Real Estate Cluster, is the biggest and most important annual gathering of real estate brokers in South-east Europe. How important is this exchange of know-how for the development of the real estate profession?
— Continuous education of real estate agents, along with the implementation of the newest IT technology, are the most important factors for advancing real estate business. Professional associations in the US and other countries, in which the real estate brokerage exists for over 150 years, have developed their education systems. The National Association of Realtors, with which we cooperate when organizing our conference, has made the biggest leaps forward in this segment. This year’s conference took place in Belgrade, from 15th to 17th April 2019. The conference was officially opened in the Palace of Serbia, while lectures and workshops were held at the ZIRA Hotel and the Building Trade Fair SEEBBE 2019. State Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Vesna Kovač officially opened the conference. The opening ceremony was also attended by the President of the Group of Real Estate Brokers in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Damir Borić, President of the National Association of Realtors, John Smaby, President
THE WOMEN’S COUNCIL OF REAL ESTATE CLUSTER
„The Women’s Council was established with the aim of networking and continuous education of employees in the companies that are members of the Real Estate Cluster and all other colleagues who are engaged in real estate brokerage services lawfully,“ says Radmila Stanković, President of the Women’s Council of Real Estate Cluster. The Council was established in March this year and has been cooperating with the Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) from the United States since its inception.WCR is the largest professional organization of women realtors in the world, established eighty years ago. WCR President, Heather Ozur and Vice President Pamela Banks were speakers at the „Learn to Succeed“ Conference 2019 and have supported the establishment of the Women’s Council of Real Estate Cluster. At the Council’s inauguration session, held on 25th June 2019 at the Club of Serbian Parliament Members in Belgrade, the Council members recieved pins of Women’s Council of Real Estate Cluster. On the occasion, the Director of the Entrepreneurship Sector of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Branislava Simanić announced the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation with the Women’s Council of Real Estate Cluster in September 2019.