The Learn to Succeed 2017 conference, organized by Real Estate Cluster, is the biggest and most important annual gathering of real estate agents in South East Europe.
The 2nd Learn to Succeed conference is taking place in Belgrade, on 7th and 8th April, and is organized by Real Estate Cluster, a specialized association which members are companies and entrpreneurs engaged in the business of selling, designing, constructing and leasing real estate in Serbia. The Institute of Economic Sciences, based in Belgrade, is one of the Cluster’s members.
What are the hot topics in regard to real estate legislation in Serbia?
Ever since a relevant law has been passed, we saw a decline in shadow economy in this segment. Earlier, its share was over 70% while now it does not exceed 35% which is just slightly over the share that shadow economy has in Serbia’s GDP. The quality of services rendered by real estate agents has been improved while the number of fake advertisements has been reduced. Several years ago, up to 100,000 fake advertisements used to appear every week. Certain real estate agents used these advertisements to lure in potential buyers and tenants. The result of this was a drop in turnover and deferred purchase because when clients responded to such advertisements they were met with excuses such as “the real estate has been sold”, or “it has been withdrawn from the market” given by real estate agents who were behind those advertisements.
What needs to be done in order to better regulate the system in this segment?
There is a plan to adopt amendments to the Real Eastate Brokerage Law with the view of eliminating its current flaws. Once the law is amended and supplemented, we will find out what a job contract should contain which would then facilitate real estate agents working on commission instead of being full-time employees. Real estate agents should also be allowed to open a company or a small business with a trust account in order to be able to hold client’s fudns until the terms and conditions of a real estate brokerage agreement have been honoured in full.
What is the main topic of this year’s conference?
The main topic of this year’s conference is making amendments to the Real Estate Brokerage Law which will facilitate an easier hiring of real estate agents and eliminate the flaws in the law that were noticed during its implementation. Improving the know-how and skills of real estate agents is an equally important subject that we are going to talk about on the second day of the conference. Additionally, there is the topic of networking between real estate brokers here and abroad which is one of the important goals of this conference. Apart from the lecturers, we expect a substantial number of representatives of real estate brokerages, large foreign companies and our colleagues, especially from the region, to attend.
Could you tell us about the conference’s programme?
The conference’s programme is devised in such way that, during the first day, the participants will be able to attend lectures and workshops about implementation of the relevant regulation held by real estate brokers, as well as workshops at which we are going to present the real estate markets in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, Dubai, and the US.
The second day of the conference is dedicate to improving the know-how of real estate agents with the goal of bringing in investors from abroad, implementation of modern technologies and social networks in marketing, improving agents’ negotiation skills, providing exclusive brokerage services and creating and implementing successful business strategies. The conference participants are also going to acquire practical knowledge and information that they could immediately apply in their work.
Which of the world-renowned lecturers from the real estate segment are going to appear at the conference?
Our lecturers / keynote speakers are the presidents and representatives of international and national real estate brokerage associations, professional lecturers with decades of experience in real estate, and representatives of state institutions. Željko Stojanović from the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications will talk about the amendments to the Real Estate Brokerage Law, while other lecturers include the president of the Real Estate Brokerage Group in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Damir Borić, president of the Real Estate Brokerage Association in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Dubravko Ranilović, the founder of FIABCI Slovenia and one of the most prominent experts in real estate brokerage regulation in the former Yugoslavia, Franci Gerbec and myself. The representatives of the State Market Inspection and the Administration for Prevention of Money Laundering will talk about the implementation of the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and real estate brokerages funding terrorist activities. Representatives of the real estate brokerage associations from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and the US will talk about real estate markets in their respective countries. Director of Global Alliances and Strategic Communications at National Association of Realtors (NAR) and president of the Russian Guild of Realtors, Tatiana Demenok will also address the conference participants.
Head of NAR’s office in Serbia, Anthony Macaluso is also going to be one of the keynote speakers. Mr. Macaluso has 30 years of experience in training realtors for the most complex jobs in this segment, including the training for the designation of a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). Another lecturer will be Alicia Matheson, who has been NAR’s keynote speaker since 2003 and has 20 years of the leadership experience in working in the Walt Disney Company where she trained thousands of employees and organizations from all over the world.