Chamber of Real Estate & Builders' Associations, Inc.

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From the Chairman

Charlie A.V. Gorayeb

Charlie A.V. Gorayeb

Chairman of the Board, CREBA Chairman, CREBA Advocacy & Legislative Affairs Committee Honorary Consul General, Republic of Djibouti

Realtors’ Conference: Seize the Day

The Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc. led twenty-three International REALTOR® Members (IRMs) from the Philippines in this year’s Annual Conference and Expo of the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors® held at sunny Anaheim, California from November 11-14. 

This year’s theme was “Seize the Day”. Indeed, the Conference and Expo helped Realtors® make the most of the current markets, and gain advantage over the rapidly globalizing trend of competition. Considered the largest trade show in real estate across the world with more than 100 education sessions in just four days, the event presented a great opportunity for real estate professionals to expand their global learning and make new contacts from all over the world. 

More than 1,000 international delegates from more than 50 countries, as well as several thousands more U.S. Realtors® converged in Anaheim to participate in discussions on international issues and interests and learn about the best practices in real estate, get sales tips, network and business techniques from internationally-recognized speakers, trainers and industry experts.

During the Conference and Expo, yours truly and 2011 NAR President  Ronald Phipps signed the duly ratified CREBA-NAR bilateral agreement which confirms the partnership between two highly-distinguished associations with the mutual aim of raising Philippine real estate service practice to even higher and truly global levels. 

The “voice for global real estate” representing over 1.3 million members in the United States as well as in 60 countries across the globe – NAR chose CREBA as its exclusive Cooperating Association in the Philippines.  

The year 2011 has been a year of many firsts between CREBA and NAR. In just 10 months since the CREBA-NAR Global Real Estate Council started its membership recruitment, International IRMs and NAR affiliates swelled exponentially to become more than 500 and it is still rising – making Philippine membership the biggest in Asia. Now, it is officially the second largest in the world, next to Mexico, among countries outside of the Unites States. 43% of these members come from Visayas, 42% are from Luzon, while 16% hail from Mindanao.

Proudly, I would say, that the Philippine flag waved ever so valiantly at the Conference and Expo which projects local real estate to the global property center stage and foreign investment limelight. 

Not one to rest on this accolade, Council Chairman Evangeline A. Yia was awarded for breaking ground as an initial data content provider for the global Realtor® multiple listing service through This online marketing facility brings the world closer to Philippine properties through NAR’s network of contacts and marketers overseas. NAR President’s Liaison to the Philippines Asuncion “Shonee” Henry was likewise recognized as this year’s Most Outstanding President’s Liaison because of NAR’s enormous success in the Philippines.

Without doubt, these remind us of the innumerably wonderful and heart-warming reasons to be proud as Filipinos!

There is a lot Philippine real estate professionals should watch out for. For one, the 2014 NAR President Steve Brown is planning a rare visit to Manila on February 2012. Second, we are hosting the prestigious Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) course from February 27 to March 2, 2012 for which the Council was conferred a US$20,000 grant by the Reaume Foundation. Completion of the course will be your “gateway to international real estate profession”, giving you the unique opportunity to network with the elite 2,500 CIPS designees around the world.

Our hats are off to the prime movers of the CREBA-NAR Global Real Estate Council who trooped to Anaheim: Julius G. Topacio, Vice-President for Global Real Estate Alliances; Evangeline A. Yia, Chairman; and Dr. Mary Gaw So, Josephine A. Cortez, Daniel R. dela Cruz, and Avelina P. Acuna for their outstanding feat and enviable unprecedented success. 

What took several countries across the world several years or even decades to accomplish, the Philippines, through the Council, did in less than one year!

We hope that the going will keep getting better for many more years. Armed with the experience and wisdom that has yielded the most significant private sector initiatives through CREBA, we can only look at downturns with a chuckle and happily embrace upturns and roll-over as we seize each day.

So, to all Filipino IRMs, being a REALTOR® sets you apart from the rest. Your REALTOR® brand represents trust and professionalism. Be sure to wear your pin at all times to show you are a REALTOR®. CARPE DIEM!

Published in the Manila Bulletin December 2011

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