NAR First Vice President Steve Brown speaks to the Chinese Association of Real Estate Brokers
By Steve Brown, First Vice President, National Association of REALTORS®
I confess. All this time, I thought the passionate dream of owning your own home was somehow uniquely American. After all, this is the dream that has inspired every generation in this country to work hard and save money so as to be able to afford to buy that house, that condo, that farm, to call home. And it is that dream that has inspired REALTORS® to consistently advocate for a financial and tax system that encourages and enables Americans to be able to realize that dream—not to mention protecting the private property rights of those who already do.
Well, over the past seven days my understanding of the dream of homeownership has broadened. I have discovered it lives in the hearts of people in at least two Asian countries. And I suspect it lives in the hearts of people all over the world.
I had the opportunity, on behalf of NAR, to meet with local and national real estate professionals as well as senior governmental officials in Taiwan and the Philippines to promote home ownership in America, and the REALTOR® brand. Obviously, given their own histories, political structures and economies, many of their local issues are different from ours. But what was not different was their desire to help their countrymen have a home. And all the benefits of home ownership that we espouse here, they too see as a result of home ownership—better, safer communities, more civic involvement—increased voter participation, better performance in school, long term wealth accumulation, even better, healthier lifestyles.
And one more thing I witnessed this past week: NAR has a real role to play throughout the world in fostering home ownership. Our business model of an association of REALTORS® working together for the good of not only the consumer, but also of our industry; our model of advocacy work with our governments; our practice of transparency in our businesses; our professional, ethical business practices developed for the past 100 years; our technology that we use to better serve our customer. For all of these reasons and more, our Association needs to be increasingly global. It’s no great stretch to see how much more mobile our world is becoming and what a great pool of buyers are waiting for REALTORS® from America! Moreover, spreading the REALTOR® model, and REALTOR® brand, throughout the world could easily mean doubling our membership in the coming decades.
My eyes have been opened a little wider these past few days. What I have said so often in the past was underscored: “The work we do as REALTORS® is important.” Now, I would add three more words to that sentence: “The work we do as REALTORS® is important—around the world!”