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A National Voice - Jan 26, 2007. Times Property (Times of India)

Two days of brainstorming this month has led to the formation of The National Association of Realtors - India (NARI)

The real estate market is extremely active nationwide. Pressure is building from developers, financial institutions, government officials and the general public for greater professionalism among real estate brokers. There is a recognised need for broker education, and considerable interest in broker licensing. But at present, the real estate sector is not formally recognised by the Indian government as an "industry," there is no official entity charged with setting norms and standards, there is no licensing and the opportunities for brokers to hone their professional skills via formal educational offerings is practically non-existent. There is also no national entity
broker professionalism, make their reputations more palatable, contribute to a more efficient market, and result in greater customer satisfaction.

They also understand the importance of gaining control over market entry, either through licensing, private credentialing by associations, or both. These local broker associations are making remarkable strides within their local markets. But none of them is positioned optimally to singlehandedly expand its reach to the national level.

In a recent visit to India, representatives of the International Real Property Foundation and the National Association of Realtors spoke with the leadership of half a dozen local broker associations, in addition to spokespersons for developer associa that purports to speak for brokers at the national level of Indian government.

The Estate Agents Association of India - based in Mumbai - has been in existence since 1968, but its membership was almost
tions, financial institutions, academic institutions, real estate appraisers and government. A clear consensus emerged that a national broker association is needed in India, and can be successfully launched by the existing local associations, working cooperatively with one another, and with the support and counsel of the Indian developer organizations, academic and financial representatives, and specialists in association development from the international community.

Accordingly, a High Level Conference on the Future of Real Estate Brokerage in India took place on January 11 and 12 in Delhi. The purpose was to explore the feasibility of creating an Indian national broker association as a confederation of, and to be controlled by, the local broker associations in exclusively made up of Mumbai brokers, and it was not active in broker education, licensing or other matters of national significance. Around 2003 IIRE was formed to fill in that void through education and be an education institute and not an association. But once again being based out Mumbai it had its limitation to be focused on Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. Small associations also existed in various sub-divisions of Mumbai and Delhi, and in the cities of Pune, Bangalore and possibly other municipalities. But the activities of these small associations were extremely limited, and none aspired to expand to the national level, or sponsor any kind of national federation of local
associations.

Over the last five years, as the real estate market has grown in size and economic importance, the creation and/or cultivation by brokers of city and subcity associations has become a trend. Serious brokers are determined to improve the reputation of brokerage in India, and recognise the important role professional associations can play in this regard. They have sponsored as many as a dozen serious local broker associations.

The leaders of these associations acknowledge the need for greater structure and organization in the market, enhancement of broker skill sets, creation of a consensus on ethical norms, and licensing. They understand that achievement of these objectives will enhance India. The Conference was sponsored by International Real Property Foundation (based in Chicago, Illinois) and the US AID. The stated purpose was to explore the need for, the feasibility, the desirable structure and governance, and the mission of a new umbrella organization for real estate brokers that could serve to bring together all of the existing broker organizations in India.

The conference was facilitated by Mr. Norman Flynn, President and CEO of the International Real Property Foundation. The list of organizations who attended were as follows: India Institute of Real Estate (IIRE) represented by Naresh Malkani (Chairman) and me, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) represented by Brig. (Retd). R.R. Singh and Deputy Director Sumit Jha, Estate Agents Association Of Pune (EAAP) represented by Kishen Malani (President), Bangalore Realtors Association India (BRAI) represented by Farookh Mahmood (President) and Irshad Ahmed. Also by Gail Lyons, Regional Representative for Asia Pacific, National Association of Realtors and Carol Weinrich, Managing Director, International Operations, National Association of Realtors. Dr. P.S. N. Rao, Professor of Urban Management, Centre for Urban Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration, and advisor to NAREDCO.

The outcome of the two day brain-storming was the formation of a National Association called `The National Association of Realtors - India (NARI)'.

The objective of the body would be fill a void in the system and also to have one national voice for Real Estate. We look forward to the support and cooperation from consumers, brokers, developers and all concerned with the real estate business to elevate standards of practice in the country.

Quick BYTES

Though the real estate market has been extremely active across the country, there are many gaps that need to be filled With real estate not having been recognised as an industry, there is no official entity to set standards