The mid-summer weeks were busy ones for World President Assen Makedonov, who spent time with FIABCI Chapters in France, Andorra and Spain promoting FIABCI and its role in the global real estate community. He also emphasized the opportunities FIABCI offers its members for cross-border business development, especially through the formation of alliances. This theme of building international alliances is an important one - and a topic President Makedonov frequently speaks to, most recently at RE Italy in early June.
Paris visit includes high level meetings with MIPIM organizers
In mid-June, President Makedonov traveled to Paris to spend time on strategic plans for FIABCI International. He also spent time with the FIABCI-France, meeting with Chapter President Léo Attias and other Chapter leaders to discuss a development plan and support for Chapter growth.
While in Paris, the President attended the first edition of MIPIM Proptech Europe, held June 20-21. MIPIM PropTech is the world’s leading real estate technology event, where key real estate decision makers from throughout the value chain gather to connect with cutting-edge startups and technology companies. During this event, the FIABCI delegation (which also included World President Kirkor Ajderhanyan 2016-’17, Léo Attias and FIABCI General-Secretary Narek Arakelyan) met with the leadership of Reed MIDEM, the organizers of MIPIM to discuss FIABCI’s presence at upcoming events, including MIPIM UK (17-18 October / London), PropTech New York (6 November), MIPIM Asia (27-28 November / Hong Kong) and MIPIM 2019 (12-15 / Cannes, France). FIABCI members receive preferential registration at all MIPIM events.
Meeting with members and VIPs in Andorra
FIABCI-Andorra was honored to host the President on 29 June, where a full day of activities were organized, beginning with a conference attended by members of FIABCI-Andorra along with members of AGIA — the Association of Agents and Real Estate Managers of Andorra. AGIA is a Principal Member of FIABCI-Andorra. The president offered brief opening remarks, citing the FIABCI-Andorra/AGIA alliance as a strong model which brings value to the individual members affiliated with both organizations.
Attending the conference was Andorra’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gilbert Savoy. A mid-morning reception was held with the Prime Minister of Andorra, Mr. Antoni Martí. Together with FIABCI-Andorra President Jordi Ribó, the group discussed the importance of FIABCI for business development opportunities, and how proud Andorra was to have hosted the 68th FIABCI World Congress in 2017.
The program continued with the featured speaker, Mr. Carlos Rentalo, a real estate coach and entrepreneur, who shared his insights on the role of social media in the global real estate market.
The day included interviews with local media and ended with a meal in the historic center of Andorra, shared with the board of directors of FIABCI-Andorra. The group was very appreciative to have the World President visit their small country.
Barcelona, Spain for Inmointer 14
From Andorra, President Makedonov travelled to nearby Barcelona to attend the 14th edition of Inmointer, a real estate forum hosted by FIABCI-España. The conference was organized in collaboration with the API College of Barcelona and the Association of Building Promoters and Builders of Catalonia (APEC) in Barcelona. It emphasized the growth of the Spanish market.
The President gave a presentation about FIABCI, noting that by 2020, FIABCI expects to have a presence in more than 100 countries. He stressed that Spain is one of the countries in which FIABCI is going to make a greater incursion into the international real estate panorama.
"We are growing a lot in Spain because, in a globalized world, an international association like FIABCI manages to generate synergistic relationships between all the agents of the sector, from the promoters to the intermediaries, passing through appraisers and administrators." Makedonov also noted that the real estate development of cities in an adequate and sustainable manner is one of FIABCI’s core global objectives to be developed under his presidency.
Following the World President’s remarks, real estate coach Carlos Rentalo spoke on social media in real estate, including ways to use Instagram to internationalize and get in touch with more people and potential customers. The program continued with Fernando García Erviti, who is responsible for introducing CRS in Spain. He spoke about PropTech, and whether it is an opportunity or a threat for the industry.
Finally, Raisa Venermo, a board member of FIABCI-España and lawyer with AvaLaw, discussed how Spanish real estate agents should treat and talk to international clients, given the cultural, linguistic, social and technological differences between them.
Ramón Riera, president of FIABCI-España and Europe, directed the day and said that "the real estate business is in emerging countries outside the European Community. Countries such as Turkey, Iran or South Africa are some of those with a more dynamic market. While it is not always easy to access these types of markets, international organizations such as FIABCI can help to eliminate any type of border and take advantage of commercial relationships and real estate and business opportunities in each region.”
While in Spain, President Makedonov visited API College, a Principal Member of FIABCI-España. Following the visit, the President, together with Ramón Riera, met with Gerard Duelo, President of Inmocanal TV, a real estate channel soon to be broadcast in Spain and in Latin America. The group discussed about how FIABCI can collaborate with Inmocanal TV and gain a larger presence in South America.
Assen Makedonov was interviewed by Europa Press and Crónica Global, two of the foremost media companies in Spain.
Before leaving on 4 July, President Makedonov and Ramón Riera met with Damià Calvet i Valera, the Minister of Territory and Sustainability of Catalonia, at his office. They spoke about the real estate sector in Catalonia and the future of the cities’ layout and sustainability. The FIABCI leaders introduced him to the collaboration between FIABCI and UN-Habitat, including the (now published) third volume of “The City We Need is Affordable.”
Throughout his four days in Spain, the President enjoyed visiting local sites, including Montserrat, a Benedictine abbey located on the Mountain of Montserrat. On the last evening of his visit, President Makedonov was the guest of honour at a dinner at the Salamanca restaurant where 20 members of FIABCI-España came to meet the World President and wish him a peaceful flight home.
Carol Weinrich Helsel
Chief Editor, FIABCI International