Announcement: Open Doors Panama Joins ACOBIR- Panama’s Board of Real Estate
It was a high class event for a business luncheon. ACOBIR does not take membership lightly, and neither do we. Since coming to Panama almost two years ago, I have to say that one of the things I miss as a professional is the camaraderie, the networking, and the professionalism of being a member of a board. On Wednesday, I was in a familiar place, among my peers. They spoke about ethics, working relationships, economics and current events that effect the real estate market… all the same things we talk about in board meetings in the USA, just in Spanish! I had the pleasure to meet some great brokers and definitely see a lot of potential for great working relationships and referrals.
For our sellers… awesome MLS exposure for your home with professional brokers in the city and placement on REALTOR.com, other well-ranked national and international websites. Most importantly, we are part of a networking culture of shared commissions to produce faster sales for our exclusive listings. It’s a win/win!
Ethics, Processes, and Professionalism- Why membership matters
Back in Colorado, where I was in real estate since 2006, I really took for granted the National Association of REALTORS, the code of ethics that we operate professionally by, and the overall ease of putting a home in the MLS and just trusting the system and other brokers to get that house sold. It was easy and everybody did it. We had pre-approved contracts that I could fill in the blanks and fire off to a client in 45 minutes… signatures all executed online. Exclusive listings and buyer agreements were normal operating procedure. Board meetings every Friday were attended by the same brokers week after week, some seeing the benefit of networking among peers and others taking advantage of free education to sharpen skills. The longer you’re in this industry really working it, the more you can differentiate yourself from the average, run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen broker. So, that’s what we all try to do. Sharpen our skills. There’s a bible verse that says “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” So true!
Here in Panama we have seen some crazy stuff, some bad contracts and some strait up unethical dealings. It’s still a little bit of a “Wild West”! Someone told me “This is a country founded by pirates, you have to be a buccaneer”. Well, I don’t want to be a buccaneer! So, last week I came and spent the week here in Panama city all by my big-girl self and took the ACOBIR licensing class (in Spanish) along with our licensee, Gloria Morales. (Thanks, Gloria! And thanks Brent for holding the fort!) The goal: to learn the laws that govern real estate in this country. Even though foreigners cannot hold a license until they have been residents for five years, at least I can go through the process of learning for the sake of our clients. So I guess the best thing is to just go to the source… ACOBIR.
To date, our clients are mostly foreigners who speak English. Imagine, you don’t speak the language, don’t know the process, and are trying to buy actual real estate. It’s not the same here! So, you have to trust your professionals. But before you say “Just tell me where to sign”, please keep in mind that most of the conflict situations in this area have started with a contract that did not outline what happens if the worst happens. And, because sometimes the worst happens, it’s best to know who will be expected to do what in that case, and have it spelled out clearly in writing. If not, you look at taking a hit, or getting involved in Panamanian court process which you do NOT want.
Well, I digress.. as professionals… We want to be the type that you trust because we are trustWORTHY. I see this membership in ACOBIR as the best network we can be a part of here to take us to our goals professionally.