No Boundaries with Technology
By Anand Patel, 2020 Chair of GTR’s Global Subcommittee.
Think back to your last handful of real estate transactions. Chances are, at least one of those customers originated from another country. Tampa Bay is home to a diverse range of cultures from all over the globe. Our membership at Greater Tampa REALTORS® is also indicative of this diversity. As your 2020 Chair of the Global Subcommittee and the Tampa Bay Global Business Council (TBGBC), I have had the opportunity to truly see and appreciate this diversity firsthand. Our diversity has allowed us to tap into our membership’s talents and resources as we continue growing what the TBGBC can offer our members.
COVID-19 has forced all of us to reevaluate how we do business and to pivot quickly. Through the use of tools like Zoom, we have rediscovered how truly connected we can be with each other around the globe and continue to do business.
Want to introduce a potential foreign buyer to your global team of experts such as immigration attorneys, CPAs and currency exchange professionals? It can all be done via a quick Zoom meeting, allowing you to further build trust with your global customer before they even set foot in Tampa Bay.
How many of you have now made 3D tours as part of your standard marketing offering to limit the amount of foot traffic in your seller’s home? Tools like Matterport and Zoom are not new and have been readily available for quite some time, but we have quickly realized the benefits of integrating these tools into our business practices. And frankly, these practices will most likely stick around long after COVID-19 is behind us as we have found them to be quite beneficial.
TBGBC has been no different and has also adapted allowing us to continue to build momentum the first half of 2020. Below are just a few of the highlights the TBGBC, through the direction of the Global Subcommittee, has accomplished this year:
- Prior to the pandemic in February, we, along with Florida REALTORS® and surrounding associations, were fortunate to host a delegation of real estate professionals from Spain at the Columbia Restaurant for lunch followed by a tour of Jeff Vinik’s development in the Water District.
- We have hosted monthly virtual educational sessions to educate GTR members on global real estate.
- In conjunction with Florida REALTORS®, our council members participated in a virtual in-bound trade mission with Canadian real estate professionals seeking to do business in Florida. This provided a great opportunity for us in the Tampa Bay area to showcase that there is more to Florida than just South Beach and Mickey Mouse!
- We formed a formal partnership with Pinellas REALTORS® Organization (PRO) Suncoast Global Council to offer classes and events to both memberships without having to join both councils.
- Hosted two virtual Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation institutes giving our council members the foundation to build a solid global business.
- Offered the At Home with Diversity (AHWD) certification in partnership with PRO and the Real Estate For All Alliance to educate the council about the diversity of homeownership.
- Created a podcast highlighting specific countries and how we can do business with them by tapping into the diverse backgrounds of our council members. Listen here: https://tbgbpodcast.buzzsprout.com/
- Hosted global happy hours with participants from all over the country as well as Canada.
COVID-19 has reminded us that with technology, there are no borders or boundaries! We are limited only by our imaginations on what type of programming and events we want to create for our members. With that, we are looking to set up virtual trade missions with key markets that purchase in our area. We are initially looking into a virtual trade mission with Toronto and will then look at other markets such as Panama, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.
This is an exciting time to be a part of the TBGBC and we’d love for you to join us so you too can seize the global opportunities that surround
us. Feel free to reach out to our Global and Commercial Coordinator, Javin Nededog. If you are ready to join our council (annual membership is just $25 and gives you access to programs hosted by the Suncoast Global Council as well), visit our council website at tamparealtors.org/tbgbc. Also like us on Facebook and join our FB group to stay up to date on upcoming events and programing. With your involvement, we look forward to an even greater second half of 2020 and beyond…all without needing a single stamp on your passport!