The International Real Estate Conference LEARN TO SUCCEED 2017 was held on April 7 and 8, 2017 in the House of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and in the hotel ZIRA in Belgrade.
The introductory speech at the Conference was held by Željko Sertić, Director of the Development Agency of Serbia, who introduced the participants to the conditions for doing business in Serbia and the stimulating measures provided by the state to domestic and foreign investors, as well as the results of the economic policy of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in the previous period. Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia Miroslav Miletić spoke about the results achieved by the largest professional association of Real Estate brokers in Serbia, the Group of real estate brokers from its founding, of which the most important is the adoption of Real Estate Brokerage Law. Joe Schneider, Director of the NAR Global Alliances, said in his addressing to the Conference participants that he was pleased to establish cooperation with the Real Estate Cluster and said that Serbian agents would continue to be supported by the largest professional agencies organization in the world, which has over 1.3 million members, of which about a million in the United States, and in about seventy other countries (including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, India, Thailand, South Africa and many others) approximately 300 members. NAR has been particularly successful in protecting the interests of small and micro business entities in the US market, which is of particular importance to Serbian agents, because in Serbia as well as in the US, micro-entities have a share in the brokerage market of 95%. Valid Musa, member of the FIABCI World spoke about FIABCI projects for the future and expressed the wish to establish FIABCI Serbia as soon as possible, for founding of which the Real Estate Cluster was given the mandate from FIABCI.
During the first day of the Conference, it was discussed about the amendments to the Real Estate Brokerage Law and the implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism.
The representative of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Željko Stojanović, spoke about the reasons for amending the law regulating the field of brokerage, i.e. the need for a law that was assessed by the professional public in the country and the region as the best in the region.
He underlined that no significant amendments to the law were required, but only a “fine adjustment” to remove the observed shortcomings and to increase consumer protection in this area (he highlighted the problem of charging broker's fees on both sides in the broker transaction). Franci Gerbec, honorary member of FIABCI Slovenia spoke on the fiduciary account of brokers in Slovenia (which significantly facilitates the work of the broker when it comes to receiving a deposit from the principal or another contracting party in the transaction for which it mediates), Ema Culi, Director of the Trade Sector of the Croatian Chamber of Economy spoke about the amendments to the laws in the Republic of Croatia. Chairman of the Board of Real Estate Cluster, Nenad Djordjević, talked about the need to regulate the labor relations with the agents by means of the Real Estate Brokerage Law, i.e. to enable more flexible employment of the agents by the contract on representation, which was cancelled from the Labor Law by the amendments and addendums thereto. President of the Group of real estate brokers in Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia Damir Borić spoke about collecting broker's fee from the buyer / tenants of real estates. He pointed out that a broker has the right to charge the broker's fee for the mediated business (if he/she has indicated in his/her advertisement that he / she charged the agency's fee from the buyer / tenant and set the amount of broker's fee in the advertisement and met the buyer / tenant with his general terms before entering the field) as confirmed by two final judgments of the court in favor of brokers in such cases.
The unanimous conclusion of the participants of the Conference, the Real Estate Agents and the management of the Real Estate Associations, the Group of real estate brokers and the Real Estate Cluster, is that in the process of amending of the Real Estate Brokerage Law they are insisting on non-modification of the so far brokerage practice related to the method of charging broker's fee. The broker deals with mediation rather than representation, and is entitled to collect the fee for mediation from both parties in the mediated business, because it performs a certain job for both parties, in the manner prescribed by law (the law stipulates that the customer may be the seller, the buyer, the lessor and tenant). When an broker determines in his general business conditions that broker's fee is charged by the buyer / tenant and placed in his/her advertisement offering real estate on the market, he/she has the right to charge an broker's fee from the principal, buyer / tenant. The representative agent does not have that right, but the one has the right to collect his/her service solely from the client he/she represents (he/she works solely for one party in the legal transaction, unlike the broker working for both parties).
At the Workshop related to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism Mirjana Veljović, representative of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Market Inspectorate Division and Danijela Tanić-Zafirović, a representative of the Ministry of Finance, the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering, spoke about keeping records based on this law and the Law on Real Estate Brokerage. Vice President of the Real Estate Cluster's Expert Council, Milić Djoković, Damir Borić, and other consultants requested the conclusion of the Agreement on the sale / leasing of real estate, and not the conclusion of the Mediation Agreement, to be considered as the commencement of business relations in the sense of this law. Otherwise, the brokers practically are disabled to do legal business, because clients refuse to conclude a mediation agreement with them. Clients do not want to provide personal information to agents, i.e. reading, or photocopying an ID, regardless of the fact that the agents are legally authorized and obligated to collect them.
At the Global Economy Real Estate Transactions Workshop, Alicia Matheson, an investment consultant with 20 years of experience working in the United Nations and at Walt Disney Company and Erica Solomon, president of the Global Business Council of Maryland Association of Realtors, presented the participants with the basics of real estate transactions in the global market through examples of companies operating in the United States and other major world economies.
After that, workshops were held on the marketing of brokers, real estate markets in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Greece, where Katarina Bogdanović, “Halo Oglasi” representative, Jovana Stamenić, Ringier Axel Springer Serbia representative, Ruža Ristanović, Diplomacy & Commerce Magazine Director, Dario Žgela, Dimedia representative and Ervin Pašanović, Real Estate Cluster representative spoke. At the Workshop the President of the Attorney’s Association from Čačak Jasmina Milutinović, Public Notary Jovanka Jovanović and Branislav Petrović, Representative of the Real Estate Cluster spoke on Solemnization of the Agreement on the Real Estate Sale, i.e. the Public Notary Record and its entry into the Cadaster of Real Estate.
Presentation of the market of South Florida was conducted by Lynda Fernandez, representative of the Association of Realtors of Miami, Alexandra Sekouri, President of the Association of Realtors of Greece, spoke about the real estate market in Greece, Ilijana Jeleč, President of the Management Board of Erste Real Estate LLC Zagreb talked about the real estate market in Croatia, Jože Podgoršek, President of FIABCI Slovenia spoke about the Slovenian market, and the Serbian real estate market was presented by Miroslav Cvetković, Vice Chairman of the Board of Real Estate Cluster. Jovica Jakovac, General Manager of NLB DD Finance - CFO, Group Real Estate Asset Management Slovenia, who was one of the founders of the Group of real estate brokers managed this Workshop with great success.
During the second day of the Conference one of the subjects was the talk of improving the knowledge and skills of the agents. Alicia Matheson presented in an attractive way the business strategies that lead to success and showed to the Conference participants using practical examples the changes that they should apply in their business, with a special emphasis on advertising real estate. John Mayfield, President of FIABCI Council of Brokers spoke about the application of new technologies (the Internet and social networks) in brokerage. He demonstrated the implementation of IT applications to the brokers to increase their efficiency. Anthony Macaluso, the NAR President's Liaison for Serbia, spoke about the business in the international real estate market, and Artur Ohanesyan, the leading expert of the Association of Real Estate Value Appraisers from Ukraine and one of the founders of the Ukrainian Association of Realtors, spoke on the exclusive brokerage contract. Erica Solomon spoke about negotiation techniques in real estate transactions and conveyed her experiences from negotiation practice to Conference participants.