Local realtors to gain expertise from US firm

The Real Estate Association of Rwanda (REAR) and a renowned US-based group – the International Real Property Foundation (IRPF), yesterday, signed a protocol agreement that will enable the former professionalize and apply best practices in the local real estate industry.
International Property Foundation CEO (L) Norman Flynn and the Chairman Steering Committee of REAR Charles Haba after the signing. (Photo J Mbanda)
International Property Foundation CEO (L) Norman Flynn and the Chairman Steering Committee of REAR Charles Haba after the signing. (Photo J Mbanda)

The Real Estate Association of Rwanda (REAR) and a renowned US-based group – the International Real Property Foundation (IRPF), yesterday, signed a protocol agreement that will enable the former professionalize and apply best practices in the local real estate industry.

The protocol stresses that IRPF and REAR subscribe to objectives including assisting in the creation of a well-structured, ethical, and educated real estate profession committed to protecting the public; promotion of home ownership; and the establishment and preservation of private property.

Charles Haba, the Chairman of the Steering Committee of REAR, and Norman Flynn, President and CEO of IRPF, signed the agreement which, in addition, guarantees the creation of efficient and equitable real estate markets and a legal environment supportive of all the objectives.

“Signing this Protocol is going to be the first step in the difficult schedule ahead for professionalizing our real estate industry.” Haba told The New Times.

“Our real estate industry is much disorganized and extremely unprofessional as there are no ethics – most of the people are just street brokers with no training. And that’s exactly why we are setting up this”.

In the pact, both parties mutually acknowledge that the protocol agreement does not constitute a contract between the two, but only serves as a basis for future cooperation.

With core funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), IRPF is a non-profit group seeking to apply American real estate experience and know-how to local conditions through a broad range of educational and training programme.

Flynn, who has 18 years’ of experience, has for the past six months been examining Rwanda’s real estate environment and says that he believes “people in the business want to be recognized as professionals – there is need for a code of ethics.”

Flynn added that the protocol will allow experienced US real estate professionals to share their real estate know-how with Rwandan practitioners and, IRPF will help REAR organize its real estate practice, for a period of “two to three years.”

“What we are trying to do is not flood the country with money, but what we want instead, is to flood the country with expertise,” Flynn underscored, explaining that “we are demand driven, and as such, we will know how much to put into the country after establishing the demand.”

Established in 1992, IRPF’s mission draws strength from its ability to exploit specialist international voluntary services.
 In March, the IRPF received an $850,000 grant from USAID, part of which will support establishing an East Africa Regional Training Centre, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

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