Stephanie Schäfer: I am especially happy to introduce today Mrs Frerichs. She is President Liaison Germany for the National Association of Realtors. Explain it to us. Inge Frerichs: I am the connecting member for the German Realtor Association (IVD) and the German Realtors to the USA. Furthermore our Association has a connection to 60 countries worldwide. And I am the manager liaison to Germany. By this, a german realtor has worldwide connections to other realtors. Stephanie: The national association of realtors is the largest real estate association in the US. And when I say “big” I mean “big. How many members do you have? Inge: In fact we are the biggest real estate association in the world. We have 1.3 million members. Stephanie: This is something you have to realize. That is a lot. We can learn from that. The IVD (German association) and the NAR have a cooperation. How do they work together? Inge: We connect sometimes weekly sometimes monthly. News from the US are reported to the German management and German news are reported back. And we pass it on. For example: the legislative change (Bestellerprinzip) last year was reported to the NAR. In case such a legislation is planned here, we can get rid of it right away. Stephanie: The NAR is very well connected – especially to politics. This is something we can learn from. For German realtors they (NAR) present advantages. For example when German realtors want to become international members of the NAR. Which advantages do you offer? Inge: For example you can use our website for marketing purposes. You can use the “R” for realtor as a marketing tool. There is an annual convention in November and a semi-annual convention in Washington D.C. You can participate at reduced rates. Stephanie: And if I have clients who want to immigrate to the USA or when there are Americans who search here, the connections are established. And I can call myself “international realtor” with an international network. Inge: Exactly. And the good fact is, in the USA we operate with the referral system. This means for international realtors: we have a referral agreement. If your customer wants to buy in Florida, I establish the contacts to local realtors. When the realtor sells a home to your client, you receive a portion of the fee, which the byers realtor charges. Win, win, win. Stephanie: Becoming an international member of the NAR, how much does it cost and how difficult is it? Inge: It is not difficult at all. It costs 21 Cents per day. These are 75 US-Dollars per year. Stephanie: Per year. And as an IVD-Realtor (German realtor) one has an easier access anyway. Inge: Absolutely. But only realtors who are already members of cooperated realtor associations can become international members of the NAR. If you are not member of IVD in Germany, we cannot accept you as a new member. Stephanie: And now I have news to tell. Every year there is a convention of the NAR. A gigantic event with thousands of realtors. Where is it going to take place this year and are we German realtors allowed to attend? Inge: Of course. It is going to take place in Orlando. In November. For one week. More than 20.000 realtors are going to attend. Approximately 2.000 to 3.000 of them are international realtors. And we are going to meet at the different meetings and events. Inge: I want to invite you whole heartedly and I am going to support you. And if you want to stay longer – one week is not long enough- I could provide the connection to another state. California for example. Inge: I live in Colorado. Whatever you are interested in. And we would present you with real estate in this state. And our culture. And what we typically do in our state. Stephanie: This is super. If you may feel afraid because of the language barrier. Don’t worry. You hear how well she speaks German. No wonder, you are originally from Germany. We are going to be taken by the hand, we are going to have a special program. And we are shown the special exhibitions which might be of interest to us. I am sure, this is worth it. Where will it take place next year? Inge: Next year in Washington DC is our legislation convention. It is always held in May. And next year it is going to be in Chicago. Stephanie: Okay. And one last question. What can we learn as German realtors from American realtors? Inge: I think exchange is very important. We can learn from the German realtors. German realtors can learn from US realtors. Communication – especially locally- is important. This is why I have been participating at the German Expo for ten years now. Personal exchange among realtors, something we also learned today. 85% is personal. And this is very very important. Inge: All right. It is going to be a hundred percent super. And we have already reserved Disney world. Stephanie: I heard it. It’s phenomenal.