Who’s taking lebanon real estate in the right direction? | FFA Real Estate
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Who’s taking lebanon real estate in the right direction?

Mon, 2016-05-30 15:31 -- admin

As the second largest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) after banking, Lebanon’s real estate sector plays a crucial role in the economy, with real estate development itself directly employing and impacting 70 distinct trades. As such a pivotal player in the country’s prosperity, the sector requires regulation and guidance, just as banking, the prime contributor to GDP, is subject to compliance and following of recognized norms. Leading the real estate sector forward toward international best practices are two organizations - REAL (Syndicate of real estate consultants and brokers in Lebanon) and REDAL (the Real Estate Developers Association). FFA Real Estate plays an active role in both associations, in keeping with its commitment to take the real estate sector to the next level, ever closer to international standards. “It’s about adding professionalism and transparency to the sector, ethics that FFA Real Estate embodies and which we believe should be mirrored in the industry as a whole rather than simply from company to company,” said Mireille Korab Abi Nasr, FFA Real Estate’s Head of Business Development, who sits as a board member at REAL and REDAL, and holds the position of REDAL secretary general.

The two associations cover different areas of the industry, and together represent the sector in its entirety, with REAL acting as a syndicate for real estate brokers and consultants, and REDAL focusing on developers. Both are involved in aiming to set standards and enhance awareness and knowledge among those within the sector and beyond it. For example, in 2012 REAL launched courses at the American University of Beirut culminating in certification in real estate consultancy; these courses now take place twice a year covering instruction in laws and regulations, as well as how to interact with clients to provide added value. This was a “leap forward” according to Mireille Korab Abi Nasr. This year, REAL members had the opportunity to attend a course at Universite Saint Joseph focusing on taxation related to built assets and inheritance tax.

Both institutions liaise and work closely with the guidance of the Central Bank, and also interact with the Ministry of Finance, which houses the the Real Estate Directorate, as well as the Ministry of Economy, which houses the Consumer Protection Bureau. As well as continueous contact with the municipalities, different syndicates, world bank IFC inorder to create synergy between these bodies. One example of cooperation between REAL and the Ministry of Economy is the issuing of cards for REAL’s affiliated brokers, to identify them as certified brokers. The aim is to strengthen consumer protection in the field of real estate sales, and encourage consumers to deal with easily identifiable certified brokers. According to Mireille Korab Abi Nasr, there are ongoing meetings to reach international standards and norms, with a synergy existing between REAL and REDAL in their lobbying with government on behalf of the industry. For Mireille Korab Abi Nasr, the aim is to always create a “win win” situation that benefits those within the industry as well as the end users.

As the only woman board member of REAL and REDAL, Mireille Korab Abi Nasr may be outnumbered by men in a traditionally male dominated sector, but she feels that this also reflects positively on the culture of FFA Real Estate itself in which every person is encouraged to grow beyond their potential, irrespective of gender and age, and to lead according to expertise and passion for the future of the industry.

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