ROBERTSDALE, Alabama – August 29, 2017 – The Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is proud to announce Sondra Blackwell of Blackwell Realty, Inc. has joined 3,500 elite real estate professionals in over 45 countries by earning her Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation.
This premier designation was awarded to Blackwell by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Commercial and Global Services department for completing rigorous coursework devoted to learning international real estate practices and demonstrating proficiency in international business.
“I am happy to get this designation because according to NAR, the U.S. has reached a new record of $153 billion in international sales — a 49 percent increase from last year,” Blackwell said. “It’s a fast growing and fast moving buyer’s market, and this designation is an invaluable source of knowledge for REALTORS®. It’s also extremely useful when marketing to international buyers looking to invest. Thanks to BCAR for hosting the course so that REALTORS® in Baldwin County could earn this designation right here at home.”
CIPS Instructor David Lauster helped agents prepare to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds during a five-day class at BCAR in May.
“The course offers a variety of information, and it prepares the REALTOR® how to teach the client who’s from another country,” Lauster said. “It helps the agent understand visas, tax implications, and liabilities that may not be present in the buyer’s home country. We also teach REALTORS® how to convey real estate information in terms the client will understand.”
The CIPS curriculum offers hands-on experience with international real estate transactions as well as five full days of study focusing on the aspects of transnational transactions including currency and exchange rate issues, cross-cultural relationships, regional market conditions, investment performance, and tax issues.
“Baldwin County is growing locally and internationally as well,” Sheila Dodson, CEO of BCAR said. “Sondra will be well equipped to help international buyers moving to this area by obtaining her CIPS designation,”
The CIPS designation is synonymous with advanced expertise, a global perspective, and distinct understanding of a global buyer. As a designee, Blackwell has the knowledge and resources to efficiently work with international buyers, including U.S. residents looking to invest overseas, foreign buyers purchasing in the U.S., as well as recent immigrants who might be unfamiliar with real estate transaction practices in the United States.
The Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is a professional trade association supporting the success and advancement of over 2,000 members in the Baldwin County area. BCAR supports members through professional education, peer networking, and MLS services. We work for the protection of private property ownership and promote the work of our members in the local community. REALTORS® are held to a high standard of conduct by their peers and the National Association of REALTORS® code of ethics.