7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Give your business a global outlook

Give your business a global outlook

Register for NEFAR’s Certified International Property Specialist Institute in June


It’s a crazy market out there, and REALTORS® need to have every advantage. Obtaining a CIPS designation is a great way to up your game, said Tonya O’Quinn, a graduate of the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® Certified International Property Specialist Institute. “You have to stay ahead of the game and the CIPS courses really helped me to do that,” O’Quinn said.

Earning the CIPS designation is a great way to gain a world-wide view to your business and its place in today’s global economy. REALTORS® should take the time to enroll in NEFAR’s Certified International Property Specialist Institute in June, she said.

The five-day program will be held at the NEFAR Resource Center, 7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, 32256 on Wednesday through Friday, June 9-11, and on Thursday and Friday, June 17 and 18. It will be taught by two seasoned and humorous real estate instructors with international experience, Joanne Chando and Gonzalo Mejia. The classes are guaranteed to keep you laughing as they cover all the critical aspects of international real estate transactions including the globalization of economies, international cash flow, marketing and business planning strategies, and the roles and expectations in international negotiations.

Although taking the entire five-day course load is recommended, and necessary to receive the CIPS designation, it is possible for REALTORS® to work on their CIPS education in a more piecemeal fashion by signing up for one or two individual courses this year and continuing with the rest later when they may have more time.

For O’Quinn, a broker associate with the Lisa Barton team at Keller Williams Atlantic Partners Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, the CIPS program what she needed to help kickstart her real estate business nine years ago when she moved to Jacksonville.  “When I got into real estate one of my ideas was to cross-sell across borders, and the CIPS program gave me some industry ideas on how to make contacts across borders, particularly in Canada, but also in other countries as well. It gave me a really good base of where to start and some cultural things that I needed to be aware of. I gained some key ideas of how to approach different markets.

“I’ve been in the business for a long time now, and I think professional development is extremely important,” continued the Canada native. “I think courses like CIPS give you an extra leg up. As a REALTOR® you have to stay ahead of the game, and the CIPS course really helped me do that. It gave me contacts in Jacksonville and with agents from all over the globe. It gave me that kind of boost. I have several designations because I think they are important. They are signs to my clients and to my fellow agents that, hey, my business is important to me. These designations and the information I learned from their programs has put me ahead of the game. It does not matter if a REALTOR® is only selling residential in Jacksonville, the CIPS course and others offered by NEFAR will give them a really good base. I know our business has grown exponentially because of the designations we keep going after.”

In today’s unusual market, the CIPS Institute can be especially beneficial to REALTORS® who have no expectation of helping clients buy or sell property outside of Northeast Florida, O’Quinn said. “If a REALTOR® is not meeting up with foreign investors right now, there is a problem because we have so many global people coming into our market,” she said. “Jacksonville is changing so much. There have been so many announcements lately of companies coming on board in Northeast Florida. A lot of their employees are coming from the UK (United Kingdom) including Scotland. They are coming from all over the globe. The information that was in the CIPS program was so helpful when I took the course. To continue to grow your business, you have to be up on things. The market is changing so quickly right now, anything you can do to stay ahead of it is really helpful.”

With the majority of her clients moving to Northeast Florida from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California, O’Quinn said 75% to 80% of her customers over the past year have been fleeing COVID from markets outside the region. “Of that number, 50% of my customers are not from America. They are big executives coming out of markets from Europe, Asia, and other countries. Especially clients who previously lived in California. And the New Yorkers that are coming down here, their level of expectation for service is extremely high. As a REALTOR®, you have to know what you are doing when you are dealing with that kind of buyer and seller. The CIPS program and other NEFAR courses can help you to bring the kind of service level you need to have at this moment if you want to stay in real estate.”


To learn more about the CIPS Institute click here.