By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) is calling on its members to take advantage of training courses it is arranging during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Christine Wallace-Whitfield, pictured, BREA's president, told Tribune Business: "We have got a course coming up, the BRI (Bahamas Real Estate Institute) course, that is scheduled for this week.
"It is a virtual course that will be taught with an instructor that is approved by the National Association of Realtors, in conjunction with BREA. That is a continuing education course that is being put on, and we're also in the works of putting on other courses. But we have to get schedules, and we've got to make sure that there are requirements that are also in line with real estate in The Bahamas."
Real Estate consultant Gee Dunsten, an associate broker for company Long & Foster in Maryland, the US, will be conducting the BRI course.
Mrs Wallace-Whitfield added: "This is basically for our real estate members, and we are also getting ready to do some e-mail blasts for continuing education for our members. As I have said before, our members should use this time to look at different platforms of social media and help themselves because there are so many different webinars and different things out there for our members.
"These courses are very important. I find them very useful because having an international instructor is an advantage. They are also giving us their take in terms of the international market and where they are coming from, so a lot of the times they give scenarios and comparisons with the different markets."
Ms Wallace-Whitfield continued: "Gee Dunsten has been around for many years, and he has been travelling to The Bahamas every now and then to teach the course because we have a bilateral agreement with NAR (National Association of Realtors), which allows us to basically use their platform for their education. It all works together hand in hand.
"It's always a wealth of knowledge they bring to the table for us, because they're coming from America and they are up on what's happening with the real estate world, whether it's the US or Canada and different areas, and even through Europe.
"One of our other big courses that we are trying to get on, but it is more of an in-class course is the CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist).That is one of our big courses we have introduced to our members within the last two years that is a requirement as well, and also a CRS - certified residential specialist - course."
Ms Wallace-Whitfield added that BREA also plans to help persons seeking rental accommodation, and added: "We are still trying to wait for the Government, and still trying to lobby to get certain items of real estate dealt with."