The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) hosted “No Passports Required: Expand Your Business with International Borders,” on August 16, 2018 at their headquarters in Fairfax, VA. NVAR is a membership-based organization situated in Northern Virginia. They offer a variety of services aimed at providing valuable knowledge and resources to all members of the real estate industry. NVAR hosts events, classes and other educational opportunities and offers market statistics and legislative reviews.

Mr. Syed was one of four expert panelists for this event. The other panelists included: Matthew Troiani, NVAR Deputy General Counsel, who spoke about the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) and movement and money concerns; Nathan Edwards, Senior Director at the global commercial real estate company, Cushman & Wakefield, who discussed foreign investments in the DC Metro office sector; and Michael Cobb, CEO of international real estate development company,  ECI Development, who spoke about outbound referral business opportunities to Latin America and the Caribbean.

This event covered several topics on global real estate business, such as learning effective ways to collaborate with international clients, explore foreign markets, immigration matters and visas, and how to deal with international money transactions.

After a warm introduction from Tina Gantz, NVAR International Business Forum Chair, Mr. Syed kicked off the event with an introduction into different visa categories, focusing largely on L1-A, E-1, E-2, and EB-5 visas.  He addressed the importance of commercial and residential property to in certain visa categories, and explained immigration and visa options for foreign national business and real estate investors.

Matthew Troiani presented information about FIRPTA, its process and how to know if and when it applies to a client. He also discussed customer requirements and clearing houses for international money transfers as well as other tips and considerations on global financial transfers.

Nathan Edwards spoke on foreign investment, why investments are happening, where they are happening, what investors are buying and how it pertains to the office sector. Mr. Edwards noted that real estate yields a good investment, especially in the United States. He also mentioned areas to consider such as job growth, GDP, etc., when determining where and how to invest.

Michael Cobb discussed the outbound referral opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean. He mentioned the importance of getting to know your client, why they are in the market for overseas property, and what type of real estate they are looking to invest in. He also helped to answer questions on how to serve your clients and deal with challenges they may face.

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Please visit NVAR’s Facebook for a video of the full event (link to video)