The Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA) was established in 1990, and has evolved into an organisation which is leading The Real Estate Industry and its related fields to an international level of performance and professionalism.
Trinidad and Tobago are no longer the sleepy islands of the Caribbean that we all once knew. There has been and will be tremendous foreign interest together with foreign investment, and our local business people are continuously being exposed to international trends and policies.
Real estate is an integral part of business activity and we must be able to satisfy the needs of the community as we move into the 21st Century.
AREA was established to promote fair standards to buyers, sellers and real estate agents, increase the level of networking and co-operation among agents. A Constitution & Bye-Laws of the Association has been established with enforceable rules, regulations and a code of ethics governing our professional relations to ensure that our Members operate on professional levels for the benefit of the general public.
There is no legislation governing the buying and selling of real estate in Trinidad and Tobago. At present, the Association is totally self regulating, in that it sets its own rules as they apply to the industry and the circumstances that prevail in Trinidad and Tobago. We operate a very effective disciplinary committee that has had to deal with some very difficult decisions as it applies to infringements made of its rules and regulations by its membership. Unfortunately, AREA is not in a position to deal with matters that take place outside of the Association which do not involve our members, as it does not have the power to do so.
Recently there has been renewed vigour by both the private sector and government authorities in the efforts to establish a professional real estate industry that will benefit the entire country. AREA with the help of a number of interested law firms and the encouragement of the government, has submitted a draft proposal for legislation governing the practice of real estate. This proposal is currently being reviewed by the office of the Attorney General, and it is hoped that a bill will be available for public comment in the not too distant future. This legislation is intended to make it mandatory for all real estate professionals as well as any person wishing to practice real estate to become licensed. It is the opinion of the Association that in order to be licensed, one must have successfully completed an approved course of study prior to being granted a License.
AREA was particularly fortunate to have been able to get the assistance and permission from the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) to incorporate some of their literature in the development of a programme called “Principles of Real Estate”. AREA in association with ROYTEC has been running and continues to run this programme successfully, and over 150 persons have already graduated, many of whom currently practice in the industry. This course is designed to give anyone interested in operating within the industry the basic tools and understanding of what is required to practice in the field of real estate. The Association is presently in the process of developing a “Brokers Programme” which will cover such topics as Conveyancing Law, Property Management, Running a Real Estate Business, Mortgage Financing, Property Appraisal Techniques and numerous other topics. These courses will eventually become a mandatory prerequisite for any person wishing to become a member of AREA.
AREA can take us to the international levels required and keep agents on the leading edge of technology and performance.
AREA has been able to establish and operate a totally computerized Multiple Listing Service database, whereby our members have access to each other’s properties, which enables them to be aware of and show at any time the properties currently listed for Sale and/or Rent. Members of the public can deal with only one (l) agent while having the benefit of all the members of AREA working to serve them and eliminates the likelihood of viewing the same properties more than once. Equally important is the ability to go back over the last seven (7) years and review the growth and activity of transactions that have taken place. AREA hopes in the future to be able to use this information to help establish historical data and trends within the industry, and one of our goals is to eventually maintain a database of every real estate transaction that takes place in Trinidad and Tobago.
To attain the respect of the local and international business community, AREA’s three immediate goals are:
- Educate agents through our ongoing real estate programmes with ROYTEC and our affiliation with the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).
- Establish enforceable rules, regulations and standards of practice through licensing of real estate professionals.
- Establish an accurate database of real estate transactions to assist both governmental and private bodies in accurate research and projection of real estate activity.
By achieving these ideals, our market will become more efficient and responsive to the ever changing demands of our economy, allowing buyers and sellers to be better advised to maximise their investments. And, to make Trinidad and Tobago the regional ideal which other Caribbean countries will seek to emulate and which developed countries will take note of.
When transacting your real estate business, ensure that your broker or sales agent is a registered member of the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA). You can view lists of our broker members and associate members or obtain one if you contact our offices, located at Suite A4, Kencita Court, 76 Picton Street, Newtown. Port-of-Spain. Tel: (868) 628-9048/9, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff are always willing to answer any questions you may have.