SARASOTA, Fla. – (Sept. 16, 2008) – The International Council of the Sarasota Association of Realtors recently hosted The Sarasota International Real Estate Congress. The event was held from September 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Carla Rayman, director of international business development and Patricia Tan, international sales director for Prudential Palms Realty‘s International Division, were co-chairs. Over 125 people attended, some from as far away as Europe. Rayman and Tan planned and organized the events, which included three days of speakers, tours and networking. The Congress concluded with a tour of some of Sarasota and Manatee Counties’ newest communities. Sponsors included Pulte Homes, Neal Communities, Lakewood Ranch Communities, and Sterling Exchange, a leading international foreign exchange and payments specialist.“It was a great congress,” remarked Rayman. “The opportunity to learn about international real estate market trends, as well as share information with others who focus on that segment of the market was very valuable. It was also a great opportunity to introduce real estate professionals from outside our area to the world-class product available here today. I think we all came away feeling better prepared to meet the challenges of the international real estate market with added confidence to better serve our clients and customers, both here and abroad.”Congress speakers began Thursday, with Julian Josephs of Bethesda, MD and the UK. From 1980 to the present, Julian Josephs has been responsible for the development and marketing of $350 million dollars of real estate in and beyond the Washington DC metro market. He was International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) World President in 2007-8 and also became a Director of the Global Housing Foundation to support and promote the construction of low cost housing in the developing world. Mr. Josephs is a Graduate of INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France (Trilingual M.B.A., 1977) and has served as Adjunct Professor/Board Member INSEAD (2007-2008), Johns Hopkins University (1992 to Present) & George Mason University (1991-3) leading the graduate instruction of their international real estate courses. The topic he presented was 2009 Economic and Global Perspective on Real Estate Markets.Other presenters included local experts teamed up with speakers from around the state, as well as those from others countries, to talk about factors impacting the Florida marketplace, who is investing and what are they looking for, how to finance transactions, creating a French connection, and working with the media. Another keynote speaker was Stefano Lucatello, from Hull, UK. Lucatello launched The International Property Law Centre in 2003. He is experienced in commercial law, sports law, player management and international property law, and manages one of the largest international property law practices in the United Kingdom. He is also the Italian Consular Agent for Kingston-upon-Hull and the North East of England, where he represents the interests of the Italian government. He commenced his career with a major Anglo-Italian law firm in London and then went on to work in Leeds, with special responsibility for a large law firm’s European Commercial Unit. Lucatello, spoke on Protecting Yourself—Due Diligence in the International Transaction.“Carla and I were so pleased to be able to chair this event for the Sarasota Association of Realtors,” Tan added. “The attendees were very pleased with the scope of the information they received, as well as the contacts they are able to make. We look forward to growing these meaningful relationships around the world, as we continue to build an international community of buyers and sellers in the Sarasota marketplace.”The International Division of Prudential Palms Realty is dedicated to building an international brand for the local brokerage firm and providing comprehensive international exposure for all Prudential Palms listings. In addition, the division assists with buying property, both locally and outside of the United States, working with foreign as well as local buyers.Prudential Palms Realty combines top local agents with the latest technology to provide powerful strategies for finding or selling homes. The brokerage has offices servicing Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties with over 250 sales professionals. For more information on the International Division, contact Carla Rayman or Patricia Tan at 941-487-5181. For more information on Prudential Palms Realty, call 941-926-7000 or visit the website at www.prudentialpalmsrealty.com.