BHG Mason-McDuffie Hosts Russian Realtor Delegation

Posted by Jessica Boyd — October 17, 2011

1318896942Pleasanton, October 13, 2011 -- On Thursday, October 6th, Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie hosted a delegation of Russian real estate agents who traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to learn how real estate is transacted in the US. The delegation is participating in the Effective Management Program hosted by the Lamorinda Sunrise Club of Lafayette, Orinda and Walnut Creek Rotary Clubs.

Ed Krafchow, CEO and chairman of BHG Mason-McDuffie, addressed the delegates through an interpreter, and spoke about how real estate exchanges hands here, from title insurance to mortgage, and also discussed the health of the market. The delegates learned about Mason-McDuffie’s leading edge technology platform from CIO Dave Wilson, our marketing approach and toolset from VP of New Media and Agent Resources Cathy Harrington, and our growth strategy from David Gardner, president of Network Partners. EVP Keith Robinson spoke about company structure and operations.

1318896991For the program, 11 real estate agents, brokers and investors were recruited and screened to come September 30 to October 16, 2011 for training. They are traveling with a facilitator/interpreter.

Krafchow shared his views of American home ownership with the Russian delegation stating, “There is empirical evidence that no country has ever experienced democracy without strong homeownership. The American dream is damaged, but still very alive. Homeownership in America is still a sought-after commodity and will emerge from this depressed economic environment stronger than ever. Realtors help people complete the American Dream.”

There are many interesting differences between the way real estate is purchased and sold in Russia compared to the US. Among them is that Russian Realtors are not required to be licensed, and before 2002 all transactions were all cash, whereas now 80% have loans. Real estate records are public here, while in Russia they are collected and sealed by government agencies. Further, the average age of a Russian realtor is 29, vs. 53 in the US. In Russia, there is no MLS, so information is disseminated through the internet via sites like Craig's List. Loan process takes 1-3 days and transactions close on average within one week.

John Fazel, a Realtor with Mason-McDuffie’s Orinda office said, “With all the differences, there are many similarities in our real estate processes. Russia has made great strides, and these Realtors have the opportunity to learn the best of what we have and not to repeat any mistakes.”

About Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate

Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. In 2010, the company was named the 17th largest real estate services firm in the nation (RIS Media), and Number One in the San Francisco East Bay (SF Business Times). The company provides comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers, and handled more than 7,300 transactions in 2010, generating $2.9 billion in sales. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is independently owned and operated and includes joint ventures with partners J F Finnegan Realtors, Highland Partners in Piedmont and Montclair, Wine Country Group Realtors in the North Bay, and Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton-Hopyard and Ruby Hill. The organization is comprised of more than 2,000 sales professionals in 40 offices.

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