Rebuilding the National Real Estate Association of Belize, a pro bono work undertaken by ARCH
Updated: Jan 30
For the past three years, ARCH Consulting Group has worked closely with the Belize National Association of Real Estate (BNAR), a leading professional organization representing the real estate industry and its members since 2006. Facing the growing necessity of active representation of real estate professionals in Belize and the need to tackle long overdue key matters – such as the drafting of a real estate bill for the country, the regulation of the industry and the licensing of its professionals – BNAR reached out to ARCH to help them restructure the organization and relaunch an active organization equipped to fulfill this mission.
Up to the challenge, ARCH started by producing a needs assessment for the association and the real estate industry at a national scale and designed a comprehensive and detailed action plan that they implemented, then monitored and evaluated for a period of eighteen months. Firstly, they produced a state of play of the industry and the organization and listed all key missions and major actions the association was demanded to take on to improve the dire state in which the real estate industry was at the time. It then went on to concert with its members to produce an organizational assessment, complemented by a strategic and operational planning to equip them with the structure needed to tackle those challenges. ARCH consultants also developed a new operational system for BNAR’s internal process, allowing the secretariat a seamless management of the members and association’s activities.
Secondly, the association’s network was reconstituted and reinforced: This was achieved by reconnecting actively with all stakeholders, real estate professionals, and organizations within the industry, both nationally and internationally. The largest database of real estate professionals and associates was produced; networking was reinitiated; peer dialogues and public forums were organized; and relationships with the Government of Belize and major governmental entities – namely the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Tourism, Lands Department, Income Tax Department – were developed to resume discussions on key topics, such as the drafting of a real estate bill and the trade license reform.
The Managing Partners of Flores Piper LLP, presenting and exchanging about the bill project with real estate professionals, allowing the conversation to spark back on this landmark piece of legislation for the industry in Belize, May 2020 © ARCH Consulting Group
This enterprise allowed real estate professionals, government, but also CSO’s organizations and citizens to exchange considerations and concerns, during the national public consultation for the Belize Real Estate Bill of May 2020, that ARCH organized at the demand of BNAR. This consultation was key as it was a requested step in the process of real estate bill formulation, and a success with the registration of over 105 individuals and the participation of the major stakeholders – such as the representatives of Lands Department from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Petroleum, and Mining, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Beltraide, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), the Global Real Estate Council – and was followed by the drafting and dissemination of a consultation report.
ARCH also developed and put in place a full marketing plan along with a rebranding strategies, inclusive of a new visual identity, a brand new website, a revised logo, and the production of collateral materials. It developed the organization’s web presence to make it the premier professional association present online and designed and implemented a robust organization’s online presence, including on social media platforms, increasing drastically traffic to the association’s channels. A membership engagement strategy and an efficient and user-friendly sign-up process were developed, which resulted in the growing of 150 % of the association members, and the delivery of high visibility and benefits for the members who were until then deprived of. All this helped to garner interest not only from national professionals for the activities of the association but also from international actors for the real estate industry in Belize. ARCH also developed BNAR into a platform where new and aspiring brokers could reach out to seek information on training, career opportunities, and general information, and assisted in the formation of a BNAR chapter in the hot market of San Pedro.
In their mission to position BNAR on the international stage, ARCH Consultants assisted BNAR in participating in various events, such as the National Association of Realtors® Conferences & Expo in the United States of America, the International Property Show of Dubai (UEA), and the Belize Investment Summit (BIS). Organized in November 2021 by the Government of Belize, the BIS was a first of its kind event focused on attracting and promoting investment in Belize and allowing the real estate industry to be represented not only at the national level but also in front of foreign investors. It featured high-level discussions from government agencies, matchmaking opportunities for companies and investors, and an Investment Summit Expo with local companies and government ministries. BNAR’s representatives were interviewed by national media outlets and saluted by the Prime Minister of Belize as well as key governmental stakeholders, such as the Chief of Staff and the CEO of the Office of the Prime Minister of Belize.
BNAR President Carlo Habet discussing with Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize, about real estate industry priorities at the BNAR booth during the 1st annual Belize Investment Summit, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, November 2021 © IGNITE Ltd.
The restructuring of the Belize National Association of Real Estate has not only led to the revival of the real estate representation in Belize – re-dynamizing the industry and bringing incomparable benefits to the real estate representees – but also to the subsequent and long overdue merging of BNAR and the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize (AREBB) into the new Belize Real Estate Association (BREA). Fully supported and accomplished with the support of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Economic Development Council (EDC), BREA will now be fully equipped to pursue the important work that lies ahead to structure and strengthen the real estate industry in Belize.
BNAR President and AREBB President sign a Memorandum of Understanding to merge both associations into the Belize Real Estate Association (BREA), December 2022 © BNAR
All of ARCH’s work with BNAR has not gone unnoticed. Now a prominent voice for the real estate industry in Belize, the re-strengthening of partnerships with international stakeholders has not only put BNAR on the map but Belize on the global real estate stage. Just this year, BNAR president Carlo Habet was selected to serve on the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Board of Directors as a global representative, the first Belizean to be appointed to the role.
The BNAR team and its president had this to say about working with ARCH:
"ARCH has been indispensable in BNAR’s resurrection when it had been dormant for some time. Without the organizational prowess of ARCH and its managing partner, Ms. Robin, it would have been impossible to relaunch BNAR and keep it going in a sustainable manner. The management and marketing services that they provided were key in not only bringing the BNAR back but positioning it as a true resource and champion for real estate professionals in Belize who otherwise had nowhere else."
BNAR’s relaunching work took place at the same time the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down the globe, throwing many plans into uncertainty. Nevertheless, ARCH worked diligently to build BNAR into the pillar of Belize real estate it is today. The support ARCH provides is invaluable and has helped put BNAR on the map, both locally and internationally. ARCH Consulting Group is thankful to have the opportunity to work and to have had a hand in BNAR’s growth and participated in elevating and solidifying the Belize real estate industry in what is one of its major pro bono works.
Timeline: 2019 – 2022
About ARCH Consulting Group Ltd.:
ARCH Consulting Group is an international development & cooperation consulting firm providing services such as project management, program development, fieldwork and local coordination, research, strategy consultation, policy analysis and support, monitoring and evaluation, communications and media strategy. We serve Latin America and the Caribbean region and deliver services in English, Spanish, and French via our offices in Belize, Mexico, and the USA.
For more information on how we can assist your organization, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a 20-min complimentary consultation with our project manager on calendly.com/consultarch/free1stconsult