Engaged by the International Real Property Foundation (IRPF), with funding from the Reaume Foundation, Natalie Brecher presented a one-day training program on behalf of the Real Estate Institute of East Africa (REIEA) titled “Build Your Organization’s Course for Success: How to Develop and Sustain a Business and Marketing strategy” to 68 participants on November 17, 2016, in Kampala, Uganda.
Ms. Brecher provided positive commentary on the training program’s environment, stating “the hotel and room was very effective for the training – in good condition and clean. AREA provided the projector, the hotel provided a microphone, and I used my tablet and speaker for the PowerPoint slides.”
Ms. Brecher went on to also mention “the morning of the class I arrived in the room about 6:30 to check the room setup. It was a very large room, set in a double “u” shape, with tables nicely draped in tablecloths. To meet my preferences, I rearranged the front tables and the hotel staff was helpful, providing a different table for me. Later the hotel IT person arrived and we set up the projector and microphone. All was complete and ready to begin long before the 8:30 a.m. start time.”
The one-day training program was designed to be interactive and application-based, incorporating as many exercises as time allowed, given the scope of content requested for a day’s course. The outline included: foundation, business, marketing, financial, and emergent strategies, which covered an array of information including target markets and positions to gain a competitive edge, to budget lengths and the importance of flexibility.
Training program participants did not arrive timely, as is in the custom of Uganda; therefore, the session started 25 minutes late to help accommodate those arriving late; however, the participation of the students during the program and their many positive comments indicated the day was of excellent value to them, and they will use what they learned in their businesses. After the training, a participant survey form was issued to evaluate how the training was perceived and what future professional skill development topics were desired. The given feedback on the forms was very positive.
At the day’s conclusion, there were several speakers, such as Andrew Mukiibi and Nicholas Arinaitwe, the former president of AREA. Both speakers gave energy and support to the cause of elevating the professional standards of property management through education. Ms. Brecher designed, prepared, and signed certificates of completion in advance of the trip. The certificates were printed by AREA and also signed the morning after the training by Andrew Mukiibi and Sylvia Luchini.
On November 18, 2016, Ms. Brecher attended and participated in the Association of Real Estate Agents Uganda’s (AREA) 5th Annual Real Estate Conference. The conference was well-attended, with a little over 100 participants in the audience, and included the Governor Bank of Uganda as the conference’s guest of honor. The day delivered numerous speakers on a plethora of subjects, including statistical reports about Uganda’s real estate climate, lending concerns, and development. Once again, Ms. Brecher was one of the presenters providing the audience with a wealth of knowledge.
With the theme of Affordability of Home Ownership, and over 100 people in attendance, Ms. Brecher presented a 30-minute programed called “Renovate for Affordability” to address how buying a home and renovating it can help more people buy homes in Uganda. The presentation, which lasted for roughly 30 minutes, provided the audience with two case-study examples of homes in Southern California that were renovated, allowing homebuyers to afford a home they wanted that they would not have been able to otherwise, and gave tips at the end for real estate agents to employ if they wanted to offer the services to their clients. Though the program was short, the questions and comments from the audience seemed to show the topic was of interest to many.
The November 18th conference also included a presentation by IRPF’s Sylvia Luchini, which covered sustainability in housing, and was well-received by audience members. The presentation portion of the day began to wind down with a morning tea break and afternoon buffet lunch, which was provided to all of the attendees, and gave people time to network and socialize; business cards were exchanged and new contacts were made.
By the response of the audience, it is apparent that the wisdom of Ms. Brecher will be of great value to the conference participants in a multitude of aspects. The knowledge she shared during her presentations, from financial strategies to business plans, will positively reflect in the communities of her audience members for many years to come.
Article Written By: Ambrosia Maddox