Certificates of Appreciation Well Received

The Association of Real Estate Agents-Uganda (AREA-Uganda) 5th Annual Conference in Kampala, Uganda, was well received with a crowd of more than 110 people attending.  The venue for this activity was the Imperial Royale Hotel and programming took place from November 17th to November 18th 2016. The topic of the conference this year was “Affordability of Home Ownership,” and for two days there were presentations, speakers, and discussions between people from different parts of the world.  AREA-Uganda concluded the conference by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with AREA-Uganda, the Real Estate Association of Rwanda (REAR) and the International Real Property Foundation (IRPF) for the newly institutionalized Real Estate Institute of East Africa (REIEA). This memorandum solidified the relationship between all parties and was witnessed by Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, Minister of Lands, Housing And Urban Development, and Ambassador Agnes Kalibbala, Director of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

AREA-Uganda presented certificates of appreciation and completion of the training program to the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the International Real Property Foundation (IRPF). IREM was rewarded with the certificate of appreciation for their continuous support for AREA-Uganda and its recently signed memorandum of understanding between IREM and REIEA in October 2016.

The International Real Property Foundation and AREA-Uganda have been strategic partners since 2010. AREA-Uganda awarded IRPF’s Sylvia Luchini with a certificate of appreciation for their assistance and support throughout the many years, and for facilitating working discussions between IREM and REIEA. It was a fitting end to the successful conference where many connections and new relationships were made and celebrated.



What Does The Land and Poverty Conference Have To Do With Viable Real Estate Markets?

The World Bank held its 18th Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington, D.C. from March 20th 2017 to March 24th 2017. It was a successful platform for discussions and connections between the people who attended as well as presented. Over 1,200 people were in attendance. International Real Property Foundation’s Managing Director Sylvia Luchini co-authored a paper on the International Property Market Scorecard – A Tool for Data Collection.  As part of a Governance of Real Estate panel chaired by Arvo Kokkonen, Bill Endsley, President of World Citizen Consulting, presented this paper.  Also in attendance was Anna Kompanek, the Director for Multiregional Programs at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) who co-authored the paper as well.  They discussed how the Scorecard is an important tool to analyze property markets because it was developed to collect data from 54 different indicators, map the institutional components of property markets, and evaluate their effectiveness. The Scorecard gives comprehensive snapshots of market conditions, identifies areas of reform as well as risks. It’s used by reformers, international policy advisors, and market analysts for research, comparative studies and investment evaluations. A thorough presentation, it explained how the Scorecard is a positive tool using its six core elements—property rights, access to credit, effective governance, racional dispute resolution, financial transparency and appropriate regulation—and provided specific information from a study in Armenia, China, Kenya and the Philippines. Also presented during that session was REGIA: Creating New Context for Better Governance by Arvydas Bagdonavicius; and Formalizing Real Estate Markets within Europe, Structural Reforms and Challenges presented by Chrysi Potsiou. Interesting and lively discussions ensued after the presentations.


On Friday March 24th, CIPE and IRPF co-hosted their panel on the side lines of the Land and Poverty Conference. The panel topic discussed the Role of Property Rights and Property Markets in Sustainable Urbanization and Economic Growth. Roughly 65 people came out to join in the discussion with panelists Bill Endsley, Secretary General of the US Chapter International Real Estate Federation; Sylvia Luchini, Managing Director at IRPF; Jane Katz, Director of International Affairs and Programs for Habitat for Humanity; Dr. Jolyne Sanjak, Chief Program Officer of Landesa; and Anna Kompanek, Director for Multiregional Programs at CIPE. Endsley brought up a great question that generated discussion among all the panelists and audience; If we believe developed markets are key to economic development, why haven’t we given it precedence? Discussions on global reform priorities and how to accelerate and measure progress also continued and the panel brought to light that billions of people around the world still do not have access to secure property rights or even have the means to build sustainable settlements and economies! Luchini showcased the impact that intermittent technical assistance in Uganda had in strengthening the Scorecard Property Rights component.  Overall the Conference was a huge success and IRPF successfully met and discussed with many different companies and people. We can’t wait until next year!

IRPF & CIPE Upcoming Panel on Property Rights and Property Markets!



Property Rights and Property Markets: Improving Sustainable Urbanization and Economic Growth

On Friday March 24, 2017, the Center for International Private Enterprise and the International Real Property Foundation are having a panel on the contributing and meaningful role of property rights and property markets in sustainable urbanization and economic growth. Though legally protected in most countries, implementing the actual rules and data collection that define the property markets sheerness still remains extremely weak. The panel will be discussing The International Property Markets Scorecard (IPMS) as an important tool for data collection, using its 54 indicators under six core elements. IPMS’ goal is to accurately map out the ecosystem of property markets in different countries to highlight the areas of strength and weakness as well as opportunities for reform and market risks.  As part of the six core elements, they may  focus on property rights laws and enforcement, access to credit by small businesses, efficiency of governance, rational dispute resolution, financial transparency, and appropriate regulations Also they will be focusing on the Scorecards two levels of study: secondary research and field assessments of the current property market conditions.  The Scorecard has been successfully implemented and studied in Armenia, China, Kenya, and the Philippines, where data was collected and obstacles identified for the small businesses in urban commercial property markets. The Scorecard provides comprehensive assessments of market conditions, and helps identify key areas of risk and change, making it a useful tool for reformers, international policy advisors, market analysts and more. The panel will be held at 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 700, in Washington DC from 12:30 to 2 PM.


One of CIPE’s Conferences at their Headquarter location in Washington D.C.

Avarts Housing 10th Year Anniversary

As we rapidly approach the conclusion of the year, there was one event in particular from 2016 that I had previously failed to mention. The Avarts Housing 10th Year Anniversary, which took place on the 25th of October, was a networking event that engaged all major stakeholders in the real estate industry into embracing the significance of real estate management.


The occasion opened with remarks by Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker (Embassy of The Netherlands) and featured an exhibition from various stakeholders, and Mr. Russ Salzman, the Executive Vice President and CEO of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) in the United States, served as the key note speaker on Leadership in Real Estate Management. IRPF was instrumental in securing Mr. Salzman as the speaker for the event, and his words were very well-received by event participants.


Toward the end of the afternoon, a 30-minute window allowed for questions from audience members which were followed up with answers from the speakers.  The Minister of State for Housing, Hon. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi provided closing remarks for the event; and the day concluded with the cutting of a celebratory cake as well as a cocktail hour.

To delve a bit further into its background, Avarts Housing Ltd is a leading real estate company in Uganda, with branches in Kampala, Fort Portal, and Jinja.  Their main services are: real estate management, real estate marketing, feasibility studies, and project management.  With a mission of serving their clients with excellence and the highest degree of professionalism, Avarts Housing has been providing its clients with a variety of services such as: bringing simplicity to the proves of property management and in-depth, accurate real estate markets and feasibility studies since 2006.  The assistance that Avarts continues to provide to various communities around Uganda will undoubtedly allow these areas to continue prospering for many more years to come.



Written By: Ambrosia Maddox

IRPF Representative, Natalie Brecher, Shares Real Estate Wisdom in Uganda

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

AREA Uganda 5th Annual Real Estate Conference

On the 17th and 18th of November, AREA Uganda’s 5th Annual Real Estate Conference was held at the Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala.  Affordability of home ownership in Uganda was the theme of AREA’s 2016 conference, which drew a crowd of more than 110 participants, and the event featured presentations from an array of guest speakers.


Day one of the conference served as a Financial Planning Development, Marketing and Monitoring training course where 68 participants learned how to develop and sustain a business and marketing strategy.  International Real Property Foundation representative Natalie Brecher served as the leader of the training program, where she provided a presentation that included ways for participants to develop their skills in business planning and marketing strategy by analyzing the current state of their organization and looking ahead to make strategic decisions to meet organizational goals and advance their organization’s competitive position.

A secondary point for Ms. Brecher’s presentation was the strategy of buying undervalued homes for affordability and value in order to add opportunity.  For example, realtors have the ability to help someone afford a home by assisting the home-buyer in assessing and buying an under-valued home due to renovation or remodel needs.  When houses are undervalued because of poor condition, they are a “value-add” purchase because they can be transformed at a lesser cost than buying a house needing no work. This applies to homes and investment real estate.  The presentation went on to gift participants with an alternate style of thinking in order to better assist their clients with real estate options, regardless of their monetary situations.


The second day of the conference started off with the President of AREA Uganda providing a welcoming ceremony and opening remarks for the conference, followed by the Governor Bank of Uganda conducting the official opening of the convention’s events.

A variety of individuals provided presentations at the conference, including the Bank of Uganda and the Bureau of Statistics.  Another presenter at the conference was the International Real Estate Property Foundation’s Sylvia Luchini.  Her topic of choice was Real Estate and Environmental Sustainability, which included an abundance of information on urban development and global energy use by sectors such as: housing, transportation, and industrialization.  Participants were able to learn more about how buildings exhibit a major increasing effect on environmental issues and what they can do to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by using energy efficient features for housing.


The Real Estate Conference concluded with AREA Uganda, the Real Estate Association of Rwanda (REAR), and IRPF signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the formation of the Real Estate Institute of East Africa (REIEA) .  Dr. Baryomunsi, and Ambassador Agnes Kalibbala served as witnesses to the signing of the memorandum.  AREA Uganda also passed out certificates of appreciation and completion of the training program to various conference participants, including the International Real Property Foundation.



Article Written By: Ambrosia Maddox

Empowerment from a Crowd: The 2016 Bank of Chicago Marathon

Photo Credit: running.competitor.com

On Sunday, October 9th, after months of preparation, runners from all over the world took to the Windy City’s downtown area for the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The first wave of runners began at 7:30 in the morning, with the final competitor crossing the finish line after 9 hours, 47 minutes, and 36 seconds.  Among the sea of participants was the International Real Property Foundation’s Managing Director, Sylvia Luchini, as she competed as a first-time contender in this year’s marathon.

I am proud that I had the chance to run for IRPF,” stated Luchini, “I ran a total of 27.1 miles in 4 hours, 16 minutes, and 32 seconds.

Sylvia Luchini during Sunday’s marathon.

When asked about a memorable part of her marathon experience, she couldn’t help gushing over the crowd. “The energy of the crowd was amazing,”  Luchini continued, “everyone from the young to the very old were cheering as we passed by. The masses of people lining the streets helped runners by giving out handkerchiefs, water, fruit, or candy when our bodies were tired and hurting.”  Luchini went on to attribute the assistance of the marathon crowd as a large factor in making the completion of the race more attainable for runners.

Photo Credit: Emerson Granillo

It may be metaphorically implied that Sylvia Luchini’s race experience correlates with her recent online fundraising efforts.  During the weeks leading up to the Chicago Marathon, she has been accepting monetary contributions toward Running for Rights, a cause geared toward helping people in the developing economies of countries such as Uganda, Bolivia, and Romania.  Luchini has helped to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs when property rights are sold, rented or leased, which drives the economy and generates jobs.  Just like the Chicago Marathon’s energized crowd supported its runners, Luchini has been an icon in the assistance and support of countless communities all over the globe.

The Running for Rights fundraising page is still open. Click the link to make a contribution toward helping people in developing economies. https://npo.justgive.org/runningforrights


Article By: Ambrosia Maddox, IRPF Communications Specialist

A Glimpse of the AREA-Uganda Women Council Workshop


The AREA-Uganda Women Council Workshop took place on the morning of August 25th, 2016, at the Fairway Hotel.  The theme of the workshop was ‘CLOSING BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS’ and featured content including: closing deals on rentals, closing deals on property management, and closing deals on property sales with emphasis on selling, marketing, and negotiation skills.  The workshop attracted a whopping 59 participants (all of whom contributed UGX 20,000) from an array of professions including: lawyers, quantity surveyors, interior designers, bankers, and property agents.

Ms. Clothilda Nakimbugwe, the Chairperson of AREA-Uganda Women Council (WC), officially opened the workshop, while the facilitators who presented the workshop were Mr. Kasirye Allan (Head of Marketing at Namulondo Investments) and Mr. Mutebi Edward (Head of Sales at Canaansites Limited).

Clothilda Nakimbugwe (Chairperson of AREA Uganda Women Council)

Ms. Phiona Lwanga served as the moderator as well as a reader during the workshop, relaying remarks said by Ms. Sylvia Luchini of IRPF in the USA. The conclusion of the event included closing remarks by Ms. Hazeda Kirunda, the Publicity Secretary (WC).

Hazeda Kirunda (Women Council Public Secretary)

Participants provided feedback on the implementation of the workshop which included suggestions such as: The Women Council should organize such a meeting at least once a year and have focus areas that will be beneficial to women; more women from different professions should be invited to participate in the Women Council events; and a sufficient amount of time should be allocated to share experiences on topical discussions by the participants.


Between the remarks of the speakers and the participants’ feedback, it’s safe to say that The Women Council workshop will continue to be a successful endeavor in the future.



Article By: Ambrosia Maddox, IRPF Communications Specialist