Having been founded on 23rd April 2008, the Association of Real Estate Agents of Uganda (AREA-Uganda) is an umbrella body of real estate agents and managers, real estate professionals and other organizations with interest in the real estate sector. AREA-Uganda was formed to bring real estate agents/managers and others interested in the sector into one body to work collectively towards developing a professional real estate sector in Uganda and creating awareness of its benefits as an engine for economic growth.
The main objectives of the AREA-Uganda among others are
i. To lobby and advocate
ii. To promote real estate education
iii. To ensure business best practices
iv. To carry out research and development
v. To encourage collaboration and networking
AREA’s progress since 2008 is proof that although the association is young, it has accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time. The Association has made achievements at seven levels;
i. Some of the previous activities include a refresher training course of real estate agents, which was held in March 2009, in collaboration with International Real Property Foundation (IRPF). This training was the first of its kind in Uganda and is currently being offered on a continuous basis at AREA-Uganda. From the training it was observed that Information Technology within the sector needs great improvement.
ii. Therefore, the Association in collaboration with Uganda Primary Market Mortgage Initiative, under the International Finance Corporation (IFC) World Bank initiated a project to establish a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), to date an MLS website (www.mls.ug) is running along our website (ww.areauganda.org) and members are uploading listings. This is a public domain to access property on the market, posted by professional agents who are members of AREA-Uganda. Secondly, the information on property transactions in the database will be useful for mortgage banks and appraisers to value properties.
iii. AREA-Uganda undertook is a stakeholders’ workshop on a national real estate agents Code of Conduct, which was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Urban Development and the Uganda Primary Market Mortgage Initiative (UPMMI-IFC). The workshop marked the start of developing a Code of Conduct focusing on professionalism among agents, which was concluded and adopted by the members of AREA-Uganda for self-regulation.
iv. AREA-Uganda has engaged in several trainings which include, Mortgage training, Valuation training, brokerage management training and Instructors training at the East African Regional Real Estate Training Center (EARRETC). The Association has developed more training programs and to date has six training programs on offer.
v. The Association has become the lobby arm of real estate on behalf of its members including, lobbying on tax issues in parliament, good regulatory environment with Ministry of Housing Lands and Urban development and making presentations on housing forums representing the real estate industry. The Association is represented on many of the committees in the ministry concerning housing policy issues.
vi. AREA-Uganda has changed leadership to a new board of directors, thanks to the voluntary leadership spirit of the practitioners who have given their time and resources to support the objectives of the association.
vii. AREA-Uganda has developed a five year strategic plan (2011-2016) with the assistance from the International Property Foundation. This is to create a focus on achievable outcomes with realistic activities.
AREA-Uganda continues to enable skills enhancement and networking among its members through monthly meetings, in which every last Friday of the month a different theme is being discussed with the assistance of invited guest presenters. Additionally, AREA-Uganda continues a campaign of recruitment of new members.
– Vincent Agaba, CEO of AREA-Uganda