Intern presents concept real estate association today

POSTED: 07/8/11 1:40 PM

St. Maarten – Francois van der Waarden, a Dutch intern dispatched by Link 2, will present his findings on how to achieve a real estate association on St. Maarten at a briefing for managers and owners of real estate companies at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino today. Previous reports that there is already an association are not correct as the St. Maarten Real Estate Association has not completed the full legal process. The last step is registration with the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry and this has not yet been completed.

“I am not answering anymore questions about that and I am not going to be part of any ping pong and back and forth,” Treasurer of the St. Maarten Real Estate Association Dieter Schaede said when asked to clarify the matter of the registration.

All of the real estate agencies with a physical office on the Dutch side have been invited to today’s briefing, which is the culmination of two months of work starting in May that Van der Waarden was commissioned to do by Arun Jagtiani of Island Real Estate Team. His methodology included reviewing the statues of real estate agencies in the United States of America, Canada, the Netherlands, Jamaica and Barbados, meeting with Notary Boekhoudt’s office twice to better understand the local real estate laws, and the governing principals for creating a legal trade association and having five brainstorming sessions with several real estate agency owners namely Jagtiani, Hanneka Snow of Remax Island Properties, Maayke Martina of Antilles Realty, and Antonio Pomata of St. Maarten Investments. The latter two are now founding members of the not fully registered St. Maarten Real Estate Association.

“I’m extremely proud of his efforts. He did research that I would have never done. The nature of our industry can be very time demanding, and this is one of the reasons why all previous attempts to start an association have failed.  The process is actually quite simple. It’s all been done before in so many other countries. We just needed to take the time to comprehend what’s already been done and figure out how it can apply to our island. Credit should also go to the LINK2 agency that sent us such a qualified student for this task,” Jagtiani stated in a press release.

Friday’s presentation is a first step to forming an association. If the framework is accepted by a majority of the attendees parties will move forward to notarizing the association and registering it with the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Remax Island Properties, Century21, and Island Real Estate Team have already given their assent. Once the association is registered there will be a membership drive and board elections.

“I was extremely disappointed to hear that SMRA (St. Maarten Real Estate Association), which was allegedly registered three weeks ago, have said that they will not attend Friday’s meeting of all agency owners. Although they have stated they will not come as a group, I sincerely hope at least some of their members plan to attend on behalf of their respective companies. Certainly they don’t need their board’s permission to attend. I see no reason why they can’t give me an hour of their time to hear what I want to propose, and at the same time I would love for them to brief the rest of us in the industry about their core principals and overall vision for their recently formed association,” Jagtiani concluded.

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