Doing Business with Ireland | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

Ireland – land of abundant music, pubs and craic (enjoyable conversation, of course!). We welcomed Brian Dempsey, president of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) – aka, Ireland’s own real estate association – to share a few of the reasons why you should consider doing business with the Irish!

Q: What is the most important aspect about real estate in Ireland?

A: With a population of 4.8 million and only 4,600 licensed real estate agents on the island, Ireland is a great place to buy property but can have its headaches. In some cases property values have increased twenty-fold over the past three decades; with this comes the turmoil of buying in a market that is always increasing or decreasing – it never appears to flatline either at the top or bottom. For instance a property which was worth €250,000 in 2000 fell in value in 2001, but increased year over year through to late 2006 to approximately €750,000, in some instances. By 2012, that same property was potentially worth around €250,000 again, so Ireland isn’t exempt from international troubles or the underhanded actions of some of those who let things get way out of hand beyond their legal remit.

We always recommend you research  your purchase and above all consider its Location, Location, Location.

Q: How can Chicago REALTORS® work with real estate investors in Ireland?

A: I think we can all see the world is getting smaller, connectivity to each other is in real time and the power of social media & applications such as Skype assist us in communicating consistently at a low or non-existent cost.

With no MLS here, the formalities of referral are unchartered; however, I am currently working in conjunction with various organizations to put in place a vehicle which will enable us to work in a positive, professional and transparent way. This will not only assist us as property professionals but also our clients, whether they be buyers or sellers. There certainly is demand for this now in a way that never existed before so watch this space!

Q: What’s the best way to engage with the Irish population in Chicago?

A: The Irish love all things American: the cities, the food, the culture and of course the people. Travel to and from the USA is cheaper than ever and this is bringing us closer than ever. Us Irish are social bunnies and from the people I met when in Chicago, I think we fit right in there, so our cultures are very similar with so much Irish blood already there.

Before social media, you may have used traditional mediums such as The Irish Times or Irish Independent, however with social media dominating the world, a well-placed interaction on the right platform serves wonders here. While Facebook appears to still be the platform of choice, Twitter also dominates business models, while Instagram & Snapchat suit the younger, more carefree folk.

Chicago has a huge Irish population, and from my experience, many are involved in various groups and clubs, with one strong presence being the Chicago arm of the Irish Georgian Society. The Irish Consulate arranges various social gatherings too, with St. Patrick’s Day being a busy time on their calendar.

Finally The National Association of REALTORS® has a very strong global presence in Ireland. Claire Killen of Emerald Real Estate is currently the President’s Liaison to Ireland and born and bred here. Claire’s tireless work over the past number of years has opened so many doors on both sides of the pond and Claire I am sure would be delighted to assist anyone looking to open links with Ireland.

Jim Kinney from Chicago Association of REALTORS® also has strong relationships with many of the main agencies and the various organizations and again, would be delighted to help. Please feel free to contact me, as well! I would take great pleasure in helping bridging the gap and putting any of you in touch with the right person here in Ireland.

Q: Ireland does not have buyer’s agencies. How can those looking to invest in Ireland from the USA adapt to have the most success?

A: While the belief is there are no buyer’s agents here, technically, that is not the case. For some time, it has been hard to make a living here as a buyer’s agent; however that has now changed, with more and more appearing again.

Nonetheless, we see things changing further regarding the MLS. Demand is strong, understanding is good and we think the time is right to perhaps bring Irish MLS to the next level, ideally in conjunction with the various institutes where we hold membership. However, while an official MLS is not currently in place, all agents here are very receptive to assistance with a sale and I have no doubt would be very responsive to a call or email offering a positive referral in return for some remuneration.

Contacting an agent is easy. Most are members of The Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers or the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, where there is a full members directory. It is also possible to track agents down as every property for sale in Ireland is listed on one of the following websites: or With only 25,000 properties for sale in Ireland today it is not too hard to track someone down!

Q: What is the best resource for learning about investment opportunities in Ireland?

A: Ireland is a committed member of the European Union and provides companies with guaranteed access to the European market. Following Brexit, Ireland is the only English speaking country in the Eurozone and provides an ideal hub for organizations seeking a European base. offers all types of advice and information for those wishing to set up business here; it is a government-run agency integral to ensuring Ireland remains a pivotal part in international trade.

The return on real estate investment in Ireland is good at the moment, with many foreign investors favoring our main cities or towns. Both residential & commercial investments are producing good yields, with rents in residential sectors for well-located properties at an all-time high. Both IPAV & SCSI are good websites to watch for news on investments, as are either of our broadsheet national titles, The Irish Times & Irish Independent. Enterprise Ireland is an Irish state economic development agency focused on helping Irish-owned business deliver new export sales – you are very welcome to contact them to assist businesses here.