It’s estimated that over 500,000 Serbians call Chicagoland home. Making business opportunities with the Serbian community here in Chicago is a great way to grow your global network.
We spoke with Dr. Slavisa Pesic, Vice President of the Expert Council in Real Estate Cluster of Serbia, who also presented to our Global Council of REALTORS® in July, about doing business with Serbia.
Q: What’s the most important thing our members should understand about Serbian real estate?
A: Even though the Serbian real estate market is a young one (created in the mid-’90s), it has already shown stability and a tendency and capacity to grow. It has survived many economic and political challenges in the country and region.
Thanks to the stability and profitability of investment, Serbian real estate has achieved title security at a very high level. As a European Union membership applicant, Serbia adopted many laws that regulate the real estate market. For example, title on the properties can be gained by the contract or the other documents approved by a notary public or the court and, to be effective, it has to be enlisted in the Cadastre. As soon as it is enlisted in the Cadastre, it is public and can be checked by any interested party.
The deadlines for issuing Building and Usage permits are also defined by the law, and what is most important for the investors from USA: they can buy and own the properties in Serbia the same way as the Serbian citizens.
Q: How can we work with real estate investors in Serbia and engage with the Serbian population in Chicago?
A: Serbian people like ownership. It is our culture, where every family must have a home. Each Serbian family will try their best to buy a property to live in. If a REALTOR® meets a Serbian customer, sooner or later they will become a client for buying property in USA and recommend you to his friends and relatives if they want to buy or sell.
Talk about different properties that your Serbian client or family and friends may like to buy in Serbia. If your client is planning to sell a property in Serbia or to buy one in the US, this opens possibilities for referrals and to work in cooperation with colleagues in Serbia.
Real Estate Cluster from Serbia is a partner of the National Association of REALTORS®, representing NAR in our country. We abide by a Code of Ethics that was adopted by our Association before we applied for affiliation with NAR. Through the process of affiliation, NAR approved our Code of Ethics as compatible without the need for any adaptation. So, I think the cooperation between REALTORS® from both countries could be the best way to reach the investors from the opposite country. Also, attend events, like the one we did in Chicago.
Q: What is the best resource for learning about investment opportunities in Serbia?
A: As always, the best resource to learn about a country is to visit it, so combine your visit with a real estate trade conference or an organized trade mission. We have just started organizing our fourth international real estate conference, “Learn to Succeed 2019,” which is promising to become a main event in the industry in at least Southeast Europe, if not wider. We host it in April and you can find out more information at www.learntosucceed.rs.
Another important resource is our Consulate near the NAR building in Chicago – 201 E Ohio St #2. The people who work there would be happy to help answer your questions and give you information about investment possibilities.
Q: What else is important to know about working with Serbians?
A: Real Estate Cluster from Serbia is working on promoting the high standards and the best of the REALTOR® experience not only in Serbia, but in the whole region of former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe. We hope the cooperation with the Chicago Association of REALTORS® will only continue to grow. With so many Serbian people in the Chicago area, there are several reasons to cooperate at a high level and we are look forward to growing that relationship.