“Real Estate Export and Brokerage Market’s Future” roundtable by Invest-Gate, in collaboration with the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA) on March 28, aimed at exchanging visions and proposals on ways to promote the Egyptian real estate in foreign markets and the future of the brokerage market.

Fathallah Fawzy, chairman of Construction Committee Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA), and Mohamed Fouad, CEO and managing partner of Invest-Gate, moderated the discussion sessions. The roundtable was attended by Khaled Abbas, deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities for National Projects in addition to a number of experts in the local and international real estate market, namely Hisham Shoukry, chairman of Rooya Group, Nour Eldeen Elserougy, member of the FIABCI Emirates Chapter and HRE Properties Egypt CEO, Sherif Moustafa, managing director of IGI Real Estate, Ahmed Mansour, CEO of Castle Development, Waleed Mokhtar, CEO of Iwan Developments, Mahmoud Al-Garf, former chairman of the Egyptian Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Mohanad Al Wadiya, CEO Of Harbor Real Estate Dubai, The Wolf Of Real Estate, & VP FIABCI Emirates Chapter, Ahmed Alabbasi, CEO of Vinci Real Estate Bahrain Real Estate Investors Advisor GCC, Mohammad Moussa, CEO Innovation Experts Real Estate Institute-Dubai, Haysam Soliman, CEO of HRE Properties-UK, Mohamed Banany, managing director of Real Estate Domain (RED), and Karim Zein, CEO of Coldwell Banker.

The roundtable included two main sessions. The first session, “Real Estate International Marketing & Exporting”, focused on presenting the best means of encouraging foreign investment through the real estate market, as well as best practices and solutions that contribute to the success of the Egyptian real estate export file to foreign markets.

“Invest-Gate has played a major role, over the past five years, in shaping the Egyptian real estate market,” Invest-Gate CEO Mohamed Fouad said. He added that the aim of this roundtable is to shed the light on ways of cooperation between the main players in the Egyptian real estate market to support real estate export, as well as to discuss the government’s efforts, in collaboration with the private sector, to regulate the performance of the brokerage market inside and outside Egypt.

For his part, Fathallah Fawzy, chairman of Construction Committee Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA) stated, “The Ministry of Housing is paying great attention to the real estate export file, as it falls in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030. National projects were promoted through participation in international exhibitions, like MIPIM 2022 for example, in which the ministry and 13 Egyptian companies participated. The ministry also is developing 40 new cities,” stressing that real estate prices in Egypt are 50% lower than other markets.

Also, Deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities for National Projects Khaled Abbas stated, “The ministry has already put Egypt on top of real estate funds, and this is clear through its participation in MIPIM exhibition in France. The government has taken many effective steps to export real estate, but developers should do more to market Egyptian real estate abroad.”

In the same context, Hisham Shoukry, chairman of Rooya Group, explained that the volume of international real estate export is estimated at USD 300 bn, but Egypt’s share is weak, as it didn’t exceed USD 600 mn. “Moreover, the target markets for buying real estate are British, Russian, and the Gulf, in addition to the Chinese market,” he said.

As regards the role of modern technologies on exporting real estate, Nour Eldeen Elserougy, member of The FIABCI Emirates Chapter and HRE Properties Egypt CEO, commented, “HRE Properties’ main goal is to exchange real estate export among Africa, Asia and Europe,” stressing the importance of launching a platform that provides the foreign investor with all the information, revealing that the “Crystal” platform will be launched June 30.

Alike, Sherif Moustafa, managing director of IGI Real Estate, explained, “Exporting real estate requires more than participating in real estate exhibitions abroad, in addition to introducing the great development rates that Egypt is currently witnessing well, as 34 new cities have been implemented during the recent years.”

Castle Development CEO Ahmed Mansour stressed, “The Egyptian market is a very promising and profitable market, but it did not fully take its right internationally due to the lack of good promotion of projects and the lack of effort expended.” To make exporting real estate more successful, Mansour suggested determining the targeted countries in order to develop a specific plan for that, as well as cooperation between the ministries of Interior Affairs, Tourism, and Housing, and even real estate developers to document data.

On the other hand, IWAN Developments CEO Waleed Mokhtar stated that the idea of ​​exporting real estate needs to consider the success of Egyptian real estate funds through the issuance of legislation, pointing out that foreign funds will focus on the service, educational, and commercial part more than the residential.

Mohanad Al Wadiya, CEO Of Harbor Real Estate Dubai, The Wolf Of Real Estate, VP FIABCI Emirates Chapter, said that there is an intense competition globally in the real estate export and there are 20 factors to succeed in exporting real estate, led by a legislative infrastructure and a real estate marketing organization that protects all parties operating in the sector and punishes violators.

For his part, CEO of Vinci Real Estate Bahrain Real Estate Investors Advisor GCC Ahmed Alabbasi stressed, “The foreign investor become aware and needs to see laws, sufficient information, available regulations, and the size of the economy in the country in which he will invest, besides the presence of the government reference that can be resorted.”

In addition, Managing Director of Real Estate Domain (RED) Mohamed Banany pointed out that exporting real estate requires an entity that contains all information about the market in general and the property on sale in specific, in addition to the legislations and laws that handle target customers abroad.

“The real estate market is a major contributor to the economy of any country and its domestic product,” CEO Innovation Experts Real Estate Institute-Dubai Mohammad Moussa said.

In this regard, CEO of HRE Properties-UK Haysam Soliman stated that the main problems facing foreign buyers the legislation that gives them the confidence to invest in the Egyptian real estate sector.

Regarding the export of industrial real estate, former Chairman of the Egyptian Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Mahmoud Al-Garf stated that Egypt has many elements of infrastructure that would help in achieving an industrial renaissance.

During the second session, titled “Consolidated or Fragmented Brokerage Market in Egypt”, real estate experts talked about the importance of the broker’s profession, and how to control the activity of this market through several rules, in addition to regulating the relationship between the developer and the broker.

In this regard, Fawzy said that the real estate agent’s activity is one of the most important activities in the sector, but customers are facing some problems, such as high commission rates and lack of a supervisory body.

“The real estate marketing profession is one of the most prestigious professions because it provides housing, but people are not showing respect to the origins of this profession, so there must be governing legislation,” Elserougy noted.

For his part, Moustafa explained that the government’s recent draft amendment to the law on real estate brokerage is a very good attempt, but it needs digitization, stressing the need for a supervisory authority to regulate the work of real estate marketers, as there are some projects whose commission reaches 10%, and the customer bears an additional cost.

In the same vein, Al Wadiya pointed out that the real estate marketing profession doesn’t need only practically experience, but also academic education and training.

Alabbasi stressed the importance of establishing a regulatory authority for real estate brokers and issuing licenses after fulfilling the required conditions to ensure credibility.

Additionally, Banany said, “Integrity is one of the basics of the real estate marketing profession. We find today developer resorting to many real estate agents to promote his project, those with expertise and those with no profound history and record, which caused randomness in the marketing business.”

Moreover, CEO of Coldwell Banker Karim Zain pointed out,“The market is witnessing a gap, as supply is higher than demand, when we talk about the currently targeted market segment. The brokerage market today exceeded 53k companies and over one million freelancers with no regulatory body and no proper relationship between agents and developing companies. The government has put a proper set of legislation to regulate the market only then can real estate be exported.”

Soliman explained, “England has a strong legislation, so it doesn’t have a supervisory authority on real estate brokerage, unlike Egypt, as there must be a supervisory authority on marketers, to attract foreign direct investment.”

Also, Moussa pointed out the importance of creating a platform to form a real estate culture among those working in the sector.

To conclude, real estate experts confirmed that Egypt is witnessing an unprecedented construction boom, in addition to possessing many elements that qualify it to succeed in exporting real estate, but this will only be done through the issuance of laws and legislation that will give confidence to the foreign investor; in addition to organizing the real estate market, especially the brokerage activity, which will contribute to the promotion of real estate projects, whether governmental or developers, inside and outside Egypt.

This roundtable is sponsored by HRE Properties, IGI Real Estate, Castle Development, and Egypt 2030 EXPO. Besides, the media partners asAleqaria News, Al Borsa News, Daily News Egypt, Osoul Misr Magazine, and Bloom Gate.