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ADVECS Real Estate Corporation

Alexander Romanenko. The man of the world

01.08.2011

Alexander Romanenko. The man of the world

The Chief, №7-8 (100), July-August 2011

Alexander Romanenko. The man of the worldHis patriotism is just like him: reserved and open (yes, it does happen). His charisma is not the last of his business features ("There is something about him that reminds JFK," Americans say). He was the first of all Russians to be elected President of FIABCI, the world's largest real estate federation. We met each other almost during the first year of our magazine (all but 10 years ago). There was hardly a topic we did not discuss: track and field athletics, rally bikes, Russia, the U.S.A. (he is interested in all of the above subjects). And certainly, about real estate (it would have been strange not to talk about realty with Advecs' president).

It was as early as then that an uncommon feature of our interlocutor won (and struck) us: he looked at his business — real estate — only in the global context. Moreover, Russia (a very big property!) itself, was an equitable part of the huge world to him, fully open and perceptible. And he himself was a man of the world, one among equals.

Yet, despite all that, he was not in a hurry to leave this country on the heels of the others — neither then, nor now.

That was strange and unusual.

We might say that the protagonist of our story has outstripped his time — but that would not be quite right. He has found himself exactly in the right place and in the right time — it was not for nothing that he did long-distance running at a very young age!

— In my new position I can see three key tasks for myself, says Alexander Romanenko. — One of them is travelling around the world and helping property market participants to organize their domestic and international business, promote a higher quality and competitiveness of the services they offer, assist in the shaping of normal relations between the FIABCI members. On the other part, FIABCI is the only of such organizations that enjoys consultancy status with the UN. We are in a position to influence the adoption of certain documents at the international level. We can draw attention to the problems faced by different countries.

The second task is that of addressing problems in my own country.

It goes without saying that property issues are important for everybody in Russia: even though the right to housing is guaranteed by the Constitution, each citizen has to tackle his or her housing problem virtually by him/herself. I believe it is my duty to promote a new law on realtor activities. This law is very badly needed. Above all, it is needed to protect our citizens that consume realtors' services. Secondly, it could help to give a formal status to the very notion of realtor community. While we don't have a professional access threshold, while we don't have a mandatory system for agent attestation and company certification, the image of our profession will be damaged by unskilled and ill-educated people offering brokerage services and calling themselves realtors in their ads.

Incidentally, quite a lot has already been done towards this goal. Under the law on Self-Regulatory Organization, the Russian Realtors Guild has prepared a draft Law on Realtor Activities. I hope that it will be finalized in 2012 and presented to the State Duma for consideration.

And the third challenging task is preparing and holding the International Real Estate Congress in St. Petersburg in May 2012. We won the right to host the 2012 international congress in the try-out held at the FIABCI's General Assembly in Brussels in 2010.I can say we snatched the victory from Vancouver and Cape Town. First, I was simply happy and proud. But the euphoria was soon gone while the understanding remained what a large-scale and significant event we were to prepare!

I'm very glad that our city administration has supported our endeavours. The congress' general partner has already been assigned — it is Intarsia Group of Companies.

Quite often I hear from my foreign colleagues about gaps in the Russian legal framework, I'd like to be able to tell the International Real Estate Congress are going to host in St. Petersburg in one year's time about positive changes, and not only in the field of heritage conservation.

Four global committees are to meet during the congress: on real estate development, brokerage, experts, and property management. They will attract the elite of the real estate market from all over the world. It is easy to understand how important an event of such magnitude is for our beloved city as well as for the whole of this country. The prestige and business reputation of the entire Russian business depend on how well we'll organize it. Consequently, for me as President of Fl ABCI, it is a matter of honour.

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