REALTORS® learned how to help Illinois and Serbian real estate investors facilitate projects in each others’ countries during a global networking event Wednesday in Brookfield.

The event, “Cross Border Real Estate Network Opportunity: Illinois and Serbia,” was hosted by global business councils for Illinois REALTORS®, the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and the North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS®. Slaviša Pešic, director at Riznica Real Estate in Niš, Serbia, and vice president of the Expert Council to the Serbia Real Estate Cluster, gave the keynote message.

Real estate sales in Serbia have steadily risen from 2014 to 2017, he said. Although new construction trended downward from 2011 to 2015, overall numbers rose again in 2016. Following an overview of Serbia’s economy, government, legal system, real estate system, diplomatic relationships and trade relationships, Pešic provided photos and facts about several large-scale commercial, retail and residential developments projects, including the UŠĆE Trade Center and the Sky Garden Belgrade.

The leading national real estate association in Serbia, said Pešic, is the Real Estate Cluster, which is affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The Real Estate Cluster developed a Code of Ethics and in 2016 created an annual “Learn to Succeed” conference that draws real estate professionals from across the region.

Other speakers included Universal Commercial Capital’s Chief Operating Officer Eric Tran and Director of International Sales Maria Petrovic, who spoke about commercial and residential lending practices for foreign nationals and their company’s experience with the Belgrade Waterfront Project in Belgrade, Serbia. Universal Commercial Capital is a US based private money lender headquartered in Huntington Beach, CA.

Attorney Michael Maksimovich of Maksimovich & Associates, PC spoke about the basics of property purchases by foreign nationals. His business is based in Lyons, IL.

Illinois REALTORS®’ Sharon Gorrell enjoys a moment with Donna Wilson of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and guest speaker Slaviša Pešic.