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IREM takes on the world

The International Advisory Council plays a pivotal role in increasing IREM’s engagement outside the U.S.

By Renee Savage, CPM®, CCIM

In 2024, the International Advisory Council (IAC) will make an impact as IREM looks to become more strategic in the direction and growth of its programs outside the United States. Members of the Advisory Council are influential decision makers, shaping how IREM will move beyond our borders to take advantage of opportunities to expand our reach in membership, education, and promotion of the industry.

The IAC’s purpose

The Advisory Council provides oversight to IREM’s international program by:

  • Contributing expertise in business operations
  • Refining requirements and providing feedback for IREM programs outside the U.S.
  • Determining strategic initiatives
  • Analyzing and quantifying components of international business
  • Reviewing and determining IREM policy modifications for international programs
  • Making recommendations to the Governing Council on international chapters
  • Identifying, developing, and monitoring specialized needs of international members
  • Monitoring and overseeing international chapter and country activities
  • Supporting international engagement at conferences
  • Ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion

2024 goals

The IAC’s first goal relates to IREM’s multiyear international strategy project. In 2023, IREM began working with a consultant to develop “a strategy to grow business and increase brand awareness internationally by providing IREM with the necessary tools to identify and enter new markets outside the U.S. in a more consistent and proactive manner.”

In January 2024, the IREM Board of Directors reviewed and approved a report submitted by the consultant providing recommendations for developing and implementing an international strategy.

Following Board approval, the IAC will provide ongoing support on the strategy throughout 2024. Ten Global Leading Practices, developed by a Global Strategy Presidential Task Force in partnership with the consultant, form the foundation of strategy implementation. The practices are divided into strategic elements to be implemented by the Board and operational items to be implemented by the HQ staff team.

Strategic (Board)

1. Ensure long-term commitment and alignment with IREM’s strategic priorities.
2. Balance the mission and business side of international operations.
3. Develop international models that are scalable and sustainable.
4. Consider effort vs. impact to prioritize and drive decisions.
5. Encourage a global mindset.

Operational (HQ)

6. Apply a global process at early stages of developing new products and services.
7. Adopt a “glocal” (mix of global and local) approach.
8. Create win-win partnership models with well-defined roles for all parties.
9. Start with pilot programs and adopt phased approaches.
10. Leverage diverse international engagement and participation.

The IAC’s second goal is directly related to IREM’s DEI initiatives. It challenges IAC members to be stewards of the international program by increasing the membership’s awareness and exposure to international property management practices, business, and culture. By doing this, the Board will actively promote and celebrate IREM’s diversity outside the U.S.

The IAC’s last goal is to monitor the launch and success of new products in key markets, most notably the new Canadian self-paced courses.  In 2024, IREM launched Canadian versions of self-paced certification courses available directly for purchase from The initiative serves as a pilot to determine IREM’s ability to promote and sell localized content directly to non-U.S. consumers. IREM continues to work with its longtime partner in Canada, the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC), on courses with live instruction both in the classroom and online. 

Looking ahead

It’s an exciting time to be involved in the International Advisory Council, as the position of the international program is elevated through the work of the consultant, the Board of Directors, and the Advisory Council, together with the HQ staff team. As we look toward the development of IREM’s next strategic plan in 2025, the 2024 work of the Advisory Council will have an impact on increasing the presence of globalization across the organization not only in the coming years, but beyond.

IREM’s global footprint
  • Almost 2,000 members outside the U.S.
  • Members in close to 40 countries
  • 16 international chapters in Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and South Africa
  • Certification courses offered around the world through partnerships in Brazil, Canada, Japan, Kazakhstan, Poland, South Korea, South Africa, UAE, and Uzbekistan
  • Courses available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian

Journal of Property Management

Renee M. Savage, CPM®, CCIM, is the 2024 IREM International Advisory Council Chair and 2024 IREM Immediate Past President. She’s also president of SavageCRE, Inc., a consulting company supporting the commercial and multifamily real estate sectors. She has more than 35 years of experience in property and asset management.

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