The freedom of real estate in the United States
One aspect of living in the United States that’s often taken for granted is our freedom to choose a career. Whatever job we choose for ourselves, we never expect to feel the need to hide it from the rest of the world, living in fear of being arrested or worse. The job of selling real estate in the United States is one that citizens don’t have to conduct in secrecy. However, that hasn’t been the case for Cuban residents who have chosen to be real estate agents. Since the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, these folks have had to keep their careers a secret from the government for fear of reprisal.
As economic conditions on the communist island have continued to deteriorate over the years, labor reform has become a priority of the government. With a potentially lucrative real estate market on the island and numerous foreign investors eager to buy property, the time is right for the government to allow these secret agents out into the open to do their work with peace of mind.
Cuban real estate agents would be stunned to realize how opposite it is for United States real estate agents. Rather than living in fear of being exposed, American agents have the freedom to advertise their services in various forms such as online, radio and television and newspapers. Their business depends on letting as many people as possible know who they are and what they have to offer, and it’s never a question of overexposure with American real estate agents. Free enterprise is the name of the game in American real estate, with each agent essentially running their own business as an independent contractor.
The irony for real estate agents in Cuba is that all workers on the island, no matter their occupation, were government employees. Everyone from doctors to waitresses and everyone in between worked for the government. For the moment, it appears real estate agents will be given the chance to make it on their own, without being tied down to strict governmental rules. As Americans struggle with the role of government, Cubans are looking ahead with prosperity in their future. As Cuba looks to reinvent itself and join the rest of the world in 21st-century living, the opportunities for Cubans to finally realize economic success are greater than ever. The freedom to solicit business, talk with clients, show properties and negotiate openly sends a message loud and clear that the government realizes positive change is the order of the day. As Cuba takes the first steps toward improved economic development both within its borders and abroad, it’s clear the future for real estate agents is brighter than ever.