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How to Attract International Real Estate Buyers

May 06 2021

transactly international real estate buyersAs a real estate agent, breaking into international markets can seem intimidating. For example, not only is there a language barrier, but the real estate process often works in different ways in different countries. However, working with international clients can be a very lucrative business. With that in mind, if you feel that you are cut out for the work, read on below to learn how to attract international real estate buyers for your listings, and as your clients.

Break into the luxury market

In truth, much of the foreign investment in the United States real estate market falls within the luxury category. So if your goal is building a stable of global clients, step one is to gain experience selling luxury homes.

However, it's important to note that you don't necessarily have to start out working with an international client base. Instead, it may make more sense to build up a reputation for selling luxury real estate in your local market. This way you can have a chance to get accustomed to servicing the needs of a luxury buyer before you take on the extra pressure of dealing with an overseas buyer as well.

As for going about that, you should align yourself with a brand that is synonymous with selling luxury real estate. Then once you have that brand power behind you, start marketing to neighborhoods that have luxury homes. Don't be discouraged if it takes you a bit to secure your first listing though. If you do a good job when the opportunity comes around, it won't take long before you earn a reputation as a real estate agent who knows how to handle luxury property.

Get your international property specialist certification

After gaining some needed experience, make it clear that you specialize in working with international real estate buyers. One way to make that perfectly clear is to obtain your International Property Specialist Certification from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

As the name suggests, this course focuses on teaching real estate agents the intricacies of handling international real estate transactions. It covers all the important information that you need to know before working with various international markets, as well as providing information on the specific transaction tools that you can use when working with a foreign buyer.

The course is five days long, and it does come with an exam that you need to take in order to earn the designation. However, as long as you pass the exam, you can use desertification as part of your marketing strategy for your real estate business. For example, you can list the designation on your real estate website so that when an international buyer searches online for a real estate agent, they will see that you have the appropriate credentials.

Invest in global marketing

Put simply, if your ideal clientele is an international investor, you're going to need to market to global clients. With that in mind, your real estate marketing strategy should be a bit different than it would be for domestic buyers.

In this case, your online marketing skills are going to be key. While a domestic buyer may be able to travel to see the property, a foreign investor is likely not going to be able to do so. To that end, the information that you provide for the listing is going to be very important to your client.

In particular, this means the photos provided to your international buyer need to be spectacular. You'll also need to be extremely specific in the listing description. In addition, it's a good idea to pay attention to details that will appeal to foreign home buyers. Little things like changing square foot measurements to square meters can make a huge difference.

That said, additionally, you may also want to look at marketing yourself and your listings on platforms that are geared toward international buyers. ListGlobally.com is one such resource. However, odds are that there are plenty of other venues aimed specifically towards international buyers, and you should be sure to do your research into the options that are available to you.

Be prepared to be a full-service listing agent

Regardless of the property type, expect to do more than just negotiate the offer and fill out the paperwork. Foreign buyers are looking for a liaison to the American real estate industry.

You may need to explain how financing works, or how a transaction comes together in the American real estate industry.

If a potential buyer does end up coming to see a listing, you should also be prepared to provide some recommendations. You may need to provide them with information on where to sleep and where to eat, for instance. At the very least, you should be ready, willing, and able to take on tasks that may fall outside of your normal job duties.

The bottom line

As an agent, working with international real estate buyers is very different than working with a domestic buyer. However, if you feel that you are well suited for this type of work, it can be a very lucrative niche to carve out for yourself. Now armed with this knowledge, you should have everything you need to begin working with overseas buyers.