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A Snapshot of COVID-19's Impact on International Real Estate, Plus 4 Tips to Persevere
PropTech Solutions' Real Estate Platform is used by real estate companies in over 60 countries, speaking more than 40 languages. The global scale of our client base gives us unique insight into the impact COVID-19 is having on international real estate. We connect with clients around the world daily and, as you can imagine, these days we have more discussions about the coronavirus than our technology. Our clients are like family to us and we don't just care about their businesses, we care about them as people. We're confident we will all get through this pandemic and emerge stronger — together. In the meantime, we all need to work together to do the best we can in this difficult situation. Here are a few ideas to help you with these very real challenges, as well as the impact we see on international real estate through our own data. Here are four ways you can help your clients cope: Send positive messages often. Our lead-to-close technology offers the ability to assemble comprehensive marketing communications. While you normally would use these to present homes or promote yourself to new clients, you can also use them to communicate with your clients and prospects on a different level. People in the buying or selling process today are going to be very concerned about what all this means long term. Help them understand life will go on and properties will continue to be bought and sold. Put together a list of simple things that your clients can do to improve their homes. We all have to maintain social distancing, which means we have more time at home than normal. Cleaning, uncluttering, painting and trying different furniture arrangements are just a few examples of activities that require little or no money and don't need the help of professionals. Assemble a list of available local professionals. Typical home repair services will be more difficult to arrange, or perhaps impossible in some cases. Collect trusted local service providers, such as plumbers, landscapers, and electricians, that are still available and share that information with your network. Turn your marketing technology into a community bulletin board. Real estate agents know hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. Connect people in your network and communicate local information in ways that no one else can. Not only will you help people in this very real time of need, but you will also develop relationships that will last long after the crisis. Visit local Facebook community pages, highlight businesses giving back and celebrate the dedicated professionals working every day to save lives. The 90-day snapshot of international real estate As mentioned, we have customers in over 60 countries, which gives us unique insight into the impact COVID-19 has on the international real estate market. We've shared just a few key findings below. Please visit proptech-solutions.com/covid for the complete report. In the last 90 days, our public-facing real estate websites outside of Canada and the U.S. experienced a drop in visitors by an average of 20%. Some geographic regions see a far greater impact than others. Given the volatile situation, this wasn't a surprise. The websites continue to generate property leads, but lead volume has decreased by an average of 48% since the start of this year and by 40% compared to the same time last year. Additionally, the total inventory of active listings across all our customers has increased by approximately 15% as new listings are still being added — albeit at a reduced rate — and existing listings stay on the market longer due to a reduction in overall sold and rental listings since consumers lack confidence in the market. As countries enact measures to restart their economic engines, record low-interest rates will make the prospect of buying properties more attractive. If we also account for the pent up demand this period of suppressed market activity will create, it's very likely we will see a period of increased real estate activity once social distancing measures are relaxed. The work agents do now to optimize and organize their contact databases, reach out to the contacts they haven't spoken to in a while, and make new virtual connections online, will pay dividends down the line. If you're planning to expand or enter the international market once this crisis is behind us, we'd love to talk. Please contact us at [email protected] For additional statistics, tips and information, please visit proptech-solutions.com/covid. PropTech Solutions is the holding company of leading global real estate technology companies, GryphTech and Phoenix Software. Together, they provide a lead-to-close real estate management platform that is relied upon by real estate businesses in over 60 countries to accelerate their growth. The technology is cloud-based, multilingual, multicurrency and purpose-built to generate new opportunities, meeting the needs of the world's largest real estate brands. PropTech Solutions' CEO, Carlos Matias, was recognized as a 2020 RISMedia Newsmaker and in 2019, the company was named a Top 10 PropTech Solution Provider by CIO Applications Europe. For more information or a live demonstration of The Real Estate Platform (REP), visit www.proptech-solutions.com or email [email protected]
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$153 Billion Surge in International Home Sales, Says NAR
International home sales have reached a new record of $153 billion, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® – a 49 percent increase from last year. Top Contributors to International Home Sales in the U.S. The U.S. continues to win the hearts of international buyers. Some are drawn to the educational opportunities for their kids, and while others are looking for investment or vacation properties, nearly half of them end up calling the U.S. home. Five countries top the admirer list, making up over 50 percent of total dollar volume sales:
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Pacific Union Delivers on International Reach
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Using Your Social Networks to Expand Your Global Reach
In a recent article on the Global View blog, the National Association of REALTORS® discussed how to leverage your social networks for more global opportunities. One of the biggest takeaways of the article is that while many real estate professionals think the best way to leverage social media is by posting their listings and walking away, there are actually much more effective ways to showcase yourself as a global expert. So how can you use your social networks to promote your global real estate expertise? Start by sharing valuable content that your audience actually cares about! Beyond just sharing links to your listings, use your social media channels to demonstrate your knowledge of the local market and share your global marketing expertise. Not sure of the best ways to share this content on your social media channels? Below are five important tips to remember when sharing on social media: 1. Content is still king – And it should be sticky, too! According to Simply Measured, "sticky content is content that is memorable and shareable, as opposed to disposable." When your audience finds value in your content, it "increases the length of time they spend engaging and encourages them to share with their friends. It also gives people a compelling reason to come back for more, perhaps without even being prompted." 2. It's all in the story – The art of storytelling is at the base of every successful social media strategy. By providing interesting and authentic content, you build an enticed audience. Don't forget – there is such a thing as information overload! Remember that you're engaging with a potential client, not a fellow real estate professional. You have to speak your audience's language and provide them with content that appeals specifically to them. Try to stick to the 80/20 rule with what you share – only 20 percent of your content should be directly related to your brand.
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The Top 3 Things Brokers Can Do to Rock 2017
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Why Are Chinese Buyers Searching for Property in the U.S.?
The United States has always been China's number one choice for migration and overseas property purchases. With better schools, a wider range of property options, and relatively open government policies, the U.S. is the logical destination when looking for a stable country to migrate to and start a new life. RELATED WEBINAR: Why Chinese Buyers are Searching in the U.S. Join ListHub on Thursday, November 17 for a one hour webinar to learn what draws Chinese buyers to the U.S. and how to leverage this opportunity and gain international exposure for your listings. Let's look into the "whys" behind the key driving forces: 1. Education As the Chinese population continues to grow in both number and wealth, the local university systems are approaching breaking point. Entrance exams are highly competitive and tedious. Each point on the exam may be equivalent to dropping down by 200+ ranks for university positions that sometimes only number in the hundreds. More and more, this is driving even middle-income parents to seek access to better quality education in a less pressured environment such as the U.S. Upon arrival, many find a far more affordable and attractive property market than the one they came from and decide to invest.
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5 Motivators for International Investment in U.S. Real Estate
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Canadian Home Buyers in the U.S.
Year after year, U.S. real estate attracts international buyers from nearly all over the globe. In a recent study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 51 percent of the reported transactions came from China, Mexico, India, the United Kingdom and Canada. Let's focus on Canada – what brings our northern friends south? Canadians are Top Investors in U.S. Real Estate According to NAR's Profile of International Home Buying Activity, Canadian buyers are looking to invest in real estate across the U.S. In fact, Canadians accounted for $11.2 billion of the $103.8 billion in home purchases made through a 12-month period ending in March 2015. That's approximately 11% of total international sales in the U.S.! While this is a slight decrease from the $13.8 billion the year before, Canadians are still one of the largest investors in U.S. real estate. What Brings Canadians to the U.S.? Canadians are often in search of warmer climates during the colder months in Canada. Around 41 percent of purchases were in Florida, 16 percent were in Arizona, and in others warm states like California, Hawaii and Nevada.
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3 Great Ways to Build a Referral Network Without Borders
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Foreign Buyers: a Real Estate Trend to Watch in 2016
A new survey by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) to detect upcoming real estate trends has found foreign investors will dominate the market in 2016. How big of a factor might foreign investors play in your business? Not backing down Sixty-four percent of roughly 200 respondents plan to make modest or major increases in U.S. real estate investments, and 34% expect to maintain holdings or reinvest sales proceeds into other U.S. assets. None plans a major decrease. Why the bump in U.S. real estate purchases? This strong response is attributable to a number of factors contributing to the rise in U.S. purchases in real estate trends: EconomicsEurope’s immigration crisis, China’s economic slowdown, and Brazil’s recession make the U.S. a safe bet. Tax legislationNew legislation easing taxes for foreign pension funds invested in U.S. real estate will further boost sales, simplifying the investment process and opening doors to real estate deals that won’t require property purchases with U.S. domestic majority partners, as they have in times past.
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Global Real Estate – Are You Ready?
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WAKE UP BROKERS! Hablas Espanol?
Today, 85% of homebuyers are white, but that is changing rapidly in America. The new and growing homebuyer population is Hispanic or Latino, and most do not speak English well enough to have confidence in a real estate transaction written in a foreign language with an agent who is not bilingual. Yikes or Opportunity? We think opportunity. From 2010 to 2012, the number of Hispanic homebuyers increased 38%. Today, only 20,000 of the nations' 1.2 million members of the National Association of REALTORS® is Hispanic. By the way – all of the stats quoted here look at data collected in 2010 and 2012. You can figure that the growth rates have gone up significantly. From 2010 to 2012, the number of Hispanic households grew from 4.25 million to 6.69 million – a 58% increase. The number is likely well over 10 million in 2015. A Simmons Market Research survey recorded that 19% of Hispanic American origin speak only Spanish. Ergo, 1 in 5. Only 17% of Hispanics are fully bilingual, and 55% have limited English proficiency. The United States has more Spanish speakers than Spain. Does anyone have a truly end-to-end, bilingual brokerage? In the 2010 census, 17% of Americans were Hispanic. If you are a broker in New Mexico, 44% of your population is Hispanic. Texas is 31% Hispanic, followed by California at 30%, Arizona at 25%, Nevada at 20%, Colorado at 15%, and Illinois at 12%. Total US Hispanic population is now is nearly 35 million people and growing. If you do not operate a fully bilingual brokerage, you are missing a huge opportunity. California has 14 million Hispanics with housing needs and more than half of them are not proficient enough in English to contemplate a real estate transaction.
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5 Things to Consider About Foreign Real Estate Buyers
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Are You International?
Sophisticated real estate companies in metropolitan areas do a lot of international business, or at least aim to do international business. To facilitate international business, they belong to networks like Christie's, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Real Estate, or international franchise organizations. International is also a significant strategic development initiative for brokerage firms with strong relocation departments. The trigger to securing inbound referrals from abroad is relationship building. If you are not reaching out to international corporations with locations in your area or taking trips to develop referral relationships with feeder markets, you are not likely to have much success. Some firms even open offices in foreign cities. The goal is to get in front of international buyers and sellers and deliver a compelling presentation that assures the prospective client that you have experience handling international transactions. Here is a checklist of a few convincing details that may support your goal of handling international transactions: Line up translation services. Find firms that can take your communications and translate them into foreign languages. All of your materials communicating to international customers will be in English – that is the international language. However, providing a copy of the materials in their native tongue demonstrates your experience and dedication. Do not rely on Google Translate.
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A connected globe means global opportunities for you
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The Global Opportunity
Since 2007, NAR has conducted a yearly survey to measure the sales of U.S. residential real estate to international clients. The survey provides information about the origin, destination, and buying preferences of international clients as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by REALTORS® in the international market. Below are some of the key findings of the 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. Record Sales Volume For the period of April 2013 to March 2014, the total sales to international clients has been estimated at approximately $92.2 billion — a 35% increase from the previous year! The Top International Sales From 5 Countries International buyers of U.S. properties came from nearly all over the globe, but the following five countries accounted for 54 percent of the reported transactions in the study: Canada China Mexico India United Kingdom
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Avoid an International Crisis – Tips for Working With Chinese Buyers
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What's New With ListHub Global?
Real estate technology evolves at a brisk pace. Just today, we were updating our ListHub Global product review from last fall and realized that so much had changed with the listing syndication platform that it warranted a new article. What is ListHub Global? First, a refresher. ListHub Global allows brokers to syndicate their listings internationally while preserving the integrity of their data. This is crucial with overseas syndication, as an overwhelming number--75 percent--of global listings are inaccurate. ListHub Global solves this problem by pairing with international property search networks that comply with their standards for best practices and broker-friendly methods. This is accomplished in various ways by ListHub's different international partners. For example, their first partner, EdenHome, attains this by offering a framed-in search experience that's similar to the real estate classifieds powered by HomeFinder.com on various newspaper websites. Framing in the search results provides a seamless search experience for users while keeping the listing data safe on their partners' servers. That data is never released into the "wild" and maintains all the same protections afforded to domestic ListHub data. Regardless of their method, all sites in the ListHub Global Network are required to comply with ListHub's standard publisher terms, so that the broker's data is always protected and MLS-accurate. While ListHub's solution to the data problem is sophisticated, its user experience couldn't be simpler. Once activated, ListHub Global simply acts like another publisher channel. Brokers can access it through the same ListHub interface and the channel's traffic metrics are even available via their regular ListHub reports.
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Attracting the International Buyer
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Why International Buyers Want to Buy in the US
Did you know in some other countries you can buy a home, but not the land? It's true! For many buyers, this is one of the many reasons that buying real estate in the US is so attractive. Innovation, a stable economy, and educational opportunities are also frequently cited by foreign buyers as reasons to buy property in the US. Fanny Chu offers her advice on working with international buyers and why they continue to be motivated to look for real estate in the United States. Fanny is a professional Speaker, Trainer, and Agent with Better Homes and Gardens JF Finnegan (CA).
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Product Review: ListHub Global
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Why You Should Work with Buyers from China… and How
One of the hottest trends in American real estate right now isn't coming from America. It's the millions of new Chinese buyers that are investing in residential properties here in the USA. They're wealthy. They're motivated. And they're very savvy when it comes to buying real estate. Consider the following statistics from China based global real estate listing site, Juwai.com: Chinese are so eager to invest in North American property that sometimes they bring the money with them on the plane. Last summer, a Chinese man was stopped at the airport for having around $177,500 in hundred-dollar bills stuffed in his wallet, pockets and under the lining of his suitcase. In the U.S., Chinese citizens are the top source of airport cash seizures after Americans. Chinese are the world's fastest-growing property buyer demographic. They spent $7.2 billion on overseas property in 2009. This is projected to climb to $114 billion by 2015. One-third of Chinese millionaires have assets overseas, and real estate is their preferred asset type, according to research by the Hurun Report. China's economy is still thriving. The country is minting millionaires at a rapid pace. The pool of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in China is expected to expand at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate in the next three years, according to McKinsey & Company. That said, reaching the Chinese buyer of American real estate isn't as easy as listing your property online or buying an advertisement in a Chinese magazine.
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The Challenges (and Opportunities!) of International Advertising
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The New Frontier of Internet Marketing, Part 2
This is the second half of a new whitepaper from ListHub. View Part One here. The Current State of Affairs The quality of U.S. listing information on international websites around the world today is abysmal. We conducted a study in which we evaluated listing data accuracy on two major publishers in the UK that display U.S. listings, RightMove and Zoopla. Here's what we did: we randomly selected 200 listings from the UK websites and checked each one for accuracy by comparing the listing information on the UK site to the listing information on realtor.com®. We chose sites in the UK for one simple reason: they are in English, and thus, easier for us to evaluate without translation. We checked five core fields for each listing: status, price, address, beds, and baths. If all five factors were correct for the listing, it was deemed "accurate." And here is what we found: RightMove: 63% of listings were incorrect on at least one core field. Zoopla: 86% of the listings were incorrect on at least one core field. Overall: 75% of the listings were inaccurate, only 25% accuracy observed on international publishers. 75% OF THE LISTINGS OBSERVED ON INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS ARE INACCURATE; HALF OF THOSE WERE NOT EVEN ON MARKET 32% of all the listings we looked up (nearly half of the total inaccurate listings) were not even on the market, with "last sold" dates as long ago as 2007, 2005 and 1992! Clearly, there are severe problems with current methodology used by today's brokers and agents to advertise their listings on international publishers. The question is, what can we do about it?
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The New Frontier of Internet Marketing
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Expand Your Real Estate Reach
There's nothing wrong with focusing on community for your real estate agent marketing. In fact, it's crucial to use social media to emphasize to your clients and prospects that you are indeed the right person to find them a home in a particular part of the country. But that doesn't mean you should think locally exclusively. New research shows that foreign buyers still see the U.S. as a safe real estate investment, making them a new target for your real estate agent marketing. Trulia's International House Hunter Report shows a drop in the foreign share of American home searches, but nevertheless reveals that despite increasing housing prices, U.S. real estate is seen as among the safest investments. "Although Europe's financial troubles have been a global economic threat, the Eurozone crisis had a silver lining for U.S. housing in 2011 as Europeans looked to American real estate as a safer investment," said Trulia's Dr. Jed Kolko. "Last year, the share of searches from Greece, Spain and Italy increased, bucking the international trend. Now, however, the foreign search share is declining even from those Eurozone crisis countries."
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2012 Forecast—Investment Properties Gain Popularity
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Report on International Internet Traffic Searching for US Homes
Point2homes.com, a global compilation of almost 775,000 residential listings, has just released a report on where the viewers are coming from internationally and where they are looking in the U.S. Some really interesting findings include: 33 percent of the international traffic searching for homes was directed to Florida listings 15.15 percent was focused on Arizona house listings Canadians made up 91.89 percent of all international traffic on Arizona searches, 75.9 percent of Hawaiian traffic, 73.92 percent of Michigan traffic, 70.55 percent of Nevada activity and 65.05 percent of California’s Nevada accounted for 8.22 percent of all searches Canada accounted for the most visitors followed by the U.K. and Mexico The top 10 cities searched in the US were:The top ten states searched by foreigners were: 1. Las Vegas, Nevada 1. Florida 2. Orlando, Florida 2. Arizona 3. Kissimmee, Florida 3. Nevada 4. Detroit, Michigan 4. California 5. Pompano Beach, Florida 5. Puerto Rico (yes—I know, not a state….) 6. Miami, Florida 6. Texas 7. Mesa, Arizona 7. Michigan 8. Davenport, Florida 8. Hawaii 9. Phoenix, Arizona 9. Georgia 10. Indio, California 10. New York
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Video: International Buyers
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Real Estate Marketing: Broker Branding Help Desk
Brokers of all sizes struggle with brand consistency—especially if agent support of the broker’s brand is a desire and not required and/or supported by the broker’s marketing department. It is also the nature of our industry that many agents believe that because a few “rock stars” have built great agent brands, everyone can do it. That would be great, but I’m afraid this simply isn’t true. Big brokers have marketing teams that support managing the broker brand. The branded materials they create are consistent and communicate effectively. But it can still be a challenge to make sure agents consistently support the broker’s brand. In fact, small brokers typically do not have marketing teams; so worst case, they send the company logo to their agents and hope for the best. Today, brokers of all sizes need a branding help desk.  
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Looking for New Prospects? Target Canadians
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