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How to Attract International Real Estate Buyers
As 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.
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Using Online Marketing to Grow Your Luxury Real Estate Business
The majority of buyers start their home search online. They search current listings and look for the right real estate agent to help them through the buying process. With luxury real estate, the impact of online marketing is even more powerful. To attract and keep affluent clients, agencies must project an image of luxury from the start.
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Do You Have the Referrals to Move Up to Luxury Home Sales?
If you want to do real estate right, then you need to consider every client a "high-touch" client. Of course, that's easier read on a blog than done, isn't it? Well, if your goal is to work in the luxury home market, treating every client that way isn't a choice—it's an expectation. The leap from selling traditional homes to luxury properties isn't one many agents land on the first try. The big homes are often few and far between, and the people that own them tend to know each other. That means you need to become comfortable with referral marketing, know where to network, and understand an entirely new set of expectations. And all that means taking a new approach to your business.
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5 Tips for Getting Started in Luxury Homes
At 19, Jim Remley listed over 150 properties in a 12-month period and was listed in the top 1 percent of REALTORS® nationwide. Today, he is author of three books, the Principal Broker/Sales Manager at his agency, and an accredited Luxury Home Specialist. In a recent webinar, "Marketing Luxury Homes," Remley shared five tips for finding luxury buyers and marketing luxury homes. 1. Social Marketing It can be tough to locate qualified buyers in the luxury home market. "The affluent folks live in circles. They all know each other," and as such, "they often go to their friends, their neighbors, people they trust to find what to purchase, where to go, and where to live," says Remley. In fact, 38 percent of luxury home specialists agree that the best way to find an affluent buyer is through social marketing. That's why it's important to use your network, your colleagues, even your competitors to find affluent buyers. 2. Growing Your Network A good way to start or expand your network of luxury buyers and sellers is to buy local databases and mailing lists. The country club, yacht club, and local title companies are a great place to start. Remley mentions that you can often get a basic list from these companies for free, but can get more data points to better target luxury clients with a paid list.
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What Luxury Clients Prefer: Apple Devices and Traditional Media
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Do Luxury Clients Prefer iPhones?
I'm captivated by this map of iPhone users in New York City. It shows where Android and iOS users are concentrated geographically. And, surprise (or not?), the lines appear to be drawn along economic lines. iPhones users (in red) coat affluent Manhattan, while Android dominates the poorer outer boroughs. The trend stays true in other locales, as well--San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London all map out according to the same income pattern. Does this mean that luxury clients prefer premium-priced iPhones over lower cost Androids? The data seem to suggest that. If you serve the luxury market, consider switching to an iPhone to better reflect the values of your client base. And be sure that your website looks good and functions properly on the platform. Similarly, any apps you offer to clients (like branded search apps, eSign, etc.) need to work flawlessly on iOS.
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How to Use LinkedIn to Attract Luxury Clients
We're continuing a holiday tradition of revisiting our best articles of the past year. This post was originally published in February on our Broker channel. The drum of how to use social media in real estate marketing keeps a steady, if repetitive, beat. Facebook has become such a shark tank for self promoting marketers that consumers are beginning to get aggravated. Facebook was never really intended for business, but it is what it is – a place for personal sharing and business sharing. However, on the other side of the fence is LinkedIn – a website that is totally dedicated to business. Sales professionals that do not take advantage of the latest tools for business development will stagnate today. Winning professionals maximize every opportunity to find new customers. LinkedIn is a great spot to connect with other professionals. Here are a few suggestions that you may want to keep in mind: 1. Advanced Search LinkedIn has a great search tool. You can search for people by job title in your area – like all CEOs, Chief Marketing Officers, Vice Presidents, etc. You can also search by Lawyer, Doctor, and more to target those in upper income brackets. You can even search by company to see everyone that works for your area's largest businesses. Tip: LinkedIn often offers free trials of their Premium subscriptions. Consider signing up for the trial to see the profiles of and gain the ability to contact those outside of your immediate network.
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