Think Global, Sell Local

iStock_000013296501XSmallHola. Bonjour. Ni Hao. Jambo. Guten Tag. Shalom. In how many languages can you say, “Hello?”

If you’re like a growing number of REALTORS®, the answer is probably, “more than one.” That’s because international buyers are a growing segment of the real estate market, and the successful REALTOR® takes steps to understand and communicate with foreign buyers. These steps go far beyond simply learning a few phrases in a different language into an understanding of the cultural, economic and legal issues surrounding international purchases. This understanding puts both the REALTOR® and client at ease, allowing them both to take advantage of some incredible real estate opportunities.

The long-term appreciation potential and rental opportunities of U.S. homes have long been appealing to foreign buyers. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, international purchases surged by $16 billion for the past year ending March 2011, fueled by low prices and plentiful inventory.

The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is the only designation of its kind in the real estate industry. It arms real estate professionals with the tools to service the growing international market by providing education and resources to ensure that each and every transaction is a smooth one. And a profitable one. According to a 2008 member survey, CIPS designees earn $50,000 more than non-CIPS designees from real estate sales annually.

Many foreign buyers appreciate working with REALTORS® with prior experience closing deals for clients from different cultures. With the CIPS designation you will learn insights like:

  • As U.S. colleges and universities accept growing numbers of international students, some foreign families purchase homes near the school for their child’s residence.
  • Some foreign executives temporarily working in the U.S. prefer to purchase a residence instead of renting.
  • Total international sales were split evenly between non-resident foreigners and recent immigrants.
  • 62 percent of international purchases were reported as being all cash. This percentage is significantly higher than all-cash purchases for domestic buyers, mostly due financing challenges that continue to be a major hurdle for international buyers.

It’s clear that the U.S. continues to remain a top destination for foreign buyers. Earn the CIPS designation and ensure that a growing slice of this international real estate pie (or pizza, or quesadilla) generates revenue for your business.