While the COVID-19 pandemic and global travel restrictions certainly put a damper on international real estate, the good news is that the market is back on the upswing. In fact, the industry is seeing a rapidly growing market of foreign buyers looking to purchase luxury real estate right here in the United States.
According to a report by the National Association of REALTORs®, the majority of international clients are purchasing properties in Florida, Texas, and California—but luxury real estate agents in all 50 states should be looking to expand their reach internationally as means of boosting their earning potentials and growing their spheres of influence.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got a few tried-and-true tips for luxury real estate professionals ready to find success in international real estate.
1. Find a Niche
The most successful luxury real estate professionals who are doing business internationally are the ones who have a specialized skill set that sets them apart from other agents. This is true at the luxury level in general—but it’s especially true when you’re making the leap into the international market.
If you’re looking to attract foreign buyers to your local area, you’ll need to be a true expert on the local market. This includes staying up-to-date on properties, pricing, common amenities, attractions, and schools nearby. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to sell abroad, you’ll likely find more success focusing on one destination and gaining as much specialized knowledge about that destination as possible. This might even include learning a new language to better communicate with local clients.
Of course, this isn’t to say that once you choose a region to focus your international business on, you cannot expand your reach down the road. Many successful real estate professionals go on to represent clients in multiple countries. As you’re looking to get started in international real estate, however, it’s generally best to start small and grow from there.
2. Brand Yourself
You already know the importance of branding yourself locally as a luxury real estate professional. If you want to find success internationally, however, you’ll need to ramp up your marketing efforts even more. People need to know that you’re the expert of your target region—and they’re unlikely to do so without explicit marketing materials from you.
Take the time to curate a marketing plan that’s specific to your target region and its culture. From there, take your marketing strategy across the globe with social media, email marketing, print advertisements, and more. It may be helpful here to work with a marketing firm in your target market, especially if you want to avoid the potential for language or cultural barriers negating your efforts.
3. Network With Out-of-Market Real Estate Professionals
By far one of the best ways to get into contact with international clients (or potential clients) is to network with other luxury real estate professionals across the globe. Fortunately, technology makes this easier than ever before; you don’t necessarily need to travel to your target location to meet other professionals in person (though this isn’t a bad idea if you have the resources).
Instead, joining online communities and other professional organizations can be a great way to meet foreign luxury real estate professionals who may be able to point you in the direction of new clients. These days, it is also common for major international conferences and trade shows to include a digital option for attendance—so this can provide a great opportunity to network globally without physically leaving the country.
4. Ask For Referrals
Last but certainly not least, never hesitate to ask for referrals directly. After all, referrals are the proverbial bread and butter of most real estate businesses. Any time you’re working with a client, it’s a good idea to ask them for referrals or even direct introductions to others who may be searching for a luxury real estate agent.
As you gain more experience in international real estate, your sphere of influence will naturally grow—and so will your referral base. Still, it will be important to continue asking for referrals directly and to make sure your branding makes it clear that you’re an expert in your target region.
Ready to Break Into the International Luxury Real Estate Market?
The international luxury real estate market is growing rapidly, creating lucrative opportunities for luxury real estate professionals who can effectively brand themselves and network in different regions across the globe. With these best practices in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making your debut in the international market. From there, the sky’s the limit.
Looking to differentiate yourself from other luxury real estate professionals in the international market? The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing has resources to help you do just that, including powerful designations (such as the CLHMS™ designation) and other training to set yourself apart from the competition. Learn more on our website or reach out to our team directly to join our exclusive network.