We’ve got the secrets to finding awesome foreign real estate clients using international real estate marketing! Read on for key cultural insights and expert tips to expand your reach and boost sales with foreign clients in the global market.
International real estate is a booming niche that is only growing by the year. Several nations have realized the lucrative benefits of opening their housing markets to global clients, even offering golden visas or passports. If you haven’t hopped on the global real estate boom, now could be a great time to learn more and step up your real estate business.
As an international real estate agent, you need to know how to connect with buyers overseas to make them feel as if they are right beside you throughout the home-buying process. With different cultures, language barriers, and time zones, being a player in the global real estate market requires a whole different array of skills.
Real estate agents are an especially important source of info once buyers are ready to move forward in the buying process. Real estate processes may be different in other countries and you are meant to be the local expert. Your clients are expecting you to provide advice on the real estate process at the moment and on current and coming trends in the market.
How to Market to Foreign Buyers
Deeply Study Your Target Client
We can’t stress enough the importance of getting to know as much as possible about your client and their background. Start by diving into your client’s home country’s cultural traditions, political situation, cross-cultural communication, and world outlook. These qualities shape what they look for in a property and they may be drastically different from what domestic buyers want. Think about your home’s location, features, and price from the standpoint of what your client values.
Break Into Luxury Markets
A large chunk of the foreign investment in real estate in the United States is within the luxury category. To get in front of those clients, focus on building your reputation as a luxury real estate agent in your market. Not only will you get accustomed to working with a luxury buyer, but you’ll soon be on the radar of more international clients. Commonly, foreign buyers are willing to spend more money than most domestic buyers.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
Your online digital marketing skills are going to be key when you’re reaching out to clients who are physically in a completely different country. Foreign buyers can’t see properties in person, so they are relying on the quality of your photography.
Photos given to your international buyers need to be exceptional: great lighting, high quality, and easy to view and load on every device. A video walk-through can take it to the next level by allowing you to make helpful commentary on the features of the home as you give a tour.
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.
Choose the Right Time Zone
Engagement and views on your online posts can be heavily determined by when you post. Post at 2 a.m. in your client’s time zone and your post will be buried by the time they wake up. If your clients are located around the world, time zones will play a larger factor than usual in the success of your campaigns.
Focus on High-Quality Staging
Staging a home meant for international buyers has its challenges. Global buyers may have totally different design preferences and add meaning to different qualities of a home. It’s best to remove any blatant religious or political symbols as they may be misinterpreted by buyers and create a negative impression of your listing.
For many North American buyers, it’s normal for appliances to be included in the sale of the home. For buyers from Germany, for example, this isn’t always the case. Many bathrooms in Southeast Asian homes have bidet showers, while this isn’t typical in the United States. International buyers could have totally different expectations and assumptions about what is included in a typical home sale. Your property listing description should go into deep detail about which features are and are not in the home. These missed details can create loads of miscommunication, so take the extra step to be forward-thinking.
Beat Language Barriers
A language barrier is a common challenge in day-to-day cosmopolitan life. With expensive transactions such as real estate, breaking through language barriers is crucial to help to avoid surprises or legal issues down the road.
Offer foreign language translations on your digital content and real estate website. Let the visuals of your content speak for themselves, by communicating your brand and business ethos through colour and style.
AgentFire Websites offer the option for translation on your website. Speak to our designers about how to make a website with the option to view in multiple languages.
You can also take the step of advertising in your buyer’s home country in their language. Consider, for example, a local newspaper in a wealthy area.
Develop Target Buyer Personas
Gathering information about your clientele and organize it based on client persona. For example, one persona could be a businessman looking for a temporary home or a couple searching for an apartment for their son. With these individual personas in mind, you’ll know exactly who you are targeting with each marketing campaign.
Reply to Inquiries Quickly
We know that responding to your clients on time is important, even more so when working with foreign buyers. They may be in totally different time zones and have only a small window to contact you. Either get familiar with the relevant time zones and make yourself available or arrange for an assistant to answer messages and calls while you’re away.
Build Referrals in that Country
Are you planning on visiting the home country of your foreign buyers? If you have the opportunity to visit, take advantage of it and make as many professional connections as possible. For example, purchase from and develop relationships with luxury vendors, business owners, etc who cater to your target real estate market. If you are staying in a condo or Airbnb, introduce yourself to the owner.
Put Testimonials Front and Center
Testimonials are powerful examples of social proof and land more clients than many other types of marketing content. If you have worked with international clients before, make sure to ask them for a testimonial on your website. All the better if it’s in their native tongue. This is a great way to demonstrate to future clients that clients from their own culture and background trust you and have had positive results.
Use your social media to share clips of these testimonials (if you are lucky enough to get them on video). Stories of your clients finding their dream properties will spike the interest of potential buyers. Use your online popularity to establish yourself as a hyperlocal expert.
List on International Sites
Thanks to online listing sites like Trulia and Zillow, buyers around the globe can browse properties on sale overseas. Some global listing sites include Rightmove, World Properties, Place in the Sun and On the Market. The great thing about these websites is that it’s easy to rank highly for very specific keywords.
Provide Virtual Tours
Virtual real estate tours are more popular than ever. These tools are especially useful for out-of-country buyers by providing an interactive alternative to in-person viewing.
Adapt on Social Media
A viral social media post is arguably the fastest way to score global recognition. The challenge with international buyers is that they may not have access to or use the same apps that are booming in your country. For example, China has a national firewall against Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. This means that no one in China will have easy access to your super catchy Instagram reel.
Instead, do as your client does. Post on Douyin for your Chinese clients or Mixi in Japan. Get familiar with the most popular platforms in each country and work with those. When it comes to leads brought in by your social media posts, be sure to have a lead funnel in place.
Brand Yourself as a Luxury Agent
Is there anything about your own lifestyle and personality that will uniquely click with your clients? For example, to grab the attention of luxury clients, make sure to dress impeccably in your social posts or ads. If you own a luxury car, you may want to throw that in the background too. This will tell your clients that you understand their lifestyle and the type of home they are looking for
Even if your clients aren’t luxury clients, you can find something you have in common with them or enjoy about their culture. Adding storytelling elements to your brand creates an emotional connection with your prospects while showing your expertise.
Get Your Website in TipTop Shape
Your website is your number-one global salesperson. It should be thought of as the centre of all things related to your digital business marketing, where customers can browse your listings, learn about your business, reach out to you and peek at your expertise.
As the leader of real estate website creators, our AgentFire team knows what real estate businesses need to drive conversions and attract the right prospects. International agents have the option of built-in translation tools within their site to make it easy for clients who may not have a high level of English. For more details on our web stacks and marketing tools, take a tour of our web products.
It’s essential for your website to be able to capture leads through your CRM, especially with the complications of international contact information and time zones.
Provide Pre-recorded Open Houses
Pre-recorded open houses are a professional and polished approach to a home tour when you are not able to give one in real time. With a pre-recorded tour you can plan your steps ahead of time and get the lighting and staging exactly how it should be without any missteps. Additionally, international clients will have the opportunity to witness a detailed open house even if they are watching it in the middle of the night, your time.
International real estate advertising is just like any other digital real estate marketing plan, but on a wider scale. Think about the typical global barriers that make connecting with others from foreign countries challenging and apply that to your new international marketing strategy. Language, time differences, and cultural misunderstandings, are among many of the intricacies that need to be taken into account. With the tips above, connecting with prospective international clients will be drastically easier.
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