International buyers purchased more than $100 billion of real estate in the United States and Canada in 2015. That’s a market with huge opportunity for real estate agents. Today at Family Reunion, KW associate and Global Property Specialist (GPS) member Zola Szerencses of Winter Park (Fla.) talked to attendees about the simple steps they can take to reach international buyers and grow their business.
Szerencses’ advice for agents who want to incorporate international real estate transactions into their business is:
International transactions, methods and measuring systems are different than domestic sales. Agents must know the differences inside and out in order to be able to best serve their clients. Seek out educational opportunities to help you fully understand this area.
You must invest in yourself and become active in this space. Two ways to do so include joining KW GPS and becoming a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS).
Build your team of professionals to help you through each transaction. These are the people you have a solid, respectful relationship with, and who are on speed dial. Some key players to have on your team are:
- Foreign mortgage lenders
- Currency exchange experts
- Immigration attorneys
- International CPAs
- Reputable property managers for both short - and long - term rentals
Don’t be a secret agent. Tell the world who you are, what you do and how you can serve their real estate needs. KW GPS has numerous tools for members to help them market their listings and services all across the world. With KW GPS, you have access to more than 500,000 international practitioners across the globe – exposing your listings to 800 international Websites. Talk about coverage!
Integrate your international real estate services with your domestic services and market yourself as a complete solution that handles both markets. You don’t need to run these as separate businesses.
“You must be authentic. One cannot be an agent of the world, Szerencses said. “To be successful in international real estate, you have to choose a region or select one to three countries to specialize in. Most importantly, the reasons for your choices must be authentic. Clients will see through you if your reasoning is for financial gain alone. Being authentic is essential.”
Szerencses has been a member of KW GPS for a year. He is taking on the opportunity of untapped business in international real estate with gusto. “We live in a global business world,” he said. “Whatever happens in other countries effects all of us no matter where we live. This is a crucial understanding we must embrace.”