We’re all used to hearing that the world has become smaller since technology enabled such speedy communication and travel, but one area of business where this really shows is in luxury real estate. International buyers are playing an increasingly important role in shaping regional markets, and as a real estate agent, getting involved with these clients can help you to expand your business and reach exciting new audiences. Take a look at our E&V suggestions for the six things every agent should do to engage with international clients.
Expand your address book
New clients are pretty hard to come by if your network of contacts only consists of friends and neighbours. It’s important to visit the countries you hope to do business with, and scout out influential locals such as elite restaurateurs or luxury salespeople. These individuals are likely to be able to put you in contact with the high-end clients, who can then bear you in mind when they come to search for a property investment or second home.
Do your research
The luxury market is highly competitive, but a personal connection will always win the day. Thoroughly research every contact you make, finding out about their business, background, interests and any topics of conversation that are best avoided. Similarly, look for any trends emerging in the market that will help you pre-empt the kind of areas and properties that clients from a particular background are most likely to be interested in.
Be the expert
Whether you’re working abroad with fellow nationals, or helping international clients find properties in your home country, you’ll need to have all the information they could possibly require right at your fingertips. From navigating legalities and documentation to advice on everyday life, you should offer a completely customised service to meet each client’s specific needs.
Speak the language
Although many high net-worth individuals speak English in business, knowing another language can give you an edge and help you stand out from the crowd. International clients are more likely to favour someone who can speak to them in their mother tongue, and by professionally blogging or recording sales videos, you can make sure they hear about you online.
Keep a global focus
Expertise in your home market won’t be enough to persuade international buyers – you’ll need to stay up to date on global developments and be ready with your own opinions and predictions. Similarly, be careful with the language you use, as common English abbreviations are likely to alienate second-language clients. Keep things formal and simple, and always list measurements and other crucial statistics in both metric and imperial figures.
International clients are unlikely to work from the same time zone as you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be contacted. If you want the sale, you’ll need to be on hand with information whenever you’re needed, and make sure your website is equally adaptable. Mobile optimisation is crucial for clients using phones or tablets while travelling, so make sure pictures and any other information are well presented on any device.
If you’re interested in the possibilities offered by Engel & Völkers in international real estate training, visit our website to find out more about our company, our franchise system and our esteemed training academy.