NAR Library and Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly field guides) provide links to articles, e-books, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of insights. EBSCO Articles (my) are available only to NAR members and require the member’s nar.realtor login.
International customer data
Profile of international transactions in US residential real estate in 2022 (National Association of REALTORS®2022)
- 44 percent of foreign buyers bought properties as a holiday home, rental or both.
- Foreign buyers from five countries continued to account for the majority of reported purchases: Canada (11 percent), Mexico (8 percent), China (6 percent), India (5 percent) and Brazil (3 percent).
- The top destinations for foreign buyers are Florida (24 percent), California (11 percent), Texas (8 percent), Arizona (7 percent) and New York (4 percent).
Marketing and Sales to International Clients
How to market your house to foreign buyers: a complete guide (List with smartNovember 20, 2021)
Having great real estate photos and a video tour is essential when selling to international buyers. If they cannot come see the property in person, they will rely on these images when making a decision. You want your home to have the best light possible, so don’t take shortcuts.
Tips for working with international clients (The residential specialistMarch 24, 2022)
“Just as your clients rely on you as a real estate expert, you need to rely on experts in other fields to help support transactions. And this is even more important when working with international clients. “You definitely need to vet the people you’re working with,” Galavis says. “You don’t want your client to be the first international client they work with.”
How to Attract International Buyers to Your Real Estate Listings (The CE StoreAugust 28, 2021)
“Building a network with international real estate agents teaches you about international processes and foreign investors. By making these connections, you will better understand what the global audience expects from a specific country while searching for a property. Even better, established international real estate agents can refer potential clients to you.”
How to Market Real Estate Globally (REALTORS® in the Greater Tampa AreaJuly 11, 2021)
“Succeeding in the global real estate market requires a lot of patience and respect for cultural differences. Consumer behavior is strongly influenced by culture, where Western culture is different from Eastern culture. Therefore, understanding customer customs is an important skill that drives the success of acquiring an international buyer.”
Go global from home (REALTOR® Magazine, March April. 2021)
Because much of real estate business is now virtual, it is much easier to make connections and build business relationships. You can reach international buyers using the technology tools you’re familiar with, such as video conferencing and virtual exhibitions, and keep them up to date with market changes. In many cases, closings can be completed without the need for in-person signatures. Yun is optimistic that wider distribution of coronavirus vaccines will help boost foreign transactions again.
3 digital tools that revolutionize the global real estate sector (Florida REALTOR®March 26, 2021)
Lance makes a point to take into account different time zones and languages spoken. “If you hold virtual open houses on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Eastern, know what time it is where your international buyers live. If language is an issue (for some it doesn’t matter because people speak English), consider transcribing your open houses or videos. Rev (rev.com) is a great service. Or have an assistant or someone on your team who can be a liaison and help with the language barrier.”
For the latest articles on marketing and sales to international customers, see Global perspectives published monthly by the National Association of REALTORS®.
The international buyers market
New York City brokers await the long-awaited return of international buyers (The royal agreementMay 1, 2023)
Although brokers agreed that international buyers had returned to the market, it is more difficult to track exactly when they returned and in what volume.
Global transactions rebound despite challenges (Florida REALTORS®April 12, 2023)
South America and Canada continued to lead the group of international visitors in 2022. These same groups also translate into buyers: 45% of Florida’s foreign buyers come from Latin America and the Caribbean and 21% come from Canada.
Best Cities for Foreign Investment in US Real Estate (Home abroadApril 3, 2023)
“Another reason the US housing market is a good investment is the strength of the economy. Furthermore, the country has a stable political and social environment and a growing population. The United States is also one of the most popular tourist destinations globally, meaning that short-term rental properties are always in demand. The US real estate market is also very diverse, with properties available in all price ranges.”
The basics of etiquette in international business
International trade label from around the world (Business.comApril 7, 2023)
When you travel to other countries to do business, research is key. What is considered proper etiquette or good manners varies greatly from country to country.
6 Powerful Global Etiquette Lessons from Around the World (American labelSeptember 19, 2022)
It is good global etiquette to seek an appropriate greeting before traveling. In some cultures, using a loose grip is a sign of respect. Some countries have specific policies for men versus women. Whether it’s a bow, a kiss on the cheek, or a long hug, be sure to practice and get approval at home before visiting another country.
China: commercial label (Santander CommerceJune 2022)
It is common to be offered food and drink during a meeting. Business meals are an important part of business relationships and people should sit down and eat in order of importance. Don’t finish all your food because your Chinese partners will think you’re still hungry. If you invite someone to an activity or a meal, you are expected to pay for it. However, try not to flash your money in front of your guests.
Overcoming cultural barriers in negotiations and the importance of communication in international trade agreements (Negotiation Program, Harvard Law SchoolApril 26, 2022)
“Respect for cultural differences will get you much further than ignorance, so it’s important to do your research when entering into negotiations with unfamiliar counterparts.”
17 International Business Customs That Could Make or Break a Deal (Daily business newsApril 25, 2022)
“While in the United States deadlines are usually considered firm dates, in Spain the same cannot be said. In Spain the deadlines are seen more as indicative. If someone misses a deadline, it’s generally not frowned upon. Americans should not feel insulted by missed deadlines; instead, they should schedule potential delays into schedules.”
Reports and other resources
International listings (real estate agent.com®)
- Explore overseas properties in popular areas
- Popular properties around the world
- New developments pending completion worldwide
Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation (National Association of REALTORS®)
No matter what audience you are targeting, the CIPS designation will provide you with the knowledge, research, network and tools to globalize and expand your business.
CIPS Network (National Association of REALTORS®)
The CIPS Network is made up of real estate professionals in more than 60 countries, focusing on an international clientele. Through NAR’s alliances with 81 national and regional cooperating associations around the world, more and more members are joining the network from outside the United States.
Books, e-books and other resources
Our eBook collection contains a large number of audio and eBooks for learning a variety of foreign languages and international business. Below you will find a sample of the materials available.
Learn a foreign language like Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Spanish! Check out our eBooks in foreign languages here (select “Foreign language study” in the list Subject Dropdown menu).
Business between cultures (ebook)
Communicate globally (ebook)
Global Color: Clues and Taboos (ebook)
The Global Manager’s Guide to Cultural Literacy (EBSCO eBook)
The global you (EBSCO eBook)
International real estate manual (ebook)
Multicultural manners (ebook)
Understand the global market (ebook)
Books, videos, research reports and more
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for checkout through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or available for pickup at the REALTOR® building in Chicago.
World Wise: What you should know before you go (New York, NY: Fairchild Publications, 2006) HF 5389 D44
Overcoming Culture Shock: What You Need to Succeed in International Business (Naperville, Illinois: Nicholas Brealey, 1999) HF 5389 M36
Kissing, bowing or shaking hands: how to do business in sixty countries (Holbrook, MA: B. Adams, 1994) HF 5389 M67
What to do and taboos in the world (Elmsford, New York: Benjamin, 1985) HF 5386 P22
The Culturally Personalized Website: Website Personalization for the Global Market (Chicago, IL: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005) HF 5548.5 N63
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