International buyers are a big factor in the U.S. property market. Different countries comprise powerful niches, and lucrative markets to tap into. NAR’s (National Association of Realtors) research shows that international clients have a closing rate of 50% compared to domestic clients at 33%. International buyers have invested over $365 billion in U.S. property since 2010.
The U.S. property market appeals to international buyers because it’s seen as a stable investment in an attractive location. While there has been a drop in international interest this year, it’s still worthwhile to learn about these markets.
Who is Buying Where?
International buyers are not a homogenous group. It’s important to know what kind of properties attract what buyers, and who is looking in your areas. The most popular states for international buyers are Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and New York.
We wrote about Chinese national clients in a previous blog post. Chinese buyers more frequently invest in new condominiums on the West Coast and purchase in suburbs. California and New York attract Asian buyers.
Canadians, Latin Americans, and Europeans tend to buy in warm climates such as Arizona or Florida. Canadians show particular interest in San Diego and Palm Springs.
A 2016 NAR study showed that nearly half of international buyers purchased property in the suburbs, with a third purchasing in urban areas, 14% in small town or rural areas, and 8% in resort areas. Chinese and Indian buyers tend to purchase in suburbs; Canadian and UK non-resident buyers purchase in resort areas, and Mexican resident buyers purchase in urban and suburban areas.
Strategies for Reaching International Clients
With any new strategy, you have to allocate resources. Create a specific marketing plan and budget for international buyers, and start doing your research.
Many investors look online from abroad. Stand out in the search engine by advertising yourself as an agent for international buyers. Know what sites they use to search for properties, such as Juwai.com, China’s largest overseas property website. Find advertising opportunities that will put your properties in international print and digital advertisements, such as luxury magazines.
Become familiar with the global real estate market. Once you identify a niche of international buyers who will be interested in your properties, find out as much as you can about that country, culture, and real estate buying trends.
If you know other languages, advertise it. If not, you might want to consider hiring a translator. At the same time, most international buyers search for property online in English, so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t speak the same language. For ease of understanding, avoid using abbreviations such as BR for bedroom — abbreviations don’t translate.
Working with International Clients
When you have an international client, go above and beyond to give them excellent service. First, learn as much as you can about them and their country of origin as possible. Respect them for who they are and where they come from.
Help them navigate the process of purchasing in the U.S., which they may be unfamiliar with. Give genuine, good advice. If they visit to view a property, make sure to give them tips on where to stay, eat, and how to get around. Putting in the extra mile for your international clients could secure you referrals in the future.
International buyers are a strong, stable market to break into. Every real estate agent should consider how they can appeal and advertise to international buyers. To learn more about international advertising options, contact Sky Advertising today.