The globalization of real estate: Key takeaway #3 from Inman NYC 2013

If you are considering doing business with international buyers or sellers, it’s a lot of work, but it can become quite rewarding. This was the message of the last day of Inman NYC 2013, dedicated to international real estate—a topic that was well received by the attendees. The agenda was filled with speakers from various countries, providing valuable tips on conducting business in their markets. Here are five tips they shared:

  1. Video is a must. International buyers expect to see video of your property and the surrounding community as part of your listing. No video will drastically reduce your chances of reaching serious buyers.
  2. Understand the transaction process in the other jurisdiction. The rules of the game can be quite different from place to place. It is a lot of work, but critical that you get familiar with the rules of the market in question, as you will need to educate your client throughout the process. Organisations such as the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations (ICREA) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) are great places to start, as they provide training for an international designation, as well as international listing websites.
  3. International buyers are also looking outside of big cities. The right buyer for your cottage or small town home might be in another country. Speakers from Europe and Asia were in agreement that there is plenty of interest for properties outside of large urban areas. Even if you are not selling real estate in Toronto or Vancouver, you can still consider an international selling strategy.
  4. Facebook is global…but stay within your “cultural sphere.” If you are using social media to attract international buyers, make sure that you are aware of cultural differences and that you understand the language.
  5. Get smart about international SEO (search engine optimization). Like in Canada, most searches for information start with search engines such as Google. When listing a property, make sure to tag your listings (including images and videos) with the appropriate descriptions and keywords.

This is just one of many useful takeaways, including the “Latte Vision” and “Too much choice, so little time.” If you attended the conference, leave a comment to share your thoughts and key learnings with fellow REALTORS®.

Patrick Pichette, Vice-President,, is responsible for the development and growth of Canada’s leading real estate website, and other technology services that help REALTORS® in Canada and their businesses. As the head of the Product Management and IT Services departments, he is constantly evaluating the latest technology trends. Patrick is also the staff liaison on CREA’s Technology Committee. Prior to joining CREA, he held marketing and product management leadership positions with MD Physician Services (a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association) and the Canadian Tourism Commission. When not at work, Patrick can be found at a local rink or baseball diamond coaching his favourite sports.

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