Google+

Archive for Lead Generation

How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand

Personal Branding

What is a personal brand?

Essentially, it’s the reputation you have as a business and in business. As a Realtor®, your personal brand is essential because you personally provide the service.

You may also have a broker, but that brand doesn’t define your business. You can change brokers, but you can’t change YOU!

How do you build a powerful personal brand? The good news is that a lot of the tips of branding a business apply to personal branding as well. Here’s what you need to know.

Determine What Makes You Different

The way you serve clients isn’t like anyone else. If you think of yourself as “someone who buys and sells houses,” you’re no different from tens of thousands of others. But if you think about what makes you unique, you can see how your service stands alone in your market.

You can differentiate by having a unique attitude – be playful and fun, or be extremely data-oriented, for instance. You can be different because of who you serve – maybe you focus on older folks who downsize or on finding homes for young families.

No matter how you slice it, you need an answer to the question, “Why should I choose you as my Realtor® rather than the dozens of others who offer the same service?”

Once you have that answer, it becomes the foundation of your personal brand.

Build Up a Good Online Reputation

Just like any business, you need a strong online reputation. This involves claiming your Google My Business profile and social media handles. (You don’t have to be active on all social media, but you want to have your name claimed in case you decide to later!)

You also want to build your brand by encouraging positive reviews. You can get reviews from anyone, even folks who didn’t close a deal with you! As long as you treated them professionally and they had a positive experience, they can share that on your behalf.

As you interact on social media and your website, be sure you maintain yourself in accordance with your uniqueness and brand at all times. Don’t be like this chef who turned a minor criticism into a major debacle by losing his cool!

It takes time to build a reputation, but as you do, you’re building your personal brand. This will pay off in great leads and consistent business for years to come!

Combine Your Online and Offline Outreach

Connecting with audiences online is an important part of your marketing mix, but nothing will replace offline marketing. From sending seasonal postcards to being present in your target neighborhoods, you need to be sure you’re visible in your market.

Fewer people are marketing through the mail these days, which makes it the perfect place to stand out. I even get mailers from Google, so don’t think I’m making this up!

And of course nothing replaces the rapport and trust you can build by being present, face-to-face with your target market. Whether you do pop bys, participate in local events, or walk your dog through the neighborhood, it’s important that people know your name, face, and personality.

When you combine online and offline marketing, your personal brand will have staying power. You won’t go out of business if Facebook crashes or Pinterest changes its model. That’s important – you don’t want to be reliant on someone else for your marketing platform.

How’s Your Personal Brand?

I saw a quote that sparked this article. It was, “Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” That’s the essence of your personal brand.

What do people say about you when you’re not around? Do they know who you are and what you do? Do they have a positive opinion of you? If they look you up online, what do they find? Do they ever see you in the neighborhood?

If you haven’t been working on your personal brand, there’s no time like right now. Get some business cards and farming postcards today. We’re here to help, so contact us anytime!

How Calendars Contribute to Your Marketing Success

Tear Off Calendars

DID YOU KNOW…

…that 64% of people have a wall calendar in their office, and 32% have one in the common area of their home?

As you know, I am obsessed with finding ways to marketing your business. And it’s the time of year for calendars!

You can easily order calendars branded with your information to give as freebies to clients and prospects. Why does it matter?

Funny you should ask…

Why I Fell in Love With Calendar Marketing

I fell in love with calendar marketing when I realized, out of the blue, that I had one Realtors calendar on my freezer for FOUR YEARS!!

I just had it there and I literally saw this person’s name and information EVERY DAY of my life.

Can you imagine that kind of marketing stickiness?

Now, no, I don’t think most people will be as lazy as me and keep it for four years! However, you are guaranteed to get 365 days of marketing out of it, which is much longer than the life of most marketing pieces.

Calendars Are Helpful And Used Frequently

We all know that marketing that’s helpful in our daily lives is much more likely to be used. A calendar is exactly that. Everyone needs a place to write down appointments, meetings, and more.

Even more importantly, almost everyone uses a calendar at least once a month, and most people will look at it every day.

If you could have a piece of marketing that gets used daily, would you take advantage of it? I certainly hope so!

Boost Your “Touches”

In The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Gary Keller recommends getting 33 touches a year with real estate prospects.

It seems crazy to figure out how to get that many, but a calendar can get you far more, even in just one marketing piece.

A calendar, alone, won’t be enough to get a call from a prospect. Don’t think you can just drop it off and you’re done. But, a calendar along with other consistent marketing will build your brand and keep you top of mind for that prospect.

A calendar can also generate referrals and are a great holiday giveaway or reason to do a pop by.

Are you ready to get your calendar marketing on? We have a variety of calendars available, and we have a special deal on tear-off calendars for this week only.

Don’t wait – get yours now!

A Unique Approach to Pop Bys

pop by ideas

I saw someone suggesting a unique door-knocking approach, and I wanted to share it with you and give my take. I’d love your thoughts on it as well!

The thing that stands out about this approach is that it’s very brief and you don’t “try to sell” right away. Instead, you’re trying to share value quickly without causing much disruption.

The Approach

The approach won’t take long to describe.

You simply get some market update postcards for your farm and go door to door. You knock on the door, and when someone answers you say, “Here’s your monthly marketing report.” They’ll say, “Oh, um, thanks.” You say, “You’re welcome! Have a great day.”

Then you leave.

After three months, you start asking if they have any questions. If they say no, you simply leave.

The idea is that when the time is right the prospect will start a conversation and that in the meantime you’re building familiarity in a positive and non-disruptive way.

I have mixed feelings about this approach. Here’s my take.

What’s Great About This Idea

This pop by system allows agents to go door to door without much resistance or rejection. Sometimes that’s the difference between actually getting out to your farm area and not doing it at all.

If you find yourself fearing rejection to the point that you never get out to do pop bys, this could give you a low-stress way to get started. So get your postcards and get moving!

I also like that this method focuses on being of value to the prospects. You want your interaction to be entirely about them, not about you and what you do. I highly suggest you adopt this mindset for all of your marketing, not just pop bys.

The Weaknesses of This Method

My biggest concern is that all you’re doing in these pop bys is dropping off information and leaving. Yes, you’re face-to-face for a few seconds, and you’re building a bit of in-person familiarity.

But really, you’re not explaining what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, or why the prospect should care. They’re just as likely to shrug, drop your postcard in the trash, and hire another Realtor® to sell their home.

You’re also not building a real connection. I’m definitely in favor of mailing out print marketing, but a pop by should be more than just dropping off a postcard in person and walking away. I think it’s important to talk about who you are and why you’re in the area.

You don’t have to be self-centered. You can ask them how long they’ve lived in the area, what they like best, and if they’ve ever considered moving.

Even a five-minute conversation can build significantly more rapport than just dropping a note and walking away. So don’t be shy – ask a few questions!

Over to You!

What do you think? Do you like the quick approach for its ability to reduce awkwardness and get you to actually go door to door? Or do you think it’s too impersonal and not direct enough?

Let us know in the comments!

Months of Blog Posts Ideas to Keep You Going This Fall

Blogging Ideas

As the weather shifts, your business is probably shifting as well. You’re catching your breath from summer, but you don’t want to slow down.

One thing you can do to help build up your business and attract new leads is to keep consistent content flowing to your real estate website.

Fresh content targeting the right keywords will help your website rank more highly on Google so that you continue to attract prospects all year. Every time someone looks for real estate in your city or town, you want your website to come up!

Of course, a lot of us struggle to come up with good ideas. Here are a bunch that will help you pump up your blog this fall!

Make Sure Your Blog Posts Work For You

Before we dive into the topics, let us give you a few tips about how to make your blog posts as effective as possible.
First, make sure you target appropriate keywords. You want to focus on terms that include your local area – like “new house in Atlanta” instead of just “new house.”

Second, be sure every post invites people to take the next step. They should be invited to share the post on social media, join your email list, or give you a call.

Consider writing blogs in advance. For instance, if you want to post one blog per week, choose one or two days a month where you focus on getting those four blogs written. Then you can publish them week by week without needing to take time out of your schedule!

Finally, share your posts yourself – on social media, through email, and more. You want people to benefit from your expertise, and it helps build your brand as well.

Blog Posts: Your Local Market

People love to know what’s going on in their neighborhood, and the information will also help people who are deciding where they want to move in your area. If they choose your farm, you’ll be the logical choice as an agent!

Consider writing about:

  • Local events. Discover these by reading local community Facebook pages, newspapers, and community calendars. Put them all together in a blog post!
  • Highlight a local restaurant or business. You can even interview the owner if you have the time. If not, simply talk about what they offer and why residents love them.
  • Celebrity sightings. Talk about recent celebrity events in your area – if a famous person was recently in town, a movie is being considered, or highlight a time a celebrity visited the area in the past.
  • Schools. Highlight the schools in your area and talk about how they’re doing. Everyone wants to make sure they move into an area with great schools! You can also use this to talk about school sports, upcoming plays and concerts, and more.
  • Job opportunities. People love to live in a thriving area. Talk about new jobs in the area, who’s hiring, and what industries operate in your target market. This can also include new construction or transportation projects that make commutes easier!

Blog Posts: Your Community

Beyond the local market, talk about points of interest in your community. If you live in a small town, there may be fewer entertainment options, but more natural beauty. In a larger city, it could be the opposite.

Write about:

  • Local Parks. Parks often hold activities and may have varying hours depending on the season, so keep your readers up to date. You can also talk about all the fun things there are to do in various parks or recreation areas!
  • Nightlife and Entertainment. Are there concerts coming up? Professional plays? What local bars and restaurants have the best happy hours or dance floors? Where should someone got to unwind after work?
  • Sports. Do you have local minor league or professional teams you can talk about? People love local sports, and getting opinions about a recent game can drive a LOT of engagement on your posts!
  • Day trips and getaways. Talk about local bed and breakfasts or other destinations that are within a few hours drive. You can talk about family-friendly destinations as well as best-for-adults ideas.

Blog Posts: For Buyers and Sellers

You have a ton of expertise about what it takes to successfully buy and sell property. Share it and prospects will trust you enough to hire you when they need to move.

Here are some ideas for these posts:

  • How to prep a home for sale. There’s a lot to do, from decluttering to staging to improving the landscaping. Talk about each one of these in a different post, creating a “prep for a sale” series on your blog.
  • Concerns for specific markets. Newlyweds, downsizing seniors, and growing families all have unique issues they face and look to overcome. Consider addressing the market you work with the most, or create a variety of posts for each one!
  • Q&A. You probably hear a lot of the same questions over and over. Why not address them in a blog? You can have one post for sellers and one for buyers. Best of all, you can refer new clients to these posts as part of your onboarding process.
  • Relocation. Talk about what people moving into your area should think about and what they need to know.
  • Pets. Pet owners love to read about tips for puppy-proofing or cat-proofing a home, training, the best vets in the area, and much more.

Get Your Blog Consistent!

Consistency is key when it comes to blogging and social media content. All of these ideas work for both platforms.

Use these ideas to create a schedule. You can decide each month to write one post for buyers, one for sellers, one for the community, and one for the market, or something along that line. That will keep things from falling into a rut.

Remember, you don’t have to write a million words! Even just a short post with key tips is helpful. Don’t be shy.

The best marketing combines online and offline outreach. If you’re ready for some postcards to complement your blogging efforts, take a look at our customizable templates today!

Creative Uses for Notepads

Notepads

When you need to jot something down quickly, what do you grab?

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re not quite sure. Your note may end up on a napkin, a receipt, or a page of newspaper. You may even grab an entire piece of paper from your printer to make a simple, small note!

That’s why branded notepads are such a powerful giveaway. They help people answer the question, “Do you have something to write that on?” with a confident yes!

What you might not realize is that notepads are also very effective in other ways. Here are some creative options for using notepads to build your brand!

Create a Social Media Challenge

Social media challenges are a fun way to promote your business and they often go viral. You can incorporate your notepad give away into a challenge.

Step one is to build interest. Begin giving away your notepads with a special note writing on the top page – “Keep this pad to win a fun prize!” Also include that they can follow your Facebook page (or other social media account) for details.

You can give notepads at a local event, during popbys, and more. The key is to get them out to as many people as possible quickly!

Once you’ve done a distribution blitz, it’s time to make it fun. Create a challenge that involves people answering a question by writing the response on a page of your notepad. They need to post a photo (and maybe tag three other folks) to enter.

The randomly-drawn winner can get a prize can be related to the question. “What’s your favorite coffee” is a great lead-in to a coffee gift card. Or, you can ask any question and reward the winner with a regular cash gift card. Why not, “Where would you vacation if you could go anywhere?”

Use the Notepads Yourself

Another key for using notepads to build your brand is to share images of yourself using them! Make sure they are prominently on display in social media photos or videos.

You can also use them any time you need to communicate with a client or prospect. Stick a quick message inside a book using the notes, or affix it to a document.

The notepads we offer at PrinterBees are adhesive, so you can literally use them anywhere!

Guerrilla Marketing

When you have sticky notepads, you have the opportunity to leave notes anywhere you like. 

Why not go to your public library, find books on house hunting or real estate, and put a note inside? You can write something simple, like, “Need help finding the house of your dreams? Call us!”

You can create these secret messages in a variety of relevant places, or even in random spots around your community.

People will definitely find the notes memorable because they’ll be so unexpected!

Offer Several Notepads to Area Businesses

A cashier or someone at the front of a local business probably needs to make small notes regularly, but may not have the right kind of paper handy. Why not solve the problem by offering your notepads?

When you give several notepads to a cashier at a gas station, retail store, or other establishments, you’ll be boosting their productivity and making things easier for them.

When the employees and customers see your notes in businesses around your city, your brand will be building up in your mind. Plus, you’ll get extra points for being helpful!

How Will You Use Your Notepads?

Having notepads with your branding is convenient in your office and daily life, but you can also use them in a variety of ways to reach out to others.

Now that you have several ideas, how will you use notepads in your marketing?

To get started, order affordable, customizable branded notepads today!

Is This Mistake Hurting Your Business?

Personal Branding

There’s a mistake I see a lot of real estate agents make, especially early in their career.

It’s an easy one to make, honestly. Here it is:

They rely on their broker to be their brand.

They don’t worry about making a personal Me, Inc. brand. Instead, they focus on being a Keller Williams agent, or a Century 21 agent, or a BHG agent.

What’s wrong with that? Simple – if (or more accurately, WHEN) you change brokerages, you have to start completely over.

The Importance of a Personal Brand

Realtors® change brokers/brands on a regular basis. You might decide that your broker’s commission split isn’t up to par, or that you like the training program that another company has.

Regardless, there are a lot of reasons to move around as your career grows. Almost no one stays with the same broker/company their entire career.

That means it’s much more important to focus on building your personal brand than to build strictly around your brokerage.

How to Build a Personal Brand

A personal brand is how you communicate why working with you personally is better than anyone else in the same industry. You want to have a unique identity that is linked to the specific value you provide.

Here’s what a personal brand can do:

  • Highlight your strengths
  • Establish your reputation
  • Build trust
  • Communicate the unique attributes you bring to real estate

How do you build a personal brand? Here are some tips.

Define a Real Estate Niche

Unfortunately one mistake Realtors® make that hurt their ability to build a brand is that they are afraid to niche. They try to serve everyone, and as a result they never truly stand out.

Define a real estate niche that you have particular strengths, experience, or expertise in. Or, choose a group you love working with. Be known as the “first-time homebuyer’s expert,” or the “real estate investor’s dream agent.”

When you define a niche, make sure you publicize it prominently on your business cards, marketing postcards, and more.

Even better, having a niche will help you save money on marketing. You won’t be targeting so many people, and you’ll get better results with the information you DO send out!

Create Your Own Value Statement

Many companies have their own tagline that defines what they do in a nutshell. Sometimes these become iconic, such as Nike’s “Just do it,” or Coca-Cola’s “It’s the Real Thing.”

What would you create for yourself? Find a catchy way to describe one of your key attributes. “A perfect home at the perfect price,” for instance, if you’re a great negotiator.

Keep in mind that you can change your tagline if you find something you like better, or if your original idea doesn’t work out. Nike has had the same one forever, but Coke has changed theirs regularly throughout the years.

Just try one!

Build Your Presence Online and Offline

The final tip is to be sure to build your personal brand both online and offline. You can do this in a variety of ways.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Advertise under your own name and use a (current!) photo of yourself
  • Share your niche and tagline regularly
  • Talk about other things that make you unique in your niche, industry, and in real estate overall
  • Build on your strengths by taking classes, reading, and learning new skills
  • Share what you’re learning so folks know you’re always growing!
  • Share personal details about your life (pets, etc) so folks see you as a real person they can relate to

These tips will make you into a person people relate to, which is the essence of a personal brand, and help you avoid simply being a local agent of XYZ broker.

The Number One Secret

There’s one more thing I have to share about the process of personal branding…

It’s not permanent! 

Many people fail to make a decision on branding because they don’t know what they want to “be for the rest of their career.” Take a step back. This is not forever, this is just NOW.

Decide after five years that you want to change your niche? Go for it! Yes, you’ll have to rebuild somewhat, but you’re “not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.”

Your personal brand is a living, organic thing that you can change at any time. It’s not a prison you’re building or something you have to get perfect from the beginning.

Ready to build your personal brand? We’re ready to help. Take a look at customizable marketing materials today!

 

Do you have a personal brand? We’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments.

How to Grow Your Real Estate Business This Fall

Grow With PrinterBees

WHEW!

In most parts of the country, school has started and life has returned to a more predictable routine. Your business may be settling down too.

Congrats – you made it through another busy season!

Now is the perfect time to step back and see what worked and what you want to improve for the next go-round. And, of course, business isn’t over! You hopefully have more leads coming in and more business going on throughout the year.

However, as things slow down, it’s a great time to double down on your marketing to continue growing your business. Here are some great tips to try.

Keep Up With Holiday Postcard Marketing

The fall and winter are FULL of holidays you can use to connect with your prospects and past clients. From Halloween to Fall Back to Thanksgiving to winter Holidays, there’s something for every month (or even twice a month!)

You can also use notecards to send personal messages to specific clients, partners, and vendors that you work with.

However you choose to do it, you’ll be building goodwill and brand awareness as you keep up with your mailings this year.

Use Digital Images to Connect Online

The best marketing mix combines print marketing and online outreach. The upcoming holidays give you a great way to connect through social media as well!

Interested in a FREE Labor Day image to get you started? Click here! 

People remember 65% of the images they saw three days later, compared to only 10% of the written content. Using images on social media helps you stand out.

You’ll do even better if you encourage engagement by asking a question. For instance, you can celebrate Labor Day by asking everyone their favorite cookout memory and sharing your own.

Don’t Falter on Pop Bys

The weather is nicer than ever, so don’t stop showing up in person in your target neighborhood! You can start the conversation by asking if the residents received your recent postcard.

If no one is home, you can leave a door hanger – and don’t forget to have some fun with fall-themed goodie bags as well!

The more you are available in-person, the more your target market will get to know you. If nothing else, take walks in the neighborhood on a regular basis. You can strike up conversations with anyone you happen to see.

Fall is a Great Time to Grow

In agriculture, fall is a time of harvest, but in real estate it’s the beginning of the growing season. Keep your marketing going strong – online AND offline – and you’ll have a steady stream of brand growth and new prospects all year.

Then, next summer, you can reap another incredible harvest during the busy season!

What’s your favorite fall marketing strategy? Share in the comments!

The Simplest Way to Increase Your Response Rate

Increase response rate

Business relies on people responding to you. You need folks to share your post, respond to your email, click on your website, or complete a purchase.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want to buy or sell a home right now. Other times, though, there’s another problem.

People don’t want to work hard to work with you. 

That is, if it’s hard to figure out how to get ahold of you, or it’s challenging to reply to your ads, you’ll lose the business.

The good news is that you can easily fix this problem and increase your response rate.

What Keeps People From Following Through?

Why does someone show interest and ultimately not work with you?

There are several things that make it hard for folks to work with you:

  • Your marketing doesn’t include an invitation to take the next step (a call to action)
  • It’s too hard for someone to sift through your marketing to find your call to action
  • You offer multiple calls to action and the prospect doesn’t want to decide

These are just a few examples. But ultimately, it’s related to “cognitive load.” Cognitive load is how much mental processing is needed to complete the tasks required to work with you.

For instance, if someone needs to mail something, you might not think that’s too hard. But the truth is mailing something requires an envelope, a stamp, the time to put everything together, and a trip to the mailbox.

If the prospect doesn’t have an envelope or stamp, they have to go get them, which is a whole additional set of steps.

In other words, having to reply by mail is too hard and isn’t as likely to get you a strong response.

How Can You Make Things Easier?

As a Realtor®, what can you do to make the buying process easier?

It’s a challenging question, because you’re selling a unique service. You can’t create an online order form and email your prospect a product.

In general, you need to make it easy for a client to find you, set up the relationship, and then receive the service of selling or buying a home.

Here are some concrete steps:

  • Make sure your farming postcards include a clear invitation to call/email you and your number/email address
  • Use one call to action on your print marketing and website
  • Once someone shows interest, follow up regularly to close the deal
  • Be easy to communicate with and work with once you have the client

Essentially, you need to remove friction and discomfort from the process. Don’t count on them to remember – you remember. Once you’ve heard from them, keep following up and make it extremely easy to take the next step.

If every step in your sales process is effortless for the customer, you’ll close a lot more deals!

How Does Your Marketing Measure Up?

If you were a customer and got your print marketing, would you know immediately what next step to take? Would you be overwhelmed with information or unsure which call to action you should follow through on?

If so, it’s time to revamp your materials. Don’t worry, we can help! Take a look at our easy-to-use templates today.

Let’s Talk Digital Marketing Ideas

Digital Marketing

At PrinterBees, we’ve always been advocates of a smart marketing mix. You definitely need print marketing, but you should mix it with a variety of digital outreach methods.

For instance, you should get an email signature banner that you can use all over your digital marketing. You can use the banner for your email marketing, of course, but also on social media, your website, and more.

Interested in a great deal? Get a personalized email banner for only $40 with code SIGBANNER up through Friday August 16th. 

What are other ways to leverage digital marketing for your real estate business? Here are some ideas.

Cross Reference Your Information

To help your marketing mix fit together, you should reference your physical contact information online and your online information on your print materials.

For instance, you want your Instagram information, Facebook account, and website on your business cards, just like your social media should link to your physical address, phone number, and email address.

You want customers to have no trouble finding every outlet where you spend time. So let them know!

Create Sharing-Based Contests

You’re probably familiar with the idea of holding drawings in person, either at a local even or open house, in order to draw interest.

The same thing works online, but you can create a drawing based on sharing. This is even better than an in-person form because you not only connect with the person who enters, but you gain visibility to all of their friends and connections.

This creates more sharing to get more entries. In the end, you can do a lot of visibility building on social media with a simple sharing-based contest.

Want to give this a spin? Have people enter by sharing a photo of themselves with your pen or other branded giveaway. This adds social proof to your contest! 

Promote Customer Reviews

You can encourage your clients to leave you reviews online – either on your Google Business page, Yelp, a real estate portal, or Facebook. When they do, shout the news!

You can share their name, or not, depending on your preference. But the more details you list, the more powerful the review will be to those who see it.

It can be hard to ensure that everyone sees a review when it’s only left in one place. The easy solution is to share that review on every platform you can. That way, no matter where someone follows you, they’ll see it.

Take Advantage of Targeted Advertising

Social media advertising is a powerful tool. You can target your ads based on dozens of criteria. This allows you to show your message to your exact target market quickly and easily.

On Facebook you can even target folks who are considered likely to move in the near future! How perfect is that?

You need to be careful not to target your ads in ways that discriminate illegally, but you can easily focus on those likely to move who live within your target market area.

Are You Doing Digital?

Having a marketing mix is not an option if you want to excel. If you use only one marketing outreach, it may work for a while, but it will be unsteady and you’ll be at the mercy of pricing and market trends.

Instead, work with a strong mix of online and offline marketing, and you’ll see ongoing growth and success.

Don’t forget – get a personalized email banner for only $40 with code SIGBANNER up through Friday August 16th.

Why You Should Become a CIPS Designee

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Christel Silver, Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty!

International realtors

If you’ve thought about working with international clients, you may have heard that you should pursue the CIPS designation. What is this, and why is it important?

Here’s what you need to know.

Why International Buyers Matter

If you have not read the new statistics from Lawrence Yun, PhD Chief Economist of NAR, here some highlights. While the international business decreased over the last year, we still sold $77.9 Billion to international buyers.  Part of the decrease might be the tighter controls in China on the outward flow of capital and the unfavorable exchange rate of the Canadian Dollar.

Wouldn’t you want to be part of this? Florida, California, Texas, New York and New Jersey are still the top states where international buyers are purchasing.

Where Are International Buyers From?

Where are these buyers coming from?

This has slightly changed over the last few years. Currently, the buyers come from China, Canada, India, Great Britain and Mexico.

As I have mentioned many times, you do not need to speak a foreign language to be successful in international business.  Considering that two out of these five countries are speaking the same language (or almost the same language) as we are.

Don’t overlook this market – approximately 75% of the Canadian buyers are paying cash!

What is CIPS?

CIPS stands for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) designation: Certified International Property Specialist.  It requires an investment of finances and time. That includes five full days of class instruction plus the price of the classes and the designation.

What do you learn?  I just recently rented a place to a European client.  The Realtor requested documents from the prospective tenant which are not available in Europe.

In Germany the people do not have checks anymore.  Most foreigners have no credit score. My transaction would have been much smoother if the other agent had the CIPS designation.

You will learn tools you need to know when dealing with foreign clients, like but not limited to visa requirements, tax ramifications, changing currency, transferring money. More importantly, you will learn how to interact with foreign nationalities and cultures.  This education is specialized for you to engage successfully in the global market.

NAR has a relationship with 100 foreign Associations in over 85 countries.  They are opening doors for you to be successful with up to date information and developments.

Inventory is Tight

Mr. Yun says: “The inventory of existing homes for sale continued to be tight, with the inventory of homes for sale as of the end of April 2019 just equivalent to 4.2 months of the monthly demand based on annualized sales of 5.2 million units. A healthy level is six months of supply. Supply remains tight for homes priced at $250,000 and below.”  If you are interested in the full report, go to the NAR research site.

There has never been a better time to work with motivated international buyers. Many of these folks are looking at higher-priced homes, which means better supply and better commissions for you.

If you’re ready to market yourself to the international market, make sure your branding is in place. Update your business cards and other materials today!

 

Christel Silver is a full-time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.