Why Recognizing Cultural Differences of Foreign Buyers Is Important (part 1)

Are foreign buyers any different from real estate buyers from your own country?

One of the important ingredients of the success in marketing and selling to the foreign buyers is learning about their cultural differences. Your chosen country for marketing real estate may be different from your own culture-wise a little (Canada and the U.S., for example) or a lot (China or Russia and the U.S).

An old anecdote about cultural differences goes like that: Once they decided to offer a poll to the United Nations members. The only question was: Please tell us your honest opinion – how to solve a problem of the food shortage in the rest of the world?

Well, the poll failed completely as some members could not fully understand the meaning:
-In Africa they do not know what “food” is
-In Eastern Europe they do not know what “honest” is
-In Western Europe they do not know what “shortage” is
-In China they do not know what “opinion” is
-In the Middle East they do not know what “to solve a problem” is
-In South America they do not know what “please” is
-In the U.S. they do not know what “the rest of the world” is

And as we all know, in each joke there is just a part of the joke (the rest is the truth), right?

Social scientists say that there are common things – or universal – in all cultures on the planet, and some of them are as follows: Cooking food, age gradation in the society, family, calendar, music, holidays, numbers, names, etc., about seventy all together.

But there are also differences even in the universal features. Let’s talk East and West, for example. Some researchers say that there was not so much difference in the antique world, but later countries and peoples went various ways in their attitude towards the authority of the state and religion. In the East it was a powerful leader and submissive people. In the West the development went in the more democratic direction, no suppression of the people from the governments.

By the way, in these terms Russia is keeping one foot in the East and one in the West, hmm…  “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” as Sir Winston Churchill said once.

Having said all that, now it is time to ease things for you: Do not be scared of the cultural differences of your foreign buyers, just learn your best way to meet the foreign buyers’ expectations with your offer to them, and then your property marketing and selling will be the most successful. Even little details such as knowing what measurements of the length (feet or meters?) they use in the country where your buyers would come from, can make your marketing efforts more effective.

In the next post you’ll read about some real life illustrations of the cultural differences and learn how to adjust to them.

Copyright © 2016 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

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