The biggest mistake one can make dealing with foreign buyers

How not to make mistakes dealing with marketing and selling real estate to the foreign buyers?

Culture can be a hot topic, the same as religion and politics, and you are in the business of selling your property for the highest price to the foreign buyers, not teaching them that your country and culture are better than theirs, right? To reach your goal you adjust to their culture to the best of your knowledge.

The biggest mistake you can make is to think that everybody in the world is the same as you are and also that they see things the same way as you do!

Here are the important traps to avoid in developing your international real estate business with the foreign buyers:

-Starting without the dutiful preparation (building your team of professionals in foreign languages and international marketing; knowing the laws of your country for foreign real estate buyers, closings and ownership; how will you get payments from abroad; how will you overcome a problem of the different time zones while communicating)

-Making assumptions (marketing to foreigners is the same as to local buyers; foreigners know your language; foreign buyers and partners understand things exactly as you do; they do business exactly the way you are accustomed to)

-Being judgmental (thinking that the foreign buyers and partners should rather adjust to your culture than the other way around)

-Not being open (not ready to change the old attitude and use some new tools to reach the goal)

-Not being flexible (staying rigid in your beliefs that there is the only one way of doing things and this is your own way)

-Knowing nothing or too little about the other culture (a huge world of possibilities would open to you only by raising your awareness to the basic principles of the culture of your potential foreign buyers).

The author may speak from the point of authority about possible cultural differences you should consider while approaching buyers or realtors in Russia, for example.

The Russians are quite self-sufficient and comfortable with their own language and expect their foreign partners in real estate sales to adjust to it. The whole world is doing business mostly in English when there are parties from different countries involved, and yes, some Russian real estate agents know some English and even some Russian buyers would, but it is to your great advantage to approach them in Russian (whether you hire Russian-speaking staff or a freelancer to help you overcome the language barrier).

In spite of possibly criticizing their own government a lot, the Russians are basically very proud of their language, history, culture, and all together of being Russian. Having been treated badly by Soviet authorities, then suffering all kinds of turmoil during the so called “perestroika”, living now under often corrupted authorities, Russian people acquired this attitude that anybody might be willing to take advantage of them. When talking about terms and conditions of the deal you offer to the potential Russian partners keep in mind that they are most of the time suspicious about any new business unless they already trust you.

A word of mouth is even more important in the Russian culture than in any other culture probably. The Russians would definitely take any advice of a friend much more willingly than any logical explanation from a stranger. For you as a realtor or developer it usually means that to win the first client from Russia is the most difficult part, then having their friends and relatives as clients would be a walk in the park – of course, if that first client was happy with you, your property and services.

A summary: Never assume that everybody in the world is the same as you are and also that they see things the same way as you do!

Happy blog reading,
Olga Kellen,
The Amazon Author
International Marketing Consultant and English-Russian Translator

Copyright © 2016 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved
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