What do foreign buyers of real estate want?

What do foreign buyers want? For here we talk mainly about passive real estate marketing to the foreign buyers through realtors, let’s see what the foreign buyers possibly want from a realtor who is representing a property to them. We’ll look at the Russian buyers of international properties as an example.


What would an average consumer in Russia do if he or she wants to sell or buy a real estate property? Would they work with a realtor or would they do it on their own? The question was asked during a phone poll conducted in Moscow by the internet magazine Metrinfo some time ago. The respondents were all of working age, the sample size was representative by age and gender for a big city. The detailed results are here: http://www.english-and-russian.com/Selling_to_Russians-realtors-in-russia.html

One of the interesting points of the poll: While in the U.S. the ratio “using a realtor vs. doing by owner” is approximately 80/20, in Russia it is approximately 60/40 so far. Well, it’s a huge growth in comparison with some 25 years ago when real estate agencies just started to open their doors in Russia, and at the same time it is still a long way to go for realtors in building trust with the Russian public.


The author has come across another poll for the potential Russian buyers of properties in countries other than Russia at one of the major Russian real estate portals for international properties for sale in Russia. This poll was all about the problems that the Russian buyers experience trying to buy a home in another country. There were five options offered, and the results are quite interesting:


3% of the Russian buyers have difficulty with choosing a country to invest;
87% have difficulty with choosing a seller or realtor;
1% have difficulty with choosing a property;
5% have difficulty with legal procedures in a foreign country;
4% have difficulty with finding a local manager for their foreign home when they are not there.


More than 8,000 potential Russian buyers answered the poll, and as we can see almost all of them were having trouble while looking for a realtor or seller of properties abroad (no country differentiation was involved in the poll, though, just – any country). Why such results?


First of all, the real estate profession is new, not regulated and not much trusted in Russia as not all of those Russian realtors are really professional over there. On top of that the Russians were deceived and betrayed so many times in the past even by their own government that they might be too suspicious about realtors sometimes.


Note to realtors: Do you see an opportunity in the foreign buying markets as a realtor presenting properties internationally? You might be able to occupy your own niche of a specific type of properties in some area of your own country selling real estate to the foreign buyers through your own direct foreign marketing or with a help of a solid foreign partner.


What is needed? Establish trust to begin with! It is not an easy task, but absolutely doable! How? Be open and sincere about all the details about you and your properties for sale, the area, legal procedures of buying and keeping real estate by foreigners in your country, offer additional services if possible.


It will take some work and time (and marketing money) for you to get the first foreign buyers, but ultimately you will get to the stage when the word of mouth will start working for you absolutely free of charge as happy clients will refer you to their family and friends. Referrals of the former happy clients are the bread and butter of the real estate business.



A summary: The foreign buyers want great properties for great prices with the great services in their own language from the realtors whom they can trust – same as any local buyer would want.



Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

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