Photo Credit: Knackforge.com
This guest post is contributed by Emmanuel Lao, the owner of Square 1 Group, a company specializing in real estate web design.
Did you know that more than ninety percent of all homebuyers start their search online? It’s no surprise – the internet is the first point of contact for everything from new shoes to old friends. The digital revolution has given real estate agents a number of new tools for marketing properties, from streaming video to search plugins to social media marketing. It’s also allowed agents to broaden their reach, snaring clients in other states and other countries.
However, the disappearance of geographical barriers hasn’t erased language barriers – and an international clientele means that agents must find innovative ways to market properties in foreign languages. In this post, we’ll share our strategies for effective online marketing to international clients.
Many real estate agencies seeking to attract international clients are recruiting bilingual employees – and English-speaking agents are taking courses to develop conversational facility in commonly-spoken languages like Spanish. This can certainly be helpful – and in many parts of the United States, languages like Spanish, Polish, Russian, and Mandarin are common enough that hiring bilingual candidates for sales or administrative roles is feasible.
We believe that these initiatives can be effective – and after all, foreign languages are an asset at any level of your business – but we recommend a different approach for your online marketing materials.
Your best bet for securing an international client base is to commit to creating and publishing multilingual marketing materials. Rather than relying on in-person conversations with clients in Russian, Spanish, or Mandarin, you should strongly consider publishing fully-translated pages on your website in each of your target languages. That way, your foreign-language prospects can view a complete version of your website in their own language. Your multilingual approach is front and center.
This may seem like a lot of work, but the process is pretty straightforward – and planning and organization can take care of a lot of the hassle.
Image Credit: Utalenta.com
First, let’s look at some of the benefits of foreign-language marketing materials.
It ensures that clients will feel welcome.
A number of your international clients will have a certain level of English fluency, either through business communication or years of language instruction in school. Still, there’s a big difference between proficiency and fluency – and part of that difference is the added effort it takes to process marketing materials in English.
You want to make sure that your clients feel as comfortable and invested as possible from their very first interaction with you. Speaking to them in their own language will ensure a positive response.
(To be continued)
Happy blog reading,
The Amazon Author
International Marketing Consultant and English-Russian Translator