Wikipedia says that 200+ million people in the world speak French, 40% of them in Europe and 8% in North America (the Canadian province of Quebec is the major player in the field of international real estate, and is especially important for the U.S. properties).
From my personal experience, the French-speaking folks love Florida, but not English… Let’s see how to market real estate to the French-speaking foreign buyers in the French internet.
In France the major search engine is google.fr and in Quebec it’s google.ca (in French). Always remember that in each country/language Google‘s edition, any website’s local position will be different according to the Google‘s algorithms.
Thus, if you wish to sell an American vacation property to the Québécois and hope to rely on your listing on an English real estate site, think again. It may be not visible in Quebec search engines at all (even being close to the top on google.com in English).
At the same time internet searchers from Quebec – your potential foreign buyers – will see lots of French real estate websites with properties for sale (portals and realtors’ own sites). You have to be there to be visible!
Talking about Canada, we should know that often there are Canadian own websites that are sort of ‘matching’ American ones, and the sites are bilingual English-French, and translation is always of high quality (never machine-translated, always human-translated). For example, look at the Canadian realtor.ca and compare it to the American realtor.com – absolutely different, although the same type of the organization with the same goals.
But in the predominantly French-speaking Quebec we can see plenty of sites in French only. In France you can hardly find any bilingual site either.
We may assume that many Francophones do speak English, but you can’t ignore the fact that many of the property sellers who are competing with you, already advertise on the French sites and thus will definitely win over you and grab your potential foreign buyers, if you are not there.
Happy blog reading,
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