Marketing Real Estate to Foreign Buyers: In What Language?

Once a year, when the high winter visitors’ season ends in Florida and realtors may consider assigning more time to marketing, Florida Realtor Magazine publishes an issue entirely devoted to selling real estate to foreign buyers.

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It makes a lot of sense, as Florida is the #1 destination for real estate foreign investors in the U.S., and last year they purchased residential properties worth $23B, thus it’s rightly believed that every realtor would want a piece of the pie.

I’ve read this issue from cover to cover to see what’s offered. It’s full of useful interviews, tips, advice, etc. – all about getting into selling real estate to foreign buyers, overseas investors, or dealing with international clients.

BUT there is almost no mentioning of the LANGUAGE(S) in which to market. Only on one of the last pages there is a little excerpt from a NAR’s blog “Communication is everything”. Great, I thought, at last the most useful advice was coming up.

And what a disappointment as it actually says: 1. Learn some basic phrases in your international buyers’ language (Good!), 2. Hire a native foreign language speaker to translate your marketing material (Bad! Not just any native speaker you need, but one with a proven record of writing marketing texts in the foreign language you wish to use), and 3. If nobody is available, use free online translation tools (Awful! Free translation can completely kill your marketing message – we’ve talked a lot about it in this blog already and with real life examples).

Even the article “Reaching Chinese Buyers” doesn’t say a word about the language, although names websites to use for marketing to the Chinese buyers. Okay, how many Chinese do really know English? Wikipedia: Less than 1% (!) Hmmm…

This near-sighted approach to marketing to foreigners reflects the usual American mistake: the whole world knows English. Nope. Do not fall into this trap, but market to foreign buyers in their language!

Happy blog reading,

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

Copyright © 2019 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

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