Profiling Foreign Buyers for Successful Real Estate Marketing and Sales

I see lots of questions on real estate forums and in my own inbox with the following meaning: How can one find foreign buyers for their property?

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Actually, these are the same questions as any marketer and seller always asks before starting marketing and selling any product: Where are the buyers for this product? And how to reach them in the most cost-effective way?

To answer these questions you have to identify the buyers first of all, and only then you may be able to decide how to better market (advertise) to them to make them buy your product from you, right?

In terms of selling real estate internationally, the major 3 features of your potential international buyers will be the following:

-Country of origin (thus defying the language and culture of the foreign buyers)

-Budget for purchasing a property like you have for sale in your area (you need to reach just those foreign buyers who are looking for something similar to what you have to offer)

-Goals for the future use of the purchased property (investment, renting out, vacation or family home, etc.)

Obviously, if you decide to attract foreign buyers from various countries simultaneously, you have to create a buyer’s profile for each country of origin separately (for example, your condo on the beach in Florida may be good for the Russian buyers as a vacation property, but for the Chinese buyers it may be only interesting as an investment property, and such differences might radically affect the content of your marketing materials in each foreign language).

Now, how to collect information for creating your potential international buyer’s profile?

About the buyer’s country of origin. Often you just hear around that foreigners from A and/or B and/or C country often purchase real estate in your area, and your task is accomplished. Check with your local realtors’ association reports and also articles in the local press to make sure that the rumors are true.

About the buyer’s budget. It’s the easiest task as you know the selling price range for the properties similar to yours.

About the buyer’s goals. This may be the most difficult point to decide upon and may or may not bring you success in international property sales. Of course, you have to create the foreign buyer’s profile exactly for your property, not in general.

Let’s say if your condo association allows renting, then your buyer’s profile should include those who purchase for their own family use and also for renting out, etc. Another consideration: if your property for sale fits your government’s requirements for providing citizenship for the foreign buyers of real estate, then your buyer’s profile should include those who seek such a benefit.

In the next post we’ll discuss how the buyer’s profile (or profiles, if for the buyers from various countries) can help you tremendously with targeting the right groups of international real estate buyers.

Happy blog reading,

Olga Kellen,

The Amazon Author

International Marketing Consultant and English-Russian Translator

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

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Foreign Buyers Talk about International Property Purchasing Experience

Now I’d like to translate for my readers an article about one Moscow man’s buying experience of a villa in Cyprus. Why would I want to share it with you? It may be interesting and important for your marketing real estate to foreign buyers, as comes first hand from such a buyer and shows what and how exactly he looked for in an international property.

Thus you may want to address the foreign buyers’ needs the way they expect – to better meet their requirements, wishes and hopes, and have more sales faster and for more money because of your proper marketing.

Some facts about this international buyer and the property he has happily purchased, and then talked about his experience with an interviewer on the Russian real estate portal Prian:

-The buyer comes from Moscow, Russia;

-He has researched his options through the internet, then visited the places;

-He has bought a villa near the beach for his own family in Cyprus (the country is rather popular with the Russians because of the warm climate and sea, comfortable and safe lifestyle, reasonably easy communication, and also the “Golden Visa” program of obtaining residence permits and citizenship for a real estate foreign buyer and his family);

-The villa measures about 700 sq. meters (7000 sq. feet), the lot about 1200 sq. meters (12 000 sq. feet), the price 3 million Euros at the development stage.

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Let’s see what the buyer’s preferences were:

-The area

Answering the interviewer’s questions the buyer returns more than once to the beauty, convenience, safety and infrastructure of the area.

(Note: This is a very important part of your marketing – do not neglect your area’s detailed description! And targeting a particular foreign nation’s buyer, do your best to show the attractiveness of your area to this particular nation – like ethnic stores and restaurants around, local use of this particular foreign language in the area if any, etc.)

-The villa’s quality

Again, more than once the buyer discusses the ways he has learned about the villa’s features and quality of the construction.

(Note: Never forget to mention the best qualities of your property for sale, especially for a target market – like reliability and safety features, etc.)

-Finances

The buyer had a contract with a developer to build the villa in a gated community (through a realtor and an attorney), and reveals all the possible problems in such an arrangement and how he thoughtfully had foreseen avoiding them.

(Note: It’ll work in your favor if from the very beginning you disclose all the best features of your services that may make your foreign buyer calm and thus deal remotely with you without any anxiety of losing money.)

-Second passport

Like many other foreign buyers, this buyer is interested in the “Golden Visa” program and hopes to receive citizenship of Cyprus for the whole family soon (they have already moved into their new home at the moment of the interview and look for a school for their kid).

(Note: If your country provides some special favors for the foreign buyers of real estate, you owe it to yourself to find out whether your property for sale fits the legal requirements, and if this is the case, include such opportunity into your description!)

(This was a compressed English text of the original article in Russian.)

Resume: while creating your materials for real estate marketing to foreign buyers, have your international buyer’s “portrait” in mind and do your best to meet his needs to achieve more sales faster and for more money.

Happy blog reading,

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How to Build Trust with Real Estate Foreign Buyers and Partners (Foreign Brokers)

During the summer holiday I’ve completed and published the new e-book on Amazon: *Build Trust with Buyers and Partners: Practical Advice to Achieve Success in International Real Estate Sales* http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FZ86G93

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Why is the topic really important to get success with the foreign buyers and realtors (if you want to bring them on board)?

As Forbes says: “Trust is the most valuable business commodity”, thus we take it for granted that without establishing trust with your foreign buyers directly or with the cooperating foreign brokers first, who in their turn would be trusted by the buyers they send you, there will be no sale.

Ok, what do the international real estate buyers want? Actually the same as your local buyers want: to purchase great properties for great prices, from a seller or realtor they can trust.

But how are the foreign buyers different from your local buyers? Three major aspects: language, culture and distance. To achieve trust (and thus sales!) you have to meet the buyers’ expectations in all three: marketing to them in their language, adjusting your message culturally if required, and disclosing full information about the property for sale upfront.

Throughout the e-book we call our target real estate buyers: “international”, “overseas”, “foreign” or “foreigners” as a general large group. But in real life they are Chinese, Russian, German, and French and so on, and each nationality of buyers (a sub-group) would require a specific approach in terms of their own language, culture, and internet, if you want to market and sell real estate to them. Find your own promising niche of the international buyers (nationality) and address them accordingly.

Establishing trust with your international buyers before being able to close a real property sale is a very significant factor of your success in this business, and hopefully you will find all six parts of this e-book helpful in this regard.

They cover the following topics:

-Why trust is the most essential ingredient in being able to close the real estate deal with a foreigner eventually?

-How has language become not only a tool of communication, but trust building too?

-How are the foreign buyers different from the real estate buyers from your own country?

-What’s the difference between realtors, their duties and work in various countries?

-How can your first email to the foreign realtors become the first step to building trust?

-How can you make your property listing (online presentation) instilling trust remotely?

Happy blog reading,

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How Analysis Turns Information into Knowledge for Success in Marketing Real Estate to Foreign Buyers

In the previous post (case study) we have proved the point that the raw Information might be insufficient and even confusing sometimes, if you want to really acquire Knowledge whether it’s worthwhile to start marketing your property for sale to foreign buyers, and how to do it.

It sounds so very attractive to tap into lucrative foreign markets of real estate buyers, but the actual plan of doing so, and especially within a budget available, requires some thoughtful Analysis.

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The formula for success is “Information (raw facts) + Analysis = Knowledge (awareness that’s ready to apply to practice)”.

Analysis will reveal the major challenges and problems to take into consideration and prompt you the solutions on the way to success in the international real estate marketing.

A detailed example of such complete Analysis is the topic of my e-book A Case Study of Effective Low-Budget Real Estate Marketing to Foreign Buyers (E-Series: How to Beat Your Competition Selling Real Estate to Foreign Buyers, Book 8)

Along the way of developing a road map to Knowledge, the e-book reveals the following important for your success “international real estate business secrets”:

* How to prioritize which foreign countries to target with your marketing;
* How to choose the right marketing method that doesn’t require initial expenses;
* How to find the best business partners to send you buyers;
* How to make them want your business;
* How to multiply your success.

In general, it is about the best and most successful practices in international real estate marketing available to any property seller, realtor and developer without robbing a bank.

Have a great summer and see you later!

Happy blog reading,

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

Knowledge vs. Information in Marketing Real Estate to Foreign Buyers

We are all overwhelmed with information nowadays. But we still strive for knowledge! You are going to ask: what’s the difference?

You may find many definitions of knowledge and information on the internet and in print dictionaries. Some even might say that these two words mean the same – I would disagree though.

My formula is the following “Information (raw facts) + Analysis = Knowledge (awareness that’s ready to apply to practice)”.

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In terms of marketing and selling real estate to the foreign buyers, information is plentiful on one hand and at the same time is not enough on the other. Why so? Let’s look at the issue with the help of the case study below.

Case Study

As an example, we want to evaluate our chances to sell a property in Finland to a foreign buyer.

The quick internet search brings us an article Transaction volumes in the Finnish property market reached a record high of €10.4 billion in 2017. It states that “the proportion of foreign buyers in the Finnish real estate market amounts to 70 percent in 2017. It shows a significant increase to 2016 when foreign investors accounted for only 29 percent” – sounds great for our projected sales!

Another article also comes to our attention Growing market: Foreign buyers behind 4 percent of Finland’s 2017 real estate sales. It states that “of the 133,000 properties sold in Finland last year, some 5,200 were bought by international customers, with Estonian, Russian and Chinese buyers topping the list, according to a Finnish real estate firm” – what’s that? So, how many foreign buyers did we have in Finland last year? 70% or 4%???

It’s not really my goal here to fully explore the recent market of the foreign buyers in Finnish real estate – you see that we would need much more research, although some facts seem already appealing. We’ll have to find out how the cited sources measured the percentages, how reliable the sources are, what the dates of the publications are, etc.

(Also we’ll have to look for some historic data to understand the trend and where it heads. And of course, the more accurate and fine analysis needed if we want to know how popular our property’s area with the foreign buyers is.)

Thus, this post is just a try to show the difference between the raw information and the knowledge that can really justify and support your marketing to the foreign buyers’ efforts.

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

Who Else Can Help You with Selling Investment Properties to Foreign Buyers?

In the previous post we have discussed how foreign travel agents might be capable and willing to help you with selling real estate (especially vacation properties) to the foreign buyers.

There is one more group of professionals in the foreign countries that can help you with selling investment properties to the foreign investors. Would you like an expert in investing to recommend your property to his clients who are looking for the best opportunities to invest their money? Yes!

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These professionals go under various names: investment consultants, financial planners, wealth managers, and the like. They help their clients with analyzing various options of investing, and real estate is one of them.

You have to research the playing field of such consultants in the foreign countries that you have chosen as your target to get the foreign buyers for your investment property.

I can talk about Russia from the position of authority, for example. The profession of an investment consultant is rather new over there, but there are already schools for their education, and institutions and private persons start to understand the value of using their services.

Not all of such consultants deal with real estate though, some only concentrate on paper investing like domestic and international stocks, etc. So, you have to look through the list of services that each one of the investment consultants provide and choose wisely.

No doubt, you have to prepare a good detailed financial description of your investment property to make sure that the consultants you approach would be convinced that it’s a solid and profitable investment for their clients – then they would be able to offer your property for sale to their clients, and you’ll be a happy camper selling to the foreign buyers.

Note: Of course, the foreign realtors might be your major cooperating partners in real estate sales, also having international sales without your own spending on marketing in the foreign countries. A condensed knowledge on the subject has been published as an e-book on Amazon, here’s the link: How to Find the Best Foreign Realtors and Make Your Offer of Cooperation in Sale Irresistible to Them (E-Series: How to Beat Your Competition Selling Real Estate to Foreign Buyers Book 1)

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

Who Can Help You with Selling Properties to Foreign Buyers

On this blog we have talked a lot about involving foreign realtors as partners in your real estate sales to foreign buyers, as a road to be successful in selling real estate internationally without spending on marketing in foreign countries.

(Note: a condensed knowledge on the subject has been published as an e-book on Amazon, here’s the link: How to Find the Best Foreign Realtors and Make Your Offer of Cooperation in Sale Irresistible to Them (E-Series: How to Beat Your Competition Selling Real Estate to Foreign Buyers Book 1))

There is another large group of foreign professionals that might be interested to ship you the foreign buyers and get a commission on sales – travel agents in the foreign countries. At least this is true for Russia, where many travel agencies also offer properties for sale in the countries where they send Russian travelers.

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Of course, nowadays some Russians prefer to book their travel online, but the majority use the travel agents for convenience: flights, hotels (or apartment and villa rentals!), transfers, excursions (if interested) and visas (if any required) – all in one place!

Let’s look at some Russian travel agencies’ websites, and we can see that many of them have “Properties for Rent Abroad” and “Properties for Sale Abroad” on their websites.

Thus, if you have done your research and are convinced that the Russian buyers might be interested to purchase your properties, go ahead and contact with your offer of co-operation as many travel agencies in Russia that you may find.

The same is true for other buying countries, especially if their citizens need a visa to come to your country where you have properties for sale, as the travel agencies in such countries usually take care of obtaining visas for the travelers they serve, which makes it enticing for a traveler to use their services instead of going a do-it-yourself route with a lot of running around (physically and online) to get a visa, book a flight, rent a place to stay, etc.

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

What Questions Foreign Buyers Ask

In the previous post we have talked about becoming a real estate expert in the eyes of foreign buyers answering their questions about your country’s real estate on a foreign real estate portal. And getting a highly motivated traffic of potential buyers to your website this way that will definitely lead to sales.

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Now you are probably interested: what kind of questions do the foreign buyers usually ask?

As a sample, let’s look at some of the latest visitors questions (May 2018) answered on one of the top Russian real estate portals that offers international properties from all over the world to the Russian buyers (sorted by countries, but in no particular order of the date or popularity).

I’ve omitted questions that describe too specific situations and are too long. (Such type of questions can bring you a really strong lead for your real estate practice of course, but I wanted to make this article more general in nature.)

Questions about real estate in Finland:
-How to calculate the real estate tax?
-Who can help me with evaluating and selling two properties in Muurame?
-How can I get a mortgage?

Questions about real estate in Turkey:
-How to start a process of obtaining a residency permit?

Questions about real estate in Spain:
-I’d like to invest up to 350k in a rental property with a possibility to rent it out all year around. What region of the country is the best for such a purchase?
-I’d like to buy a property up to 200k in Malaga (first to rent it out for some time and possibly to use it for my family later). Lots of things to know: mortgages, down payments, taxes, real estate commissions and rental incomes. Any properties for sale to offer?

Questions about real estate in Bulgaria:
-We’d like to move to Bulgaria to live there as retirees. How do we go about buying a home?
-I am 60 and live in Israel now. How can I buy a rural home in Bulgaria to live there as a retiree?
-I have two underage kids. Can I obtain residency rights?

Questions about real estate in Thailand:
-How to buy a property in Thailand?
-What is possible to purchase for up to 150k? Preferably for my family own use and renting out as well. What kind of rental income to expect?

Questions about real estate in Greece:
-I’d like to purchase a small villa or townhouse at the seashore and get the residency. Is it possible?
-I’d like to buy a rental condo for up 100k in Salonika. If it’s near the university, I’ve heard it’s possible to have tenants all year round, is it true? How much would be the closing costs and taxes?

Questions about real estate in Poland:
-I’ve inherited a property in Poland, please help with the process.
-I’m a retired doctor from Russia, my son has started business in Poland. I’d like to buy a condo around there and move closer to him. How do I go about that?

We can see that many (if not all) of the askers may become a very solid leads for your real estate business if you are looking for the foreign buyers from Russia. Just answer their questions and offer your services and properties – they are really interested!

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

A Little Known Secret of Promoting Your Real Estate Services to Foreign Buyers

How to be considered an acknowledged expert in real estate in your country/area in the eyes of the foreign buyers and sell properties to them as a result? Free and easy, although requires some work in the foreign internet.

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Become an Expert

1. Find the major real estate portals on the foreign internet of the foreign country of your desirable international buyers.

2. Look at their “Consult an expert”, “Ask a question” or any similar section and pay attention to questions/answers and experts that consult about your particular country.

3. Find out how to register on the portal to be able to answer questions about your country’s real estate.

4. You’ll see that all experts/consultants answering the portal visitors’ questions have a clickable link to their websites – and that’s exactly what you need!

5. Anybody interested in real estate in your country will come to your website through this link and buy from you, not from anybody else, as you already had established yourself as an expert!

6. The more questions you answer, the more links to your website you’ll get from that foreign real estate portal with high traffic and high position in the foreign internet. If the links go to your real estate page in the according foreign language, this page of yours will go up and up in the major search engines in that foreign internet. And this will become a significant source of the targeted traffic of your potential foreign buyers!

7. Now you’d like to ask a question I guess: how can you do all of the above if you don’t know the foreign language of your potential buyers – to properly participate in the described activities? Well, there are two ways to accomplish such a promotion: hire a bilingual associate or employ a freelance translator’s help (the cost of which will be just a tiny amount in comparison with your commission on international sales to the foreign buyers).

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

More on Real Estate Online Promotion to Foreign Buyers

In the previous post we have discussed the easiest and fastest way of promoting your new web presentation of properties for sale to the foreign buyers: placing ads on foreign real estate portals and linking them to your web page in the according foreign language.

It supplies the constant traffic of targeted foreign buyers, but costs money of course. Another issue with this promotion: it exists as long as you pay for your ads, but disappears immediately as soon as you stop paying the portal for advertising.

There are other options of showing your web presentation of real estate for sale to the foreign buyers, and these options are free and these links stay forever – isn’t it great?

Of course, instead of paying for advertising, you have to spend your own valuable time if you know the foreign language of the prospective real estate buyers and do the promotion yourself. Or you have to have a bilingual assistant or a third party helper (a freelance translator), but it’s much cheaper than advertising, and what is the most attractive – you stay on the foreign buyers’ radar forever!

Here we are talking about some third party websites that concern your country’s real estate in the foreign internet – forums, for example, where people share their opinions, personal experiences, ask and answer questions about properties similar to yours.

Some of such forums allow outside links in the discussions – and this is exactly what you need! Register to participate, say something meaningful, include a link to your page in that foreign language, and here we go – you have targeted visitors from this forum where people gather on the foreign internet who are interested in what you might offer them!

Case Study

Recently I’ve got a request for services from Mauritius – to help with promoting their local commercial real estate for sale to the Russian buyers. To offer a justified and effective marketing plan to my client, I had to learn about the country and its presence on the Russian internet first of all.

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Mauritius is a tiny island state off the coast of Africa, a vacation spot, popular with the Russians. And we know that where people love to travel, they often buy properties.

Among other things I’ve looked at the Russian forums about Mauritius. And voila – there is an investment forum on the first page of my search that among other things talks about investing in real estate in Mauritius and I see a link posted by a registered user to his website. It’s a great opportunity for the future promotion of the Russian web presentation of my client’s properties in Mauritius!

This is the way to go for any other internet in any other language to attract the foreign buyers from any country you consider worthy of your marketing efforts.

Happy blog reading,

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

Copyright © 2018 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved