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*


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


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.


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

How to Follow Up with Foreign Realtors, Your Partners in Real Estate Sales

In the previous post we talked about the importance of follow-up with your business partners, those foreign realtors who are supposed to send you foreign buyers for your properties.


The follow-up will definitely improve your chances with the foreign realtors as you will be on top of their mind when an opportunity presents itself (a suitable buyer will show up at their office door or email inbox).

What can you use for your follow-up? Anything actually (do not forget to include at least a short summary of your initial offer!) Here are some examples.

Some time ago I published an e-book on marketing properties through the international realtors: A Case Study of Effective Low-Budget Real Estate Marketing to Foreign Buyers: (Interview with Jessica Marks, Real Estate Marketing Specialist in E-Series: How to Beat Your Competition Selling Real Estate to Foreign Buyers, Book 8)

(If interested, you may find about the method along with a sample letter to entice the foreign realtors to work with you, and some other useful info in the e-book that is available on Amazon )

Since the publication, I have been receiving the updates on the properties that were a subject of the Case Study, and now let’s look at some news that are being presented to all their real estate business partners (potential and already engaged) more or less monthly:

– 7 great reasons why these townhomes will appeal to your clients
– Latest sales and updated availability from our development
– Have you seen these trendy new beach townhomes?
– New contemporary townhome construction on the Intracoastal
– Redefining luxury townhome living
– Introduce your clients to something new
– Finally something unique to show your clients
– Top 8 reasons smart buyers are seeking townhomes over condos
– New waterfront construction. Modern townhomes. 5% commission.
– The perfect place to live: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
– Our special offer
– Which homes are safest in a hurricane?

See, that almost anything will do – even anti-hurricane recommendations (the development is in South Florida, that’s why it’s important here). Feel free to send an update about an international cultural event in your area, latest road/bridge/airport improvements in the area, local real estate markets, and of course never forget to inform your partners about your own property price reduction if any!

In other words: Stay in touch with your partners and do not let them forget about your offer!
Now, the last, but not the least: The language of your updates should be easily read by the foreign realtors who you hope will send you the foreign buyers!

Happy blog reading,

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

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How to Make Your Marketing Real Estate to Foreign Buyers More Effective

As we have found in the previous posts, marketing real estate to foreign buyers is vital for your international property sales.

How to get the most in results without spending a fortunate?


Let’s look at the cheapest imaginable international marketing option of having the foreign realtors to send you the foreign buyers for your properties over.

You did your best in finding some proper realtors in a foreign country of your choice, sent them your best offer of cooperation in sales, and now you are sitting tight hoping for the foreign buyers to appear, right? Usually it would be not enough, though. Why?

First of all we have to remember that mystic statistical digit of 10% response to any “targeted unsolicited offers”, which means that in general only one in ten receivers of your offer would respond to it. (Not all researchers agree on 10% exactly, there are other opinions as well, but it’s not 100% for sure!)

The reasons for the ignorance are plenty, and in case of the foreign realtors who get your offer of cooperation (yes, they are the right target, but didn’t actually solicit your offer), they might be as follows: Their internal business considerations, the state of the market, even a right or wrong evaluation of your offer by a person who happened to open your initial email on that side, etc. We do not even talk here about your own possible mistakes in soliciting their business (not the right language and cultural details of your business message being just some of them).

How to overcome the initial difficulty in establishing your reliable network of the foreign partners who will send the potential foreign buyers for your properties?

First, you have to send your initial offer to as many foreign realtors as possible. It’s simple: 10% of 20 emails sent will bring you 2 replies, while 10% of 100 will possibly bring you 10 partners, and so on (of course, statistically speaking, as in your own specific case it might be better or worse).

Second, never rely on just one email to all those foreign prospective business partners as it might be lost in the space, might be opened by a wrong person over there and deleted by chance, etc. At the same time you do not want to bombard people with the same message over and over again – it’s always annoying and won’t get you any solid business partnership.

So, what do you do? It’s simple again: In a month or so send an update to all the foreign realtors who you think are the correct targeted group for you. Then repeat it again and again. The updates might contain whatever positive news you have about your properties and area, your local real estate market, events and so on – anything that might look as “news worthy” each time. Of course, include the major points of your initial offer of cooperation in sales after the good news each time!

This way you keep reminding your foreign realtors – partners (potential and active, too) about your existence and willingness to sell your properties to their foreign buyers!

Happy blog reading,

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

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How to make your best offer to foreign realtors (Part 2)

Some sellers and realtors insist on getting in touch only with those foreign real estate agents who speak English. But is it your goal to be comfortable or to sell properties? Not everybody knows English and even fewer people in the foreign countries know it good enough to consider English as a reliable way of communication without possibilities of mistakes some of which can be fatal for the business. You reduce your selling options to the foreign buyers a lot by pushing such a demand on foreigners.

Why is it better to email the foreign realtors in their own language? It is one thing that in their native language it is more comfortable for them to read and fully comprehend the meaning, there is another consideration as well – they should have your property and area description for their own marketing purposes in their language (to place on their own website and possibly use in some advertising to the foreign buyers), that is why they would prefer to respond to offers with which they have less work to do (no translation to perform, it was done already).

Do you see your advantage here if your email is in the language of the country you target? (Just make sure that the foreign language goes through your computer and internet provider properly as some foreign characters are kind of capricious and can easily turn into some strange signs on the way to your foreign correspondents through foreign computers and servers.)

What your first email to the foreign realtors should include, and how it should be structured to be noticed by the foreign realtors you target, is described in full detail in the e-book: 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)

Please keep in mind that even if you email to the foreign realtors according to all the rules, it might not be a success 100% of the time (meaning they start working with your property). There are so many other circumstances: Their internal business that we never know about, the demand and supply ratio of your country and properties like yours for their buying clients, recent market, pricing of your property in comparison to similar ones, and other issues.

A summary: Your great first impression with your first email to the foreign realtors is important and this post is about how to make it and about the mistakes not to make.

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How to make your best offer to foreign realtors (Part 1)

Are you willing to email foreign realtors about your international property for sale? Hoping to sell it with their help to foreign buyers in their country? Foreigners spend billions on buying international properties each year, and it is quite logical that nearly every real estate seller in the world wants to offer their properties for sale to the lucrative foreign buyers’ markets.

Almost every day the author receives an email or two with offers of cooperation in sales of international properties to Russians as some people mistake her for a Russian real estate agent probably.

Having seen a lot of emails sent to Russian realtors from international property owners, developers and real estate agents with an offer of cooperation in real estate sales to the foreign buyers, the author has put together the list of typical mistakes, that prevent the sellers of getting from the foreign realtors what they want, in the e-book: 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)

So, the main purpose of your first email to the potential foreign partners is not to sell your property, but to stimulate their interest in your property and what is even more important – also in terms and conditions of the future sale. Keep in mind that they receive many offers every day that is why your offer should stand out to be accepted over some others.

Your email offer of cooperation to the foreign realtors should be preferably in their language and translated by a human translator who knows this foreign language and business culture of the people of this country very well); writing it in English would be your next choice, but never ever machine translated.

Let the foreign realtors use machine translation on their own, at least then you are not responsible for any mistakes of such translations; if you decide to go this route then write in short and grammatically correct sentences without abbreviations and slang in English to make your text easier for machine translation.

(To be continued)

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How foreign realtors’ duties and real estate commission differ in various countries (Part 3)

Note to all seller’s realtors in the U.S. and other selling countries: Real estate commission sharing with the foreign buyers’ realtors in Russia, China and other buying countries is a sensitive issue and can make you a solid partner with a lot of business or you find none.

Way too often most sellers and real estate agents alike guess that their own experience in their own business in their own country would let them know everything about business in any other country, but this is not true!

One of the major differences in how real estate professionals work in countries with MLS and without: In the first scenario they immediately share a listing with any other member of the local MLS to get a buyer as soon as possible, close the deal and share the real estate commission, while in the second scenario they almost never invite another agent in the deal to keep the whole real estate commission for themselves.

That is why the foreign buyers from countries like Russia and China got used to work with several realtors back home in their country at the same time giving them the same request to buy a property as the buyers over there are aware of the fact that each realtor has his or her own database of properties for sale.

Two important things come out as a result of this difference: First, looking for the foreign real estate agents-partners in sales you have to contact as many prospects as you can to get into as many such partial databases as possible, and second, if such disoriented by their past experience foreign buyers come to your country and you are a real estate agent with the MLS access, you have to educate them that there is no need to run from one agent to another as every one of them has exactly the same computer database at their fingertips.

A summary: The realtors in various countries differ a lot in the ways they work and charge real estate commission on sale; real estate sellers have to know about their own country’s realtors and the countries they target for the foreign buyers as well.

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How foreign realtors’ duties and real estate commission differ in various countries (Part 2)

To resume talking about how realtors work and receive their real estate commission in the U.S.: Usually American realtors are good (if you properly choose one with a good track record of sales of course) and stay with you all the way till closing as they are very well protected by the agreement you signed and their real estate commission is 100% guaranteed at closing if the property sells.

You are obliged to pay the real estate commission even if you find a buyer on your own, but during the time the agreement is valid and plus some reasonable time over it. Supposedly, you have chosen the local realtor who knows the language of the potential foreign buyers, so you are covered with interpreting as well.

Real estate agents in Russia on the other hand are not required to be licensed and are not exclusive which means it is theoretically possible to work with many of them at the same time hoping that one of them would bring you a buyer sooner or later. As they are not guaranteed a thing (they know that you can sell without them or you can drop them any moment, even if they sent you a buyer, and “forget” to pay their commission), they do not work hard on your sale.

At the same time you might get lucky if one of them has a suitable buyer looking just for what you offer for sale. It is a number’s game – the more Russian real estate agents you contact, the higher are your chances to get a buyer from someone.

Of course you have to sound very convincing with your future real estate commission payment and sign an agreement with the terms and conditions of the future sale, and nevertheless, everybody understands that if you do not act according to the agreement it is hardly possible for them to go to court in your country.

Usually the Russian real estate companies prefer to work through their representatives in the seller’s country which is also good for you, the seller, as such a representative is bilingual of course and will serve the foreign buyer’s needs as an interpreter – one problem less for you. This country’s representatives of the Russian real estate companies should be geographically located not far from your property, otherwise they would not bother.

The real estate commission issue is somewhat vague in Russia, no rules, no regulations, every real estate professional says what they want, but usually they do know your country’s local rules perfectly well if they are seriously working with your country’s properties. In international transactions the Russian realtors usually do not charge the buyers who they send abroad to buy from you as the competition between the realtors themselves over there to win such a buyer is rather tough.

(To be continued)

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How foreign realtors’ duties and real estate commission differ in various countries (Part 1)

What kind of services should one expect from a local realtor with foreign connections in comparison with using foreign realtors directly to help with a property sale? What is the real estate commission size in each case? Yes, to know all that is absolutely necessary to make a correct decision on the way of marketing and selling to foreign buyers to be successful.


As we have already mentioned at the beginning of this blog, realtors have different functions in various countries and the real estate commissions they charge also differ; thus you as a seller should familiarize yourself with the real estate selling-buying rules of your own country and also of any country where you are going to search for the foreign buyers with the help of the foreign realtors to have a sale and save money.


Never assume that all foreign realtors in any country work the same way as they work in your own country. It is beyond the recent task of the author to cover all countries of the world on the issue of the duties of the foreign realtors in there, but we will talk briefly about the U.S. and Russia as samples of what you have to pay attention to; below we picture both realtors in an imaginary case of an American home seller and a Russian buyer.


Realtors in the U.S. are licensed by the state and they are exclusive which means that as a seller you are obliged to sign an agreement stating that you are required for a said period of time to work through this realtor only and pay the real estate commission on sale which in most states usually is 5% or 6% of the selling price for residential properties. No charges from buyers.


The realtor is required to advertise your property on the local MLS (Multi Listing Service) which makes it immediately available to any other local realtor who is a member of this paid service mandatory to each licensee (they all are within some local area), and thus can bring a buyer to the closing table (both realtors – seller’s and buyer’s – will share the real estate commission you already contracted to pay, nothing more from you never mind how many realtors are working on your sale).


Also the American realtor should advertise your property in any other way that both of you agreed upon (here you should remember to include advertising in the foreign language if you are set to find the foreign buyers and that is why have chosen the local realtor who has the foreign connections and is capable of bringing you the foreign buyers in the first place).


(To be continued)



Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

How to find foreign realtors

How can you find some proper foreign realtors and contact them directly if as a property owner you want to bypass your local realtors (or cannot find any with the foreign connections) and pay only the foreign part of the real estate commission? Or are you just this local realtor or a developer and willing to find partners in sales in foreign countries to send you buyers?

For that you have to go to the foreign internet with the help of a bilingual person at your side and search there for advertisers of properties for sale from your country or area or city.

The exact step-by-step instructions of searching for the foreign real estate agents who might be able to sell your property in their own foreign countries are provided in the e-book 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)

The foreign real estate agents who advertise international properties on the foreign internet or print media in the foreign countries (with online editions that you can see on the internet) are especially interesting to international property owners, real estate agents and developers of many countries of the world in the following two aspects:

1. These foreign agents already show their specific interest in selling properties from a particular country that they advertise to their buyers; as they obviously spend money on ads it means that they are serious about working with this country, have expertise in this country real estate and can advise their buyers accordingly

2. They might already have some prospective foreign buyers for properties from this particular country because of their recent ads

If you are a property owner or real estate agent or developer located in a particular country and willing to sell your properties to the lucrative foreign buying market, then such foreign realtors advertising your country on the foreign internet and print media are just your prospective business partners for selling your properties.

Keep in mind that real estate agents in the foreign countries you target are not exclusive for the most part, and you can work with several at the same time to increase your chances of finding the foreign buyers. Anyway, nothing can stop you from partnering with several of the foreign realtors who are located in several various cities of that country.

A summary: You can find the foreign realtors selling your country’s properties online on the foreign internet where they advertise your country’s properties for sale for the buyers in their own language; use the help of a bilingual person or even try on your own.

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved