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 can this blog help with marketing and selling real estate to foreign buyers?

In this blog we cover all the basic aspects and possibilities to expand your real estate buying market to foreign countries which allows you to sell properties more effectively, sometimes for more and sometimes creating the only way to sell at all when the local real estate market is weak. The advice is suitable for realtors, developers and private property sellers, and throughout the blog we provided specific notes for such specific groups of real estate sellers if appropriate.

For successful international sales you need basically three things:
= Good products (properties in real estate);
= Right pricing (in comparison with other properties of the same type, size and location);
= Efficient marketing (in the buyers’ language).

Look around your area (internet or local or central press in your country): Do foreigners buy over there and what? Chances are very high that the foreigners do buy some kind of properties in your country (maybe vacation homes and condos in resort areas or properties to rent out under local management or commercial buildings or anything with a growth potential just to park their money in real estate abroad).

Try to find out: How do they do that? Do the foreigners buy in your area through realtors in the foreign country with a local partner around your area? Then you might want to contact them or search for your own business partners in the foreign countries to send you buyers from there.

Do the foreigners buy in your area through your local realtors marketing themselves in the foreign countries? Then you might want to work together with them (if agreed) or start your own marketing campaign in the foreign country (foreign language websites, advertising, looking for solid business partners in the foreign countries and so on) to compete with them for the foreign buyers. These are working ideas for realtors and developers.

If you are a property owner and want to sell just one piece of real estate to the foreign buyers, then you have the following marketing possibilities: Offer your property for sale to local realtors who do receive the foreign buyers (if you are aware of such realtors); offer your property for sale to realtors in the foreign countries who are in business to sell your area properties to the foreign buyers; advertise your home or condo for sale on the foreign real estate portals for general foreign public; and also you can promote your home or condo for sale through your own website in the foreign language.

Advertising and promoting your property for sale on your own is more expensive upfront, but you do not pay any commission later, so it is cheaper by the end of the day.

The blog explains in details how you approach the foreign buyers of real estate through active (advertising on your own) and passive (with the help of the foreign realtors) marketing: Presentation of your properties on the foreign internet, getting more online visitors and converting them to buyers, closing the deal with a foreign buyer; finding the proper foreign realtors instrumental in selling your type of properties, communicating with them and making them interested in your offer of cooperation, receiving the buyers they send your way.

This unique blog summarizes all you have to know to successfully market and sell real estate internationally.

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

What do foreign buyers of real estate want?

What do foreign buyers want? For here we talk mainly about passive real estate marketing to the foreign buyers through realtors, let’s see what the foreign buyers possibly want from a realtor who is representing a property to them. We’ll look at the Russian buyers of international properties as an example.


What would an average consumer in Russia do if he or she wants to sell or buy a real estate property? Would they work with a realtor or would they do it on their own? The question was asked during a phone poll conducted in Moscow by the internet magazine Metrinfo some time ago. The respondents were all of working age, the sample size was representative by age and gender for a big city. The detailed results are here:

One of the interesting points of the poll: While in the U.S. the ratio “using a realtor vs. doing by owner” is approximately 80/20, in Russia it is approximately 60/40 so far. Well, it’s a huge growth in comparison with some 25 years ago when real estate agencies just started to open their doors in Russia, and at the same time it is still a long way to go for realtors in building trust with the Russian public.


The author has come across another poll for the potential Russian buyers of properties in countries other than Russia at one of the major Russian real estate portals for international properties for sale in Russia. This poll was all about the problems that the Russian buyers experience trying to buy a home in another country. There were five options offered, and the results are quite interesting:


3% of the Russian buyers have difficulty with choosing a country to invest;
87% have difficulty with choosing a seller or realtor;
1% have difficulty with choosing a property;
5% have difficulty with legal procedures in a foreign country;
4% have difficulty with finding a local manager for their foreign home when they are not there.


More than 8,000 potential Russian buyers answered the poll, and as we can see almost all of them were having trouble while looking for a realtor or seller of properties abroad (no country differentiation was involved in the poll, though, just – any country). Why such results?


First of all, the real estate profession is new, not regulated and not much trusted in Russia as not all of those Russian realtors are really professional over there. On top of that the Russians were deceived and betrayed so many times in the past even by their own government that they might be too suspicious about realtors sometimes.


Note to realtors: Do you see an opportunity in the foreign buying markets as a realtor presenting properties internationally? You might be able to occupy your own niche of a specific type of properties in some area of your own country selling real estate to the foreign buyers through your own direct foreign marketing or with a help of a solid foreign partner.


What is needed? Establish trust to begin with! It is not an easy task, but absolutely doable! How? Be open and sincere about all the details about you and your properties for sale, the area, legal procedures of buying and keeping real estate by foreigners in your country, offer additional services if possible.


It will take some work and time (and marketing money) for you to get the first foreign buyers, but ultimately you will get to the stage when the word of mouth will start working for you absolutely free of charge as happy clients will refer you to their family and friends. Referrals of the former happy clients are the bread and butter of the real estate business.



A summary: The foreign buyers want great properties for great prices with the great services in their own language from the realtors whom they can trust – same as any local buyer would want.



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

How to find local realtors for selling real estate to foreign buyers

If your heart goes towards having a local realtor who is in a position to market your property in the foreign countries, then the only one task is on you: To choose such a realtor out of many locally for selling real estate for you to the foreign buyers.

The straightforward approach would be just checking out the local association of realtors or googling realtors in your area and talk to several of them to discuss their real estate marketing possibilities and connections in the foreign countries that are of interest to you.

Interviewing the local realtors about their abilities of selling real estate in the foreign countries you have to pay attention to many things: What countries their marketing covers; what exactly they do in terms of marketing in those countries online and in print, their participation in real estate shows in the foreign countries; whether they have an office over there or at least a representative with a phone number in the foreign country who is speaking the language of the country of course to serve as the first point of contact for inquiries over there; how good your realtor speaks the foreign language of the potential buyers; and how much success the realtor had selling real estate to the foreign buyers in the past.

You see – you have to understand for yourself how convenient it would be for the prospective foreign buyers to contact this particular realtor and get all the needed information on your property from where the buyer still is in the foreign country, and how good the potential foreign buyers would be served on arrival to see your property for sale. Also ask the realtors a question of what they would do to promote your property in the foreign market.

Having collected such information about several local realtors, only then you might be able to make your important choice. It may happen that there are no such realtors around, then you may try and widen the area of your search a bit – with an understanding that the local realtors are really local and will not travel more than some reasonable distance with a potential buyer to show your property. Another consideration: Your realtor must really know your area and the area’s real estate market very well to be able to promote your property to the potential foreign buyers.

Well, you are out of luck with this method of selling real estate to the foreign buyers if there are no local agents meeting your requirements and you have to look for the foreign realtors directly or turn to your own advertising in the foreign countries selling real estate “By owner”.

This is a note for all local realtors who practice in such areas where foreigners come to buy properties rather often: You can add a lot to your bottom line if you can become such a source that the potential seller in this blog is craving for! Find your way to market your local real estate to the foreigners directly or through partners in the foreign countries. Adding a line to your signature and advertising, something like “Will sell your property in the foreign markets too” or similar, will get you more local listings. Get bilingual agents on board and explore your options in the foreign real estate markets.

A summary: Local realtors with the possibilities of marketing in the foreign countries, good connections over there and staff members who speak the languages of the potential foreign buyers are really helpful to pursue the goal of selling real estate to the foreigners; and a note of attention to realtors: If you are not yet doing marketing to the foreigners you are losing money every day.

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved