Au Contraire Mon Cher! ...My answer to a blog post.

By
Real Estate Agent with Tyler Property Management, LLC

Chris, I agree with some of your observations in your post, however you are incorrect in some of the other things. Many of the foreign buyers take longer time to decide on a purchase versus their U.S. counterparts, and they usually find their real estate agents from European websites that advertise "Overseas" properties. Also there are many foreign real estate companies that are setting up shop in the U.S. as well as working in partnerships with local brokers to market U.S. properties overseas. Many U.S. REALTORS are joining professional organizations such as FIABCI, AMPI, NAEA and AIPP to broaden their reach and to get to the buyers in other countries. Since the Dollar started its slide compared to the Pound Sterling, the Euro and every other currency out there and furthermore the U.S. real estate market is doing its biggest correction in decades /or in history/, the foreign press as well as local real estate agents in foreign countries are telling buyers that it is their best chance to pick up U.S. properties at "bargain basement" prices. The U.S. has jumped from being the 14th most popular place of investment in 2006 to the 4th in 2007 for the British and Irish buyers according to one of the leading property magazines in the U.K. /A Place in the Sun/:

Top 20 Positions from  "A Place in the Sun Magazine"

1. Spain                                 6. Cyprus                              11. Egypt                               16. Montenegro

2. France                                7. Greece                              12. Portugal                            17. Croatia

3. Turkey                               8. Bulgaria                             13. Morocco                            18. Dubai

4. USA                                    9. Canada                             14. Caribbean                         19. Germany

5. Italy                                  10. Cape Verde                      15. Australia                            20. Thailand

This trend is going to continue in 2008, since most of these buyers are looking at the U.S. as the safest place to invest for the mid- to long term. The REALTORS who have NAR's coveted CIPS designation and many others who specialize in dealing with foreign buyers can tell you about the increased enquiries regarding properties in the U.S. The areas that benefit the most from foreign property investors are the ones where a direct flight from "overseas" airports is available. Most of these overseas buyers do not want to travel more than one hour from the airport they land at, therefore the concentration of this increased demand is easy to find. The average foreign buyer spent around $299,000 on the purchase, while the U.K. and Irish buyers purchased over 28,000 properties and spent $377,000 on average in 2007. Most of that money was spent in Central Florida /Orlando and the East and West Coasts close by/ and in the Miami area for the Europeans, Miami for the Central and South Americans and California and the West Coast for the Far East and Pacific investors.

 While I agree that the foreign buyers are getting educated about the values of homes from their real estate agents via e-mail and CMA's, I disagree with you in the "un-necessity" of marketing properties in a different manner for foreign buyers than U.S. consumers. Keep in mind that the term REALTOR until recently only existed in the U.S. and now is being used in India too. Many potential buyers from other countries have no idea that http://www.realtor.com exist. They usually start the same way as we do, on their leading local internet sites that get their feed from property websites that many American REALTORS have never heard of - http://www.rightmove.co.uk, http://www.findaplaceabroad.com to mention a couple. I also agree that many of those buyers contact their local real estate professional, who then refers them to their contacts in the U.S. Also more and more of the REALTORS in the U.S. get their referrals from past customers from other countries, since they really tell all their friends and acquaintances that they know this "Wonderful chap/gal" who will take care of everything for them. And for some years now, many REALTORS attend NAR and other countries national association sponsored events like SIMA in Madrid, Spain.

 Yes, the headlines "The British Are Coming", "International Buyers Flock to Florida", "Foreign Buyers Scoop up Florida Real Estate" are true, so is the fact that they will not overpay for overpriced properties. However to market properties to appeal to people from other countries is different from the U.S. buyers and for that reason NAR started the CIPS, TRC and AHWD programs.

As I say many times "..."The Worlds Most Famous Beach" is not really famous outside of Volusia County...",  so we as real estate professionals can not sit back and wait for them to find us, but we have to go and meet them in their own countries sometimes.

So that's my 2 Cents /€0.012654/, but what do I know....

Comments (5)

Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL
Mais oui!  But you could have said "au contraire ma cheri" as well :-)  Points well made.  Sometimes we have to go to the source rather than waiting for the source to come to us.
Mar 28, 2008 02:12 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
I read Chris' post and it seemed to me like she was blogging from her own perspective. As in, what she has experienced. It sounds like she personally has not had an increase in calls from overseas buyers.  I actually HAVE had more inquiries from overseas buyers, through my web site. Right now, they seem to be testing the waters in the Daytona Beach area. I know you just got back from your trip to Europe and discussed a lot of this with the real estate professionals you met there. I'd like to see you blog about your personal experiences and conversations from your trip.
Mar 28, 2008 06:15 PM
Zsolt Kovacs
Tyler Property Management, LLC - Port Orange, FL
CIPS, TRC, CMCA, LCAM

Terri & Lisa, thank you for your comments.

Terri: I have to admit, that I do not speak French, so this in itself was a stretch for me.

Lisa: First, what are you still doing up at 1:15AM?

        I think one of the best advise that I can give to anyone who is interested in doing more business with foreign nationals buying real estate is to get involved with the Local International Councils. In case there is not one in the local association, then find the closest one and join it. The professionals who are members of those Councils will, in any way they can to help other REALTORS to increase their international exposure. Attend FAR and NAR International events, where you get to know and network with other International Practitioners many times from all over the world.

The rest of my other 2 Cents /£0.010032/ I will write in an other blog, but what do I know....

Mar 29, 2008 01:00 AM
Olga Kellen
English-and-Russian.com, English-Russian Translation & Russian Internet Marketing - Hallandale, FL
Author of Amazon E-Series "Selling to Foreigners"

it's so true - you have to market to foreigners in their own language and culturally correct too!

Aug 06, 2008 06:57 AM
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