I know, that the title of this blog raises your eyebrow, specially with the oil prices being as high as they are. However despite the current situation, Trans-Atlantic flight is still relatively cheaper than domestic /U.S./ air-travel and since "Competition is always good for the consumer..." is the idea that many businesses live by. The agreement between the U.S. and EU /European Union/ called "Open Skies" will do away with the limits of airlines and number of flights between the two continents.
You might ask, "How will this affect me as a REALTOR?" I believe that the congestion of major U.S. airports will open up the possibility for smaller or "secondary" airports to start to receive flights from Europe. These flights will bring in many cases over two hundred tourists on any given airplane. Some will come for vacation, some for business and there will be some - about 20-30% who will come to "steak out" or "look around" for possible investment opportunities. The majority of foreign investors do not want to travel more than an hours drive from the airport they land at to look at investment opportunities, whether it is for a vacation or second home, income producing rental property or business opportunity. Most likely in the beginning the already connected areas will get the influx of low cost European carriersat the surrounding smaller airports. However many popular tourist areas, that until now had no direct international connection will probably have a direct flight to some European city in the next 6-18 month. But again, "How will this affect me as a REALTOR?" you might ask. The increased number of tourist in the area always raises the amount of possible buyers and it is our job to be ready to deal with these foreign nationals property buying needs. They are different from their U.S. counterparts. Many of them will start with looking on the internet to see what is there to do in the area. They will make contact with real estate professionals in their own country or with agents in the U.S. to get more information on the market conditions. But we can not expect to have them find us only through our normal ways of marketing efforts, such as Realtor.com, the broker's website or our own websites. Like most U.S. buyers, they will also start with their local internet sites, or magazines and publications to search for overseas properties, because as we are not familiar with their favorite property search sites that are geared toward capturing their attention, they are not familiar with ours either. Then there is the language barrier, not everybody speaks English, and you can have the most advanced marketing effort in the world, if they can not read it, they will move onto the next one that they can understand. By the way, most of the world also uses the Metric System, sounds familiar? That is the "failed" system that was introduced here stateside many years ago, but unfortunately our own unwillingness to change prevented it from making a foothold. So Square Footage does not mean much unless you can convert it to Meter Square /m²/ and not to mention, that many of them do not even care about that as much as how many bed- and bathrooms there are and "...Those bedrooms can sleep how many people?..."
So not to drag this out too much, but because of the U.S. Dollar having been as weak against foreign currencies for many years as it has and the fact that it is unlikely to change any time soon, not only "The British Are Coming" but many others will follow too.
The best way for anyone to tap into the international market is perhaps to start by joining the International Local Councils in their, or a nearby Association and start learning the many intricacies of doing business with foreign buyers.
This was my 2 Cents /3.28 HUF/, but what do I know......