Why You Should Become a CIPS Designee

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Today, we are featuring a guest post from Christel Silver, Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty!

International realtors

If you’ve thought about working with international clients, you may have heard that you should pursue the CIPS designation. What is this, and why is it important?

Here’s what you need to know.

Why International Buyers Matter

If you have not read the new statistics from Lawrence Yun, Ph.D. Chief Economist of NAR, here some highlights. While the international business decreased over the last year, we still sold $77.9 Billion to international buyers.  Part of the decrease might be the tighter controls in China on the outward flow of capital and the unfavorable exchange rate of the Canadian Dollar.

Wouldn’t you want to be part of this? Florida, California, Texas, New York and New Jersey are still the top states where international buyers are purchasing.

Where Are International Buyers From?

Where are these buyers coming from?

This has slightly changed over the last few years. Currently, the buyers come from China, Canada, India, Great Britain and Mexico.

As I have mentioned many times, you do not need to speak a foreign language to be successful in international business.  Considering that two out of these five countries are speaking the same language (or almost the same language) as we are.

Don’t overlook this market - approximately 75% of the Canadian buyers are paying cash!

What is CIPS?

CIPS stands for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) designation: Certified International Property Specialist.  It requires an investment of finances and time. That includes five full days of class instruction plus the price of the classes and the designation.

What do you learn?  I just recently rented a place to a European client.  The Realtor requested documents from the prospective tenant which are not available in Europe.

In Germany the people do not have checks anymore.  Most foreigners have no credit score. My transaction would have been much smoother if the other agent had the CIPS designation.

You will learn tools you need to know when dealing with foreign clients, like but not limited to visa requirements, tax ramifications, changing currency, transferring money. More importantly, you will learn how to interact with foreign nationalities and cultures.  This education is specialized for you to engage successfully in the global market.

NAR has a relationship with 100 foreign Associations in over 85 countries.  They are opening doors for you to be successful with up to date information and developments.

Inventory is Tight

Mr. Yun says: “The inventory of existing homes for sale continued to be tight, with the inventory of homes for sale as of the end of April 2019 just equivalent to 4.2 months of the monthly demand based on annualized sales of 5.2 million units. A healthy level is six months of supply. Supply remains tight for homes priced at $250,000 and below.”  If you are interested in the full report, go to the NAR research site.

There has never been a better time to work with motivated international buyers. Many of these folks are looking at higher-priced homes, which means better supply and better commissions for you.


If you’re ready to market yourself to the international market, make sure your branding is in place. Update your business cards and other materials today!


Christel Silver is a full-time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.


This post originally shared on PrinterBees' Real Estate Marketing Magazine.


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Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

One of the best trainings I have been through.  Honestly yearly dues are pretty stiff.

CIPS stands for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) designation: Certified International Property Specialist.  It requires an investment of finances and time. That includes five full days of class instruction plus the price of the classes and the designation.

Jul 31, 2019 05:39 AM #1
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

If I were still in NYC, I'd do this. Here in Charlotte international buyers are not a huge factor and my personal and professional experiences of working with international clients is more than enough to serve them well.

Jul 31, 2019 07:20 AM #2
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Nadine, thanks for sharing this blog with us here in the Rain.  By the way great job on the post cards just deliver.


Jul 31, 2019 09:51 AM #3
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