Real estate agents that work with international clients face a lot of unique challenges. Local property seekers are likely going to have totally different questions and requirements from someone based overseas. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid international clients altogether. Here are a few tips for working with potential property buyers located abroad.
1) Don’t sell, inform
For a lot of real estate agents, their natural instinct is to sell, sell and sell some more. This is fine for local buyers who already understand the market. But international buyers may not be familiar with the local property scene. They might also not understand the specific laws when it comes to foreign ownership.
Instead of starting your relationship with an international client by trying to find and sell a specific property, ask if they have any questions. Providing them with this information helps build trust and can make the process easier for both you and the client.
2) Understand each client’s unique needs
It’s important you don’t assume that every international client is looking for the same thing. While many do follow trends, some overseas buyers often change their needs once they learn more about a location. After you’ve informed them about the market and provided them with important local knowledge, find out what they really need.
3) Be flexible on communication
International clients living in different time zones will require you to respond at different times. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to be awake in the middle of the night, but you may have to be prepared to speak with them during early mornings or late in the evening.
And you also need to be willing to communicate with them via whatever channel they prefer. Most of your local clients may use Line, Viber or WeChat, but clients located in other parts of the world may not be familar these applications. It is recommended that you don’t ask them to download a new app. Ask them what they prefer and then use that method.
4) Apply for awards and other recognition
Winning an award or having another type of recognition can help you stand out from other real estate agents trying to attract international clients. An award highlights your expertise and shows you have been validated by others. It may seem simple, but something like an award can go a long way in the eyes of a foreign customer who wants to work with a credible, respected real estate agent.