Are You Reaching Your Real Estate Market’s International Buyers?
Real estate agents in markets with international buyers benefit from an Internet marketing presence. A real estate website is your interactive marketing arm that is immune to time zones and available any where in the world that has the Internet. With the dollar falling in value against foreign currencies coupled with the residential real estate market in a slowdown with prices falling in at least 77 of the major metropolitan areas, American real estate has become the international bargain.
Hawaii continues to attract international buyers, especially from around the Ring of Fire. According to the NAR, 47% of foreign buyers bought their US property for vacation purposes. This may account for the fact that condominiums and apartments are twice as popular with international buyers as American buyers.
If buying follows the 2006 trends, real estate agents can expect over 50% of the foreign real estate investments to be in the Florida (26%), California (16%) and Texas (10%) markets. Positioning your real estate website for your market’s international clientÃƒÂ¨le is an important part of your marketing strategy. With 13% of the buyers coming from Mexico, with an additional 3% from the rest of Latin America, bilingual websites in these markets are positioned to capture the Latin American buyers. Certain real estate websites have also added web pages translated into European and Asian-Pacific languages to attract and educate the international buyers. Europe, at 33%, was the largest foreign buyer in the US market.
The National Association of Realtors in its October 2007 The Global Neighborhood Report noted “The Internet has also provided a vital conduit to potential buyers around the globe, making property details and related market information one click away for anyone with interest and an Internet connection. And if softer housing prices have tempered some U.S. homebuyersÃ¢â‚¬Å¡ enthusiasm to move forward with a transaction, quite the opposite could be said for many foreign buyers, who are witnessing even better deals when weak-dollar prices are converted into their currency equivalents. For example, the British Pound Sterling, worth $1.44 in 2001 rose to nearly $2.00 in mid-2007, allowing a U.K investor to buy considerably ‘more house,’ simply through favorable exchange rates.”
Real estate websites positioned for the European and Caribbean markets have begun including a translation glossary of American to British words. For instance in the UK, a “closing” is a “completion” and a “condominium” is a “flat”. It is a simple addition to a website and follows the sales principle of not having your customer leave your website to get service you can easily provide.
Knowing the attraction your real estate market has for the international buyers and investors, helps you create the web pages and add the web tools that foreign buyers are looking for. Working with a real estate web designer will aid you in making sure your content and page set-up are optimized for the search engines so your potential international clients can find you in their Internet searches.
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