Each year at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo we celebrate Global Day, a full day of internationally-geared education sessions and meetings. This year we had nearly 1,500 international attendees, many of whom helped pack the room full throughout Global Day. The celebration concluded with our very first all-in-one Meet the World networking session on the expo floor, where each country was represented in the Global Networking Pavilion and all attendees were invited to meet delegates from our partner countries. The Networking session was quite a success as many connections were made among the nearly 200 hundred REALTORS® who stopped by.
If you were unable to join us, or just want a refresher of the events that transpired, below is a list of the top 10 takeaways from Global Day that can help you capture the global market:
Look outside your country for global opportunities: During one session we talked about the expansion of the Panama Canal, and the business opportunities that have already transpired since the expansion was announced. These developments will continue to offer lucrative business opportunities in the coming years, particular for coastal/port cities in the United States. How can international developments such as this impact your local market?
Read about cultures:Kiss, Bow and Shake Hands was regarded by many during Global Day as a wonderful, easy-to-read, book that can help you learn about other cultures. One speaker noted that it is helpful to return to chapters (which are categorized by country) prior to visiting that country as a refresher on their customs.
Test yourself: When It comes to other cultures, know your knowledge gaps and improve them. Getcustoms.com has numerous quizzes that can test your cultural knowledge and sensitivity, then uncover where you need improvement.
Don’t show what you don’t know: Visit countries where you are sending or receiving buyers to and from so you know their customs. There is nothing like experiencing something first-hand. Besides, a little vacation never hurt anybody.
Clarify agreements with cross-border referrals: Prior to giving someone a referral, contact the REALTOR® and have a polite discussion to ask if they are in agreement with your referral terms. In addition, always use a referral contract form. Although these are not legally binding, they still are a great way to prevent miscommunication.
Make sure you are INVOLVED/AROUND/AVAILABLE: Buying a home overseas can be scary. The more involved you are in helping guide a transaction the better. Respond to your clients in a timely matter and show them you are there every step of the way.
You can’t know everything, but you can know someone who does: Don’t try to assist your clients in areas you’re not specialized in. Immigration and tax laws can be very complicated. Always have a trusted immigration attorney and international tax advisor ready for your clients.
English is good enough, but knowledge is key: A second language will help greatly when servicing clients, but if you don’t know their language don’t fret! Have a translator handy or know what tools are available to you. One Global Day panelist recommended the ihandy translator application, available for iPhones. This application allows you to type in what you need to say and it will then translate your phrase and say it out loud for your clients, in their language. If you would like other options or have an Android device, here is another helpful list of options.
Know currency exchange rates: Currency exchange rates change by the moment. Remember, small changes in the exchange rate can equal big savings or loss for your clients. Enlist the help of a currency exchange specialist such as MoneyCorp.
Market yourself as an expert: If you are a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designee, then make sure you are utilizing CIPS branding on your email signature, flyers, website etc. You want both fellow REALTORS® and potential clients to know you have the knowledge and skills to handle their transaction with ease. If you have not yet earned your CIPS, click here to how you can earn your designation.
If you find these tips interesting and want to learn more about the global market, we encourage you to join us next year for the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo November 3-6 in Chicago! Thank you to everyone who attended yet another successful conference, we hope to see you next year!