We talk a lot about helping international clients move to the United States, but outbound activity is on the rise and too important to ignore. According to the 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate approximately 14 percent of REALTORS® reported that they had a client who was seeking to purchase property in another country, compared to six percent in the previous 12-month period. Additionally, about six percent reported that they had a client interested in purchasing property abroad but were unable to refer the client to anyone to assist in the purchase process. This is where the power of the CIPS network comes into play. This six percent represents a missed business opportunity, one that wouldn’t have been missed if the REALTOR® had been connected to the CIPS network.
Among the REALTORS® who had clients interested in purchasing property abroad, the countries generating the most inquiries were Mexico, Costa Rica, Philippines, Colombia and Canada. Spain, Brazil, Thailand, and Italy were also of interest to domestic clients searching for property abroad. Did you know there’s at least one CIPS designee in each of these countries? CIPS represents over 3,500 designees over 45 different countries, increasing your odds of finding a reputable agent to assist your clients. Once an opportunity presents itself, connect with your fellow designees by using the Find a CIPS search tool or by joining our CIPS Designees Only Facebook group (Search “Official Group: NAR CIPS Designees”).
According to the same report, most Americans buying abroad are looking for a place to vacation. Knowing this provides a niche window of opportunity. Cultivate relationships with your fellow CIPS designees or take this knowledge a step further by cultivating relationships with international developers.
By creating business relationship with international developers, you are opening your business up to opportunity for co-marketing efforts. While this task can seem daunting, tuning into the CIPS community and networking with CIPSs who are engaging in this type of business can help you learn more. Additionally, we encourage you to read our June 2015 Global Perspectives, where we dive into the logistics of co-marketing opportunities abroad.