Parlez-vous français? Referral service bringing French-speaking buyers to South Florida

French among heaviest international users of Miami Realtors' website

Three well-known French real estate brokers in the Miami area have launched a nonprofit organization that matches French-speaking Realtors in South Florida to French-speaking buyers worldwide.

The nonprofit, La Fédération des Professionnels de L’Immobilier de Miami (FPIM), will take advantage of a growing number of French house hunters. Twice so far this year, France has topped a monthly list of foreign countries whose people have conducted the most property searches on the Miami Association of Realtors’ website, miamire.com.

Lukas Rebec / Shutterstock.com
Lukas Rebec / Shutterstock.com

Members of the new group are required to speak fluent French and belong to Florida’s Realtor associations. Marie-Charlotte Piro, vice president of MC2 Realty, is FPIM’s founder and president. The federation’s founding board also includes Thibault de Saint Vincent, CEO of Barnes International, and Franck Dossa, president of Plaza Brickell International.

Together, these companies and allied FPIM real estate agents and brokers will market South Florida properties in France and other French-speaking countries, including Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, the French Caribbean, Haiti and French-speaking Africa, the group said.

FPIM is also a referral service that will direct French-speaking buyers interested in South Florida real estate to a directory of certified agents that includes their bio, photo and contact information.

The group expects to educate its buyers about the differences between the U.S. and French real estate markets.

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“Clients from France don’t understand how differently the real estate industry works here in the U.S.,” said de Saint Vincent in a statement.

“’Different’ can be better and ‘different’ can be more complex. For example, there is no such thing as a multiple listing service (MLS) in France, which is a wonderful tool here. The MLS here means buyers can work with one agent who has access to thousands of listings, regardless of the listing company. In France, a broker can only show you his or her personal listings.”

Agents interested in joining FPIM should complete an application on the group’s French-language website, FPIMiami.org. Agents will be screened and vetted and cannot have had any formal complaints lodged against them through the Florida Real Estate Commission.

In addition to seeing agents’ profiles on the website, prospective buyers will be able to read a translated copy of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) code of ethics and learn about how the real estate industry works in Florida.

“FPIM clients benefit because our agents abide by a very strict code of ethics — the code developed by the NAR,” Piro said in a statement.

“And because we speak fluent French, nothing will get lost in translation throughout the entire real estate transaction process. Our customers also feel comfortable with us because we understand their culture, which is very important in this melting pot of South Florida.”

South Florida attracts francophone buyers and investors because of its “European-like” atmosphere, warm climate, advantageous tax structure, and home price appreciation potential, the group said.

“Real estate is about trust and knowledge,” Dossa said in a statement. “As many of us are involved in professional associations on both sides of the Atlantic, we really want FPIM to be the go-to resource for the best, most trusted brokers and agents dedicated to a French-speaking international clientele. Our clients deserve to know how to make the right choices.”


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