The Missouri Association of Realtors will offer consumers a choice of 13 languages to view available home listings at agent and broker Web sites, the association announced today.

The trade association signed a contract with Immobel.com, which provides language services to Realtor organizations worldwide.

“Prospective home buyers now have equal access to all current Missouri Realtor home listings in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Chinese (two varieties), Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, in addition to English. Listings will be updated daily,” said Janet Choynowski, CEO of Immobel.

Missouri Realtors will now be able to display translated listings on their own Web sites in IDX format, with the state association covering the costs, said R. Dennis McClelland, executive vice president and CEO of the Missouri association.

Serving home buyers and sellers in multiple languages has become important as this market segment continues to grow and drive the housing market. A Harvard Joint Center for Housing study predicts 31 percent of new households formed between 200 and 2010 will be Hispanic, while 13 percent will be Asian.

Also, direct foreign investment in U.S. real estate reached $37.9 billion in 2004, according to the National Association of Realtors, with the greatest foreign investment coming from Japan, Latin America and Germany. Foreign investment is made into both residential and commercial property.

Immobel uses professional translators who are native speakers of each language.

Among the company’s real estate clients are the Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches; MRIS of Greater Washington, D.C.; North Texas Real Estate Information Systems; Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors; Metro Region MLS of Southern California; Sarasota Association of Realtors; and the Louisville Association of Realtors.

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