The global real estate market is experiencing explosive growth. Even if you do not work directly with global clients, you can still capitalize on global marketing to convert more listing appointments into signed listings.
While sites such as Immobel.com and Proxio are among those that allow you to translate your listings into multiple languages so you can reach global clients in their own languages, there are a number of other important ways you can expand your global reach to convert more listings.
Maximum exposure to the marketplace normally results in maximum price. Each of the tools listed below can help you achieve that important goal. In many cases, your local multiple listing service provides some of these tools at no charge.
Even if other agents have access to these tools, virtually no one discusses how these tools can help the seller achieve the maximum amount from their real estate sale.
The simple step of showing sellers how you market their listing globally — especially if you are in an area that has a large number of global clients, can often help you walk away with the listing.
Here are four international marketing tools that can give your sellers global exposure at a minimum price.
Point2 syndicates listings in more than 100 countries. This service is available to individual agents who purchase Point2 websites as well as to agents who belong to Point2’s listings syndication network through their MLS. If your MLS does offer this service or if you are already a Point2 subscriber as an individual agent, discuss this service on your listing appointments, including the list of countries they serve.
If you want to tap into the enormous growth of Chinese buyers for the U.S. market, Juwai.com is a good tool to use. "Juwai" translates to "home overseas." While other services claim to reach the mainland China market, Juwai currently is the largest source of property listings in Mandarin.
You can choose to post your listings and pay only when they sell to a Chinese buyer, or you can choose to pay at the time of the listing and add your branding, logo and contact information. Juwai will automatically translate your listings into Mandarin.
Juwai supports their Chinese users with property news from around the world, country investment guides, education and immigration information, country lifestyle guides, and personalized property and news alerts. The site also provide localized listing information including currency, metric conversion and customized Google maps in Mandarin.
It comes as no surprise that Juwai is the No. 1 international property portal for the world’s Mandarin-speaking population. In fact, Juwai reports that China’s buyers spent $7 billion in the U.S. in 2011, with over $432 million going to agents in commissions. This number is expected to double in the next two years.
Glozal.com is a social media site that allows you to connect with other agents who market their listings globally. This a great way to build referrals with other agents who work internationally both inside and outside of the U.S.
Glozal allows consumers to search listings from various MLSs without the hassle of registration. For example, when I searched for listings in Beverly Hills, Calif., Glozal took me directly the Westside Multiple Listing Service website, where I could view all listings.
For other Southern California listings, Glozal took me to the California Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. website. This site uses the Immobel translation service to make all listings displayed on that site available in the user’s native language.
Additional Glozal services include unlimited text messages, listing messages, mobile website messages, QR codes (also known as "quick response" codes, which function like bar codes and can be accessed via smartphone cameras), leads and hosting. Fees begin as low as $19.95 per month.
4. World MLS
The goal of the World MLS is to have "everyone in the world be able to afford to list with us." While individual agents cannot join, offices can join. Pricing is $100 per year per office plus $5 per listing.
According to its website, World MLS "provides worldwide exposure to all local markets. Agents benefit by being able to offer sellers more exposure, buyers more opportunity, and by having a greater chance of successfully completing more transactions."
Other features include secure logins, the ability to upload up to five pictures plus virtual tours, link to a company website, and to provide the listing agent’s contact information.
To market effectively on these various sites, provide rich content that illustrates what it is like to live in your market area. When possible, provide links to photos that allow people to visualize the lifestyle in your area.
Even better, make a well-produced video tour of your community. If you are fluent in another language, do the narration in the other languages you speak.
You can also use this approach in terms of marketing your listings. Rather than just telling people "I speak your language," do a video for each of your listings where you describe the listing in the languages in which you are fluent.
If you want to reach a specific group, such as those who speak Mandarin, you could also hire someone who speaks Mandarin to narrate the video for you.
The typical international buyer locates the listings they want to see online before traveling to the U.S. to purchase. Your goal is to make your site the one place they can find everything they need to know about living in your area.
Do you need more help in working with global clients? If so, don’t miss Part 4 on Thursday.