• Irish companies directly employ an estimated 80,000 people in 227 companies at over 2,600 locations, in all 50 states.
  • You often find that those who have common heritage often have the same objectives in business and pursue similar methods of achieving them.
  • By being generous and providing helpful information to expats who have questions about life overseas and the home-buying process, you can quickly win new real estate sales opportunities.

Going back to your roots is often an excellent way to maximize business, and it’s certainly worked for me as an expat Irishman in Central Florida.

It never ceases to amaze me how strong the link is between Ireland and the United States. With the Irish-American population outweighing the Irish population seven times over, we are a pretty powerful force in business.

According to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, Irish companies directly employ an estimated 80,000 people in 227 companies at over 2,600 locations, in all 50 states. The cumulative stock of Irish foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US stood at $16 billion in 2014.

Ireland is now the No. 1 destination in the world for U.S. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and employment in U.S. companies in Ireland is at an all-time high of 140,000 people.

As a Dubliner, who moved to Orlando in the 1990s and founded leading real estate developer and agent, Feltrim Group, I was among the first members to join the Irish American Chamber of Commerce Florida.

Even though I have a fair few contacts from working in Florida for almost 20 years, I was amazed to find so many leading Irish American business people at the Chamber meetings, with a few in the construction sector.

In my time here in Florida and with the Chamber, I’ve realized that there are many benefits to working with expats, and here are four I’d like to share with you:

1. Common heritage and goals

You often find that those who have common heritage often have the same objectives in business and pursue similar methods of achieving them. They think alike; they have been through many of the same challenges in moving to a new country — and trust often comes easier because of that.

2. Shared language

For those who live in a country that speaks a different language to your native tongue, it can be a relief to be able to revert to your original language and hear a familiar accent. It means you don’t have to worry about things getting lost in translation like it might if you have to use an interpreter.

3. Practical experience

Having gone through the process of moving abroad, getting settled and starting your real estate business, you have a wealth of practical experience to pass onto buyers. By being generous and providing helpful information to expats who have questions about life overseas and the homebuying process, you can quickly win new real estate sales opportunities.

4. Keeping it local

Feltrim Group still works in close collaboration with trusted workers and key contacts who are still based in both Ireland and the UK. It gives us a reliable access to those markets and means that buyers can contact a local representative if they prefer.

As, you know, the Irish are an incredibly friendly, helpful and supportive nation. Our character fits well with the optimism, entrepreneurship and confidence of the Americans and, of course, many other nations.

So, wherever you hail from in the world and wherever you are living and working now, always make the best of your roots and the connections they can help open in the real estate world.

As we Irish say:

May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Garrett Kenny is CEO of leading Central Florida developer and agency, Feltrim Group. Follow him on Twitter at @garrettkenny.

Email Garrett Kenny.

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