In his opening remarks at Inman Connect Las Vegas, Brad Inman suggested that the real estate industry’s interconnectedness represents a means of capitalizing on the globalization of the market.

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Brad Inman was waiting to meet his son for dinner earlier this year when an old friend and her new boyfriend walked by. The trio struck up a conversation, but before long the new boyfriend had Inman “on the ropes” over buying a home in Paris.

“What in the heck were you thinking?” Inman, who recounted the story on stage at Inman Luxury Connect Monday morning, recalled the man asking.

Inman said he went into a defensive mode until he remembered why, in fact, he does buy real estate.

“I turned to him and said, ‘It’s funny. We were just talking about the insecurity of all of our other investments,'” Inman said. “I really believe the safest investment I have is real estate.”

Inman’s comments kicked off the event at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, where he went on to make the case that real estate, and particularly international real estate, has an enduring appeal across the world.

“It’s not just the American dream to own a house,” he said. “It’s a dream all over the world.”

In Inman’s case, he bought a single-family home in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, which he described as both secure and very different from the kinds of places he tended to frequent as a tourist in the City of Light. Inman also said that his home appears to be haunted and that owning the property fulfilled a life-long dream for his French-Moroccan wife.

But while Inman described himself and his wife as “100 percent patriotic” about the U.S., he also said buying real estate overseas holds significant appeal for certain types of buyers. Land in a place like Paris is unlikely to spike in value, but it’s also almost certain to retain the value it already has, Inman said. He went on to point out that the quality of life in Paris is exceptional, with Inman singling out the French healthcare system as particularly appealing.

There are downsides too, of course. Inman said it has been difficult to find people to do work on his French property, and he recalled the harrowing 300-page contract he had to sign to buy the house. The contract was so long, Inman laughed, that his American lawyer said it cost more to review the document than it would to actually buy the house. So Inman and his wife simply signed the contract and “things worked out.”

But his real point was that real estate consumers are looking further and further afield for their next investments.

“What’s happening is people are very mobile, the world is getting smaller and smaller,” Inman argued in front of a packed ballroom of luxury brokers. “People are moving around and buying and renting houses in different parts of the world.”

Inman also noted that he found his agent in Paris because she was the daughter of an agent he knew in Florida.

The implication from this is that American real estate professionals have a chance to take advantage of luxury consumers’ interest in overseas homes — and that the real estate industry’s interconnectedness represents a means of capitalizing on the globalization of the market.

“I think,” Inman ultimately concluded, “there’s a lot of opportunity.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

Brad Inman
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