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As real estate grows more global with the increased transparency and power of the ever-maturing internet, real estate agents have immense opportunities to capture lucrative international, long-distance business to which they didn’t previously have access.
This business opportunity is significant.
Foreign buyers purchased $153 billion of U.S. residential real estate in the 12 months through March 2017, a jump of nearly 50 percent from the previous 12 months and over 10 percent of the market by sales volume! That’s according to NAR’s 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate.
Adding to the attractiveness of this large and growing market segment, many of these transactions offer agents a big payday. A notable portion of international buyers and sellers are affluent global elites looking for promising investments and luxurious vacation homes.
But capturing this lucrative business is tricky.
Getting in front of promising international buyer leads is hard and can involve additional complications such as language barriers that stateside transactions just don’t face.
For example, China — a nation with a far different culture, language and real estate protocol than the U.S. — dominated the U.S. international market with $75.6 billion in activity in 2017, nearly half of all U.S. property sold to foreign buyers that year.
So is there a better way for agents to position for this huge, lucrative market?
CPROP’s end-to-end digital transaction management platform is designed to expose real estate agents to international leads and help them securely and transparently close deals. Learn more here.
The short answer is that it requires technology that facilitates communication and connects a group of vetted service providers to collaborate on ushering a deal from contact to close. Below are three ways agents can jump on this immense opportunity.
Join a transparent international platform
Increasing your exposure to the international audience is not easy. Agents looking to capture high-dollar international buyer attention and trust should look for platforms that have an international audience and provide a seamless connection to buyers in a user friendly, efficient and trusted environment.
If the platform features a service provider directory with unfiltered consumer ratings and reviews as well as automated translations, even better.
Think trust and security
A long-distance deal, particularly among parties in different countries, can be a recipe for miscommunication and, in the worst cases, fraud.
That’s why agents seeking to build their international dealflow need a platform to facilitate these transactions with trust and security mechanisms baked in.
One of the best ways to secure transactions lies with blockchain technology. When a contract is completed and executed, it can be recorded to the blockchain, creating an immutable distributed ledger verified by a network of potentially thousands of computers, thus effectively preventing any undetected changes to a contract.
In addition, agents can use smart contracts to perform escrow, which provides a secure mechanism for buyers to put up earnest money.
Seek accountable, efficient collaboration
Closing deals with domestic buyers is hard enough, but when buyers are from overseas, agents must take even greater care to ensure a smooth transaction.
Do you know your transaction’s status in real time, what’s left to complete and who should next take action?
A digital transaction management platform built for international deals that walks parties through every step of the closing process can be especially helpful here. Process transparency simplifies communications, frees up agent time and eases everyone’s mind.
CPROP’s end-to-end digital transaction management platform connects real estate agent users with international, long-distance leads, and helps them complete deals, in a secure, trusted, simple system powered by blockchain technology. Click here to learn more about CPROP.
The views and opinions of authors expressed in this publication do not necessarily state or reflect those of WFG National Title, its affiliated companies, or their respective management or personnel.