Two weeks ago, we kicked off our three-part series on forging business with foreign buyers. In the Part I we looked at the first method for attracting international real estate consumers to your business: finding international buyer leads in your own backyard. This week, we’ll look at a second method for expanding your real estate business overseas.
Method #2: Globalize Your Internet Lead Generation
If your local buyers and sellers are going online to begin their home search process, it’s safe to say international buyers are starting there as well. “Websites have no borders,” says Mallina Wilson of the Home4Investment Real Estate Team in Bellingham, Wash. Last year, the Home4Investment Website received 3.5 million visitors from 184 different countries.
How is she capturing them? Her international prospecting strategy is focused on building a strong Web presence through her Websites, as well as through blogs, Facebook business pages and Craigslist which, she reminded us, is global. Here are a few more tips from Wilson that you can use to globalize your Internet lead generation strategy.
- Use keywords that an international buyer might use when searching for real estate in the United States. These might include “good deal in the United States,” “bargain,” “great value for the money” or “best Website to search for homes in the United States.”
- Remember real estate terminology is different. “Some countries use the word ‘flat’ instead of ‘condo,’” she explains. Other terms that are different among English speaking countries: “real estate” is “property,” “single family home” is “house,” and “bathroom” is “loo.”
- Use social media: Some countries may not have access to Facebook, but for those who do (or who find a way to), being available on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIN are critical to keeping relationships open across borders. “Facebook may be the only chance overseas buyers have to get to know you before you sit down to a meeting,” Wilson says. She is also a member of more than 30 internationally focused groups and associations on LinkedIn. Check out Wilson's Facebook Page here: facebook.com/StepInToGlobalProperties and her LinkedIN page here.
Discuss! Have you captured any international clients online? What Internet lead generation strategies have you used?
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