Mallina Wilson of the Ben Kinney Team in Bellingham, WA inspired associates at Family Reunion to "go global in their own backyard". In her presentation, Wilson shared what it takes to build a successful real estate business serving international buyers - without ever leaving your local market.
Step 1 - Act like an expert. Refine your elevator speech and place global expert designations on your business cards and website.
Step 2 - Be an expert.
Submerse yourself in knowledge by reading, finding a mentor and researching your target audience. Different cultures have different business standards and it is extremely important that agents know how to communicate appropriately with their international clients. Wilson suggested reading the book Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison. While it is not real estate specific, the book goes directly into the cultural guidelines for appropriately doing business with international clients. "You can kill a deal just by the way you hand over your card, so be sure you know what is acceptable," Wilson cautioned.
Wilson also emphasized the importance of seeking international property designations to build your credibility and knowledge. Keller Williams Global Property Specialist members receive Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) training as a benefit of the membership. The designation provides agents with the knowledge, research, network and tools to globalize your business. The designation's 5-course education requirement prepares you to succeed in working across borders in your real estate business. In additional to designations, agents should join professional organizations which will further advance their knowledge and provide them with them networking opportunities. Wilson also makes full use of the global marketing tools she receives as a benefit of her GPS membership to help her market herself as an expert.
So, how do you identify your local landmine and mine it?
1. Order NAR statistics and title company lists at a minimal cost.
2. Become involved with your local Chamber of Commerce in sister cities as many countries use Chambers as a resource.
3. Look for local print items in other languages that you can advertise in and local international organizations you can join.
4. Form relationships with local businesses.
5. Don't ignore college student bodies because 15 percent of admissions are reserved for foreign national students. Parents often purchase housing for the students to reside in during their studies.
6. Find out which businesses are internationally owned and/or hire internationally. Develop relationships with the HR departments and work with them to offer your services to employees who are relocating to the area.
1. Be where other agents are not.
2. Write articles or blog posts.
3. Offer services not offered—identify their needs.
4. Teach classes about the subject matter and make it known that you are the global property expert.
5. Have interpreters available to you on short notice.
6. Build a team with lenders, title, attorneys, accountants and property management companies. Have your team ready to go!
Additionally, she credited four success principles with driving her business:
a. The 80/20 Rule: 20% of your efforts will account for 80% of your result.
b. Time Block: Don't interrupt lead generation.
c. Local Business Focus: It is your meat and potatoes. Focus on The ONE Thing - your next appointment.
d. Making it Happen: Your passion has no hours. If you say yes to one thing, you must say no to 1,000 other things.
Wilson concluded her presentation urging everyone to get out there and network so they can build global relationships. "Your eyes are now open so start looking outside the box," she encouraged the crowd. Start right here at Family Reunion and reach out and connect with our Worldwide associates. The international referral opportunity for everyone is immense.