Keller Williams Global Property Specialists (GPS) member Mallina Wilson can teach you what it takes to build a successful real estate business serving international buyers.
Wilson advises to first act like an expert. Refine your elevator speech and place global expert designations on your business cards and Website. But it’s not enough to simply act like an expert – you need to take steps to be an expert.
Start by submersing 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 suggests reading 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,” Wilson said. “You can kill a deal just by the way you hand over your card, so be sure you know what is acceptable,” she cautioned.
Wilson also emphasizes the importance of seeking international property designations to build your credibility and knowledge. Keller Williams Global Property Specialists members receive Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) training as a benefit of membership. The designation provides agents with the knowledge, research, networking and tools to globalize their businesses.
The designation’s five-course education requirement prepares agents to succeed at working across borders. In addition to designations, agents should join professional organizations that will further advance their knowledge and provide them with networking opportunities to boost international contacts.
Wilson also recommends making full use of all the global marketing tools available to GPS members. “They really help you market yourself as an international expert,” she said.