Investing in America and Expanding Agent Networks

Dec 11, 2015 7:51:52 AM


We live in a global marketplace where not all home buyers are locally situated. Eight percent of the properties sold in the United States are international transactions. Of that, five countries account for 51 percent of the purchases: Canada, China, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom.

If you are not tapped into the international market, there’s lot of opportunity that you might be missing. But, don’t worry! Connecting with international buyers is easier than you might think.


Keller Williams associate Elizabeth Olcott of Napa Valley, California, has been a successful real estate agent for 15 years and a member of KW Global Property Specialists (GPS) since 2014. Approximately three percent of her business in 2015 came from working with international clients.

Olcott says that networking with international agents is key to the success of international sales. “It’s all about relationships!” Olcott says. “The stronger value is in developing relationships and networking with agents worldwide, more valuable than trying to find clients directly.”

In September 2015, she attended the LPS conference in Guangzhou, China with fellow members of GPS and as a result, formed professional relationships with other agents in China, Australia, Dubai and Italy.

When asked what was The ONE Thing about her GPS membership that has helped her business the most, Olcott replied: “The ability to create ads of my listings, translated into the native language of other countries and incorporating them into listing presentations in Proxio Pro. ​It’s been a definite wow factor when presenting.​”

Trends to Watch For in 2016

It is important to note that market trends vary depending on location. Olcott says that with regards to the Napa market, she is seeing that the European market has not been garnering as much attention of late; however, they are still seeing quite a bit of European investment, as well as from the China, Asian market. As she gears up for 2016, she says she will be keeping her eyes on both the European and Chinese markets as well as the U.S. economy as a whole.

Win International Sales in 2016!

Make international sales part of your 2016 business plan and learn how to utilize the power of international networking. Join GPS for a free Global Property Specialists Webinar on December 15 at 1:00 p.m. CST. Register here.

KW GPS webinar December 2015

Nationally, history shows that our neighbors to the north have been our biggest contributors. However, Chinese buyers have surpassed Canadians as the most dominant foreign home purchasers in the United States, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2015 profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients.

NAR infographic of international buyers

Based on information from NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients, proximity to the home country, the presence of relatives, friends and associates, job and educational opportunities, and climate and location appear to be important considerations to prospective buyers. Europeans and Canadians tend to be attracted to Florida and Arizona for the warmer climates whereas California and Texas are favored by purchasers from Asia/Oceania. Buyers from Latin America, including Mexico, favor states in close proximity such as Texas and Florida. But these are just the most popular locations, not the only ones.

To get started mining international buyers in your market, read these tips from GPS member Mallina Wilson who knows what it takes to build a successful real estate business serving international buyers. And don't miss out on the free GPS webinar on December 15 at 1:00 p.m. CST.

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