One of these things is not like the others … one of these things just doesn’t belong.
That Sesame Street ditty easily could have been playing at the start of my panel discussion today at the Inman Real Estate Connect Conference at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. “Tapping the Global Real Estate Market” featured a higher-up from Century 21 Canada, another from Immobilie, a third who owns several branch offices in the Bay Area (as well as villas in France, as we later learned) and me … a man whose claim to faim when it comes to global real estate is using “hooped” correctly in a sentence.
In front of a packed audience – packed in more ways than one, actually – we talked about what it takes to make a dent in the global real estate market and how we as agents here in the states can attract buyers from elsewhere.
Given the location, Arizona is a destination for Western Canadians but not much else. Buyers from Eastern Canada and Europe go to the East Coast, buyers from the Far East stop in California. There are exceptions, naturally, but the geographics and demographics hold up fairly well.
One of the agents on the panel said the best way to attract international buyers was to attend personally the major global social events – Wimbledon, Cannes, the Monaco Yacht Festival – somehow she skipped the running of the bulls.
Now call me crazy, but I think a world tour might be financially challenging to say the least. And the commissions generated from any sales you receive are going to be burned mostly on air fare and hotels and not on activities that grow the business further.
Here’s where I was able to shed a ray of hope. Working with buyers from outside the United States doesn’t require a full passport or tons of frequent flier miles. It simply involves knowing the details of the real estate transactions and translating a buyers’ expressed needs in a property into actual bricks and mortar (or stucco and wood, in the vast majority of cases here.)
Like many things in real estate, some believe the best solution is to throw money at whatever you’re trying to accomplish. That’s simply not the case. Yes, it takes money to market listings and yes it takes money to build and sustain a business.
But building a business with Canadian and other foreign buyers at the core? Worry less about the money and more about the service that’s provided and everyone will walk away from the experience happy.
Speaking of happy … being this was my first such conference I was more than a little nervous. I probably owe some links but hopefully they’ll all see this anyway – to Ines and Debbie, Jay and Kris, Lani and Ben, and Missy, Maureen and Teresa, thanks for coming to the session. Surrender seemed the best option as everyone read off their lengthy resumes but the pack of supportive faces in the personally packed audience was a blessing.[tags]Real Estate Connect, Phoenix real estate[/tags]