Florida Realtor April 2012 : Page 18

Florida, including job-creating multina-tional companies, is another positive fac-tor for our international market.” Changing Buyer Patterns While Florida attracts buyers from around the world, they come primarily from Canada, Europe and Latin Ameri-ca. Within those three regions, demand tends to rise or fall based on fi nancial, economic and political circumstances. The European debt crisis, for instance, has caused some potential buyers to de-lay vacation home purchases, while oth-ers like the idea of holding investment assets in U.S. dollars. According to the 2011 survey, Canada is Florida’s top international market, accounting for 39 percent of all foreign buyers, up from 36 percent in 2010. In contrast, the United Kingdom declined— accounting for 7 percent of foreign buy-ers, compared with 15 percent in 2010. German buyers were 5 percent of the to-tal, unchanged from 2010. The biggest jumps occurred in Latin America, where Brazil’s share of the in-ternational market rose to 8 percent and Venezuela’s climbed to 7 percent; both had been at 3 percent in 2010. Another positive note: Venezuelan buyers paid a median price of $258,300, well above last year’s average, and 12 percent of those buyers purchased homes valued at $1 million or more. Overall, foreign buyers were likely to purchase in a resort area or a central city/ urban area, with most sales activity in the Miami and Orlando markets. (See chart, “Florida Destinations for Foreign Home Buyers,” p. 20.) Within those regions, as well as other parts of the state, interna-tional buyers tend to cluster in certain neighborhoods and condominium build-ings. For instance, Sunny Isles Beach, in South Florida, has a large Russian en-clave, while Kissimmee, in Central Flor-ida, has attracted buyers from Puerto Rico as well as the United Kingdom. ne of the best ways to connect with international buyers is to prepare a professional showing packag e in both English and the prospe ct’s native language. It’s an opp ortu-nity to showcase your cred entials and explain how the U.S. real estate system works, accord ing to Deborah Boza-Valledor , CO O and chief marketing offi cer at the Miami Association of Realtor s®. “You want to maximize you r marketing tools,” she says. “Hav-ing a showing package cus tom-ized for your buyers will set you apart from the crowd.” Boza-Valledor suggests incl ud-ing your resume, a guide for for-eign buyers and investors, a blank Florida contract with addend ums and a selection of three to fi ve listings. You can also prepar e a list of “10 reasons to buy here,” de-signed for your local market. Each page can be printed with one side in English and the other in the O Maximizing Your Marketing Tools buyer’s language. The packag e can also be prepared as a PDF , to be used for emailing or downloa ding to a customer’s tablet or laptop. “Deliver the showing packag e to the buyer’s hotel a day before you go out to look at the pro per-ties,” she says. “Be sure to put your resume on top, so it’s the fi rst thing they see when they open the pack-age. Then, they can review your credentials with family and friends and read through the contrac t in advance. That will get them more comfortable with you and the trans-action.” Boza-Valledor also recomm ends printing customized busines s cards with your photo and contact infor-mation on one side and you r des-ignations (with brief explana tions) on the other side. “Tell the customer that you have experience and edu-cation in the international fi eld,” she says. “It can make a big diff erence in building those relationships.” GrEAt IDEA To help younger real estate professionals expand their global networks, FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation, recently introduced a half-price membership for ages under 35. Speaking at the 2011 Miami International Real Estate Congress, FIABCI president Alexander Romanenko, ADVECS Real Estate Corp. in St. Petersburg, Russia, said, “This a great opportunity for professionals under age 35 to become part of the FIABCI family.” FIABCI also allows an exchange program for students and sales professionals, who can spend several weeks or months in a foreign country, learning about that country’s market and building ties with local agents and brokers. For more information, go to fi abci.org. 18 FLORIDA REALTOR April 2012

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