Florida Realtor April 2012 : Page 24

connect globally 9 Global Social Media Sites The real estate professionals and experts interviewed for this article recommend these sites for agents looking to enhance their international presence via social media: 1. ActiveRain.com 2. APlaceInTheSun.com: A U.K.-operated site that offers a property search and, for a fee, listings from 89 countries 3. Craigslist.com 4. Facebook.com 5. IRED.com: The International Real Estate Digest lists links for broker-ages, sales associates, mortgage lenders and other real estate–related businesses in more than 135 countries. 6. LinkedIn.com 7. rightmove.co.uk is one of the most popular real estate listing sites in the U.K. Most of its listings are located there, but about 1,900 U.S. properties are listed on the site, of which more than half are in Central Florida. 8. Twitter.com 9. YouTube.com Republic, Germany, Canada and Brazil. Selecting content to post on social net-working sites is an important consider-ation, according to Devitre, who cautions not to overmarket yourself and your services. Instead, he says, figure out the biggest points of concern for buyers in the respective markets and then address those issues through posts, videos, feed-back (on other people’s posts) and other interactions. Right now, for example, many global buyers are looking for safe investments and new lifestyles. “They’re not just look-ing at houses,” says Devitre, who points to NAR’s 2011 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida as a source for great clues to exactly what foreign buy-ers want. A YouTube video highlighting the “Top 10 Mistakes Not to Make When Investing in Miami Real Estate,” for ex-ample, would “get good traction among those buyers in search of a safe U.S. real estate investment,” he says. That’s exactly what Silver decided to do when she embraced social media three years ago. She posts comments, market statistics and local information nuggets on various types of social media. Born in Berlin, she focused primarily on her home country, the U.K. and Canada when developing a presence on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and when using online advertising portals. Silver also has a German-language website, where she provides buyers interested in Florida homes and condos with market information and property details in their own language. “I find that international buyers are always more comfortable working with [those] who speak the lan-guage,” she says. With so many options, where should you start? Video Is Important Devitre points to YouTube as one of the best starting sites for those looking to GREAT IDEA Most international sales associates select one or two countries to target, but Carla Rayman, CIPS, a broker-associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Sarasota, says you should keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Traditionally focused on Central America, the U.K. and Canada, Rayman recently listed an $11 million property portfolio for a seller in Dubai. “He researched me through social media and decided that I was the right one to market his properties,” says Rayman. “A few months later, I was in Dubai meeting developers and viewing the portfolio.” 24 FLORIDA REALTOR April 2012

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