Florida Realtor April 2010 : Page 25

“Begin with the end in mind.” —Stephen R. Covey, author, “the 7 habits of highly effective People” ferral opportunities. “You can get your TRC designation in an afternoon of study,” Romero says, “and it’s something you can put on your website and business cards right away.” Since completing the CIPS designation program will take sev-eral months, Romero recommends Pocu-rull get started right away. Join referral organizations While Pocurull does her home-work, she can join several in-ternational organizations that special-ize in worldwide real estate referrals. Romero suggests the Paris-based In-ternational Real Estate Federation also known as FIABCI. Another is the Association of Mexican Real Es-tate Professionals (AMPI), which is affiliated with NAR. “I’m on the board of FIABCI, and they have great connec-tions,” Romero says. “For instance, I was working with one European buyer who ran into a financing problem. I called a friend in Germany who was able to re-solve the problem in about 90 minutes.” Pocurull asks Romero what he thinks about becoming active in South Florida organizations that have an international focus. “That’s another aspect of your networking strategy,” he says. “I sug-gest you join the international council of your local real estate association and the international committee of your cham-ber of commerce. If your own brokerage company has overseas affiliations, check out those referral opportunities.” Luke Romero, AbP, CIPS, e-Pro, is the managing broker and owner of Cameron & tate International, a boutique real estate marketing firm specializing in promotion of luxury homes and properties in domestic and international markets. Romero serves on the board of FIAbCI-uSA. his lecture series “Conducting International business from your home City” provides networking opportunities in an educational environment. 3. photo, contact information and perhaps an image of a luxury high rise. “Your personal website should include your branding message, along with lots of testimonials,” adds Romero. “Even if inter-national buyers are referred to you by pro-fessionals in their own countries, they’ll still research online before coming to Miami.” MEEt thE ExPErt good professionals here,” she says, “and our brokerage company is affili-ated with a mortgage lender that ser-vices international clients.” 6. 5. Build relationships with affiliated professionals While it’s essential to focus on generating referrals from foreign real es-tate agents and brokers, Romero reminds Pocurull to pay attention to building re-lationships with affiliated professionals in the South Florida market. “You’ll de-velop a network of people who can help your international clients. You want to be able to send them to a real estate, tax or immigration attorney who’s familiar with the laws and culture of your client’s native country.” In turn, those profes-sionals may refer their customers to you. Pocurull agrees. “I already know some travel to target countries For Pocurull to develop her in-ternational specialty into a long-term, sustainable business, Romero recommends that she travel regularly to her target countries, such as Mexico, Spain, Panama or Venezuela. “You may want to attend the next AMPI meeting in Mexico and take your new business cards,” he tells her. “Then, the next year, you could set up a booth and make ap-pointments with the agents and brokers you met the last time.” Romero adds one further thought: “Don’t forget that re-ferrals work both ways. If you have cli-ents in Miami who want to buy in Mexi-co City, you’ll have the personal contacts needed to refer them to good agents in that market.” Get started 1. Pick your target markets. 2. boost your credentials. 3. Join referral organizations. 4. brand yourself as an international specialist. 5. build relationships with affiliated professionals. 6. travel to target countries. 4. Brand yourself as an international specialist One of the many benefits of joining an international real estate or-ganization is being listed on its website, says Romero. “But that’s just one step in branding yourself,” he advises Pocurull. “You want to always present a consistent image.” For instance, Romero suggests Pocurull design a two-sided business card, in English and Spanish, with her So, was the coaching helpful to Po-curull? “Absolutely,” she says. “Now I have a clear direction for my business. I’m going to look at attaining those cer-tifications. And I’m already thinking about attending upcoming real estate shows in Mexico and Venezuela.” this column provides advice from indus-try experts concerning marketing, tech-nology and business issues. It won the Silver Award in the 2008 best Column category from the Florida magazine Association. GrEat IdEa If you’re considering earning the CIPS designation, arrange to take the in-person classes somewhere outside your local market, ideally in a foreign location. “That way, you’re already meeting international agents who can refer business to you,” says Luke Romero. April 2010 FLORIDA REALTOR 25

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