Florida Realtor April 2010 : Page 26

Market It “Friendship is essentially a partnership.” —Aristotle, Greek teacher and philosopher FOREIgn InvEsTORs or property agent—will help set up semi-nars, find sponsors and round up inves-tors, so your choice is critical, says Fuen-tes. “You must [be positive] that your partner is influential and credible.” He suggests starting with foreign organiza-tions such as ICREA or the National As-sociation of Realtors®’ bilateral partner, so you can search membership rosters. Another way is to set up appointments with the local embassy’s commercial attaché and with binational chambers of commerce. Once you’ve found a partner, write an agreement, says Fuentes. “How are ex-penses to be shared? What kind of mar-keting is going to be done and at what cost? If it’s an agent, SEMINAR TALKING POINTS what kind of referral fees will Types of properties you pay, [or] if it’s a business-Market and pricing realities person, what percentage of Financing strategies profits do you want to share?” U.S. business practices U.S. social norms 3. Plan it Because Fuentes charges no fee to seminar attendees, he depends on his partners to carefully Sales associate Carlos Fuentes builds business by screen attendees and find local sponsors. Discuss every detail about the seminar being an expert in foreign countries. and guide your partner, says Fuentes. hile it takes careful plan-South America by giving five investment “He or she can give you feedback as to ning and an understand-seminars last year. what [attendees] are looking for.” ing of your international Fuentes typically holds two seminars locale, holding a homebuyer/inves-Here’s how to do it: for up to 15 people each—ranging from a tor seminar in another country can couple of hours to a half day—over two be a boon for your business. “A client 1. Educate yourself days. He’ll provide refreshments and from Maracay, Venezuela, came [to Fuentes suggests getting international hors d’oeuvres and get plenty of one-on-the United States] and wanted some-certifications, joining local international one time with attendees. Splitting costs thing that he could stay in for four to councils and finding someone to coach 50-50 with his partners, Fuentes’ out of six weeks a year—[for the balance of you about the culture of the area in which pocket runs $1,500 to $2,000 per seminar. the year, it] would be a rental unit,” you wish to prospect. “You must establish His travel adds another $1,000 or $1,500. says Fuentes about a recent sale to credibility and come across as knowl-one of many investors with whom he’s edgeable and culturally sensitive so that 4. Follow up worked as a direct result of an over-the folks coming from other countries feel “If you close two [transactions as a result seas seminar. that you can identify with them and that of one seminar]—it’s extremely success-Fuentes, a sales associate with VET you understand how they do business.” ful. You have to realize that in many cul- tures, speed is not the name of the game,” (Vernon E. Taylor PA) in Lutz, success-fully prospected for commercial and 2. Get an overseas partner says Fuentes. “Spend time and develop residential business in Central and Your foreign partner—a businessperson the relationship; it’s critical.” Seminar Savvy W GREAT IdEA To help foreign buyers secure dependable financing, find lenders who have offices in Florida as well as in your customer’s country. —Carlos Fuentes 26 FLORIDA REALTOR April 2010

Market It

SEMINAR TALKING POINTS

Types of properties

Market and pricing realities

Financing strategies

U.S. business practices

U.S. social norms

FOREIGN INVESTORS

Seminar Savvy

Sales associate Carlos Fuentes builds business by being an expert in foreign countries.

While it takes careful planning and an unders tanding of your international locale, holding a homebuy er/investor seminar in another country can be a boon for y our business. “A client from M aracay, V enezuela, came [to the United States] and wanted something that he could stay in for four to six weeks a year—[for the balance of the year, it] would be a rental unit,” says Fuentes about a recent sale to one of many investors with whom he’s worked as a direct result of an o verseas seminar.

Fuentes, a sales associate with VET (Vernon E. Taylor PA) in L utz, successfully pr ospected for commer cial and residential business in Central and South America by giving five investment seminars last year.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Educate yourself

Fuentes sugges ts getting international certifications, joining local international councils and finding someone to coach you about the culture of the area in which you wish to prospect. “You must establish credibility and come acr oss as kno wledgeable and cultur ally sensitiv e so that the folks coming from other countries feel that you can identify with them and that you understand how they do business.”

2. Get an overseas partner

Your for eign partner —a businessperson or property agent—will help set up seminars, find sponsors and round up in vestors, so your choice is critical, says Fuentes. “ You mus t [be positiv e] that your partner is influential and credible.” He suggests s tarting with for eign organizations such as ICREA or the N ational Association of R ealtors®’ bilater al partner, so you can search membership rosters.

Another way is to set up appointments with the local embassy’s commercial attaché and with binational chambers of commerce.

Once you’ve found a partner , write an agreement, says Fuentes. “How are expenses to be shared? What kind of mar - keting is going to be done and at what cost? If it ’s an agent, what kind of referral fees will you pay, [or] if it ’s a businessperson, what per centage of profits do you want to share?”

3. Plan it

Because F uentes char ges no fee to seminar attendees , he depends on his partners to car efully screen attendees and find local sponsors. Discuss e very detail about the seminar and guide y our partner , says Fuentes. “He or she can give you feedback as to what [attendees] are looking for.”

Fuentes typically holds tw o seminars for up to 15 people each—r anging from a couple of hours to a half da y—over two days. He’ll provide refreshments and hors d’oeuvres and get plenty of one -onone time with attendees . Splitting cos ts 50-50 with his partners , Fuentes’ out of pocket runs $1,500 to $2,000 per seminar.

His travel adds another $1,000 or $1,500.

4. Follow up

“If you close two [transactions as a result of one seminar]—it ’s extremely successful. You have to realize that in many cultures, speed is not the name of the game,” says Fuentes. “ Spend time and de velop the relationship; it’s critical.”

GREAT IdEA To help foreign buyers secure dependable financing, find lenders who have offices in Florida as well as in your customer’s country. —Carlos Fuentes

Read the full article at http://browndigital.bpc.com/article/Market+It/1280455/141630/article.html.

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