Author: Dr. Margot Weinstein, MW Leadership Consultants LLC and Metropolitan Real Estate Group Inc.

Make no mistake – real estate is a global business. Regardless of where you practice – in your hometown or around the world, you will be impacted by the fact that we are in a global real estate market with global economies. Activities that happen across the globe will undeniably impact the business in your local market. Several important factors have led to professionals being able to do real estate deals with a global client base in their hometown or around the world:

  • 24/7 communication worldwide via the Internet;
  • Population growth creates a demand for products, services and housing;
  • Unrestricted boundaries for capital flow and investment;
  • Dependence on foreign capital;
  • New alliances and agreements;
  • Growth of professional organizations such as the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR);
  • Expansion of free market philosophy;
  • 24/7 financial markets in London, New York, and Tokyo, with stock exchanges trading 24 hours a day.

I have been doing international business transactions and teaching international real estate courses for many years. I have highlighted seven keys to help you start to do international real estate from my book, Real Estate Success: 12 Leadership Strategies to Make Money Regardless of the Global Economy.

7 Keys to Success

  1. Get a good education in international real estate. You have to have the basic skills and knowledge of the field. So, you should take a course on international real estate. Today, many universities offer international real estate programs, certificates and courses. I teach international real estate for REALTOR® University’s MBA Program and for Homburg University. You must learn factors that include: Government Laws, Currency Issues, Cross Cultural Relationships, World Conditions, Legal Issues, and Political Issues.
  2. Licensing and designations are essential. Licensing in the United States will continue to contribute to your success in the business internationally, but many countries around the world still do not have licensing, and they respect us for our professional recognition. The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation will provide you with the knowledge, research, network and tools to globalize your business. I hold a CIPS Designation and am a member of the CIPS Network by NAR.
  3. Partnerships are important. When working with people from around the world, you should build a team of experts and networks to do business deals. I partner with organizations that already do international business. I am a member of International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) and the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Global Real Estate Council. I was the 2015 Chair of C.A.R.’s Global Real Estate Council.
  4. Understand culture.  You must understand culture and all the key factors that respect the cultures of the people you are dealing with. You should strive to establish a common denominator with your foreign clients. You have to be familiar with business and personal customs in each of the countries where you are doing business.
  5. It is good if you speak several languages. English is often used in most business dealings around the world so you can be very successful if you only speak English.  However, if you can learn other languages it will be an asset to you working internationally.
  6. Specialize in one area of the business. It is impossible to be an expert in everything in any area of real estate, but it is even more difficult in the international real estate field. So you should find one specific area to do business in the international real estate business such as luxury homes, commercial mid-size hotels, etc.
  7. Be Professional. And, last, but most importantly, we in the United States excel in real estate know-how, but I believe that professionalism is not only your education, but also a requirement; you have to handle yourself in a very professional manner. It will set you apart and help you build your success in the international arena!