It’s a Global World: How to Market to International Buyers and Brokers

Real estate is a global business, and the world is more connected than ever, with cross-border transactions and international investment on the rise. Marketing a new development project to the international crowd is certainly a common topic discussed at sales and marketing meetings, and when starting off, it can often become quite daunting because of some of the uncertainties and potential costs involved.

To be successful, there are three ways to go into a new international market, each coming with their own pros and cons:

  1. Trade shows. These are the most common form of entry into a new market but typically the most costly and often can be the most unrewarding in terms of sales results. This is obviously dependent on the event. With the large trade shows you are often just another booth, competing with multiple projects with similar offerings. If the objective of the particular show’s key selling point is “we have over 5,000+ attendees” then I would be cautious. When you have a large number of competing projects and a large number of “attendees” then the quality of attendees is a concern. Often a show of that size is going to have people are trying to sell to you and sometimes I’m not talking about other marketing companies – sometimes it is that they want to contract to your project and assist with the drywall or electrical work. Look for small, boutique shows that don’t allow for competing projects and qualify the quality of attendees.
  2. Private events with local brokers. Events with specific local brokers can be the most rewarding. If you have worked with the broker before you will already know their level of professionalism, how long buyers take to close etc. it can be often hard to find quality brokers but when you do work with them, treat them well because these companies are the key to the success of your project. Often times there may be some fees involved in this strategy but if you have the right brokers it’s can be very rewarding. The key to success is getting the broker to do sales for you before you spend the marketing money. Most people can throw an event but if they are willing to get sales in advance then you have found someone who believes in the project, location, and offering.
  3. Real estate tech & digital marketing tools. The biggest question to ask when launching any marketing strategy is, “what is the target market of this outlet and what is our target market?” When launching a new development project I think we can all agree that working with brokers is the best approach to get quick results in a new market. Real estate tech tools like, for example, allows you to maximize your exposure to international brokers that are focused on new development, essentially placing you and your project in a virtual trade show all around the world – one where over 9,000 international brokers spend their time researching, comparing, communicating and transacting on projects- without the large overhead costs of flying to these buyers and paying for everything involved with traveling, not to mention the burden of dealing with language and cultural constraints. This provides you proof of concept before spending the bigger budgets on a trade show. The moral of the story is trying to get proof of concept before spending a large on traveling to a country without tangible data.

Author Bio: Josh Cunningham

UK Buyers | Josh CunninghamJosh Cunningham, Vice President of Sales Americas for the Investorist, works with international brokerages and developers to market new construction projects to international investors. During his tenure at Investorist, Josh has traveled the world and is extremely versed on working with international real estate professionals how to shorten the sales cycle of new development, international marketing tactics and how to work and sell in China.