International buyers, especially in a major city like Berlin, are a significant group of potential customers. Many real estate agents and property consultants specifically target international buyers, particularly at the top end of the market, and their businesses are booming as a result. Foreigners now account for almost 30% of high-end property sales in Berlin, and in some market segments this rises to 70%, compared with just 10% a decade ago. The amount of luxury property being developed and sold in Germany’s capital has more than doubled in the last five years.
The last two “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe” studies published jointly by Urban Land Institute and PwC ranked Berlin as the best city in Europe for real estate investment and development. So what do agencies need to do to make sure that they are attracting international buyers? We’ve put together 5 valuable tips for you.
1. English-language brochures, property listings, advertising and landing pages
The most successful real estate agencies know that professional, targeted marketing materials are indispensable. Direct sales generate the highest returns for agents, so being able to address an international clientele with tailored property listings will help set your agency apart from its competitors.
Prove your market expertise to prospective international buyers via a regularly updated, entertaining and informative blog. Explain the legal and tax implications of buying property in Germany. Demonstrate your intimate knowledge of the local market. Let potential buyers know all about the exciting events taking place in Berlin. With every blog article you publish, you are not only providing valuable information or entertaining visitors to your website, you are also building your own identity and establishing relationships with prospective customers. After all, we all have favourite blogs that we go back to again and again, so this should be your aim.
3. Understand prospective international buyers
Every market has its own peculiarities, and buyers from different countries have their own expectations, demands and negotiating “red lines.” Even what may appear to be odd details, such as whether appliances are included in the price, or whether the light fittings will be provided, can differ greatly from country to country. Will your potential clients be paying in cash, or might they require a mortgage? What features or amenities will your buyers expect, such as a fitted kitchens, multiple bathrooms, storage space, etc.?
4. Join an international network
If you want international buyers to find you, your own website is a key draw. Apparently, 50% of international property purchases begin with a visit to a domestic website. But this doesn’t mean that you should forget about the other 50% of international buyers. There are plenty of international networks out there, from LeadingRE and Mansion Global, to listglobally.com. If your buyers are international, you need to be too!
5. Develop your in-house language skills
It’s all well and good having high-quality, well-written marketing materials and an attractive website, but if you can’t communicate effectively and spontaneously with your potential international buyers, you’ve only covered half of the bases. Depending on the size of your team, why not organise regular language classes? Every time the phone rings or an email arrives, it should be an opportunity to be converted, not a source of anxiety or panic.
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