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Field Guide to Working With International Clients

(Updated January 2015)

The topic of international clients garners great interest and attention amongst real estate professionals and news providers these days. The real estate markets in the United States offer lucrative investment opportunities that attract a global audience. How can you capture the attention and interest of these prospective clients? Review the articles, reports, and resources below to learn more about international clients. (K. Stockert, Information & Web Content Specialist)

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

International Client Facts

The Profile of International Home Buyer Activity (National Association of REALTORS®, June 2014).

  • 28% of REALTORS® reported working with international clients.
  • International buyers from Canada, China, Mexico, India, and United Kingdom account for 54% of the international home buying activity.
  • Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, and New York accounted for 55% of the international home buying activity.

Marketing & Selling to International Clients

Why You May Need the ‘Feng Shui Contingency’, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 23, 2014).

How to Woo a Chinese Homebuyer… in Four Easy Steps, (CNN Money, Sept. 2, 2014).

Every Real Estate Pro Needs a Second Language, (Realty Biz News, July 22, 2014).

With International Clients, It’s Less About Money, (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 4, 2014).

How to Sell as Global Buyers Head to Your Town, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 29, 2013).

Foreign home buyers continue to identify U.S. as profitable investment, (Lubbock Avalanche Journal, July 2013).

Where are Global Buyers Searching in the United States? (National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 2013).

Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, REALTORS® Report (National Association of REALTORS®, June 2013).

Vegas REALTORS® See Opportunity in Foreign Buyers, (Yahoo! Finance, Apr. 19, 2013).

Owning a Home Still an American Dream… At Least for Immigrants, (TheStreet.com, Mar. 7, 2013).

How to Market Your Home to International Buyers, (Yahoo! Finance, July 16, 2012).

Visit USA Act, (NAR Information Central Blog, Feb. 8, 2012).

Decoding the Foreign Buyer, (New York Times, Aug. 26. 2011).

For the most current articles on marketing and selling to international clients, check out the Global Perspectives in Real Estate Newsletter published monthly by the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Market for International Buyers

Wealthy Russians Aren’t Buying U.S. Homes Anymore, (CNN Money, Dec. 29, 2014).

U.S. Home Sales Go International, (Albuquerque Journal Online, Dec. 7, 2014).

Where are Global Buyers Searching in the United States?, (National Association of REALTORS®, September 24, 2014).

Indians Join the Wave of Investors in Condos and Homes in the U.S., (New York Times, Oct. 1, 2014).

Foreign Real Estate Buying Hits Record $92 Billion, (CNBC, July 8, 2014).

China’s 10 Favorite Countries for Real Estate, (Forbes, July 31, 2014).

Foreign Investment Drove Majority of D.C.’s Real Estate Deals in 2013, (Washington Business Journal, Jan. 8, 2014).

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Chinese Homebuyers, (CNN Money, Dec. 5, 2013).

Reaching Across the Globe, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2013).

Chinese Buyers Flee Hong Kong for Overseas Property Markets, (Reuters.com, June 24, 2013).

The Basics of International Business Etiquette

Don’t Call Canadians ‘American’ or Smile at the French, British Hoteliers Told, (CNN Travel, Jan. 8, 2014).

Expert Etiquette Tips for Doing Business in China, (USA Today, Dec. 30, 2013).

The Politeness Principles in Business Negotiation, (Cross-Cultural Communication, 2013). Q

4 Tips for Working with Foreign Buyers, (REALTORS® Magazine, Mar. 2012).

Expanding Abroad? Avoid Culture Gaffes; Entrepreneurs Looking Overseas Often Neglect to Learn Local Business Etiquette; In Britain, a ‘Scheme’ Carries No Taint, (Wall Street Journal, Online Edition, Jan. 18, 2010).

International Business Meetings & Gift Giving, (International Business Center, n.d.).

International Business Etiquette and Manners Guide – the International Business Center’s multi-country guide and etiquette tips (scroll down for links to pages on several countries and geographic regions).

Reports & Other Resources

International Listings, (realtor.com®)

Certified International Property Specialist Designation (CIPS), (National Association of REALTORS®).

CIPS Network, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Profile of International Home Buying Activity, (National Association of REALTORS®, April 2012).

State-by-State International Business Reports, (National Association of REALTORS®, n.d.)

Housing Price Indices: A World Wide Overview of Real Estate in Recent Years, (National Association of REALTORS®, Aug. 2009).

Research on Your Own!

To search for the most recent articles on this topic, login to NAR’s ProQuest account and enter subject terms such as:

  • International Real Estate
    • Enter into ProQuest text box as su(real estate) AND su(international) AND (foreign OR international)
  • International Buyers
    • Enter into ProQuest text box as su(real estate) AND su(international) AND ((foreign OR international) w/5 buyer*)

Information Savvy!

Many websites, such as Wikipedia, can be great resources to quickly orient yourself on a subject before conducting more in depth research. However, anyone in the world can create and maintain a website or write a seemingly legitimate article and may, intentionally or unintentionally, publish false or “misinformation.” When reviewing information on the Internet, you should always consider the ABC’s:

  • Accuracy. Is the information accurate? Can you confirm the same information using other resources published by a different author or organization?
  • Author. Who composed the information? Can you easily identify the author and contact the author or website publisher?
  • Bias. What bias might the author or author organization have?
  • Credibility. What are the author’s or author organization’s credentials for publishing the information? What expertise, experience, or education does the author have in this area that makes him or her qualified to write on the subject matter?
  • Currency. When was the web page last updated? Is it possible the information might have changed since this web page was last published?
  • Critical eye! Remember to always use your discretion and critical eye to determine whether information you find on the web (or even in books and news sources!) is trustworthy. Putting websites to the ABC test will get you started in developing a strong critical eye.

Books, eBooks & Other Resources

Our eBooks collection contains a plethora of both audio and electronic books for learning a diversity of foreign languages and international business. Below you will find a sampling of materials available; to identify additional materials visit our Library Catalog Advanced Search page and search for Subject: International or Subject: Foreign


Learn a foreign language such as Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish! Check out our foreign language eBooks here (select “Foreign Language Study” from the Subject drop-down menu).

The Global Etiquette Guide to Africa and the Middle East: Everything You Need to Know for Business and Travel Success (Adobe eReader)

Multicultural Manners (Adobe eReader)

Communicating Globally (Adobe eBook)

Internet Resources and Services for International Real Estate Information (Adobe eReader, Kindle)

International Real Estate Handbook (Adobe eReader)

Business Across Cultures (Adobe eReader)

Global Color: Clues and Taboos (Adobe eReader)

The Global Etiquette Guide to Africa and the Middle East: Everything You Need to Know for Business and Travel Success (Adobe eReader)

Multicultural Manners (Adobe eReader)

Books, Video, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Culturally Customized Web Site: Customizing Web Sites for the Global Marketplace, (Chicago, IL: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005). HF 5548.5 N63

Selling Homes in the Melting Pot, (College Station, TX, 2000). VT061. VIDEO

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to REALTORS® and the Global Marketplace

Field Guide to Marketing to the Hispanic Community

Information Central Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.