The world is open for business – how to take advantage
At the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo, a National Association of REALTORS® event held earlier this month, CREA and more than 500 of its members had the pleasure of participating and meeting with REALTORS® from all over the globe.
Whether it was REALTORS® from the US with clients considering buying Canadian real estate, or real estate agents from places like Ecuador seeing an increase in vacation properties being purchased by Canadians, the takeaway from the conference was clear: the world is open for business for REALTORS® in Canada.
Our member research also supports this fact, revealing that transnational activities are becoming a bigger part of our members' business:
- 31.4% of REALTORS® in Canada have worked with at least one international buyer during the past 12 months.
- In 2014, 5% (or 1.5M monthly) of all visits to REALTOR.ca are coming from outside Canada, compared to 4% in 2013.
- Countries outside the top 9 REALTOR.ca international traffic sources have increased from 30% in 2013 to 47% in 2014 of all international traffic.
From an outbound perspective — Canadian consumers buying outside Canada — there is also a wealth of opportunities for CREA members to participate in these transactions. Looking at the US alone, Canadians purchased properties estimated at $13.8 billion in value between March 2013-2014.
The opportunities are there for REALTORS® in Canada…but where and how to start? Here are seven things you may not know about available resources for CREA members:
Get educated on transnational real estate
- 1. The Transnational Referral Certification Course (TRC) - a great intro course, and completely available online. It was designed to help increase international business opportunities for brokers and agents interested in making and receiving referrals for foreign buyers and sellers.
- 2. The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation - provided by the National Association of REALTORS®, it is a more comprehensive program and provides a designation, but does require a greater time commitment. The designation can be completed online, in classroom, or a combination of both. It also provides a network of CIPS designees to help collaborate globally once you have the designation.
Market and get listed globally
- 3. Remember that the world is coming to REALTOR.ca. International buyers expect to see pictures, video and information of your property and the surrounding community as part of your listing. The more that you help consumers visualize/imagine what owning that property would be like, the more attention it will receive from buyers far away.
- 4. Market your listings in 19 languages with one click. As a member of CREA, your basic listings that appear on REALTOR.ca can also be displayed for free on WorldProperties.com. If you are a user of DDF® Module 3, you are just one click away from making this happen. Just look for Worldproperties.com under the list of third party destinations, or call CREA Member Support at 1-888-237-7945.
Collaborate with professionals globally
- 5. Understand the market and industry practices of your prospects - before promoting your services. WorldProperties.com is an excellent resource that provides overview profiles on countries, economic and market conditions, purchasing and financing details as well as business and industry information. View country market information.
- 6. Take a look at your profile at WorldProperties.com. As a CREA member, you have a basic online profile for free in the ProxioPro platform (which is like a LinkedIn for real estate agents across the globe), and this also makes you visible to consumers on WorldProperties.com. You also have the option to upgrade your account for more resources through the platform if you like.
- 7. Use the Transnational Referral Contract in WEBForms® - CREA's most popular member service was recently updated to include quick access to the Transnational Referral Contract (a form created by ICREA), which facilitates the process of collaborating with agents from other countries.
Consumers and their "Great Expectations"
In 2009 research was undertaken to better understand consumers' perceptions about REALTORS® and real estate. Earlier this year, Nanos Research was commissioned to conduct a follow-up study to probe if, and how, these perceptions had changed.
Some of the key findings include:
- Perceptions of REALTORS® are largely positive;
- REALTORS® remain front and centre in the minds of potential home buyers and sellers;
- The internet is the main starting point for the home buying process.
Learn more about these findings and many others by reading The Great Expectations Tracking Study, which is available for all CREA members in the Publications section of REALTOR Link®.