The real estate industry is changing quite dramatically with some markets going through a decline and others thriving, it is reasonable for buyers and investors to seek out locations where they can obtain a higher return on their investment. As such, international real estate has seen tremendous growth in recent years and has become a booming industry.

International real estate trend

With the globalization of several industries and economies, property purchasers and investors from different continents have increased and this is becoming more common. Technology and transportation options are developing and being used worldwide to communicate, get around quickly and close deals on a larger scale, within a shorter period of time. Organizations are taking advantage of the available opportunities to increase their market share and reduce their operational costs by moving their offices to other regions of the world and taking a number of their staff with them to live abroad. According to the United Nations, in 2017, more than 3.4% of the world’s population - 258 million people - are living in a country which is different from that in which they were actually born. This shows an increase from the 2.8% which was noted in the year 2000. As people move from one country to the other, they would need to find accommodation and may even need to secure it before they arrive at their new destination. This shows the need for a more globalized and internationally integrated real estate industry to meet the needs of all the potential clients including buyers and renters.

Also, the growth in tourism across several continents and regions including Europe, Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa, over the years has shown a 56-fold increase in 2018 when compared with the rate in 1950. This is based on the 1.4billion international travels reported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization in 2018. This boost in the global tourism industry has given rise to direct economic growth in real estate, housing and accommodation services. With the tourism industry contributing about US$8 trillion to the global economy in 2018, the impact of this industry is felt not only in real estate but also in transport, entertainment and leisure. According to Statista Research Department, the global hotel industry attained a total retail value of US$570 billion. This has great relevance for the holiday rental sector which is a major part of the international real estate industry.

Additionally, it is possible for international real estate agents, to have various properties located in different countries across the globe which may give rise to challenges in managing and effectively marketing the properties especially as different real estate marketing websites are focused on specific countries and regions. Agents may then be forced to utilize several property listing platforms to promote each of their properties which may lead to inaccuracies and disorganization. Agents are also confronted with the large size of the industry and have to identify the best ways to highlight their properties so that they attract the right customers. Also, property brokers may face challenges of language barriers in such an international market. It is important for real estate brokers to obtain more information about their target market so as to tailor their marketing strategy and use digital marketing tips to make an impact on the right customer segment so as to improve their sales.

Importance of international real estate buyers and investors

According to ListGlobally in its 2018 report on the importance of foreign buyers in the real estate industry, it stated that real estate agents are concerned about finding customers, reducing the time it takes to close a sale and identifying the right platforms to promote their properties. This is especially important as 33.96% of those who responded to the survey indicated that they are looking for real estate listing websites that highlight their listings, 26.42% of such property brokers want to be promoted personally as they would like the real estate listing website to include their company logo or pictures for branding. 19.81% of the agents surveyed included that they would like to know more about their clients and have access to more data while 11.32% of agents were interested in the performance and would be willing to pay for more leads and sales. Further, real estate agents in the survey indicated that international buyers are very important for the growth of their businesses and that some international buyers tend to spend more on real estate than local buyers.

Looking at the impact of these factors including economic investment, globalization of industries, tourism as well as migration, the real estate industry has to adapt and meet the needs of the emerging international community. Additionally, services need to be developed to help property brokers to manage their listings, market to international clients and overcome challenges with languages.

To achieve these, it is important to have reliable global real estate listing portals which can be used by real estate agents to promote all of their property listings in one place, with the ability to translate for international customers is a great advantage to any serious international real estate agent or broker. Further, having the ability for customers to connect on the spot with the real estate agency and its property listings is a huge marketing plus. The brand is able to get recognition on a larger scale, which expands the network of prospects around the world and gives the ability to close deals via the use of online technology. This is key, as traditional marketing techniques are constantly being replaced by digital and online advertising methods to save both money and time.

Qualities of a good international property listing portal

Trust – this is a key factor in the real estate industry especially as international listing websites bring several people from across the globe to one common location, it is important for all parties to trust the platform as well as each other. Agents, brokers, sellers, buyers, property owners and renters need to be sure that the services provided are reliable, that their privacy is protected and that there is integrity across the network. A high level of trust leads to customer loyalty, increased market base, high ratings and visibility.

Interaction between all members of the network is important. The international property listing website should have an active audience who are engaged and interact with the agents. The aim of such international real estate listing portals is to promote the listed properties to potential buyers and renters and as such, there should be registered interest from potential clients. The platform has to help real estate agents and brokers to generate more leads for their properties.

Marketing strategy – A well marketed platform with a strategic advertising campaign would attract the attention of people. The international real estate listing website should be promoted among the right audience so as to generate significant online traffic from visitors to its website. It should also be easy to find using search engines and the content promoted on the website should be relevant for the real estate industry. This helps the agent to showcase their properties to the relevant client base.

Efficient and optimized – A website can be properly marketed and get many unique visitors, however, those potential clients would be lost if the website is not easy to use and understand. The search system within any real estate listing portal is very important to help potential buyers or renters find the exact properties that suit their needs. To achieve this, the property listing portal has to be well designed, in an easy to use format and with a fast and properly optimised system ensuring that the requests of the users are met.

Statistics and insights – When dealing with any marketing related activity, a property broker should work with data to give insights into the behaviour and needs of the clients. A good international property listing portal should be able to provide relevant statistics, information and data to help agents to get the best chances of success. Such portals can also offer tips and industry analysis as they have access to a wider and larger market base.

Advantages of using international real estate listing websites

As with everything else, there are advantages and sometimes challenges of such international real estate listing websites. The pros of listing properties on an international real estate portal far outweigh the cons, especially when brokers do their due diligence to use the property listing website that will most accurately and professionally represent the real estate agent and their firm. The advantages of such property listing portals include gaining international exposure and expanding the agent’s network of buyers, investors and partners, as well as granting the sellers the ability to see their property listed online. These real estate listing websites allow property brokers to get the best return on their investment as these portals offer cost effective and well targeted advertising plans. Also, the ability to get access to markets which were previously considered unreachable allowing brokers and their properties to become visible to millions of potential buyers and renters is a huge benefit.

Agents also get leads which have already been pre-qualified as these potential clients have to be very interested in making a real estate investment to go through all the checks and steps. These leads also have to know the type of properties they require, the location they are interested in and the amount of money they are willing to spend on the property. Additionally, these international real estate listing websites strive to offer an easy to use platform for both agents and their clients. The property listing platforms also use statistics and data to improve their performance and meet the needs of their users.

Challenges with international property listing platforms

Some of the cons and challenges of using and international real estate listing portal may include problems with information management. For instance, it is possible for such websites to experience some delays in inventory update which leads to overstating inventory as a property may already be sold outside the platform (through a direct transaction with the real estate agent or property owner) but the information may not be reflected on the website. Also, it is possible that the information presented on such websites may be incorrect and lead to some misrepresentation of either the real estate agent, the property owner or the property itself.

Additionally, some portals may not display any contact information or only a limited amount of the contact details of the property broker thus limiting the exposure gotten by the agents.

Free or paid international property listing portals

There are certainly quite a few brands that provide services like this to real estate agents and are top property listing websites which offer some useful main features, such as Global Listings and List Globally. Some of these agencies will charge high fees to list global properties or give free, limited trials that restrict the services you will have access to. With some of the other top ranked international websites, there are listing restrictions.

Having a free, no obligation website like Live on Riviera to list your properties on is a win/win situation. Through signing up and listing your agency, rentals and properties for sale, you gain direct, international exposure to a highly ranked website in multiple languages from Google, with automatic translations to over than 16 languages- French, English, German, Swedish, Russian, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Czech, Turkish, Chinese, Arabic and more. There is no limit to the amount of properties that you can put up at any time and the listing information makes sure to entail your contact information. This is important so that prospects may contact you through the platform for further details and requests about the property, which will minimize inaccuracies and misinformation and give buyers the ability to communicate openly about the properties they are interested in. There are never hidden fees or costs in using these services through Live on Riviera as agents and brokers can choose to only pay for the leads they receive or obtain a plan that allows them to respond to as many leads as they like. Also, the logo and contact details of the agents using subscription is published on the website so that potential clients can discuss directly with the property broker. Real estate agents are finding it easier than ever to use this service for their global properties, as they can export XML files directly to be uploaded. The site is compatible with a handful of systems and real estate software that are able to communicate accurate listing information to be uploaded with a few simple clicks.

So whether you are a new international real estate agent or someone that has been in the game for a while and you are looking to further your business, listing your properties on an international hub is a step in the right direction to further propel your business and real estate firm to a new level of exposure and increase leads and sales internationally.