Running an International Realtor Agency: What You Should Know


If you have built and run an uber-successful real estate agency, it’s only a matter of time until you are up for your next challenge. But what will this be?

If you cannot imagine doing anything else outside of real estate, taking your realtor services to international heights might be the thing to get your juices flowing.

What International Realtors Do

Once you become an international realtor, your job will be helping non-residents sell and buy property in your home country. Some help sell and buy properties in other countries, though this is less common.

You have done it once before, so it shouldn’t be as hard. Still, going global has its fair share of peculiarities. Here are some of the things to have in mind before diving in.

1.    You Need Training on International Real Estate

Of course, you need some training to kick-start your real estate agent career. You can find a good real estate school or take courses to obtain a license. However, you will need to couple this with sound international real estate knowledge before spreading your wings.

These will equip you with knowledge such as currency issues, government laws, world conditions, multicultural relations, legal issues and so on.

2.    Be Knowledgeable on Local Nuances

While taking up a good course will give you a head start, you will need much more to succeed.Local nuances are something you must get a good grasp of. Unfortunately, this might not be leant in a formal school setting. To get ready for international clients, you need to learn the answers to the questions they will undoubtedly ask.

Think in the lines of costs of living, education infrastructure and opportunities, taxation, the healthcare system and so on. To target your market better, a buyer diagnosis will inform you of what international buyers expect from a city and their budget range.

3.    Partnerships are Fundamental

The most successful agents are those that take the time to create and nurture partnerships with other local agents. The same is true for international realtors. Begin by leveraging the professional and personal relationships you have built over the years to create a team of experts and networks in many locations. Again, with social media, joining international professional groups has become much easier. Use this to build networks as well.

What you will be aiming for is to create a steady pipeline of referrals from all over the world. Ultimately, a referral from a reputable realtor in a buyer’s country of origin adds an extra layer of credibility to your agency.

4.    Expect Language and Cultural Barriers

Only about 20% of the world’s population speak English. Still, English remains a largely used business language all over the world, which is a plus. Still, depending on the countries you target, it will be extremely useful to learn other languages. You can initially use the services of a good interpreter as you work on your fluency.

With this out of the way, understanding multiple cultures is necessary as well. Strive to be familiar with personal and business customs in the countries where you will be conducting business. This will help you understand your clients’ points of view and stands on different things while helping you maintain respectful boundaries. Failure on this end will cause you to lose leads.

5.    Pick a Niche

It’s extremely challenging to be an expert on all things real estate-especially in the beginning. Pick a specific area like small hotels, luxury homes or commercial buildings initially. As you become more confident and build a solid base, you can move into more niches gradually. 


Save for these specifics, most other aspects of success in international real estate remain similar to local ones. Good communication, trustworthiness, follow-through, and stellar customer service will win the day. How successful will you be? You will never know until you try.

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