With nearly one in four residents in Dallas County from abroad, chances are pretty good that you’ll work with an expat at some point. There are some unique challenges that foreign buyers face when entering the US market, whether they are moving here or simply buying an investment.
Without a strong US credit history, would-be homebuyers moving into the area face unique challenges when trying to get established. They need to make a cash offer, or they may need to be able to put a large amount (up to 50% down). Before you start working with a foreign buyer, search for an interview local lenders who routinely work with international clients. They’re a great resource to have on hand.
Have other vendors and contractors in your portfolio as well. Whether they’re new in town or not here at all, they’ll greatly appreciate being able to turn to you for reliable referrals.
The process in the U.S. is often pretty different than how real estate is handled in other countries. Be prepared to explain the process down to every step. Clearly outline expectations both verbally and in a follow-up e-mail and be prepared for and open to a lot of questions.
When you’re working with foreign investors, give detailed feedback about their investment portfolios frequently. If you’re also managing their properties, let them know what’s working well and what isn’t. You’ll gain more credibility and repeat business.
Your international clients may not be in town for every showing. If your client is traveling or not able to attend a showing, suggest a virtual walk-through via Facetime, Skype or any number of available apps. Keep in mind time differences when booking appointments.
Finally, it’s a good idea to earn the Certified International Property Specialist designation and to join out Global Business Council here at MetroTex. The designation and the Council will be an invaluable part of building your business. Look for the next meeting and classes on the MetroTex calendar on mymetrotex.com.