Sales tips

15 things we’ve learned about selling international properties for 15 years

After 15 years in the international property market, we’ve learned a lot. So, what better way to celebrate this milestone than by sharing 15 of the best lessons we’ve picked up along the way.

Understanding the property market

1. The impact of politics is less than you might think

After the Brexit vote we feared we might face a downturn in property sales but it hasn’t materialised as expected. Yes, the market has changed and British buyers appear to be more cautious with their money. But buyers from other European countries have more than made up for it, meaning we’re still seeing strong market growth.

The moral of this story is that by diversifying your market, making sure you’re not concentrating on one nationality over all others, you’ll create a stronger position for the long term, no matter what happens in the world of politics.

2. Property fluctuations are a normal part of the economy

As an experienced estate agent, you’ll have seen your fair share of fluctuating property prices. Thanks to rising and falling interest rates, fluctuations in currency exchange rates and the economics of supply and demand, buyers’ appetites will change over time. It’s important to keep track of these trends in order that you can accurately advise both your vendors and buyers, making sure that everyone gets a fair deal.

3. International buyer preferences vary from country to country

Don’t just assume that all nationalities want the same thing. Our data shows that Scandinavians prefer apartments for example, while the Dutch appear to like villas more than the other international groups. And you’ll find that different nationalities head for different areas. Get to know your international audience and you’ll start to see patterns for yourself.

4. Competition doesn’t have to be a bad thing

Work together with neighbouring estate agents and you’ll find that everyone prospers. By combining to sell the virtues of your local area you could create an influx of interest that will be more than enough to sustain you both. While if you each choose to specialise in a slightly different area or type of property you could benefit from referrals.

5. The international buyer mix is ever changing

Traditionally Britain led the rush to find a new life in the sun but times are changing. Currently, the Netherlands is one of the fastest growing nationalities searching for Spanish property. According to Spanish notaries, the Dutch bought a record 2,725 homes in Spain in 2017, nearly double (+91%) the amount they were buying five years ago.

 

Creating effective listings

6. Having the right properties in your portfolio is key

To get the attention of international buyers you need to understand the type of properties they’re looking for and make sure you have plenty of great examples of them on offer. This requires learning about your market and then working to attract the right properties onto your portfolio.

7. Great photographs are essential for attracting leads

It’s no surprise that by including the right photos in your property profile you’ll create more interest. An eye-catching photo can stop viewers in their tracks when they’re scrolling through hundreds of property listings. What’s more, photos can help potential buyers to understand more about a property and even imagine themselves living there. As a result, viewers that get in contact are likely to be higher quality leads.

8. The more detailed your descriptions the more interest you’ll receive

Viewers read listings because they want details; they want to determine whether a property is worth a viewing. Of course, photos help to get attention initially but if a potential buyer likes what they see they’ll want to know more. Go further than talking about the rooms in the house, discuss the local area and amenities as well as any points of special interest about the property.

Interestingly, when we asked four top-performing Kyero agents for advice, adding plenty of detail to listings was mentioned as vital by all of them.

9. Hard facts are essential

Further to number 8, if an international buyer is considering travelling to Spain to view a property, they’ll want to be fairly sure it could be the one for them. They won’t want to risk the time and money unless they know it’s worth it. By including facts such as room sizes, distances to local beaches and tourist hot spots, you’ll help a potential buyer to work out whether your property is worth the visit.

10. Lifestyle and stories sell

Selling Spanish property is as much about selling the laidback lifestyle and 300 sunny days a year as it is about the buildings themselves. So, whether you’re telling stories through words or pictures, help your buyers to envisage sitting on their sunny terrace drinking freshly squeezed orange juice from the tree in the yard, or wandering to the little bar at the end of their road for a drink at sunset.

 

Converting those leads

11. Customer service can make or break a sale

Whether it’s to increase your chances of making the sale, to ensure you receive a great testimonial or to encourage word of mouth referrals, there are many benefits to treating your customers well.  Here we give some tips to help you and your team provide excellent customer service.

12. Not responding in good time will lose you customers

Another thing that was mentioned when we surveyed some of our top performing agents, was the importance of getting back to people who enquire. It’s unlikely yours was the only property the searcher liked, so if you don’t reply quickly, we’re fairly sure someone else will. Late replies are a quick way to lose potential sales.

13. Understanding nationalities is important for developing great relationships

Cultures and social norms can vary greatly from country to country. Give yourself the best opportunity of winning over foreign viewers and making those international sales by learning about the people you’re likely to come across. We’ve created knowledge guides to help you find out more about British buyers, as well as their FrenchGermanScandinavian and Dutch counterparts.

14. Providing extra information will give you a great reputation  

Think about what your international buyers need as part of the house buying process and how you can help take some stress off their shoulders. Could you refer them to a lawyer? Or provide further information about local schooling or healthcare? Many buyers have been so impressed with how helpful their agents were that they told us all about it on our podcast.

15. It’s important to play the long game

Not everybody is ready to buy when they first make contact with you. That’s why it’s shrewd to put a process in place to track leads and follow up regularly with them. Find out more in our blog post Why sales is a long term game.

 

Not bad for 15 years in business! Who knows what the next 15 might hold?

 

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