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Targeting Multicultural Customers – How to Get the Right Infrastructure in Place

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By the Gonzales Group

RISMEDIA, Sept. 18, 2008-Accommodating multicultural customers or recruiting the right sales professionals may require some changes to your infrastructure. The multicultural consumer and real estate professional requires language, religious, and philosophical considerations if you are going to win them both as customers or team members. Being respectful of their religion, philosophical beliefs such as Feng Shui, and their English language proficiency are a few things to consider.

For example, organizations often try to apply mainstream practices to multicultural marketing and recruiting, which often is contrary to the communication style of the multicultural consumer and professional.

Multicultural consumers and professionals are known for being “High Context” communicators. Their communication tends to be indirect and information not communicated in explicit words or messages. They tend to be:

• Less verbally explicit with less written/formal information
• Communication is internalized and heavily relationship based
• Stronger than usual emphasis on trust

The U.S. is a “Low Context” communicator with information being expressed in explicit codes such as words. We tend to be:

• Rule-oriented and play by external rules
• Time and space is sequenced and dictates the depth of personal relationships
• Relationships are of shorter duration and are task-centered

Marketing

With the multicultural consumer, aggressive approaches to selling and strict adherence to the clock can be considered rude. Not acknowledging these differences is what prevents many organizations from successfully capturing this consumer segment and hinders professional recruitment. Successful organizations provide high-level customer service in multiple languages from end-to-end and accommodate the new multicultural homebuyer with culturally relevant information and collateral material.

Recruiting

Train your recruiters to screen multicultural candidates. It is proven that untrained recruiters will give the highest marks to people most like themselves in appearance and backgrounds. Obviously, this is not a good way to recruit or properly assess multicultural candidates who come from varying cultural and communication backgrounds. Challenges such as direct and indirect communication, trouble with accents and fluency, differing attitudes toward hierarchy and authority, and conflicting norms for decision making are the biggest barriers that multicultural real estate professionals face.

The good news is that multicultural recruiting challenges are manageable if managers and team members choose the right strategy and avoid imposing single-culture based approaches to multicultural recruiting.

The best and brightest multicultural real estate professionals may come at a premium.

As diversity recruiting becomes more important to all companies, great multicultural candidates will be in high demand so be prepared to be flexible for must-have candidates.

At the Gonzales Group we provide the multi-dimensional business development discipline to help you develop and execute an effective Multicultural marketing and recruitment strategy to help you build profitable connections with the Multicultural consumer.

For more information, visit www.thegonzalesgroup.com.

The Gonzales Group and RISMedia are excited to introduce a ground-breaking White Paper that takes a realistic and practical in-depth look at the changing face of modern-day real estate. In “The New Economic Power Source: Increasing Profitability with Multicultural Home buyers,” the authors will help you unlock the potential of the multicultural market by answering the questions and clarifying the assumptions often associated with this consumer group. To order the White Paper, click here

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