Helping set expectations can be essential to keeping the transaction on track. Dietz notes, “In southern Europe, for example, most people take a more relaxed approach and may not respond to emails as quickly as North Americans expect . A German client may find it too pushy if an agent calls after 6:00 p.m. ‘invading his private space and family time’, while an American agent may think he or she is simply providing great service by being readily available.”
Beyond the cultural issues, there are financial concerns to keep in mind, as the tax implications on international property transactions can be complicated. LeadingRE coaches its members to be aware that issues may exist and to advise clients to seek tax advice from appropriate professionals to help ensure any financial impact is identified early in the process.
To support its goals for global growth, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has increased its participation in international real estate events. This year alone, the company’s staff has attended conferences in Dubai; London; St. Petersburg, Russia; Singapore; Shanghai; Honolulu; Banff, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. The company is also active in FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation, with Dietz actively participating in the United Kingdom chapter and LeadingRE COO Paul Boomsma serving as president of the Chicago chapter.
The company is also growing in Asia, with plans to establish an operation there this year, similar to its presence in Europe.
Identifying quality firms in far-reaching locations can prove challenging, according to Dietz. “Most countries do not have an MLS or an easy way to determine market share. Because we seek market-leading companies, we use other resources and references to determine which firms are a good fit. In most cases, I meet personally with a company’s broker,” he says.
LeadingRE has been able to leverage its international perspective and global membership talent to draw an increasingly international audience to its network events. More than 17 countries were represented at its network-wide annual conference in February in Las Vegas, and LeadingRE will also host its fifth annual International Symposium in Venice, Italy October 20-22.