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If real estate is a local business, why is there such a growing emphasis on “global” among today’s progressive real estate firms?

“Because buyers can come from anywhere in our shrinking world, and sellers want to know their properties are exposed across the country and across the globe,” says Chris Dietz, vice president of international operations for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. Dietz, who is based in the network’s London office, is finding that real estate firms in his part of the world have a strong appetite for global connections. As a result, the network now has a global footprint in over 40 countries, with additional firms recently added in Canada, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ireland, Mauritius, Macedonia, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates.

What is driving that interest? “Most of the people I meet with recognize that, in addition to the expanded property exposure and valuable networking with like-minded peers from other cultures, there is a real competitive advantage in being affiliated with a quality-based global real estate group,” Dietz adds.

Stateside, brokers are also increasingly focused on cross-border affiliations. As demographics change and diversity increases not only on both coasts but in unlikely interior cities as well, there is a desire to reach out to other cultures, recruit from them in order to mirror potential buyers and sellers, and position the brokerage to attract individuals from other countries who are investing in U.S. real estate. And particularly for high-end properties, being able to provide exposure to listings in multiple languages and in many other countries is a key advantage.

LeadingRE is not alone in its global expansion, as other real estate franchises are doing the same with success. LeadingRE’s legacy of specializing in broker referrals, though, has caused it to turn attention to enhancing the success of cross-border referrals, which can be challenging given vastly different cultures, time zones, business practices and customs. To help members feel more confident sending and serving international referrals, LeadingRE created a cross-border “concierge” referral team to coach members through the process, assist with language barriers, educate them on unique business practices in diverse locations, and trouble-shoot to bridge any perceived service or communication issues.