Take Advantage of South Florida and International Markets

by admin

By Teresa King Kinney, CEO, Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches

South Florida is known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. As the state with the highest net migration in the nation, Florida welcomes 1,200 new residents every day.

According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 15 percent of Florida buyers are international. This figure does not include legal residents or other foreign-born buyers with any type of resident status. And, nearly one-third of international homebuyers in Florida purchased their properties in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area.

Spanish speakers represent a large majority in our area. Miami is the major gateway city for visitors to the United States from Central and South Americas, according to the study. It comes as no surprise then that Miami-Ft. Lauderdale was the favored destination for buyers from Venezuela. Sixty-eight percent of Venezuelans purchased properties in our market in 2005.

While South Florida attracts buyers and visitors from around the world, the study also confirmed that Miami-Ft. Lauderdale tends to be the destination of choice for most Latin Americans.

Therefore, our area includes an important group of buyers who speak Spanish and other foreign languages. South Florida agents always ask us how they can take advantage of our multicultural marketplace and better target clients who speak Spanish and/or other languages. These clients can be the majority of your target audience or can represent important niche marketing opportunities.

Regardless of your clients’ cultures or nationalities and whether they speak English, their culture and language are important characteristics to consider when marketing to one or more groups.

Speaking your clients’ native tongue or having some knowledge of it can give you an advantage over other real estate professionals providing the same level of service. When you speak and/or understand your clients’ languages, they will tend to feel more at ease. It also establishes a level of trust with both buyers and sellers. Ultimately, it’s endearing that you care enough and are willing to make an effort to learn their languages.

Spanish lessons
The Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (RAMB) recently partnered with Conversationally Yours in Miami to offer its members Spanish lessons tailored to real estate professionals. The program — specialized, conversational Spanish for agents — is being offered at a promotional rate. It is designed to help agents increase their business opportunities in the South Florida marketplace.

Conversationally Yours, a well-known Spanish-English language training company will be providing lessons to RAMB members at a great rate. This company has successfully taught South Florida’s professional community for more than 28 years and has a solid track record in teaching Realtors to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking clients or prospects.

This program will focus on “selling the Spanish-speaking client,” both in person and on the phone. Classes will be taught by certified Spanish teachers who are fully experienced in teaching Realtors. Levels include beginner, intermediate and advanced.

The classes will be held in small groups of six to eight people at RAMB, 700 S. Royal Poinciana Blvd., Suite 400, Miami, 33166. Your options include two classes per week at two hours per class, which is a six-week program totaling 24 hours, or one class per week at two hours per class, which is a 12-week program totaling 24 hours. To register, email lynda@miamire.com and indicate your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and your time preference (morning, afternoon or evening).

Your special rate is $295 per person, plus $75 for materials. Classes will begin the week of Jan. 15, and payment is due no later than Dec. 12. Enhance your business opportunities and take advantage of our internationally diverse market.

Teresa King Kinney is CEO of the 13,000-member Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (RAMB), which includes 12,000 members in their Residential Association and more than 1,000 members in their Realtors Commercial Alliance. The Association also hosts the largest local International Real Estate Council in the nation, with 1,400 members. RAMB recently celebrated its 85th year of service to the industry, the public and the community.

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