Real Estate Globalization

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By Lynda Fernandez

Many international buyers are starting to notice the current opportunities in the South Florida real estate market, including a wider selection of properties and the ability to negotiate price reductions. Europeans also benefit from discounts resulting from the weak U.S. dollar that additionally puts our real estate “on sale” with significant savings.

For the third consecutive year, RAMB participated in the Salon de l’Immobilier in Paris in April, thanks to its partnership with FNAIM Paris-Ile de France. This year participants at the exhibition, which draws over 50,000 visitors, experienced much stronger and more serious interest in South Florida real estate than ever before.

France is a strong market for South Florida. Census data indicates more people speak French at home in Florida than anywhere in the U.S. Additionally, there was a 75 percent gain in French speakers in the last 10 years. France is also ranked 13th among Florida’s Top 50 trading partners, according to Enterprise Florida.

In May alone, there were over one million views of U.S. real estate listings using French language on the Immobel system nationwide.

International Exposure and Referrals
For many agents, the challenge is not in provoking interest in South Florida real estate, rather the trouble lies in effectively targeting qualified buyers.

Can you imagine your listings being available on Web sites from other real estate professionals and companies in markets around the world? Well, RAMB is the first association to provide its members with international exposure, direct connections to international professionals and markets and unprecedented referral opportunities.

The concept of exchanging listing data on the Internet between international markets seemed inconceivable until now. In 2001, RAMB-Miami was one of the first markets in the U.S. to create the ability for its Realtors to offer their clients access to virtually all regional MLS listings on their company and individual Web sites through what is called an Internet data exchange (IDX). Prior to this, companies could only display their own property listings.

RAMB and FNAIM, its counterpart in Paris, have launched the first-ever international property data exchange to share MLS real estate listings and link these two world-class cities and important real estate markets, exclusively through their members.

This landmark service gives consumers easy access to all listed properties in both markets. Consumers worldwide can search for properties, save the search and have new listings automatically sent to them with 13 languages to choose from.

Members of both associations will be able to feature MLS listings for each others’ markets on their individual or company Web sites, and help buyers and sellers connect with thousands of real estate professionals in the other country.

RAMB-Miami was also the first MLS in the world to have all of its property listings mapped and translated into 10 languages — later expanded to 13 by Immobel.com — and to purchase these Web sites and give access to their members exclusively as a major competitive advantage. RAMB and Immobel.com are now expanding the International IDX Alliance to other major US and international markets.

Lynda Fernandez is vice President of public relations of the 13,000-member Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (RAMB), which includes 12,000 members in the Residential Association and over 1,000 members in the 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 88th year of service to the industry, the public and the community.

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