As a proud member of AREAA’s Edge committee, I am always thinking of the changing market and where business will come from in the future. I spoke to influential members of AREAA, Allen Okamoto & Allen Chiang, and they both agree the global market is where the money’s at in real estate. The best way to take advantage of this growing market is to earn your CIPS designation from the National Association of Realtors. The first step is education. There are two required core classes: Global Real Estate Local Markets and Global Real Estate Transaction Tools. In addition to successfully completing the 2 core courses you are also required to complete 3 out of 5 elective courses. These elective courses include: Europe & International Real Estate, Asia/Pacific & International Real Estate, The Americas & International Real Estate, The Middle East and Africa & International Real Estate, and At Home with Diversity. The training takes one week to complete and you must take a multiple-choice examination that is given at the end of each course. To pass an exam, you must earn a 70% or better and calculators are required for all courses.
According to REALTOR.org after completing these five CIPS courses, you must submit a designation application demonstrating your experience in international real estate. This application requires that you earn 100 points in elective credits. Elective credits can be earned by speaking other languages, possessing additional NAR designations, attending international conferences and education sessions, and international transactions in which you will be asked to answer specific questions regarding the sales of each transaction. Transactions must involve other cultures or countries, and can include sales in your local market.
After receiving this extensive training and education on International Real Estate you will be on your way to serving the International market. CIPS applications can be submitted throughout the year, however, they are due by October 1 in order to be recognized and pinned at the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo in November. AREAA and NAR offer invaluable networks and resources. They are a great way to start your International Real Estate career. For more information about obtaining your CIPS designation please go to http://www.realtor.org/global/ cips/earn_cips_realtor.
Now that you have the tools to obtain the education necessary to practice International Real Estate, I would like to introduce a great resource that I use. I recently found out about the website, http://burns.daniels.du.edu, at NAR’s Global Business and Alliances Committee in New Orleans. This website is the University of Denver’s Global Real Estate Project. It provides information such as real estate trends, cultural data, and business data for countries all over the world. Another resource I use to view international listings is www.worldproperties.com. The official website of the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations and on this website you can search for properties with the assurance that the listings are represented by a real estate professional bound by the code of ethics.
International buyers accounted for 7% of consumers purchasing residential property in 2009. The top four most desirable states to international buyers are Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. Florida and California have been the top two most desirable locations for the past three years. What attracts these buyers to property in the United States? There are several factors: location, value of real estate in the United States, and the double profit. Most international buyers look for the closest proximity to their own country. Asian buyers are most attracted to the West Coast. Mexican buyers are most attracted to the Southwest. They also consider the convenience of transportation to the United States. International buyers are also attracted to the strength of the dollar. Most international buyers have the perception that it is more affordable to buy in the United States than their own country. Last, International buyers find American real estate desirable because of the profit they would make. International buyers will buy real estate while the market is depressed. Therefore, when the market recovers and home prices start to stabilize, they will sell and collect the profit in U.S. currency. They will then convert the dollars into their countries weakened currency. The international buyer will then profit from the sale of real estate and the sale of the U.S. dollars.
Moving forward, it is important to recognize the importance of international buyers to our economy and real estate market. According to statistics international buyers in the American market have risen 6% in 2010. Canadians are the largest group of international buyers at 23%. Mexicans are the second largest group of international buyers in 2010. If you are planning on entering into this area of expertise, know your market. Research foreign currencies that have gained the most value against the U.S. dollar.
In summation, international buyers are the next wave of home owners. Earning your CIPS designation is time consuming yet rewarding. The international buyers are out there and waiting for an experienced American real estate professional to help them make a great investment in our country.