Interested in International Real Estate?

August 23, 2010

by christiborden

I recently contributed the following article to the Houston Association of Realtors member monthly magazine about the practice of International Real Estate and wanted to share on The Borden Report. 

There seems to be a big mystery surrounding the international aspects of our business and those who practice it. Let me say first and foremost, we are all involved in international real estate. Ask yourself if you have ever closed a transaction that involved one or more of the following: foreign-born buyer or seller, expatriate relocating to or from the States or anyone using foreign money to fund the purchase. If the answer is yes, congratulations, you are an international real estate professional. But before you run out and re-print your business cards, you need to know there are three crucial action items that separate those that stumble into a few transactions and those that build their business on this highly lucrative niche market: education, relationships and persistence. Funny, aren’t those the same factors necessary in building any successful business?

Education: If you take a look at our industry, those performing at the highest levels regardless of the economy are Realtors® that are constantly learning and improving their craft through education. (Not the made-up variety of courses that can be completed online in a few minutes to fulfill last minute MCE requirements or to add another alphabet to a resume, but quality courses designed to make you a true expert in your field.) NAR held a recent Member Survey which showed that Realtors® without any designation earned a median income of $40,900 while those with a designation earned a median income of $82,900. While the designation itself may not make the difference, the type of agent that seeks the education certainly does. Are you that type of agent? If not, why not? Excuses such as too busy, too expensive, too difficult are costly indeed when you consider the future impact on your bottom line.

Anyone wishing to learn more about international real estate needs to become a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS.) This seven-day course gets to the meat and potatoes of the international buyer and seller, looks at specific foreign markets, breaks down the necessary financial information of foreign markets and assists with understanding cultural differences. There are other courses that contribute beyond the CIPS, but this is a must for anyone wishing to develop expertise in this field. While the criteria to receive the actual designation may take several years to fulfil, the coursework provides immediate measureable benefits.

Relationships: The foreign-born consumer is actually more accustomed to relationship-centric transactions than we are. Loyalty tends to run deeper in many cultures than our own, but you have to earn it. Many times, it takes a bit longer to build that trusting bond, but once you do, you truly have a customer for life – as well as endless referrals to extended family members, friends, and co-workers – priceless! How do you connect with this niche? Relationship building is the key, both online and “in real life.” Not just showing up for a luncheon, but truly getting involved in their culture, trade missions and travel to their home countries, joining their organizations and getting to know them personally before an attempt at earning their business is made.

Several wonderful networking opportunities exist locally: HAR, TAR and NAR International Advisory Committees, FIABCI (The International Real Estate Federation), AMPI (La Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios and Mexico’s version of NAR) and more. You can Google “International real estate organizations” for a complete list.

Persistence: When I first began my business six years ago, I knew that I wanted to focus on an international clientele. Many agents thought then and now that I am a bit crazy and a glutton for punishment. Yes, sometimes the transactions appear to be harder or more complex, but that often stems from a lack of understanding of the consumer and his/her cultural approach to selecting a property, making an offer, negotiating, etc. Again, this goes back to the need for education. Another item to consider is that business will not just “come to you”. You have to go out there and find it. You have to build your marketing and brand around it, and you have to know how to handle it when it comes. Personally, I see this as a great source of future business because the U.S. is still seen as the safest place to invest worldwide, and the International consumer needs the help of expert Realtors®. This is no mystery. This is good business. Interested?

To read this at the source or other terrific real estate information, click here. HAR is offers many wonderful courses to assist Realtors interested in this niche market. Come on in… the water is warm!

Texas Realtors Launch Program to Assist Homebuyers!

August 17, 2010

 TAR (Texas Association of Realtors) INITIATIVE TO HELP HOMEBUYERS

 AUSTIN (Texas Association of Realtors) – The Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) has announced an initiative to help more homebuyers take advantage of housing assistance programs and make homeownership more affordable for Texans.

According to TAR, Texas ranks 44th out of 50 states in overall homeownership, partly because of a need for more affordable housing. That homeownership gap is widest in Texas among Hispanics, who account for 36 percent of the state’s population but only 5 percent of homeowners.

 “The good news for our state is that many programs do exist to make homeownership more affordable for Texans,” said TAR Chairman Bill Jones. “The bad news is that few people know about them and even fewer know how to take advantage of them.”

To address this issue, TAR has launched, an online searchable database of housing assistance programs in Texas.

In addition, Texas Realtors are partnering with local lenders, housing counselors and others throughout the state to host educational events for consumers. At these events, attendees will learn about workforce housing issues, consumer needs for workforce housing and Texas-specific programs available to make homeownership more affordable.

Christi Borden, Realtor receives the “Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®)” Designation

August 6, 2010

Professional negotiation skills a must for all real estate agents helping home buyers/sellers, especially in current market

Christi Borden, a Relocation and International Property Specialist with Prudential Gary Greene in Katy, TX has been awarded the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®) designation by the Real Estate Negotiation Institute.  The CNE® is earned by real estate professionals by successfully completing formal training in the art of negotiation and persuasion.  Agents who receive this certification are in the top 1% of all agents nationally.

With professional negotiation skills, agents are able to help clients obtain better results in the sale or purchase of their home.  CNE® agents have a powerful competitive edge because of their ability to 1) uncover more information, 2) work collaboratively with others, 3) exchange value during sales/purchase negotiations, and 4) retain control over desired outcomes.  Bottom line, CNE® agents know how to influence and persuade others more effectively than agents without professional negotiation training. 

The Real Estate Negotiation Institute, the leading negotiation training and coaching company in the real estate industry (based in Peoria, AZ) provides the CNE® certification training.  Tom Hayman, the CEO and co-founder of the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, is a professional negotiator with 35+ years of experience, including 25 years with The Procter and Gamble Company, a Fortune 50 company.  Hayman asserts “Any Buyer or Seller who hires a CNE® agent can feel confident that they have the best trained agent in the business.  They will get superior results and have better resolution of any issues when hiring a CNE® agent.”

 For more information call me at 281-492-5984 or visit