What to Know About Working With Affluent International Buyers

Aug 13, 2019 by

As a successful real estate professional, international buyers could become an integral part of your business; however, it can be a bit intimidating to figure out how to capture this market. Just as in any real estate market niche, networking and connections are imperative to forming lasting relationships with affluent international prospects.

What are some ways to meet an international buyer?
Networking is essential. Once you’ve targeted your feeder market, finding buyers can be exponentially easier, as one client can lead to 10 other potential clients. Attending real estate events in the desired market can be a good move, as meeting in person generally forges strong relationships. Can’t make the trip? Try using social media or tools such as Proxio Connect to virtually begin relationships with agents based in different countries.

How do I break into a market if I don’t speak the language?
Clients want to feel respected, listened to and comfortable, and there are ways to check those boxes if you get creative. For example, research their culture and what’s expected as a common courtesy before approaching them to work together. “Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: The Bestselling Guide to Doing Business in More Than 60 Countries” is an excellent one-stop resource written by Terri Morrison. Learn if it’s appropriate to send a gift, or if it would be considered offensive, as well as many other potential missteps you could make—and how to avoid them.

What are some technology hacks to attract international buyers?
First, making sure your business is mobile-friendly is key when looking to attract an international audience. A simple layout usually works best, especially when prospective clients might not speak the same language. Visual-heavy content is also a good idea, as pictures speak volumes to what you offer as a real estate agent. In general, making sure your social media channels are cohesive and up to date is an easy way to ensure that your brand is taken seriously by potential buyers.

Which international markets are attractive?
China, in particular, has shown immense growth, currently home to 26 of the 30 fastest-growing cities. India is also growing quickly and shows potential to be a powerhouse when it comes to luxury real estate. There are specific markets in the U.S. that attract international buyers at all economic levels, as well. You can get updated data on these luxury markets through our monthly Luxury Market Report, and for information on international markets, Wealth-X and Wealth Engine both produce outstanding and comprehensive reports on global wealth.

Finding and locking in international business comes down to opportunity meeting preparation. Catering to the needs of the international client may require you to do more research, invest in different tools or get on an airplane to visit your target market; however, the results could take your real estate career to the next level.

Diane Hartley is president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, an independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market. She is passionate about luxury marketing and has more than 20 years of experience working with the affluent market. For more information, please visit

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Staging Your Outdoor Living Space for Luxury Buyers

Jul 2, 2019 by

If you’re selling a luxury home during the Canadian spring or summer, you’ll be courting buyers who are already imagining how they might use outdoor space to its fullest. Admiring city skyline views on a rooftop terrace, maybe. Or entertaining friends and family in a lavish garden. Extending your home’s living and entertaining space into the outdoors is a great way to increase value. Don’t disappoint! Here’s how to stage your outdoor space for those luxury buyers:

Leverage different stations. The only thing better than a gorgeous outdoor space is a gorgeous space that’s also versatile. Show off your outdoor real estate by having different sections for different uses, like a sleek outdoor bar for al fresco cocktails, a quiet nook with plush chairs for reading on a summer’s day and a gazebo for formal sit-down dining.

Splurge on greenery. Most luxury buyers are looking for a true oasis where they can escape from the chaos of everyday life. Set up your outdoor space with plentiful plants, especially those with a tropical feel, so they can imagine a space that feels like a real mini vacation.

Think about what you value indoors. What makes an indoor space feel comfortable and luxurious? Is it furniture with clean lines, neutral tones and luxurious textures? Accessories like cushions and scented candles? Don’t neglect these features when choosing outdoor furniture. After all, buyers want a luxury living experience whether they’re indoors or outdoors.

Think about what’s underfoot. Aside from grass, you have options for what kind of flooring and materials populate your outdoor space. Consider lining your deck with a colourful outdoor rug or creating a winding path through the garden using flagstones or bricks.

In Canada, the warm seasons might be short, but Canadians know how to make the most of them. That’s why a luxury outdoor space can be a major selling point, especially if it’s staged to show off its best features. By spending the same amount of attention on your outdoors as your indoors, you can give your luxury property an edge.

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Convert More Loyal Buyers With Your ‘Exclusive Homebuyer Program’

Jun 10, 2019 by

Creating life-long relationships should be the goal of every agent on your team.  Adding value to buyers by providing actual value is easy to do, yet most agents don’t add any value to a potential buyer and therefore don’t get hired and don’t convert many leads into new clients.

By adding tremendous value to the homebuying experience with every single potential new client, your buyer agents can convert more leads into loyal clients and referral sources for life. You have to include the value and be able to communicate and market yourselves as actually adding real valuable services to them, even, ‘exclusive’ services that no other agent or brokerage does in your marketplace.

I’ve always said, ‘First we sell ourselves and our value, then we sell a house.”  Do your agents know how to sell the value of your team and what they bring to the potential client’s experience?

Follow these easy-to-implement steps that will have everyone on your team creating ‘real value add’ to potential buyers and see your lead conversions increase dramatically as well as increases in listings, sales, repeat clients and referrals.

Step 1: Create a system for all new clients.

This means every single new, potential client (both listings and buyers) go into the ‘system’ for tracking and more effective follow up. Using a simple CRM, you can create better follow up reminders for calls and emails and make sure you are maximizing each lead, and nothing will slip through the cracks. It all starts with an organized, repeatable system. 

Step 2: Provide your own ‘Exclusive Homebuyer Program.’ 

Sure, your brokerage may have some great printed or digital buyer presentation, but you need to create your own, team-branded version and include each of your buyer’s agents with their own customized page for their presentation and guides. You need to co-brand with your company but include your team photos, your mission, your purpose, your market share graphs, your ‘system’ and program that your team provides. Coach the agents on your team how to communicate with confidence the services outlined in your buyer program and guide. Provide each of your buyer’s agents with their own About Me page that showcases the special skills and services they bring to the buyer.

Create a digital and printed ‘Exclusive’ Homebuyer Program.’ What your unique program consists of is all of the steps you take a buyer through from needs analysis to financing to home inspection through closing and moving. You want to show added value, and here is your chance to show them all the valuable tasks and expertise you bring to the table and that you do it better than anyone else in the market. You have exclusive access to know about new listings that your team is listing before they come on the market that you can get that buyer into first and fast. These are real value propositions that you must be able to communicate and show each new client. Create a brochure or digital booklet or “Homebuyer Guide” that shows the radically differentiated value you and your team bring to the table for this buyer. Brand it and demonstrate all the special and extra services you and your agents bring to the process that make it stress free. Literally say that you add value to the process and are seen by your clients as invaluable to the process of homebuying and selling.

Step 3: Include an offer to ‘Enroll in the ______ Team’s Exclusive Homebuyer Program and Receive Our Complimentary Homebuyer Guide.” 

This is a free, value add. People want the information you are willing to give them and when you provide it, they are not only impressed, they choose to work with you. Include everything they need to buy a home, from the offer to purchase, homebuying specifications and wants/needs list, financing, list of referrals for home inspectors, title and closing information, moving checklists, and this valuable resource is part of your Homebuying Program. When you call it ‘something’ and give it a name, it makes it real and legitimate and truly valuable. They will be overwhelmed with your services and see you as the top professional that you are. Your team members will be able to convert at a much higher level too because they will now have a marketing tool that communicates the value of working with them and your team.

Step 4: Use these everywhere to convert leads into clients.

Your new Exclusive Homebuying Program should be used at open houses, on call-ins and when responding to online leads on your listings. You can always refer to the program and the guide and again use it to help show your services and the expertise and truly different services your team provides. Offer this as a lead generator on social media with a call to action link and you will see amazing results from effectively marketing yourself.

By coaching your team and differentiating yourself through using a “Homebuyer Program,” it will give you a competitive advantage when trying to get hired by potential buyers. It goes without saying that you will have to also provide this level of service to your buyers as well. Again, talk about what you actually do for your service fee. You will separate your team and your buyer’s agents on your team from everyone else who offers nothing to a new buyer except some MLS printouts.  Your team will be adding tremendous value, attracting and converting new clients and referrals as well as generating new revenue to your team immediately.

For a FREE copy of Sherri’s exclusive “Adding Value to Buyers” script strategy,  CLICK HERE

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour. For more information, please contact or 844-989-2600 (toll-free) or visit

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The Top Energy Efficient Home Trends That Home Buyers Want in 2019

Apr 1, 2019 by

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As the cost of energy continues to rise, many home buyers today are looking for homes that are going to be easier and less expensive to run long term. I’ts important to know the trends to look for, whether you’re helping a seller update their home prior to selling or you want to keep an eye out for the perfect property for a buyer. Not only would following these trends allow you to better advise sellers, it also can help you ecuate buyers on to what to look for.

Each year, the home remodeling site Fixr polls industry experts and leaders in their field to help determine some of the top trends in the home improvement industry through their Energy Efficient Home Design Trends report.

Here are some of the most relevant findings to help you maximize your clients’ potential when buying or selling a home.

Energy Star Dryers

One key trend to watch for in properties is an Energy Star rated dryer. Of all the various appliances with the Energy Star label, experts felt that the dryer made the biggest change in energy usage when switching to a more efficient model. This is due in part to the fact that dryers use nearly as much electricity as central air conditioning.

Home shoppers today are focusing more on the laundry room, as well as where it’s located and what it contains more so than they ever have before. An energy efficient dryer can have a big impact on monthly energy budgets. 

Heat Pumps

When it comes to heating a home, the heat pump is the most recommended method of heating for providing consistent heat and energy savings. Heat pumps work by exchanging outside air for inside air. It extracts the heat energy from the air outside–even in cold weather–and transfers it indoors.

An electric heat pump is 50 percent more efficient that other forms of heating. It’s also the most frequently installed energy efficient heating system in homes today.

Day Lighting for the Kitchen and Living Room

While experts agree that the best way to save money on electric bills without reducing the amount of usage is to use LED lights, there are still important things to consider when looking at a home for sale.  

Day lighting is an important component of reducing electricity. This has to do with how much natural light a room gets. The kitchen and living room are two spaces that use the most electricity. As such, it makes sense that home buyers may want to opt for homes that have sufficient natural light in these areas either through windows or skylights.


Tankless Water Heaters

While the heat pump is the most popular way to heat a home, a tankless water heater is the most popular method of heating water. Tankless heaters are installed inside the walls of a home, and heat the water as it’s being used. This is in contrast to a heater that is constantly maintaining the temperature of any gallons of water at a time. Households that use this method of heating water can expect to save $ 100 a year on their energy bills.

Heat pumps and tankless heaters are both popular, but hybrid heat pump hot water heaters tend not to perform as well universally. Tankless heaters can be installed in more places, and perform better in cold-weather climates in general.

Low Flow Fixtures in Full Bathrooms 

Households use a lot of water each day when they aren’t using low flow fixtures to try to restrict this usage. Experts felt the place that made the biggest difference when installing these items is in full bathrooms.

This makes sense, as the full bathroom will include a tub and shower, as well as a sink and toilet. Installing low flow fixtures in full bathrooms can help reduce the load on the water supply.

Solar Panels 

If home buyers are looking at homes with renewable energy sources, experts say that solar panels are by far the most popular method. Renewable energy is increasing everywhere, with millennial homeowners leading the biggest push into this sector. Experts also reported that millennials were the most likely to invest in cleaner energy sources, with Gen X taking second place.

Saving Energy Means Saving Money and the Environment


Homeowners and home buyers today are motivated to make energy-efficient changes in their homes due to the potential to save money as well as energy. More people generally aware of a need to protect the environment so it makes sense that protection coming from within the home ranks second place.

Homeowners and home buyers that want to maximize their potential in both these areas should seriously consider paying attention to these and other important trends in energy savings. While individually each of these factors may not save much, added together, they can have a significant impact on both the homeowner’s wallet, and their overall comfort inside the home.

Help your clients by pointing out these trends ,and how they can make them work to get better results for everyone involved.

To learn about the cost of household remodeling projects, visit the Cost Guides.

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