According to an NAR “International Home Buying” survey, an estimated $92.2 Billion was invested in the U.S. housing market for the 12 month period ending March 2014. This is about 7% of the entire residential real estate market. There is a lack of hard data tracking foreign investment in real estate, nonetheless, there is enough research to show that foreigners want to buy U.S. property for a variety of reasons and that this sector is growing.

Networking is essential to tapping into this source of business. Real estate professionals must take a long term approach to prospecting for global clients. Building an international sphere of influence not only requires establishing rapport which, in and of itself, can be challenging cross culturally, it requires building deeper relationship over time.

In the United States, it is common to engage in business with people we do not know and often people like to keep personal and professional business separate. There are very few countries that have a similar mindset and culture, most do not. Prospective referring brokers and clients will want to get to know you and for you to get to know them and their family before serving them.

So, networking in terms of global business is not a onetime event, it is an on-going commitment of cultivation whether it’s “wining and dining” clients or attending meetings, expos, classes and conferences with associates and then following up and following through. It takes time to see results so you cannot take score too soon. You may abandon your efforts prematurely.

One of the benefits of this approach to doing business is that once you have solidified a relationship and you successfully close multicultural and/or cross border transactions, your clients will be forever loyal to you and they will refer you their friends and family for life. They will become your walking and talking billboards to the world.

To learn what global buyers and sellers are looking for in an agent, attend the GLVAR’s award-winning Global Business Committee’s 3rd Annual Global Day June 19th. Chair, Azim Jessa, who is a top producing agent with Urban Nest, has organized a consumer panel so you can hear directly from clients about their experiences and their needs.

For Azim, earning NAR’s Certified International Property Specialist designation “has been a game changer. It allows me to speak with international clients in a way they want to be spoken to.” The CIPS gives him an edge on marketing and promotions, which is a unique strength he brings with him on listing presentations. His real estate partner (and wife) is getting her CIPS in Costa Rica later this year. If you do not want to go that far, there is a CIPS Institute in Las Vegas the end of March.

“The networking events at NAR meetings is by far the greatest benefit to building a referral database of agents across the globe,” says Azim, and Global Day is a great opportunity for local agents to learn about the global market and how to attract more of that business. Along with the above mentioned consumer panel, there will be informative presentations, including one by MoneyCorp on currency exchange strategies and a Continuing Education class

“Nevada Agency: Local to Global” to help agents navigate our globalizing marketplace. To reserve your space or to become a sponsor for Global Day, contact LMarcelo@GLVAR.org. To learn more about CIPS, log on to Realtor.org/Global.