Expatriates in the Real Estate Market

There are many reasons a person might leave his country: work, studies or even the prospect of a better life. The fact is that with global mobility, many people and companies are exploring the option to work and/or live abroad. Global connectivity reinforces the perception that it is possible to manage your life and career regardless of your location in the world, thanks to modern technology and the recent pandemic which has shifted the definition of working remotely.

In an annual survey, InterNations surveyed more than 20,000 expatriates in all corners of the world (more than 182 nationalities), and determined that more than 65% of respondents intend to stay in the country of their destination for a long period (this being at least 3 years), or even definitively.

1_Main reasons to move country

This survey also unveiled that the top three destinations for expatriates are: Taiwan, Vietnam and Portugal, with the latter still holding the title of the best destination in Europe. Ultimately, we can see that expats are pretty much found all over the world.

2_Best expatriates destination in 2019

What does this have to do with the housing market?

Absolutely everything! Because when someone leaves his country of origin, there is a desire to “feel at home” and so begins the important process of buying a new residence in an unfamiliar location.

In this sense, they rely on research or references and also on the opinion of the real estate consultant,... and that real estate consultant is you! Does this smell like an opportunity, from the other side of the screen?

How can you work with this niche customer?

It is important to note that within this expatriate niche market, we have two possible sides of the coin for investor profiles.

  1. The first group concerns people who are in the process of moving from their home country. This means those who are establishing their lives in a new place.
  2. The second group is made up of “ex-expats”: those who lived for a period of time in another country and who are now looking to return to their country of origin whether due to pursuing their career, anticipating retirement, or having concluded their foreign investment activity.

We can envision you already thinking about how to handle each of the profiles and doing a mental checklist of your current listings that might be a match for ex-pats. Check out the tips we have for you.

How to distinguish expatriates from other customers?

"Hmmmm... maybe I'll just ask my leads!" Great thought - but here are some other tactics that will help.

Knowing the expats cohort in depth and knowing what they are looking for is the other piece to the puzzle. At ListGlobally, we provide you answers and new ideas on how to reach your customers and in this case, we suggest the following:

  • Participate and monitor expat groups and communities;
  • Don't be shy and attend networking events, like the ones promoted by InterNations;
  • Promote your properties abroad.

Another excellent way to attract this audience is to create or share relevant online content that may pique ex-pat interest, such as articles on websites, blogs or social networks. Be attentive to better understand a certain region, its vibe, the cost of living in that country, services etc.  It is essential that this type of content is multi-lingual.

The importance of promoting your listings online

I doubt we need to convince you of the digital changes and advantages within the real estate business world. The communication channels, language, approach and even on the tone of conversations with your customers and leads have changed. But above all, the market's focus has changed.

It is not just about real estate any more, but focus is shifting to the people, their quality of life and well-being, with the sale of the property being the secondary (but vital) part of the equation. An individual who goes through a resettlement process has the internet as an ally in the search for information, so having a impactful online presence is crucial to get his attention. Show how dialed-in and professional you are.

3_Main advantages of investing in online ads

How can I tell if my ad is working?

Many professionals still make the mistake of using poorly created ads: those without a specific target audience, no photos, no clear message etc. These agents often scratch their heads wondering why they have not received feedback or leads. Quality photos, pertinent details and qualified information in your listings, will attract the attention of potential buyers.

4_7_tips to make your ads better

Text and images are key elements

It's show time! It's time to delight your potential clients and to achieve this, you need to be aligned with what an expatriate is looking for. When producing your ad content, we kindly remind you that expatriates want to feel at home. So try to work around location and community information, security and more items that will make a difference to your clients as they start life over again and find their new home.

Targeted communication to attract expats

Here are some real examples:

In the example below about content marketing, the insurance company Allianz, talks about emigration and children. How to leave your country of origin with your kids is the main subject, and the goal is to help parents by providing them useful tips in tandem with their products and services. The image of a happy child who seems excited about moving is just what the parents like to see - and they are the ones with the buying power ;)


Our second example is HSBC Bank. This bank has created a website dedicated exclusively to expatriates, where it addresses subjects such as: Career, Investments, Research, and Country Guide among others. By offering all this relevant information in one place, the potential customer forms a connection with this company.


Finally, we would like to talk about InterNations. This is an expat community with almost 4 million members worldwide and promotes networking events for them. When they realized how valuable this audience was, InterNations started offering a series of services to people who are in the process of moving, like moving consultancy and visa assistance.


Now that you have the road mapped and you already know the importance of quality and well-targeted communication, it is time to explore this audience to the fullest.

ListGlobally is your partner to reach expats

To stay in the forefront of real estate, you need to be working with a foreign audience. Make use of the best tools available on the market to optimize your presence in the market. Activate your MyListGlobally account to capture your full potential.

ListGlobally is the world’s largest network of property portals (+100 portals in +60 countries). One click, and your property is promoted all over the globe reaching an international audience. We offer real estate agents international exposure, and we translate their listings details into 25 languages.


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