International trade continues to grow, but until recently, real estate sales, which are a significant portion of national GDP, have largely been ignored by brokers and agents and have let the international economy pass it by. Les Sohar founder of Sohar World Homes has taken the need for a more global outlook in the real estate industry on his shoulders. Through the introduction of tools and services designed to help local brokers exposure and therefore increasing brokers’ opportunities to help clients making international moves or purchases, and to do so profitably.
Foreign interests control a substantial percentage of real estate in markets worldwide, and property markets are becoming increasingly global. According to the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate’s (AFIRE) 2007 annual survey, investors say they plan to increase global spending on real estate from $1.394 trillion in 2007 to $1.692 trillion in 2008, an increase of more than 20%. Note: 2009 numbers are not in yet, but despite the global economy, the numbers do not appear to be drastically impacted.The survey was conducted by The James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, University of Wisconsin – Madison. AFIRE comprises 200 investing organizational members from 21 countries. AFIRE members hold more than $700 billion in cross-border global real estate.
Transnational real estate transactions are occurring every day and are estimated to account for approximately 15% of the global GDP. A small number of real estate organizations recognized this trend early and built organizations that are expert in this rapidly growing market. However, more than 90% of real estate professionals maintained a local perspective on their business and are now playing a game of catch up. Les Sohar is here to help the more than 90% of us who have not yet developed any confidence let alone expertise in participating in the booming global real estate economy. Through tools that promote cooperation between brokers globally, resources to help clear common obstacles such as differing standards of practice and language barriers and through the networking opportunities available that promote the exchange of ideas and information Les Sohar and its national member associations have built a support system that enables its broker members to provide better service to their customers, to stay at the center of international and domestic real estate transactions.
Who should hold the reins on property listings? A number of individual real estate brokerages with the resources and technical practical understanding maintain their own proprietary listings databases on their company Web sites. National real estate associations however have been the Web sites of choice for the majority of brokers, and more importantly, homebuyers. There is now a source for marketing property that climbs even further up the ladder to an international level—in partnership with Sohar World Homes. This option opens up the market for these homes to millions of perspective buyers throughout the world and offers sellers a new way to reach these buyers.