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Second language skills boost agents


NEW YORK – July 22, 2014 – Real estate agents across the U.S. leverage their second-language skills to get ahead in their local markets, particularly as the number of international homebuyers grows in the U.S.

About 15 percent of real estate professionals speak a second language, according to the National Association of Realtors®. According to a study by Trulia, the most commonly spoken languages by real estate agents, after English, are Spanish at 12.2 percent and French at 2.5 percent. Russian, Mandarin, and German are close behind. The study searched nearly 83,000 agent profiles in the U.S. to compile their findings.

"Chicago is becoming a global market. I've literally been using all four languages since I started doing real estate," Nadia Rahmani, a real estate professional with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, told The Wall Street Journal. Rahmani, who also speaks French, Arabic and Spanish, estimates that 40 percent of the homebuyers she works with in Chicago are international clients.

"Even though they're fluent in English, they're more comfortable" speaking in their native tongue, Rahmani says.

Michael B. Soon, an agent with Coldwell Banker in San Francisco who speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin, says that understanding the same language as your client can also make a transaction go much smoother.

"You have to look at what they have in China," Soon says about the real estate options there. "Nothing is more than 20 years old," which is why he says many Chinese buyers tend to be interested in newly built condos.

Source: "Real Estate Agents' Secret Weapon," The Wall Street Journal (July 17, 2014)

© Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688


Related Topics: International