The National Association of REALTORS® maintains formal relationships with over 100 organized real estate associations in 75 different countries around the world. This network of global alliances gives REALTORS® the confidence of working with professionals that abide by NAR’s strict Code of Ethics and is a very powerful network and referral platform for growing the international business of NAR’s 1.4 million members.

To gain a better understanding of the international business transactions in these countries, the National Association of Realtors® Research Group and the Member Engagement Group conducted a survey to gather information on the transactions of respondents with international clients during the reference period of July 2019 through June 2020. The survey defined an international client as one who is not a citizen of the country of the respondent. Respondents were asked about the characteristics of five closed transactions.

The survey was sent to 3,537 members in English (2,132), Spanish (1,357), and Portuguese (48) during the period of July 13 through September 24. The survey received 495 usable responses, which are responses where the respondent identified the country of business, while they have also analyzed the state of emergency work laws for workers and companies.

International Business Trends

The 495 respondents identified 48 countries as their business area. The countries with the largest number of respondents that accounted for at least 3% of the respondents were Mexico (24%); Spain (11%), Italy (6%), Philippines (6%), Portugal (6%), India (5%), Jamaica (5%), Greece (4%), Costa Rica (3%), and Canada (3%).

Thirty percent of respondents reported a decrease in their international client business during the period of July 2019 through June 2020 compared to the prior 12-month period. Twenty-seven percent of respondents reported a decrease in their international business over the past five years. The higher fraction of respondents who reported a decrease in international business in the past year compared to five years ago likely reflects the impact of the COVID-19 travel bans and the economic impact of the pandemic on international transactions.

Among the 472 respondents who provided information (excluding those who are not engaged in any sales transaction), 68% reported they conducted a business with an international client during the period July 2019-June 2020.

Among the respondents who reported they were an International REALTOR® Member (IRM®), 47%, reported that their international client business accounted for over 20% of their business, a higher fraction compared to non-IRM respondents, at 40%.

Nearly three-fourths of respondents reported that the international client contacted them directly or found them through a website.

Among the 184 respondents who provided information, 130 respondents or 71% reported they are an IRM®.  Of the 130 IRM® respondents, 22% held a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS®) designation.

See full report here: