Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher
 

Social Media Reaches Latin American Markets

South American investment in U.S. real estate continues to drive growth in the U.S. and not just in Florida. Reaching these markets via social media is easier than ever, too!

Last year, more than one in ten dollars spent in U.S. real estate originated outside of the United States. Some markets, like Florida, Arizona and California, have traditionally benefitted from investment north of the border, but it isn’t just the sunny states that have been attracting investors from south of the border these days. As U.S. markets remain “on sale” for strong currencies around the globe, and capital seeks better returns and safer investment from certain hotspots, foreign purchases of U.S. real estate is likely to remain strong for some years to come.

For real estate brokers, reaching those markets use to be costly, time intensive and sporadic. Magazines, newspapers and other direct-marketing efforts in foreign lands were often difficult, with barriers to cost, distribution and even language impeding market penetration. But these days, it only takes a Twitter or Facebook account to reach your target prospects in any quarter of the globe. And increasingly, that means Latin America, too.

New research from eMarketer.com shows that markets in Latin America continue to adopt and expand their usage of social media – this year by an anticipated 18% or more. Key countries like Brazil and Mexico – who have been investing in U.S. real estate for decades, and even more aggressively in the last five years –  are now using more “foreign” networks like Facebook (as opposed to local nets like Orkut) at record pace. More than a third of Brazilians will log onto Facebook at least once a month, now.

And that means U.S. marketers, especially real estate brokers, have a far more inexpensive, direct and visual way to reach these prospects using creative Facebook timeline engagement. And according to the National Association of REALTORS, many of these countries are growing investors: Brazilians nearly doubled their investment in U.S. property since 2007 (to 5% of all foreign buyers) and while Mexican investment has fallen a little (from 11% to 7%) it still represents a significant flow of buyers – and nearly 38 million Facebook users.

In an increasingly global economy, even “local” real estate can benefit from “” consumers. It’s a good thing that marketing tools – like social media, video and email – continue to make it easier and less expensive to reach those dollars (and pesos, and reals) than ever before.

What about you? Have you done an deal with Latin American client lately? We’d love to hear how you reached them – and will stay in contact in the future, too!