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Selling to Russians News: 10 Tips on Dealing with Russian Buyers of International Real Estate
April 03, 2018

Hi Everyone,

10 Tips on Dealing with Russian Buyers of International Real Estate

Russia sits in between East and West, geographically and mentally too. "The Russians" is a mix of many peoples actually, and you may meet a Jew, Tatar, Ukrainian, Armenian, Uzbek, and so forth and so on, who speaks Russian, and thus is considered "Russian" abroad.

All of these people may have some of their own cultural particularities (like dietary preferences, for example), but they also have something important in common: language, history and mentality. And some of these common features we'll discuss here - to help you deal with the Russian buyers of international real estate in terms of marketing and selling to them.

10 tips for you:

1. The Russians are usually proud to be Russian, and although many times they would not be happy with their own government, at the same time they would not be happy to be criticized by outsiders because of that either.

2. Not many Russian people know foreign languages, and even if they do, they still prefer to search and receive information in Russian. The Russian internet (RuNet) is a highly developed and rich source of information on any topic; therefore you have to present your properties for sale in it, if you are serious about finding the Russian buyers for your properties for sale and be competitive against other sellers, realtors and developers who had already promoted themselves in front of Russian buyers' eyes.

3. A Russian would prefer only the best in quality and fashion (in his price range of course). Marketing your property as "the cheapest on the block" would never work for him: why should he have something inferior to his neighbors?!

4. "What others would think of me?" is a very strong motivational drive for a Russian.

5. The Russian buyers are not 100% rational in their choices of real estate. They might fall in love with a property. Lately though, they calculate the cost-effectiveness of a real estate purchase much more than in the past.

6. Actually we can say that the Russians are snobs. They wouldn't buy from you if you send a low-rank personnel to show properties to them instead of doing it yourself (as a head of a company or department, etc.). They tend to overdress for an occasion, and you'll be on a safer side following the suit.

7. The Russians do not easily become friends with someone, but as long as they do, they keep the relationship. They do not smile just because of politeness, they only smile or laugh when hear or see something funny. They love to argue.

8. Most of the Russians drink and smoke. If you really have to refuse a drink with a Russian buyer, you'd better have a solid excuse (like to be on some medication that doesn’t mix well with alcohol), not to offend him.

9. In Russian we put the day first, then the month, then the year. For example: the 8th of March of the year 2018 will be 08.03.18 (yeah, I know, for an American it would be the 3rd of August!). To avoid any confusion in any serious matters, you’d better put the month name in writing.

10. Another issue of timing: a.m. and p.m. may be confusing (as other abbreviations by the way). To make sure that your appointment time is understood exactly, you'd better say 8 in the morning or 8 in the evening. (Try to avoid any abbreviations if possible).

Any questions about Russian cultural differences? I'm just an email away.

To your best business success,


Olga Kellen,
"Anything Russian",
English - Russian Translator,
Associate member of ATA,
Author of the e-books for realtors and property sellers
Selling to Russians

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