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Selling to Russians News: What are Russian buyers of international properties searching for?
May 09, 2012

Hi Everyone,

As promised I have to tell you what information you should include on your Russian real estate website to satisfy Russian internet searchers' needs and thus make them buy from you eventually.

To reveal the recent actual needs of Russian potential international real estate buyers, I went to one of the most popular Russian Internet Forums on international real estate to see questions asked by participants in search of information on various countries properties and process of purchasing over there by a citizen of Russia and anything else on the topic.

Then I analyzed the questions of potential Russian buyers of international properties and sorted them out according to topics, and here we are with the rounded results:

  • What is the exact process of buying a residential property in a particular country? 30% of visitors are interested
  • Legal questions about owning, joint owning, inheritance, etc. of a property in a particular country. 15% of visitors are interested
  • Questions about buying commercial properties and conducting business in a particular country. 10% of visitors are interested
  • What taxes will a citizen of Russia pay buying and owning a property in a particular country? 10% of visitors are interested
  • Can a citizen of Russia live in a property (s)he owns temporary or permanently? 10% of visitors are interested
  • Mortgage questions. 5% of visitors are interested
  • How to rent a private property out in a particular country? 5% of visitors are interested
  • What to do in a foreign country if a developer failed? (It happened that all such questions in my cluster of the latest forum posts to analyze were about the UAE developers). 5% of visitors are interested
  • How to buy a foreclosure in a particular country? 5% of visitors are interested
  • In what country is it better to buy for a citizen of Russia? 5% of visitors are interested

I also made an attempt to analyze the questions by a country about which people in Russia search the information, but then decided against it as there were questions about more than 50 countries in the cluster of the latest forum posts I picked to analyze; and actually the number (and content) of questions asked about a particular foreign country where Russians are going to buy real estate does not tell us a lot as it is combined of the two major parameters that we cannot analyze separately in any way: the popularity of the country among Russian buyers on one side, and lack of information on this country on the other side...

So, as we can see almost half of all the questions Russians are searching answers to, are about a legal process of purchasing residential real estate in your country. Thus it is almost A MUST to have a page with a good description of the whole process of buying properties in your country on your property website in Russian if you do not want your visitors to go elsewhere for information and thus forget about your property this way.

The next large group of questions is about legal consequences of buying a property in your country (rights and obligations that come with the ownership, taxes including), which is also A MUST to have answered not to let visitors go away from your property.

An interesting group of questions is from potential Russian investors in international properties; it concerns buying foreclosures, getting mortgages and renting properties out. You have to have these questions answered if you have some expertise in it.

Of course if you sell commercial properties, all of the same above is true according to the process of commercial properties buying and conducting business in your country.

What else can you provide to Russian internet visitors hungry for information? Recent real estate trends and pricing in your country or area, especially if your property compares in a good way to this general information; news from your country, especially if they are positive, interesting facts about your property and neighborhood, etc., etc. Your country visa requirements for citizens of Russia would be definitely useful to your visitors.

The more precise and full your information is, the more chances are that you keep your visitors from Russia on your real estate website in Russian, and they will start communicating with you and eventually buy from you, not from anybody else.

There is also a rather small group of questions, apparently from Russians who are new to international real estate purchasing, about what country they should invest in.

These questions are very hard to answer in general of course, but here we go again – the more developed your website is in terms of giving all the information on your country's real estate and laws, the more chances are that Russians who had not decided on a foreign country yet, would make a decision to deal with you.

Here we come to another very important issue: how are Russians supposed to find your website in their searches in Russian internet?

There are two ways to expose your website to as many visitors in Russian internet as you can: to pay major Russian search engines for advertising your site on top or on the right of any related search (pay-per-click ads) or to have your site appear as high as possible in related searches (organic positioning, it is automated and free).

In the future we'll have some more detailed talk about promoting Russian real estate websites in Russian internet, but for now I'd like only to mention that the more information on your country real estate legal and practical questions you have, the higher Russian search engines would place your website in searches. It is quite understandable, right?

The search engines automatically put higher those websites that provide higher quality information to visitors, and in these terms a website with detailed description of a particular country's real estate laws, trends, news, etc. will definitely come first in comparison with a website containing just homes for sale in this particular country and nothing more than that. The higher the position in searches, the more visitors the site attracts and the higher are chances to get a buyer!

To your best business success,


Olga Kellen,
"Anything Russian",
English - Russian Translator,
Associate member of ATA,
American Translators Association
Author of the e-book for realtors
Selling to Russians

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