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Selling to Russians News: Your Opportunity to Sell to Russians
April 03, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Your Opportunity to Sell to Russians

Recently I've come across a poll for potential Russian Buyers of properties in foreign countries at one of the major Russian real estate portals for international properties for sale in Russia. The poll was all about problems that Russian Buyers experience trying to buy a home in another country. There were 5 questions and the results are quite interesting:

- I have difficulty with choosing a country - 3%

- I have difficulty with choosing a seller or realtor - 87% (!)

- I have difficulty with choosing a property - 1%

- I have difficulty with legal procedures in a foreign country -5%

- I have difficulty with choosing a local manager to care for my foreign home when I'm not there - 4%

More than 8,000 potential Russian Buyers answered the poll and as we can see almost all of them ARE LOOKING for a realtor or seller of properties abroad (no country differentiation was involved in the poll, though, just – any foreign country). Why such results?

First of all, there are not enough realtors in Russia as this is quite a new profession and second, this profession is not much trusted in Russia as not all of those realtors are really professional over there. On top of that Russians were deceived and betrayed so many times in the past even by their own government that they might be too suspicious about realtors sometimes...

Do you see an opportunity here as a realtor or seller of international properties? You might be able to occupy your own country's niche (or perhaps, just the niche of a specific type of properties in some area of your own country) of selling real estate to Russian Buyers.

What is needed? Establish trust to begin with! I know it's not an easy task... but absolutely doable! How?

Be open and sincere about all the details about your property or properties for sale, the area, legal procedures of buying and keeping real estate by foreigners in your country, offer additional services if possible. It'll take some work and time (and marketing money) for you to get the first Russian Buyer(s), but ultimately you'll get to the stage when "word-of-mouth" will start working for you absolutely free of charge as happy clients will refer you to their family and friends. Referrals of former clients are the bread and butter of real estate business.

For successful sales you need 3 things: 1. Good products (properties in real estate), 2. Right pricing (in comparison with other properties of the same type, location, etc.), and 3. Efficient marketing (in Russian to Russians).

I can help with marketing your properties in Russian of course. Often I receive messages like that: "Please send me a Russian Buyer first and then I'll start doing a lot of marketing in Russia..." Well, it's sort of putting the cart before the horse, don't you think so? Like "Let me do a sale and then I'll try to establish trust with the buyers..." Sorry, things never work this way... First you develop trust in yourself and your product and then you make sales and then you have more sales through referrals of happy clients!

Look around your area (internet or local or central press in your country) – do Russians buy over there and what? Chances are very high that Russians do buy some specific properties in your country (maybe vacation homes and condos in resort areas or properties to rent out under local management or commercial buildings or anything with a growth potential just to put their money into real estate abroad...).

Try to find out – how do they do that? Do Russians buy in your area through realtors in Russia with a local partner(s) around your area? Then you might want to search for your own business partner(s) in Russia to send you buyers from there. Do Russians buy in your area through your local realtors marketing themselves in Russia? Then you might want to work together with them (if agreed) or start your own marketing campaign in Russia (Russian websites, advertising, looking for solid business partners in Russia and so on) to compete with them for Russian buyers. These are working ideas for realtors and developers.

If you a property owner and want to sell just one piece of real estate to Russian Buyers, then you have the following marketing possibilities: offer your property for sale to local realtors who do receive Russian Buyers (if you are aware of such realtors); offer your property for sale to realtors in Russia who are in business to sell your country/area properties to Russian Buyers; advertise your home or condo for sale on Russian real estate portals for general Russian public; and also you can promote your home or condo for sale through your own website in Russian. Advertising and promoting your property for sale on your own is more expensive upfront, but you don't pay any commission later, so it's cheaper by the end of the day.

Need help with planning your marketing campaign to Russian Buyers? Let me know a bit about your properties for sale (please do not send any photos or bulky attachments at this stage, just a link to your website or very short description of the properties and area with prices would be enough) and an approximate estimate of your marketing budget and I might come up with ideas that work the best for your properties within your marketing budget in Russian Buyers market.

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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