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Selling to Russians News: Are realtors trusted in Russia?
May 14, 2009

Hi Everyone,

As a realtor's profession is still in its infancy in Russia, I've been looking for information to answer the question - what would an average consumer in Russia do if she/he wants to sell or buy a real estate property? Would they employ a realtor's help or would they do it on their own?

I've just came across the results of a recent phone poll conducted in Moscow by the Internet magazine Metrinfo. The respondents were all of working age, the sample size was representative by age and gender for a big city.

The first question was exactly the one: "What would you do if you have to sell or buy a piece of real estate?"

Here are the answers:

63% would go to a real estate agency
15.7% would do it on their own
7.4% would ask a friend for advice
4.6% would use other methods
2.8% would employ a private real estate consultant
6.5% don't know

The second poll question was quite straight-forward: "Do you trust realtors?"

52.8% yes
30.6% no
16.6% don't know

Those who don't trust realtors or don't know whether to trust them, were asked for their reasons. Here's the breakdown of answers:

35.3% don't trust anybody at all
29.4% no comments as they didn't use realtors' services themselves
11.8% only trust realtors they know in person
9.8% have friends who suffered some damage from bad realtors
7.8% did it on their own in the past and were happy with the result
5.9% other

So, while in the USA the ratio "using a realtor vs. doing by owner" is approximately 80/20 (it's by memory, please correct me if it's not the exact number), in Russia it's approximately 60/40 so far. Well, it's a huge growth in comparison with some 15 years ago when real estate agencies just started to open their doors in Russia, and at the same time it's a long way to go for realtors in building trust with Russian public.

I know you would be more interested specifically in Russians buying properties abroad while this poll is general, but anyway these results can be applied to your marketing strategy in selling international real estate to Russian buyers.

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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