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Selling to Russians News: Russian Realtors and International Standards
May 26, 2009

Hi Everyone,

There is a good news in Russian real estate business: the Foreign Real Estate Committee has been created in the St. Petersburg Association of Realtors to make the market of international properties in Russia more transparent and civilized.

Michael Kelim, the President of the Committee, explains in his interview with BN, the Real Estate Bulletin:

"The need for such a committee is especially high nowadays as Russian public demand for properties abroad is soaring as never before. In the time of the financial crisis people in Russia don't trust bank deposits, stocks and funds. They are searching for more stable investment means, and foreign real estate at recent low prices is very attractive as such. It's a great opportunity to purchase a vacation home at the sea shore or a condo in a prestige area abroad for the money that can only buy a small apartment at the outskirts of St. Petersburg. There are all kind of real estate investment opportunities abroad where the market allows to spend several million dollars for some investors and at the same time something like 20 000 dollars for others.

"On the other hand, realtors from many countries show more and more interest in buyers from Russia. Russians are very often cash buyers as they are not used to invest in financial instruments, and it makes them very attractive clients in real estate transactions today.

"This way international real estate is the cross point of interests for Russian investors, foreign property sellers and Russian realtors as consultants in such transactions. Also, international real estate has become a hot issue for specialized real estate media as well as general popular editions and news websites. Of course, exhibition and advertising companies are very interested, too. So, the topic of international real estate is very hot in Russia now.

"The market of international real estate is developing fast, but chaotic in Russia. International real estate transactions require top qualification specialists who know various countries and their markets and have good connections with local realtors in those countries. Not all real estate companies in St. Petersburg that offer international services, are really professional. There are cases of deception, too. To lower the risks for Russian investors in foreign real estate and to defend honest realtors, this Foreign Real Estate Committee has been created.

"The Committee will implement the system measures to make this market more civilized and transparent.

"What exactly is on the agenda?

-There will be clear standards for Russian realtors working with international properties developed and they will be mandatory for members of the St. Petersburg Association of Realtors

-Public at large will be better informed about the market of international properties and the existing opportunities

-Realtors education system will be developed. Now there is no course taught anywhere in Russia on how to work with international properties while in other countries it was a common thing long ago. We will bring foreign experts to teach such courses.

"Moscow was the first Russian city where international properties for sale were offered to Russians through local and foreign real estate agencies and where first foreign real estate shows gained popularity. Now St. Petersburg public has the same demand and interest in international properties and shows as in Moscow.

"The average potential Russian buyer of real estate abroad is rather disoriented now. All kinds of various real estate agencies offer their help with choosing properties and closing procedures abroad. There are departments of large well known Russian companies, Russian branches of foreign companies and also lots of small agencies among them.

"The buyers need some criteria whom to choose and trust with purchasing properties abroad. Membership in our professional association is the best guarantee of high quality services."

P.S. The list of members of the St. Petersburg Association of Realtors is annotated in English, you can find it at

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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