In 1993, Bill Chee gave the (in)famous “Lion Over the Hill” speech in which he sounded the alarm at tech companies coming in and destroying the MLS. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, we know either that Lion never came over the hill, because it was far too steep to climb for outsiders, or that Realtors hunted it down in the dark of night and killed it dead. But it might be the most famous speeches by a NAR president ever.
Well, a couple of months ago, I saw that NAR had released a big study on international buyers, saying:
We live in a global marketplace. While all real estate is local, not all property buyers are. A significant share of home purchases are made by people whose primary residence is outside of the U.S. Find out which are the top five countries of origin for foreign buyers of U.S. homes, and how these buyers are using the services of REALTORS®.
Now, I’ve heard this mantra at various real estate conferences for a few years. International is on every big broker’s mind. Look at the RE/MAX S-1 filing, for example, as well as how much Realogy likes to talk about their global footprint, etc., of agents across the world proudly wearing the Coldwell Banker or Century 21 brand. I know KW is eager to expand abroad as well.
I have nothing whatsoever against international expansion, against working with international buyers, and so on. But two recent seemingly unconnected events got me thinking about this.
As NAR says, we live in a global marketplace.
Why are we assuming that this “global marketplace” is limited to properties?