WAKE UP BROKERS! Hablas Espanol?

by Victor Lund on November 2, 2015

hispanic and latino population mapToday, 85% of homebuyers are white, but that is changing rapidly in America. The new and growing homebuyer population is Hispanic or Latino, and most do not speak English well enough to have confidence in a real estate transaction written in a foreign language, with an agent who is not bilingual. Yikes or Opportunity? We think opportunity.

From 2010 to 2012, the number of Hispanic homebuyers increased 38%! Today, only 20,000 of the nations’ 1.2 Million members of the National Association of REALTORS is Hispanic. By the way – all of the stats quoted here look at data collected in 2010 and 2012. You can figure that the growth rates have gone up significantly. From 2010 to 2012, the number of Hispanic Households grew from 4.25 million to 6.69 million – a 58% increase. The number is likely well over 10 million in 2015.

A Simmons Market Research survey recorded that 19% of Hispanic American origin speak only Spanish. Ergo – 1 in 5. Only 17% of Hispanics are fully bilingual, and 55% have limited English proficiency. The United States has more Spanish speakers than Spain. Does anyone have a truly end-to-end bilingual home buying or selling brokerage?

In the 20112 censuses, 17% of Americans are Hispanic. If you are a Broker in New Mexico, 44% of your population is Hispanic. Texas is 31% Hispanic, followed by California at 30%, Arizona at 25%, Nevada at 20% Colorado at 15% and Illinois at 12%. Total US Hispanic population is now is nearly 35 Million people and growing. If you do not operate a fully bi-lingual brokerage, you are missing a huge opportunity. California has 14 Million Hispanics with housing needs and more than half of them are not proficient enough in English to contemplate a real estate transaction.

When we talk to brokers about this, the common answer is that “we have some Spanish speaking agents.” #FAIL! Dive a little deeper and you see that they do not have bi-lingual forms, bilingual inspectors, bilingual appraisers, bilingual property managers, bilingual marketing materials, bilingual listing presentations, bilingual agent contracts, bilingual websites, bilingual mortgage, etc. – Bilingual everything!

Whites have a birth rate of 1.1 for every death. Hispanics have a birth rate of 8.9 for every death. Over 1 Million new Hispanic households were formed in 2012 compared to a decrease of 704 Million non-Hispanic households. The market is changing folks, Vamonos!

It’s November, and you should be doing your business planning for 2016. Add a component to your business planning that tasks a few bilingual people in your company to develop a plan to become bi-lingual by the end of 2016. Elements of a bilingual business plan.

  • Marketing plan for Hispanic buyers and sellers (heavy up on Spanish radio and television).
  • Recruiting Plan for Hispanic Manager with a broker license
  • Analysis of the number of Hispanic Transactions in each office area (not your office, but the market share in the area around each office. Santa Barbara has a big Hispanic population, but not in Montecito.
  • Audit everything. I started a list above, but you need to look at everything you do and create a plan for bilingual. It will be a long journey, so the sooner you get started, the faster you will arrive ahead of your competitors.

WAV Group works with a lot of brokers who put a lot of money and intention into the Luxury Market. The energy and budget going into the Hispanic market is not existent.  Oops!

Hey – NAR, Inman News, RIS Media, CMLS, Franchises, The Realty Alliance, Leading RE – You all hold conferences for industry leaders to improve business and our industry. I looked at the agendas to see what topics covered this issue – Aside from NAR’s NAHREP, there is nothing. Crickets! What is a Zestimate in Espanol?

By the way – Kudos to Realtor.com who has an international site. http://www.realtor.com/international/ – since you have done the property translations, can we get a data feed of our listings back, perhaps a Listhub feed of translated properties?

Adios amigos! Muchas gracias.

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