#2013-11 How to match the right home to the multicultural homebuyer

Whenever you’re working with a homebuyer, you take the time to learn about their needs and desires for their new home. Their choices can be based on the location if they have children and want to be in a good school district. If your homebuyer is just starting out or on the other end of the spectrum—retired or empty nester—they probably want something that’s not too large.

With New American homebuyers, you have to consider the importance of the cultural influence. For example, Asian homebuyers prefer newer homes, because they feel “bad energy” in older residences. They also follow feng shui, so a house with a mountain behind it may be appealing.

Many of your multicultural homebuyers will be attracted to non-living spaces, like a large lawn or a fish pond, which signifies good luck or serenity. Multi-car garages are often a real plus for these buyers as well.

Before you direct your new homebuyer to a particular property or design, take the time to understand how their background might influence their choices. Then you can build a strong relationship based on your keen insight.

For example:

  • Chinese buyers prefer a gas stove because it’s more conducive to their cooking style.
  • Pakistanis favor homes with 3,000 or more square feet.
  • Security is a major priority for Brazilian natives because of issues in their home country. Consider gated communities and attached garages.
  • Filipinos tend toward opulence, such as high ceilings and a formal dining room. They also want enough space to host large family gatherings.
  • Latin American buyers look for a large, well-equipped kitchen because cooking for their families is a central activity.
  • Argentines like designer touches and the ability to customize their homes.
  • Europeans, who are accustomed to centuries-old homes, are often leery of American construction so they look for sturdiness.
  • Middle Eastern people prefer single-level living, and will want toilets that don’t point toward the east, because it is disrespectful for this plumbing fixture to face Mecca.
  • Indians believe that the garage should not be in the front of the house because it will block good luck. They might also want a separate prayer room, so find out if this is important.
  • Many African American families are close knit and will need large living and dining rooms for large gatherings and meals.

Remember that immigrant households tend to be larger than the “normal” American one. Living with extended family is more common among New Americans. Larger homes, in-law apartments, finished basements, additional bathrooms, and more than one master suite should be considered when you’re looking for homes to show them.

The worst thing any new home sales professional can do is to make an assumption. Ask questions so that you can learn their individual housing preferences.

New Americans represent an important niche of new homebuyers, but you have to understand the cultural influences. If you need some help, check out my ebook, New Home Sales Training: Selling New Homes In a Multicultural America”,

Next: Conversational do’s and don’ts with New American homebuyers

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