To shake hands or not to shake hands—that is the question. Real estate is all about making connections. According to the 2012 Profile of International Homebuying Activity by the National Association of Realtors, international buyers came from all over the globe, but five countries (Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom) accounted for 55 percent of transactions in the recent study. Although Latin American and Russian buyers are making strides. Four states (Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas) accounted for 51 percent of the purchasers.
But, even if you don’t live in those four states, it pays to know some of the cultural dos and don’ts when working with global buyers, investors and real estate sales associates. If you’re planning a business trip or attending a conference overseas, you must know the ins and outs of the culture.
When a meeting is scheduled with people from other cultures, it’s wise to be cognizant of that culture’s protocol, according to etiquette trainer Kimberley Roberts. She put together a guide for greetings that are acceptable in other cultures. Read it here.
This year, REAL Trends will be holding a Leadership Institute, October 24-26, 2012, in Lisbon. If you’re planning to attend, be sure you’re up on the culture of the area. Here are some tips from the book “Global Business Etiquettes“ and the website: Bizztripbriefing.com.
The Portuguese are not direct, they prefer subtlety to directness.
Dress formal and conservative.
When making appointments use the 24-hour clock time format to avoid misunderstandings.
Be very punctual, if you suspect you will late, call and explain the situation
Shake hands with everyone upon arriving at the meeting and leaving.
Remain standing until invited to sit down or others do so.
Agenda’s are not strictly followed and a meeting can take much longer then planned.
First appointments are more socially oriented, The Portuguese would like to know you a bit better at first.