Buyers and sellers now have more options to promote their properties and to learn about the housing market they are interested in. You cannot allow your customers to know more than you do. You will ultimately suffer in that race. Check out the most comprehensive list of real estate portals and information sources around the globe ever compiled.

According to the United Nations there are over 191 million immigrants worldwide and ListGlobally.com estimates that another 700 million would like to leave their current country of birth permanently. Between April 2014 and March 2015, NAR reported that residential real estate sales to overseas buyers reached a record $104 billion, or about eight percent of the total home sales. Buyers from Hong Kong and Taiwan led the pack, accounting for $28.6 billion in sales, with Canada ranked second with $11.2 billion, followed by India with $7.7 billion, Mexico at $4.9 billion, and the UK with $3.8 billion.

Easier Infrastructure Websites for Clients

The advent of real estate portals has provided a new and easier infrastructure for clients to transact billions of dollars in real estate sales each year. This is a booming side of the real estate industry, yet only a fraction of U.S. real estate professionals have heard of websites such as Fang, MagicBricks, or Juwai. With billions of daily page views, these powerful websites are contributing significantly to the reshaping of the home buying and selling process worldwide.

Reshaping the process isn’t confined to one avenue. There are many different types of portals, with some exclusively serving the real estate industry and others covering multiple services and industries. There are many that have evolved into large advertising models while others only package and sell leads.

Here are the most important characteristics of global real estate portals from those we analyzed in the upcoming Swanepoel Trends Report:

  1. The ability to move seamlessly from one country to another, searching in the language of choice.
  2. The ability to provide information in the consumer’s preferred communication style—text, telephone, email, or VOIP.
  3. The site must be rich in hyper-local information with virtual tours, videos, commute times, transportation options, school data, etc.
  4. The purchase process must be explained in the viewer’s language and must include ownership types, immigration process, country and property tax data, how international tax works for foreign buyers, etc.
  5. No duplicate postings and/or conflicting information.
  6. A consumer feedback system (rating and review) that rates everything; towns, agents, and even the portal.
  7. Instant property alerts that notify users as listings matching their search criteria come on the market.
  8. An extensive Q&A section.
  9. A fraud-prevention program ensuring that the consumer is connecting with the listing agent and not someone who pirated the information.
  10. Use of innovative technology that enhance the user’s experience such as lifestyle rating systems, recommendations based on the consumer’s profile and/or search patterns, traffic-pattern heat maps, noise levels, and augmented reality features that enable users to view the layout of even unbuilt homes.

As real estate property data becomes among the most sought after and desired information in the world, there will be more country-specific real estate portals. Each portal addresses languages, cultural differences, and social barriers to help bring more real estate information to international homebuyers and sellers.

Largest Real Estate Portals by Country

Real estate portals come in all shapes and sizes. Some serve a single county or serve a signal city. Others, as we dove closely in the “How Portals Worldwide Are Reshaping the Real Estate Industry” chapter in the new Swanepoel Trends Report, have a multi-country reach which we listed in the 14-page chapter summarizing the most significant real estate portals around the world by country.

Get the new 2016 Swanepoel Trends Report today and receive your Pre-Order discount before the end of January. Publication will be shipping February 1st.