Across the globe, despite the impact of the credit crunch, many buyers are still actively seeking opportunities in overseas property and two international magazines, Overseas Property Professional (OPP) and OPP Russia, have recently highlighted Romania as a market for agents to consider for their clients. However, the next stage for the market is for developers to work with agents to drive sales based on this interest.
Whether for investors looking to benefit from rentals or capital appreciation, second-homes buyers or those re-locating to the country, a number of developers have experienced demand from outside Romania. OPP has learnt about buyers coming from the US, Scandinavia, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Greece and Italy, amongst others – highlighting the appeal of the market for a range of nationalities. In addition, Tibor Fuchsel, territory manager at Overseas Property Professional (OPP), feels the Russian buyer market is one that developers should seek to engage: “Russian buyers are constantly looking for new areas where they can not only invest their money but also buy something unique, Romania has so much to offer them. There is no reason Romania can’t follow the path of Bulgaria in terms of engaging the Russian buyers. Bulgaria stands at number 1 on the top list of Russian buyers.”
While good news for those developers with property to sell, this does throw up challenges in marketing to so many diverse markets.
For many developers this can seem a daunting task, requiring a re-think of their marketing activities, an understanding of how to interact with agents, and an examination of ways to teach new agents about what the Romanian market offers. However, Tibor Fuchsel, territory manager at Overseas Property Professional (OPP), says: “The shift in mindset isn’t as great as some may fear – the fundamentals of the business remain the same. You want to sell property through an intermediary and – whether you use a domestic agent, based in Romania selling to Romanians’, or an overseas agents selling to their local clients – the relationship is similar.”
This year, OPP and OPP Russia have increased coverage of the Romanian markets, to educate international agents about the opportunities their clients may be interested in. However, Fuchsel says: “To capitalise on this interest, developers also need to ensure they have dialogue with agents, and are working pro-actively to establish, and facilitate, these sales channels. Buyer interest is out there, as OPP has found, but the only way to benefit from this is to engage the companies that will bring you the buyers. OPP strives to facilitate these partnerships, and aims to provide a medium through which developers can reach agents.”