As travel technology continues to improve and emerging markets are becoming more developed, investors are searching for properties outside of North America. Vacation rentals and retirement properties are all the buzz in modern real estate. However, many investors do not take property tours prior to financing that property.
There are several benefits to taking a guided property tour including:
- View the property
- Learn about the surrounding area
- Questions about the property answered immediately
- Face-time with agents
- Discuss legalise
- Find the best financing options
View the Property
The biggest advantage of a guided property tour is it is an opportunity for investors to view the property. Photos and video are an excellent introduction to the property, however, physically being present allows investors to see what type of shape the structures are in as well as the amount of space available and the different amenities and fixtures. It also gives them a chance to learn more about the property from knowledgeable developers who selected certain locations for a specific reason.
Learn About the Surrounding Area
In addition to viewing the property, it gives investors incite as to the type of neighborhood the property is in and the type of shape the neighboring units are in. Also, investors can see the potential competition that is in the area, close attractions, shopping, restaurants, mass transit, sports and other activities that are close to the property that may make it attractive to renters or tourists.
Questions Answered Immediately
Additionally, investors can directly ask questions and receive an immediate response. When posting these same questions on the Internet, it could take many days for a response. When calling a developer, they may be unavailable and it could also take several days for a callback.
Furthermore, through a guided property tour, investors can have face-time with developers, attorneys, accountants and other specialists. It is much easier to conduct business with an individual with whom you have met rather than over the telephone or Internet.
Also, when on a tour, potential investors have the opportunity to discuss the legal requirements or purchasing property in different countries with an attorney. Similarly, they can talk to accountants who can provide tips on tax breaks, the hidden costs of purchasing land and rental requirements. This will help the developer learn more about the governmental requirements of that particular country and ensure they comply with those standards.
Finding the Best Financing Options
At the tour, the investor can discuss with a financial planner the variety of financing options that are typically offered in each country. Many countries have loose rules when it comes to financing so it may be best to use local banks versus those in North America.
There are several aspects of a good tour that stand out. First, a good tour will have a set agenda which includes a meet and greet, presentations of the projects that will be visited, a seminar of legal, immigration, investment and insurance issues (if in a foreign country), roundtables about the properties and availability of sales staff on hand. Additionally, a good tour allows for the flexibility of extending the stay to see additional properties and the availability to conduct extra research on what has been reviewed. Also, solid tours will have a variety of professionals, legal, accountants, real estate and other business experts, available to answer detailed questions about the country, province, state, town and village.
Additionally, any good tour will answer the following questions:
- Why invest?
- How to minimize taxes and maximize benefits
- How to buy and own property
- How to reduce currency exchange risk
- How to rent
A bad tour is pretty much the opposite of a good tour. The primary characteristic of a bad tour is the lack of agenda. This results in chaos and confusion amongst potential investors. Also, too much of a salesy pitch from the staff will drive away investors. Additionally, not having enough specialized staff to answer questions can be a major burden.