The Extreme Expert in International Franchising

Converting International Students into Homeowners

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International StudentsUpward of 40% of international students will purchase a home in their university town rather than live on campus or rent an apartment. When you consider the numbers in the top 15 cities alone, this represents approximately 194,000 purchases totaling in excess of $58 billion in sales at an average price of $300,000 per property!

Therefore, it makes sense to establish a professional and ultimately a personal relationship with the university housing department to better understand the university requirements, housing needs and student mix and over time to be considered one of their valuable consultants to assist incoming students with their off-campus housing needs.

Many universities have agents operating overseas in their targeted countries, so when you are also focusing on one of those market countries, ask for permission to work directly with their outside agents to connect them to your “in country” referral agents.

At the same time, identify and contact the local university agents responsible for the international marketing and offer your services, which should include available properties for sale or lease, area housing demographics, financing information and area tours both virtual and in person once the student and parents arrive.

Every major university will attend international education exhibitions in their targeted country to promote the educational and cost benefits of their specific university and city, so if possible, join with your university as one of their “experts” to help give them the competitive edge in enrolling the new student into their four-year program. (In most cases, the travel and expense costs for this week will be yours rather than the university’s.)

Top 15 Countries of Origin for International Students in 2012

1 China 127,628 +30%
2 India 104,897 +2%
3 South Korea 72,150 +4%
4 Canada 28,145, -5%
5 Taiwan 26,685 -5%
6 Japan 24,842 -15%
7 Saudi Arabia 15,810 +25%
8 Mexico 13,450 -9%
9 Vietnam 13,112 +2%
10 Turkey 12,397 +2%
11 Nepal 11,233 -3%
12 Germany 9,548 -1%
13 United Kingdom 8,861 +2%
14 Brazil 8,786 +1%
15 Thailand 8,531 -2%


Top 11 Majors for International Students

1 Business and Management 21%
2 Engineering 18%
3 Physical and Life Sciences 9%
4 Mathematics and Computer Science 9%
5 Social Sciences 9%
6 Fine and Applied Arts 5%
7 Health Professions 5%
8 Intensive English Language 4%
9 Education 3%
10 Humanities 3%
11 Agriculture 2%


States with the Most International Students

California 94,279 +1%
New York 76,146 +2%
Texas 58,934 +1%
Massachusetts 35,313 +4%
Illinois 31,093 +4%
Florida 29,708 -2%
Pennsylvania 28,097 +2%
Michigan 24,214 +3%
Ohio 22,370 +8%
Indiana 18,569 +9%


Universities with the Most International Students

1 University of Southern California 7,987
2 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 7,287
3 New York University 7,276
4 Purdue University 6,903
5 Columbia University 6,833
6 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 6,095
7 University of California-Los Angeles 5,685
8 Michigan State University 5,358
9 University of Texas-Austin 5,265
10 Boston University 5,172


In conclusion, international education represents a huge opportunity for those agents living in one of the 10 states shown above or near one of the 10 major universities listed above. If you live in a city that has a strong educational reputation for business or engineering, there is a strong likelihood that there are international students in attendance and that 40% of them could be buyers of homes. To capitalize on this, make the university connections to build relationships and at the very least consider bringing in multilingual agents who can speak Mandarin, Hindu, Korean and Japanese.

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Bill has had over 40 years of management and leadership experience within the real estate industry. Bill has spent the majority of the last 20 years overseas in executive roles within the Century 21 system. As President of Century 21 China, Bill was instrumental making them the largest real estate network which is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange. His newest venture, Amanzani Group Ltd has consulted to major Beijing Developers on various projects.
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