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How to Get
By Steve Bergsman
Whether you own a small, tenant-rep firm, toil for a big international brokerage, or simply belong to a loose confederation of commercial real estate companies, the most important part of working
the international trade is the utilization and trust of an existing network. That network can simply be other members of the Society
of Industrial and Office Realtors or the existing corporate network if you are part of companies such as Jones Lang LaSalle or
“The key is knowledge, not only of your client, what the client
wants, and where the client wants to relocate, but also knowledge
of the new venue,” says Dennis Yeo, a managing director with
Colliers International in Singapore.
The only way to get that knowledge is through local sources. If
you are part of a network, then these sources effectively represent
you and your client elsewhere around the world.
“When you do international,” says Yeo, “the problems become
more complicated. The relationship you have with your other
offices then become as important as the relationship you have with
your client. It’s imperative they do a good job, because if they don’t
then you could lose your relationship with the client.”
It also works the other way around. For instance, when an
associate broker in the United States needs help in your overseas
market. Recently Yeo did some work in Singapore for the U.S.
publishing house, John Wiley & Sons. The job was a referral from
the Colliers office in New York.
The skill-sets needed for international business are knowing the
local language, laws, and marketplace, says Matthew Leguen de
Lacroix, SIOR, FRICS, a managing partner with DTZ in Geneva,