March 5th, 2020
Helen Adams Realty Reaches More Buyers and Sellers with Our Multilingual Agents
In most areas of the United States, there is a growing number of people who are multilingual or speak English as a second language. As Charlotte becomes more of a melting pot and metropolitan city, our neighbors are becoming more diverse as well. It’s important to feel comfortable with your real estate agent, and this might be difficult when they don’t speak your native language. At Helen Adams Realty, we are proud to have many multilingual agents who can assist our buyers and sellers with diverse backgrounds.
Joanna Housiadas speaks Greek fluently and has studied Spanish and French. Housiadas explains that the greater Charlotte area is extremely diverse and culturally vibrant and continues to grow in those aspects.
“With my Greek clients, it’s wonderful to converse and conduct business in our common language,” says Housiadas. “If I don’t happen to speak a client’s or another fellow agent’s native tongue, being respectful and culturally sensitive to their roots, heritage and the manner in which they conduct business goes a long way in building trust.”
Building trust is an important part of the real estate transaction, as buying or selling your home is a huge investment and clients naturally have a lot of questions. It can be a daunting process to go through in your first language, let alone in a language in which you might not be completely confident. Using an agent that is comfortable in your native language and culture can impact your experience in a very positive way.
“Knowing their language puts them at ease,” says Ily Munoz, whose first language was Spanish. “I’ve walked clients through the entire process, from beginning to end in their language. I’ve been able to walk them through the delicate details of a home inspection when the report is written in English, discuss and negotiate repairs clearly and relay important information. I’ve even been able to translate information at the closing table, giving everyone in the room confidence in the completion of the transaction.”
Thinking through the detailed process of buying a home, there are inevitable roadblocks and stressors that can arise. Being able to explain these steps clearly is an essential part of real estate and in providing the highest level of service to our clients.
Maggie Li, who speaks Mandarin Chinese, says that sometimes a simple “hello” in their native language goes a long way to ease her clients’ concerns.
Aside from trust, agents who speak multiple languages can also provide a level of respect for their clients and where they might have come from. Understanding someone’s culture, language, and traditions helps build the foundations of a strong relationship between two people.
“Language is the carrier of culture,” explains Xin Liu, who was born and raised in mainland China. “Agents can show our appreciation of different cultures by learning and speaking other languages, and preventing ourselves from cultural taboos.”
If they are moving from another country to the Charlotte area, it is also important to understand what the client is accustomed to. Marie Schyberg, a native Swede, explains that she tries to understand where her clients are and where they are coming from. What did it look like? What type of house are they leaving and what will they be expecting? What type of life did they have?
“As a Swede I have similarities with any client from Europe just because we’re European,” says Schyberg. “We might not share the same language, but we can share culture. I can make references to activities, ceremonies, cultural aspects that can help us connect and work together.”
In 2018, only about 15 percent of real estate agents nationwide were bilingual, according to the National Association of Realtors. This leaves a gap for the people who are interested in entering the real estate market but might hesitate with worries about a language barrier. If you’re interested in real estate but have these same concerns, we can help. For those looking for an agent who speaks a specific language, you can search through Helen Adams Realty’s online agent directory.
Jordan Bass, Referral Services Manager, can also offer assistance. Through Bass’s diligent match-making process, she takes into consideration the client’s needs, wants, preferences, and familiarities which can all include native language or country of origin.
A full list of languages that our agents speak is below.
Arabic: Beth Midgette-Haemmerlein
Greek: Joanna Housiadas
Hindi: Anish Shah
Punjabi: Anish Shah
Urdu: Anish Shah
Turkish: Marco Ozdemir
Swedish: Marie Schyberg
Vietnamese: Van Dang