Nearly 40 percent of all first-time homebuyers in the US are expected to be Hispanic, with some of these potential homebuyers being “affluent Mexican nationals fleeing cartel violence,” said the Houston Chronicle.
Experts gathered yesterday, in San Antonio, for a conference held by the National Association of Real Estate Editors to discuss ways the real estate community can understand the needs and desires of the anticipated Hispanic buyers.
Prominent among these concerns is that Hispanics are often hesitant to use an agent due to language barriers.
“There are cultural obstacles for real estate professionals targeting this growing segment. For one, some Hispanics are used to a cash-based economy, and many lack credit and appear to be a bigger lending risk than they actually are,” said Oscar Gonzales of the Sugar Land-based Gonzales Group to the Houston Chronicle.
The Gonzales Group is a knowledgeable source of multicultural business development, which aims to supply business fundamentals that result in sales for a variety real estate and financial service companies.
Gonzales believes that approximately 30 percent of Latino’s don’t use agents because of a lack of education, accompanied by distrust. As with all buyers, they don’t want to get ripped off.
Additionally, Hispanics who do go to agents are likely to be seeking specific, culturally desirable qualities withing their prospective home.
Builders and agents alike should strive to be attentive to design needs, said Scott Caballero, chairman of the San Antonio Board of Realtors to the Houston Chronicle.
Some of these qualities, he believes, may consist of having a front porch for entertaining, gas stoves, and spare room for additional guests.
“It’s multigenerational families; we typically don’t stick our parents in a nursing home. That’s just taboo,” Gonzales added. “Try cooking tortillas on an electric stove. It will drive you nuts. It’s little things like that that make a difference.”