The Typical CIPS Designee

With members spanning the globe and representing a wide range of specialized interests and knowledge, it’s not easy to describe the "typical" CIPS designee. However, based on a 2015 membership survey and other data, here are several key facts.

What type of license do CIPS designees hold?

  • 48% Sales Agent/Associate
  • 31% Broker
  • 28% Broker-Owner
  • 2% Appraisal
  • 1% Other

Residential or commercial?

  • 44% Mostly residential, some commercial
  • 41% Strictly residential
  • 14% At least 50% commercial
  • 1% Appraisal

What languages do CIPS designees speak?

  • Afrikaans
  • Albanian
  • American sign language
  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Bosnian
  • Bulgarian
  • Cantonese
  • Chinese
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Farsi
  • Filipino
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Georgia
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Lao
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Malay
  • Mandarin
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Sindhi
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Taiwanese
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Yugoslavian

Challenges: Biggest Barriers to Conducting Global Real Estate Business

  1. Language barrier/lack of a second language
  2. Finding international clients/contact with international clients
  3. Financing for foreign buyers
  4. Difficulties getting commission
  5. Cultural differences
  6. Attracting international buyers to my website
  7. Don’t know how to network internationally/ don’t know where to start
  8. Time limitations

Source: 2015 CIPS Member Profile Survey

Solutions: 4 Ways to Clear Language Hurdles

Foreign language fluency is a huge advantage for global agents, but there are many ways to work around it. Are you aware of each of these resources? (Most are FREE!)

  1.®/international – every listing on® (for-sale and rental) is automatically translated into 11 languages on its international platform. You don’t have to do a thing!
  2. Translation tools – specifically designed for smart phones, applications like iTranslate, Google Translate and SayHi Translate can be very helpful for translating phone conversations.
  3. Translated forms – many state REALTOR® associations offer translated copies of forms and contracts (although buyers/sellers must sign the official English version).
  4. Self-study tools – if you want to sharpen your own foreign language skills, check out the books/programs in NAR’s library ( Members can access them at no charge!

How are Members Bridging the Language Gap?

Many of you are using translation services to communicate with members and to translate your listings.

The most popular services include (not in rank order):

  1.®/international (listing translation)
  2. Google Translate
  3. Proxio
  4. Babelfish
  5. Immobil
  6. Yourselves/a friend/other agents
Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.


About Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives in Real Estate is a resource for global professionals, aimed at helping them globalize their local markets. Produced bi-monthly, this newsletter serves as a how-to guide and is full of useful and actionable tips. A free subscription is given to all Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) designees.

Learn more about earning the CIPS designation