Seven significant differences between the US and Australian property markets

Investorist CEO & Founder Jon Ellis, chats to Property Observer and here are this insights from a recent trip to the US.

I recently undertook a month long tour of some major US cities in advance of Investorist opening their first US office in Miami in a few weeks’ time.  Here are some really interesting insights into the significant differences between the Australian and US property markets.

1. TWO AGENTS FOR EVERY SALE

In the US, every property sold has both a ‘listing agent’ and a ‘selling agent’ (known as a buyer’s agent in Australia), and the vendor pays commission to both of them

2. CONJUNCTIVE LISTINGS

US real estate agents mostly work conjunctively and share commission 50/50. They also do not try to compete on commission or undercut each other.

3. SHARING IDEOLOGY

Unlike Australia, the US property market operates on very much on a ‘sharing’ ideology; everyone shares referrals, commission, information, support, advice, etc

4. SENIOR WOMEN DOMINATE

Many women hold very senior roles in the property industry in the US. This is evident across the board and includes real estate agencies, associations, development companies etc.  It is not unusual to be in high level meetings where ALL the key decision makers are women, whereas in Australian property, it is still a very heavily male-dominated industry

5. BUILD AND OWN

Developers often build apartment projects to ‘build and hold’, leasing out the apartments after completion rather than selling all as most Australian developers do.  The Australian strata title model is called  condominiums in the US

6. SHOPPING CENTRE LIVING

Whilst still very much a novelty in Australia, many US cities have embraced apartments built on top of shopping malls.  Miami in particular is a city which does this very well.

7. SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF FOREIGN BUYERS 

It is well known that the dominant non-domestic buyers for Australian property are from China and SE Asia. In the US, buyers mostly come from Central and South America.  And many don’t speak English, so marketing to them must be in Spanish and Portuguese.

Investorist launches in the USA in early April, so please feel free to contact us about buying or selling US property.