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How to Become an
International Real
Estate Agent

Ready to step into the global real estate market, but not sure what it takes? Launching an international real estate career will give you access to properties and clients all over the world, which in turn will grow your network and your income. Exploring new cultures can be exciting, and it’s easy to start imagining yourself living the jet-setting life. 

Becoming an international real estate agent takes more than just the decision to jump into the global real estate market. Keep reading for our best tips on starting an international real estate career. 

What is an international real estate agent?

An international real estate agent is a real estate agent who is licensed to help clients purchase and sell homes and properties worldwide or grow their businesses overseas. Being an international real estate agent doesn’t mean you have to live overseas, however. Some international real estate agents live in the country they work in. Others choose to travel back and forth. 

Licensing works both ways, too. International real estate agents can live in the U.S. and help people from overseas buy a home in the U.S.. Or they can help people in the U.S. who are moving overseas find a home in another country.

What do international real estate agents do?

International real estate agents help clients buy or sell property in another country. They also help people whose businesses have expanded into another country find a second home and provide them with expert advice in real estate trends from around the world.

How to become an international real estate agent.

Get educated.

If you want to be successful as an international real estate agent, start by learning all you can about international real estate. There are some really good courses on international real estate. Take one. These courses will help teach you not only how to master global real estate, but you’ll learn about currency and exchange rates, cross-cultural relationships, international markets and investment performance.

It’s better to be over-educated than not educated enough. You’ll never hear a prospective client say, “You’re too educated and know too much about real estate, so I don’t want to hire you.”

Pass your state licensing exam.

Before you can get an international license, you will need to already be licensed as a real estate agent in your state. 

Real estate laws are different in each state, so the real estate board in your state is the place to get the information you need on what classes and tests are required.

Work in the industry.

Once you have a real estate license in your state, get to work expanding your network, growing your skills, and learning from experienced international real estate agents. 

Obtain your CIPS certification

To become an international real estate agent, you must take five Certified International Property Specialist Certification [CIPS] courses recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Certification is valid for three years.

There are two required core courses that cover local markets in global real estate and transactional tools. You must also choose three elective courses that focus on selling real estate in specific areas of the world. 

When you have finished the courses, submit your application for certification and pay the fee. You must get 100 points to attain certification.  

Get to work.

Congratulations, you’re certified as an international real estate agent. Now it’s time to get to work! Here are your first action steps:

  1. Decide what area of the world you are interested in working with.
  2. Visit the area and become familiar with it.
  3. Learn what the market is like in that part of the world.
  4. Start making connections to build your network in this area.

Tips for international real estate agents.

Want to impress? It’s a good idea to learn the language of the country you are interested in. Potential clients will be amazed and impressed that you care enough to learn their language, and you won’t have to hire interpreters when making deals.

Knowing and respecting the culture of the area is also a no-brainer. After all, who wants to do deals with someone who doesn’t respect their values and culture? 

It’s also very important to get familiar with the area you’ll be selling or buying in. Being familiar with the area is just as important as knowing the values and culture of the area.

When working as an international real estate agent, it is very important to grow your network within the countries you are doing business in. Get to know the local business owners, public servants, and other real estate professionals you may be doing business with.

You may also want to consider specializing in one area of real estate, such as luxury homes. Becoming an expert in a specific area for an overseas market will be to your advantage because you’ll stand out from the competition. 

More from Sell It Like Serhant

Want help learning how to start showing up as the expert of your real estate business? Dive into Sell It Like Serhant, our core course, and learn more about lead generation, networking, following up, following through, and following back and more.

These tips will help you be knowledgeable, respectful, and professional in every area of the world so you can stand out and be successful in the international real estate industry. 

For more real estate tips and tricks from Ryan and Sell It Like Serhant, follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Additional content


  • Ryan Serhant is a founder, entrepreneur, producer, public speaker, bestselling author, star of multiple TV shows, and Chief Executive Officer of SERHANT., the rapidly growing tech-forward real estate organization comprised of two core businesses: brokerage and education. Founded in 2020, SERHANT. is a content-to-commerce technology ecosystem revolutionizing the sales industry. SERHANT. is home to the first ever full-service, award-winning, in-house film studio solely dedicated to real estate content, and its digital education platform is comprised of more than 14,000 members across 110 countries.