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Nevada Realtors see opportunity in foreign buyers

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm •  Published: April 19, 2013

Las Vegas is well-positioned to welcome those buyers. It's already among the top 10 searches on International, a multilingual site recently launched by the National Association of Realtors to reach out to foreign buyers.

"Our brand is amazing. We're recognized on a global level," said Tamara Tyrbouslu, who's also on the Las Vegas association's global committee.

But while Las Vegas is a household name for entertainment, many foreigners don't see Nevada as a business mecca.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has sought to change that with initiatives to attract foreign business and boost the state's exports. Last year, he visited China and South Korea in the first-ever foreign trade mission headed by a Nevada governor.

"The governor recognizes that we are in a truly global economy and we need to be as aggressive as other states," said Kristopher Sanchez, Sandoval's director of international trade.

Through the missions, state officials are promoting Nevada as a global conventions hub with a good quality of life. When companies do seek to relocate, Sanchez said, they seek the expertise of real estate agents for office space and homes.

At the workshop, several attendees were recognized for earning the Certified International Property Specialist designation, which involves technical training and gives extra credit if applicants have completed international education or speak another language.

In the arena of international real estate, being a minority is an advantage, Manalo said.

As a Filipina who speaks Tagalog, she said she's been able to further carve out her international niche. Nevada saw nearly 2,000 people emigrate from the Philippines in 2012 alone, making it a close second to Mexico among immigrant-sending nations.

"They feel more comfortable when you can speak their language," she said.