The Commonwealth of Virginia has been engaging in foreign business since its inception, and today we are no different. International trade is a key part of our economy and global real estate could interest you. Perhaps you have clients looking to invest abroad, or you want to better aid immigrant families in your market. Maybe you want to learn how to serve foreign investors. Global real estate opportunities are in abundance, and having the right resources is the first step.

Virginia is home to many assets that contribute to our CNBC ranking as the #2 state for business. We are highly educated, business friendly, and have access to capital and a solid workforce. We are strong in technology and have become the data center capital of the world. Our mid-Atlantic location, diverse transportation network, and advanced infrastructure allow for rapid imports and exports. Currently, the Port of Virginia is creating the deepest and widest port on the east coast through the dredging of its shipping channels.

According to NAR’s 2023 International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate report, Virginia was a top destination for foreign buyers from China and Mexico last year. Our foreign relations play a large role in our thriving economy and business environment. Nearly 13% of the total state population—and over 16% of the workforce—was born in another country. El Salvador, India, Mexico, South Korea, and the Philippines are the top countries of origin accounting for our immigrant population. The top industries for immigrants in the commonwealth are Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, Health Care and Social Assistance, Construction, Retail Trade, and Accommodation and Food Services. We have a diverse and highly educated immigrant population; their education levels exceed that of U.S. born Virginia residents for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Many already own homes or are ready to start their journeys to homeownership.

The National Association of REALTORS® provides specialized training and resources for REALTORS® and Associations working in the global space.

  • The Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) designation provides the education, research, and network to expand your global business internationally and locally.
  • NAR has formal partnerships with over 100 organized real estate associations in the world. These global alliances will help you establish referral opportunities and business abroad.
  • NAR has Global Ambassadors appointed to serve as liaisons to real estate professionals in various countries. REALTOR® Associations can also become ambassador associations to NAR’s partner countries. At present, the only global ambassador association in Virginia is the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®.
  • Associations can create—and over 130 already have—Global Business Councils, which build the global real estate framework within your local market.

Being educated on global real estate opportunities can help REALTORS® grow their businesses and professionalism. With more companies coming to Virginia, and the impact that foreign relations have on economic development, global real estate has tremendous opportunity in the commonwealth.