How going back to your roots can boost business

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This blog appears on the news and blog site Inman. Garrett Kenny is a regular contributor to this blog. For the original article please click:


Going back to your roots is often a great way to maximise business and it’s certainly worked for me, as an expat Irishman heading up developer and agent, Feltrim Group, in Central Florida.

It never ceases to amaze me how strong the link is between Ireland and the United States and with more than 10% of the population claiming some sort of Irish heritage, we are a pretty powerful force in business.

That is borne out by US business magazine Forbes, which lists Ireland as the fourth best country for business links with the United States and the fact that those with Irish ancestry in the US comfortably outnumber those living in Ireland.

Irish companies directly employ an estimated 80,000 people within 227 companies at over 2,600 locations, in all 50 States across the USA. The cumulative stock of Irish foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US stood at $16 billion in 2014, according to the American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland.

Ireland is now the number one destination in the world for US Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and employment in US companies in Ireland is at an all-time high of 140,000 people.

As a Dubliner, who moved to Orlando in the 1990s and founded leading real estate developer and agent, Feltrim Group, I was among the first members to join the Irish American Chamber of Commerce Florida. The Sunshine State, also according to Forbes, is the second state with the highest Irish business links.

Even though I have a fair few contacts from working in Florida for almost 20 years, I was amazed to find so many leading Irish American business people at the chamber meetings, with a fair few in the construction sector.

Here are four benefits of working with expats:

  1. Common heritage and goals

You often find that those who have common heritage often have the same goals in business and pursue similar methods of achieving them. They think alike, have been through much of the same challenges in moving to a new country and trust often comes easier because of that.

  1. Shared language

For those who live in a country that speaks a different language to their native tongue, it can be a relief to be able to revert back to your original language and hear a familiar accent and it means you don’t have to worry about things being ‘lost in translation’ as it might be if you have to use an interpreter.

  1. Practical experience

Having gone through the process of moving abroad, getting settled and starting your real estate business, you have a wealth of practical experience to pass onto buyers. By being generous with

providing helpful information to expats who have questions about life overseas and the homebuying process, you can quickly win new real estate sales opportunities.

  1. Keeping it local

Feltrim Group still works closely with trusted workers and key contacts who are still based in both Ireland and the UK. It gives us a reliable access to those markets and means that buyers can contact a local representative, if they prefer.


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