The importance of high-quality translation is obvious in many industries – healthcare, finance and banking, government, and the legal field, just to name a few. But translation plays an equally important role in many other fields where the need may not be as obvious. The real estate industry is one of those.

Over the last several years, an increasing number of real estate buyers have invested in properties outside of their native countries. This is particularly true when it comes to U.S. property, which is considered to be extremely valuable and desirable to buyers from other countries, such as China, Mexico, India and many more. Real estate professionals – whether they deal with residential or commercial properties – must be prepared to work with non-native-English-speaking clients, which is why high-quality translations are so vital in this fast-paced and competitive industry.

Translators who work with real estate documents face several challenges. Whether you are a real estate professional looking to hire a translator or a translator about to embark on a real estate project, it’s important to understand some of the challenges that linguists face when it comes to translating documentation for this industry.

Real estate document titles vary depending on the language involved.

If these documents aren’t translated accurately, it can be extremely confusing to the parties involved. It’s also important to remember that some real estate documents are actually binding contracts, so the result of a miscommunication or misunderstanding between the parties involved can result in legal action.

Different languages use different real estate jargon.

If you sell residential properties in your hometown, for example, you are very likely to be familiar with abbreviations and slang vocabulary that is typically used within your industry in your area. But if you’re attempting to work with someone whose native language is different than yours, and particularly if you are doing business with someone outside the U.S., they may not be familiar with the same real estate jargon that you are. Even such minor details as listings and descriptions of properties can be confusing if they are not accurately translated for the target audience.

Reaching potential customers requires a website and marketing collateral they understand.

Whether you’re attempting to sell a property to non-native-English speakers in and around your own community, or investors from other countries, you’ll need to make sure that your website and marketing material can be understood by potential customers. Often, the first place to start is by identifying your target audience. There are hundreds of languages spoken around the world, so you can’t possibly reach out to everyone. But identifying the languages spoken by your potential customers, then finding experienced translators fluent in those languages, is a good first step in growing your real estate business.

Legally binding documents must comply not only with U.S. real estate laws and regulations but with the laws and regulations of the other country involved as well.

If you’re planning on selling real estate to a buyer outside the U.S., remember that this industry is highly regulated not just inside this country, but in other countries around the world as well. It’s vital that documents such as appraisals, deeds, contracts, lease agreements, HOA documents, etc., are translated accurately and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

When choosing a translator for real estate documentation, or when preparing to take on a real estate translation project, there are two assets that are crucial for the linguist to possess: 1) the translator must be fluent in the target language; and 2) the linguist must have at least some familiarity with real estate documentation. The best way to find a translator with this type of experience is by contacting a reputable translation company. They can match you up with the right linguist for your project. If you are a translator interested in becoming involved with the real estate industry, start with smaller projects. Then, as you gain more experience and feel more confident with real estate laws and documentation, you will be able to market yourself as an experienced real estate translator.