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Email Marketing to International Real Estate Customers: How to Be Compliant and Effective

If your real estate agency conducts email marketing campaigns, you know how crucial targeted emails can be. Your customers can learn about what’s new in your business or market, about current promotions, read about relevant news items related to the real estate industry, or even plan a move based on something they see in your email campaigns. The information you present to them in the form of a newsletter can help a customer become more engaged with your agency, and in turn, increase their confidence in you as their agent.


If you plan to target an audience in an international market, there are a few key points to consider when sending your email marketing campaigns their way in order to make sure you are both effective and compliant.

· Once you know which international markets you’re targeting, be sure to have a professional translate and localize the content for each country. Choose only the content that is relevant for potential buyers in these markets; you will not need to send them information on items that are only relevant to U.S. buyers, for example. Sending the information in their own language shows that you have written the content with them in mind specifically, and as a result, potential international buyers will be more likely to connect and engage with you.

· Familiarize yourself with email regulations in the target country. Check for anti-spam laws in the countries and regions where you intend to send your emails, and make sure you have a clearly visible opt-out button for those who no longer wish to receive your targeted emails.

· Consider time zones. Make sure you are not sending emails when subscribers are unlikely to engage with or even open them, like in the middle of the night, for example. Take different time zones into account when you are scheduling your emails for optimal engagement.

· Look into what constitutes a successful email campaign in the countries you’re targeting. What types of subject lines have higher open rates? How often are these emails sent? How professional or relaxed is the tone of the email? The answers will likely vary by country/region, so doing a bit of research in advance will help ensure that you are sending the most effective content to potential international buyers.

Safety Drills at School: What’s Important for Parents of ESL Students to Know

As an educator, you know how important it is to do everything within your school’s power to keep your students safe. There are drills for natural disasters, lockdowns, and fires, among others. You also know how crucial it is that parents understand what their children may experience or expect with regard to these drills when they leave for school each morning.


Your school will have its own standard for communications with parents regarding school safety drills, and you likely have some sort of FAQ or summary sheet about safety drills and what to do in an actual emergency or threat situation. If this type of parental communication is only available in English, however, you may be missing a communication link between your school and the parents of ESL students, who may not speak English well or at all in the home.

The types of drills that take place in U.S. schools may not be as commonplace in other countries, so the concept could potentially be quite foreign to these parents. As such, being able to receive proper information about what their children may be experiencing in school is even more critical. It is just as important for these parents to understand what types of drills their children may be undergoing, how often, and the way you carry out these drills. Understanding what is happening affords them the opportunity to communicate with their children before and after these events, as they help their children through what could be a potentially distressing part of the school day if they were not to understand fully what is happening during the drill.

If you have a FAQ page or summary sheet that you may need translated, consider the student population to determine in which languages to make them available. If you have multiple Spanish or Chinese-speaking families who attend your school, for example, focus on these languages first. Be sure to use a professional to avoid mistranslated text, as errors in communications about safety drills are usually not well received.

3 Do’s (and 3 Don’ts) for Working with a Legal Interpreter

As an attorney or paralegal, you may sometimes need the assistance of an interpreter to help facilitate communication between yourself and a client who may speak very little English, or none at all. As clear communication between parties is essential, we’ve compiled a list of our top do’s and don’ts when working with a legal interpreter.



· prepare the interpreter (when possible). If you are able to meet with the interpreter in advance (preferred), provide him or her with any relevant information so he or she is able to better prepare for the meeting. Most languages will have multiple acceptable translations for various terms, and if one of these terms comes up in your client meeting, having the case’s context in advance will help the interpreter make the right choice. If you are able to provide reports, transcripts or other materials from your case, this will help your interpreter prepare.

· choose an appropriately specialized interpreter. Legal interpreters are highly skilled for various legal situations, however not all interpreters who handle cases like medical malpractice suits will be as comfortable interpreting for mediation between two business partners in the event of a dispute. This is yet another reason that providing context and information beforehand is key.

· speak slowly, clearly, in relatively short sentences, and in turn. Doing so will help ensure the interpreter does not miss anything you’ve said. Remember, interpreters are listening to everything you’re saying, and they need the chance to say render the message in another language. Speaking for too long at once without stopping can create the risk of something getting quite literally lost in translation. So keep sentences reasonably short, and allow the interpreter and client to finish speaking before moving on.


· expect an interpreter to be an attorney. Interpreters ethically cannot go over documents with your client alone, nor can they help explain legal concepts. They are only there to interpret what is said. If you ask an interpreter to sight translate a document for your client, be sure that you are present for this in case of any questions.

· ask an interpreter not to interpret something. An interpreter must interpret everything that is spoken and that the client can hear. To ask an interpreter not to interpret something you say (even if it’s just asking the receptionist for a cup of coffee) is asking them to violate their code of ethics. If you don’t want something interpreted, don’t say it at all. Otherwise, you should assume that everything will be interpreted. This allows everyone in the room to remain on equal footing.

· speak to the interpreter instead of the client directly. Speak to your non-English speaking client just as you would speak to any other. Don’t ask the interpreter, “Can you ask him where he was on Friday?”, for example. Instead, make eye contact with your client and ask, “Could you tell me where you were on Friday?” and allow the interpreter to handle the language component. You should also recommend that your client speak to you directly instead of saying things like “Please tell him this…” or “Ask her that…”

While you may already have experience working with interpreters in the past, it is important to remember that interpreters abide by a code of ethics. They are there to assist you, but in the end, only you can give legal advice or share information beyond what you have the interpreter interpret for your client and vice versa.

5 Tips for Creating Effective Brochures For a Foreign Market

Once you decide to expand into a foreign market, creating a properly localized and unique brochure can really help you market your business successfully there. Whether the brochure you create is print or digital (or both!), it should be geared toward your target demographic in that market. Here are a few tips to for creating the best possible brochure for a successful marketing campaign.

creating effective brochures in foreign markets | Accessible Translation Solutions |

· Get to know your customer. Ask yourself, “What’s important to them and how can it be incorporated into our brochure?” Take into consideration customs and preferences in that market that may be different than what your U.S.-based customers experience. Also, make sure the brochure is professionally translated and in the language your target audience primarily speaks, even if English is prevalent in that country or region. There is plenty of research to support that consumers feel most comfortable consuming information in their primary language, so the translation piece of the puzzle is critical.

· Select appropriate images. What works in brochures to target your U.S.-based customers will not necessarily work for a foreign audience. Use images that fit seamlessly into your target market’s culture instead of using the same images that you would for your U.S.-based audience. Remember, however, to be careful not to display images that portray stereotypes, as they might not be well received.

· Make sure the brochure is organized to optimize your selling points. As with any brochure, there should be a clear and clean flow of text and images that tell your business’ story. Make them as enticing as possible so that potential customers will feel engaged with your content. Use catchy headlines that are relevant to your target market and will draw them in. Once you have their attention, show them how your business can benefit their work or lifestyle.

· Choose content wisely. Share information that is both useful for your readers, as well as concise. If people see too much text immediately, they may not be inclined to read it all. You could even lose them all together. Keep in mind that some text will be longer once translated, and some shorter, depending on the language. Spanish translations, for example,  are often about 30% longer than their original English content, so be sure to consider this when deciding what to include.

· Make it simple to respond. If potential customers are interested in your content, it’s important to be easy to contact or find. They need to know what action to take next and how to reach you, whether it be to purchase your product or service, or to get more information. List your business name, phone number, website, and social media channels on the brochure for an easy connection. If you have someone who can help customers in their own language, make sure they know that so they feel comfortable reaching out. If you don’t, not to worry. A telephonic interpreting service could be the answer. You don’t have to speak your customers’ primary language in order to do business with them.

Remember, every piece of literature you send out represents your business and leaves an impression on potential customers. If you are unsure how effectively localize your brochures and other promotional materials, be sure to choose a professional company to help you with the process. This will help avoid potential blunders with content in unfamiliar foreign markets.

Tips for a Custom Welcome Packet for International Students

International students have a lot to prepare for before they begin their first semester at your university. Having a comprehensive welcome packet created with them in mind can truly go a long way in making them feel a little less nervous (and a little more ready!) about adjusting to life in the United States and at your institution.


Since students will receive your university’s welcome packet while they are still in their home country, and will likely be going over certain aspects of it with their families, it can be beneficial to have certain parts of the packet translated in a dual-language format. This way, both the student and their family can review the information together in a way that helps everyone feel confident about the student traveling so far away from home. It will also solidify their decision that your university is the right place for this next adventure.

While translating the entire packet may not be necessary, here are a few sections you may consider translating before sending future welcome packets to international students:

Tips for preparing to come to the U.S. There is a lot that goes into preparing for international travel and study. From visas, to travel tips about U.S. airlines, which documents the student will need upon reaching a port of entry, to even whether or not his or her mobile phone will still work here, there are so many factors to consider. Many students may wish to review this section with their families. Having it available in their native language will make the process that much smoother.

Finances (tuition, budgets, banking). Many families may be assisting with or covering tuition costs or other monetary needs for the student. Making this information available in the family’s primary language could prove very helpful in the event the family needs to reference it in order to help the student prepare his or her finances and budget in advance.

Information on medical care and options. The health care system in the United States is quite different than in any other country. If your international students will be automatically enrolled in any type of insurance through your university, or if they need to shop for some sort of plan on their own, this is an important distinction to make and something students may also wish to review with their families before departure. This helps everyone to know that the student is safe and covered in the event of a medical emergency or simply for routine doctor’s visits. It may also be helpful to translate information regarding the different types of immunizations that may be required before the student travels to the U.S.

Providing this information in a student’s primary language can be a great start in making things just a little easier for everyone involved. Above all, though, simply having an easily accessible and specific welcome packet emailed to the student once they are accepted to your university will create a lasting impression that they are valued and welcome on your campus.

How to Choose the Right Font for Multilingual Projects

Choosing the right font for any project is certainly important, but it doesn't have to be difficult. While you may not think fonts are all that important when it comes to technical documents, the font you choose for a user manual, website, or spec sheet can impact readability and overall tone. When you add in the fact that a document will be translated into another (or several other) languages, the font you choose becomes even more important, and the reasons for choosing it become even more complex.


Here are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing a font for multilingual projects:

· Use a font that can portray all of the characters of your target languages. Otherwise, you will have to go through the process of replacing your current font with another that does. Not only is it more time consuming to choose a secondary font that complements the original, it could also potentially make a difference in the overall look and feel of the source and target texts.

NOTE: There are some languages that may require different specialized fonts in some circumstances. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and Hebrew use different characters than those used in Latin-based languages, for example. Some fonts in these languages may even require special software in order to input the font into the document (or be read on your device).

· Size matters. Keep in mind that text can often expand in a translated file. What may only take five words to convey in English could take nine in Spanish. If your font is small to begin with and your text box is also small, you run the risk of either not being able to fit all of the text in the text box of the target file, or making it minute, and potentially, illegible.

· Don’t forget about font width. While a wider font may look great in English, it may expand and make the text appear too long when translated into German, as many nouns in German can be quite long. Conversely, if a tighter font looks appealing in your source text, it may look too cramped when translated into an Asian language that uses characters.

· If you are using multiple font types within the same document, use fonts that complement each other, both from a practical perspective, as well as from a design perspective.

· Not all devices are created equal. Assuming your user manual or other document will be viewed on a smart phone or computer, in addition to being printed, it is vital to choose a font that will read well across all devices and operating systems. There are certain fonts that will work on a Windows device, but not a Mac. The same rule applies to fonts read on an Android phone versus an iPhone. Look for OpenType (.otf file extension) fonts, as these were developed by both Adobe and Microsoft together and are formatted to work across platforms.

The task of choosing the proper fonts for multilingual projects doesn’t have to be daunting, so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are unsure which fonts will work best for your project. If you aren’t sure whether something will work in the target language, your translation agency can most likely provide a desktop publishing solution to ensure your project is properly formatted for both source and target texts.

How to Attract Chinese Real Estate Buyers

Chinese home buyers have led the pack in foreign sales for the past four straight years, and according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, Chinese buyers account for over 27% of all international home sales in the United States. Not only are Chinese buyers purchasing more often than any other international buyer, but they’re spending more as well. In 2016, the average purchase price for other foreign buyers was $477,462. The average purchase price for Chinese buyers was $936,615! And ~71% of those purchases were paid in cash. If your company is not already focusing on this demographic, it’s a great time to start. Here are a few ways you can appeal to the Chinese homebuyer.


· Translate listings. A Chinese buyer will likely be using search terms in his/her native language. If your listings are already translated into Chinese, it will simplify the process for potential buyers and ensure your listings show up in more search results for them.

· Attract via social media. It’s important to note that the Chinese do not use traditional social media channels like Facebook and Twitter that we use here, due to strict Internet regulations in China. Instead they use apps like WeChat, and it’s likely they’ll prefer communicating directly within the app since it’s actually the primary way the Chinese connect these days. You can download this app now and create your professional profile to start promoting listings right away.

· Learn about Chinese culture. Take a few minutes to look into what is considered proper etiquette to a Chinese buyer. You can find a great list here. This will help you learn more about Chinese customs in order to make positive first impressions.

· Consider the language. You can, of course, hire an agent who is also fluent in Mandarin. However, this is not necessary. Even if buyers do not speak English, you can communicate with them by utilizing on-site or telephonic interpreting services.

· Be patient! These clients live in China, which means they are 12 to 15 hours ahead of realtors here in the U.S. Email and text communication may take 24 hours to complete, since each person is in an entirely different time zone. Be patient and know that building a proper relationship with this person may take some time, but if you are consistent, prompt and helpful, they are more likely choose you as their realtor when they decide to invest in a property.

If you’ve had success with Chinese buyers in your area, we’d love to hear success stories and your own pointers. Feel free to comment below and share them with us!

How to Prepare Your Product for Certifications Before You Export

When deciding to export your product to another country there are many things to consider. One of these things is potential product certifications in these countries that you may not have to have obtain here in the U.S. Knowing which certifications are required for exporting your product is vital in gaining approval to sell your product abroad.


If you are exporting to countries within the European Union (EU), you’ll want to look into the European CE Marking Guidance. Once your product has the CE marking, it shows that the product has been or will be certified to meet EU health, safety and environmental requirements to ensure consumer safety. Once you’ve obtained this CE marking, only then will you be able to market your product throughout the EU. For more information on the program (and whether or not your product may require the CE marking), you can review the program overview.

If, on the other hand, you decide to export your product to China, you’ll need to work on obtaining the China Compulsory Certification (CCC Mark). This went into effect in 2002, replacing the certifications of the China Import and Export commodity Inspection Bureau and the China Commission for conformity Certification of Electrical Equipment. If it has been many years since you exported products to China and you are looking to do so again, be sure to familiarize yourself with the new certification process for the CCC Mark.

If you find that a specific country’s certifications, standards or trade barriers for your product are unfairly arduous or discriminatory, you can seek help from the U.S. Government to press for their removal. You can look into filing a complaint online with the Trade Compliance Center or you can also contact the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) at 202-395-3000.

Although you can certainly complete the steps for certification on your own, you may also find that you wish to work with a professional agency when you decide to certify your product in a foreign market. There are several from which to choose, so if you do decide to go with one to potentially simplify things for you, check around for the company or agency that will best suit your needs.

*Accessible Translation Solutions provides this information for informational purposes only and is not responsible for its use or perception by the reader. For more information on any of the product certifications mentioned, rely on your own research in order to make the most informed decision possible.