An A;nity for Languages
A multilingual sales team helps Jerry Koller’s company connect
with international clients.
About three years ago, I was working with a Chinese couple
who wanted to buy a home. The husband spoke enough English
that I could understand which houses they liked. But when it
came time to close the deal, the language barrier was too high.
I reached out to an agent from another company, who I knew
spoke Mandarin, and she agreed to help.
That experience showed me a huge need in our area for
language translation while conducting real estate transactions.
Here on the West Coast, we have a lot of buyers from Asia and
other parts of the world. Our o;er form alone is 16 pages. When
non-English speakers look at it and can’t read it, they get scared.
If someone can translate for them, they relax and feel more
I decided to open my own brokerage and specialize in helping
international clients through the buying and selling process in
their native language. The agent who translated for the Chinese
couple three years ago is now my agent partner. Our marketing
tag is “We speak your language.”
We have 10 agents and almost all are bilingual except me.
Among the languages they speak are Mandarin, Cantonese,
Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. One agent speaks six languages, including German. I am currently looking to add
agents who speak Farsi and Arabic.
I try to learn enough of each of these languages so I can
at least say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you.
About 80 percent of our business is international. Most
Broker-owner Jerry Koller worked in the mortgage business for two decades until the 2008 market crash.
He turned to selling real estate and in 2015 opened his own brokerage.