Mi casa es su casa

stock-photo-hispanic-couple-outside-home-with-sold-signThe American Dream, a key piece of which is home ownership, is flourishing in Latinx communities all across the nation. By every economic measure, buying power on the part of Spanish-speaking Americans is skyrocketing to the tune of over $2 trillion. One of the most important areas where that buying power is manifesting itself is in home ownership. Over 6 million new homes will be purchased by Latinx consumers within the next few years. As a prominent executive with the National Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) put it, “With a growing Hispanic population and the highest rate of workforce participation, Hispanics are expected to drive growth in the housing market for decades”. While this is certainly good news for the real estate business, it also presents a series of challenges that will need to be met in terms of adapting to a Spanish-speaking customer base.

NAHREP says the first step would be “to address the incredible shortage of Spanish-language speaking, culturally competent real estate agents (7%) and mortgage professionals (4%)”. The lack of bilingual professionals in this key area- is a drag on the market. Many Latinx homebuyers express preferences for agents who can explain complicated transactions in a readily understandable format. Also, cultural sensitivity is important in terms of introducing upwardly mobile people into neighborhoods that might not reflect their ethnic identities and helping people select areas where they would feel at home. As one homebuyer put it, “The (Spanish-speaking) agent was able to tell us if we would feel comfortable around the neighborhood.”

Given the economic projections for the future, improved language skills and cultural sensibilities will play important roles in the world of real estate for some time to come. There will be an increased need for multilingual professionals in both real estate and financial services. These will create ripple effects in the banking and insurance sectors as well. Local government officials and educators will need to respond as demographic changes alter the social landscape of communities. The need for people certified in Spanish has never been greater and will only continue to grow as the future of our country unfolds.
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Since 1992, Language Testing International (LTI) a Samsung Company, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), have been offering valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests in more than 120 languages, in more than 60 countries.

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Getting Ahead in the Infotech World

developing programming and coding technologies website design cyber-space concept woman manInformation technology is the study, design, and development of computer systems and networks, and it’s one of the most important fields of the future. Millions of jobs have been created by IT, as it plays a vital role in every aspect of modern-day life.

The tech world is full of different languages – JavaScript, Ruby and Python are just a few of them. With so many programming languages out there, it’s essential for tech workers to have one common language to communicate in and in most cases, that common language is English. Many IT professionals who are non-native English speakers may be technology experts but lack the English language proficiency needed for communicating effectively. The ability to communicate in English is a huge asset to many companies and organizations. Companies that conduct business internationally are likely to be engaging with people who speak English as a first or second language on a regular basis, making the ability to use English in the workplace a very valuable skill. Most global IT teams work and communicate on a day-to-day basis in English. Continue reading

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting Business Globally

Moving your business abroad can open new opportunities. In our hyperconnected world, approaching new global markets is easier than it’s ever been. Still, conducting business globally isn’t without its difficulties – new languages, cultural norms and business customs, if not planned for, might get in the way of a successful international plan. Here are some of the most common mistakes that companies make when expanding across the border – read on to make sure that you don’t end up prey to these common pitfalls.

Not Hiring a Qualified Multilingual Team

It’s tempting to send your seasoned team members abroad to start a new office. They’ve proven their loyalty to the company, their work ethic and their skills. Yet just because they’re successful in your local market, doesn’t mean that they’re the perfect person for your overseas expansion.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

#AWarmerWelcome: The True Spirit of Hospitality

What’s one of the biggest worries people have when traveling? 

Hint: It stops more than 30% of travelers from embracing new and different destinations and accommodations.

Booking.com surveyed 20,500 global travelers about various travel topics, including travel ambitions, trip planning habits and biggest fears. Nearly 30% of the people surveyed agreed that one of their biggest worries while traveling was the language barrier, and that this communication worry can even stop them from booking unknown accommodations or a vacation in an exotic locale.

When asked what would remove those travel anxieties, one in five said that language skills would make the difference. If they were sure they would be able to ask questions at their hotel or order their favorite foods, aspiring travelers claimed they’d be more likely to book a new destination.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.