Understanding international buyers is an important subject to delve into, if you are marketing luxury real estate to those interested in your marketplace. Knowing the difference between Coconuts and Peaches (as absurd as it may sound) is important. It might make a difference in selling or listing a home owned by the Coconuts.
This morning, I read an article by Chantal Panozzo, an American working in Switzerland, explaining why she had to retrain herself not to smile in the World's Happiest Country.
The world's happiest country according to the 2015 Happiness Report states that Switzerland is the happiest country because the country has safe neighborhoods, low crime rates, high levels of employment, generous vacation and leave policies, excellent public transportation, and pension and health care benefits. Unlike us (Americans and other English speaking countries) they value privacy. They do not believe in publicly expressing it.
In a book by Margaret Davidson, Beyond Chocolate: Understanding Swiss Culture, Ms Davidson talks about the Coconut Culture (found in Switzerland, Germany, several European and Asian countries). In those countries, individuals draw a distinct line between the people in their outer circles defined as neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances, and their inner circle: friends and family. They share smiles and personal information with the inner circle only.
The Peach Culture individuals (Americans) do not necessarily make the distinction between their outer and inner circles. They are more likely to call each other by their first name and share personal information freely with everyone and refer to acquaintances as "friends".
Apparently, our happiness is expressed on our outer layer, and smiling is not indicative of happiness according to psychologists. We tend to be dissatisfied with the government, crime rate, and employment. We do not feel that the U.S. government "inspires trust and confidence!"
Our inner layer hides the peach pit. The US ranks 15th on the happiness scale. We are viewed as positive people with an unfriendly government. It has been suggested, that it is time for our government to have more compassion and inspire trust, friendliness, and confidence to its citizens.
We could not agree more. Are you a Coconut or a Peach?
Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
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