Proxio CEO Janet Case says knowing the languages spoken by clients helps REALTORS® better serve them.

Proxio CEO Janet Case says knowing the languages spoken by clients helps REALTORS® better serve them.

What language do you speak in your home? New information from the U.S. Census Bureau shows while most of the nation’s population speaks English at home, at least 350 other languages are spoken in U.S. households. In fact, 20 percent of U.S. families do not speak English at home.

“Multilingual is the new normal across the U.S.,” said Janet Case, CEO Proxio, an international networking platform that connects real estate agents and their listings, including real estate developments, around the world.

Speaking at the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) 4th Certified International Property Specialist Institute in October, Case said according to the latest Census Bureau data, 20 percent of U.S. families speak a language other than English at home. In California, the percentage is higher – 43 percent. Other states with the most non-English speaking households are Texas, 34.2 percent; New York, 29.8 percent; Nevada, 28.2 percent; Arizona, 27.1 percent; and Florida, 26.6 percent.

Cities with the most non-speaking households are Miami, 71.9 percent; Los Angeles, 59.7 percent; New York City, 48.7 percent; San Francisco, 45.4 percent; and Chicago, 35.3 percent.

The Census Bureau information, based on American Community Survey data collected from 2009 to 2013, tabulated the number of languages and language groups to 350. The tables provide the most comprehensive data on languages spoken less widely in the nation, such as Pennsylvania Dutch, Ukrainian, Turkish, Romanian, Amharic and many others.

“While most of the U.S. population speaks only English at home or a handful of other languages like Spanish or Vietnamese, the American Community Survey reveals the wide-ranging language diversity of the United States,” said Erik Vickstrom, a Census Bureau statistician. “For example, in the New York metro area alone, more than a third of the population speaks a language other than English at home, and close to 200 different languages are spoken. Knowing the number of languages and how many speak these languages in a particular area provides valuable information to policymakers, planners and researchers.”

In the San Francisco metro area, at least 163 languages are spoken at home, with 40 percent of the metro area population age five and over speaking a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Panjabi, with 19,985 speakers.

In the Los Angeles metro area, at least 185 languages are spoken at home, with 54 percent of the metro area population age five and over speaking a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Indonesian, with 12,750 speakers.

Case said as foreign buyers continue to look at Silicon Valley property, “global marketing matters.” Knowing the languages spoken by clients helps REALTORS® better serve them.

Proxio, which is a free benefit for members of SILVAR, translates agents’ listings in 19 languages, 55 currencies and metric measurements. In addition to activating Proxio, Case said REALTORS® seeking to break into global real estate can market “international” as their specialty by including the U.S. country code with their phone number and languages they speak in their website and business cards and partner with agents who speak other languages.

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