The great dream of so many outside the United States is to come to this country to live, work or to be with family members that are already here. You see it in countries like China, Brazil, India and many other nations where economic freedom or human safety are a real concern. With that goal in mind, U.S. residency applicants line up by the hundreds of thousands, and patiently wait for years for a U.S. permanent resident visa, which is often a long and frustrating process mired in red tape.
Twenty years ago the federal government developed a program to encourage foreign investment in the U.S. Named the EB-5 visa program, the program’s goal was to bring well-heeled investors into the U.S. who could make low interest loans to U.S. businesses, in exchange for an expedited visa path, and eventually the coveted green card. The program is set up to allow these investors in certain areas of under-employment to invest $500,000, and almost immediately be on the path to U.S. entry.
Helping potential EB-5 investors to understand these complex programs in places like São Paulo or Shanghai has become a challenge for developers, entrepreneurs and dreamers alike. The thought of low-interest loans, and avoiding having to deal with the heavily regulated banking environment in the United States, has created some great opportunity and need for Multivision to create strategic messaging that sells these deals to investors.
This takes the form of very specifically targeted video productions and presentations that use HD video, graphics and a compelling story to make a case for EB-5 visa investing.
In Mandarin, Portuguese or English, there is nothing like a good story and images to explain the merits of a deal. Road shows are created that take groups or individual wealthy foreign investors on a “journey to opportunity in the U.S.”
For example, Multivision has created programs for clients in Mandarin Chinese to sell a new mall development in the Raleigh-Durham market. The Multivision video crew traveled to North Carolina and interviewed the Mayor of Durham, NC, politicians, civic leaders and Chinese citizens living in the area (in Mandarin) to make the case for Chinese investment in a market with which many Chinese were not familiar.
“It’s story telling in its purest form,” says developer Kelly Yeung. “Many of the Chinese people viewing the presentation have never been to the United States, or understand the real estate market in the U.S.”
Multivisions’ Bob Berkowitz explains it further, “We take the investor from across the world on a journey into the EB-5 visa opportunity being offered, and explain the visa opportunity in their native language. As the old adage goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ In this case the images in these sales presentations are worth at least half a million dollars in investment.”
Multivision has created numerous EB-5 sales presentations, and has developed an expertise in this story telling and in multi-cultural marketing. “Each audience is different,” says Berkowitz. “The Chinese investor is different than the Brazilian investor, for example, and it goes beyond language. These are savvy smart business people, and the message must be clear, concise and tailored to the market.”
Programs to sell a new Casino development in Las Vegas, and a Marriott complex in the Florida Keys, are some of the other EB-5 programs recently developed by the Multivision video production team, and the list keeps growing.
“It used to be that we would help developers to sell the amenities of their buildings, condos or hotels or businesses once they were developed, or after they were designed. Now we get involved in helping to raise the money to get the deal started in the first place,” Berkowitz explained. “It’s a whole new market and set of challenges.”
Multivison has several new developments in the works in projects all over the U.S. It ranges from hospitals, to colleges to malls. Projects must create at least 10 U.S. jobs for a period of 5 years, and must meet stringent government regulation. The lawyers in these projects (largely immigration-focused) play a huge role in packaging and developing each deal, and in handling mounds of paperwork.
It goes way beyond creating a video production. Producing these EB-5 presentations is becoming a whole sub specialty for Multivision, and developers from across the country are seeking us out based on our expertise, track record and multi-language capability.