In 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started to end the designation of EB-5 regional centers at an alarming speed, and the trend continued until 2020. As the operator and owner of fifteen regional centers at that time, EB5 Affiliate Network didn’t escape without a scratch. We closely kept track of the EB-5 industry we managed to mitigate the negative effects that the trend had on us.
In the end, USCIS issued notices of intent to end some of our centers on the premise that we did not increase economic growth within the areas of operation. Since we had prepared ourselves and had collected the evidence required to counter the claims, We successfully challenged the validity of these USCIS decision-making.
In the highly-regulated EB-5 industry, understanding what court decisions or USCIS updates have clarified laws and regulations is vital to ensure that EB-5 investment and investors are secured. Monitoring market trends is vital not just for tackling regulatory concerns but also for remaining competitive. Monitoring these kinds of information allows you to spot changes in patterns in consumer behavior and competitor activities.
While the volume of information available can make tracking the industry’s trends overwhelming, there are six easy steps to keep in the pulse of your business.
1. Make sure you spend more time using social networks.
Most of us want to reduce our time spent on social media, as it is known to drain our time; however, it is an effective tool to stay up-to-date with news and developments. Make your company’s news feed to find the latest subjects and interesting articles in a single glance. Also, be sure to follow well-known and respected industry experts. If you’re not in the mood to read the articles you see when you visit social media sites, bookmark the articles for later reading.
For instance, I am a member of EB-5 industry associations like Invest in the USA (IIUSA) for information and analysis. The main goal of this strategy is to find trustworthy sources that regularly release accurate and reliable information.
2. Create Google alerts.
Google alerts let you automate your keyword searches and send alerts at convenient times for your needs. You can also create an alert for your business and receive notifications in real-time of mentions. You can also set up alerts to monitor your most important competitors.
For example, I’ve set up daily alerts on USCIS updates on EB-5 and processing statistics so that we’re up to date with all regulatory information and current information on EB-5. These subjects are never in doubt which is why these alerts stay up-to-date. In the case of topics being discussed, for example, news regarding the grandfathering of EB-5 regional center investments, I’ve set up real-time alerts that will inform you about any changes.
3. Join trade publications and newsletters.
Industry associations’ newsletters and knowledgeable bloggers and influencers can be extremely helpful. They are a comprehensive news source that can be gone through at your own pace. Trade publications are equally valuable sources of information and offer in-depth analysis of the latest trends in the industry. They’re usually in digital formats, and many publications also offer websites that allow readers to leave comments on articles and interact with the authors and experts. For instance, the trade journals of EB-5 include The IIUSA Regional Center Business Journal and EB5 Investors Magazine.
4. Network, network, network
Going to conferences, courses for training and similar events involves more than simply knowing more about your field; it’s about meeting your colleagues, industry experts, competitors, etc. Your network of business contacts is a great source of information on trends and news regardless of it being like an article that someone in your network has shared with you or as complicated as a request for assistance to solve a complex regulatory issue you’ve previously encountered.
For instance, my professional network includes people from EB-5 investors, project developers, and others who run regional centers. Also, it includes professionals like accountants, economists, and immigration lawyers. This lets us communicate and discuss the latest news and develop a more holistic view of the effects of EB-5 trends. A change in the regulatory framework, for instance, will have a different impact on my business than that of an accountant who is specialized in EB-5 investment documents. Knowing all aspects of the changes will result in an easier response from everyone.
5. Speak to your vendor’s customers and your colleagues and peers.
It’s easy for us to be too much on traditional or formal networking occasions that we forget the most crucial business network that includes vendors, customers, colleagues, and employees that surround us. A client might talk about struggling to locate a product, or a vendor could speak of rising demand for a particular product. A staff member who is a junior may be reading an article and ask you to clarify an issue since it’s something they’ve never previously encountered. The interactions between staff members can identify trends, sometimes before others do.
The ability to monitor trends in the industry is crucial to ensuring the success of your business. When USCIS started its campaign of regional center closings, The first sign of trouble was the analysis of USCIS processing data published by influential industry figures and trade associations and distributed via social media. The phrase “regional center closures” began to appear in increasing Google alerts. Trade magazines began to write about the issue, and Business networks in the EB-5 were buzzing with announcements. Since we recognized the trend, we were able to respond quickly in the beginning. Whatever monitoring method you decide to use, follow it closely to ensure you don’t get caught out.