Chinese investors – both commercial and residential – spent close to $30 billion on property abroad last year.1
What’s more, Colliers International predicts Chinese outbound real estate investment to increase by 50% this year, a healthy growth that is sure to be much welcomed around the world.
Clearly, Chinese property investments overseas are not tapering off anytime soon, so how are you addressing this market? We share 10 nifty tips to start you off on the right foot with your Chinese buyers.
#1 Respond quickly
Whenever you receive leads, try your best to call or email them right away. The early bird catches the worm, and it couldn’t be more true than with Chinese buyers as well. The sooner you respond, the higher your chances are in securing Chinese buyers.
This might prove difficult for those of you in different time zones than China, which is an issue that everyone must find a way to overcome if you’re targeting Chinese buyers in China. Some people try a time shift and work part Asia hours, while others might have someone on the ground for them to respond to interested buyers more quickly.
#2 Use their Chinese name
If you’re planning to email or call your Chinese buyer, it might help to use their Chinese name – it’ll help establish a more familiar connection with them. This is often displayed in the email sent from us at Juwai.com and often, it will only be their surname, which means you’d only be able to address them as “Mrs. Li” or “Mr. Chang”. Alternatively, you could also copy/paste their name in Chinese into your email.
Extra tip: To up the ante, hire a Mandarin speaker even if he or she is a college intern – that is one surefire way to smoothen the initial process.
#3 Make your intentions clear
When reaching out to your Chinese buyer, clearly state where you obtained their information from, such as telling them that you obtained their information from their listing enquiry on Juwai.com. This way, they won’t be confused as to why someone from another country or someone speaking in another language is contacting them. It will also add credibility to know that you are contacting them through Juwai.com – a network that they are familiar with and will remember using.
#4 Use WeChat social media app
80% of China’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are active WeChat users, so asking your Chinese buyer to add you on WeChat is essential. This is the method in which they communicate with the most, which means it’ll be your best route to effectively communicate with them. It’s the first way that Chinese connect online nowadays, so it’s a good way to gauge your potential success. After all, if they’re comfortable enough to accept you on WeChat, then they may be more receptive to your pitch as well.
Extra tip: In the chat features, there is also a button that allows you to translate Chinese text into English, which can help ease the language barrier a bit.
#5 Persistence is key
Have pluck – follow up continuously and regularly. Within the Chinese market, consumers are constantly fed information for products and services everywhere they go, so it requires stamina and tenacity to get your message across and in front of them. Whenever possible, small talk can be good as well to build your guanxi (a.k.a your relationship and credibility) with Chinese buyers a bit.
#6 Focus on their needs
Provide useful information relevant to the key motivations driving Chinese property investment abroad – education offerings, existing Chinese community, investment opportunities and yields, and emigration or visa updates. Every bit of information you provide them that might be useful is information that may spur action in them. Local university is accepting student applications? Let your Chinese buyers who have expressed interest in sending their children overseas know.
#7 Personalise your service
Add a personal touch by inviting them to visit you, and if you’re really dedicated, offer to host them by showing them around so they become more acquainted with your city and country. This is a personal touch that they will really appreciate, and it’s an opportunity to build an immense amount of guanxi, trust, and goodwill with your Chinese buyer.
Extra tip: It’s also a good idea to introduce them to your local offices and agents as well to show you are legitimate.
#8 Connect them with locals
Introduce your Chinese buyers to the local Chinese whom you know to breed a certain sense of familiarity. At the same time, don’t forget to connect them with useful contacts that can offer services they need, such as financial advisors or interior designers.
#9 Visit China
Likewise, to help you better understand Chinese and their culture, we recommend you take a trip to China to observe firsthand their environment and the market. At the same time, it will provide you the opportunity to invite them for a personal meet-up while you are in their city.
#10 Think long-term
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Success with Chinese buyers cannot be rushed, and working with Chinese buyers – most who are foreign property investors unfamiliar with your city and country – would naturally require longer time frame and patience. So continue to work your leads by providing them useful updates, and soon you will reap the fruits of your diligence in due time.