As a foreign real estate agent who wants to market his services in a different country what would you do? Perhaps, going on a real estate fair? Or coming straight to big local real estate agencies for cooperation to seek for partnership? In China this would have a zero effect, unfortunately.
Let’s take a look at how Chinese invest into foreign property and then check out the ways to promote real estate agent’s service to them.
Chinese people is a big power to invest in real estate
It’s been for a long time that Chinese people set aside all their money and barely ever spend it. They pass it on to their sons and daughters who also set aside what they have earned for the next generation. And this upward spiral had no ending just because they didn’t know how to spend that all. So, the result is that middle class owns a lot of unspent cash. China opening its doors to the world has brought more capital to the country (even more money to spend…). However, it has also brought along new ideas on how to strike the balance between their savings and expenditures.
There is no other nation in the world which grows as fast in the amounts they invest into foreign property. According to forecasts, by 2020 Chinese investment into foreign real estate will reach 220 billion USD. This is a huge contribution to the world’s property market and it still has a great potential. They yearly growth of property purchases mounts to 8%.
The abroad real estate market is now on the verge of booming from Chinese investments. Chinese investors got already very active in the USA, Australia, the UK, Canada, etc. They are now looking for more properties around the world for investment. Now it’s the right time to give them some hints.
Wht Chinese prefer Foreign property?
Outbound world, including foreign real estate markets, was unreachable for the Chinese people not that long ago. The more years go by, the more people get international passports, get interested in different countries, obtain licenses for any kind of international affairs, get a will to invest into property.
Apart from this rising tendency, there is another point in mentality to be highlighted. China is a country of roughly 1.5 billion people. They have been a unit, a laborious nation for a long while. What this gave them is a feeling of being all equal, all the same, and a desire to be different. Showing off with one might achieve is their way to stand out from the crowd. Buying several properties abroad really puts them on a high rank in this numerous society.
The interesting thing is that they all have money to invest and they all want to stand out. That’s why so many residents have made it to the top of the most successful people in the past decade. With 1.5 billion people there are a lot more prospects in this boundless market.
However, investment in property is a lifetime decision. So this market is also challenging when it comes to marketing your real estate service to them.
What is important for a real estate agent to know about China?
- They need an advisor or an agent but they also search for the details on their own.
- Generating trust is the core of subtle marketing in China – it goes before or along with ordinary promotion, otherwise advertising doesn’t make sense here.
- They can buy real estate only if they know about you from someone else or you have already established trust-based relationship with them.
- In property purchases, it is not one decision maker – it is the whole family who buys, so ALL of them should be targeted properly.
- Chinese people trust someone with higher status when they take investment decisions.
- It is barely possible to sell property offline here – as an agent, you need to go digital.
Why is “Digital” is the first and foremost way to promote you here?
Again, as a foreign real estate agent who wants to promote his services in China you won’t make it offline:
- If you come to the real estate exhibition you might find out Chinese buyers are just not interested whatever you offer;
- If you come to the local real estate agency and tell them you have a few or many super nice options abroad on offer, they will also turn a blind eye.
The only thing that might happen is that at an exhibition people will look for the QR code of your official account in WeChat or the real estate agent might ask for the same thing…
What I want to say, dear foreign real estate agent is that they will all go online. And they will not only search for what you say about yourself but they mostly want to see what others think about you.
Working on your Reputation is the key in the real estate market
What others say about you is your reputation.
Why do Chinese care about your reputation?
- They make an important decision of where to invest;
- As a nation, they don’t like any risks at exploration – they need some people to certify you are good;
- You have competition;
- They need to trust you more than anyone else.
How to build your reputation?
You might say you already have a good reputation worldwide. But China is not “worldwide” – it doesn’t have Google, Instagram, Facebook, etc. The people here can only check the information they have on their own similar platforms. The task is:
!! Go ONLINE for marketing purposes because Chinese people are the most digital nation in the world, they surf the net for anything they want to do/buy !!
Baidu is Chinese Google – this is where they go to check who you are. Keywords, your page on a related Baike platform (Wikipedia, kind of), positive comments on Zhihu (Chinese Quora) and backlinks from reputable real estates sources will make you rank high.
WeChat is the most popular online platform among the Chinese, Whoever owns a phone in China uses WeChat. An official account here gives you a chance to promote your real estate services with high precision targeting tools, make promotions, receive payments, etc.
There are a few popular property listings in China (Caimaiju, Jinlist, Juwai) that allow to target the right consumer of your services.
Video campaigns have a lot of effect at the moment in China. For a more substantial budget it would be good to promote yourself via iQiYi, Tencent Video, Youku, Caimeiju or even Doyin now. For more effect, influencers could be involved to generate more trust from the potential Chinese investors.
A successful example
We have used the above-mentioned strategies with Damac Properties. We have designed a website for them and did a successful Baidu campaign. More stress should be placed on their WeChat page through which they have generated a lot of good quality leads from China who want to purchase property in the Middle East.
After having worked on their SEO, e-reputation, branding, setting up and managing WeChat and Weibo accounts, they got the following results:
- double traffic from SEO with 13 main keywords;
- good position from off-site and on-site promotion;
- +400 followers on WeChat and +1100 followers on Weibo;
- over 120 leads in one month.
Who are we?
We are the GMA – Gentlemen Marketing Agency.
We are the most digitalized marketing agency in China.
Each of us has spent a lot of years in China and knows it from the inside.
Altogether, we have 7 years of experience in promoting foreign real estate agents services in China.