HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
Our international team of 25 lead generation specialists are based in Shanghai, the economic heart of modern China. We look to form long term, serious relationships with real estate companies.
We have a proven track record when it comes to lead generation in the property sector and have developed the solutions for attracting buyers from China for residential, commercial and industrial investment.
Here is our definitive guide for real estate companies expanding into the aptly termed ‘mysterious orient’:
We are now in the ‘golden age’ for Chinese commercial, industrial and residential investment overseas with rising levels of wealth, a GDP growth rate of 7% year on year and the establishment of a whole digital framework for Chinese investors to access property information and facilitate high-end purchases online.
There are now 400 million ‘middle class consumers’ and 100 million citizens with the potential wealth to invest in overseas property. This figure is still increasing by 8% year on year as accumulation of wealth grows in the cosmopolitan, tier one cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
WHY ARE THE CHINESE INVESTING SO HEAVILY ABROAD?
Increasingly unstable Chinese property markets
Firstly for investors & buyers there is a general sense of insecurity in the Chinese, domestic market, a number of factors contribute to this, including; the instability of the stock markets, the lower value of the RMB, state regulatory framework limitations and a lack of property ownership rights.
Property Law in China dissuades discerning buyers from purchasing in China. The state automatically owns the land and after 80 years of ownership in theory any home can be reclaimed by the government (if not before). Discerning Chinese therefore choose to invest overseas.
Another factor to consider are the increasing prices in China. In cosmopolitan cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Beijing there have been price hikes of up to 30%.
For wealthy Chinese investing abroad is not only a more affordable option but also more stable, it is deemed as the securest investment for the preservation of wealth & assets.
International property for the wealthy becomes affordable & a safer investment.
The Chinese are interested in preserving wealth & retaining the value of their property, they are therefore looking to make the safest, most intelligent investment that will preserve their assets for the long-term benefit of future generations.
Better services are offered for the Chinese
There is a better infrastructure for overseas investment than ever before with a huge range of agencies dedicated to catering for Chinese interests in a range of markets. Juwai are the largest agency listing properties around the world. In 2016 alone there was a 134% increase in Canadian property searches & an 80% increase in Australian enquiries via this platform alone.
Another example are the reputable ‘Ronald Serry Australian Properties’ who are representing Chinese interests by protecting them legally through contract consultation & amendment services. They also recommend and locate the best investments in Australia specifically for Chinese clients. With firms such as these catering for the Chinese in new ways the levels of trust and understanding are likely to keep increasing.
HOW DO BUYERS MAKE THEIR DECISIONS?
Collecting information online before purchasing is an essential step in the process for Chinese property investors. Everything in China is digital with research extensively conducted on specific platforms by potential buyers and investors.
You need to understand both where and how potential investors are searching online to target them accurately based on Chinese keywords and search terms.
Having a strong digital presence allows you to be visible, reputable and thus attractive to investors in the very different Chinese internet eco-system.
WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS FOR REAL ESTATE COMPANIES?
The main issue for even established and reputable property agencies is that your existing reputation is not realized in Mainland China. The whole online eco-system is cut off and ring fenced by the ‘Great Chinese Firewall’.
If promotional content, property information or relevant news is not in Mandarin Chinese and posted on Chinese platforms it is essentially invisible to the majority of online users in China.
The state’s censorship limits what can operate and has produced a completely unique series of platforms that cater for the Chinese end user. Chinese media is where your target property investors are searching for real estate opportunities, not on the global platforms were are accustomed to.
No Google, instead there is ‘Baidu’. No Facebook, rather ‘WeChat’. Youtube is replaced by ‘Youku’ and rather than Twitter China boasts ‘Weibo’.
HOW TO ATTRACT WEALTHY CHINESE INVESTORS?
VISIBILITY + REPUTATION = PROPERTY LEADS.
Investors need to trust your services, especially with handling such high value and important transactions.
Lead generation to attract potential buyers can be a tricky business. You have to understand the Chinese buyer and where they are active online.
Visibility and Reputation are everything in the Chinese market, you need to engage in strategy that will build your status and develop trust online to forge long term, fruitful relationships offline.
A QUALITY CHINESE WEBSITE
You need to develop a quality Chinese version of your site. This has to be optimized for Baidu, hosted on a Chinese server and set up for Mandarin Character searches.
Your Chinese site is very important as your real estate ‘shop front’ in China. You can feature QR codes to link to other content and platforms. The Chinese will also expect instant customer messaging services.
Ensure you tailor your content; Why did you set out to assist the Chinese buyer? What differentiates your service? and How is it a quality experience for them (e.g. mandarin services/consultation?
Landing Page for Ronald Serry Australian Properties
INCREASING THE VISIBILTIY OF YOUR SITE ON BAIDU
Back-end and front-end optimization of Chinese characters needs to occur to ensure your site is visible in the natural search results on Baidu.
The site needs to be made highly visible on ‘China’s Google’; Baidu. A whopping 70% of all online research is carried out through this platform. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) needs to be carried out by producing quality Mandarin content for generating backlinks, references etc.
The highest quality of lead is generated through ranking highly in the organic, natural results. This is because users trust the organic results, you are seen as credible and established in Mainland China. Investors searching here tend to be the most qualified and serous prospects.
Search engine: Real Estate investment
PAY PER CLICK (PPC) ADVERTISING ON BAIDU
PPC is better for driving interest from other businesses looking to collaborate with you. Local agencies often have large databases of buyers that with the right partnership you can leverage. PPC is also relatively low cost per click so worth engaging in even though conversion rates are typically lower than what we find in the natural search results.
In China it can also be less clear where the ads end. Paid results are included in the overall results and not as clearly differentiated as on Google.
What kind of property is the most valuable to invest in? – The top 4 hits are paid search results.
ACTIVE COMMUNITIES ON PROPERTY FORUMS
There are very active communities on property and real estate ‘forums’. These are sites with threads devoted to the topic of real estate such as ‘Baidu Tieba’, Tianya or Zhihu. Users will visit for discussion and recommendations, it is therefore vital that you build your e-reputation here.
The key is that the Chinese need to be speaking positively about your services, this is 5 times more effective than when a business promotes themselves.
Conversation and relevant topics need to be created and then linked to your real estate services. Customer testimonials are very important. This kind off ‘buzz’ can be artificially created at first but will stimulate genuine questions and intrigue.
Forum posts need to be up-ranked to ensure they are highly visible to these real estate communities.
A question posted on Zhihu; ‘Advice on how I make the best investment?’
WECHAT AS A LAUNCHPAD FOR SALES
WeChat is China’s largest social network with over 850 million monthly users. It is the lifeblood of a business’s communication in China. It is a very powerful platform for communicating with buyers, sharing floorplans, setting up live video streams and sending images for property viewings. It is the most convenient method for reaching your targets.
WeChat is key for building a relationship as well as attracting leads through the sharing of engaging content. WeChat is a ‘closed network’, you therefore have to attract followers to build up a loyal and engaged customer base that will be notified of your updates.
You can tap into ‘WeChat Groups’ which are built around specific areas of interest and can have up to 500 people, tapping into these communities with the right content can generate a lot of interest. Some of the best of international real estate is being sold via this platform now.
PRESS RELEASE CAMPAIGN.. INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE IN THE CHINESE MEDIA
Press Releases need to communicate your company’s values and key messages in the right way for the Chinese reader. A serious firm needs to be appear in the Chinese media for validation, reputation and visibility. PR needs to be shared via the best portals to the most influential figures for high level exposure. Specialist e-media publications such as Wallstreetcn.com or Sohu.cn regularly feature news on global real estate.
Wallstreetcn.com (e-PR): Why is the Real Estate Market still looking positive next year?
Sohu.cn (e-PR): Article on how much you can earn from real estate investment.
INVESTMENT FLOWS REGARDLESS OF EFFORTS TO CURB CAPITAL FLIGHT
This is nothing new with the state constantly changing the rules in attempts to limit capital investment overseas. The most recent development is that China’s currency foreign-exchange regulator said it would take a harder look at how some were buying property, among other investments.
This will likely not markedly affect international real estate buyers with a host of methods employed for transferring funds from Mainland China.. Just as new rules are created so are new loopholes found with previous efforts to stem the tide of outbound investment never historically curbing the wealthy buyers enthusiasm for international property. When funds flow there is always a way..
A CASE STUDY: ‘DAMAC PROPERTIES’
“Damac Properties” are a luxury Real Estate company from Dubaï, who provide luxury dream homes with unique designs and a focus on stylistic concepts. They saw the Chinese market as a huge potential for developing their international outreach.
DUBAI IS STILL A DEVELOPING MARKET..
The largest markets for Chinese investment are the US, Australia & Canada. Dubai is still a developing market as a location for Chinese investment. The firm were therefore perfectly placed to capitalize on the growing movement of international investment if they could establish Dubai as a reputable and above all safe location to invest in for the preservation of assets.
A large part of this campaign was thus about educating investors about the benefits of investing in Dubai and the wider Middle Eastern regions.
DAMAC PARTNER WITH GENTLEMEN
Damac needed to partner with a local team of specialists who deeply understand the target market and how to generate investor leads on Chinese platforms. They chose Gentlemen as their ‘team on the ground’ in Shanghai to develop their interests. With our wealth of experience, proven track record & international team we were able to represent their interests and deliver on an incredibly comprehensive marketing strategy that sky rocketed the company from invisible to the largest property service in the Middle East in China.
DAMAC SUCCEED IN THE CHINESE MARKET
Damac received over 120 real estate leads in a single month on their contact page, for luxury real estate this is some achievement.
This was achieved through a good position on Baidu through their on-site and off-site optimization. Traffic to their Chinese site has doubled through 13 main keywords.
The company were also the first result on Juwai (the largest Chinese property listings site) based on the keywords 海外房产网 (Overseas Real Estate). This has driven a lot of quality traffic.
Damac have developed the foundations to build on a loyal database of followers with 1100 followers on Weibo & over 400 on WeChat. They can now engage in loyalty programmes to build their brand reputation and engage with already interested prospects.
They established themselves and honed their sales team to offer quality Chinese language services. This has led to a higher percentage of sales from over 120 investor leads generated per month.
Ronald Serry Australian Property
Another huge success story in the Chinese market with over 85 investor leads generated in a single month, only a month after launching their official site.
They have developed their customer service team and refined their offering to attract great numbers as the campaign develops. They have a great offering and are in the right place at the right time to offer high level consultation & agency services in residential, commercial and industrial real estate development.
Ronald Serry, one of the leading experts in Australian property provides quality services to Chinese investors.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
Our international team of 25 ‘lead generation’ specialists are based in Shanghai, the economic heart of modern China. We look to form long term, serious relationships with real estate companies. We have a proven track record when it comes to lead generation in this field and have developed the solutions for attracting significant investment from China.
If you have a serious project please contact us for an in-depth discussion with our specialist.