Imagine, if you will, the high-end Chinese investor. Sipping on Baijiu, lying back in their Eames chair surrounded by Qing Dynasty porcelain whilst they indulge in WeChat surfing for a property on Madison Avenue New York, across from Sydney Harbour, or in the newly developed high rises in Vancouver’s luxurious west end. I apologize for the stereotypical and somewhat clumsy image I paint but it’s still fun to imagine.
At the other end of the WeChat, a thread is a developer, they have optimized and created a quality WeChat ‘microsite’ to display their best properties, they’ve posted a live update of sunset the statue of liberty, and listed the local ‘a list’ celebrities. After an exchange of messages, a contract has been sent across faster than you can steam a Shanghai dumpling. The Chinese investor is ready to transfer the $8 million dollars in a 15-minute window.
WeChat as China’s largest social media platform with over 850 million active monthly users is now dictating global property investment trends in surprising and shocking ways.
It sounds absurd and almost fantastical but this is the state of things for mega-rich Chinese investors. They are hooked on making investments abroad, it connotes status and the oft-discussed Chinese concept of ‘face’, social standing is everything for those who can afford it.
Real Estate on WeChat
The opportunity to sell to over one billion people
International Real Estate firms are salivating over the chance to sell to over a billion people. The middle-class Chinese population now numbers 300 million people, the upper-middle class constitutes some 50 million. Every year some 25 000 Chinese middle-class buyers jump from middle class to upper/middle class to become serious potential investors as China’s GDP grows by approximately 7% year on year. Despite the slowdown in GDP, the levels of wealth among the wealthy grow by 12% yearly.
The most popular investment for the wealthy is property
It is considered to be the safest, most long-term, and most serious investment to preserve one’s wealth and generate heaps of the much-admired ‘face’. International property purchases are well and truly booming in Mainland China.
Consider some key reasons for investing abroad. Firstly there is the chance of property and land ownership, the right local Chinese buyers do not have in their homeland. Secondly, international property markets are considered to be more stable than the domestic, Chinese market which has seen the rapid fluctuation of the RMB, state crackdowns on capital flight, and a slowdown in economic growth. Thirdly when a trend becomes popular in China there is no stopping it, Chinese will continually post images of their lives and second homes abroad, for the big spender an international second home is becoming a necessary accessory for their life.
The answer for the wealthy is to invest their money abroad.
Why is International Investment so popular?
America, despite some political discrepancies, remains the biggest market for the Chinese property market, second in Australia, and thirdly Canada. These nations represent a high quality of life and are economic powerhouses for further investment opportunities. Cities such as New York, San Francisco, Sydney & Vancouver all boast the amenities to cater to their local Chinese populations who will testify to their quality of life on Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat. They also offer quality, highly sought-after international education with English language learning a priority from a young age. Immersion oversea’s is the holy grail for Chinese education.
WeChat sales are a reality
WeChat now boasts over 850 million monthly active users, it is the most integrated social app on the planet catering to almost all users’ daily activities. It’s an instant messenger, news app, app store, e-wallet device, taxi ordering application, photo-sharing platform and gaming device all rolled into one.
WeChat sales of high-end $10 million properties have become a reality because WeChat is so invasive. For property investors, their whole life is largely run and coordinated via this single application. It is not so illogical to suggest that they will also search for new property investment opportunities on what is sometimes known as the ‘WeChat Times’ because the Chinese seek so much of their news and information here.
Instant Cross Border Connection
The live chat functionality allows developers and agents to instantly connect with interested parties. They can also present their property details, floor plans, and specifications via an official ‘microsite’ while posting live updates on a WeChat video stream for virtual property viewings and snapshots of the local neighborhood. WeChat also serves as an important site for sharing quality, informative content on investment opportunities.
‘Social Commerce’ on a whole other level
Social Commerce is the latest trend in China where social media fuses with e-commercial platforms in new and interesting ways to cater to the Chinese thirst for social networks and e-retailing. To put it frankly, the Chinese are bonafide consumers and for the wealthy consumers, property purchasing is just another click away. Property is starting to be presented like the shoes in Nike’s WeChat store, this is a staggering development for savvy property firms to capitalize upon.
You wouldn’t bet against wealthy buyers’ impulse purchasing luxury flats in Greenwich Village, Vancouver’s west end, or Sydney Harbour in an era of unprecedented new wealth and opportunity for the wealthy society in modern China.
How to generate WeChat Property Leads?
A Quality Micro Site
‘Micro Sites’ are hosted within the WeChat application and have become almost as important as your official Chinese landing page. They are highly customizable with a variety of different display types and formats.
WeChat Customer Services
Chinese customers now expect instant and group messaging services via official accounts. You can send property specifications, floor plans, and even draft contracts for review via messenger. Being available at the point of interest for the buyer is key.
A host of property groups have sprung up with users sharing real estate information, news, and listings in these groups. You can tap into these engaged communities with quality content & links to drive traffic and peak interest in your account.
The age-old adage is truer than ever in China. Content is king and quality Mandarin language articles, e-brochures and ads need to be created that are tailor for this specific market, what works abroad may not appeal to the Chinese buyer.
The Chinese are typically impressionable, particularly when it comes to the views of influencers or ‘key opinion leaders. These are cyber celebrities with large followings. Recruiting these influencers to post about your services allows you to tap into these engaged communities.
Need a Marketing Agency?
We are a specialist Chinese marketing firm based in China’s economic center, Shanghai. We look to form long-term partnerships with serious real estate projects. Please get in touch for more information or details of our case studies on property lead generation.