How an Australian Real Estate Firm Go From Invisible to 80 Investor Leads Per Month.
Here I have sought to outline the effectiveness of a digital lead generation strategy, the number one concern for all Real Estate players is quality leads and of course sales, this is an increasingly competitive environment yet highly lucrative if you can brand and market your investment proposition in the right way to China’s growing community of wealthy investors.
Here is an example case study to demonstrate how this can be done.
Ronald Serry Australian Property did not exist in Mainland China until 6 months ago, as local property experts set out to consult and advise Chinese residential & commercial buyers on how to make the best investments in the burgeoning Ozzie Real Estate Market.
They represent Chinese interests in Australian property & have created a huge wave of interest through an intelligent marketing and lead generation strategy that targets qualified Chinese buyers & investors.
They are now a leading light in the Australian Real Estate business from a Chinese perspective with;
- 80-100 leads typically approach their customer service team per month.
- Coverage on China’s leading news sources including Sohu, News 168, and Ifeng.
- A lucrative partnership with Anjuke, a leading Real Estate platform for buyer communities.
How did they make this huge leap from invisible to highly visible and reputable? The answer is a comprehensive digital strategy that works for Real Estate players looking to generate investor leads.
RS Property went directly to their target market based on their search habits and online behavior of the most qualified and relevant demographic.
Digital Marketing is the Solution for Attracting Buyers
Digital is the answer in China with this whole sector revolving around a powerful online presence. This is because modern China has embraced the web with a fervor not seen in other parts of the world.
The figures speak for themselves, a 65% internet penetration rate with over 800 million Chinese online. The average user spends 1.5 hours a day browsing the internet.
At the point where high net worth individuals were seeking to purchase abroad web developments were more advanced, China simply leaped forward and embraced online, skipping more traditional lead gen & sales methods.
An Unknown Market for RS Australian Property
Despite the reputation in Australia of the group’s founder ‘Ronald Serry’ as a legal practitioner and property expert (particularly when it comes to ‘off the plan’ investment), the group was unknown in China. This is because the marketplace is completely cut off, by the Chinese digital firewall. RS Property would have to begin from scratch in this market.
With no Mandarin content, presence on Chinese platforms, or tailored lead generation strategy firms cannot hope to drive leads without a China-specific approach.
A Forward-Thinking Approach
RS Property was savvy and realized the restrictions for entry opened up huge opportunities for firms willing to invest the capital in building two things (the fundamentals of lead generation in China);
- Visibility on the right, targeted platforms to their target audience.
- Reputation on the most relevant Chinese sites through user-to-user engagement.
This whole strategy revolves around a simple question;
How to drive the MOST QUALIFIED TRAFFIC / LEADS?
Chinese Keyword Searches
The answer is based on Chinese keyword searches. Discerning Chinese investors are searching for relevant information and needed to be directed to RS Property content.
Investing to the right degree enables Real Estate firms to capitalize on the best keywords before more competitors drive the bidding prices up, it also allows them to monopolize exposure before many others can compete.
Australian ‘Local Experts’
The appeal of RS Australian Property was that they truly are native experts in their field, when it comes to high-level investment this is essential, you need to be the most qualified and informed company to attract qualified, serious prospects.
It was thus vital to brand the firm in the right way with quality content, fresh statistics, graphs, visual maps, and of course the right aesthetic to appeal to Chinese buyers.
We developed a Wiki Style page format for the clear presentation of information and branded Ronald as the leading expert representing Chinese buyer’s interests.\
The Company Approach GMA, a Specialist Real Estate Marketing Team
We have a wealth of experience in Real Estate Lead Generation in China, after conversing extensively about the strategy we entered into a collaboration, intent on growing the company’s presence in China we worked incredibly hard to deliver early and continued to achieve the above KPI results throughout the campaign.
Setting Clear KPI for Both Parties
Setting clear KPI is essential in this game ‘Leads’ is the answer, Real Estate firms want leads, we pass the prospects over to their Chinese customer service team and advise on their development.
Traffic, yes, click-through rate, yes, impressions yes, but most vitally LEADS.
It’s a numbers game & we pride ourselves on those numbers. From invisible to 80 leads in the second month of a 6-month campaign.
A Quality Chinese Site
Developing a quality site was step one, the brand & firm needed a presence on Baidu (China’s Google). The site was formatted and optimized for Baidu searches.
It’s vital to build Chinese sites to be ‘vehicles for visibility on Baidu, this is what we did, a static site that created a quality impression featured tonnes of informative information, backed up the firm’s credentials, and most importantly drove leads.
Landing Page Developed For RS Property
Lead Generation Forms & Live Chatting
Lead Gen Forms need to be clear, and intuitively reached via the landing page, and allow for longer queries to be posted.
We build contact forms for prospects to leave their details and messages as well as for opting for a ‘Live Chat Tool’, this allowed us to monitor active traffic and establish instant communications with an auto-message/prompt to ask if site visitors needed assistance.
A smooth, intuitive user experience needed to be designed once they had found and landed on the site..
The next question is how do potential investors find the site?
Visibility on Baidu (A Portal to Investors)
75% of all online research in China is done via Baidu, we have to make RS Property highly visible here. The approach is twofold.
Firstly Baidu PPC (Pay Per Click) is a focus. For Real Estate, PPC is very effective and drives very qualified traffic compared to other sectors. Banner ads in China are less effective so focus on PPC links, ensure the ad copywriting hits the spot, optimize for two lines of text and manage click rates closely.
Secondly, SEO (search engine optimization) is important, to rank highly in the natural search results drive qualified traffic, to achieve this you need to create backlinks, and external site references and, like Google, Baidu rewards fresh & new content.
Tapping into Communities of Investors
RS Properties were launched onto forums with active threads on Australian property boosting the firm’s status. Zhidao, Zhihu, Baidu Tieba & Tianya all boast active groups.
Comments from other users are integral to boosting reputation, external links can be embedded to content & most importantly forum exposure increases the SEO ranking of your Chinese site. Forums are sites for developing reputation and status amongst peers.
We placed targeted, ads embedded into news app feeds. Users select specific categories and also search for relevant news on apps such as Ifeng, Toutiao or 168.
The strategy is to embed ‘advertorials’ into the news feed of readers, it legitimizes the firm, creates the content as newsworthy, and also links to an HTM5 contact form for prospects to leave their details.
This is a magnet for leads driving huge numbers of up to 40 prospects per week.
WeChat – A Sales & Communication Tool
Ronald Serry and the customer service team utilized WeChat for communications and pushed content to followers.
WeChat is a powerful platform, it now has over 877 million daily active users. For Lead Generation it is not however the best solution. Why?
WeChat is a closed network, therefore users can only see posts if they are connected first. It is tricky to attract the attention of new prospects, they will not be connected to your account. WeChat also does not have a searching function that would bring up your account based on Mandarin Keyword Inputs.
But how about for sales once you are connected with a prospect? It is integral. WeChat is the most trusted communication tool and people expect a WeChat presence. You can create an account to build a following and push targeted content to interested prospects. Also, utilize the Instant Messenger for communications, some firms such as Douglas & Elliman have even sent contracts, floor plans, and spec sheets over WeChat.
WeChat is great for building a relationship with prospects so ensure that a QR code (Link) to your WeChat is included as part of the contact form.
PR & Media Exposure
Never underestimate the power of news exposure. Ronald Serry has galvanized a lot of attention in the Chinese Real Estate sphere. Targeted sites were chosen such as Sohu Finance & Ifeng to push quality PR content through a whole network of local journalists.
PR exposure provides a strong supportive role in terms of reputation and also backs up the sales efforts of sales agents on commission.
B2B in Real Estate is vital. To complement direct lead generation some firms reach out to local Chinese sales agents, with online coverage their work is supported, it’s evidently much easier to sell an investment opportunity to clients when that project is highly reputable & visible.
Established Chinese platforms often seek to partner with international players. The reputable ‘Anjuke’, one of China’s largest Real Estate platforms have now partnered with RS Property to feature their high quality content, notably a map detailing different pricing and regulation affecting different regions of Australia. They have also been approached by a host of events aimed at connecting buyers with agents & developers.
Anjuke’s involvement is set to bring huge exposure and bolster the credentials of the firm.
Successful Firms Embrace Digital
The new wave of successful firms will be those who embrace digital technologies and strategies to target their demographic in the most focused and tailored way. Consider also the potential for;
- VR (Virtual Reality) Show Rooms & Property / Location Viewings
- WeChat Video Streaming Viewings
- Chinese Real Estate App Developments in Augmented Reality
Intelligent firms need to embrace this method for lead generation in China as this burgeoning market impacts upon Real Estate developments the world over.
The question is do you want to be a part of this lucrative eco-system in China?
Need a trustful Marketing Agency specializing in Real estate?
We are a marketing agency specializing in Real Estate marketing in China, we have extensive experience and host of successful projects under our belt.
For more information please contact Benji (myself), for a in-depth discussion on how we can further your investment goals in China.