In recent years there has been a huge wave of Chinese investment into overseas property. With a population of 1.3 billion people in a country with a GDP growing by 7% year on year, the market of Chinese overseas property investors undeniably reflects huge potential.
Investors are being motivated to buy with an attractive lifestyle, emigration investment, and education opportunities at the forefront of their minds. This is coupled with a depreciating and unstable RMB & local economy. Investing in property abroad is becoming more attractive to wealthy Chinese citizens as house prices skyrocket in the cosmopolitan Chinese urban areas.
The US is the most popular location for investment
The US is currently the most popular choice for property investment by the Chinese, who are now the biggest foreign investors of real estate within the country, currently responsible for 29% of the total foreign investment into American real estate.
The East and West coast tend to be the most sought-after areas, with New York currently being top of the list. And it’s not just wealthy citizens buying up foreign property. Chinese companies are also beginning to invest in office spaces abroad as a way of company investment. Generally, there is a better return on investment in overseas property than investing in China so it’s easy to understand why forward-thinking companies are jumping at the chance to invest.
Digital lead generation is the solution in China
In order to start really selling real estate to China, it is important to have a very thorough understanding of the purchasing habits of the Chinese when it comes to buying property. From what they are looking for, to the various marketing platforms used throughout China, having an in-depth knowledge of this is hugely beneficial when it comes to helping you generate leads and achieve success in terms of conversion.
The key point to understand is that the answer in China is digital, with 900 million netizens and an internet penetration rate of 65% the whole investor eco-system is centered around online activity. This also differentiates the Chinese market from the rest of the world where offline affiliates play a larger role, in China less so.
Let’s take it as a read. Digital lead generation is the solution.
Your Reputation May Not Extend to China
Large, reputable firms have often asserted to me that they do not need to market themselves in China, they are world-renowned and the investors come to them. In China actually, this logic does not hold up. The Chinese business and online landscape are actually very distinct and separated by what is termed the ‘Great Chinese Firewall’.
As established, digital is the solution but on the Chinese internet, local platforms dominate. No Google, Baidu. No Facebook, but rather WeChat. Chinese news sources such as Sohu and Ifang are where investors browse for information.
If you are not active and have not developed Chinese content you will not be visible on Mandarin Character Keyword Searches. This is a problem even for the largest firms in terms of attracting seriously wealthy investors.
Produce a good Chinese website and Quality Mandarin content
No matter how strong your reputation is back in the US, it is very important to remember that when your company enters China, you are essentially invisible. Any positive reviews you have are inaccessible due to the ‘great firewall’.
It is therefore essential to build a good Mandarin website in order to give potential investors a first look into your company and the type of property you have on offer. Producing well-written content about your property which can be accessed from various Chinese platforms is also advised in helping build both your visibility and credibility. These should include backlinks to your website in order to increase web traffic and your ranking in the search results.
Remember, some overseas investors may not have the opportunity to come and view the property they are investing in a person. It is, therefore, crucial to have a wide range of images of the property on offer with very concise details so the investor can have a better idea of exactly what they are getting.
Videos are another great way of giving a very clear view of what you have on offer to generate high-quality walk-through videos of properties. Videos, images and your website should all translate well to being accessed in mobile form, the majority of Chinese use their phones for all their web research. This type of content suggested above can be sent to investors directly via instant messaging on WeChat accounts.
Chinese site for Clients ‘Ronald Serry Australian Properties’
Become number one on Baidu (China’s Google)
After creating a strong Mandarin website you need to start increasing your visibility. Baidu (as the most popular search engine across China) is the most important place to start. Statistics show that if you do not appear on the first search page, you are likely to lose 65% of potential internet traffic.
It is highly advisable therefore to do search engine optimization in order to rank on the first page. Finding the right keywords that will help you generate the most leads, optimizing your cost per click and bid positioning, and constantly updating your landing page whilst monitoring web traffic are all key in helping you achieve ‘first search page’ success. Ranking highly in the organic results on Baidu drives the highest quality leads.
Sites need to be built with Baidu searches in mind & audited in terms of Mandarin Characters. This Chinese site will be your ‘shop front’ in China.
PPC (pay-per-click) is also a good way to complement ongoing SEO for a real estate firm. This will rank you in the paid results and real estate still offers an effective ROI. The combination of the two approaches works best with PPC being more important initially when you first enter the market and SEO becoming more viable after a number of months of activity.
Social media (WeChat) is integral
As the most popular social media app in China, it is advisable to become highly familiar with the inner workings of WeChat and the ways in which it can help market your property.
Setting up an official WeChat account will give your audience the feeling of having a more direct line of contact with you. It will also allow potential investors to stay constantly up to date with any updates regarding your company.
For example, any new properties you have on offer can be shared on your official account so your subscribers can see them instantly without going out of their way to access your website. Consider WeChat as a communication ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for building relationships with investors. Ranking highly on Baidu is the best way to generate qualified leads, and WeChat is the first step toward conversion.
Almost every website in China is accessible by QR codes so include your website QR code on your official WeChat account to give potential investors a smooth transition from your WeChat to your website. This ‘lead funnel’ needs to be developed to be as intuitive as possible for all parties.
Property & Investment Forums in China
There are a number of powerful sites such as Zhidao, Tieba, Tianya, and Sohu that boast whole content threads devoted to Real Estate. Savvy investors turn to these forums for conversation, discussion, and advice. You need to develop positive user reviews of your services, investor to investor recommendations are very powerful. This can be created artificially at first but over time testimonials will be placed here and conversation animated around your firm.
The other key point is that these forums rank very highly. When investors are researching your company they will see the results in these forums, either positive or negative so it is important to manage such sentiment closely.
PR & E-Media Coverage
In China exposure to e-media is essential. It goes a long way to winning an investor’s trust. They search on platforms such as Sohu, Ifang, or News168 for relevant information. Quality PR content is essential and must be tailored for the Chinese market to develop the reputation of your services, if you have no presence in the news a serious firm will struggle to gain traction.
Do you want to sell US Real Estate to Chinese Investors?
We are a serious real estate lead generation agency with solutions for international real estate companies. Our specialist team of 35 has pioneered the most effective solution on the market, please contact us for more information.
Chinese investors in us real estate
I would like to discuss marketing a multifamily property for sale located near New York City in NJ.
Hi. This is a very informative article and thank you for sharing. Being a real estate agent in the USA, I have always wanted to extend our customers to investors in China. I would appreciate it very much if you would contact me to discuss business. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Saw a documentary the other day. Hong Kong is where the most expensive real estate is. Investing there would be profitable since there’s a lot of demand.
Wow this is some wonderful insight, thank you for sharing! Always good to hear that the market i expanding and introducing new buyers,
Great information, thank you for all these articles MarketingtoChina.
I would like to know if your services are Suitable for one property ? and if it is suitable to use your Agency for that ?
Do you work on Commission bases ?
I want to sell my beautiful 2 bedroom apartment (929 sq ft) high floor facing mountain view in Metrotown, Burnaby, BC, Canada.
It is in the high rise tower above the Crystal Mall (Chinese Mall). Call: +971506462691
Price: CAD 850,000
Sorry, our services are more for Companies not for Personal. Good luck anyway
Thinking of buying in Uruguay? Move down way south of the border, contact expats really enjoying life just an hour from the hussle and bustle of Buenos Aires, Argentina and 2 hours from Montevideo.
Colonia is where you want to go. We have a nice thatched roof ranch, triple garage and horse stable, eucalypt forest, very large water hole and 8 manageable hectares of park, established trees and all you need. How to I market this to the chinese?
You contact us and We explain to you how it works.
Great article about Real estate in China, you guys are expert, I can feel it.
we want to sell our property its a primetime location at southern california located at Pacific Palisades. I am looking for wealthy investor who wants to buy house for 4,000,000.00 this area mostly live celebrity.
send us an email please.
I own 2 houses which I am interested in selling.
1) 20 Midland Lane, Wheatley Heights, NY 11798 (NY City suburb with excellent schools) -> rented to a family as a home
You may view this property on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2123545291005602
The house generates a rental income of $39,000 per year. An identical house across the street sold for $389,000. This house is for sale $365,000.
I am able to share a list of comps.
Wheatley Heights median sale price $460,000
Wheatley Heights median list price $399,000
2) 105 Constitution Drive, Lackawaxen, PA 18435 -> rented as a vacation property
This house generates $45,000 per year as a vacation rental.
The house is being sold by me with all furnurture and customer list for $300,000
The United States has seen rents rise substantially over the past 8 years. This is due to the inability of banks to offer loans due to strict regulations. More families are forced to rent which drives up the price of home rentals.
In addition, the market for vacation homes has changed dramatically during the past 10 years. The number of families renting a resort home for vacation has increased 5 – fold.
For these reasons, investment in single family homes has become profitable in the United States.
I have been a landlord for 25+ years as have some of my friends. We are considering establishing an Equity Fund targeting investments in this market. We are looking for wealthy investors such as Chinese citizens.
Let me know if you are able to help me with any of this….
I ha a property in a mountain ranch community just north of Los Angeles I would like to sell. I would like to sell it quick, I am moving to another state.
China is byuing America , buying up pricey Brooklyn real estate For China’s Rich people , Brooklyn real estate offers more than a green card. Since the Great Recession in the US , snapping up prime real estate in coastal US twon, has become an increasingly popular sport with Chinese wealthy Men.