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Feng Shui – Part 2: Learning the basics for better success with Chinese buyers
By Juwai, 23 April 2014
Understanding something about Chinese culture can help you succeed with Chinese buyers, especially in the case of feng shui.
Feng shui isn’t as important as you might think though, from reading the news. Chinese buyers may still buy a property, even if it has an “unlucky” address, and they probably won’t overpay for a property just because it has a “lucky” address.
Nonetheless, it is a factor that can affect the preferences of Chinese investors. If you know a few feng shui basics, you will be able to better understand and successfully work with Chinese buyers. While not always categorised as part of feng shui, numbers are also especially important to Chinese.
In Sydney, Australia, agents changed the street address of an expensive house from No. 64 to the more lucky No. 66. It quickly sold to a Chinese investor for AU$8.5 million – a half million more than the asking price. In New York City’s One57 tower, a fullfloor residence with the number 88 was specifically set aside for a Chinese buyer. It sold for about US$50 million.1
Big US developers like Extell and the Related Companies have hired feng shui consultants to make their new buildings more attractive to Chinese buyers. Chinese aren’t the only ones who give numbers a special significance. In New York City, fewer than one in every 20 residential buildings that are more than 13 stories tall actually have a designated 13th floor.2
Basics of feng shui
- Bad feng shui can often be fixed.
It is considered bad luck to have a direct view out of a window of a lamp post or street light. But, this can be easily fixed by keeping the curtains down.
- Focus on the good.
In your marketing collateral, try to focus on the good feng shui rather than any bad feng shui elements.
- Good positioning for a house has a slightly raised land to the rear.
This represents protection and a good backing for the home.
- It is undesirable for the front and back doors to be aligned.
It’s believed that this allows positive energy that enters through the front to escape directly out the back. Ask a feng shui advisor or do your own research about how to use plants, furniture or paint to address these issues.
- Addresses with the number 4 are less attractive, and those with the number 8 are more desired.
When said in Chinese, 4 sounds like the word for “death,” whereas the word for 8 sounds like “to prosper." Addresses can be changed to make properties more appealing to Chinese buyers.
- Clutter robs a space of its energy.
If you’re selling a property, encourage the owners to put as many things as possible into storage so the home feels open and spacious.
Sources: 1. The Wall Street Journal, Courting the Chinese Buyer, June 2012 2. The Wall Street Journal, Vast Majority of New York
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