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11 tips to boost sales this Chinese New Year Golden Week

By Juwai, 06 December 2016
lion dance chinese new year overseas

6 million Chinese travelled overseas during Chinese New Year 2016, spending an estimated ¥90 billion ($13 billion) abroad.1

Given the 4.3% growth in outbound tourists from China tracked in H1 20162, one can expect a larger outflow of globetrotting Chinese travellers for 2017, especially considering that China is slated to soon become the most important outbound tourism market in the world.3

 

Make ready for a sizzling Golden Week ahead

Chinese New Year Golden Week falls on 27 January till 2 February in 2017, and is one of the hottest peak season for Chinese to travel overseas and buy property. Already, signs have shown that Chinese buyers are searching for overseas property more than ever in the lead up to the holiday.

Chinese buyer enquiries on Juwai.com grew 29.8%% in January-November 2016, compared to the same period last year.

Sales restrictions at home4 and forecasts of a weaker RMB in 20175, have boosted Chinese buyers’ desire for overseas real estate investments, while easier visa processes and increased outbound flights have made an overseas lifestyle more viable than ever.

In other words, 2017 – the Year of the Fire Rooster – promises to be an intense yet lucrative sales season if you play your cards right.

 

11 tips to up your Chinese marketing game

With demand expected to surpass 2016, it’s time to prepare ahead to ensure you start your year right. We share 11 essential tips to boost your marketing plan to Chinese this upcoming Spring Festival.
 

#1 Prioritise your online presence

Chinese will be doing their research before a trip, and they’ll be doing it online because it’s the most efficient way to research overseas markets, so now is the time to boost the range, quality, and reach of your listings. We suggest you update your property profiles, add extra photos, highlight local facilities and amenities, and magnify your reach by broadcasting regular updates and new offerings via Chinese social media platforms like WeChat, which had 806 million active users at the end of Q2 2016.6
 

#2 Market to motivating factors

If you’re marketing to the Chinese market, first you must understand why Chinese buyers want overseas property. Essentially, Chinese buyers invest in real estate abroad because it’s their best route to educational opportunities, quality healthcare, asset security, retirement preparations, as well as asset diversification. Now that you know, be sure your property pitches speak to these desires correctly, and your chances of securing the deal would be much higher.
 

#3 Target the right market

With each Chinese buyer driven by seemingly similar yet differing motivations, the pool of Chinese buyers looking for overseas property has become increasingly diverse, which means targeting them accurately more complex. However, help is at hand in the form of Juwai IQ, our exclusive data service that not only maps the kind of overseas properties Chinese buyers are looking at, but also enables you to understand your potential Chinese buyers better, thus making it easier for you to match your range of offerings to meet their needs.
 

#4 Simplify the situation

While Chinese buyers are savvy investors who have been known to do their homework, they may not be familiar with sales processes, legal matters, and related regulations in overseas markets. Therefore, focus on clarifying each stage of the process of buying a property, including incurrable taxes and fees, to establish trust, manage expectations, and lay the groundwork for a deal. Who knows? Your efforts may gain their friendship and trust, which could even develop into a long-term relationship and even referrals to their network of friends.
 

#5 Hire the right help

The property sale process can seem complex to a Chinese investor unfamiliar with local processes, so do consider what you can do to make the whole process easier for them to grasp, and that includes having the right support to assist you. A few must-do’s include having a Chinese translator to ensure they comprehend everything correctly, hiring a chauffeur to conveniently ferry them around your property listings in comfort, and having local lawyers and surveyors on your speed dial when clients want to get down to the nitty gritty.
 

#6 Emphasise value-added features

The vast majority of Chinese live in apartments, so the idea of having a private garage, lofts, gardens and outdoor spaces, BBQ facilities, swimming pools, ponds and more is a coveted luxury in their eyes. Needless to say, highlighting home comforts like these can dramatically increase a property’s allure to Chinese homebuyers, so be sure to shine the spotlight on such amenities to draw Chinese buyer attention..
 

#7 Present deal scenarios

China doesn’t have an open capital account, so Chinese buyers can’t simply transfer funds from his China-based account to yours. That said, given the huge amount of overseas transactions made by Chinese in recent years, there are ways for Chinese buyers to pay for a property. Nevertheless, we’d recommend you consider to put together a series of case studies/scenarios to guide your client into making a purchase
 

#8 Organise property tours

Clients will want to pack in as many property, school, and shopping visits as possible within a short time frame, so go further for your clients and offer them a well-considered tour of your property line-up. Remember, showing a guest the best hospitality possible is considered the height of good manners in China and is absolutely essential in business, so be sure to show your clients to the best dining, accommodation, and activities that you have to offer in your area.
 

#9 Focus on quality

Chinese are fast becoming more sophisticated, with many growing more focused on quality – especially housing quality – on the back of rapid price growth and reports of developers’ using sub-standard materials in the domestic market. Indeed, with houses in China having an average life expectancy of 35 years, it’s easy to understand why more Chinese are looking overseas, where houses are perceived to be built under stronger regulations and to higher standards, thus ensuring quality property that would last and remain in good condition for future generations to come
 

#10 Speak the right lingo

Chinese buyers are used to different property classifications than those common in foreign markets, so make sure you use the right lingo by expressing listings in price per sq m terms, differentiating between built and usable area of a property7, and making legal terms about titling absolutely clear. This cuts down on chances of miscommunications and misunderstandings, and paves the way for a smoother transaction that would keep all parties happy and satisfied.
 

#11 Consider superstitions

Even if you don’t believe in superstitions, it would do you well to familiarise yourself with Chinese concepts like feng shui and the importance of numbers to show your efforts in understanding Chinese culture. And before you scoff, Chinese have been known to put a hefty premium on properties with excellent feng shui and with auspicious numbers, such as 6, 8 or 9 in the house number, floor level or price, while giving anything with the unlucky number 4 (which sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘death’) a wide berth. In fact, it’s attention to detail like this that saw an Australian agent booking a A$8.5 million sale after changing the number of a luxury home from 64 to 66.

 

Get fired up, agents!

With the Fire Rooster known for its strong will and proactiveness8, there’s no better time than now to get ahead by laying the groundwork for the coming year. Just combine the essential tips outlined above with a top quality range of offerings, and you’d be blazing your way to a red-hot Chinese New Year sales season.

 

 

Sources: 1. China Travel News: 6 million Chinese tourists spend RMB 90 billion overseas for New Year Holiday; 2. China Outbound Tourism in 2016; The Australian: Chinese tourists’ $94bn Golden Week defies the gloom; 4. Reuters: Four cities in China move to restrict property purchases; 5. SCMP: Yuan will slide by 5 per cent at most in 2017, says top economist; 6. China Internet Watch: WeChat monthly active users reached 806 million in Q2 2016; 7. China Daily: Residential prices should be based on usable floor area; 8. Feng Shui Wed: The Fire Rooster

[Image source: Spring Festival celebrations around the world (10/60) on CCTV America]