When it comes to targeting foreign buyers, U.S. real estate professionals must first be made aware of the search habits and lengthy processes foreign investors undergo, before purchasing an international property. These processes include researching the property, the company behind the property, U.S. property laws, U.S. immigration requirements, and the quality of education in the U.S. Although these requirements are hardly unique to foreign buyers, the way in which they acquire their information differs greatly from the domestic market. This article will therefore inform you of how Chinese, Hong Kong, and Canadian investors acquire information about U.S. properties – information which you can then use to reach more foreign investors and generate more sales for your respective properties.
Chinese buyers account for majority of the high end luxury properties purchased in the United States, evident by the fact that they made up $28.6 billion of the total $118 billion invested into the U.S. residential real estate market. Considering the fact that less than 1% of Mainland Chinese can read or speak English – they rely primarily on online Chinese channels and websites instead of U.S. real estate websites to get the information they need with respect to foreign real estate investments. This is evident as 65% of high net worth Chinese view the internet as the go to source for information and 83% of affluent Chinese access the internet each day.
One of the most popular sites used by Chinese investors is a website called Juwai – more than 1.5 million affluent Chinese investors use the site to purchase property in the U.S. Juwai is an international property website that grants U.S. real estate professionals the opportunity to present their respective properties and services to Chinese investors in their native tongue. The website is one of the primarily sources for information, considering it attracts 90 million online property seekers; 500 million mobile users; and 618 million online users. U.S. real estate professionals wishing to access the website can simply submit their property listing, and the service will translate the information in the right language, and ensure the property listing gets through China’s firewall setting with no issues. Once up on the website, your property can be browsed and viewed by Chinese investors, increasing the chances of you finding a foreign buyer.
Similar to Chinese investors, Hong Kong buyers also leverage and use the power of Juwai (www.juwai.com). Unlike Chinese investors, however, Hong Kong buyers make their investment decisions after careful consideration with their friends and families – they use Asian social networks to pass on information about property listings and discuss it thoroughly with their loved ones. After they find properties of their liking, they reach out to the appropriate U.S. real estate professionals who are able and willing to work effectively with foreigners. One of the most important things Hong Kong investors consider before choosing U.S. professionals to work with is brand and reputation – they are unlikely to take a chance on an up and coming real estate firm, instead they seek out firms with a strong track record of success. U.S. professionals seeking to reach more Hong Kong buyers should clearly and effectively communicate their value proposition to foreign investors on their website.
Canadian investors have been amongst the top consumers of U.S. residential real estate for over a decade – they accounted for nearly $12 billion in spending for the year 2015. Unlike Chinese and Hong Kong buyers, however, the way in which they acquire their properties differs greatly from the norm. Instead of utilizing and relying on the power of the internet – Canadians seek to see their property and investments in person. Therefore, the process they follow is very similar to the process used by the average U.S. investor – they view properties on websites such as www.realtor.com, contact the appropriate realtors, fly down to meet with them, and discuss their investment plans. From there, they work closely with the realtor and see the properties, before deciding on one they would like to purchase. Considering the uncertainties involved with respect to tax – Canadians work closely with U.S. realtors in addressing these issues. Therefore, U.S. professionals aiming to generate more business from Canadians should brand themselves as more than just realtors – they should also brand themselves as a source for everything Canadians needs to know, before investing in the U.S. residential real estate market. By doing so, they will draw more business and sell more properties.
Sources: Juwai’s official website, HongKong Asia XPat, CREA,
By: Amtej Dosanjh