Many Australian real estate agents are pursuing Chinese buyers. What can you do for these buyers that will help you succeed?
First, it helps to know more about them.
Their principal reason for moving abroad is their children's education. They also cite lifestyle factors, such as a cleaner environment and safe food.
Coalseam gas mining aside, Australia still has a relatively well preserved and beautiful natural environment. It is also well-known for its high-quality wine, beef, dairy, olive oil and other agricultural products.
When you're marketing a premium home, you face fierce competition. But with Chinese buyers, probably like some other foreign buyers, that competition is not limited to Australia.
You are also facing off against properties in the US and Canada. These are – along with Australia – the top destinations for Chinese migrants. High net worth individuals in many cases shop around before choosing a country to invest in.
Even Canada's suspension of its investor visa has failed to reduce Chinese demand.
It's clear that whoever wins the battle to attract Chinese buyers will profit enormously. Overseas investments account for 16 per cent of wealthy Chinese individual’s total wealth. That means these buyers are dedicating more than $600 billion to real estate in countries like Australia.
Real estate is more than twice as popular an investment class with wealthy Chinese as either fixed income products or shares. This is one client with which you as a real estate agent have a real advantage over the financial adviser advocating equities.
When it comes to improving your daily routine so that you can better succeed with Chinese buyers, I have one big piece of advice.
If you can ease their biggest headaches, you can win their loyalty and trust as clients. That's a priviledged position and can lead to repeat transactions and referrals of friends and family.
The things you can help them with include the language barrier. If you don't speak their language, always have a discrete and trustworthy bilingual friend or colleague on hand to help communicate effectively.
You can also help them feel more comfortable with Australian society. Provide sound advice on everything from where to eat and shop, to which schools to attend and how to get across town.
Because a Chinese investor might only be in town briefly, dedicate yourself to them while they are here.
Show them a number of relevant properties, take them shopping and for a good meal, arrange visits to local tourist destinations and even organise tours of good schools or univerisities in the area.
Andrew Taylor is co-founder of Juwai.com, the No. 1 website for Chinese buying Australian real estate. He is an experienced real estate media professional, with 10 years' experience managing print, online, television and radio brands in Australasia and Asia. He has held senior roles in the REA Group, including company director and Greater China country manager. He has also held roles at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Property Page Pty Ltd. He has graduate degrees in classical music and plays the diyin gehu (Chinese bass).