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How to craft real estate copy for Chinese property buyers

By andrew-taylor
31 January 2014 | 10 minute read
andrew taylor

Effective writing has a powerful impact on your real estate marketing to Chinese buyers. Communicate well with your written words and good things happen.

• You will improve the rate at which your marketing materials get read
• They will generate more leads
• That means that you eventually close more transactions
• As a result, your personal earnings increase

Writing in the dark

Have you ever turned out the lights and tried writing something on a piece of paper in the dark?

Instead of well formed letters, you end up with ugly scratch marks, stretched and twisted out of shape. The result looks less like your typical neat letters than a two year-old's artwork.


Writing real estate copy for an international audience is the same kind of challenge. There are things about your audience’s culture, level of knowledge, desires and expectations that you may not understand.

You are in the dark.

If you write carelessly or badly, they may misunderstand your words. What's worse, they may doubt your expertise and professionalism.

KISS me, stupid!

'Keep it simple, stupid' (KISS) is probably the best single piece of advice ever given for real estate marketing writing.

Here’s an example from literature. One of the English language’s most famous quotes contains a powerful, existential question. It was penned by our greatest writer, yet the whole quote consists of only six words - not one of which is more than three letters long.
Let’s see if you recognise it: “To be or not to be”

Of course you have heard this line from Shakespeare. Everyone has. That’s why it is a great example of the power of simple writing.


Lend Lease gets it right

The image above shows developer Lend Lease’s landing page on Juwai.com for a townhouse project in Victoria, Australia.

Even if you can’t read Chinese, you can tell at a glance that the writer has focused on key points, with great use of subheads, blocks of text and the removal of the unnecessary.

The result is a clean, easily scanned page of copy that our web statistics tell us performs very well for this advertiser.

Simple words, clear minds

There is another advantage to keeping it simple. Simple words lead to clear minds. By writing simply, you will be able to focus on the most important points you need to make.

Aiming for simplicity does not mean 'dumbing down' your content. It takes work. Most good writers have to rewrite their drafts at least twice before they remove the unnecessary words and complexity.

Mark Twain once said he could write a 2,000-word story in a day, but a story one-quarter that length would take him at least a week.

Don’t be put off by the challenge. Instead, take inspiration from these words from Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs:

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”




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).

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