Chinese home buyers used to count for around 80-90% of some areas in Oakville before the Ontario Fair Housing Plan was announced in April 2017, after that, the percentage of Chinese buyers has dropped, but the interests to the Oakville real estate from the Chinese home buyers still remain strong because of Oakville’s high ranking schools, beautiful streets and amenities.
As per 2018 stats, the Chinese buyers still count for around 30-60% of all the buyers in Oakville depending on the neighborhoods, when you are thinking to sell your home, it would be a great advantage for you to have the different things the Chinese home buyers are looking for in mind, and build those into your marketing planning when we’re pitching to Chinese home buyers.
#1 The Chinese live in a totally different digital world
Most new immigrant Chinese don’t use Facebook, Google as these are still blocked in China these days, the Chinese have their own social medias like WeChat, or Weibo etc. A lot of Canadian real estate websites are also blocked and they have no access to those sites in China either. They relied on the Chinese social medias, some unblocked Mobile Apps, a limited number of Chinese websites etc. The Chinese buyers tend to respond more quickly to WeChat messages instead of email or text messages or phone calls, a lot of them have got used to make all kinds of communications through Wechat.
There are thousands of wechat groups, they gather information, find opinions of others through all all kinds of those groups, they post, exchange, discuss different topics including Real Estate through those groups and also circulate hot topics, news through the WeChat moments from their connections. It’s very difficult for local Canadians to tap into these social media communities because of language and culture barriers.
Some realtors made attempts to tap into the Chinese market by putting conventional ads on the Chinese real estate magazines and newspapers, but because not many Chinese are reading the traditional paper medias these days thus the responses of those ads can be very limited.
Education or schooling is one of the most vital factor the most Chinese buyers would take into consideration when picking which area or location to buy a home, they would often refer to the Fraser schooling ranking and rating for both of the high schools and elementary schools in your area, or they get those information their Chinese real estate agents. The areas with more consistent top ranking schools are the hotter areas the Chinese buyers showing more interests, they call these areas Xue Qu Fang ( Superior School Zone Homes).
A change of the school ranking could affect the demand of a neighborhood significantly. For certain areas with schools ranking fluctuate significantly, if you are thinking about selling sooner or later, it might be a good decision to sell when the ranking is high before that changes. As an example, Abbey Park High School was ranked No. 2 in 2018, but the year before it was at No. 42, the new No.2 ranking did make Glen Abbey as more demanding area for the Chinese buyers.
#3 Feng Shui
According to avid believers, Feng Shui accounts for a third of luck. While feng shui remains a mysterious science that skeptics may scoff at, what’s undeniable is that many Chinese tend to abide by certain feng shui rules when it comes to buying property.These factors can make or break a sale, so getting wise can make all the difference, and the developers are now seeing it as so important that they are designing projects with feng shui in mind.
As an example a home located at the T-Shape roads called Lu Chong, a stairs facing the main entrance door is called Louti Chong, a lots of Chinese don’t like that. If your home happens to be like these, a certified Feng Shui specialist can do certain things to help remedy these Feng Shui issues, please feel free to contact your local multi-culture real estate expert Peter He at 647-7392618 for further assistance.
This may raise some brows, but Chinese buyers have a propensity for the numbers 6, 8, and 9, sometimes they are willing to pay a bit more just for these house numbers. Considered lucky numbers in Chinese culture, 6 (六; liù) in Mandarin sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘flow’, thus 6 indicates ‘everything will run smoothly’. 8 – the luckiest number for Chinese – signifies prosperity and wealth, while 9 in Chinese is similar to the Chinese word for ‘longlasting’ and ‘permanence’. In short, the more 6, 8 or 9 is included in a house number or price, the better. A lot don't like number four, because the Chinese pronunciation of 'four' sounds like the Mandarin word for ‘death’.
If your house number happens to end with 4, as an example, let’s say 2214, if there’s space allowed, you might be able to sell your home faster or even more money if you change your house number to 2216 or 2212 through the town which would only cost you a couple of hundred dollars.
Owning a residential property outright in China is nigh impossible, as freehold property is practically unthinkable in China, where leases are only allowed for a maximum of 70 years. Therefore, the security of a long-term or freehold lease is something Chinese buyers dream of, particularly as many are investing for future generations.
An overseas property means many things to a Chinese investor, whereby status and "face" ( Mian’Zi) is an important consideration. Put simply, a property in a well-known or auspicious location is a sure-fire way for Chinese to convey success and wealth to their peers. With that in mind, make reference to local landmarks, history or geography in your pitch, as this could help sway their buying decisions.
Good numbers for property investments doesn’t necessarily just mean an auspicious 8 or special 6 for their address; they also relate to property yields, as investment return is an equally important aspect that weigh heavily on Chinese buyers. To maximize the appeal of your property, factor in rental yields in comparison to other areas in your locale.
$1 million can get one a lot more in Canada than it can in China – particularly in the major Chinese cities, where per sqm property prices are much higher, property features less numerous, and living quarters less spacious. It’s one of the reasons why overseas properties are so enticing for Chinese buyers. So remember to stress the value aspect of your property by highlighting features that a buyer from China might appreciate, e.g. gardens, garage, pools, storage, in-house facilities, indoor garage… even if they may seem commonplace to you.
Remember though, they come from a culture where piles of homework is the norm at school age, and they will be expecting you to have done yours. Make sure you pass with full marks by building the above 8 factors into your pitch. Lastly I’d like to remind you, not all Chinese buyers are the same. Certain things are important for some Chinese buyers, but may not be the case for other ones. Please feel free to call your local multi-culture home marketing expert Peter He at 647-7392618 for a chat.
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