Chinese Advertising and Public Relations -
How to Attract Chinese Buyers for Real Estate in Los Angeles

By Samuel Chong

Recently, there is an influx of Chinese people looking to purchase real estate properties in Los Angeles.   Many real estate agents would like to take this opportunity to cater to the potential Chinese buyers.  Here, we list some of the things that you might want to consider doing in order to have a better chance at selling to the Chinese investors.

1. Advertise in the correct Chinese media.

Most Chinese people still read newspapers even though the younger generation is more adapted at using the Internet.  In Los Angeles, the
largest Chinese language newspaper is World Journal. It is recommended that you use Chinese Advertising Agencies, Inc. as they may be able to assist you to translate your advertisement in a form that has better appeal to the Chinese readers.  (The newspaper itself has a translation team, but they might not be able to polish your ad effectively.)

In terms of the Internet, any US based Chinese language Internet portals would worth a try.  We would not advise you to advertise directly on real estate websites based in China as not many of their website visitors are interested in buying properties overseas.  Even if they do, it is doubtful that they would be able to transfer money easily from China to the US due to foreign exchange controls imposed by the Chinese government (It currently limits the amount of transferrable funds at USD$50,000/year/person).

2. Focus on the properties that Chinese people like.

Potential Chinese investors only like certain types of real estate properties in Los Angeles.  For people who want to buy properties for their own residential use, they would prefer the property to be near a good school (elementary, junior high, high school, or a college) and a supermarket (preferably a supermarket that sells Chinese foods or Chinese food ingredients).  There are some general characteristics of a property that a Chinese investor would focus on.  They include

- Good Feng Shui. This means that the house should not face towards a vertical street that goes directly into the entrance of the house.  A house near a hill or a lake is good Feng Shui, etc..  There are many rules of Feng Shui that a real estate agent should know about, and Chinese people are very particular about it.

- Houses Facing South are Preferred.  Chinese people like houses that face south.  This does not mean that they would not choose houses that face north, east, or west.  However, if you have a house that faces south, you should mention it.

- New Houses are Preferred.  Chinese people prefer newly constructed houses.  Even though historical homes are seen to have more values by Americans locals, Chinese investors perceive new homes to last longer and have better values.  If you have a historical home, you should educate your potential buyers on what historical value it has.

3. Have a real estate agent that knows Chinese culture and has the right Chinese connections or contacts.

Whether you have a Chinese speaking real estate agent or not, your agent catering to the Chinese buyers should know something about Chinese culture.  If not, no worries.  Your agent should know the following:

- Use both hands to exchange business cards.  It is seen as impolite to use one hand to give or receive business cards.  Therefore, it is important to remember this point.

- Chinese business relationship is based on interpersonal relationships.  In Chinese culture, personal trust is established before a business transaction.  It is important for your agent to be perceived as a friendly and trustworthy person, and a person with integrity.

- Establish the right Chinese connections or contacts.  Try to start establishing relationships with the local Chinese community.  Sometimes your potential Chinese buyer will bring a translator or interpreter with him.  You should establish a good relationship with them, especially those who speak English well.  This is the start of building your Chinese connections or contacts. 

The above three points are some of the ideas you might want to consider if you wish to cater to the Chinese clientele.  Please contact us if you need further assistance.

This article is written by Samuel Chong, a real estate salesperson in Los Angeles currently not affiliated with any real estate agency.