Tips on using Social Media to attract Chinese real estate buyers

2014-06-30
Chinese property buyers and social media

Until the recession hit the US real estate market hard in 2008, only a handful of ultra rich Chinese buyers used to dabble in property investment here. These buyers were very rich, so most of them had friends in the right places to guide them through the buying process. But as Chinese investors from varied backgrounds are flooding the American market today, it may be interesting to think about those “not-so-wealthy” buyers (they are still millionaires, mind you) who are largely clueless about the America’s real estate transaction process. Have you as an agent ever wondered how these investors decide on a particular US neighborhood and what things influence their decision making?

There may be lots of answers to this question, but social media platforms have emerged as one of the most preferred mediums for these buyers to educate themselves. The power of social media is well known in the world of marketing, but for many real estate agents, who are working out of an office somewhere in America but looking to go global, this great tool remains largely untapped. It’s because they are unaware how Chinese people behave on social media and which particular platforms they prefer.

Before we go to the part explaining how to use social media platforms to woo Chinese buyers, we first need to understand why agents MUST include social media campaigns tailored specifically for Chinese buyers in their overall marketing strategy.

Here are two simple reasons:

  • 91% of Chinese internet users have a social media account, compared to 67% of the online population of the United States.
  • 38% of internet users make shopping choices based on recommendations they read on social networks.

That said, below are some tried-and-tested tricks to help you make your social media marketing campaigns effective:

The platforms are different

Some agents might think that they have been using the social media platforms for years, so what’s the big deal? But they need to understand that Facebook and Twitter may be the kings of the social media world in the rest of the world, but their presence is almost negligible in China. Facebook is in fact inaccessible for a large chunk of population as it’s blocked by the Great Firewall of China. So real estate agents should think beyond the social media platforms they are accustomed to using back home. Presence on networking websites like Sina Weibo, WeChat and RenRen which are immensely popular among Chinese internet users could ultimately make a big difference. The Chinese social media market is so vast that several giants like LinkedIn are launching their Chinese version to get a share of it.

Language is the catch

Mandarin is the official language of China, and has more than 800 million speakers worldwide. Most of the Chinese people interact in their own language on social media sites. So, smart real estate agents would budget for social media accounts in Chinese languages while targeting their audience. 

Focus on serving than marketing

Interruption marketing is a thing of the past now. Agents should be aware that they are walking a tight rope while using the social media networking websites for marketing. Mindlessly pushing marketing messages would harm your prospects instead of getting you real estate leads in the long run. So, agents need to focus more on providing solutions instead of just marketing through social media. 

Source: Social Media Today

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