So you’re looking to sell real estate in China? With an estimated GDP of $27.3 trillion and a 3.2% increase in year-on-year growth, the number of Chinese buyers looking to purchase international real estate is no doubt, on the rise.
In fact, Chinese consumers are currently the fastest-growing segment of global property buyers – with many Chinese high net worth individuals (HNWI) investing as much as 12.5% of their wealth into overseas assets in countries like the UK, US, and Australia.
But how do you go about advertising your property to this rapidly expanding market?
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of successfully advertising real-estate in China.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Understand the nuances of marketing real estate to Chinese buyers
To achieve a high return on investment on your advertising, every aspect of your marketing must be crafted with your audience in mind. Step into their shoes and understand their needs, wants, wishes, and what makes them tick.
If you’re used to selling property in the West, you might likely be unaware of some of the purchasing motivations of the Chinese market.
For instance, many Chinese buyers in the UK purchase property for their dependents who are schooling in the country. This is a popular practice amongst Chinese buyers looking to educate their children overseas (while making sure they have somewhere to live).
Others buy to secure their wealth internationally and diversify their investments. Recently, Australia has seen an influx of Chinese buyers, as many look for new opportunities to secure their wealth.
But, it’s not just practical reasons that lead to a purchase.
Important cultural factors for real estate sale in China:
There are a wealth of cultural factors to bear in mind. Now, we don’t expect you to start understanding all of these, it’s basically impossible to explain a country’s culture in one sitting. Yet, it’s helpful to be aware of some of the beliefs that may influence your new buyers’ decisions.
When choosing a home – be it for themselves, family members, or as an investment property – many Chinese buyers will be looking for a place that abides by feng shui rules.
Feng shui is the ancient practice of looking at a living space and considering how it fits in and balances with the natural world. As an example, if a property sits in front of a mountain (or a smaller hill), it’s believed that the property will be protected.
Numerology is also a widespread belief in China. It’s a belief that certain numbers, 3, 6, 8, and 9, are considered lucky. Got a property on 6 Houston Street? Well, you might just be in luck!
You may even want to think about how you can incorporate these digits into property costs or the ads themselves. Remember, that 4 is considered extremely unlucky. So, steer away from this as much as possible.
Put simply: actively acknowledging these beliefs in your ads and making an effort to continually learn, will help you shape culturally sensitive real estate content.
Here’s a great example of a real estate company that has created a Chinese version of their website to appeal to the Chinese audience.
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Step 2: Select the best channel to reach your buyers
China has its own gang of internet giants.
Forget advertising via Facebook, Google, or YouTube, and get ready to start using these hugely popular local platforms.
Here are some of the top channels for selling real estate in China:
In a nutshell, Baidu is the Chinese equivalent of Google.
It’s one of the two channels where foreign real estate companies can advertise. By running ads on Baidu, either by displaying listings on the search pages or within its display network of over 600,000 partners, you can reach up to 500 million people who use the platform every single month.
Baidu has several great features that can help make your ad stand out. As an example, Baidu Landmark allows you to include video content in your ad. Why not record a mini-tour of the property to entice buyers? A great way to tell a potential buyer all about a property’s enticing features!
Looking for something a little more powerful? Then give Baidu Brandzone a try.
These ads allow you to target branded search terms and display massive advertisements that take up two-thirds of the first page of the search results. What’s more, is that you have the freedom to include any type of content in these ads. Think multiple images, video clips, animations, and links to your website.
To leave you with one more detail, many of these ads use a PPC (pay-per-click) system, which means you only pay for clicks and not views.
WeChat is the top mobile app in China, with over 1 billion activity monthly users. Since so many Chinese consumers are on WeChat, it’s a great place to start forming long-lasting relationships. If you’re a real estate company registered in China, you can advertise on this channel but foreign companies cannot do so.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. Because WeChat is essentially an instant message app, this is a great channel to build a social presence for your real estate business. Doing this enables potential buyers to be able to ask questions about a property quickly and easily. This is your chance to start engaging directly with these buyers and build rapport.
Remember that it’s not just about communicating, though this is extremely important. You want to make sure your social media marketing answers all your buyers’ potential questions.
For instance, Chinese buyers will likely want to know more about the property’s neighborhood and community. How about creating a video that takes a tour around the property and its vicinity? Talk about the local schools, green spaces, access to shopping, etc.
Remember that: buying a property is a big decision. Make sure your WeChat presence is approachable and as informative as possible.
The last platform on our list of recommended channels is the news aggregation app, Toutiao.
This is the second platform where foreign real estate companies can advertise. With a massive user base of 140 million people, Toutiao advertising can be an effective channel for reaching your target customers. But what we’d like to highlight are two interesting features that make it an especially useful channel for real estate marketing:
Toutiao offers in-feed ads that blend seamlessly in the reader’s news feed. So, an editorial-style ad on the platform would perform well as it would be viewed as content rather than advertising.
The platform provides a wide range of targeting options that allow you to show ads to users based on apps they’ve previously installed and their location (and where they’ve checked into).
But what makes Toutiao a good bet is that the AI-driven personalization offered by the platform makes sure your real estate ads are always shown to the right users.
Step 3: Get set-up for advertising and selling real estate in China
You’ve done the hard work, and it’s finally time to advertise your listing. Here are a couple of ways to do this:
Option 1: The DIY approach
This involves selecting the channels you want to promote on, and setting up the ads yourself.
However, doing this might be difficult considering the tedious registration processes, which typically involves submitting localized versions of your business certificates, creating a company seal, registering a Chinese phone number, and so on. And, even if you were able to navigate the process, you would still face the challenge of a language barrier.
Option 2: Hire a marketing agency
With this method, you get to sit back and let someone else take care of the work, which doesn’t sound so bad! But, with its ease comes some drawbacks:
- Most agencies charge thousands of dollars in monthly retainers.
- If you’re a business owner who likes to monitor the performance of your ads in real-time (which is a big plus when it comes to understanding your audience’s intentions), the typical system of receiving weekly or monthly reporting might not be so appealing.
While there are good agencies who will provide customized services, it can be hard to know this up front due to a lack of transparency.
Option 3: Use a self-service platform like Adchina.io
Adchina.io allows you to advertise real estate in China and manage ads for up to 10 Chinese platforms from a single dashboard.
And unlike the first two options which require certain trade-offs, Adchina is designed to offer the best of both worlds – the benefits of self-service and the expertise of an agency.
By using Adchina, you can create and monitor your ads while also having access to expert assistance on everything from choosing the right channels to creating high-converting ads.
What’s more, you can get started today with $0 in monthly fees and only pay based on your ad spend.
Accessing Chinese buyers is just a click away
There are thousands of potential Chinese buyers eager to purchase real estate abroad and with Adchina.io, you can now easily and affordably market to them
Book a demo today to learn how we can help.