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New Wave of Expat Managers in China –Familiar Challenges, New Pressures

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Few corporations will send employees overseas if there is any possible alternative. Why? The expats of today have a heavy burden of responsibility on their shoulders compared to their forerunners of the past few decades. These days the success of an international venture can make or break a new start up or large firm. And those expats who fail can blemish the reputation of the firm and ultimately lose face in the community, ruining a trust that could take several years to repair – especially in China.

Large corporations believe it is just the cost of doing business because of the high level of responsibilities involved, expertise, shortage of engineers, technical expertise and the like. Most firms tend to send their best performing and most promising people – usually untrained with the right skills and unprepared for the situation on the ground. One thing they do understand is the notion that success or failure abroad will have a major effect on the future of their position within the company.

Studies have shown that the chances of a successful fit are on average 30-50 percent. Most expat managers will return before their assignment is up. In fact, even venerable firms such as Sun Microsystems’ have experienced a failure rates up to 63 percent of employees returning home prior to mission completion in China. This is with the knowledge that expat benefit package may cost many multiples of his or her salary. It also has been noted that with those remaining 50 percent that stay, most operate at a very low level of productivity and that fewer than 40 percent succeed in completing their posting abroad successfully. Clearly, this is a risk that requires top level managements’ attention.

Other unforeseeable circumstances neither well known nor discussed in great detail but nevertheless very important if the success of the corporate professional oversees is to become a successful fit. One of the more obvious causes for failure of an expat overseas assignment is the inability of the candidate to acclimatize his/her persona or those with family to the environment overseas. i.e.: inability to adjust to the new culture. However this often becomes a game of “blame the expat”. “He probably never met a Chinese person the whole time he was in China” is something I have heard often. However, in my experience, the expats that come to Asia often indicate that “cultural experience” is a top motivation. They are excited about the new culture and do their best to acclimate. Obviously different personalities have varying language skills and ability to morph into new situations. However, this is very difficult to predict even for the employee himself, much less HR.

Corporate culture is another factor in the transplantation of an employee who once was familiar with one way of performing and now is confronted with a whole new set of rules when posted abroad within the same company. This can be seen when a satellite company is managed, structured and based upon a different hierarchy or cultural norms unfamiliar to both the expat and foreign firm which may a cause a great deal of frustration and angst among both parties.

Next: Solutions…

Can you sell? Bored with your job? Want to work abroad?

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Work abroad

Are you a top realtor? Successful sales professional?  Or young with endless energy and willing to try something new?

I was bored to death in my sales job in California. Looking for opportunities abroad, I never heard about sales abroad. Always about English teaching (boring with no future) engineering and manufacturing (requiring technical education that I didn’t have). What could I do with tons of energy, enthusiasm and experience selling while I was in school?  Sales!  Selling advertising in local expat rags, recruiting students (sales) for expat schools, marketing for bars and restaurants, selling for English schools.

Not a native English speaker?  No problem! Might even be to your advantage

But what if you are a native English speaker with a high level of motivation to succeed?  Israeli citizens network effectively in the overseas Israeli community.  French succeed very well working only with French companies abroad. Swedish even do well.  Germans working in sales in Shanghai are untouchable. They make friends, sell, get invited to all the good events at the embassy. Make real money and set themselves up to have their own companies.  Japanese too. Don’t be afraid if you aren’t a native English speaker. It might even be an advantage!  I see it as one. It forces you to get a job that gets you out of your comfort zone. To think differently.  I always challenged myself and refused to do the easy work and like they say, “the road less travelled made all the difference”.

Selling abroad gives you experience selling goods and services and mixing with people you’d only dream of back home.  The expat community overseas is tight. It’s relatively easy to meet company presidents, top level management of multinationals, government officials, ambassadors and, yes, even rock stars.  I’ve met them all and too many to list. Selling abroad might not be as easy to get started as teaching English but the rewards are also much greater.  And it’s much easier to relocate back home when your adventure comes to an end (if it ever does! lol)  My journey has been going on since 1987 and shows no sign of stopping. Comment below or email me if you have specific questions regarding your particular skills and where they would be most valuable. Happy to help.

What benefits will I get from the China Cash Buyers online course?

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What separates brokers who went through the course and haven’t been through the course? What benefits in real life can you expect?

If you are new to selling real estate to Chinese, and you have never sold to Chinese before, you will:

  • Get leads and be more visible. you will rank higher on Baidu, Google. Your site will be more visible for searches in your area.
  • Have a list of potential buyers on your Chinese social media.
  • Be interacting on a daily basis with potential Chinese buyers
  • Have a Chinese business card with a WeChat QR code on the back
  • Have the ability to go to China and present to real potential investors if you want to
  • Have a Chinese specific story: a one pager that you can hand out, post online, in social media that is attractive to Chinese. It will contain a story, about yourself, your history, your area, your city, your country
  • Have a new set of tools, options, strategies
  • You’ll have a team ready to help. A Chinese lawyer, accountant, immigration consultant that you can rely on to help your clients

What you will lose:

  • Fear: you will see a group of Chinese and know what to say. How to present yourself. So you will lose the fear of approaching.
  • The feeling of being stuck, the confusion of not knowing where to start: you will have a set of tools and you will know when to use them. Literally your mind will be swimming in ideas waiting for an opportunity to use.

You will avoid:

  • Scammers and time wasting middlemen
  • Throwing time and money down black holes of advertising
  • Running around like a chicken with your head cut off

If you are Chinese or currently successful selling to Chinese:

You will be able to reach outside your friends and family to new buyers
you will expand your network

Be able to say “NO!” to unreasonable demands on your time and energy

Will be able to say “NO!” to clients who expect you to take them to Las Vegas and to expensive lunches

Will be able to cut lose clients who threaten you by bringing other agents around, reminding you that there are others to take your place.

YOU WILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO FIND NEW AND BETTER CLIENTS:

YOU WILL HAVE CHOICES
A Chinese selling through their network is like a newcomer to Amway. You sell to people you know but won’t know where to start after that. If you are stuck selling to clients you don’t like or who demand unreasonable things, you will learn how to get new, better clients

Of course, how much you sell depends on you. How hard you work. How much grit you have. How successful you are in life in general. How much you have inside you.

What you need to start: You need to be a professional: To know your business. You need either grit or passion. Either is fine. And finally you need willingness or open-mindedness to learn.

Why shouldn’t you join the course? If you are not openminded. If you just want to send your listings blindly to agents and expect them to do the work for you. You shouldn’t join the course. If you are selling overpriced, ripoff properties. If you don’t like to help people you’ll never make it. Chinese need explanations, information, help with children, advice. If you are not willing to give it, you shouldn’t help Chinese buyers and I don’t want to help you either. I’m looking for serious, professional, agents who want to build a real clientele of Chinese buyers

Marketing Real Estate to Chinese Buyers: The Chinese Investors Perspective

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Today we will talk about risk from a Chinese investors perspective and what you, as a professional real estate agent selling to Chinese should know. Have a look at the headlines in China this week….

Forbes: China Property Collapse Has Begun -Gordon G. Chang 4/13/2014
Forbes: “Without question, everyone thinks there is a bubble.”
International Business Times: China Housing Market Bubble Start to Pop, Jerin Mathew, April 14, 2014
Wall Street Journal: This Chinese City’s Property Market Is Even Chillier Than Its -22-Degree Weather, Chinese port city of Yingkou Apr 15, 2014

It’s getting increasingly obvious that Chinese real estate investors are jittery about real estate prices in China and considering, or actively buying, overseas. Instead of joining the debating society on if Chinese real estate is a bubble or not, I recommend looking from the Chinese perspective. Land has risen relentlessly for over 20 years. It was widely reported, though hard statistics are murky, that the combined value of Chinese real estate surpassed the US in 2012: Suffice to say that Chinese real estate is serious business.

Pop quiz: What would you do if you were wealthy through real estate in China, increasingly nervous that prices were too high and were not even the legal owner of your house in China? (investors in China cannot own land. The government owns all land and investors get a 70 year lease) And what if you could buy overseas, legally own land and get your kids into a great school at the same time? And more and more entire cities are empty in China: Ghost cities.

Answer: uh….buy abroad? Yes and that’s what’s happening. Everywhere from Singapore to Melbourne to Sydney to Dubai to London to Birmingham to Cyprus to Spain to Portugal to New York to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Florida are seeing a huge influx of Chinese buyers. Chinese investment started in these gateway cities and has spread far and wide.

So Chinese families, increasingly nervous about their Chinese holdings, with unique needs, thinking and culture have great motivation and ability to invest and buy real estate outside China. And you are an agent wanting to sell real estate, get listings and build your business. How can you attract them and help them invest securely? Think from their perspective. What are they really looking for?

One major motivation is security. Security of ownership. Security politically. (remember that as recently as the 1940’s, the Chinese government took ownership of all property in China. Literally stole the land, in most cases with little no compensation, from everyone in China. Would this recent memory put you at ease? Landlords were publicly humiliated, killed and their land was stolen by the non-landowning classes) So land ownership is a major issue, risk is a concern (what if it happens again? Is lurking in many minds) Will regurgitating this dark period in Chinese history win you clients? Or course not. Best not to even mention it. But good to know what owning assets in China is not as secure as many places. How can you provide value to Chinese families with interest in investing abroad?

Answer: Show the safety and security of investing in your area rather than talking about the risk in China. Believe me, the clients will put it together themselves. They are the ones at risk.
Make marketing materials with topics to address Chinese buyers fears and needs: Simply understanding the buyers needs will put you head and shoulders above your competition but if you incorporate your understanding into materials you can disseminate by email, on the web and physically, you win twice.

Some good topics to talk about:

  • Occupancy: remember the ghost cities?
  • Historical pricing data to show the relative value in your area
Renting is the new black.
  • Show rising rent statistics
  • Security of asset ownership-legal protection
  • Ability to pass land on to heirs in future- inheritance law 
Return on investment:
  • Potential ROI: Do the numbers.

Write content that explains historical data (i.e. show that historically real estate prices are low. this is easy to do in most areas because it’s simply true. explain safety. safety of assets, legal protection, ownership of land. Talk about the legal protection owners have in your area. Talk about the potential returns as land prices are historically low. Talk about trends. Talk about rising rents in your area. Talk about things that put the client at ease. Give specific examples of properties in your area. Don’t be general. Give hard stats.

Talk about your area. Occupancy, productivity, ROI, rising prices (from very very low levels) Talk about how renting is the new black. Many young don’t want to buy cars or houses and this is driving rents sky high. Look at London and San Francisco ! Workers are being driven out because rents are so high. But prices are not yet. Talk about the incredible timing now. These are all attractive to Chinese buyers, Chinese investors and Chinese families wanting to send their children to study abroad.

More than anything Chinese investors are looking for security. Appreciation is nice. ROI is nice, protection is key. They are already pretty rich. Of course they want to be richer but values change. Safe food, protection, education become more important. Give the people what they want. That is all for today regarding Chinese investors and their current mindsets.
Now you are thinking from a Chinese perspective and have content that Chinese actually want to read. Not some MLS data that means nothing to someone new to your country. You are already head and shoulders above the competition. Later we will talk about how to be visible in China and cheaply disseminate your information in China.

To get the inside scoop on finding and selling to Chinese buyers go to ChinaCashBuyers.com

How do fears of a Chinese real estate collapse affect real estate agents abroad?

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chineseflag

Have a look at the headlines in China this week….
Forbes: China Property Collapse Has Begun -Gordon G. Chang 4/13/2014
Forbes: “Without question, everyone thinks there is a bubble.”
International Business Times: China Housing Market Bubble Start to PopJerin Mathew
April 14, 2014
Wall Street Journal: This Chinese City’s Property Market Is Even Chillier Than Its -22-Degree Weather, Chinese port city of Yingkou Apr 15, 2014

Chinese real estate investors are getting jittery about prices in China and looking overseas. How can you attract them?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a crystal ball. No one knows what will happen in the future. However a much easier question to answer is what do the Chinese clients you want think will happen and how can you help them.

The easiest way to take advantage of this situation is to show the safety and security of investing in your area rather than talking about the risk in China. Believe me, the clients will put it together themselves. They are the ones at risk.

What simple, easy, things can you do to promote your listings, services and company in China?

Write blog posts or make simple smartphone videos
Topics to write on or to make videos about:
Historical pricing data to show the relative value in your area
Rising rent data
Security of asset ownership
Ability to pass land on to heirs in future
ROI

Write content that explains historical data (i.e. show that historically real estate prices are low. this is easy to do in most areas because it’s simply true. explain safety. safety of assets, legal protection, ownership of land (in china the government legally owns all the land and, regardless of land type, the only option is a long term lease) As land is owned by the government, many issues arise. insecurity, lack of ability to invest long term (how do you make a robotic factory with a 100 year life span if your lease is only 70 years?) Talk about the legal protection owners have in your area. Talk about the potential returns as land is historically low. Talk about trends like the current rising ones. Talk about rising rents in your area. Talk about things that put the client at ease.

You don’t want to put down China saying its dangerous but instead contrast your area. Chinese land has been rising at an incredible rate. Many buildings and entire cities are empty. Talk about your area. Occupancy, productivity, ROI, rising prices (from very very low levels) Talk about how renting is the new black. Many young don’t want to buy cars or houses and this is driving rents sky high. Look at London and San Francisco ! Workers are being driven out because rents are so high. But prices are not yet. Talk about the incredible timing now. These are all attractive to Chinese who are in avery different trend.

Talk about rising rents, low prices that hit bottom and are rising, talk about security or assets-legal protection. Ability to pass land on the heirs. Long term ownership. XYZ family down the street has owned here for 50 years. More than anything Chinese investors are looking for security. Appreciation is nice. ROI is nice, protection is key. They are already pretty rich. Of course they want to be richer but values change. Safe food, protection, education become more important. Give the people what they want.

To get the inside scoop on finding and selling to Chinese buyers go to ChinaCashBuyers.com

How to reach Chinese real estate buyers for free..or almost free: Inside the ground breaking Zillow E-house Partnership

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The players: Zillow-

a. The Gorilla of real estate at 70,000,000 million visitors per month

b. Feeding all listings, free and premium IN CHINESE LANGUAGE to Leju.com

Ehouse China-

a. Chinese powerhouse that has a virtual monopoly on new house sales in China.

b. On the ground sales team second to none.

c. Tight relationship with Chinese developers now going abroad.

d. Former subsidiary company CRIC has the best data in China on users housing preference, d. Publicly listed E-House (China) Holdings Limited (ADR)

e. Smart management Mr. Zhou Xin

Tencent-

a. Chinese Internet giant is the fifth-largest Internet company in the world after Google, Amazon, Ebay and Facebook as of April 2014

b. Tencent invested $180 million in Leju for a 15 percent stake

c. Valued at US$ 150 billion

Leju

a. Will display, in Chinese language, all Zillow listings

b. Intuitive design for Chinese users

c. Fastest load time

Verdict: Leju, for now, will likely be the go-to site for Chinese users and therefore the best place to list for agents wanting to reach Chinese. Having free listings is almost too good to be true but if so, it’s a game changer. So many takeaways on this one you have to listen to the presentation.  42 minutes

Watch the video above or listen below to the audio only version. Thanks for your time and look forward to your comments and emails [email protected]

Are Chinese buyers affecting your market?

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eddieMore than 20 percent of the transactions that I closed last year here in San Fransisco involved international buyers. With China accounting for the largest percentage.  

-Eddie O’Sullivan, Hill & Co Real Estate,

What are you seeing in your area?  Are Chinese buyers making an impact?  Please leave comments and thoughts below. Thank you !

 

To read the full original article, click here

http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Sound-Off-How-are-international-buyers-affecting-5339192.php

If you want to sell real estate to Chinese buyers, prepare

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Agents: Don’t waste time with EB5’s: Leave that to the lawyers. Focus on things that Chinese buyers want most:

Chinese invest in education

1. Smart, hands off investment properties.

2. Properties in good school districts

3. Locations that give “face”  high prestige)

https://www.facebook.com/ChinaCashBuyers

Engage Chinese travelers on social media and educate them on your area

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modern-sales

Simple formula for success selling real estate on Chinese social media

1. Don’t sell listings MLS listings, online ads, square meters, prices mean nothing to someone moving from another country.  They likely don’t even know your area!  Maybe don’t know the state.  Might not even be sure which country they want to buy in.

If you were moving to China, would an ad online with square meters sell you on a listing?  On an agent?  Or would you want to learn a heck of a lot more first?

2. Don’t sell anything What?  Don’t sell?  How will I sell my listings if I don’t sell?  Again think from a Chinese buyers perspective.  What does he need to know about your country?  Your city?  Area? Your company and YOU before he trusts you?  Think of it like fishing more than selling. If you put the right bait on the hook, the fish will be attracted.  What is the bait?  Well there is not perfect bait and not every fish is the same but there are types of buyers and types of information that is very attractive.

3. Decide which type of buyer you will target Mainland Chinese buyers can roughly be divded into 3 types.

a. Education: Buyers who are sending children abroad for education and want to buy a place for them to live in for the, on average, 10 years they will be abroad.  What to post?

Schools, clean cut students dong group events, information from authoritative media on how the school in your area has many successful graduates, food in the area, BBQ party pictures, pictures of blue skies, rivers, 

b. Hands off ROI: Investors looking for a $200,000-300,000 USD property for cash flow and capital appreciation. These buyers often buy sight unseen and usually cash. They also prefer multiple properties in a small area. What to post?

Storie and statistics. Stories of investors doing well in your area with the type of listings you are selling. Stories of Chinese who successfully invested nearby.  Pictures of clean, safe streets.  Statistics, numbers, ROI, real returns, historically, in your area on your type of properties. 

c. Buying houses, warehouses, commercial properties near their business interests. After establishing an income abroad through a trading company, manufacturing firm or services company,  What to post? 2 types

Casual Personal : pictures of your house, kids, dog, neighborhood, down to earth real life. These investors are sophisticated and can see through a phony. They also have similar needs to any wealthy investor. They want to know who you are and what you offer but don’t have much time to look around.

agent

Business Photo: You might take a photo with a professional photographer and rethink that green suit. This agent is a good example of the dress code. Dark, conservative colors, professional look, stylish hair, high quality photo. Your picture and your website will position you as an equal to your buyer.  Wealthy Chinese want to deal with equals. You have to up your game but it will pay off handsomely.  Wealthy Chinese are 10 years on average younger than other countries so a professional photo that is taken at an unusual angle, artistically can also work but if I had only one photo, I would use a white background myself. 

Post on topics that are interesting for these 3 types of people. Educate them by showing them. Pictures of schools, stories of wealthy Chinese who invested successfully in your area, information about business opportunities in your area.

Learn how others are breaking away from the pack with this formula at ChinaCashBuyers.com

Plum Blossoms and Chinese Buyers

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I got an interesting call yesterday from a buyer who is bringing 30 other investors on a tour of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hawaii. She wanted an agent who could add her on WeChat and give her an overview of the market.

Plum Blossoms and Chinese BuyersI called some agents who I thought were preparing to handle Chinese buyers and guess what…? Not ONE of them was ready for a Mandarin speaking buyer! I was shocked. They were ready for many things but basic communication somehow got overlooked. I know this is a sticky topic and most readers do not speak Mandarin. Does that mean they cannot help her? Luckily not necessarily. But in this case, they just were not ready.

Have a glance at this 10 minute video. If it’s helpful to you, please leave a question or comment below and like our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ChinaCashBuyers

As usual, for more tips sign up for our newsletter at ChinaCashBuyers.com