While still only a small part of the DeLeon team’s marketing approach, we have enjoyed tremendous success in tapping into the burgeoning Chinese buyer pool. In fact, we have become well-known to the Chinese community throughout the Bay Area through our aggressive outreach. Additionally, we have established some very strong business connections with real estate professionals in affluent cities, such as Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taipei, and Hong Kong.
In light of our success, we have decided to further expand our unique Chinese Initiative in mainland China. To that end, DeLeon Realty participated in two trade shows in Beijing hosted by Juwai, as well as the city’s Luxury Property Show (LPS), which were held this past April. At these shows, our forward-thinking, service-oriented business model of a “one-stop shop” received very positive feedback.
The ninth consecutive edition of LPS was held April 24-26, 2015, at the prestigious Legendale Hotel in Beijing. We immensely enjoyed our interaction with Chinese luxury home-buyers and brokers in this casual yet chic environment. LPS is a unique concept, specifically designed for the Chinese market. As an invitation-only event, it welcomes a highly targeted audience of Chinese luxury property Buyers, high-end investors, and wealthy individuals. Over 5,200 targeted visitors attended this year’s event.
Our founder, Ken DeLeon, who leads the DeLeon buyer’s team, and our CEO, Michael Repka, who leads the DeLeon listing team, also attended LPS Beijing (this was their fourth trip to China in the past two and a half years, and Michael will be back again in December). Alongside members of our Chinese marketing team, we witnessed firsthand the tremendous interest that Chinese Buyers have in buying within the Bay Area. In fact, the result was so overwhelming, we have decided that DeLeon Realty will participate in both the Guangzhou and the Shanghai LPS shows this year. These events are great opportunities to showcase all of our wonderful listings while meeting more eager Buyers. Because DeLeon Realty picks up the entire cost of the show and related travel expenses, we are able to send our best people and supply them with the best materials, including Chinese versions of our well-respected city guides, buying guide, and home brochures.
In addition to LPS, DeLeon Realty participated in the 2015 Beijing Spring Property Expo from April 16th to April 19th, which took place in Beijing Exhibition Center. DeLeon Realty was the only brokerage company from the Bay Area that attended the event, and we found it very rewarding. We were able to further promote our listings and establish valuable business relationships with some well-known local investment and real estate firms in China. We also developed business relationships with companies that provide a full range of services to help us market our properties to Chinese Buyers in the right language and behind China’s “Great Fire Wall.”
DeLeon Opens a Beijing Office
To keep us at the leading edge of international marketing, DeLeon Realty has decided to bring on two new employees who will be based in mainland China, and who have already received formal training at the DeLeon headquarters in Palo Alto, California. We are also establishing a new subsidiary (DeLeon International Realty) to handle our expansion, and service Buyers in mainland China.
As the Director of International Sales, I will continue to travel to Hong Kong and major cities in China to nurture business relationships on an ongoing basis. In 2013 alone, China created 40,000 new millionaires. Many of these are middle-aged, tech-savvy buyers who have their children’s educations in mind. The Bay Area provides wonderful academic and professional opportunities, not to mention great weather and fresh air, thus forming the ideal destination for these incoming Buyers.
A recent report by Knight Frank says Chinese investors have set their sights on the western world mostly because their own residential markets have cooled significantly. As a result, the value of Chinese investments in U.S. real estate grew from $600 million in 2009 to $12 billion in 2013. In addition, the poor air quality and the political situations in major Chinese cities have increased the trend of immigration more than ever. Obama’s new visa policy, which was announced last fall, has also made it easier for Chinese Buyers to buy new homes here in the U.S. These Buyers are attracted to coastal cities, like those around the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and the strong appreciation of homes within the Bay Area especially whets their appetite.
In summary, this is the perfect time to expand our Chinese Initiative, and our unique, full-service business model makes us the best real estate team in the U.S. to cater to Chinese Buyers’ needs.