Are you on the radar of overseas investors?


Commentary by Business Development Specialist – James Han 

I recently attended a BDM training seminar. The seminar was all about teaching property managers about the best techniques and strategies to gain new listings.

At the end of the training, as everyone else was happily smiling and taking photos, all I could do was ask in dismay – “what about the overseas landlords?”

Having worked in Melbourne’s central suburbs for several years, I know that overseas landlords can be anywhere between 40% – 90% of any given residential tower. So, what are local agents doing to capture the attention of offshore landlords? How do they plan to target those that don’t use conventional Western social media such as Facebook and YouTube?

The property market has had revolutionary changes in the past decade, especially in the metropolitan cities of Australia. More and more foreign investors are buying up Australian properties. I am not a politician and I am not here to argue Government policies. But as an agent, I see great potential from all these investors.

Let’s change our perspective and think about this scenario:

If you were to own an investment property in China, how would you be able to manage your investment property? Firstly, your property manager would have to be bilingual, so as you are able to communicate. More importantly, your property manager has to be culturally aware of both sides and understand Australian culture and the way Australians like to do business. As a result, a China based Australian would be an ideal candidate to manage your most valuable asset.

This trend could also be observed from multinational companies in China. These companies would most likely appoint a CEO of “Greater China region” straight from headquarters.

How many new listings could you potentially be missing out on because a Chinese investor has looked on your website and didn’t see any indications that you catered to their needs? Instead, they look on your competitor’s website, identify the Chinese tab and find a Mandarin speaking Property Manager. Now, your competitor has another property on their rent roll that could have been yours. If you want to get into this highly lucrative market, it is a must to hire bilingual property managers and BDMs.

In today’s real estate business, being open, personable and communicative are the basic qualities of being a good property manager. There are so many agents out there that have exceptional people skills, so what is my point of difference?

Apart from my hands on knowledge of the Melbourne property market, I am much benefited from my degree. At university, I focused on subjects relating to people and culture and majored in Australian and International Politics, Chinese Business and Economy, and Management.

The depths of knowledge gives me an understanding of different cultures and people’s perspective. Rather than being a “friendly and communicative” agent, trying to figure out what my client’s want, I am able to put myself in my client’s shoes and understands their concerns and worries. This gives me a huge advantage especially when communicating and negotiating with an overseas investor. .

With an understanding of different cultures, I am also trying to be innovative and use new technology, adapting changes by using social media my offshore landlords are using. For example, I specifically target my overseas Chinese landlords by using the WeChat platform. You may already have a WeChat account and never used it. Or you use it daily to talk with your friends. But keep in mind, these are only very basic “functions” and you are able to advance and use more advanced WeChat techniques to reach your target clients, whether a new landlord or new buyer. I will elaborate more in details in another topic “The Power of WeChat in Real Estate”.

In my real estate career, I have listed hundreds of rental properties with my team just from the overseas landlords. If you are interested in learning more about my strategies or having a referral that may benefit from my services, don’t hesitate to contact me on 0409 817 695.

James Han

Business Development Specialist