The top three reasons why you should market locally to succeed in China

Marketing to Chinese consumers is a hot topic for all businesses across different sectors. A common misperception for businesses is that they need to be in China to sell to Chinese consumers.

This has prompted developers and agencies to invest in roadshows, exhibitions and seminars at China’s prime real estate and events, only to result in expensive failures. With the growing Chinese population in Australia, sellers need not look too far in reaching out to their prospective Chinese buyers.

At ACproperty.com.au we believe there are three reasons why you should begin your marketing locally before embarking on overseas marketing investments:

1. Chinese buyers rely on word of mouth recommendations from Australians

The most effective and efficient way of marketing to mainland Chinese buyers is to build a loyal following among the local Chinese communities, who can endorse your brand.

Most prospective mainland Chinese buyers have friends and relatives living in Australia. This is one of the biggest reasons that influences their decision to migrate to Australia. The first thing most of them will do is to speak their relatives living in Australia, to understand which area is suitable for their lifestyle and to gain recommendations on property investments, developers or real estate agents.

Glen Waverly High and Balwyn High are classic examples on the success of word of mouth recommendations. None of the schools have advertised in China, yet every prospective mainland Chinese buyers would have heard of Glen Waverley and Balwyn School zones.

Speaking from experience, ACproperty.com.au has been enjoying tremendous success as evident from our 65% growth of inbound traffic from China for the past 3 years, while mainly concentrating our marketing efforts on the local Chinese communities and student associations.

2. Chinese migrants in Australia are buying properties too

A significant amount of our web traffic is from high quality leads in Australia. Agents and developers alike will find a group of high conversion Chinese customers right under their noses.

The value in targeting this group grows exponentially once we realise that this is the same group that will be recommending your brand to their peers overseas.

3. Chinese buyers want authentic and unbiased local property information

A consistent piece of feedback we receive from our users is that when buying Australian property, they prefer to access an Australian site (vs. Chinese-based sites) so they can access vital local Australian market experience. Our Chinese Concierge Team are constantly receiving calls from buyers wanting to validate information they receive from Chinese sources, which they perceive as biased or incomplete.

To successfully capture the Chinese market, developers and agents should first market to the local Chinese communities, cultivating a loyal following before expanding into overseas marketing. Not only are they potential buyers, they are also huge influencers of their overseas peers.

Chinese buyers also view Australian sites and sources as more trustworthy and knowledgeable. Australian agents and developers should leverage this inherent credibility to reach international customers and ensure their brand is top of mind among the Chinese community to successfully capture the Chinese market.

Esther Yong is the co-founder and director of ACproperty.com.au. She was recently named one of the most powerful women in property by Domain and was also the keynote speaker at Property Portal Watch in New York during January 2016.

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