How to attract foreign investors in 2018

How to attract foreign investors in 2018

March 2018
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How to attract foreign investors in 2018

With speculations that foreign investment is set to dip through 2018, effective marketing of your development site for sale in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane has never been more important.

Investment bank UBS has estimated that 78% of foreign property purchases around the world, over the past five years, were conducted by Chinese investors. With the fluctuations of currency, they have also noticed Chinese investors moving from London, to Australia’s east coast capital cities and predict that Bangkok will be the next hotspot.

Here we present some key fundamentals to retain attractiveness in the eyes of foreign buyers. With China consisting the biggest proportion of foreign investors, our focus in this test case is on attracting Chinese investors.


Instability of Chinese local property law

In China, after 80 years, any home can be re-claimed by the government (if not before). This along with a general lack of property owning rights, an unstable stock market, dramatic price increases in cosmopolitan cities make local investment a less secure option than that of a foreign one.

Foreign markets are viewed as safer and more stable. 

The Chinese government has, however, begun to crack down on money leaving the country. Melbourne-based Ray White Balwyn director, Helen Yan, said even though Chinese buyers have the funds, they are struggling to send the money to Australia.

While these are concerns, it needs to be understood that there remains appropriate Government visas that enable Chinese investors to send funds and there are still a substantial number of investors looking at Australia as a serious market.


Chinese focused online presence

A quality, Chinese focused website is imperative. Having this site optimised for Baidu (Chinese Google) is also not just strongly advised, but the key to success.

Seeking out a professional Baidu SEO expert will help you establish clear back and front end Mandarin characters to bolster the organic visibility on Baidu.

Additionally, there are also some very active online communities on Chinese real estate forums. Baidu Tieba, Tianya and Zhihu are all communication platforms that can be leveraged to build your reputation. Having local members speak highly of your services, builds credibility that is five times more effective than personal promotion.


Social Media

While Facebook and other social media platforms form part of our marketing and sales campaigns, they aren’t considered a hot spot of real estate transactions in Australia. However, this is different in China.

Platforms such as WeChat and Weibo are used for a multitude of everyday transactional tasks. They are also the main platforms used to communicate with buyers, share floor plans and even allow Chinese investors to sign and return a contract of sale or lay down the deposit and final payment; this is all capable within the apps themselves.


Cultural understanding

As with any transaction, you need to understand the market you are building for and/or advertising to. The more you appreciate the needs and culture of your overseas market, the stronger your prospects for a succesful transaction.

Many Chinese investors, who are planning to live with their families in Australia, are looking for homes that have many bedrooms. The fact that they can own the land (which is not possible in China) is very appealing, meaning they can care for multiple generations under the one roof, without fear of needing to re-locate.

It is a generalisation, so won’t apply to all Chinese investors, but many are still quite superstitious. The number 4 is very unlucky, so if you happen to have a plot of land that contains this unfortunate street number, you should consider consulting a feng shui expert about how to convert that disadvantage into an advantage. This is just one example of cultural attributes that need to be considered.


Focus on who you are marketing to

There are intricacies of marketing to any market. Australia has been enjoying the limelight of foreign investment for some time, but, with this focus potentially shifting to other nations, developers can no longer rely on a general hunger for the Australian market; they must focus on making their projects enticing on a global scale.

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