Demand for UK residential property from Chinese nationals living in the UK surged last year and that trend shows no sign of abating. Yet sellers are missing out on the potential of this market not because of Covid-19 travel restrictions but due to not understanding the preferred purchasing journey of Chinese buyers. There are plenty of expats already in the UK plus Chinese consumers will increasingly buy unseen, off plan if sellers can get this journey right!
Recognising what to do to engage customers and, just as importantly, when to engage can transform sales numbers.
Identifying the trusted sources and the importance of these in the initial investigation stage is a stumbling block for many sellers – friends, family and respected peers are the starting point for Chinese customers’ research rather than browsing a portfolio of properties. Not to mention Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) who have far more reach and power than social influencers in the West.
Then comes content – making sure your content in the right place, on the right platforms, is relevant, in the right format and to reach the target audience. Take livestream broadcast for example, since Covid-19 this has become one of the most powerful sales tools for reaching Chinese audiences.
And don’t overlook the power of social listening to track market trends and sentiment in real time and gain a distinct competitive advantage.
It may seem like the different buying pattern of the Chinese consumer means they are more demanding, but this in itself brings opportunity – by getting it right not only do you maximise the sales potential to one of the largest groups of overseas investors but you also create a long term source of lead generation through peer recommendation.
CEO of Emerging Communications, Domenica Di Lieto talks to Property Investor Today about the missed opportunities from Chinese property investors and how to win high value, loyal customers.