Aussie real estate agents sell to Chinese on WeChat
15 Mar 2017
WeChat, the Chinese social media platform owned by internet company Tencent (SEHEK: 700), has become the new go-to medium for Australian real estate agents to sell property to Chinese buyers.
The platform, which claims to have 800 million users, is now the place many properties are listed before they’re advertised to the general market, as agents seek quick sales with wealthy Chinese buyers.
According to The Australian Financial Review, founder and director of Sydney-based Black Diamondz Property Monika Tu said that, while she uses other social platforms and property sites, she found WeChat delivered the best results.
“I’m on them all – Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – but the truth is, I can close a deal in three days on WeChat. I just closed a $10-million AUD ($7.7 million U.S.) house in Vaucluse last week,” Tu said.
Tu isn’t alone. Last year, the Australian residential property arm of commercial real estate company CBRE opened a WeChat account to market its new residential apartment developments to Chinese buyers. It did so, after learning of other property developers and agents using the platform to target the lucrative Chinese market.
CBRE director of residential projects Ben Stewart told The Australian that he now uses WeChat more than other social platforms, even though he’s a non-Chinese speaker.
“It’s easy to use. You can send documents, you can talk. It’s instant, and it’s free,” Stewart said.
Because WeChat also has a payment function, a buyer can receive the contract of sale, sign and return it, then transfer the deposit, all from within the app.
Selling property domestically through social media hasn’t taken off in Australia. Most agents use social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, to market their brands online, but not explicitly as a medium to sell to Australian buyers.
That’s still the purview of Australia’s two property sites, although neither can facilitate the end-to-end sale of a property entirely through their site or app.
But for Australian agents targeting Chinese buyers, Monika Tu called social media and WeChat, in particular, “the ultimate tool”.