Chinese Buyers Lead the Growth of Real Estate Investment
The demand for homes in Canada and US continues to grow relentlessly. China buyers are eager to have a piece of the economic revolution happening in places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto where prices have shot up. Chinese buyers in particular are amazed by the size of homes and property they can buy here. And they should keep buying either as an investment or with intentions to emigrate here
The influx of Chinese immigrant investors looking for homes for sale has been good for Canada. And while Vancouver real estate is what they were after, they’re moving onward to explore Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal as possible places to invest.
Canada lacks the financial resources to build homes or to take advantage of our vast natural resources and the spread of the new financial infusion is creating business prosperity. Currently, our economy is at its weakest in growth in 60 years.
While some foreigners have offered to bring in their own workers and take all the natural resources away, our government has wisely declined the generous offer. Instead, Chinese immigrant investors could make a huge difference to our quality of life by moving here and helping with our growth. And it might even prevent the social malaise of poverty that’s hit so many communities — particularly in the north where youth suicide is a growing problem. Homelessness is becoming a big problem in Canada too where it never has been previously.
Our Canadian dollar isn’t low enough for Canadian companies to compete internationally with China, India, Viet Nam and Mexico. We’re suffering and the easy fix for that is investment money from China. Chinese immigrants love the opportunity to own a beautiful home here and have their children educated at what are increasingly excellent schools. The rise in quality of education institutions across Canada is shocking. However, entry into the new schools is expensive.
Chinese buyers are looking for good tax haven/risk management, and that’s driving the market. If Vancouver doesn’t want new investment anymore, that’s fine. Investors will find plenty of real estate and high quality of life in Alberta and Ontario.
Chinese investors are finding out more about Canada and that it isn’t as bad as they thought. The quality of life is very high and they can launch new businesses in travel, resource extraction and processing, and financial services. Canada’s banks are very stable, benefit from a low currency exchange rate, and thus risk is low with fantastic upside.
Student Housing in Vancouver
Investors from Asia are also taking note of the growth of education services for foreign students. The student housing rental market is burgeoning due to the explosion of students coming to cities like Vancouver. That makes student housing investment a hot ticket for those can access it.
Companies such as CIBT in Vancouver are building and buying properties solely for housing foreign students from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Dubai and other locations across the globe. The lack of housing availability in Richmond, Vancouver, Surrey, and Burnaby is creating a demand for these solutions.
Instead of slowing investment growth, the foreign buyer’s tax in BC will actually launch a new level of investment in Canada. This is just be beginning.
The loonie has remained low so whether investors are moving their investment via Renminbe or Yuan, the exchange is still favorable. Investors can buy commercial or residential properties and see fantastic returns over 5 years.
Middle East buyers are expected to spend 180 billion over the next decade across the world. 1/3 rd of all real estate purchasers in Vancouver are from China. Middle East and Chinese money will change Canada and the rest of the world. With the loonie so low, and active marketing by Canadian realtors, Canada’s share of that investment money could be huge.
It’s a window of opportunity for realtors in Canada and a key source of foreign investment in Canada. Without real estate money, foreign investment in Canada is at an all time low. Something our government doesn’t seem to be ashamed of.
Aiding to this trend of foreign money is Canada’s reputation as a safe haven. And oil prices are expected to rebound in a few years and that will raise property values. With the loonie predicted to stay low for several years, Saudis and mainland Chinese will continue their quest to invest.
This all begs the question: “How do you get foreign real estate investors to your website?”
Sources of Foreign Real Estate Buyers
Here’s the likely sources of traffic to your website:
- Google.sa organic search results pages and Google adwords advertising
- Baidu.com organic and ad results
- Google.com and numerous real estate sites such as zoocasa, trulia, zillow, realtor.com, Yahoo homes, and Dream Homes Magazine for US buyers.
Important Features of A Great Realtor Website
Creating a great real estate website isn’t easy, but you’re a realtor and you cherish the challenge. Besides SEO and social media engagement, here’s what’s important in generating a powerful real estate sales machine:
Mandarin and Arabic Language: If your targets are wealthy Chinese and Middle Easterners, you’ll need specially designed landing pages written in Mandarin and Arabic. They’ll be seeking upscale, likely $1 million plus to live in or to invest in. Of course, some are immigrants and will want a home for themselves. They’ll be better informed and comfortable with you if you have content written in their language.
IDX Listings: Have an interpreter translate some of your regular copy in your IDX pages. These prospects will feel much more comfortable if they see their language in the home listing pages.
Excellent Content Strategy: Consider how your content is mapped to your conversion funnel. You’ll have content that fulfills the buyer journey. Oh, and it should be search engine optimized. For US buyers, ensure your copy relates to the property’s investment value. Add any forecasts and outlook for the local economy, Canadian economy, scarcity of homes/condos, and again, the low loonie.
Obvious Value Proposition: You should have a blog post(s) written on the topic in an informative and persuasive fashion. Since the listing page may be the landing page for visitors from Google, have a link to your “investment value” page. Reinforce the value proposition right away, since it’s actually more important than the home listing itself. The visitor will give you a very short time to make a believable promise of value. Now they’ll stay a little longer on your site, read further, and view more listings.
Trust and authority: are important too. They’re spending millions so they want to know they’re not wasting their time, and that you’re someone who can find excellent properties and help them execute investment deals. Don’t worry that you’re not Arabic or Chinese.
They may actually trust you more because you’re not. They’re hip to shysters. Build your value proposition and your realtor brand on the high value of working with you. You’re the only realtor they need to know in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Kelowna, or Edmonton.
These are Wealthy People Enthused About Bargains in Canada
Most investors won’t be looking at anything under $1 million. So their search will look much like this.
With special landing pages written in Mandarin or Arabic, your site will have a chance of ranking for keyword searches in those languages. You might even consider altering the design to appeal to their preferences. Anything you can do to keep them in their comfort zone will help.
US or European buyers won’t be affected by the presence of these languages on the site. It’ll actually reinforce the value of these properties if buyers and European and US investors know they’re competing with Chinese and Arabic buyers. It’s an international bidding war.
Here’s 10 tips for your Foreign optimized website:
- Use an experienced SEO with copywriting skills who has worked on real estate websites (not a technical SEO)
- Write content that reinforces the value of real estate investment in Canada.
- Write tweets, facebook posts, and pinterest pins on specific properties
- Use aerial views of the home (use a drone with GoPro camera to show a full view of the property because it’s more emotionally engaging and
- Use classy videos of you presenting a property because they want to see and hear the salesperson.
- Write authoritative blogs on topics that show your realtor expertise — it’s more important to build your brand than talk about small topics.
- Write blogs on investment, currency, and how Canadian properties are a better bet than any properties elsewhere
- Write blog posts that will expand their view of real estate, which helps them overcome any limited or naive perspective they might have
- Write posts that reflect Canadian culture and preferences and the buyers who will be buying the properties off of them (remember, someone’s going to buy that property from them, so remind them that you’ll be finding great buyers for them too)
- Use lots of pictures, because they can overcome the limitations of language and interpretation.
Appealing to this new stream of wealthy buyers from the Middle East, China and US simultaneously won’t be easy. Build your brand of trustworthiness, knowledge, and always promote your significant, personalized, unique value proposition. Good luck with your new content strategy.
Gord Collins has been an expert San Francisco real estate SEO, Vancouver real estate SEO, Boston real estate SEO, and Toronto real estate SEO consultant for 22 years. Check out his posts on prospecting tips, how to get people to sell their home, real estate agent importance, and tips for luxury real estate agents. Gord will help you master social media, Google, PPC advertising and persuasive content development. And for link building, there’s no one better to launch your outreach campaign.