With the Bay Area being one of the most desirable places in the world to live, it is not surprising that people relocate here from all across the globe. The share of international buyers is growing rapidly in California as a whole, and according to a survey from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), 30% of international buyers are coming from China.
This year Alain Pinel Realtors has specifically boosted their international marketing – launching a comprehensive global marketing strategy and China.apr.com in addition to our existing partnerships with Luxury Portfolio and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World – and people are beginning to notice. As a recent study commissioned by Alain Pinel Realtors found 22% of our agents have worked with an international client in the last year compared to the approximately 8% of international clients that make up the Califonria real estate market statewide, according to C.A.R.
With all these efforts, Hong Kong’s first English language paper The South China Morning Post has featured us in their publication. Check out the full article below:
Navigating the Bay Area’s real estate market with APR
Historic and culture-rich, yet modern and technology-driven, the San Francisco Bay Area is among the United States’ most attractive locations for education, employment, innovation and residence. In recent years, it has drawn unprecedented interest internationally – and navigating the area’s competitive real estate market has never been more challenging.
“There is no cookie-cutter way to purchase a home in the Bay Area,” says Paul Hulme, president and CEO of Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the fifth-largest residential real estate firm in the United States, and California’s largest privately-owned residential real estate company. “The key is finding a realtor that has the client’s best interests in mind and the expertise at hand. This is particularly valuable for international buyers, because there are so many unknowns.”
Hulme established APR in 1990 with a revolutionary vision: that innovation, global networking, technology-driven productivity, attention to the marketplace and other principles that shape success in other industries would work in real estate as well.
With principles anchored in honesty, integrity and professionalism, APR was first in its field to embrace a code of best practices that set a foundation for consistent excellence. After more than two decades, the Saratoga-headquartered firm has solidified a distinctive brand that breaks the traditional realtor mould – emphasising interactions rather than transactions, and focusing on services that create a customised experience for each client. Today, APR’s scope spans from Carmel to Lake Tahoe and Silicon Valley to Sonoma, but maintains a close-knit team as a family-owned company with 1,400 agents in 32 offices.
“We change lives through homes,” says Rainy Hake, executive vice-president. “We take pride in being locally grown with a global reach. Through syndication and as a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, we are also present in 60 countries worldwide.”
As a full-service brokerage, the firm has also extended its services to mortgage advisory through its in-house company, Private Mortgage Advisors (PMA). Providing home buyers with a one-stop shop, PMA originates, processes and funds mortgage loans for clients.
For sellers, listing a property with APR also comes with an inherent market advantage, thanks to the firm’s extensive industry network and innovative marketing strategy. Through online marketing and affiliate websites such as Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com, APR is able to optimise visibility while targeting only the most qualified buyers.
With Chinese buyers increasingly dominating the firm’s international clientele, APR is building stronger relationships on the mainland. It actively participates in conferences and exhibitions such as the Luxury Properties Showcase (LPS) Beijing held in May, where APR made a presentation on the state of the real estate market in the Bay Area and the lifestyle there. In December, APR will attend LPS Shanghai to pursue partnership possibilities with other brokerage firms, investment consultants and wealth management companies.
Complementing these efforts to reach a wider Chinese client base, the company launched China.APR.com, the firm’s Chinese-language website powered by Caimeiju. It has also expanded its international listing syndication and developed relationships with international service providers and financial institutions such as HSBC.
As a value-added service to Chinese and other foreign clients, APR has begun offering global concierge and attache services, and personalised international client assistance. Specially trained agents, referred to as APR global specialists, also go beyond their brokerage role to help foreign nationals transition into their new communities.
“APR is renowned as a luxury real estate firm, but the truth is we’d list a US$500,000 condominium the same way we would a US$5 million estate. It is not that we only list luxury real estate, but we treat all real estate as though it’s luxury,” Hake says. “We apply this philosophy from properties to our partners, employees and clients, with whom we aim to grow for years to come.”