SARATOGA, California (June 20, 2014) — Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) had a network of agents accompany Michi Olson, APR Vice President, Global Business Development and Relocation, to the LPS Property Showcase, held May 16-18 in Beijing. Olson spoke at the event, presenting on Bay Area lifestyle, the state of the local market, and living in the area.
This invitation-only expo welcomed an audience of Chinese luxury property buyers, high-end investors, and wealthy individuals. Now in its seventh year, the event held at the Legendale Hotel featured over 80 exhibitioners from over 20 countries and focused on international high-end properties, with 5,000 targeted visitors in attendance. Firmly established as Beijing’s leading luxury property show, the event allows Chinese luxury home owners to interact with well-known property developers from China and leading overseas luxury real estate professionals, like Alain Pinel Realtors.
APR’s participation in the conference coincides with the launch of their International Marketing Strategy last month, targeting the rapidly growing number of international real estate homebuyers investing in the San Francisco Bay Area. As well as launching China.APR.com, the firm’s Chinese language website, APR announced expanded international listing syndication, affiliate offices in China, image ads in international publications, relationships with service providers and financial institutions, and personalized international client assistance.
“The conference served as a unique opportunity for APR agents to network and build international relationships in China and with other global luxury real estate professionals,” said Olson. “The LPS conference is yet another example of how the business world is getting smaller.”
The experience gained from the event helps APR agents to better guide international buyers, as well as gain more exposure for their listings. According to Bob Brushwyler, APR Saratoga, the quality and interest of the contacts was of a higher caliber, and agents came away with more new contacts than from any past LPS conference.
Mark Wong and Daphne Chou, APR Saratoga, visited a well-established Beijing real estate brokerage firm which shares a similar philosophy as APR. The founder and CEO invited them to speak to all their agents and staff regarding the current housing market in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were invited back to Beijing next month to speak at a widely-publicized real estate and investment seminar.
“APR agents explored future partnership possibilities with other brokerage firms, wealth management companies, investment consultants, and individual entrepreneurs,” said Wong. “We gained first-hand experience about Chinese culture, business practices, and real estate opportunities, and also visited Central Government financial institutions to learn more about their monetary policies.”
According to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) Annual Housing Market Survey, the share of international buyers is growing in California, with 30% of international buyers coming from China. In a recent interview with Forbes, Wong said international investors look to buy in the US to diversify their portfolio. C.A.R.’s 2013 International Real Estate Consumer Survey shows 16% of international buyers as interested in investment/tax advantages in the US, and 38% of buyers intending to use their property as an investment or rental. With its weather, business opportunities, and public education system, the Silicon Valley is a natural target for these buyers.
Chinese clients look for brand-new, furnished single-family homes built with high-quality materials. Important home amenities among international buyers according to the international survey are designer kitchens, outdoor pools, and hot tubs.
According to the international survey, 69% of international buyers are bringing in all cash offers, have a median income of $260k, and are highly educated, with 82% being college educated. As this increase in investment buyers translates to an increase in rentals and fewer owner occupied homes, there is a transition in local neighborhoods, with communities becoming increasingly diversified.