The Lunar New Year festival is the highlight of the Chinese cultural calendar, and this year is predicted to bring a wave of interest in the Australian property market, with Chinese property platform Juwei IQI forecasting 20-40% growth in foreign property investment enquiries.

Chinese New Year typically signals the beginning of the property buying season in China, with investors often travelling to Australia as part of the festival to view properties. With the distraction of the pandemic in 2020 and borders closed, pent up demand from Chinese investors is expected to provide a huge boost to the Australian property market.

While borders are still closed, more and more Australian agents are taking advantage of technology to promote their properties through Chinese social media and listing platforms. With no sign of borders opening any time soon, Chinese buyers are beginning their search online and investing from afar.

Harriet Geoghegan, Founder of WeTools, says “With a second wave of COVID-19 emerging in China, the Government is encouraging citizens to stay home this Lunar New Year which is only expected to drive more investors to begin researching and transacting online.”

While most Australian agents are well aware of the insatiable demand for Australian property from the Chinese market over the years, many are unsure how to reach them and where to begin.

“It can feel overwhelming as Chinese culture initially seems so different to Western culture. Of course there is a language barrier to overcome, but once you understand the key cultural differences it is really easy to bridge the gap. We always advise our clients to make sure to understand three things: information is key, building relationships is important, and the technology landscape is different but not insurmountable. The best way to build relationships is to share high quality information to build trust with your prospects, which you can easily do through WeChat, the most popular social media platform in China.” Said Geoghegan.

Geoghegan set up WeTools, a platform that allows Australian real estate agents and property developers easily automate translating and posting their listings and property information on WeChat, to help businesses bridge the gap in culture, language and technology with China and capitalise on the huge demand in the industry.

“By simply translating and posting your property information on WeChat, you’re already signalling to your Chinese prospects that you are willing to communicate and build a relationship with them, in their favourite medium. In terms of the Chinese New Year opportunity, we really recommend running special incentives and promotions during this time – from waiving stamp duty to rebates to upgrade packages. Remember, with closed borders everyone’s an investor so think about incentives designed for investors, not owner-occupiers.”

“You can also engage your prospects and show you are welcoming offline – from Chinese New Year decorations in the office to sharing greetings and well wishes to celebrate the festival. Last, it’s important to remember that building trust and long term relationships is fundamental to Chinese culture, so don’t expect a flood of enquiries from one social media post, keep it up, keep it consistent and keep reaching out to check in with your prospects.”

“In the end it’s all about communication – which isn’t that different to the West.”