Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with we talked with Karen Rodriguez, the broker for the newly launched GROUP KORA and a Who’s Who 2014 participant, for her tips on how agents can bring their business to an international level.
5. Focus on Chinese Buyers – Chinese consumers represent a growing segment of buyers, and Atlanta’s strong schools have made it attractive to Chinese buyer. To appeal to that demand, we brought in a feng shui consultant at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental to consult on our floor plans and model homes. We highlighted the partnership in our marketing and blog posts.
4. Have an International Website – We also hired a company to translate our website into Simplified and Traditional Mandarin Chinese, along with Spanish. That’s very, very important, and we’ve seen great results from that.
3. You Listings Must be Present on International Listings Services – Our listings are prominent on such international sites as Juwai.com. It’s very easy (and cost effective) strategy.
The sheer numbers of Chinese consumers is incredible. They say that for every one buyer you have today, there will be two next year, so though we’re not seeing a huge influx just yet of Chinese buyers in Atlanta, we want to be the pioneers in front of that trend.
2. For Luxury Buyers, Educate Yourself on EB-5 Visas – The EB-5 Visa offers permanent residency to foreigners in exchange for a U.S. investment of at least $1 million that creates or preserves a minimum of 10 jobs. So real estate investment has been a popular way for foreigners to acquire Visas, and we’re seeing quite a bit of that. Investment is particularly strong in areas with strong schools. So a foreign consumer may buy a property intended for a grandchild and sit on it for 15 to 20 years.
1. Educate Yourself – We tailored some of our pricing to Chinese buyers, so the prices included numbers that are lucky in Chinese culture. Some of our listings will end with “888,” which is a lucky sequence in China, and we’ll take out unlucky numbers like “4.” It’s important for agents to educate themselves. This is such a huge (and growing) trend that is not going away, so agents should pursue books about Chinese consumers and culture.
Karen Rodriguez is the broker of GROUP KORA and the director of sales for The Residences at Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta. One of the top five producers at Dorsey Alston, Karen has listed and closed more than $150 million in Buckhead high-rise condo sales since joining the brokerage – a success rate that has led to fellow Realtors and the media dubbing her the “Buckhead Condo Queen.”