In most markets around the world foreign investors represent a significant % of all purchasers. This is particularly the case for apartments in many markets (some countries even preclude foreigners from purchasing land alone or sometimes any form of property other than residential apartments and houses).
A recent article in Queensland (which you can find here) discusses how Asian investors are now buying more property than the British, which have traditionally been the largest foreign investors in Queensland.
So if you are a Developer or a Project marketer, how do you get your share of this market?
Here are a few ways we have successfully generated sales for our clients in the past that we would recommend you consider:
– build a multilingual website. If you are reading this Blog you probably have English as your first language but English is in fact only the 3rd most spoken language in the world (see reference here). Chinese and Spanish represent the first language of more people than English. So if you are seeking to target specific markets, you do need to consider making your site and all direct marketing material (such as emails) multi-lingual.
Also those of you considering using Babelfish (an automatic language converter) please be warned. Babelfish is not very successful at converting english into most asian languages.
– create an Agent Portal. An Agent Portal is a secure website that a network of external sales agents can login and view live availability on your Project. this can also include fully interactive building or estate animations, sales and marketing documents, floor plans and pretty much anything they need to be able to successfully sell your project. An Agent Portal should also allow online reservations, enabling you to sell property 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. This is essential if you want to do business internationally.
– email marketing. Email is a great tool for promoting your project and communicating with foreign prospects. It is low cost and if used correctly, it can be highly targeted. Consider running completely different campaigns to different countries, taking account of language and cultural differences. With the low cost of creating and executing email campaigns this should be seriously considered.
– Search Engine Optimisation. Unfortunately most websites created for a Project are still poorly optimised for search engines. This is a huge disadvantage for selling over the internet. So you need to ensure your website is SEO friendly. It is a must if you want to reach anyone other than local prospects via the Internet.
– Search Engine Marketing. Through the use of local real estate portals and major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and country specific portals such as baidu.com in China, you can reach a very large audience. The key is ensuring your website is accessible in the website locations of choice of your target audience.
– consider developing a mobile friendly or iPad friendly website. In many merging markets the use of a mobile phone to access the Internet is far in excess of PC access. Even in markets where this isn’t the case, access to your Project via a Smart Phone or iPad ensure you essential Project data is available 24 hrs a day from any location (very helpful if you are selling property over dinner and drinks!).
These are just a few of the various solutions we have put in place for our clients marketing property around the World. Brightfox is quite unique in that we have been doing business internationally for many years, and have customers that sell property into most parts of the World. Just a few of the countries we have helped our clients target are the UAE, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Russia and the various countries of the former USSR, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, India, Pakistan, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and of course Australia and New Zealand.