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LJ Hooker secures an industry first with a dedicated China Concierge Service

On Oct 10 2013


LJ Hooker is continuing its push to capitalise on Chinese investment in Australia, which reached ...

LJ Hooker is continuing its push to capitalise on Chinese investment in Australia, which reached $4.1 billion last year, today (10 October 2013) announcing it is the first real estate group to secure a concierge in mainland China, to act as a conduit between offshore buyers and its local agents.

 

"A Chinese Property Concierge needs to be based in China if it is to succeed with Chinese buyers,” said LJ Hooker CEO Georg Chmiel. “It's easier to provide good service when you are physically close to the people you are helping.”

 

The new service is provided through a partnership with Juwai.com, the No. 1 Chinese international property website, with 1.5 million unique browsers every month. Juwai.com has recently been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Bloomberg.

 

LJ Hooker and Juwai.com have appointed Jessie Zhong for the new role. A marketing and real estate expert, Ms Zhong is a Chinese native who is also fluent in English.

 

Mr Chmiel said Ms Zhong will field inquiries from Chinese buyers about LJ Hooker listings in Australia and New Zealand and help the local agent respond to those inquiries.

 

“She will also help arrange property inspections, accompany purchasers on buying trips as translator and advisor and represent LJ Hooker offices at selected international property shows held in China. There are 160 such shows every year.

 

“Chinese individuals tend to emphasize trusted relationships or ‘guanxi’ in making property investments. Having a Shanghai-based Chinese national to help our LJ Hooker agents will enable them to more effectively build these relationships.”

 

The LJ Hooker network already includes more than 200 Chinese-speaking professionals. The new Concierge will build on this leadership and help guide buyers before they even arrive in Australia.

 

Sir Leslie Joseph Hooker, the company founder, was half Chinese and LJ Hooker opened its first office in China, LJ Hooker Hong Kong, in 1999.

 

Mr Chmiel said Chinese buyers are having a real impact throughout Australia and New Zealand.

 

"Our LJ Hooker Property Concierge comes down to four words: helping vendors sell property.”

 

CHINESE BUYERS IN AUSTRALIA

In the 2012-2013 financial year, Chinese nationals invested an estimated $5.4 billion in Australian real estate, according to Juwai.com research.

 

  • Chinese investment in Australian property climbed 75 per cent over the most recent two years. (source: Foreign Investment Review Board)
  • China is the third-largest source of visitors to Australia. 542,000 Chinese visited in 2011. (source: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
  • The 120,000 Chinese students in Australia are more than any other nationality. (source: DFAT)
  • Australia was the second most popular country for Chinese property hunters in August 2013, as measured in their activity on Juwai.com, after the USA and before the UK, Canada and Germany.

 

CHINESE BUYERS IN NEW ZEALAND

China is New Zealand's second largest source of offshore property buyers, with 15 per cent of all offshore sales, according to the Bank of New Zealand and Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. The UK is first and Australia third.

 

  • 37 per cent of Chinese offshore buyers intend to live in New Zealand, while 63 per cent do not. (Bank of New Zealand, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand)
  • China is the country’s single largest source of international students, reports Education New Zealand, with 23,000 fee-paying students in 2011.
  • New Zealand ranked as the globe’s 10 most popular country with Chinese investors, as measured in their activity on Juwai.com, in August 2013.

 

 

Juwai.com co-CEO Andrew Taylor said LJ Hooker’s concierge service will help Chinese buyers, but its biggest impact will be to help Australian vendors, as LJ Hooker finds new sources of buyers.

 

“The Property Concierge will make A-NZ LJ Hooker agents more effective at selling and give them a boost when pitching to vendors for their listings.

 

"LJ Hooker is solving the practical obstacles that can sometimes stop a transaction. They are making sure every enquiry gets followed up, no matter what language it is in.

 

"Undoubtedly LJ Hooker's new Chinese Property Concierge service makes them the No. 1 agent in Australia for Chinese buyers.”