Technology

Zillow listings searchable in Chinese, but details about homes are presented in English

US portal powering searches for entire Leju Holdings platform

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Chinese-speaking buyers can now use leju.com and a stable of other search portals owned by Leju Holdings Ltd. to search for U.S. homes in Zillow’s inventory, but listing detail pages will be presented only in English.

Under a partnership between Zillow and Leju announced in April, Zillow will “power” searches for U.S. homes conducted on Leju’s platforms, providing access to Zillow’s for-sale and premarket listings at a co-branded site, zillow.leju.com. In addition to leju.com, Leju operates mobile apps and local real estate sites that cover 250 Chinese cities.

Leju’s users can search Zillow listings and see their search results in Chinese. But once they click on a property in the search results, they’ll need to know English to digest the information presented on the listing detail pages hosted by Zillow on the co-branded site.

Other than a strip across the top of the page that includes Leju’s branding and links in Chinese back to Leju’s site, the listing detail pages do not differ from how they are typically displayed to visitors of zillow.com. All of the usual elements of a Zillow listing are there, including agent ads, display ads, photos and property information — all in English.

Currently, there are no plans to translate the “co-branded” property detail pages on Zillow into Chinese, Zillow spokeswoman Amanda Woolley said.

Zillow-china
Property detail page setup for a Santa Barbara, California, listing on Zillow accessed from leju.com.

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Investment from Chinese buyers represented 24 percent of foreign investment in U.S. real estate in 2014 at $22 billion after nearly doubling from 2013 to 2014, according to the 2014 National Association of Realtors profile of international homebuying activity.

“This co-branded site will make it easy for (Chinese buyers) to not only find the U.S. home of their dreams, but also connect with a local real estate professional who can help make that dream a reality,” said Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow chief marketing officer, in a statement.

“For Chinese buyers who are looking to invest in the U.S. market, we now provide easy access to a comprehensive amount of listings, which will simplify the remote house-hunting experience,” said Geoffrey Yinyu He, Leju Holdings Unlimited’s CEO, in a statement.

With the partnership, Zillow takes its first step into the international market. Other U.S. portals, including Trulia and realtor.com, and the global franchisors Re/Max, Century 21 Real Estate and Keller Williams Realty, have already been active in the space.

Realtor.com and Re/Max launched their international sites in 2011. That same year, Trulia began sharing its listings with the international real estate search site ListGlobally, the same site that syndication platform ListHub — owned by realtor.com operator Move Inc. — began partnering with in March.