Inman, the leader in independent real estate and technology news and events, is pleased to announce Simon Henry as a speaker for the highly anticipated Luxury Connect in Beverly Hills, California, Oct. 21-22.
Simon Henry is co-CEO of Juwai.com — named the “most influential international property site in China – 2014” by the country’s peak e-commerce body.
Started in 2011, Juwai has created a global platform for real estate information servicing the world’s Chinese communities. Juwai offers global Chinese market access, and because it offers hosting on both sides of China’s Great Firewall, as well as mobile and social media integration, the company is able to reach Chinese buyers from all parts of the world, wherever they happen to be.
Since Juwai is the only platform that reaches a Chinese global market, it sends more Chinese buyer inquiries to homesellers, developers and agents than any other source.
The site facilitated an estimated U.S. $4.2 billion in Chinese international real estate purchases in the 2013 calendar year, and as Henry explains, the luxury real estate market and Chinese buyers go hand-in-hand.
“Chinese buyers looking to invest in a property internationally are all looking at a higher price and quality bracket than a domestic property buyer,” Henry said.
So what defines luxury for Juwai and the Chinese buyer? “We will look at properties that are more than U.S. $2.5 million in asking price for consideration for our Juwai Luxe channel. All Juwai Luxe properties are evaluated through our luxury editorial team, who give sign-off on all properties to appear on our Luxe channel.
“One good rule of thumb is, ‘Is this property suitable for Vogue?’”
Henry doesn’t expect the cross-border investments in luxury real estate to end anytime soon, either. “Chinese are increasingly coming into the means to travel overseas, and with increased mobility comes increased overseas investment. Furthermore, Chinese lead the way in global luxury spending, and in many cases purchase property at a higher price range than the domestic buyer.
“If China’s latest QDII2 scheme is rolled out nationally, we expect up to US$2.3 trillion will be spent on international residential real estate markets alone.”
Increased mobility also means that Chinese buyers won’t be purchasing luxury properties sight-unseen. “Chinese buyers are extremely smart and savvy about their investments, and while the number of Chinese buyers with money to spend on international property grows, they still very much care about finding the right investment opportunities that offer good returns or meet other criteria of interest to them.”
Henry’s advice for seizing these opportunities? Do your homework. “What the real estate professionals need to be doing now is watching, listening and learning about what makes the Chinese buyer tick. Learn what it is they’re really interested in, what their needs are, in order to better cater to their demands and investment needs.”