Emily Landes has a fascinating account today on the San Francisco Chronicle’s “On the Block” blog detailing how brokerage Pacific Union “decided it wanted to play ball” in China last year and sponsored a black-tie dinner in Beijing honoring the country’s 100 richest people.

Seeing the potential to do some big business with wealthy Chinese looking for homes in the U.S., the company hired a bilingual “concierge” and is building a website to market listings in Mandarin. The website, which launches May 15, is hosted on a Chinese server to get around lag time for sites that are hosted outside the country.

Pacific Union CEO Mark McLaughlin tells Landes that wealthy Chinese buyers are quick to buy, but instead of trading up in a few years, they “tend to buy, hold and then buy more.” That could add to the inventory crunch in San Francisco and other markets and drive prices higher. Source: blog.sfgate.com.

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