America just might be a little more red than white and blue these days, a result of increasing real estate investments by Chinese investors. According to a report by Wolf Street, Chinese are the second-largest nationality of buyers of real estate in the United States.
A number of brokerages are even marketing to Chinese investors. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, a subsidiary of HomeServices, recently reached a marketing agreement with Juwai.com, a Chinese property portal. And the access may be paying off. Dean Jones, chief executive officer of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty noted that nearly half of the homes sold in Seattle’s suburbs are going to Chinese buyers.
“This is Vancouver 2.0. A lot of the same motivations and goals are being replicated in Seattle.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has discovered that marketing U.S. properties to Chinese investors can be a profitable business. On its website, the company bills itself as “a real estate brokerage franchise network designed for today’s real estate market.” It claims a network of more than 375 franchisees with more than 46,000 agents. And according to Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, its listings are going to be advertised in China.
“The Chinese have overtaken all nationalities besides Americans as the leading buyers of property in the US. Our efforts through Juwai.com, and through existing marketing agreements with The Wall Street Journal/Asia and Mansion Global Wechat Channel, make it much easier for Chinese real estate buyers to find and shop our property listings.”
Berkshire Hathaway is one of the most widely recognized names in the world, particularly when it comes to real estate. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman and CEO, said it is a reputation the company does not take lightly.
“When people are making the decision of the magnitude of buying a house, it’s the biggest decision a great many families will ever make. They want to know who they’re working with and we think that Berkshire Hathaway name will be reassuring to many of those people.”
And that reputation is not lost on Chinese investors. According to Kerry Donovan, vice president of marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, listings and banner ads are on display inside and outside of China.
“This is a huge differentiator for us. We will continue refining our global listing-syndication program to bring the most value to our domestic franchisees based on international buying activity and search patterns. Juwai.com is an important step toward our overall strategy.”