LJ Hooker Appoints Shanghai Concierge for Chinese Buyers

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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
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LJ Hooker hopes to expand its property sales to Chinese buyers with the appointment of a concierge in the country itself in order to facilitate stronger relations with local investors.

The Australian real estate giant has announced the appointment of Jessie Zhong as the company’s concierge in Shanghai, in order to facilitate relations between China-based investors and vendors in both Australia and New Zealand.

Zhong, a Chinese national who is an expert in the local real estate market and proficient in English, will be responsible for taking inquiries from Chinese buyers about LJ Hooker’s listings, as well as arranging property inspections and serving as both adviser and translator for prospective investors during purchasing trips.

Zhong will also serve as LJ Hooker’s representative at various international property shows in China, around 160 of which are held each year.

The arrangement has been established in cooperation with Juwai.com, China’s biggest website for overseas property investment, with residential and commercial property listings in 52 countries and visits from 1.5 million unique browsers each month.

LJ Hooker claims to be the first real estate group to appoint a concierge in the mainland Chinese market, saying the move is essential for expanding the company’s sales operations in the country.

“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.”

Chmiel said the appointment of a concierge in Shanghai who can act as a go-between is especially important given the heavy emphasis placed on personal relationships by China’s commercial culture.

“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,” he said.

Interest from China in the Australian property market has surged of late due to the rapid emergence of a cash-flush class of nouveau riche, as well as caps placed by the Chinese authorities on local property purchases as part of efforts to cool down the country’s own overheated real estate market.

Realtors in Sydney reported in September that purchases by Chinese investors hit unprecedented heights, with as many as 80 per cent of homes in certain parts of the city sold to buyers hailing from the Middle Kingdom.

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