The great culture wall: How and why to target Chinese borrowers in Australia

by Mackenzie McCarty01 Mar 2013

Earlier this week, property website and real estate marketing company Previsite signed an exclusive partnership, signifying something many in the mortgage broking industry are coming to realise: Chinese buyers are playing a major part in Australia’s housing market.

VMoney director Vivian Wang, whose brokerage firm includes a number of Chinese clients, says there are several reasons for the growing trend.

“I think real estate has always remained as the favourite investment for Chinese investors, the concept of wealth creation through property investment has been passing through generations; this applies to Chinese who are residing in Australia and also overseas investors.”

In recent years, due to the impact of property-purchasing limitations and other control measures in China, Wang says more and more Chinese nationals are considering investing in real estate overseas.

“With Australia’s economy appearing relatively strong and stable on the global stage and also possible consideration of future migration, education and wealth diversification, more and more Chinese shift their wealth to Australia through property investment. As a mortgage broker, this market has provided tremendous opportunities for us.”

Wang says she thinks targeting Chinese investors could pose a unique and rewarding opportunity for many mortgage brokers working in Australia – but there’s also a fair bit of competition.

“It is a big market with a lot of opportunities, but as far as I know it is also very competitive market as there are already many Chinese mortgages brokers out there.”

She says brokers wanting to appeal to this market niche must take the time to understand cultural differences and nuance.

“Besides learning the language, I think it is quite important to understand Chinese culture. You really need to be patient dealing with Chinese clients; quite often, western people feel frustrated to figure out what Chinese clients really think from the ‘not so emotional responses’ especially on the initial stage of dealing with them. You have to gain their respect and trust before you try to win their business.”

 Wang stresses that, in general, Chinese people are scrupulous and intent on getting things right.

“Chinese are diligent people, not just for work or business, when it comes to getting investment/finance advice, they also like to do their homework and research as well. Always present the best possible offer/solution - because they will compare…”

However, for brokers that do manage to build trust and a positive working relationship with Chinese clients, the potential for further business can grow quickly.

“Once they open up to you, they will also introduce their family and friends to you as well.”