Where should I advertise to find Chinese real estate clients is the most popular question I receive. My answer is simple, follow the leaders. As always do what the most successful brokers do. Two examples among many.

WeChat Only Model:
Yue (Emma) Hao, a New York-based agent at real-estate brokerage banged a $13 million deal from an unsolicited message on WeChat. As of 2014, she had completed seven deals via WeChat. Ms. Hao also set up a WeChat group between herself, sent contracts back and forth between the buyer and attorneys to negotiate terms of the deal using WeChat. Of course she also posts new listings and pictures from open houses on her timeline and leaves voice messages for prospective buyers using WeChat. Basically every deal starts and ends at WeChat.

WeChat and Local Chinese Newspapers:
Clarence Debelle in Vancouver. Debelle a broker with a large Chinese clientele, specializes in luxury homes above $2 million Canadian, sells at least 25 homes a year in such neighborhoods as Point Grey. His clients are mainly from Hong Kong and mainland China. Debelle is doing so well that even his Chinese sales associate drives a white Bentley. Mr. Debelle uses WeChat in a similar manner to Ms. Hao but he also aggressively advertises in local Chinese newspapers.

Local Chinese newspapers like Chineseinla.com are an excellent place for aggressive, successful brokers to place ads. The reason being that as they are all in Mandarin, based in the local area and a top location for Chinese to look for news, food and other local living information, they draw in both local Chinese investors in addition to visiting Chinese families looking for things to do in the city.

Every large city has a local Chinese newspaper. It’s not for the faint of heart as advertising can be expensive and hit and miss until you get the formula right but if you want to advertise, this is where Chinese are looking.

I just did an English Google search for “Chinese newspapers Vancouver” and came up with the top two Chinese sites:

So just search “Chinese newspapers Los Angeles” or “Chinese newspapers Sydney” to find popular local Chinese language sites. And Bobs your uncle. Simple as that.

If you use Google Chrome for browsing, you can install the Google translate addon and read the newspapers in English. This is a great way to get to know your area from a Chinese perspective.

You will be surprised at the types of events being talked about and will know good places to network and also to learn about Chinese culture and issues that Chinese are concerned about. In the search I just did, I found plenty of articles about violence against Chinese tourists in various countries in the world. A bus in Dublin was attacked by youth throwing stones and so on. This will greatly help you to understand the perspective of Chinese buying in your area.

The way they see you is surprising. The way they see you area is surprising. The way they see the world is different. So if you want to advertise, try something Chinese actually read. And if not, scan the articles yourself once in awhile as they will help you enormously to understand the perspective and concerns of the people you want to service.

Seeing the world from another perspective has been the greatest single thing I have learned from living in China. In the end, no one on their death bed looks at pictures of their material possessions but instead at their inner world and at the friends around them. I have many friends in China and have learned an enormous amount from them. I feel this is the best thing I received while running a business in Shanghai.


If you want to advertise, avoid salesy sites. All business. Look for local Chinese community sites. Chinese that are considering moving to your area will be reading them. Guaranteed. You should too!


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