First I’d like to thank Wellington, New Zealand’s Tommy’s Real Estate director David Platt for being honest. So many articles talk about success in selling at an event in China but when I speak to them privately they admit nothing was sold but they “learned a lot” and “feel optimistic about the future” and the like. What really happened is that they failed and won’t come back because events are expensive and time consuming and produced zero revenue. The article’s conclusion is that Chinese won’t buy in Wellington, only Auckland. You can find the original article by searching “Chinese buyers cool on Wellington offerings”

The conclusion that Chinese don’t want Wellington is the wrong conclusion, however. And it likely started with the wrong mindset and bad advice. I can only go by what’s in the article but it seems pretty clear that they had a “database of 1,000 people in China” and went to China to market to this list. Agents in this position are very confident in my experience. They have a list and know what they are doing. They rent space that they don’t know much about, pay for dinners for people with no intention of buying, hire “translators” who are often young, inexperienced, know nothing of real estate, never lived in New Zealand and are usually from a totally different social class than the buyers. But faith is high in the list. It’s a sure thing. Then after the event is shown to have zero benefit, everyone goes home and blames it on the wrong cause. The city.

This is a classic mistake. All of their eggs in one basket. And way too much trust in a list. “a database” of 1,000 people in China” means nothing to me because there is no secret list of buyers for a certain area. You need to market your listings, your company and yourself (the story of why you are the person to deal with in that area) If you market your listings to buyers in China first and get real leads of people who actually are interested in your area, the schools in the area, the visa policy of your country and you as an agent, you can close deals. Wishful thinking is painful and expensive when trying to penetrate the market.

I know because I’ve made almost every mistake in the book in the last couple decades. Me and my team have had many expensive failures. But we continued on and finally broke through. After that we started teaching other agents how to avoid the mistakes and get a running start. Don’t email me looking for magic lists of buyers. As you can see from this story, no one has a secret list of buyers in Wellington. However, if you market your properties well, you can make your own list and it will be for the properties that you actually can sell! Not a list of buyers who actually want to buy in New York, Korea or some other location. By putting yourself out there, much like a person ad, you draw people interested in you, your area, your experience and want to deal with you. These buyers are a joy to work with because you aren’t selling them anything. They are buying because it’s what they want.

I’m sorry to hear that story but hope that the team at Tommy’s Real Estate now realize that they need advice from someone who actually knows the market and has experience penetrating it. My pain can benefit you. I’ve definitely been there before and enjoy helping others get to the other side of the fence.


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