Real Estate websites in China
China has know these past 30 years one of the most amazing real estate growth of all times, everything has changed, the skyline of large Chinese cities and the way apartments are rented and sold. E-commerce is now the key of Chinese real estate, with very important websites.
Different kinds of websites: who is the targeted customer ?
E-commerce in China is a bit different depending on if the Chinese customer or the foreign expatriate customer is targeted. Some sites exist that are designed for a foreign customer base, such as Scout Real Estate, a real estate agency in Beijing. This is a good website with a lot of information about real estate in China and you can have a look at it to have an idea of what the actual market is. Indeed, real estate in China is about compounds with apartments available in every one of them, the apartment compounds listed on Scout Real Estate are luxury ones.
Apart from this type of websites, most of the websites are designed for the largest real estate market in the world, the Chinese market which is about 20% of the real estate market in the world and has been a source of growth for the Chinese a,d the world economy during these past decades. Real Estate agencies such as Century 21, Wo Ai Wo Jia and Hoze are examples of real estate agencies with good websites, that are representative of websites in China, a bit messy with a lot of information.
A difficulty in the e-commerce and real estate websites in China: the reliability
A specificity of these websites in China is that all of them display a lot of information. Be aware that a large part of it might be irrelevant. Real Estate agencies want to attract customers and once the client is hooked, they will do anything ti find an apartment that more or mess looks like the apartment the client in interested in. Many of the ads on the websites are outdated, the apartments are already sold or rented. A part of a real estate agency work in China is to collect pictures of apartments in compounds just to put them online.
The real estate agencies put ads everywhere, from sites for expatriates to sites abut furniture. Massive presence online is preferred to quality presence.
The answer: real estate portals in China and their response to the markets expectations
Web portals have been set up by Chinese real estate professionals to give information to the Chinese public. Some of these sites are Haozu, 58 and Ganji. Their specificity is the massive information you can read online when you browse these pages.
Chinese customers feel at ease t have a large amount of information on the pages, with a large choice of places to look on the screen. Websites are much less focused than the western countries sites that try to rationalize the focus of the people visiting the site. Chinese websites have messages everywhere, and this doesn’t blur the people's focus.
Open architecture website: Soufun
The website that has modified a lot of things in e-commerce in China is Soufun. This site has real estate informations about 300 cities in China, and is now the number one website for real estate e-commerce in China. The growth has been impressive, one figure to illustrate it, Soufun's e-commerce services sales went from 23 million dollars in 2011 to 100 million dollars in 2012. This is what you can call growth in e-commerce.
Soufun has seized the Chinese market. The competitors are loosing market shares and Soufun has become the reference site. Its success is based on open architecture? Every user shares its information and this has created probably the largest world flux of real estate information, with marketing tools, updated data about the compounds and the apartments.
The new trend of Chinese real estate websites and their services is that they are going global. Until now, you may have the feeling that the Chinese situation is apart from the rest of the world, but this is a feeling you might not have for long. Chinese real estate websites are going global and they are extending their services. For example, Soufun, in addition to the 300 Chinese cities has now apartments and houses available in the USA. Chinese customers want to buy abroad and they find this site reliable, hence a real success.
China real estate e-commerce going global
Another website that represents this trend is Juwai. Juwai has apartments and houses available in Europe and the USA for Chinese customers. Chinese people want to buy abroad but they might be afraid. The Chinese presence in the world is more and more important and Chinese people are beginning to have a real understanding if real estate markets abroad. Juwai is helping them with a lot of information about the places they want to buy property in. This might be the thing to see about Chinese real estate E-commece, it is ambition and rationalization, these sites success might only be the beginning of something new and really impressive in the future.