Business / Industries

Australian property listed on WeChat before local market

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-02 14:18

CANBERRA -- Australian real estate agents are posting an increasing number of properties to Chinese-language social media, such as WeChat, before advertising on the general market.

The head-start for those familiar with the apps are allowing a number of properties to be sold before making it to market, while estate agents say it is allowing them to build better relationships with clients.

The director of a Chinese-language Australian real estate website told Fairfax Media on Thursday that WeChat, a free messaging and calling app, had changed the industry.

Esther Yong said buyers' enthusiasm for using the app had seen the company move to place a WeChat button next to listing for buyers to contact the agent.

She said major Australian agencies were also looking to creating official accounts on WeChat, in much the same way to how they operate Facebook pages.

"When (the agents) go for the viewings, they take photos and then post it on WeChat," Yong said. "Before (the properties) are formally on the market, they may be getting inquiries already."

Melbourne estate agent Greg Bowring was introduced to the app by Chinese colleagues and said he had sold to a number of buyers who had come across his posts.

"We had buyers from our books and from other properties come through, but eventually the buyer was from WeChat," Bowring told Fairfax Media on Thursday.

He said the app is "another avenue of connection" with the Chinese market and supports buyers in favor of a quieter sale.

"At open for inspections, I have a page on display with my QR (Quick Response) code and the buyers come in and scan it and connect with me online," he said. "Sometimes it results in three to six inspections prior to even hitting the actual real market."

Other agents said using "really cute cartoon stickers" on WeChat allowed them to "soften the conversation."

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