Sydney Connection

Sydney Connection 2017 | Event Highlights

After delivering nine highly successful China Connection events in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beijing, Investorist’s unique networking event for off the plan industry professionals has arrived in Australia. With stamp duty changes, lending restrictions and Chinese currency controls all having an impact on the Australian property market of late, the timing was ideal to offer channel agents premium networking opportunities and specific tools to assist with increasing lead conversion rates and achieving higher sales from the local market.

The event played a dual role in bringing developers and project marketers from across Australia together with Sydney-based selling agents who were seeking the opportunity grow their networks and get an update direct from developers on the key trends they’ve observed in each state. Selling agents were also presented the chance to learn more about the leading projects within each region and insights from experts like Salesforce and LinkedIn on how to maximise sales from the local market as conditions change and tighten.

Real estate professionals gathered at Sydney’s Ovolo Hotel in the vibrant harbourside suburb of Woolloomooloo, eager to see what the inaugural event would deliver. With tickets sold out, it was a full house and the venue was bursting with channel agents and developers mingling as they awaited the presentations to begin.

LinkedIn’s Andrew McCarthy kicked off the day with a captivating presentation on social selling, linking this to generating sales pipelines, increasing deal sizes and getting higher win-rates. Next, Collin Martin of Salesforce took the stage to cover the ins and outs of lead conversion for property professionals, specifically covering how to segment leads into an online database, digital automation, converting leads into paying customers and measuring efforts. Andrew Savage from Destined – a Salesforce consulting partner, continued this conversation by providing insights into best practice nurture and conversion, how this relates to real estate and property development, and leveraging first party data to strengthen lead acquisition. Amplifying the speakers’ topics, we heard success stories from two people who’ve put these theories into practice. Mark Mendel (iBuyNew) and Clint Greaves (Real Estate Investar) both have companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and they were welcomed with a huge round of applause as they took to the mic to share their experiences operating digital businesses in the real estate sector.

The knowledge and learning component of the day ended on a high as the audience had the opportunity to hear from developers in a state-of-the-market panel discussion. Insights and observations were shared about the property market in a state-by-state format, with each seller delving into what they’d seen happening in each market and what they expect in the future. Drinks and canapés followed, as well as much enthusiastic networking. Guests also had the chance to visit project seller booths and explore prospective deals.

With so much positive feedback on #SydCon17 already received, planning for our next event will start soon.


What is Sydney Connection?

With a tightening off-the-plan property market in Australia, local sales are getting more difficult to convert and require working a little harder and smarter to get hit sales targets over the next 12 months. Stamp duty and tax changes as well as demand from clients, have led to Investorist introducing a concentrated half-day specialist off the plan event. Sydney Connection aims to bring property professionals the tools and relationships they need to grow their networks and hit higher sales targets.

After 9 successful China Connection events, Investorist are bringing the boutique format to Sydney by popular demand. This events joins channel agents with developers from across the country as well as providing knowledge and insights into the state of the market, digital disruption, lead management and conversion and social selling.

This power networking event allows real estate professionals including agents, financial planners, wealth advisors and property developers involved in selling off-the-plan property, to connect, discuss and build relationships with Australia’s top developers with access to exclusive projects, not accessed anywhere else.

With leading industry expert speakers from Salesforce, LinkedIn, Destined, iBuyNew, Real Estate Investar and more, Sydney Connection is expected to sell out by the end of the week.

Top 3 reasons to come to Sydney Connection:

  • Experts from each state will be discussing the ‘state of the market’.
  • Lead generation and conversions have never been more important with an increase in cost and higher pressure to close.
  • See 10 leading developers from around Australia and their top projects.

The first release of tickets have SOLD OUT, with a limited second release now available, so don’t miss your chance to be a part of this exciting event. Click here for more info and to grab your tickets.

Investorist Blog

7 Top Tips for Developers Aiming to do Business in China

After recently completing our most recent China Connection event and preparing for our next two, Investorist have had years of experience connecting developers from around the globe, to Selling Agents (Real Estate Agents, Migration Agents, Financial Advisers etc) in China. Early on in the process it was apparent that having a presence in China would be crucial to the success of our clients however we understand better than most that doing business in China is very different to doing business in a Western country like Australia, the UK and the US. Here are our top tips for any developers wanting to break into the Chinese investment market.

1. Meet face to face

Culturally the Chinese prefer do business face to face. Whilst research and enquires may be done online, when it comes to making important business decisions and signing contracts, the Chinese would rather meet the people they are doing business with. The Chinese also rarely agree to a deal or sign an agreement in an office or around the table.  Chinese people like to engage with their business prospects in a social setting as well, preferably over a meal.  At Investorist, we call this phenomenon ‘O2O’ or Online to Offline, and it is the reason our China Connection events, which carefully match property developers and selling agent for one on one meetings, have been so successful in closing deals.

2. Speak their language

Whilst English is mostly spoken in the larger cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, etc., many people only speak Mandarin, Cantonese or local dialects. It would be worth having a staff member who can speak the local language or hiring a translator to ensure everything is clearly understood between all parties.

3. Be a subject expert

Typically, Chinese selling agents like to be assured that you are an expert in your field, and that you and your team can make that expertise available to your Chinese partners. Developers are expected to be the ‘subject expert’ on the project they are building, the city it’s located in, the economics of the area, suburb growth and yields, current bank lending policies, government regulations relating to foreign ownership and immigration visas and more. When you offer to give seminars, attend trade shows or train Chinese sales teams on your project, it goes a very long way in boosting your appeal and credibility as a partner they want to do business with.

4. Send senior people

Chinese people value the seniority of the personnel they deal with.  Making sure a senior management representative of your company is available is important, especially when dealing with the most senior staff of the Chinese selling agent you wish to do business with. Much like in Western culture, it sends the message that you take the deal and the relationship seriously, as you have invested in sending your top people to meet with them in their country.

5. Invest in follow up and training

It doesn’t stop once you have made the initial pitch. The more you can help your Chinese business partners to educate their customers and train their staff on your product or service, the more successful you will be.  This ties in with being a subject expert, meeting face-to-face and sending over senior people to China.

6. Embrace WeChat

WeChat is the most popular form of digital communication in China, and most Chinese people especially the Gen Ys and Millennials, live on this platform. A good understanding of WeChat is critical when doing business in China. Investorist utilises WeChat extensively to communicate project specifics in the lead up to its China Connection events directly to the property professionals most interested in learning about them.

7. Host your website in China, and in Mandarin

China has ‘the great firewall’ which restricts access to most websites, and there is no guarantee your western-hosted site will be accessible in China. With major site like Facebook and Google banned in China, you need to fully understand the local digital landscape if your business has any dependence on a website. This includes payment applications, social networking sites and even Google Maps. If your website doesn’t comply with China’s strict government regulations, don’t expect your website to be visible to Chinese.

Get it right in China though, with China accounted for $33b in foreign residential and commercial property investment last year, and the sky’s the limit. To find out more about our China Connection events, click here.


China Report Launch: That’s a Wrap!

Investorist’s China 2017 International Property Outlook launch events have finished with a bang this week, with a booked-out event in Melbourne on Tuesday evening.

Around 200 property industry guests joined Investorist, the world’s leading marketplace for off the plan property, to launch the third annual China International Property Outlook.

With speakers from the Real Estate Advisory practice of co-hosts, PwC and Investorist CEO and Founder, Jon Ellis, the China Report launch roadshow started in Sydney and Brisbane last week. Investorist clients, industry professionals and property media were all eager to be the first to get their hands on this comprehensive, information-packed and topical report.

The China 2017 International Property Outlook Report is the result of a comprehensive survey of 120 real estate agencies across China, who will collectively sell over 10,000 foreign properties in 2017, worth more than $5.27b.

This year, the report takes a more International view of Chinese outbound property investment, with featured spotlight sections on the Australian, US and UK markets. The report covers the sentiment of Chinese buyers; current and anticipated demand; key purchase drivers; top buy countries and cities; funding requirements; properties types; loan availability impact; currency outflow restrictions; yields, budgets and ‘sweet spot’ price ranges; and much more.

Jon Ellis, Founder and CEO of Investorist said, “Chinese outbound property investment has been an unstoppable juggernaut to date. It has survived domestic currency controls imposed by the Chinese Government and a range of shocks in International buying markets, from Brexit through to a nationalistic Trump administration and a raft of taxation and banking restrictions in Australia”

“Any developer, agent or marketer who has an interest in selling properties to the Chinese market should read this report.  It provides up-to-date, on-the-ground market information about what is driving Chinese buyers, what they will spend and specifically what they look for in Australian real estate investments.”

To see a full wrap-up video from the jam-packed Melbourne event or to download a copy of this valuable report for yourself, click here.

Do you know the pricing ‘sweet spots’ for Chinese investors in your market?

Properties with that something special, like breathtaking views, superb locations or high-end amenities, will always hit a ‘sweet spot’ for investors, but what about pricing?

Investorist’s latest China 2017 International Property Outlook Report reveals a ‘sweet spot’ range when it comes to the optimally-priced stock for Chinese investors. If properties are priced too far below this range, the Chinese will assume that something is wrong with the property as it appears to be ‘too cheap’.

Undervaluing or overpricing properties will only deter Chinese investors from a project. The report uncovers the pricing ‘sweet spot’ range for Chinese investors in their top three buy countries: Australia, the USA and the UK. Also included in the report is the expected investment yield that Chinese investors are seeking, and what types of properties they prefer.

With around 50 pages packed with valuable market information, selling tips and unique insights into this lucrative market, you don’t want to miss getting your copy. Click here to get your free report.

What are the key drivers for Chinese buyers, and does your project tick their boxes?

Property is now a global commodity. So developers may ask themselves what attracts foreign investors from around the globe, and will their projects make the cut? With China accounting for $33 billion in foreign residential and commercial property investment in 20161, this is a very good question.

Investorist’s latest China 2017 International Property Outlook Report gives in-depth insight into the key drivers for Chinese buyers, location trends and budgets.

The report also reveals that demand for investment properties from China continues to grow each year, with Australia, the USA and the UK remaining the most sought after buy countries.

“Whilst demand for Australian stock has cooled somewhat, demand for US stock (from late 2016) and UK stock (in the wake of Brexit) has increased. Globally Chinese outbound investment is showing no signs of slowing and developers who are appropriately respectful of Asian buyers and their specific needs can look forward to achieving healthy sales over the next 12 months” says Investorist Founder and CEO, Jon Ellis.

With around 50 pages packed with valuable market information, selling tips and unique insights into this lucrative market, you don’t want to miss getting your copy. Click here to get your free report.

Source: 1 JLL’s Global Capital Flows report

Why wine-cellars are the new normal in apartment amenities

As the off the plan apartment market becomes increasingly competitive in capital cities, developers are looking for creative new ways to make their projects stand out. One of the key ways this is done is through the resident amenities that a project offers, which can range from a simple on-site cafe to lavish golf simulation rooms and electronic butlers.

Whilst location, nearby schools and building design are obviously key factors for buyers when looking at apartments, on-site amenities can add significant value to a property and increase rental yields. For the owner-occupier, they can also offer the convenience of not having to leave the complex for their daily coffee, shopping or spa day.

As a society we’ve placed high value on the ‘lifestyle’ that our choice of living space can offer, and developers are responding with exclusive, world-class amenities that would give many resorts a run for their money.

West End, a development in Melbourne’s West, offers residents a cinema, a day spa, rooftop garden and a jacuzzi amongst other resident amenities. In addition to a heated 25m wet edge pool set amongst sub-tropical gardens, Gasworks in Brisbane offers guests a yoga terrace with expansive city views. Also in Brisbane, Florence features a sky-high 25m pool that is suspended between two eight-storey resident towers.

Suspended sky pool at Florence

661 Chapel gives residents a vertical village that includes a theater, a richly-stocked library, private areas for outdoor dining and even a climate-controlled wine cellar.

Residents library at 661 Chapel

It’s clear that the apartment projects of today, and the future, will need to go above and beyond to impress buyers and tenants who are looking for more than just four walls in a good location. The question now is, how far will they go?

This Melbourne suburb has flown under the radar- until now.

Melbourne’s inner North has seen a resurgence in the last few years. As the East becomes increasingly unaffordable, buyers have started looking at other alternatives that still provide proximity to the CBD, good schools and a healthy dose of Melbourne culture. Prominent suburbs such as Brunswick, Northcote and Thornbury have seen a sharp increase in property prices over the last 18 months, leading many to look at Coburg. A thriving suburb just 8km from Melbourne CBD, with a growing population and relatively low prices, Coburg is primed to deliver excellent returns for investors.

Why Coburg?

Rising numbers

Coburg is home to over 27,000 residents, which is expected to grow to 37,000 over the next 20 years. With a rental population of 30%, the vacancy rate sits low at 1.3% and the compound annual growth over the past 12 months has increased by 9.7%. As rental demand for the area grows, so too has the median house price, which has jumped by 44.1% since 2011.

Excellent public transport

With four train stations, the no 19 Sydney Road tram leading direct to the CBD and several bus services, Coburg is one of Melbourne’s best public transport zones. Cycling is also a great option for getting around with Merri Creek Trail and the Upfield Bike Path, as well as bike lanes on most roads.

Cultural hub

A multicultural suburb with much of the charm of its North-side neighbours, Coburg is a quickly gentrifying suburb with a vibrant food and entertainment scene. It’s home to the Coburg Drive-in, one of the last in Melbourne, which also regularly hosts a popular Food Truck Festival and is home to a large Trash n Treasure market every Sunday. Bell Street features a range of high-quality restaurants offering various cuisines, chic cafes and the iconic Preston Market.

Upcoming infrastructure

Melbourne developer Future Estate has acquired part of the old Pentridge Prison site and plans to invest over $1 billion turning it into a new residential neighbourhood. The site will be a community hub consisting of commercial areas, an outdoor cinema, bars, markets and restaurants. The City of Moreland has also developed a plan titled Central Coburg 2020 to execute the regeneration of the Coburg Activity Centre. The council says the plan will provide 3,000 new dwellings, 65,000sqm of additional retail floor space and 14,000 new jobs for local residents.

Although definitively urban, Coburg’s large blocks and over 152 hectares of public space give it an air of suburbia that appeals to renters and owner-occupiers alike. The latest Coburg development, The Terraces at Coburg Quarter, can be found on Investorist now.

Bye bye banks: private lender’s $1.5bn fund a saviour for foreign investors & developers

It’s been one of the most widely reported stories in real estate in the last 12 months; Australia’s first and second tier banks tightening their lending criteria for foreign investors, making it much more difficult for them to secure loans for new property purchases.

Of course, not only prospective purchasers have been affected but also buyers who signed up for off the plan contracts, and may still have two or more years before the completion of their property. For some of these buyers, the inability to secure an Australian bank loan will mean forfeiting their deposit and their property.  Not a good outcome for any stakeholder; buyers, developers, builders, agents or government.

Property is no longer just local; it’s now a global commodity. With activity in more than 25 countries, we at Investorist experience the impact of lending changes like this on a macro and micro level.

Australia no longer number one

With thousands of Chinese agents using our platform, one of the immediate effects we’ve witnessed in our China offices is that US cities like New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston have now become the preferred investment destination for the Chinese. EB5 visas facilitating permanent residency have much appeal, and the US lending environment is much more straightforward than Australia’s.

Similarly, the fall in the value of the pound following Brexit has made UK property significantly more affordable. London and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds are red hot with Asian buyers right now.

Australia hasn’t entirely lost its appeal though; Melbourne, ranked as the most liveable city in the world for the last six years, remains a big drawcard.  The fundamentals of why the Chinese love this country are still in evidence; blue skies, clean air, open spaces, quality schools and a stable political and economic environment, so it’s unlikely to drop out of the popularity polls any time soon.

Given the increased international competition for the investment dollar, a new guaranteed loan product that promises a viable alternative to the tight-fisted banks is sure to be embraced with open arms.

$1.5bn private lender fund

Investorist has been in discussions with several groups with regard to making property financing solutions more accessible to the platform’s users, and has partnered with one of our larger clients to promote non-resident lending available to those who require it. The company has a proven track record, having funded non-resident loans since August 2016.  The $1.5bn represents the first loan-ready pool of funds, with more to follow. Available to most applicants subject to serviceability criteria and verification of income, the fund is set to be a game changer in the property investment market.

The fund offers much flexibility for borrowers:

  • Available for new, completed and under construction properties
  • Multiple products and lenders available
  • Interest only and P&I loans
  • Borrowers can be individuals or companies
  • Loan terms up to 30 years
  • Maximum LVR of 65% or 75% for Hong Kong and Singapore citizens
  • Interest rates from 5% on completed property
  • Loan sizes from AU$100,000 to AU$1,000,000
  • Refinancing of existing loans also possible

Fund launch in China

The pent-up demand for this type of non-bank private lending is very high in China, and will no doubt be well received. The fund’s products will be introduced at our China Connection Event being held in Shanghai and Shenzhen during the week of 27 – 31 March.  International developers from Australia and the US will be meeting with hundreds of pre-qualified agents who have expressed interest in buying off plan projects for their clients. Having representatives on the ground to explain the funding options and qualification criteria for securing loans will be extremely valuable for both parties, boosting confidence that all deals will be able to proceed smoothly to completion.

In a country where access to online information is strictly controlled (no Google, Facebook or other western social media platforms are allowed due to the internet firewall), Chinese buyers rely heavily on the advice and knowledge of their local advisors and agents in order to purchase foreign property.

Dollars for developers

Local or overseas-based developers can also apply for loans through the fund. Whilst primarily aimed at individual property investors, for developers seeking additional finance for their own projects or the reassurance that any buyers they do secure will be able to settle on completion, the fund is also likely to have great appeal.

Once the deals start flowing, and more and more purchasers (and maybe developers) are happily saying ‘bye, bye banks’, it will be interesting to see how the big banks react.


Sky News Real Estate talks Golden Week with Jon Ellis

Golden Week is an increasingly popular term in the real estate industry that describes the week immediately following Chinese New Year, in which millions of Chinese locals travel overseas to research or buy investment properties. Sky News interview Jon Ellis to find out how developers can take advantage of this ‘propiday’ season, how recent lending changes have affected the appetite for Australian property and what turns Chinese buyers off a project.