The system blocks content that comes from certain applications such as YouTube or Twitter. Even The New York Times is blocked before it can get to Chinese computers, Taylor says. To make sure their content gets through the “great firewall,” American brokers need to know what programs are compatible.
There’s also the matter of where the content is coming from. Sites that are hosted overseas – even if they’re on a compatible system and software – will take much longer to load in China because of all the government’s filters. According to Taylor, some of the approved pages could take 10 to 15 minutes to load, and Chinese buyers won’t wait that long. The best solution, he says, is to find a local site in China – such as Juwai.com- to host your American listings.
Then, of course, it all comes back to the language barrier. While many American real estate agents use translating machines to create Chinese language content, Taylor warns that they’re not always accurate and could mistranslate the meaning of what the agent is trying to express, prompting regulators to assume the agent is trying to mislead their citizens.
“For a broker to put a listing through a machine translator, you’re putting your broker license in jeopardy,” Taylor advises. “Make sure you’re hosted in China for speed and make sure you’re speaking the right language.”
According to Taylor, these strategies go a long way toward a broker’s credibility, and in China, credibility goes a long way toward business.
“Chinese buyers often take a lot of time to research the market, a given property and the agency involved,” he says. “Once they find what they want, however, they can move quickly.”