Canadian real estate agents need to do their homework on Chinese buyers, a new survey suggests.
Juwai, a real estate website that connects Chinese buyers with international properties, recently quizzed 1,402 real estate pros from 63 countries on their knowledge of China.
Though Canadians respondents found themselves in the top 20, they still flunked.
Respondents, who either worked as agents or in development, were asked questions touching on everything from China’s flag to the most popular foreign country for Chinese real estate investment.
On average, Canadians picked the correct answer 45 per cent of the time when filling out the survey.
Unsurprisingly, respondents from Hong Kong — the former British colony and current autonomous territory within China — as well as China fared best, each scoring about 62 per cent on average.
The question Canadians generally had the least difficulty with was one asking them to pick out the Chinese flag from four options, which also included flags for Macedonia, Vietnam and North Korea.
Some 82 per cent of Canadian respondents got it right, though 12.8 per cent thought the Vietnamese flag was Chinese, their most common mistake.
Identifying the current Chinese leader proved more challenging for Canadians, though a majority 61.7 per cent still correctly selected President Xi Jing Ping.
Some respondents might especially want to steer clear of talking politics with clients from China: Juwai points out that 13.2 per cent thought either Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, or Mao Zedong — yes, that Mao — were currently commanding China.
Most Canadians did know that for Chinese buyers of foreign properties, the United States was the most popular destination.
Fifty-nine per cent chose their neighbour to the south, and with good reason. Between 2010 and 2015, Chinese buyers dropped $93 billion on American residential real estate, according to Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group.
When it comes to how Chinese buyers are communicating, 47 per cent of Canadians scored for selecting wechat as the preferred choice.
Do you know how many Chinese citizens have a passport? If so, you’d beat out most Canadians who were surveyed.
Five per cent of Chinese citizens hold a passport, according to Juwai, something 23 per cent of Canadians demonstrated they knew.
However, the question that was most likely to trip them up was how much an apartment in Beijing, China’s capital, costs. Less than one fifth — 19 per cent — pegged the average price at $750,000 in US dollars.
Matthew Moore, Juwai’s president of the Americas, acknowledges that being able to pick out China’s flag isn’t going to make or break anyone’s real estate career.
“But we find these simple questions are an indicator that reveal the degree to which real estate professionals have invested time and energy in learning about and building relationships with potential buyers from China,” Moore explains.
“Being able to understand and relate to the buyers that operate in your market is also vitally important,” he continues in a statement sent to BuzzBuzzNews.
Brushing up on Mandarin probably wouldn’t hurt.