In one of the most innovative and consumer-responsive client implementations to date, global marketing firm Language Media Agency has launched Caimeiju.com, an interactive real estate portal giving Chinese homebuyers and investors a way to explore communities in California. In just over a month since its launch, visitors from over 40 countries have visited Caimeiju.com, validating Language Media’s exploration of a niche market they considered to be both strong and underserved. Back to the Drawing Board The easiest thing to do in a recession is cut. Change is difficult for our industry of late adopters, sent battered back to the drawing board in search of a different outcome – often unsuccessfully, by reshuffling the same inputs. Real estate professionals have found themselves debating: how do I get ahead in a stale market? How far should I stretch my marketing strategy if it will fall on deaf broke ears?
Agile companies like Language Media Agency (LMA) realize that real estate is local, but buyers are global. And with a crafty use of technology and translation services they specialize in, Language Media has viewed the marketplace through a unique lens to meet the growing demand of Chinese-speakers looking for properties in California.
“With the downturn in the real estate market, sellers need to be creative in marketing their properties,” says the President of LMA. “They are no longer constrained to placing ads in the local newspaper or hanging flyers on front doors.”
California: A Growing Hub for Chinese Residents Surely you are also desensitized to bleak market forecasts painting the American real estate landscape as a dry marketplace. Sellers are clinging to any signs of hope – most recently, the tax credit extension working its way through Washington.
For LMA, the downturn provided an opportunity. With Chinese being the third most spoken language in California, the forward-thinking LMA team selected a ripe market to connect with.
The Language Media team took a close look at not only the habits of Chinese-Americans, but also the international potential for Chinese investors abroad. According to LMA, the number of Chinese internet and broadband users is the highest in the world. China’s economy is climbing while most others continue to face a recession. In fact, this week's Time magazine suggested the U.S. could learn a few things from China.
Bridging Cultural Gaps The goal of Caimeiju is not to sell houses. LMA seeks to bridge the culture gap and provide a credible and tasteful place for US realtors and developers to reach the new and growing market.
Caimeiju combines interactive technology with localization, statistical data and community information in a way that assists Chinese readers in understanding the distinctions of each neighborhood, town and city in California.
The site is not just a hub for buyers. Real estate professionals can market their listings and services both domestically and internationally through news and blog channels on the site.
Recognizing that all consumers are not alike, LMA has stocked Caimeiju.com with supplemental lifestyle, local, education, and luxury articles to create a community among this niche market.
(While we're discussing cultural gaps, you may be wondering how the site got its name. "Caimeiju" in simplified Chinese means 'selecting a beautiful residence' or 'selecting an American residence'.)
Meeting the Needs of the Chinese Consumer Implementing community information to Caimeiju.com was imperative to reaching the Chinese consumer. The diligent Chinese consumer seeks facts, data, and research rather than sales and advertising messages.
“Providing community information is a great way to provide this type of information in an unbiased fashion,” the President of LMA said.
Caimeiju is certainly not the first website in Chinese to sell houses or offer listings in California, but it is the first to provide the important community information buyers need to know when selecting a community. This differentiation for Caimeiju is crucial for shoppers looking for the best fit from across the Pacific.
LMA’s launch of Caimeiju accompanies a dynamic behavioral shift to mobile. According to a June report by Sina News Portal, 46% of Internet users in China are using mobile phones to access Internet data. Mobile Caimeiju.com users are able to access the community data quickly without installing Flash or other proprietary tools.
Content Services Benefits The Onboard Content Services package LMA implemented allowed complete freedom to design and encode this data in a way that speaks to the end consumer. Aside from the inherent benefits of providing users with local information, LMA attributes these additional benefits to the addition of community data:
- Search Engine Optimization: LMA's content covers virtually every city and town in California. By translating and building pages for each place, Caimeiju has optimized their site for Chinese seach engines like google.cn, yahoo.cn, and baidu.cn.
- Geo Segmentation: Caimeiju can now serve advertisers based on geographical searches. For instance, someone shopping around in the Bay Area will only see ads from local advertisers.
Technology: Friend, not Foe Language Media Agency is clearly a forward-thinker in using technology to drum up new business and market opportunities. More importantly, LMA's recognition of a real and growing need among Chinese and Chinese-American consumers is sure to assist international buyers who are unable get a flavor for California communities in person. Data and informatics, not marketing speak, is boosting Caimeiju in the no-BS marketplace. We salute them.
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