Day 2 in Beijing has been incredible! We explored the Temple of Heaven, visited the offices of the biggest player in Beijing real estate (Homelink), and had some productive meetings with FIABCI and CIREA.
The Temple of Heaven
My love for Maui comes in large part due to the long history and rich culture of the Hawaiian people and land. My deep appreciation for the beautiful traditions and ancient sites of Hawaii just makes me that much more curious about other cultures. As you know, China has so much history and a beautiful culture, bringing me to crave a trip to the Temple of Heaven.
Riding the subway was a unique cultural experience in itself! The Beijing subway is packed with people, but it is very organized and makes traveling around the city easy.
It was a beautiful day to visit The Temple of Heaven, constructed between 1406 and 1420 during the reign of Emperor Yongle and extended by the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. It was primarily used for yearly prayer to Heaven for a good harvest by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was a humbling experience being around such massive, important structures.
FIABCI-USA CIREA Meeting
We then met with the leaders of the influential real estate organization of CIREA. We had the pleasure of meeting the President of CIREA, Du Juan, the Vice President of CIREA, Peng Xiaoping, and also the President of Guangzhou Association of Real Estate Agents, LIAO Junping (Patrick.) We discussed the downturn they are facing in their marketplace.
They shared that sales have dropped by 30%, going from 11,000 units sold per month to 7,000-8,000 now. CIREA called upon our US FIABCI Delegation to discuss how we, as an industry, had faced and worked with similar challenges during our downturn in 2008 and the years that followed. We had a great meeting and will be continuing our discussion next Monday night. It was a great opportunity to interact with the revered leaders of this organization and an honor to have them call on our years of experience in the real estate field. China is behind the US in how they do things in real estate, so we’re hopeful that our leadership can help their leadership make things better.
Homelink Real Estate Agency Co., Ltd.
We then went to the headquarters of Beijing’s largest real estate brokerage, Homelink. Having begun 13 years ago, Homelink has grown into the Beijing power-house for the industry largely due to their technology-based approach. This service company is able to drive massive amounts of targeted traffic to their website and get buyers directly to their properties while representing each transactions.
Homelink has 30,000 agents working for them at over 1,000 offices and command 50% of the market share in Beijing. No small numbers! They walked us through all the departments on the 3 floors they occupy. We visited their marketing, international, human resources, service, and technology departments before enjoying a question/answer session with their very gracious Branding Director, Donghua Xu. We discussed ways that we can help each other with referrals, which they are very open to.
This company is an inspiration and proof of concept. Having a strong handle on technology is crucial in reaching your clients as the earliest stage in the process of buying and selling real estate. It was a real pleasure being exposed to such a strong Chinese Real Estate company.
Beijing Business District & Dinner
It was a very productive day between the 2 meetings and our exploring the business district of Beijing. After marveling in the incredible buildings they’ve constructed here, we had a round table HOT POT dinner. It was a great way to enjoy conversation and share in delicious food. A hot pot is basically where you put an assortment of meats and foods in boiling spiced water. It’s a fun way to cook and flavor your food communally.
I look forward to meeting more amazing people tomorrow as my journey in Beijing continues! And if you missed it, we had a great 1st day in Beijing yesterday as well.