A budding relationship with the Overseas Business Department of the B.A. & 5i5j Group
It’s the end of my first week in Beijing, China and today might have been the most beneficial yet…
Day 7 started off back in the classroom for the course I came to get my designation in, the FIREC, or FIABCI International Real Estate Consultant Designation. Our English professor was Rich Peiser, a Harvard Business School instructor who was a whiz on international finance. The person sitting next to me was a great appraiser, or evaluator as they’re referred to here in China, whose name was Tian Chongxin of Jiangsu Jinning Da Real Estate Valuation and Consultation LTD. He was very knowledgable about the overall financial landscape in this country and we shared thoughts, ideas, and of course, business cards.
All these classes and professors have me feeling like I’m a kid again!
5i5j Meal and Deal
However, much like a high school student, I was ready to leave the class and begin the next part of my day! As you might remember, on Day 3 of my trip I met with the B.A. & 5i5j group and had a very productive meeting listening to their real estate services with my fellow FIABCI USA delegates. After that sit-down, I followed up with Blake, Linda, and Simon of the Overseas Business Department, and we arranged a more intimate meeting in their office with just us, Ruth, and Alex.
Upon arrival at their building, we were greeted by Blake and led into their conference room where we chatted for a little and then broke for lunch at the Hong Kong style restaurant that was in the lobby of their office building. Here, our new friends took special interest in Alex’s other gig, as a food and beverage critic for Eat:Los Angeles and Drink:Los Angeles. Soon after, a storm of shared plates came pouring out of the kitchen, including Shanghai noodles, pork shumai, shrimp dumplings, and garlic cabbage with oyster sauce. They even ordered a spicy beef stomach that, despite its unusual texture, was actually quite tasty—and I think we even impressed our hosts with our adventurous attitude!
Our favorite green tea.
Garlic cabbage and oyster sauce.
Pan-fried Shanghai beef noodles.
Spicy beef belly
Ground pork pot-stickers and bok choy
Sharing Maui, Hawaii
We returned to their office for a more in-depth talk on working together and how to create a beneficial and lasting relationship between our two companies. I came fully prepared with information on Hokulani Golf Villas and Ho’olei, that we had translated in Chinese beforehand. The sheet was a nice, glossy piece that we actually used in the Unique Homes Magazine China edition.
Their team was highly intrigued and asked great questions, like what kind of long term rental could they get for their investors purchasing in HGV and what are the on-site amenities. I explained this is a gated community, completely surrounded by golf course, with communal pool and rec area. I also conveyed that as residential condos, they are essentially lock and go, meaning you can pack up and leave for months at a time and everything will be maintained in your absence.
I also highlighted that we are currently building three models (scheduled completion is October) that could be purchased as great investments as they can be rented back for a three year period, while we used them for showings. We also discussed a main benefit of Ho’olei is being a condominium project with hotel zoning (the last of its kind amongst Wailea condos), so you can offer short term rentals.
Overall the meeting went fantastic, and before it ended, we agreed that we would work together! This is a very exciting day, as we are now working with a young group of smart and business-savvy professionals here in Beijing. In the coming weeks we will provide our listings and projects of interest to them, and they are going to feature them on their website and look for Chinese buyers for Hawaii. This is truly a huge foundation for doing future business with our friends over here!
Confirming our deal with Blake Wu of 5i5j!
Down Time at Swissotel Beijing
We bid ado to our new partners and scoped out new a place to stay at the swanky Swissotel, a treat that I felt was much deserved after our productive meeting. We wished Ruth a fond farewell back to Aspen, and Alex and I enjoyed an afternoon drink, he had a draft Tsingtao, while I enjoyed a much needed cappuccino. We took our time enjoying our tasty beverages, so much so that we forgot about the dreaded Beijing rush hour! No worries, Alex whipped out his phone, pulled up a map, and easily navigated to the subway system that would get us back to our original hotel across town. Upon arriving at the station, we commented on how efficient the Chinese were in building this intricate system prior to their Summer Olympics in 2008—they are clean, easy-to-use, and fast!
After we got back to the hotel, Alex hit the proverbial wall thanks to jet lag, and he rested as I took notes on our exciting day. When he woke up, we walked just down the street to an ever popular dumpling restaurant, where lots of locals were enjoying dinner and having fun in the large banquet room. This restaurant has a beautiful facade, with red lanterns and tree dotting the walkway. We enjoyed a spicy chicken dish, broccoli stir-fry and lamb dumplings before heading back to hotel for the night. As I sat and pondered this wonderful day, I realized the most exciting thing about it was having my son at my side doing an international real estate presentation, as I was proud to show the strong passion for my business and growing it further globally.