Slow trade forces change in sales

AFTER years of marketing real estate primarily through short-term exhibitions, Beijing property agents are adopting more innovative strategies in responseto slower activity.

Beijing Jianya Real Estate Exhibition Trade Centre is one of the agents leading the way in providing more comprehensive services to customers.

It is a joint venture owned by Beijing Real Estate Management Bureau, People's Construction Bank of China and other mainland parties.

The company recently held a month-long promotion in Beijing to market 70 housing and luxury villa projects.

He Qiang, manager of the company's advertising and exhibition department, said that during the first week of the promotion the company undertook extensive preparations, holding talks with developers and studying demand in the residential sector.

An exhibition was then held for two weeks to allow agents and potential buyers to make initial contact. Sales agents then followed up individual cases in the two weeks after the fair, Mr He said.

Such strategies have long been used by Hong Kong and international property agents, 'but it is a new concept adopted by local agents', Mr He said.

The strategy appeared to have paid dividends, with 30 per cent of the flats shown in the real estate fair being sold during the promotion.

Mr He said the value of total transactions was 250 million yuan (about HK$232 million).

Mr He expected developers and real estate agents to consider adopting new marketing strategies to boost sales in a market faced with tight credit and growing competition.