Alain Pinel Realtors has confirmed its participation to the 20th edition of LPS to be held on Dec 6-8, 2019, at the prestigious Shanghai Exhibition Center.
At this occasion, we have met with Ms. Michi Olson, the Vice President of Alain Pinel Realtors.
LPS: Dear Ms. Olson, the participation of Alain Pinel Realtors at LPS Shanghai 2019 will be your twelfth consecutive participation as an exhibitor at LPS. What keeps you coming back to LPS edition after edition?
Ms. Olson: It is amazing that it has been a decade already since we first started participating at LPS! As a Bay Area real estate company known for its strong international relationships and a great breadth of worldwide property exposure, LPS is part of the reason Alain Pinel Realtors® has this reputation and it is an event that is important to our agents, clients, and the company as a whole. It is a unique piece of our international business strategy that sets us apart, connects us to buyers, and enhances our own understanding of how we can best serve international clients. Each year at the showcase, we learn so much and come back to the United States with deeper knowledge as to what it means to provide excellent service around the globe. Our agents are the top tier experts on real estate in the Bay Area and it is important to us that international buyers see them as a resource when relocating or investing.
Q: Your company is a leader in the San Francisco Bay Area market. In this area, which specific locations and types of properties are the most popular with Chinese investors? And why?
Ms Olson: The area and property type often depends on the investor’s goals. In general, Chinese buyers fall into three categories: those who are interested in “trophy” properties, those who are purchasing for their children, and those who are purchasing for pure investment. Those buying trophy properties are looking to purchase an extravagant home to entertain their colleagues, for example a penthouse in San Francisco. For these buyers, a good school district is not a primary concern. If they are buying a home for their children, they are looking for a single-family home and a good school district, most often in Palo Alto or Cupertino. Buyers purchasing investment properties are usually looking to rent out these homes. For these buyers, location is important – they want proximity to all the major freeways for commute access. They often are looking at single-family homes or condos at $1 million or under for more affordable rental rates. We see these buyers purchasing in Fremont, Newark, and Union City.
Q: What sets your company apart from other San Francisco Bay Area luxury real estate companies?
Ms Olson: When you work with an Alain Pinel agent, you don’t just receive expertise and professionalism; you receive an experience like no other – one that will surprise and delight you at every step along the way. It is this unique experience that differentiates us from every other San Francisco Bay Area firm. We are more than real estate professionals – we are local area experts who can connect you with everything you need in your community from schools to grocery stores to setting up a bank account. We strive to make you feel at home in your new community, with access to everything you might need not just to live, but to thrive. Each home is treated with the standard of care we would give to a multimillion dollar estate, no matter what the price point. We have always been at the cutting edge of technology and marketing and pride ourselves on staying at the forefront in the midst of an extremely competitive environment.
Q: More and more U.S. real estate franchises are now entering the China market and exhibiting at LPS. Your company was among the very first to join LPS and be active in the Chinese market. Do you believe that this early entry into the market will now give you a competitive edge?
Ms Olson: Absolutely. As one of the first American companies to become involved in LPS, we have an established presence and have created irreplaceable connections. People come to the show to look for us specifically, and they return year after year. This is one of the best parts about returning to the show each year – reconnecting with familiar faces there and expanding those connections to new clients and contacts. When we first started coming to the show, we stood out as one of only a select number of U.S. firms, and now we continue to remain distinctive with the quality we present to the consumers who visit the show. Walking by our beautiful booth, you will immediately see the Alain Pinel difference, and you will find that the quality of APR agents sets a new standard in terms of local expertise and dedication to quality. This excellence culture is apparent in all that we do – it is the APR way!
Q: Which advice would you give to Chinese buyers investing for the first time in the San Francisco Bay Area?
Ms Olson: Since we are based in one of the technology and business hubs of the world, the San Francisco Bay Area market is unique and challenging. The first thing buyers need to know is that inventory of homes for sale is currently at a historic low. In some areas, there are just a few weeks of inventory, which obviously presents hurdles for buyers. At the same time, there is a huge pent-up demand. Due to this imbalance of supply and demand, buyers should expect multiple offers on a single property and be prepared to pay anywhere from $200,000 – $500,000 over the list price, depending on the location and desirability. Another thing I would make sure first-time buyers know, is that it is crucial that the funds for the purchase are already here in the United States. If they are looking at purchasing in the U.S., it would be wise to proactively setup the funds beforehand.