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HLRN’s Joyce Rey and Chris Cortazzo Look to China for Luxury Real Estate

It is no secret that “international” is the current buzzword throughout the real estate world. Technology has made it easier than ever to communicate anywhere at any time, thus evolving us further into functioning as an integrated global community. For two real estate professionals—Joyce Rey and Chris Cortazzo—this is opening a lot of soon-to-be occupied doors.

Today, top real estate professionals are under intense pressure to provide international exposure to their listings. This down market has made finding buyers for luxury property particularly challenging, and sellers know the next person to purchase their home may not be residing in the US. They expect their agent to have the ability to promote their property to any market around the globe where a qualified buyer might reside.

For the last few years China has been a hot topic among luxury brands looking for new customers in this growing market.

According to a January 2012 report in the LA Times,

  • In 2011, Chinese bought more Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces than anybody else in the world
  • Gucci’s sales in China in the first half of 2011 were up 39%
  • Bottega Veneta’s sales were up more than 80%.
  • Prada plans to open 50 shops in China over the next three years.

Top Real Estate Agents in many popular luxury markets have been keeping a close eye on these trends, laying the groundwork to capture some of the new foreign money entering the market. One of the earliest adopters of marketing luxury real estate to China was Beverly Hills agent Joyce Rey. Joyce has traveled to China to promote luxury real estate and understands the importance of this market. She also visited the Coldwell Banker office in Shanghai, held a press conference with a number of journalists and hosted an evening at an art gallery displaying photos of her properties on large mediums. Back in 2010, Joyce began promoting her landmark listings in Chinese on the real estate marketing website Caimeiju. Today she hosts a full portfolio on the site.

Increasingly popular are overseas property expos, which are a conduit to showcase properties to prospective Chinese buyers. Caimeiju met Chris Cortazzo in Beijing at the 2010 LPS (Luxury Property Showcase) with more than $1.5 billion in closings since 2000; Chris has been widely hailed for his outstanding production, which remains steady despite an uncertain housing climate. Chris is a leader in his industry and has traveled extensively to better expose his large portfolio to buyers in every corner of the world.

Another top agent with her eye on China is Sally Forster Jones of Coldwell Banker Previews International. Last summer, Sally sold one of the most expensive homes ever to a wealthy international heiress; the story made headiness and presented Sally with an opportunity to share her story with media outlets. Last October, Caimeiju arranged for Sally to attend the exclusive Hurun (publisher of “China’s Rich List”) Annual Entrepreneurs Summit in Beijing. Hurun is famous for their annual published “China’s Rich List”. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal was quoted “You’re not truly wealthy until anointed by Hurun.”

Utilizing the right tools enables even small businesses to be global companies and harness new opportunities. These tools will become increasing necessary for leaders to not only survive challenging times, but to grow and establish their brands in places never before possible.

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014