After 70 years in business in British Columbia, and much consideration and analysis, Macdonald Real Estate Group has decided to explore opening an office in China. To that end, my colleague, Dan Scarrow, our vice president of corporate strategy, left for Shanghai early in February.
In order to understand our rationale, it is first important to appreciate how Chinese investors have shaped the real estate market in Vancouver, B.C., where our company is headquartered.
Over the past three decades, Macdonald Real Estate Group has assisted thousands of Asian families and investors in real estate transactions in the Vancouver area and across western Canada. In the 1980s and ’90s, there were overlapping waves of Hong Kong and Taiwanese investment, and more recently we have seen the mainland China wave.
Our experience has given us the chance to develop a sizable network of Asian clients, both commercial and residential.
While the official percentage of foreign buyers in the Vancouver area is around 3 percent, Chinese clients make up a much higher proportion of certain segments of the market. The exact percentage is hard to pin down, but our research would indicate that Chinese families account for at least 50 percent of Vancouver home sales over $3 million, and our commercial division has put together dozens of major transactions with Chinese investors on a range of commercial real estate asset classes.
Asian clients are not arbitrarily choosing Vancouver as a destination for real estate investment. Our Chinese clients generally have close family and business ties to the areas in which they invest.
For example, aside from business considerations, the primary factor in shaping immigration-related real estate decisions for Chinese families will be proximity and availability of educational opportunities for the next generation.
Aside from business considerations, the primary factor in shaping immigration-related real estate decisions for Chinese families is educational opportunities for the next generation.””
That said, these clients often maintain a foothold in their country of origin, where they often have ongoing commercial interests.
If we open an office in Shanghai, we will be better able to serve our clients who are based in China, or who those spend significant time there. They will have somewhere to go to review documents, and get insight on real estate issues.
In addition, having a presence in China will give us another channel for promoting real estate opportunities.
I will be providing periodic updates to Inman as we go through our due diligence in Shanghai. Hopefully you can find something in our experience that is useful to you in your business, or at the very least you can enjoy watching the process unfold.
Jonathan Cooper is vice president of operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG). Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, MREG has 20 offices and 1,000 staff and Realtors, and offers a full range of real estate services across the province, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, and project marketing.
This article was originally posted on Inman News, Feb 21, 2014.
View the original post at Inman News
For more information contact Macdonald Realty at 1-877-278-3888
For the third consecutive year, the readers of Vancouver Magazine the Georgia Straight have voted Macdonald Realty number one in the “Best Real Estate Office” category. Click here to see the rankings.
Macdonald Realty Vancouver (including the Main Street, Downtown, and Vancouver West offices) and Macdonald Commercial held their annual Christmas party on Friday December 2nd. The annual Auction had some unique and unexpected donations this year, not the least of which was a simple loaf of FRENCH BREAD THAT SOLD FOR OVER $3,000! Veteran Westside REALTOR® and company Auctioneer Will McKitka managed to successful obtain a whopping $3,000 from one of his colleagues, which will benefit this year’s charity recipients. Vancouver publication 24hrs included the Macdonald Realty Christmas party in a story on creative charitable giving.
“We wanted to add something simple to make the point, it was time to give to our community with little or no expectations of gain or reward. One singular item that could catch the imagination of our Realtors and staff ” McKitka said. After getting the green light to quietly slip in the unusual auction item from Company CEO and President Lynn Hsu the fundraisers knew they were on to a good thing. “We knew it would be unusual enough to titillate and catch the attention of our audience…We knew it would be a winner!”
This year’s beneficiaries were the ARTHRITIS RESEARCH CENTRE OF CANADA and the VANCOUVER HOSPICE SOCIETY, who are midway through the drive to raise $4.5 million dollars for a soon-to-be built West Side hospice at 4615 Granville Street.
Success: Why and How
In 1985, while raising a young family, Lynn Hsu began her real estate career despite being a new immigrant with limited English and no social network.
From 1987 through 1989, Hsu was the number one salesperson for Western Canada at a large, national real estate firm. In 1990, Hsu bought Macdonald Realty; at the time a single office in Vancouver’s Westside. Fast forward 25 years and Hsu is heading Western Canada’s largest real estate brokerage firm, with over 1,000 realtors working in 20 offices across British Columbia. Macdonald Realty’s reported figure for gross sales in 2010 was $4.7 billion.
Hsu has been honored many times for her achievements, including:
“Self-made” is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Lynn Hsu. Most of my small business consulting clients certainly aspire to achieve a success story like hers. On a more personal level, Hsu’s accomplishments as a female business owner absolutely dazzle me. Seeking insight into her success, I reached out to Hsu in hopes that she would share some of her personal and business tips:
Don’t accept the glass ceiling
One of the rare female top business executives in Canada, Hsu has never believed that a glass ceiling exists for women. “To succeed in business, one must put in time. Women traditionally have had less time to devote to career development, and this pattern holds true today,” said Hsu, who was never willing to accept that she would hit a glass ceiling. “If you begin to believe that it is impossible to move forward, you will stop looking for solutions to the hardships you face.”
Adversity builds character
Hsu named her mother as her inspiration because of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, hardships, and poverty she faced while raising seven children. “Instead of caving in and accepting it as her reality, [my mother] took on three or four jobs at a time and worked until midnight to provide for our family,” Hsu recalled. “She taught me, not so much by words but by example, that any obstacle, no matter how big or difficult, can be overcome if one has the strong desire and works hard enough.”
Successful people are the product of their mistakes
When asked which of her attributes helped her succeed as an entrepreneur, Hsu pointed to her ability to quickly recover from mistakes. “I’m a risk taker and I’m not really afraid of failure, but I do make a conscious effort to learn from my mistakes.” Fear can be a paralyzing agent in business and in life. In order to grow, it’s important to be willing to risk making the occasional mistake and then be ready to use your ingenuity to rectify the situation.
Perseverance and hard work save the day
Hsu’s colleagues would identify her boundless energy as her most valuable attribute. Her capacity to put in long hours and her tremendous appetite for problem solving have been indispensable both to the stakeholders of Macdonald Realty and to Hsu herself during the development of her entrepreneurial career.
“By a combination of hard work, a supportive family and a bit of luck, I was able to overcome my challenges. I believe one can always find a solution to a problem.”
Written by Sandy Huang, Posted: Oct 20th, 2011, Source – The Vancouver Observer
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For the second consecutive year, the readers of the Vancouver Magazine the Georgia Straight have voted Macdonald Realty number one in the Best Neighbourhood Real Estate Office category. You can see the rankings here. Covering Vancouver business and culture, the Georgia Straight is a weekly publication with over 690,000 readers; for the 2011 (16th annual) Best of Vancouver rankings, the magazine received over 10,000 ballots from Vancouverites.