“The better prepared you are, the easier it is to win.”
On Wednesday 18th March, we welcomed Eliza Wang, Director at JLL to our internal event celebrating Chinese New Year. We invited Eliza to learn more about her impressive career and to educate our deverellsmith employees about the meaning behind the Year of the Rabbit.
Originally from Beijing, Eliza has lived in the UK for 17 years, moving over to complete her A-Levels, bachelor’s degree, and master’s at UCL. She then entered the real estate industry 10 years ago as a graduate of Knight Frank, becoming the first person to sit on a China desk in London, and has recently been promoted to the Head of International Sales and Development for China Business after 8 years at JLL.
Read more about Eliza’s biggest challenges that she has faced, and how we can celebrate Chinese New Year in London…
What are 3 key skills you think make a successful sales person?
-Hardworking: A deal is always a deal. Although I am dealing with buyers looking at giant London penthouses, I still make time for viewings on smaller properties. Every single sale counts.
-Team player: One broker can’t have the entire market. If you tried to get hold of everything on your own, you would become exhausted. Share your projects with your team and the deals will close faster.
-Be prepared: The better prepared you are, the easier it is to win. Try to prepare as best as you can for your meetings, viewings and especially market changes.
Starting as a graduate of Knight Frank, how did you build an established network?
When I joined Knight Frank, they were just deciding to start their China desk. This was because a lot of the hot money from Asia was beginning to join the market, providing the Middle East competition. I was the only one that year that could speak Mandarin and English as well as understand the culture on both sides. They selected me to sit on the China desk as a Junior Sales Broker, and at that time I had no contacts.
In all honestly, it was a struggle from the beginning. At that time, Knight Frank was using a database where I could access abandon leads. instead of At that time, Knight Frank was using Salesforce, which gave opportunities for all the existing brokers to abandon their leads. From this, I closed my first deal and started to gain referrals and build my network within the space.
What is the biggest challenge you have experienced?
The changes in the market due to Brexit and C-19 proved challenging due to the panic of both my buyers and colleagues. The way I look at it is the market can always be good and bad, to be a broker is to accept the situation and play along with it. There will always be buyers and demand for property. All we need to do when the market is uncertain is find the right buyers and match them with the right projects.
What has been your biggest sale?
I would say my biggest sale was with one buyer who bought 38 units in a single sale. This was worth around £28 million.
How have Chinese buyers influenced the London infrastructure in residential locations?
I remember when I first started my career in this country, I used to live in Canary Wharf because I found that it was like the Asian atmosphere. It looked comparable to Hong Kong, Singapore, and even Beijing.
However, it has never been the most popular location for local buyers, despite the investment from Asian buyers. However, the attention from the Asian market started to affect the developers' decisions when they were investing in the land.
JLL now have 12 projects in Canary Wharf, because of this interest from Asian buyers, and I believe we will see this next in areas like Nine Elms and Battersea.
What are your predictions for the property market for the year ahead?
The research team at JLL says that this year will be challenging due to the uncertainty around the economy and the unclear situations relating to C-19 in China. I would say that this year will be tricky, as we don’t know how the Chinese government is going to react to the development of C-19.
As a sales leader, I would advise that we need to accept the market as it is. We are unable to change the bigger environment, but what we can do is find the right buyers. Three years ago, buyers were investing in properties in this country for a better investment yield, now it’s to achieve an alternative lifestyle.
Tell us more about Chinese New Year and how we can celebrate.
Christmas reminds me a lot of the Chinese New Year. It’s the most important holiday period for the Chinese community. Everyone spends it with family and loved ones and it involves lots of eating and drinking.
There are 12 different animals for the Lunar New Year and each animal has a different meaning. This year is the year of the rabbit, which symbolises love, kindness, and happiness.
If you are in London, head down to China Town, they already have decorations up to celebrate. Eating dumplings and spring rolls are a must.
This year deverellsmith celebrated with a Chinese New Year feast, cooked by our New Homes and Leasehold team.