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Sales of multi million dollar homes spurred on by rise in social media

By Nazih Abbouchi

Million dollar homes in Queensland are selling sight unseen in some cases spurred on by the rise in use of social media to bridge the geographical divide.

With competition rising fast in the luxury market, both private treaty sales and auctions were seeing increasing use of social media tools to give offshore and out-of-state buyers a leg-up.

Ray White Broadbeach agent and the Group’s international number one residential sales performer, Sam Guo, who sold $110million worth of property last financial year, said about $20M worth were sold via Chinese social media appWeChat.

His biggest WeChat-linked sale was the $11M Cronin Island mansion “Summer House” in July, formerly owned by David Baird, co-founder of telecom firm Cellular One.

“We Chat was a revolution for the Chinese people,” Mr Guo said. “It’s so easy and instant to communicate with buyers. The person who bought Summer House was told about it by their friend who saw it on my WeChat page.”

Another Chinese buyer was happy to put $2M down on a Gold Coast property after only seeing it via Facetime, Mr Guo said.

“The buyer was in China and was interested but couldn’t get over to Australia to view the property. I went to the house and called her on FaceTime, walked her through the whole property, showed her everything. It was perfect for her so I sent her the contract and went through each page with her. The day she picked up the keys was the first day she actually saw the property in real life.” executive GM residential Andrew Rechtman said things like 3D tours were becoming increasingly popular.

“Our team is at the forefront of 3D and Virtual Reality and the chance to do things like a virtual walk-through, has attracted enormous interest from property buyers,” he said.

Brisbane auctioneer Jason Andrew said more and more Queensland homes were being seen via screens as partners or agents walked through properties.

“The Brisbane market is so under valued compared to Sydney, Melbourne and even Auckland so a lot of people looking online and jumping on product as soon as they can,” he said. “Not all of them are sight unseen but properties are being snapped up quickly, and people are trying to get in earlier.”

Mr Andrew said it was all types of buyers “beaming in” with one “present” at a Brisbane auction last week via FaceTime out of Newcastle, NSW.

“They beamed in to the auction via FaceTime and hadn’t seen the property before,” he said.

Mr Guo expected the phenomenon to rise, as more people looked to set money down on high value properties in South East Queensland.

“This weekend I have a couple coming up from Melbourne who want to look at Gold Coast property because someone who follows me on We Chat referred them.”

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