August 29, 2014

Broker Snags $13M Deal on WeChat

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Broker Snags $13M Deal on WeChat

New York broker Yue (Emma) Hao recently used WeChat, China’s popular social media and messaging app, that resulted in a $13 million deal with a buyer she never met.

Hao, with Douglas Elliman, received an unsolicited message on WeChat from a Chinese entrepreneur who was inquiring about a 50-story glass condo tower in Manhattan called Baccarat Hotels & Residences. The building, which is under construction, will have 61 units, priced from about $3 million to about $60 million.

Hao sent the prospective buyer photos of what the condos would look like and details on the neighborhood amenities.

The next day, after connecting with the prospect by telephone, Hao inked a deal for two condos in the building – one worth $10.5 million three-bedroom apartment and the other a $3 million one-bedroom unit on a lower floor.

Hao used WeChat to set up a group chat among herself, the buyer, and attorneys to navigate the purchase process in the United States.

Ryan Serhant, a real estate professional with NestSeekers and one of the leads on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing: New York,” says it’s unheard of for a real estate transaction at this price to be initiated through social media with a buyer from across the world. “A complete stranger who learned about [real estate] via social media and basically gave $13 million and change to invest in something that’s not even been built yet in a city they’ve never even been to? I don’t think [anyone else has done that],” Serhant told New York Magazine.

Hao says she’s been using WeChat for the past two years, which she says has resulted in seven deals to date. She’ll post new listings and pictures from open houses on her timeline and leave voice messages for prospective buyers.

“No matter how clients first contact me, we almost always end up using WeChat at some point,” Hao says.

Source: “New York Real Estate Agent Scores $13 Million Deal on WeChat,” The Wall Street Journal (April 21, 2014) and “Broker Scores $13 Million Deal Using Only Social Media,” New York Magazine (April 7, 2014)

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