At the end of 2019, Halstead became the first U.S. residential brokerage firm to establish a verified corporate WeChat account.
WeChat is the dominant platform in China for messaging, social media digital publishing and payments. With over 1 billion monthly active users, it is arguably the most important platform for connecting with Chinese-speaking customers here and abroad. In the U.S. alone, nearly 3 million residents speak Chinese at home, according to Census Bureau data.
“WeChat is a powerful tool that enables our agents to connect with clients in meaningful ways, and we are proud to support a corporate presence and the continued publication of informative content in Chinese,” said Diane M. Ramirez, Chairman & CEO of Halstead. “We are continuously looking for new ways to innovate and are excited to further expand our global footprint through our WeChat account.” Three out of the last five years, Halstead has been named “Most Innovative Brokerage” by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the global network of 565 market-leading independent brokerages.
Recognizing that real estate – both new development and resale – is a global asset class, Halstead saw an opportunity through WeChat to reach a new, engaged and highly-mobile audience who is interested in investing in New York City and the surrounding areas. The tool also allows Chinese-speaking agents at Halstead to expand their personal businesses and offers a new avenue for marketing exposure.
Previously, Halstead Development Marketing has successfully leveraged WeChat to reach Chinese-speaking customers for individual new developments over the past two years at properties such as LIC’s Galerie. Following this success, Halstead began the process to verify its own corporate account and has built content and steady growth in traffic over the last few months. The firm is also partnering with WeChat influencers as an additional strategy to further organically grow its audience.
“WeChat is a marketing medium that simply can’t be ignored in our global marketplace,” said Stephen Kliegerman, President of Halstead Development Marketing.
Halstead’s WeChat is the first residential brokerage account to focus on U.S. domestic properties and content. It showcases relevant information, all published in Chinese, and offers consumers an authentic way to discover content about New York City and the real estate market, as well as the opportunity to connect with agents on WeChat who can further assist them. Articles range from current events, market analysis and neighborhood information to practical tips on buying or renting in New York City. Videos feature interviews with Ramirez and Halstead agents about the latest news in the industry.
Ya ‘Amy’ Wang, an agent who recently joined Halstead in part because of its new verified presence on WeChat, uses the platform every day to communicate with clients and potential clients. “With so much misinformation circulating out there, being able to share valuable New York City real estate content in Chinese from a verified account underscores its legitimacy and Halstead’s commitment to a Chinese-speaking audience. Verifying a corporate account is a demanding process, involving government approval, which allows a company to publish articles to be shared widely compared to a personal account which has more limited functions,” shared Wang.
To view Halstead’s WeChat account, search the WeChat ID Halstead or scan the QR code below.