Soaring real estate values in China have contributed to a serious investor’s market for property management in North Dallas and parts of the greater Dallas area.
Local property management executive Sam Shao has leveraged his language skills — proficiency in both Mandarin and Cantonese as well as English — into a niche market for his firm, 31Realty. He markets his property management services to Chinese investors — both individuals and investment companies — who are buying local residential properties to lease.
The Metroplex is attractive, says Shao, because of a strong economy, favorable reputation of suburban public school districts, as well as our many universities and colleges.
While Shao says Houston is currently the top Chinese investment market in Texas, he believes “Dallas is better than Houston.” That’s because the Metroplex has a more varied economy than Houston’s which is dominated by aviation, healthcare, and slumping oil and gas.
Asset appreciation in China is driving the interest in reinvesting in the United States, explained Shao. Real estate prices “double every year” in China, he said. Selling one property in China will fund one or two purchases in high-end markets like California, New York, and Florida. In Dallas, an investor might be able to buy as many as five properties, he explains.
Some Chinese investors who get to know the Dallas area see it as a good retirement destination and plan to eventually move here. Many Chinese are drawn to the United States for what they see as its economic advantages and to get away from the industrial pollution that plagues China, says Shao, who was born there. He came to Dallas after studying computer science at The University of Oklahoma in Norman.
Shao says the Dallas investment boom began last year and is directly related to the beginning of direct flights to Dallas from Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. That’s very important, says Shao, because it makes it easier for investors “to get to know Dallas” and check on their investments. “Dallas is not that well known to Chinese people,” he said. “They are more familiar with the cities shown in the movies.”
Much of Shao’s business comes through referrals, he said. He travels to China to attend exhibitions where he also networks and markets the Dallas area for its investment potential.
While most of his clients are corporate entities in China that purchase 200 or 300 residential properties per year, he also does some work with individuals. Shao has become well known in North Texas for his talents, too.