Whether you are a real estate agent selling properties to Chinese buyers or an interior designer looking to get Chinese clients on your books, you have come to the right article.
There are a few tricks and superstitions about houses that a Chinese customer might have reservations for. Understanding these reservations could make them your clients.
Stuff that would give you an edge over your competitors.
Understanding Chinese Numerology
When it comes to numbers, some can be superstitious. If they are, then it would be the time to show off your ‘Chinese numerology‘ game.
Getting a house number right can lead to closing a deal with your Chinese buyer. An example of this is a real estate agent sold a home to a Chinese buyer for $8.5 million Australian Dollars (£4.6 million) by changing the number from 64 to 66.
What numbers should you put in front of a house?
When it comes to numbers, the Chinese give it meaning by going off by the tone of their pronunciation. For example, 4 in Chinese sound like death and would be a bad number.
Here the lowdown of all the numbers and their meaning:
Number 0; – sounds like ‘ling’ which means good.
Number 1; – as the number suggests it indicates a winner. Yet, it could represent loneliness. Single’s Day in China is on the 11th of November or 4 number 1.
Number 2; – There is a Chinese saying that ‘good things come in pairs’, the number would represent a married couple.
Number 3; – it sounds like ‘life’, which means to ‘to live’. On the other hand, it can sound like ‘to split’ or to part ways, which gives a bad connotation that a marries is breaking down.
Number 4; – the sound of number 4 means ‘death’ in Chinese. In China, people avoid number four like the plague and you would find the number in the elevator, phone numbers, license plates and many more. You have been warned.
Number 5; – The sound five is a neutral word meaning ‘me’ in Mandarin and ‘not’ in Cantonese. The number also represents the ‘five’ elements in Chinese Philosophy.
Number 6; – for those targeting Mainland Chinese, ‘6’ sounds like ‘flow’ in Mandarin. Ultimately, it indicates everything is running smoothly.
Number 7; – There are positives and negatives for the number 7. For the positives, it means to rise or vital energy. And the negative is the ‘ghost month’ which is on the 7th month.
Number 8; – this number represents luck, prosperity and wealth. It is the luckiest number of them all. For example, the phone number “+86 28 8888 8888” was sold to Sichuan Airlines for CN¥2.33 million (approximately US$280,000). Another example is the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia that has 88 floors.
Number 9; – it means longevity and permanence because it goes with the Chinese phrase ‘long-lasting.’
The Number Game
Expanding on the single numbers, we will look at different number combinations and their meaning. These are:
1314; – sounds like one life and one lifetime or forever and is often associated with romantic themes.
7456; – could be interpreted as ‘to make me angry’ or to piss people off. So, not a good combination.
167; – in Cantonese sounds like you’re referring someone as a dick.
168; – taken in Cantonese tonal sounds like ‘fortune all the way’.
5201314; – this is ‘I love you for a lifetime’.
Sometimes, people would play with numbers.
For instance, the number 13 is unlucky in Western’s superstition. In the Chinese tone, it sounds like ‘long life.’ But some people would 13 differently. They take it to the next step by adding 1+3 = 4, and suddenly, this becomes a bad number!
How to defeat bad numbers?
Another tip is when you have a house number like 444 or “3X dead” (as the interpretation goes in Chinese). PUT A CIRCLE AROUND THAT NUMBER! It is locking up the negative energy of the numbers from coming out.
Getting the Feng Shui Right
One of the most important components to attract Chinese buyers is getting the Feng Shui right.
If you are an interior designer of the house, I present some quick tips on getting your Feng Shui on point.
Number one: – Clearly waste and clutter
The Chinese believe a house should have as much open space so it allows the flow of energy. So, getting rid of unnecessary items and clearing the weeds to free up that much-needed space.
Number two: – Mirror reflection
When it comes to mirrors, make sure it shows a reflection of positive objects like a bowl of flowers.
If you see an image of a gargoyle or a scary doll, you better remove the object or mirror.
Unpleasant imagery could mean something bad will happen in the near future.
Number three: – Flowers
Always have a bowl of fresh flowers to bring an earthy and aromatic smell to the house.
Number four: – Getting the furniture right
Always position the sofa so there is a solid wall behind you. It gives the person a clear view of the room.
Number five: – Lighting
The house should have a lighting system that adjusts to the time of day and to the uses of the room.
Number six; – Have plants above the kitchen cabinets
Places, where dust can gather, represent stagnant energy. It means ‘blocked’ chi and is dead energy which can hold your life back.
Putting some green plants would liven the above kitchen cabinet or you could put lighting.
Also, it doesn’t only apply to the kitchen cabinet. Any space that is empty anywhere in the household requires filling.
It’s not all superstition
Yes, not everything the Chinese look for when buying a house is superstitious. So, don’t expect to find Chinese buyers in places that lack credible services.
Here are some top ‘non-superstitious’ reasons they are willing buyers:
1). Education; – Finding properties that are close to some of the most prestigious universities is a bonus, if not a must.
So, places like London, Boston and L.A. are hotspots.
2). Security; – It don’t necessarily mean security cameras, but more to do with leasing. Back in China, the lease is 70 years before renewal. Sometimes, the local government would scoop up the area for development and underpays you on the property.
For long-term security, the Chinese buyers would prefer buying freehold lease so they can pass it down to future generations.
3). A good yield; – this got to do with property investment. However, offering a good yield means lowering your selling price. Unless you are a generous person.
There you have it. Before you start making changes to the house (inside and outside), talk to the client first. They might give some subtle hints when muttering the words energy flow, numbers, lighting and flowers. ONLY THEN you could use your knowledge on Chinese superstitions about houses to impress them!
If you find Feng Shui fascinating and would like to delve into, then I recommend these books from Amazon, each one teaches you a different aspect of Feng Shui:
- Decorating with the Five Elements of Feng Shui by Interior designer and feng shui consultant Tisha Morris for £11 in paperback or £7.43 on the Kindle HERE.
- The Feng Shui Bible: Godsfield Bibles by Simon Brown, a Feng Shui teacher for £1.27 on the paperback.
- The Holistic Home: Feng Shui for Mind, Body, Spirit, Space by Laura Benko for £14.43 on Hardcover or £9.49 on the Kindle HERE.
- Feng Shui (Complete Illustrated Guide): How to Apply the Secrets of Chinese Wisdom for Health, Wealth and Happiness by Lillian Too for £3 in paperback.
- Feng Shui and Health: The Anatomy of a Home by Nancy SantoPietro for £13.98 in paperback.