It’s a Cultural thing: How Asian Culture Influences Real Estate Business

“When the Beijing Olympics opened, it was on one of the luckiest days in the Chinese calendar, where the numbers 8-8-8 matched. This was no coincidence; the opening of the Olympics was planned for this day, to bring luck and good fortune to the event, and China’s own International Future.” (from Ezine Articles)

Asian countries are very particular with beliefs and traditions. Even in the face of modernity, traces of culture’s influence can still be seen. For them, success has something to do with luck and fortune. Is this also the same in dealing with real estate transactions? Do values and superstitions affect growth and prosperity?

asian real estate

Social relationship is basic for other relationships built by Asians – of course, including business relationships. According to SILVAR (Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®), a professional trade organization engaged in real estate business on the Peninsula and South Bay, core values such as courtesy and hospitality are every Asian’s way of fostering trust between business partners. Trust means a lot in business ventures for Asians. Because of this, security and loyalty are guaranteed. This also motivates Asians in keeping their gestures in making transactions. Having social relationship means knowing who you are dealing business with. This is the reason why Indian businessmen, for example, work only with people they know. Assurance and peace of mind is a must in Asian business. In the Philippines, hospitability is the main ingredient to attract investors. Making real estate sites accessible and convenient for clients is one of the reasons why expatriates’ eyes are keen to real estate developers in the country.

Though Asians have strong sense of faith, they are also superstitious. Decision-making is drawn by details like colors, numbers, and anything that can be connected to luck. For example, when giving tokens to partner investors (this is a practice for many Asian cultures), Asians do not prefer objects pertaining to danger like knives, or to time like clocks, for they signify death. Koreans refuse to accept gifts while eagerly offer them to their clients. Colors like white, black and purple is a no-no to Asians for they mean “something that will not last”, while color red and gold brings good luck (particularly to Chinese). “Lucky” numbers differ for every culture. Koreans see 3 and 7 as numbers of good fortune and 9 means long life. For Chinese, 8 is lucky while 4 is otherwise since pronouncing them will sound like words that mean wealth and death respectively. Indians are not particular with numbers and colors, yet they attach numbers to directions. Bad luck will come to houses that face south; fortune will come when houses face east. Koreans do not prefer homes with stairways by the bathroom, or stoves across the sink – fire and water are opposing elements.

FengShui, which literally means “wind and water” and a belief about energy flow, is usually attached to Asian culture, particularly to the Chinese. This belief led to particular designs, locations, and other details of Asian real estate sites. For example, curved walkways, spiral staircases, and round windows are lucky for “good luck travels in curved lines”. On the contrary, “bad luck travels in straight lines” implies straight walkways, rectangular windows, and straight staircases to allow misfortune to enter the building. Miscellaneous to buildings are also important “magnets” of good fortune. Numbers colors and house location are also considered in FengShui.

Asians, being cultural-oriented businessmen, integrates values and beliefs with business. With the remarkable status of Asian countries in real estate business, it is inevitable to attribute success and prosperity to the practices and traditions, as Asians have very high regards to them. Do not be surprised if the numbers 3, 7, 8 and 9 appeared to the offered rates in Asian real estate deals, or if the building designs have particular shapes and colors. These are just manifestations of the Asian culture influencing real estate. Now that business forecasters have predicted Asia to dominate the real estate market, Asians’ respect to their values and beliefs will surely be credited – for prosperity and good luck!

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