In The News

Beverly Hills Hotel Hires Mandarin-Speaking Personal Shoppers Amid Chinese Tourism Boom


With an average of nearly $7,000 spent by Chinese travelers per visit to the U.S., businesses from Peninsula Beverly Hills to the Four Seasons are responding by offering specialized menus and access to China's largest mobile payment services.

The Four Seasons L.A. at Beverly Hills lobby decorated for Chinese New Year.

The Four Seasons L.A. at Beverly Hills lobby decorated for Chinese New Year.

Donald Trump's travel bans may have rattled the U.S. tourism sector — arrivals are down 5.3 percent since 2016, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office — but China is bucking the trend. "Chinese travelers don't seem to care about" such criticism (the president accused China of "raping" the U.S. in trade), says Lin Wang of the trade group National Tour Association. "Many like Trump because he used to be a celebrity." Thus, it's no surprise that L.A. is a top overseas market. While 2.9 million Chinese visit the U.S. annually, according to U.S. Travel's David Huether, 1.3 million travel to California. L.A. is a gateway city with a large Asian population and attractions, from Universal Studios to the Hollywood sign, that appeal to the Chinese. In 2016, L.A. became the "first U.S. city to welcome a million visitors from China," says the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board's Kathy Smits.

It's not just the number of travelers, it's how much they spend. According to Huether, the average spend per person per visit to the U.S. in 2016 was $2,546. The Chinese spend $6,901 on average.

Locals have taken note. The L.A. Tourism & Convention Board has for the past three years run a China Ready program (recently rebranded as Nihao China) to encourage tourism; 150 businesses, from The Getty Center to Malibu Wine Safaris and Wilshire Limo Services, have participated. Peninsula Beverly Hills, known for monogramming pillowcases in Chinese characters for visiting guests, offers a Bespoke Beverly Hills experience guided by a Mandarin-speaking personal shopper with unlimited access to luxury boutiques ($1,045). The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills — which has Chinese menus and a Chinese event coordinator in addition to Chinese-style slippers, robes and kettles in rooms — creates custom content on its channel on WeChat, China's dominant social media platform. According to Four Seasons director of sales and marketing Greg Velasquez: "Our Chinese clients want to see content that isn't necessarily about Chinese-related items and want to learn about the destination, both on property and off," which can include anything from an interview with Four Seasons florist Jeff Leatham, translated into Chinese, to Beverly Hills segments. The Chinese market "has surpassed every other market except Canada and the U.K.," he adds. In December, Luxe Hotels, located in West L.A., downtown and on Rodeo Drive, will begin accepting Alipay and WeChatPay, China's largest mobile payment services. Says Luxe's Adam Sydenham, "With year-on-year growth, it seemed to be the next sensible step."

As for shopping, a favored pastime, Barneys New York, Breguet and Cartier are decorating storefronts for Chinese New Year, and Rodeo Drive stores from Hermes to Bulgari have on premises at least one Mandarin speaker. Such luxury brands as Chanel and Burberry will set aside designated pulls likely to sell well to the Chinese, from Bottega Veneta's $550 China Red Intrecciolusion large tote to iconic Burberry plaid items that come in sizes XS and XXS.

Then there are those who find Los Angeles so appealing, they wish to set down roots or purchase investment properties. Steven Dubin, a real estate agent and investment advisor at Douglas Elliman, says that 25 percent of his sales have been to Chinese buyers, a tenfold increase over the past four years. "They want to be as close to ground-zero Beverly Hills — Rodeo Drive — as possible and only want brand-new or never-lived-in homes," he says. 

According to Shelton Wilder, an agent at Douglas Elliman — who works with Knight Frank, an international agency with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, to attract mainland China and Hong Kong prospective buyers: "The Chinese are very particular with wanting off-market and unseen properties." She adds that Chinese buyers are "very direct and will quickly say yes or no."

Thankful for YOU!!

Hi Friend!
 

We are in full swing in the last quarter of 2017 and it's holiday time!  Hope you enjoyed Halloween, we went as the Ghostbusters! 

Image courtesy of SantaMonica.com

Image courtesy of SantaMonica.com

There are lots of fun events upon us in Los Angeles.  One of my favorites is the Holiday Walk on Montana Ave.  My family and I will be singing carols and supporting the local shops.  Thanksgiving, turkey time, is such a blast and we will be attending a few "Friendsgivings" this year. I'm bringing my new delicious savory recipe of Loaded Cauliflower "Faux-Tato" Bites! YUMMY!!! Fall has been a successful time and lots of new listings coming up in the new year.

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The most exciting news....drum roll please....I am now part of the Douglas Elliman family, the largest privately owned real estate company in the world.  It has always been my goal to be a part of the Douglas Elliman exclusive brand that generated $27.2 billion in sales in 2016 and it will continue to help my business grow while benefiting my clients. I would love to help you with any of your real estate needs including buying or selling personal, investment, or commercial properties.  Feel free to reach out, I'd love to take you to coffee!


NEW ELLIMAN LISTINGS I LOVE!!

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356 N. Skywiay Road, Brentwood
356SkyewiayRoad.com

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4016 Tivoli Avenue, Venice
4016Tivoli.com


Try the loaded Faux-tatos this Thanksgiving!

Loaded Faux-tato Bites Recipe courtesy of delish.com

Loaded Faux-tato Bites Recipe courtesy of delish.com

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick cooking spray, for pan
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped chives

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and grease a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook cauliflower until fork tender, about 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
  3. Spread florets out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Using a potato masher, or the bottom of a small glass, lightly smash the cauliflower florets.
  4. Top each smashed cauliflower floret with a pinch of cheddar cheese and some bacon, then bake until cheese is melted and crispy around the edges, about 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle chives over cauliflower and serve warm or at room temperature.

#WILDERWEDNESDAY


PLEASING CLIENTS ONE HOUSE AT A TIME!

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3605 Kelton Avenue, Los Angeles
3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom, 1,064 Sq. Ft.

Shelton was a dream to work with from start to finish. I was having to sell my home while living in another state and she went above and beyond to help me with the process. I received 8 offers in 5 days and I closed over our asking price. It took just 28 days to officially sell my place! I highly recommend Shelton as a realtor and would use her again.
- Meredith S.

SOLD! 3948 W. 149th St. Hawthorne, CA 90250

This one of my favorite testimonials ever! So grateful to work with such amazing families! I will go wherever my clients need me anywhere in LA.

"To date, I have never worked with someone who has more perseverance, dedication, and consistency than you. Your work ethic is the best around and your spirit is a bright light that has shot through me and that shines everywhere you go. You are not simply a real estate agent---you are an incredible worker, an ambitious business woman, and a compassionate friend. Shelton there are not enough words to thank you for your tireless efforts in helping my husband and I find a place to root down here in LA. I am not just recommending you for any and all real estate needs people may have----I am singing your god damn praises because you SO deserve it. 
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for making one of my dreams come true. 

PS- F%CK YES WE ARE HOMEOWNERS!!!!" - Samantha Harte

 

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