8 Tips for Doing Business with Professionals from Asia

8 Tips for Doing Business with Professionals from Asia


In 1997, I took my first trip to China. I truly left my heart there and am still in awe of the history, culture, kindness and consideration that the Asian people bestowed on me. Each time I have gone back to Asia, I have admired how the people are aware of other cultures and traditions and go out of their way to ensure that foreigners are made to feel at home.

With the shift in our real estate market, we now are seeing more and more people from Asia and the UAE buying property in Miami and making this their home. Next to the United States, China has the most millionaires in the world with 3.6 million (an increase of 2 million since 2014). There is a lot of wealth and capital in China that maybe deployed in the United States.

I recently joined AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America) as a way to give back to the people that have been so gracious to me throughout the years. There are simple gestures that we can make to help visiting Asian professionals feel at home. Here are  a few things you can do to be ready for Asian visitors, or even perhaps your future Asian neighbors!

  1.  Restaurants – Chinese people love their own food. I always give options for meals and more often than not, they will request Chinese cuisine. Here is a restaurant I love.

Tony Chan’s Water Club
1717 N. Bayshore Road #131, Miami, FL 33132
(305)374-8888.

       This is an upscale, elegant and ideal place to take a client and new friend.

Do not discuss business during a meal. It is a time to get to know each other. If you are being hosted, do not eat or drink prior to the host. Learn to use chopsticks and when you put them down, put them on the holder, not on top of the bowl or straight in the bowl. This is considered rude.

  1.  The Number 8 – The number 8 has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture. With pronunciation of ‘Ba’ in Chinese, number 8 sounds similar to the word ‘Fa,’ which means to make a fortune. It contains meanings of prosperity, success and high social status too, so all business people favor it very much.

I personally price all the properties I sell with three 8’s for luck and prosperity.

  1.  Create Legal Documents in Mandarin – Although the English legal documents will be the binding ones, having the ability to refer to the contracts in Mandarin will ensure the client is more comfortable and shows that you really care.

I use Marcela Arbelaz from Lingua Franca Translations to assist with Mandarin translations.

  1.  Show The City -Education, golf, shopping and restaurants are very important to the Asian tourist. Miami is just starting to get on the radar for Asian tourists. Be a true host and show them what our new global city is all about.
  1.  Punctuality – punctual is very important in the Chinese culture. Lateness is insulting and will not win favors when trying to develop a relationship.
  1.  Business Cards – When a business card is given to an Asian associate, it is given holding the card with both thumbs and second fingers. Printing one side in Chinese is also very helpful. When you receive a card, take it with the same 4 fingers and bow slightly. This shows respect; study the card.

Follow up 2 days after your meeting to  recap all the positive points of your discussion.   Outline the tasks you need to accomplish together.

  1.  Developing Trust – Before doing business with an Asian business person, take the time to learn about his or her family and what is important to them. This is pivotal to establishing a long relationship. When a deal is consummated, host a celebratory dinner or event.
  1.  Be Polite and Don’t Show Impatience – We tend to rush, and sometimes this comes across as edgy. This will not help you establish a working relationship with an Asian business person.

I hope you have the good fortune to travel to Asia. When your new Asian friends do come to Miami, please practice any one of these new habits. It will only strengthen your business partnership and prepare you for your new relationships.