1) Use a map view search.
When searching for property in Hong Kong, you generally have two kinds of people browsing:
People who know the area they want to live in very well;
Others who are new to an area.
Portals in Hong Kong and most Asian cities offer only a list view search mechanism. If you don’t know where you want to search, then all you see is a long list of properties. Requiring a user to pre-select a neighbourhood or building in a city they know nothing about is not helpful.
If you do know which neighbourhood you want to live in, then there’s a game agents play, which you will probably fall victim to. Neighbourhood boundaries in Hong Kong can be vague; ask 10 agents where the boundary between Mid-Levels Central and Mid-Levels East is and you will probably get 10 different answers. Agents use this ambiguity to list a property in a more popular neighbourhood when in fact it may belong in an adjacent neighbourhood or somewhere different altogether. In a list search agents know people will select specific neighbourhoods and buildings in the drop-downs so why not list your property there. This is another trap agents use to reel in customers.
Using a map view search, you can get around both of these problems.
For people who don’t know a neighbourhood well, identifying where a building is in relation to schools, MTR stations, convenience stores, and launderettes is critical in the property-search process, and there’s no better solution than to use map view search. Many key decisions around finding a place to live revolve around the location of the apartment and surrounding amenities or public facilities, and using a map is a logical solution.
Having been a victim of the “wrong neighbourhood” scam a few times myself, we decided from the inception of Spacious to map out the different neighbourhoods boundaries to give people a clear idea of where a property is listed. When agents list a property with us, we use the address of the building to determine which neighbourhood a listing should reside based on pre-defined boundaries.