Friday, February 22, 2013

MAC Marketing scandal makes headlines in Hong Kong



Locally, the MAC Marketing Solutions scandal has dealt the real estate industry a black eye.

And now the story is gaining attention overseas.

A senior executive at a Vancouver marketing firm was forced to resign after employees of the company were caught posing as the daughters of rich Chinese property buyers in interviews with TV reporters.

The deception was intended to create the impression that Chinese buyers were still queuing up to buy into Vancouver's teetering real estate market, which has long been fuelled by money from China and is now rated as the second least-affordable city in the world, behind Hong Kong, according to the Demographia consultancy.
(hat tip: southseacompany)

For BC's real estate industry it's a black eye they just don't need right now. The Hong Kong paper is even reporting earlier events of media manipulation and fake Asian buyers:
It's not the first time that spurious reports about buyers from China have been used to hype the Vancouver property market. In one incident in 2011, a local marketer tipped off TV reporters that a group of property buyers from China were taking helicopter tours of the region to spot potential purchases. It was later revealed that the "Chinese investors" in the report were in fact Vancouver real estate agents of Asian descent.
Combine this with confirmation that Vancouver's housing bubble is in the process of deflating:
The average price of a detached house in the core district of Vancouver West topped out at C$2.25 million (HK$17.13 million) last May. It has since fallen by more than 11 per cent.
And the impact on the industry is incalculable.

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30 comments:

  1. This will be very bad for Vancouver RE. The herd mentality in Hong Kong is greater than anywhere. The media influences people's perception, but with Chinese people it is times 10. MAC, you've just helped speed up Vancouver's RE decline.

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  2. Yep, definitely a jump the shark moment. Put a fork in it, it's over.

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  3. Now the HAMs will be not be coming to buy but to sell the real estate holdings.

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  4. ouch, well local Hong Kong people are just as adverse to the Mainland China real estate tsunami in their city. not surprised their media is catching onto this too.

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  5. Whisperer

    Must commend you on your painstaking efforts.
    You are an example of how one man can make a difference. He who stands alone is the strongest.
    Keep it up and don't lose your edge

    ReplyDelete
  6. not a feng shui expertFebruary 22, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    "However, an anonymous local real estate blogger known as the Rainforest Whisperer last week questioned whether the sisters were authentic Chinese buyers"

    Famous in Hong Kong now due to that article. Next up is China, and then the world ...

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  7. Yes, this just goes to show the power of the internet and the difference one person can make. We live in amazing times.

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    Replies
    1. I was just thinking the same thing. 20 years ago this would not have happened.

      Delete
  8. " And the winner is"...Rennie and Company! by by MacHighrise!

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  9. Yup MAC has likely sold their last unit in Maddox

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  10. If they have any left after the big New Year sales stampede!

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  11. Astounding how this asinine decision by MAC Marketing has come back to haunt them ten-fold.

    I'm a big believer in Karma and can't help but think that MAC is getting payback from the universe for not only this incident but other stuff that they thought they got away with. Certainly Cam McNeil has been quoted a number of times in the media spewing garbage - it just never got questioned before and he got away with it.

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  12. If this story spreads to Beijing major dailies, that would be HUGE.

    I suppose it depends on how you look at it - if you're a local buyer in Vancouver unable to afford a million dollar home, a good thing.

    If you're retirement income is sitting in your home's equity and the home depreciates significantly in value, a bad thing.

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    Replies
    1. You are absolutely correct. Please hope this does not make it to the Beijing major news or else Vancouver is TOAST!!

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  13. Just looked at the today's Georgia Straight... Charlie Smith wrote a great fluff article about Burnaby's "Condo Boom".

    But, no articles about MAC Marketing Solutions, but lots of adverts bought by them.

    Hmm... I wonder if there's a correlation?

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  14. I don't think most people know or care about any of this. Is it really shocking to learn that marketing firms are trying to manipulate us into buying stuff?? Come on people.

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    Replies
    1. Not if you have the Sheeple mentality, or use less than 5 percent of your brain.

      Delete
    2. Some people care. You know, the honest ones that actually believe in truth and fair play? Actually, with a comment like that, you likely know not a single person like that.

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    3. rubbish. People who value the truth understand that these marketing firms have been playing games at our expense for their own profit. There is nothing new or shocking in this particular case. If it's not obvious to you that they've been manipulative for YEARS then you're a fool.

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    4. Nobody said anything about whther it was obvious, or not. Hte question is whterh or not it matters to someone whther it;s happening or not. The sad part is, there are very many young people that are convinced that they will be priced out forever because of welathy foreign investors. Why? Because of the lies and deceit of these marketing firms. In their arrogance, though, they crossed the line and were caught. Why? Because some people gave a sh@t. Just because you live in some nihilistic apathy, doesn't mean everybody else does.

      Delete
  15. At least global news had a story about it being cheaper to rent in Vancouver, then to own a condo...

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  16. Again you have done an awesome job. Everyone really appreciates what you have done.

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  17. This listing is a poster for everything that is wrong about Vancouver RE

    Where in the world would you pay $ 888,000 to live in this beauty?

    http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12799656&PidKey=-1340248514

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It won't sell for a penny over $700k.

      Delete
    2. Now if it was $888,888 then they might have something...

      Delete
  18. Whispers - I used to follow you on this blog for your range of real estate stories. Although your work on this Mac real estate story is good, it's really getting old and you're really stretching to keep the story alive for your own selfish reasons. Please move on like everyone else has and get back to the reason why your loyal followers subscribed to you in the first place.

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    Replies
    1. So, what do you do at MAC?

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    2. Translation: Whispers, please stop writing about us. We have already purchased copious amounts of advertising from all of the relevant TV stations and newspapers to ensure this is swept under the rug. Please move on and get back to not exposing our fraudulent behavior since this is just the tip of the iceberg and we're really worried you'll find out about the really awful stuff we've been pulling.

      Sincerely,
      The Big MAC

      Delete
  19. Is this a blog for uneducated people? I love how everyone thinks two girls acting as buyers for the camera can ruin the market here in Van. Guess what, Mac marketing real estate will be fine in the coming years and Vancouver Real Estate is not depicted by a news report unfortunately for all you negative people out there.

    Keep not buying and just bitching. I will collect your rent. Thank you.

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