Potential clients can be found in every part of Mainland China. However, you need to know the major client sources so you don’t waste time and financial resources. The major clients for EB-5 projects in Mainland China are private business owners and top corporate executives. Managers and directors of state-owned enterprises may be effective client locators, because of their business relationships with the private sector. However, in this new information and social media age, the Internet can be an incredibly valuable resource. The beauty of the Internet is that the information is updated continually and often provides all you need to know.
For instance, I Googled “list of Chinese businesses.” My request returned 9,390,000 results in less than three seconds. I selected three sites from the first two pages (one of which would amaze you) list literally tens of thousands of businesses, some of which lead directly to the names of the key employees.
Inevitably, any search for EB-5 clients will likely begin in the largest cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Jinan. However, don’t rule out the possibility of success in other regions and cities. There may be a greater concentration of high net-worth individuals in the big cities, but they are also the low-hanging fruit that most of your competition is trying to pick. Top operational executives are likely to be located closer to facilities that may be in rural areas. They have fewer people offering them any kinds of opportunities, so you may find a warmer welcome there.
We mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. Some potential clients who may have a high level of interest are those with children studying at U.S. schools. Remember, the incentive for investing is to secure Green Cards for residency in the U.S. Some of these families would be highly motivated to invest in a project that would bring their family together in America.
Another group likely to be highly motivated is people who want to send their children to school in America, but balk at the high tuition rates for foreign students. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have adequate funds; it just means that they would like to invest their funds more wisely. These prospects might like to make an EB-5 investment so that they can come to the U.S. and not only gain financially, but also use that gain to pay for their child’s tuition, which would also be lower because of their U.S. residency status.
Another way to tap a large potential client base is to open an EB-5 office in Mainland China. An EB-5 developer in the U.S. can open an office in Mainland China, hire staff members who read and write fluent English and Mandarin, and advertise and promote from that office. We will address this opportunity in Section Four of this book. Having a local office enhances the opportunity for finding clients by increasing the potential for networking through candidates you have already contacted. It is much easier for someone who sees your project as a unique opportunity to share it effectively with other family members, friends, and business associates, because he can send them or even bring them directly to your office. That’s a little more difficult when your only office is in the U.S. We can’t guarantee that these simple ideas will open doors for you, but at least we have pointed to some doors upon which you may knock.
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