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How To Prepare For Your First Real Estate Investment Purchase As A New Investor

Hong Kong - failure success

Investing in real estate property is probably one of the biggest milestones you will ever make especially in a city like Hong Kong. It’s a complex business and getting ready to buy your first ever real estate property as in investment opportunity can be terrifying. Daunting. There’s so much to learn about, and the industry jargon can cause your head to spin. Credit scores, down payments, mortgages, appraisals, appreciation, closing statements, contract rent, co-ownership, buyer’s agent, listing agent, fixed rate, adjustable rate mortgages, pre-approvals, closing costs, title insurance…the terminology list goes on and on. What are all these terms? Where do you even begin? Getting your feet wet in the real estate industry is absolutely overwhelming if you are a newbie, and fear is what stops the majority of the people out there from ever getting started in real estate investing. There’s the fear of the unknown, it’s a whole new universe to learn and understand. And then there’s the fear of failing. The fear of failure is the number one fear that stops people from achieving their dreams of becoming a real estate investor. 

People are scared to fail. They would much rather stay within the confines of their comfort zones than to ever step out and take a risk. Truthfully, the biggest risk you can take in life is to never take a risk. I wanted to rationalize why people are so afraid of the real estate world, and it seems to come down to fear. So what is it that most people are afraid of when it comes to real estate investing?

    • The fear of looking silly, uninformed, stupid - we carry around the emotional baggage of fearing that we will look like an idiot
  • The fear of losing money
  • The fear of being taken advantage of as a new investor
  • The fear of being exposed as unintelligent because they don’t understand the real estate industry and how it works from an investment perspective
  • The fear of not knowing where to get starting. It’s too much to take on, there’s just too much to learn.


Ultimately, fear is the barrier to entry - the one thing that’s stopping the majority of the people out there from reaping the rewards that the real estate market can offer. Now the question is, “how do we get past this irrational feeling of fear?"

It boils down to knowledge and execution. How have you come to know how to do everything you currently know how to do? How did you decide on your major in University? How do you know how to drive a car? How do you know how to prepare a meal? How did you figure out how to work your smartphone? Everything we know in life, we have had to learn by accumulating knowledge and experience. We choose the things that we are willing to learn, but when it comes to real estate, people say, “ No way! I will never understand how to do that!”. But how do you know if you’ve never tried? Every expert had to start somewhere. Every master was once a beginner, a student. Likewise, real estate investment follows the same principles. You first have to learn and understand real estate investment fundamentals before you can start investing. It’s not rocket science, but it does take dedication to learn through trial and error. Some of you will argue, “well, investing is so risky! I could lose all of my money if I don’t do it right!” You are absolutely right. Investment comes with its many risks, but everything else you do in life also has risks. Think about it. When you drive a car, you put yourself at risk of getting in to an accident. You job has risks too. You put yourself at risk of not having true financial freedom by working a nine-to-five job - a never-ending rat race. How do you reduce any risks in life? You reduce those risks by learning, by accumulating knowledge. If you know that speeding down the highway at 150 mph will likely either get you in to a road accident or have you arrested, you learn to watch your speed. The same mechanics are implemented in real estate investment. You cannot learn and execute your knowledge if you ever even take the first step to start. And you know what the great thing is about learning? You can learn about real estate investment before you even start investment. The more you know, the more you will become aware of the obvious newbie mistakes and pitfalls. The more knowledge you have, the more at comfortable you will be and the less afraid you will become. So, when the day comes when you actually are financially ready and capable of investing in to property, your accumulated knowledge will have replaced your fear. 

Knowledge is power. We know that. Do you know what’s even more powerful than knowledge?

The Execution of your knowledge. With that being said, it’s time we start talking about the actual methods to prepare yourself for investment in your first real estate deal. You have to get started at something if you want to join the wave of real estate investing and reap the harvest. The best way to dive in to any industry while minimizing your risk as much as possible is through preparation. In order to steer clear of failing, you must learn to prepare. We are not saying that it’s an easy road. The road can be challenging and arduous, but the silver lining? There is a reachable destination if you are persistent enough and navigate intelligently enough. 

Why is it so important to prepare you might ask. Why can’t you just dive head in and figure it out as you go? You could, and a lot of people do exactly that. The problem with this method is that you will have to be okay with losing a lot of valuable time and possibly lots of money in the process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t in the real estate world of investing. If you have no idea what you are taking on, how can you calculate the potential outcomes and risks you will meet along the way? You don’t need to be an expert to start, but you do need the basic knowledge to feel confident enough to start. This is what we are aiming to do with this article. We want to equip you with the foundation of real estate investment that you absolutely MUST understand before your first investment deal.

We understand that buying your first property can be one of the most exhilarating - overwhelming - stressful - joyful - moments of your life. But equipped with the right information and preparation, you can make your first real estate investment and close the deal with confidence. Owning property can pay off financially if you do it smartly. If millions of people are able to live off the returns that they make from real estate investment, why can’t you? It’s time to get over your fear and get started on your new journey of financial freedom.  

Read on to learn what these factors are, so that you can be properly ready to make one of the biggest purchases of your life when the time comes.

Understanding  Numbers

Real estate investment has everything to do with the understanding of numbers. We cannot stress enough on how important this is. I mean, come on! It’s investments we are talking about, and the whole point is to make money, and money happens to be quantified in numbers. If you are even entertaining the idea of investing in real estate, you first have to understand how numbers work. You need to know how to calculate and work with numbers. You cannot just go in in blind and make decisions based on your gut feelings and instincts. There are certain terms you have to know even as a beginner in investment. You have to understand how to calculate your financial budget and cash flow. If you don’t know what these terms are, you need to start from the very basics and work your way up. It’s perfectly okay if you don’t currently have the knowledge of what these terms are or how to calculate your numbers. That’s why we are here. 

Let’s take for example, rental properties. If you are investing in rental properties, you have to first determine if a property you are looking at is even potentially going to give you profitable returns, and also take in to consideration the market fluctuations. The point of real estate investment is so that the passive income you generate from the properties is greater than the expenses you are putting in to it. In order to understand real estate investment, you first have to grasp the concept of cash flow. Calculating numbers isn’t so much about talent, you just have to learn how to do it. Of course, you can hire someone to calculate the numbers for you but if you don’t even understand the bare fundamentals, how can you ensure that you don’t get cheated or taken advantage of?

Numbers! Understanding numbers is crucial to your success in real estate investment. Start from here. 

Implementing Strategies

Real estate investment is not random. It’s not a gamble. You could argue that its a calculated gamble, but it’s not a gamble in the sense that you are just tossing dice and hoping for the best. There are so many paths to real estate investing, and each path requires different strategies. Every investment strategy will lead you to different results, different goals and different degrees of risks. Before you start to invest, you need to understand your financial goals. What do you wish to accomplish with investing? What are your ultimate end goals? What levels of work, effort, money, and risk are you prepared to take on. If you cannot answer these questions, you are not anywhere ready to start investing in real estate. Without proper strategy, you are essentially setting yourself up to fail. It’s crucial to take the time to understand what your goals are first and then implement the appropriate strategies and solutions to see the best fit for your investment plans. 

How much time realistically do you want to spend on your investment portfolio? Investing takes time, especially when you are first starting out. You need to draw up your investment routes in order to figure out what real estate investment strategy is most suitable to your financial budget, lifestyle needs, and schedule. If you have no idea what strategy is most suitable for you or which route you are most interested in taking, then don’t invest in any property yet. Having a structured plan with strategies and solutions to those strategy will put you in a better position to invest. Don’t worry if you are not sure which route to go with investing. Everyone who first starts out has to face this question. The thing is that we cannot give you the answers. It’s almost impossible for anyone other than yourself to answer that for you. You know yourself the best, and your answer is depending on your life goals even if you don’t know it yet. There are numbers of different ways to invest in real estate and there’s no clear cut path. The trick is to find the investment strategies that are right for you. The best way to answer the question is to start exploring and researching as much as you can about the industry. Eventually, a niche will resonate with you and that will be a telling sign for which avenue to start pursuing. 

Niche Know-How

Once you have figured out your strategy, you need to invest time to learn and understand everything you can about it. The more knowledge you have about your niche, the better. The first thing to do is to understand the proper steps involved in your chosen real estate investment strategy before you start investing. This may take some time, and you will hit some roadblocks along the way. You will have to do a lot of exploration and learning on your own. There are right ways and wrong ways to invest in any given niche, and you won’t know until you try it or learn from others who have already tried it. Finding a mentor in your chosen niche can be your golden ticket - but ensure that you find something respectable and proven in their strategy that you are interested in and follow their guidance. 

It’s better to find a niche and get really good at it than to dabble in every niche but be average at it. 

Understanding The Market

By now, you should understand how important thorough research and study of the market is. After all, that’s where your knowledge comes from. Part of learning what factors make or break a real estate investment is by learning about market fundamentals and trends that pertain to that strategy. While your chosen strategy may work in one work doesn’t necessarily translate to it being as favourable in another market. While a particular market might be perfect for your investment strategy, it doesn’t always mean that you can use the same strategy in every market. There are traits and characteristics that differ from market to market. Knowing what these are will set apart the good investors from the mediocre investors. You have to thoroughly assess your market to minimize your investment risks, because in real estate, location is probably the most important factor. Location, location, location! This is all part of studying and understanding the trends of the market. Markets change constantly and you need to stay up to date with all the happening and fluctuations.

If you have a thorough understanding of the different traits that can vary between markets and how they may impact your property investments, you will become a much more successful investor in the long run. 

Realize The Risks Factors

Risks! The thing that all investors try to avoid, well, at least minimize as much as possible. Are you aware of how the factors in an investment strategy can affect your risk level? The lower your risk levels are, the higher chance of success you will have in your real estate investments. Returns tend to be projected higher on investments that are valued as higher risk, because the higher return is compensation for taking on the higher probability that the investment will fail. Basically, the higher the risk, the higher your projected returns will be. It’s similar in gambling. You have to calculate what the odds are and if the odds work for you or against you. You need at least understand how to best counter certain risk factors when you are playing the investment game.

The takeaway from this is to understand what factors will directly affect your risk, whatever investment strategy you take. You need to calculate it before you can even attempt to mitigate them. 

Have Exit Strategies

What is your end game? 

Why is it so important to know your end game? Here’s why:

  • So you can come up with better strategies throughout the investment process
  • So that you can know your options for getting out of any undesirable investments if push comes to shove
  • To always have a backup plan from the beginning.


It is great that you have plans and strategies before investing, but it is even more important to know how to exit those plans should they turn sour. Investment is not a sure thing, that’s why there are so many risks involved. If the results don’t go as you had planned, you need to have exit strategies set in place. If you are left with an unsuccessful investment, you need to know how to dig yourself out so you don’t lose even more. Don’t just prepare for buying an investment property, prepare for the end of your investment property as well. Always have a backup plan incase your original plan does not work out. Getting in to real estate investment takes some trial and error, and luckily you can learn a great deal from self-education and experience. Getting started in real estate is not the hardest part, it’s implementing how to know when to stay in or exit your strategies that’s even more crucial. 

Planning your real estate exit strategy can ensure that your goals will be met when you reach the end of the line as a property investor. Positioning yourself with a solid plan is the best way to make sure you will be successful as an investor. It’s a step that you just cannot afford to skimp on. Before buying an investment property, all experienced and seasoned investors plan for a specific exit strategy. 

 

Do you need more advice and guidance on starting out as a real estate investor? Our team at Engel & Voelkers will gladly help you. If you are an experienced real estate investor, what other tips would you give to someone whos just starting out in the industry? What are some things you did to prepare for your first real estate investment purchase? We would love to hear your thoughts!

 

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This data protection information applies to the use of the website https://www.engelvoelkers.com/hongkong/ (hereinafter referred to as “website”) and the Property Search App, a mobile application for property searches (hereinafter referred to as “property app”) and is valid from 25 May 2018.

The following information applies to both the website and the property app, unless expressly stated otherwise.

 

Engel & Völkers VJI Limited in its function of responsible authority (hereinafter also referred to as “Engel & Völkers”) informs its users that

by using the website, personal data about them will be processed, in particular:

●    personal data (e.g. e-mail address, first name, surname, title, address, telephone number – in the following “Data” or “Personal data”) provided by users at the time of registration on the website (e.g. in connection with contact requests and mailing of newsletters);

●    personal data transferred from the user’s internet browser each time the user accesses the website is stored within log files, also known as server logs. This data comprises: IP address (Internet protocol address) of the accessing computer; name of the accessed site; date and time of access; related URL from which the user accesses the site; number of transferred data items; status report of successful access; session ID number.

by using the property app, personal data about them will be processed, in particular:

●    e-mail address, first name, surname, title, address, telephone number provided by users at the time of sending an enquiry;

●    Whenever the app is accessed, the usage data of the respective app user is saved. This data comprises: operating system used and, if applicable, the browser type, current language setting of the smartphone, information about the Internet service provider of the user, name of the retrieved page and, if applicable, the origin page, date and time of retrieval, amount of data transmitted, status report on whether the retrieval was successful, session identification number.

Purpose of processing

Engel & Völkers, as a responsible authority,

processes the personal data of website users for the following purposes:

●    Fulfilment of user’s requests (legal basis is contract performance and the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in transferring contact requests within the Engel & Völkers Group to the appropriate company. The above “Engel & Völkers Group” comprises Engel & Völkers AG and its domestic and foreign associated companies in terms of the German Companies Act Sec. 15 ff, and the (master) licensees affiliated with this group of companies. A current listing of these licensees can be obtained here: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/de/unternehmen/standorte/);

●    The forwarding of e-mail newsletters on the company’s own offers and advertising by the company or third parties to the legally permissible extent or based on consent. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in direct marketing, providing this is in accordance with the data protection and competition rules);

●    Analysis of the website for determining user behaviour. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in analysing user behaviour on our website for the purpose of continuously improving this or adapting it to the interests of our users);

●    Identification and possible blocking of users who have installed a so-called adblocker and who thereby block advertising. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers of providing users who do not block advertising with wholly or partially web-financed offers);

●    In order to prevent fraudulent activities or misuse on the website or in connection with the website and to observe the legal stipulations for safe websites. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in remedying errors, guaranteeing system security and identifying impermissible access or access attempts.)

The legal basis for the processing of personal data is GDPR Article 6(1)(a), if the processing is based on consent, Article 6(1)(b) if the basis for processing is a contractual relationship and Article 6(1)(f) if the basis is the legitimate interests of Engel & Völkers.

processes the personal data of property app users for the following purposes:

●      Fulfilment of the requests of the app users (legal basis of the data collection is the consent of the user in accordance with Art. 6(1)(a) EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). Analysis of the property app to determine usage behaviour (legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in analysing user behaviour in our property app for the purpose of continuously improving this or adapting it to the interests of our users);

Nature of supply of personal data and consequences of objection

The personal data is voluntarily provided by users. They may freely decide whether to make personal data available to Engel & Völkers and may subsequently withdraw their consent from the processing of personal data which have already been made available. Withdrawal may mean that the Engel & Völkers website is no longer usable.

Processing methods

Users’ personal data may only be processed in case of need and processing will be performed electronically only, in particular by way of: gathering, registration, organisation, storage, consultancy, processing, amendment, selection, extraction, comparison, use, interconnection, access and communication, blocking, deletion and destruction of the data. Processing may be carried out electronically or non-electronically.

Access to data

The personal data is processed by Engel & Völkers and (in respect of individual items) particularly by

●    Employees (permanent employees such as job-holders and independent property consultants) and consultants authorised to administer the website and property app and provide the associated services;

●    Third-party supplier companies (e.g. IT service providers, hosting providers, etc.) to which Engel & Völkers has outsourced processing services as part of a job processing agreement.

Information about the data

As the responsible authority we are able to provide information about your personal data. However, this information may only be given for the following reasons:

·       In the case of fulfilment of legal obligations or obligations arising from regulations and guidelines under national or European laws.

·       For defence in court in the case of a legal dispute.

Disclosure of data

If your query relates to offers from other companies of the Engel & Völkers Group, Engel & Völkers transfers the personal data entered by you in this case to the respective company from the Engel & Völkers Group with your prior consent or on the basis of its legitimate interests.[A10]  Other than this, your personal data will not be disclosed by Engel & Völkers.

Disclosure of data in non-EEA countries

In principle, Engel & Völkers does not transfer personal data to non-EEA countries without your consent. The servers used by Engel & Völkers are located within the European Union.

If your query relates to companies of the Engel & Völkers Group outside the European Union, we communicate your data under your consent.

In cases where personal data is transferred to countries that do not offer the same level of protection as within the European Union and you have not expressly agreed to the transfer of your data to those countries by way of your consent, Engel & Völkers will ensure that certain contractual obligations under applicable data protection law (including the execution of standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission) are agreed with each service provider, unless Engel & Völkers can invoke other legal grounds for the transfer of personal data.

Saving and deleting of data

Engel & Völkers saves personal data for the time necessary for achieving the purposes for which the data was gathered and processed, including any storage period stipulated under the applicable legislation (e.g. retention of bookkeeping vouchers) and in any case for a maximum of 24 months [A11] after the personal data was gathered.

Use of cookies

Use of cookies on the website

In order to improve website browsing, Engel & Völkers uses “cookies”. Cookies are small text files, generally consisting of letters and numbers, stored on the user’s web browser on their PC and containing pseudonymised data. Cookies allow a website to recognise the user’s computer in order to follow searches made on several pages of a website and to identify users who return to a website. Cookies may have technical, analytical or profiling purposes.

The direct and indirect cookies used by Engel & Völkers are summarised here: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/en-de/privacy-policy-ag/doc/ev_cookies_lp.pdf.

The website uses the following technical cookies:

For storing language selection _icl_visitor_lang_js, _icl_current_language, evlocale.For storing selection of measuring units engelundvoelkersconfig.For storing last search requests LAST_SEARCH.For storing the watchlist ID watchlist_id.For storing test reference within AB tests user_ab.For storing references to distributed systems in load balancers BIGipServergroup-rz-webfe-prod.

Engel & Völkers informs users that they may deactivate or remove cookies in their web browser by following the instructions on the following links:

●      Internet Explorer ((https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/17442/windows-internet-explorer-delete-manage-cookies).

●      Mozilla Firefox (https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/delete-cookies-remove-info-websites-stored).

●      Safari (https://support.apple.com/kb/PH19214?viewlocale=en_US&locale=de_DE).

The website also uses analytical cookies set by third-party providers, e.g. Google (see also provisions on use of analysis programs and tracking tools) and Adroll (https://www.adroll.com/de-DE/about) /Privatsphäre) and Haufe (https://de.onlinehelp.umantis.com/index.php/Cookies).

In more detail:

a)       Google Analytics

Engel & Völkers uses the web analytics service Google Analytics from Google Inc. (“Google”) for analysing the use of websites. The information generated by cookies about the use of websites is generally transferred to a Google server in the USA and stored there. Engel & Völkers uses Google Analytics solely with the extension "ga ('set', 'anonymizeIp', true)", in order to ensure that IP addresses are only processed in a shortened version and in order to prevent direct references to individual persons. Google may transfer data to third parties if this is prescribed by law or if third parties process these data on behalf of Google. Google will not publish the IP address of the user in connection with other Google data. Users may at any time prevent the recording and storage of data by Google Analytics, by installing a Google-approved browser plug-in which can be downloaded from the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=de.

b)       Universal Analytics

Engel & Völkers uses the Universal Analytics functions provided by Google. These functions allow Engel & Völkers to record and analyse socio-demographic data about users by means of a Google ID (if available) and by means of cookies generated by Google from advertising contents (DoubleClick). If a Google ID is available, the data controller will be able to record this data across all devices (e.g. if users have both a smartphone and a PC) for analysing visitor flows across all devices. Users may at any time prevent the recording and storage of data by Google Analytics by installing a Google-approved browser plug-in which can be downloaded from the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=de.

This website does not use profiling cookies.

Use of cookies and other tracking in the Property App

Engel & Völkers needs statistical information on the use of the Property App to make it more user-friendly. For this purpose, Engel & Völkers deploys the following analysis tools. The providers of the tools process data, where personal data are processed, as a processor in accordance with the instructions of Engel & Völkers.

To find out which other cookies the Property App uses click here: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/en-de/privacy-policy-ag/doc/ev_cookies_lp.pdf.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is provided by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA (“Google”). We use Google Analytics with the additional feature offered by Google to anonymise IP addresses: In this case, Google's IP address is usually already shortened within the EU and only in exceptional cases in the US and in any case only saved in abbreviated form. The privacy policy can be viewed here: https://privacy.google.com/businesses/processorterms/

                               

If you want to opt out of Google Analytics tracking, go to your system settings and disable Google Analytics access in the Tracking section of the “Engel & Völkers Property Search” app.

If you want to opt out of tracking Google Analytics on Android, go to the app settings and disable Google Analytics access.

HockeyApp

HockeyApp is provided by Microsoft (Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399, USA). We use HockeyApp for error analyses and to improve the property app. If it crashes, the user may agree to submit a crash report to HockeyApp. A crash report includes information about the crash date and time, the affected software module, the operating system and language used, and the device type and IP address. The crash report will only be sent to HockeyApp once this has been specifically approved. The information contained in the crash report may be partially processed in the United States. HockeyApp is a service from Microsoft. Legal information about it can be found here: 

https://azure.microsoft.com/de-de/support/legal/.

The privacy policy can be viewed here: 

https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/privacystatement/OnlineServices/Default.aspx

Crashlytics

Crashlytics is an analysis tool offered and operated by Crashlytics Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, USA. Crashlytics generates crash reports, i.e. reports about malfunctions or failures of the app, where and in which context these have occurred, how many users of the app are affected, etc. Engel & Völkers uses these reports to detect malfunctions or failures to be able to react faster, more purposefully and more efficiently in the interests of the users and to be able to improve the app technically. For this purpose, Crashlytics, together with the user’s Symphony-related app ID, which can be deleted at any time, records data on the crash and on general data of the respective IT environment (in particular on the used device, the mobile service provider and the operating system). If personal or pseudonymous data is included, Crashlytics will delete it within seven days. This information will give Crashlytics and subsequently Engel & Völkers insight into whether and how the app works and is used, especially the malfunctions and failures that occur. Further information is available at try.crashlytics.com/terms/privacy-policy.pdf.

Links to social media pages

This website contains links to the main social media network sites (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). These are not embedded social media plug-ins, but a link through which no personal data is transmitted to the social media operators.

Rights of persons concerned

You have the right to information on the processing of your personal data (for example, the origin of this data, the processing purpose, the modalities of the data processing). Furthermore, on certain conditions, you are entitled, at any time, to object to data processing in the future, to limit it or to demand the deletion of the data. Finally, you can prevent the sending of advertising material or the implementation of market research or commercial communications at any time.

In summary, you have a right to

-       information,

-       correction,

-       deletion (or to be forgotten),

-       limitation of processing,

-       data portability,

-       objection to the processing of your personal data,

-       complaint to the supervisory authorities.

Please note that your right to deletion is subject to certain restrictions. For instance we need not or may not delete any data which we need to retain for a further period under a statutory retention period. Data needed by us for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims are also excepted from your right to deletion.

To exercise the above rights and to request information, users may write to the following e-mail address hongkongmmc@engelvoelkers.com[A12]  or postal address Engel & Völkers VJI Limited, [A13] Shop A, 95 Caine Road, Mid Level West, Hong Kong. Similarly, users may at any time withdraw consent to, correct and delete the processing of their data.

Contacts

The responsible authority for processing of data is Engel & Völkers VJI Limited, [A14] Shop A, 95 Caine Road, Mid Level West, Hong Kong. In the event of questions regarding our data processors, we are happy to make a current list of these available to you.

If you have a complaint regarding the way that we process your data, you have the opportunity to submit a complaint to the supervisory authority. This is: 

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Hamburg’s representative for data protection and freedom of information

Prof. Dr. Johannes Caspar

Kurt-Schumacher-Allee 4, 20097 Hamburg

Mailbox@datenschutz.hamburg.de[A15] 

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This data protection information applies to the use of the website https://www.engelvoelkers.com/hongkong/ (hereinafter referred to as “website”) and the Property Search App, a mobile application for property searches (hereinafter referred to as “property app”) and is valid from 25 May 2018.

The following information applies to both the website and the property app, unless expressly stated otherwise.

 

Engel & Völkers VJI Limited in its function of responsible authority (hereinafter also referred to as “Engel & Völkers”) informs its users that

by using the website, personal data about them will be processed, in particular:

●    personal data (e.g. e-mail address, first name, surname, title, address, telephone number – in the following “Data” or “Personal data”) provided by users at the time of registration on the website (e.g. in connection with contact requests and mailing of newsletters);

●    personal data transferred from the user’s internet browser each time the user accesses the website is stored within log files, also known as server logs. This data comprises: IP address (Internet protocol address) of the accessing computer; name of the accessed site; date and time of access; related URL from which the user accesses the site; number of transferred data items; status report of successful access; session ID number.

by using the property app, personal data about them will be processed, in particular:

●    e-mail address, first name, surname, title, address, telephone number provided by users at the time of sending an enquiry;

●    Whenever the app is accessed, the usage data of the respective app user is saved. This data comprises: operating system used and, if applicable, the browser type, current language setting of the smartphone, information about the Internet service provider of the user, name of the retrieved page and, if applicable, the origin page, date and time of retrieval, amount of data transmitted, status report on whether the retrieval was successful, session identification number.

Purpose of processing

Engel & Völkers, as a responsible authority,

processes the personal data of website users for the following purposes:

●    Fulfilment of user’s requests (legal basis is contract performance and the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in transferring contact requests within the Engel & Völkers Group to the appropriate company. The above “Engel & Völkers Group” comprises Engel & Völkers AG and its domestic and foreign associated companies in terms of the German Companies Act Sec. 15 ff, and the (master) licensees affiliated with this group of companies. A current listing of these licensees can be obtained here: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/de/unternehmen/standorte/);

●    The forwarding of e-mail newsletters on the company’s own offers and advertising by the company or third parties to the legally permissible extent or based on consent. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in direct marketing, providing this is in accordance with the data protection and competition rules);

●    Analysis of the website for determining user behaviour. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in analysing user behaviour on our website for the purpose of continuously improving this or adapting it to the interests of our users);

●    Identification and possible blocking of users who have installed a so-called adblocker and who thereby block advertising. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers of providing users who do not block advertising with wholly or partially web-financed offers);

●    In order to prevent fraudulent activities or misuse on the website or in connection with the website and to observe the legal stipulations for safe websites. (Legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in remedying errors, guaranteeing system security and identifying impermissible access or access attempts.)

The legal basis for the processing of personal data is GDPR Article 6(1)(a), if the processing is based on consent, Article 6(1)(b) if the basis for processing is a contractual relationship and Article 6(1)(f) if the basis is the legitimate interests of Engel & Völkers.

processes the personal data of property app users for the following purposes:

●      Fulfilment of the requests of the app users (legal basis of the data collection is the consent of the user in accordance with Art. 6(1)(a) EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). Analysis of the property app to determine usage behaviour (legal basis is the legitimate interest of Engel & Völkers in analysing user behaviour in our property app for the purpose of continuously improving this or adapting it to the interests of our users);

Nature of supply of personal data and consequences of objection

The personal data is voluntarily provided by users. They may freely decide whether to make personal data available to Engel & Völkers and may subsequently withdraw their consent from the processing of personal data which have already been made available. Withdrawal may mean that the Engel & Völkers website is no longer usable.

Processing methods

Users’ personal data may only be processed in case of need and processing will be performed electronically only, in particular by way of: gathering, registration, organisation, storage, consultancy, processing, amendment, selection, extraction, comparison, use, interconnection, access and communication, blocking, deletion and destruction of the data. Processing may be carried out electronically or non-electronically.

Access to data

The personal data is processed by Engel & Völkers and (in respect of individual items) particularly by

●    Employees (permanent employees such as job-holders and independent property consultants) and consultants authorised to administer the website and property app and provide the associated services;

●    Third-party supplier companies (e.g. IT service providers, hosting providers, etc.) to which Engel & Völkers has outsourced processing services as part of a job processing agreement.

Information about the data

As the responsible authority we are able to provide information about your personal data. However, this information may only be given for the following reasons:

·       In the case of fulfilment of legal obligations or obligations arising from regulations and guidelines under national or European laws.

·       For defence in court in the case of a legal dispute.

Disclosure of data

If your query relates to offers from other companies of the Engel & Völkers Group, Engel & Völkers transfers the personal data entered by you in this case to the respective company from the Engel & Völkers Group with your prior consent or on the basis of its legitimate interests.[A10]  Other than this, your personal data will not be disclosed by Engel & Völkers.

Disclosure of data in non-EEA countries

In principle, Engel & Völkers does not transfer personal data to non-EEA countries without your consent. The servers used by Engel & Völkers are located within the European Union.

If your query relates to companies of the Engel & Völkers Group outside the European Union, we communicate your data under your consent.

In cases where personal data is transferred to countries that do not offer the same level of protection as within the European Union and you have not expressly agreed to the transfer of your data to those countries by way of your consent, Engel & Völkers will ensure that certain contractual obligations under applicable data protection law (including the execution of standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission) are agreed with each service provider, unless Engel & Völkers can invoke other legal grounds for the transfer of personal data.

Saving and deleting of data

Engel & Völkers saves personal data for the time necessary for achieving the purposes for which the data was gathered and processed, including any storage period stipulated under the applicable legislation (e.g. retention of bookkeeping vouchers) and in any case for a maximum of 24 months [A11] after the personal data was gathered.

Use of cookies

Use of cookies on the website

In order to improve website browsing, Engel & Völkers uses “cookies”. Cookies are small text files, generally consisting of letters and numbers, stored on the user’s web browser on their PC and containing pseudonymised data. Cookies allow a website to recognise the user’s computer in order to follow searches made on several pages of a website and to identify users who return to a website. Cookies may have technical, analytical or profiling purposes.

The direct and indirect cookies used by Engel & Völkers are summarised here: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/en-de/privacy-policy-ag/doc/ev_cookies_lp.pdf.

The website uses the following technical cookies:

For storing language selection _icl_visitor_lang_js, _icl_current_language, evlocale.For storing selection of measuring units engelundvoelkersconfig.For storing last search requests LAST_SEARCH.For storing the watchlist ID watchlist_id.For storing test reference within AB tests user_ab.For storing references to distributed systems in load balancers BIGipServergroup-rz-webfe-prod.

Engel & Völkers informs users that they may deactivate or remove cookies in their web browser by following the instructions on the following links:

●      Internet Explorer ((https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/17442/windows-internet-explorer-delete-manage-cookies).

●      Mozilla Firefox (https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/delete-cookies-remove-info-websites-stored).

●      Safari (https://support.apple.com/kb/PH19214?viewlocale=en_US&locale=de_DE).

The website also uses analytical cookies set by third-party providers, e.g. Google (see also provisions on use of analysis programs and tracking tools) and Adroll (https://www.adroll.com/de-DE/about) /Privatsphäre) and Haufe (https://de.onlinehelp.umantis.com/index.php/Cookies).

In more detail:

a)       Google Analytics

Engel & Völkers uses the web analytics service Google Analytics from Google Inc. (“Google”) for analysing the use of websites. The information generated by cookies about the use of websites is generally transferred to a Google server in the USA and stored there. Engel & Völkers uses Google Analytics solely with the extension "ga ('set', 'anonymizeIp', true)", in order to ensure that IP addresses are only processed in a shortened version and in order to prevent direct references to individual persons. Google may transfer data to third parties if this is prescribed by law or if third parties process these data on behalf of Google. Google will not publish the IP address of the user in connection with other Google data. Users may at any time prevent the recording and storage of data by Google Analytics, by installing a Google-approved browser plug-in which can be downloaded from the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=de.

b)       Universal Analytics

Engel & Völkers uses the Universal Analytics functions provided by Google. These functions allow Engel & Völkers to record and analyse socio-demographic data about users by means of a Google ID (if available) and by means of cookies generated by Google from advertising contents (DoubleClick). If a Google ID is available, the data controller will be able to record this data across all devices (e.g. if users have both a smartphone and a PC) for analysing visitor flows across all devices. Users may at any time prevent the recording and storage of data by Google Analytics by installing a Google-approved browser plug-in which can be downloaded from the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=de.

This website does not use profiling cookies.

Use of cookies and other tracking in the Property App

Engel & Völkers needs statistical information on the use of the Property App to make it more user-friendly. For this purpose, Engel & Völkers deploys the following analysis tools. The providers of the tools process data, where personal data are processed, as a processor in accordance with the instructions of Engel & Völkers.

To find out which other cookies the Property App uses click here: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/en-de/privacy-policy-ag/doc/ev_cookies_lp.pdf.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is provided by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA (“Google”). We use Google Analytics with the additional feature offered by Google to anonymise IP addresses: In this case, Google's IP address is usually already shortened within the EU and only in exceptional cases in the US and in any case only saved in abbreviated form. The privacy policy can be viewed here: https://privacy.google.com/businesses/processorterms/

                               

If you want to opt out of Google Analytics tracking, go to your system settings and disable Google Analytics access in the Tracking section of the “Engel & Völkers Property Search” app.

If you want to opt out of tracking Google Analytics on Android, go to the app settings and disable Google Analytics access.

HockeyApp

HockeyApp is provided by Microsoft (Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399, USA). We use HockeyApp for error analyses and to improve the property app. If it crashes, the user may agree to submit a crash report to HockeyApp. A crash report includes information about the crash date and time, the affected software module, the operating system and language used, and the device type and IP address. The crash report will only be sent to HockeyApp once this has been specifically approved. The information contained in the crash report may be partially processed in the United States. HockeyApp is a service from Microsoft. Legal information about it can be found here: 

https://azure.microsoft.com/de-de/support/legal/.

The privacy policy can be viewed here: 

https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/privacystatement/OnlineServices/Default.aspx

Crashlytics

Crashlytics is an analysis tool offered and operated by Crashlytics Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, USA. Crashlytics generates crash reports, i.e. reports about malfunctions or failures of the app, where and in which context these have occurred, how many users of the app are affected, etc. Engel & Völkers uses these reports to detect malfunctions or failures to be able to react faster, more purposefully and more efficiently in the interests of the users and to be able to improve the app technically. For this purpose, Crashlytics, together with the user’s Symphony-related app ID, which can be deleted at any time, records data on the crash and on general data of the respective IT environment (in particular on the used device, the mobile service provider and the operating system). If personal or pseudonymous data is included, Crashlytics will delete it within seven days. This information will give Crashlytics and subsequently Engel & Völkers insight into whether and how the app works and is used, especially the malfunctions and failures that occur. Further information is available at try.crashlytics.com/terms/privacy-policy.pdf.

Links to social media pages

This website contains links to the main social media network sites (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). These are not embedded social media plug-ins, but a link through which no personal data is transmitted to the social media operators.

Rights of persons concerned

You have the right to information on the processing of your personal data (for example, the origin of this data, the processing purpose, the modalities of the data processing). Furthermore, on certain conditions, you are entitled, at any time, to object to data processing in the future, to limit it or to demand the deletion of the data. Finally, you can prevent the sending of advertising material or the implementation of market research or commercial communications at any time.

In summary, you have a right to

-       information,

-       correction,

-       deletion (or to be forgotten),

-       limitation of processing,

-       data portability,

-       objection to the processing of your personal data,

-       complaint to the supervisory authorities.

Please note that your right to deletion is subject to certain restrictions. For instance we need not or may not delete any data which we need to retain for a further period under a statutory retention period. Data needed by us for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims are also excepted from your right to deletion.

To exercise the above rights and to request information, users may write to the following e-mail address hongkongmmc@engelvoelkers.com[A12]  or postal address Engel & Völkers VJI Limited, [A13] Shop A, 95 Caine Road, Mid Level West, Hong Kong. Similarly, users may at any time withdraw consent to, correct and delete the processing of their data.

Contacts

The responsible authority for processing of data is Engel & Völkers VJI Limited, [A14] Shop A, 95 Caine Road, Mid Level West, Hong Kong. In the event of questions regarding our data processors, we are happy to make a current list of these available to you.

If you have a complaint regarding the way that we process your data, you have the opportunity to submit a complaint to the supervisory authority. This is: 

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Hamburg’s representative for data protection and freedom of information

Prof. Dr. Johannes Caspar

Kurt-Schumacher-Allee 4, 20097 Hamburg

Mailbox@datenschutz.hamburg.de[A15] 

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