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episode # 37

3 Tips to Make Sure Your Home is Not a Feng Shui Disaster with Alex Yao

Real Estate Agent Alex Yao joins Adam & Matt to discuss Feng Shui and all the other potentially unknown pitfalls that a Vancouver home seller can fall into when the home market is so plugged into the larger Pacific Rim real estate market.

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Episode Summary


3 Tips to Make Sure Your Home is Not a Feng Shui Disaster with Alex Yao


Why do we need to talk about feng shui?

Feng Shui is the philosophy of harmonizing everything in the surrounding environment. These days, it’s becoming more and more important, especially in the Vancouver market. It’s commonplace to have a Feng Shui report done for a house. An on site assessment and consultation will be done, ending in a report that will give sellers tips for improving their home’s Feng Shui. Feng Shui can make a home feel better and is a concern not only for energy but for resale. The importance of Feng Shui depends on where in Vancouver you live.


About Alex Yao

 Alex was born in Taiwan but has lived most of his life in Canada. 40-50% of Alex’s clientele are recent immigrants and/or Mandarin speakers. We wanted to bring in someone who knows what these buyers are looking for and can speak to their cultural logic.

We’ll be speaking in generalities and from things learned from Alex’s direct experience.

It’s important to know your market and to be able to expose your home to as wide a market as possible.


#1: Feng Shui

 Feng, means wind, and Shui, means water. Wind and water, meaning how the earth moves, natural energy and luck, and bringing energy into your home.

One major aspect of Feng Shui is the energy associated with your entrance. You don’t want to open the front door and see a “T” – energy shooting into your home from the outside and you don’t know whether it’s good or bad energy. Similarly, you also don’t want to open your door and see a fire escape or garbage dumpster.

For example, I had a friend with a corner unit condo in North Vancouver with nice high ceilings. But he had a hard time selling because his front door lead straight down a long hallway.

Floor height is also a big issue. Many people would prefer a ground unit because it could mean having some outdoor space. However, most Chinese clients prefer a higher floor without the yard. They prefer the nicer views from a higher level and to have fewer people above them.

Layout and flow in a home is also very important. For example, one client passed on a home because the bathroom was located right near the entrance. This creates more bad energy at the entrance to the home.


#2: Numbers

 Number four is seen as a negative or bad luck number because the number four in Mandarin sounds like the word for death. Many downtown high rises, like the famous Shangri La, will skip floors #4, #14, etc.

There is a rule coming in that new buildings won’t be allowed to skip floor four as it is confusing for emergency responders. This may mean clients choosing not to buy on these floors.

Number eight is seen as a positive or good luck number because it sounds like the Mandarin word for wealth. We see eights used a lot in licence plates, emails, etc.


#3: Areas of Vancouver

Richmond is a predominantly Mandarin and Cantonese speaking community. It makes sense that new immigrants would head to Richmond as it’s a place where they can ease into the culture. It’s easier for them to communicate, find food they know, find entertainment they like, etc.

We also see a lot of buyers in the Cambie corridor, Shaughnessy and Dunbar. These are places with a lot of land and beautiful big homes in established areas. These buyers are looking for established good areas, not up and coming neighbourhoods. They want good schools for their kids and a nice built up community. They don’t need to bet on an up and coming community if they have the money to move somewhere that’s already established.

For more from Alex you can email him at or visit

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