ERA Malaysia, a key provider of business solutions, consultancy and support for real estate agencies celebrated its “Foundations for the Future” for the world’s leading real estate franchise in Malaysia at its annual ERA Malaysia Business Conference and dinner event in Penang on 11 October.
Held in Penang for the first time, the event was graced by Guest of Honour Dato’ Jerry Chan, Chairman of the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (REHDA), Penang, Keynote speaker and renowned motivational speaker, Dato’ Lawrence Chan and well-attended by friends and associates from the real estate and property development industry and ERA delegates from around Asia.
Dato’ Jerry Chan, Chairman of REHDA Penang said, “Penang's property market is on course to experience a sustainable growth of between 5% and 10% in 2013, buoyed by foreign investments as well as a growing, increasingly affluent population.
“Our continued progress and attraction of investments depend, to a great extent, on overcoming our deficiencies in getting the fundamentals right and in the right application of balance in the supply and demand equation for both the primary and
secondary markets. We also want to ensure that housing remains affordable and that the development of Penang is not restricted to only certain areas or sectors.
“In other words, our industry must be built on not just strong, but the right foundations for this will determine the shape and form of real estate in Malaysia for years to come. And with communities such as ERA Malaysia supporting the industry, I am optimistic for the future of the Malaysian real estate industry”, he continued.
Christopher Lim, Managing Director of ERA Malaysia said, “We hope our philosophy and practices are embraced and applied by more and more real estate professionals as we catalyse the real estate industry to shift from short-term transactional preoccupation to a long-term professional focus. Serving the market, catering to the fundamentals, imparting knowledge and advocating a system for success that will ripple throughout the industry – these are what we consider great foundations for the future.”
A key segment of the business conference and set to be a recurring feature, the inaugural ERA Regional Property Sentiment Dialogue was envisioned to be a meaningful panel discussion among the leaders from ERA regional network and industry luminaries to present a microcosm of expert views. ERA representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Asia Pacific headquarters, Singapore were joined by Dato’ Jerry Chan to discuss, debate and deliver key insights and commentary on the state of real estate in Asia.
Speaking at the dialogue, Marcus Chu, COO of ERA Singapore contended, "Property prices in Singapore are expected to hold up firmly, despite sales transactions likely to come in lower. The latest measures to curb housing loans have kept developers at the sidelines and wary of new project launches. Transactions of new and resale private properties has visibly dropped by as much as 50% but residential property prices, led by new projects, should continue to moderate marginally.
On the Malaysian property market, Chu offered, "Malaysian property prices have been very stable with strong demand due to a young population with a need for housing. With prices being one of the lowest in the region, there is further room to grow but Malaysia must be able to attract and retain talent and investments, and this should include foreign talent and foreign investments that will further boost the economy. Only then, can Malaysian property prices reach higher and grow beyond where they are today. A vibrant and active market is one where there are many players in it and not just restricted to local buyers."
Speaking for the Japanese interest, Yorihisa Yamagami, Director of ERA Japan also shared that Malaysia has for seven consecutive years been the top rated country which the Japanese would prefer for long-term stays because of the agreeable climate, reasonable consumer prices and the high standard of public safety and that more and more Japanese high-net-worth individuals are willing to invest in Malaysian property.
The continued success and growth of the ERA global community is testament to how an established and globally recognised brand, system and network can provide real estate agencies and negotiators with the competitive edge to grow their brands and business.
Building on its experience with pioneer member agencies Property Hub and NewBob Realty, ERA Malaysia has expanded its offerings and has been in talks with agency principals in the Klang Valley to roll out its business system to the wider real estate industry in Malaysia.
Since joining the ERA community, Property Hub has won the Malaysia Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) National Real Estate Awards for Residential Agency of the Year (Medium-sized agency category) for two years running (2012 and 2013) while almost quadrupling in size since to become the largest real estate agency in the Mont’ Kiara area while New Bob Realty is the largest agency brand in the northern region of Malaysia.
“When you consider that around 2,000 real estate agencies ply their trade in Malaysia, with the majority often disadvantaged by their size and opportunities but more importantly, their vision, there is a significant market for our services. At ERA, we believe in the vision of building a smarter community of like-minded agencies, to inspire, grow and collaborate with based on the successful ERA business system”, Lim added.
With a fragmented, unstructured market, numerous smaller agencies are finding it harder to compete, with many not competing on their own terms or having planned for business continuity. ERA predicts that the trend to merge and be assimilated into one community or other will only accelerate over the next three to five years as more large global brands enter the fray once the Malaysian real estate industry is liberalised in 2015.
“The credibility and strong recognition of the ERA brand opens many doors and we hope to enhance our member agencies’ brands by allying with the globallyrecognised ERA network but without losing their hard-earned identity. The extensive global networking platform that ERA provides will also give rise to cross-country collaborations and business expansion”, Lim concluded.
Aligned with this and the next phase of their expansion, ERA Malaysia recently moved into its new headquarters in Solaris Mont’ Kiara, which serves as a launchpad for groundbreaking solutions for the real estate industry. ERA Malaysia also launched its new branded-merchandising catalogue at the conference, providing member agencies with brand-enhancing tools such as a monthly and quarterly newsletter service, thoughtful greeting cards, mini-guides to buying and selling property and co-branded bottled water.
The ERA Asia Pacific franchise was recently sold for over SGD100 Million and continues to be helmed by its existing management team, injecting fresh investment allied to over 30 years of real estate excellence to herald unprecedented growth.