Local developers gather to consider regional markets through digital marketing

Fueling demand of the digital age, Asian tech heavyweight PropertyGuru Group is in Phnom Penh this week to engage Cambodian-based real estate developers to consider sales opportunities in investor hubs across Asia through their online listing portal.

At an event at the Intercontinental Hotel in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, co-hosted by Realestate.com.kh, over 50 of the Kingdom’s property development companies and stakeholders came face-to-face for a pitch to boost their regional and international footprint.

Used by more than 14 million property buyers a month, PropertyGuru Group is Asia’s leading online property portal group and has become the market leader for online real estate classifieds in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

With the company’s stop in Phnom Penh, Lewis Ng, managing director of PropertyGuru Singapore, believes that this is a sign of Cambodia’s market maturing, while also highlighting the potential for regional inclusion.

“ASEAN’s slice of Asia’s total financial wealth has grown from 5 per cent to 8 per cent in a mere eight years, as of 2014,” said Ng. “Hence, we feel developers of Cambodian properties have the biggest opportunity, now, more than ever, to grow their business to reach property investors from markets within the region and beyond.”

Sam Yang, CEO of Eastland Development, reiterated this point regarding the wealth of property investors outside of Cambodian borders, speaking at the event on behalf of the local developer community with a speech entitled, “The importance of international marketing for developers in Cambodia”.

In particular, continued Ng, the Singaporean market offers great opportunities for Cambodian developers as outward Singaporean investment has grown by 49 per cent from 2014 to 2015.

Meanwhile, online trends and increased connectivity are bringing markets closer together, he said, as current digital penetration across Southeast Asia stands at 40 per cent of active internet users, with 124 per cent coming from mobile subscriptions.

“This figure is the result of strong year-on-year growth,” says Ng, “with that of January’s being 10 per cent and 4 per cent respectively, comparing 2015 and 2016.”

With such high use of digital platforms, cross-country connectivity of real estate markets is closer than ever.

“Along with the rising affluence of the region,” suggests Ng, “digital and international marketing should go hand-in-hand as it has taken a stronger-than-ever importance in the real estate business.”

Tom O’Sullivan, director of Realestate.com.kh, stated that “we have partnered with PropertyGuru Group to enhance our online network of potential buyers even further. More importantly, our company wants to assist all Cambodian developers [to] harness the power of online marketing, and access whole new markets with qualified offshore marketing solutions.”

Ng said the partnership not only shares the same vision of digital growth, but also “helps the industry understand the market better and enhance their PR.”

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