Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® continues to grow at an impressive rate, adding important members to its global team. The company, which boasts the world’s market-leading independent residential brokerages in 65 countries, recently hired Parikshat Chawla to serve as APAC Business Development Director. In his new position, Chawla will head LeadingRE’s continued push in Southeast Asia, India and several other markets. In this issue of Dot Property Magazine, he talks in-depth about his new role as well as what the firm has planned in 2018.
Congrats on being appointed APAC Business Development Director at LeadingRE. What excites you about working for LeadingRE? What experience will you bring to the company’s Southeast Asia push?
Thank you. I am really looking forward to working with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. I’ve been following the organization for a long time and appreciate its global community of strong independent companies. Our model truly encourages cooperation and allows companies and their agents to stand out from their competitors.
I’ve had varied experiences since joining the real estate sector – from running a small agency to working with developers and most recently, heading international marketing for a major property consultancy in Malaysia. My strength lies in understanding agents’ requirements and being able to craft solutions for future LeadingRE offerings, such as developer project marketing.
What does LeadingRE have planned for 2018 when it comes to Asia? What markets are being targeted and why?
We are going to continue building our network in Asia after enjoying great success over the past few years. We are currently speaking with numerous potential members in the larger markets such as Japan, Indonesia, India and others such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. We aim to expand aggressively over the next two years while taking care to work with agencies that demonstrate the same values that bind our members globally.
You will be playing a role in the creation of LeadingRE’s Developer Program in the region. Can you explain what this is?
The Asian markets are quite exciting when we look at the new homes or off-plan market segments. There is a tremendous amount of cross-border investing already prevalent – whether it is Hong Kong investors buying apartments in Kuala Lumpur or Singaporeans purchasing vacation homes in Niseko, Japan. Now, when you also add renewed global interest in Asian markets, the need for catering to this segment becomes apparent. Last but not least, there is a large volume of Asian buyers who continue to invest heavily in global cities such as London, Dubai, Melbourne, New York and Vancouver – just to name a few.
The aim of the developer program is quite simple – work with our agent partners to identify the most compelling projects with international appeal and then formulate bespoke strategies to market these properties across the network. Our strategy is to start with a couple of key markets in 2018 and expand the program in a phased manner. More details will follow soon.
How can working with LeadingRE benefit real estate agencies in Asia? What will you do to help current members?
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World is present in more than 65 countries with almost 570 firms as its members. Our network gives Asian agencies access to global markets and an opportunity to provide their clients with worldwide options pertaining to their property requirements.
As a major global network of the finest independent (not franchised), locally- and regionally-branded real estate firms, we are dedicated to providing valuable business resources, tools and referral transactions. Our affiliated real estate firms want the ability to control their own destiny, unparalleled innovative services for their clients and a way to combine their local success with a global reach. Buyers working with a LeadingRE affiliated company have access to people and properties around the world, while sellers can count on unparalleled global marketing exposure for their properties. The result is billions of dollars of affiliate-to-affiliate home sales each year.
We frequently get requests from our existing community about expanding further into Asia so we can cater to the many cross-border referrals we get on a regular basis. The developer program will also aim to address the requirements of key international buyer demographics in Asian projects.
What role do real estate agents play in Asia? What can they do to better serve clients and stand out?
Real estate agents in Asia represent trust and knowledge. While the internet has allowed many buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants access to market data – most clients still look to agents for their advice and direction. Whether it’s a million-dollar city centre penthouse or a small beachfront apartment – a good agent helps guide his / her client through the property chain and helps make sense of legal and financial jargon that may overwhelm many.
Agents should always be looking to enhance their knowledge and offerings. Robust local information, market intelligence and technology are core tools that should be kept updated. Continually expanding one’s network helps an agent stand out from the rest, as many clients would prefer to grow their business relationship with individual agents from a trusted company, rather than work with multiple companies.
Obviously, you’re no stranger to real estate in Asia. What are some trends you have noticed? Are there any up-and-coming markets (either type or geographical) you are particularly excited about?
Although the markets have slowed a bit recently, most Asian buyers remain attracted to new property launches across the region. Overseas properties also run strong, with balanced interest in education, business and residency options.
To me, Cambodia is a potential gem in the making with heightened global investments lately and the opening of new international airports. From an asset-class perspective, I like mixed developments featuring good hotel operators, as these represent potentially secure investments with income features.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about yourself or LeadingRE?
Other than the property markets, I’m a technology enthusiast and am always looking at interesting trends changing our industry – such as the blockchain, crypto-currencies, AR / VR, crowdfunding etc. I enjoy travelling and networking with interesting people – am always happy to meet over coffee.
Regarding Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, I like the idea of it being the home of the best independents in the real estate industry. We are a true global community of like-minded top professionals sharing ideas, best practices and knowledge.