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Revealing real estate tricks of the trade

Update: May, 22/2013 - 10:05
Customers seek information on apartment projects at EcoPark real estate trading floor. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Lam

HA NOI (VNS)— In what is a difficult time for the property market and real estate agents, some in the sector are still thriving, but what is their secret to success? While experts argue over what is the decisive factor for a successful transaction - position, price or construction speed, we reveal some of the tricks of the trade.

Hong Quynh Phuong, director of apartment sales at the real estate service provider Savills, said the stagnant market had made customers believe the sector was in crisis.

Customers are puzzled over whether they should buy property now or wait for prices to fall further, she said in a seminar recently. She went on further to say that some customers who had been determined to make purchases changed their minds after hearing the news that property prices had not fallen to the absolute bottom.

"Since customers hesitate to purchase we are not in a hurry to urge them to make any decision," Phuong said.

"Instead we help them understand more about the market and send them our quarterly report and analysis."

Phuong also revealed that she tried to learn about customers' need and the difficulties they face.

"If they have a limited budget we help them approach preferential bank loans," she added.

She also said that despite many preferential loan packages advertised it was not easy for customers to secure loans themselves.

While admitting that customers are smart buyers, Phuong said she could only persuade customers by ensuring them product quality and investors' written commitment of construction speed and services rather than merely using spin and beautiful words.

Regarding advertising banners which are hung on trees and lamp posts around the city to promote the sector, Phuong said this strategy not effective as advertisers had used it overwhelmingly.

Meanwhile Vu Cuong Quyet, general director of Dat Xanh Property Joint Stock Company shared the view that customers are the ones who have the real need for accommodation not the dealers as was the case a few years ago.

So his company choose to distribute apartments for prestigious investors and often focused on residents of the area where the project was located when hoping to promote sales.

For instance, Dat Xanh company is putting up for sale the Dang Xa project with prices of VND15-17million per square metre, so his targeted customers are middle income residents in Gia Lam District.

"People tend to buy houses near their work so traveling is convenient," he said.

"By targeting certain groups of customers it's easier to sell."

However, Phan Ngoc Anh, a marketing officer at the Newland Company, said her firm still applies traditional marketing measures such as TV, radio and newspaper advertisements and these methods still work.

"I think advertising can only be useful when your advertising content matches people's needs," Ngoc Anh said.

"There are always customers with real demand so it's more important that you offer them suitable products at reasonable prices. In other words, you sell property of real value not bubble value," she added.

She said NewLand had projects in the nearby city of Hai Duong, 60km from the capital, so her company was still seeing good business as real estate markets in small cities were seeing slow but steady growth.

Anh said that prices of property in Ha Noi has spiraled over the past years and the discount rate that some property companies are offering has properties approaching their real value.

Experienced property consultant Dang Hung Vo, who is also former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, meanwhile said property prices must fall further to warm up the market.

He told VTC news that more apartments between VND7-11 million per square metre will bring the sector back to its heyday. — VNS


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