So what happened at the Exhibition? Let’s get straight to it with Eddie Tan, Managing Director of TTien Media Group Sdn Bhd.
Ivan Tan: The inaugural homefinder Property & Investment Exhibition, how would you say it has fared?
Eddie Tan: I think the event has been successful considering it was the first time. I am grateful for the result.
Why would you say that?
On that day, it was raining heavily and on Exhibition floor at Mid Valley Mega Mall, there was a big renovation going on, hence it blocked the traffic from the cinema. Plus, we were not the only property exhibition on that weekend. Despite that, in terms of visitors, there were more than 20,000 people and sales clocked in were more than RM104 million over more than 140 transactions (*at press time, numbers are still being tabulated). This is definitely beyond our expectations.
Who do you think benefited the most from the Exhibition? Why?
Whether you are an exhibitor, visitor, organizer or just a passerby, you would have benefited. This is also because of our wide range of speakers and products covering from family, migration, property, living, investing, industry issues, neighborhood affair and even next of kin. I would say homefinder is not just about property alone but also a supplement of the society living today.
What are some of the critical success factors that you can share from this experience? Why are these factors important?
The important factor is more about the “giving first then receiving” attitude. For example, although the seminars were organized as a free event for the visitors, we focused on giving value first to the consumers and as such we were very selective in terms of our speakers’ credibility. Having a popular speaker is not enough, but having the integrity in their words is more important to us. Consumers can therefore be rest assured that homefinder will always pay attention in this area to minimize any possibilities of misleading information.
In terms of exhibitors like the property developers, they are generally homefinder’s friends but we are selective with them as well. More important is the products and the financial capacity of the developer. This measure was factored in to minimize the risks for the consumers and also to minimize any mismatch of expectations from the brochure until vacant possession.
What do you think will happen if any of the factors were absent from it?
Without it, no point of having a successful event even if it has a high sales turnover, number of visitors and prizes to be won. If the consumers suffer at the end, this can be a disastrous event in disguise. The event is not merely another business model for market share or profit making but more about increasing the value of our services for the benefit of the industry and consumers alike.
In terms of performance of the Exhibition, can you share some of the numbers achieved? Are the numbers considered poor, good or excellent and why?
I consider the number good. Moving forward we still have a lot of hard work ahead because we spotted that there are still much room for improvement. Not sure how the consumers measured us in terms of being number one, two or three but perhaps we just want to be in a position of constant progress.
Is the performance of the Exhibition a reflection of where the market is today? Why?
Definitely a reflection, to be frank, market has been soft generally.
How did the exhibitors feel about the Exhibition?
Overall satisfied because some even asked for more tables on the first day (due to the crowd).
Who do you reckon were some of the most successful exhibitors?
Leadmont Development Sdn Bhd, Ken Holdings Bhd, M Property Group, Sunsuria Bhd and Group First International (M) Sdn Bhd. They each sold more than four properties and Leadmont came in with the highest number with more than 15 units sold. Their project Avenue D’Vogue priced from RM360,000 to RM873,000 was a popular one.
Did the Exhibition meet the exhibitors’ expectations? If not, what can be done further?
I think we managed to pull in the crowd through our various A&P platforms. They definitely paid less than what we have to offer.
About the visitorship, what can you say about it?
Visitors mostly were of quality. We qualify this by observing the crowded booths across the exhibition. For example, people were still crunching figures although our event was supposed to end at 8pm. At the same time, customers were still talking to the exhibitors when contractors were dismantling the booths.
What is the ratio between buyers and investors?
The ratio of owner occupiers and investors ratio is subjective. For example, if an investor was looking for another property for investment but ended up buying something for own stay or if someone is looking for own stay but saw the investment opportunity and decided to invest instead, how are you going to classify them? Whatever the category it may be, it is more about the real time encounter that matters.
When is the next Exhibition?
The next exhibition is happening on the 24 and 25 January 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
What is in store for this edition of the Exhibition?
The theme is “What’s Next in 2015?” and we’ll be touching on various topics such as what to expect and how to deal with 2015 when it comes to property.
How is it going to be different from the recent Exhibition?
Definitely this is a slightly bigger scale than the previous one. We expect more range of products and even more fun.
Who is the target audience of the coming Exhibition?
Investor, consumers, upgraders and those interested in family or living affair.
Is it a good time then to buy or invest in property in January 2015? Why?
There is no good or bad time in property, it all depends on which angle you are looking at. High or low ticket entry, the truth is price has definitely gone up. And to be frank everything has gone up.
For property investment purposes in particular, it is all about how you manage your cash flow. If your cash flow is healthy the bank will not reject your loan. If you are greedy and try to “make” more than your means, the bank will not support you.
In some cases, if the price, location and developer are right and you can afford it, then it is your good time to buy. When property price is at the lowest point but you have the worst cash flow, then this is not your good time to buy. Just be careful with zero interest installments on credit card. For your information this is a form of loan, it can be small but many loans have been rejected for a greater purpose because of it.
In 2015 your personal financial strategy has to be in place. Today you can get 0% installment via credit card or personal loan with low interest. Many have used it for travel, home appliances, mobile phones, branded goods, bags, designer cafes, IT gadgets etc. If you continue to do that, you will end up with nothing left. So if the property price has gone down, I don’t think you can afford it whether for investment or own dwelling.
What’s next? Block your dates now for the most exciting and real event to kick start 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, 24 to 25 January 2015. You don’t want to miss it!
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