PropertyGuru Hosts Expert Panel Discussion


(From left) Gerard Kho, Veena Loh, John Paul Sta Maria, Ho Chin Soon and Steve Melhuish at the rebranding

event of Malaysia’s leading property portal, from HomeGuru to PropertyGuru

Steve Melhuish, CEO and Founder of PropertyGuru Group

Ho Chin Soon, Director of Ho Chin Soon Research .

Gerard Kho, CEO of Reapfield Properties.

Veena Loh, General Manager of Malaysia Property Incorporated (MPI)

PropertyGuru also held an expert panel discussion with top industry experts.

John Paul Sta Maria, Country Manager of PropertyGuru Group.

Asia’s leading property portal hosted an expert panel discussion in conjunction with the rebranding of its Malaysia property portal, HomeGuru to PropertyGuru on 15 May in Kuala Lumpur.

The inaugural expert panel discussion which is being launched as part of a series of events featured Ms. Veena Loh, General Manager of Malaysia Property Incorporated (MPI), Mr. Gerard Kho, CEO of Reapfield Properties, Mr. Ho Chin Soon, Director of Ho Chin Soon Research and Mr. Steve Melhuish, CEO and Founder of PropertyGuru Group.

Joined by over 50 real estate industry professionals who participated in a provocative discussion on issues affecting foreign property ownership in Malaysia, the event reinforced PropertyGuru’s position as an expert in real estate and reflected its focus in growing its business to include both commercial and residential property listings.

“As part of our re-branding exercise, we see the event as a way to deliver added value to the real estate negotiation community and consumers in general. In additional to that, working with other experts in the industry is a continuous effort by the group to promote collaboration and strengthens our position as the “Property Guru,” said Mr. John Paul Sta Maria, Country Manager of PropertyGuru Group.

The PropertyGuru Expert Panel Series inaugural event provided a macro view of the trends in foreign property ownership in Singapore and Malaysia as well as significant challenges faced by property owners whilst companies such as MPI continue to find ways to strike a balance between policies that attract foreign ownership versus intermittent anti-foreign sentiments.

Founded by Steve Melhuish and Jani Rautiainen in 2006, PropertyGuru Group is Asia’s leading property portal group with presence in nine countries and over 8 million users viewing over 60 million property pages every month. In 2011, PropertyGuru Group launched its Malaysia property portal, www.homeguru.com.my. Since going live in January 2011, HomeGuru has achieved over 120,000 property listings and is used by over 3,500 real estate agents.

Mr. John Paul Sta Maria said that the end of the panel discussion, “With the rebranding of HomeGuru & FullHouse to PropertyGuru in Malaysia, we are consolidating our resources to ensure we deliver maximum value and leverage on our strength in Singapore to grow regionally. Via the change and alignment with our regional presence, we can now give our clients easier access and regional reach through the PropertyGuru network. We will also leverage on regional marketing efforts, driving traffic to www.propertyguru.com.my; giving property agents the opportunity for wider exposure. Visitors to our site will also enjoy a wider variety of legitimate properties available for sale or rent. What this mean for consumers is that they will find it easier to make property buying, investment and rental discussions.”

PropertyGuru Group was not able to use the domain name www.propertyguru.com.my when it initially entered the Malaysia market as it was owned by another party. With the ownership of the domain name in the hands of the group, it can now operate under one single brand representing Malaysia, making it easier for consumers to come to one site for all their residential and commercial property needs. In conjunction with the rebranding exercise, PropertyGuru Group will invest more than RM 5 million on advertising and publicity to build its brand presence across the nation.