Category Archives: Captains & Legends 传奇

HELPING NEW MIGRANTS CALL AUSTRALIA “HOME” 让澳大利亚新移民落地为“家”

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Chin Tan

Race Discrimination Commissioner

Sometimes, you can have the best of both worlds – a little bit of Malaysia and much more of Australia. This can help one to understand the bigger picture of societal issues and affairs.

Needless to say, Australia’s new Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan is having the best of both worlds and he is using it for the benefit of others.

“New migrants tend to compare their former country to Australia, or the country they’ve migrated to. You can’t compare because they are two different countries with two different communities. So you have to make the best of what you’ve got and enjoy what you have. People come to Australia because it’s different, but if I was in Malaysia, I will enjoy Malaysia.

New migrants have to adapt and stop trying to live like how they once did in the countries they’ve left,” Chin Tan said.

A TOUGH JOB FOR A TOUGH SITUATION

Born in Malaysia and then coming to Australia for studies and finding his footing as a lawyer in the private sector across a span of more than two decades, he previously ran the Victorian Multicultural Commission and was most recently the director of Multicultural Engagement at Swinburne University in Melbourne. He started his current position in October 2018, although the necessity of the role was questioned initially.

“Well, someone’s got to do it. We’re not here to criticize anyone but help to tackle some issues and make Melbourne a better place. If there are racial issues, we will want to deal with those responsible and call them out as they are,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t evade his responsibilities at the face of recent and challenging political pressures.

Chin Tan doesn’t treat this like a backyard problem – he knows the unique challenges that most migrants will face in a new country. Chin Tan migrated to Australia in the 1980’s and had to learn how to assimilate, start a family and persevere to build his law practice from scratch.

“Honestly, it was probably easier for me to adapt to Australia than others who found it difficult. That’s why we have different government roles provided by resources to support these communities,” 

A lot of what we do is our fulfilment to international convention against discrimination of all sorts: racism, sexism, children exploitation. The great thing about Australia is that it has a democratic framework and people can openly talk about and find solutions for migration and racial issues – two major things that we are facing now,” he said.

BEING GRATEFUL

Chin Tan, who lives in Melbourne with his wife and two children, is grateful for what he has and what he has achieved.

Chin Tan’s daughter who’s recently married is a doctor and his son is also a lawyer. He recalls the hard life of his father who sold charcoal to support his family of nine children and Chin Tan’s grandparents. “He passed away when I was seven. My brother had to take over the business when he was 20 and he only had education until primary three. We didn’t come from a wealthy background and I’m blessed for having many opportunities given to me and be where I am today,” he said.

当一个人可以同时拥有双重最佳世界和文化观:一点点的马来西亚和更具渗透性的澳大利亚元素,能够协助人们了解繁琐迥异的社会结构和掌握事务大局。

这就是澳大利亚新上任的反种族歧视专员陈振良(Chin Tan)的天然优势,并且利用这个机会为他人谋福利。

“新移民倾向于将前国家与澳大利亚,或现在移居的国家进行比较。其实这是错误观念,因为这是不同的国家和不一样的社区。所以,应该做的是必须充分利用和享受现今所拥有的。人们移居澳大利亚是为了转换环境,但如果今天我身在马来西亚,我会喜欢马来西亚。新移民必须学会适应,并停止在之前国家的生活习性和改变心态。”

艰辛任务与困境

陈振良出生在马来西亚,随后来到澳大利亚留学并在私营机构找到了本身的立足点,具备逾20年执业律师履历。他曾掌管维多利亚州多元文化委员会,最近在墨尔本的斯威本大学担任多元文化互动组织理事。

2018年10月,他接下了反种族歧视专员的重担,尽管最初上述职位的必要性受到质疑。“这个总得有人去做。我们不是来批判任何人,而是协助解决一些问题,让墨尔本变得更美好。如果存在种族问题,我们会想办法传召相关负责人以进行应对沟通。”

关于最近面临的政治强压,他也不会逃避责任。陈振良并不把这当成是内部问题—他深深了解大多数移民在一个新国家将面临的独特挑战。犹如他在上个世纪80年代移居澳大利亚,学习如何融入当地社会,组建家庭,坚持白手起家自行成立律师事务所。

“说实话,相比其他觉得很难适应的人们,我很快投入澳大利亚生活。这就是为何有不同的政府资助人员支持这些社区。我们所做的许多工作是履行国际公约,反对并消除一切歧视形式:种族主义、性别歧视和剥削儿童。澳大利亚的伟大之处在于具备民主开放的大框架,人们可以公开谈论并找到解决移民课题和种族矛盾的方法—这是我们现在面临的两大关键难题。”

感恩一切

目前与妻子和儿女定居墨尔本,陈振良对于本身所拥有与取得的成就心怀感激。最近刚结婚的女儿是医生,儿子也是一名律师。他回忆起自己儿时的艰苦生活,卖煤炭维生的父亲为了养活9名孩子和祖父母而奔波操劳。“爸爸在我7岁的时候去世了。我哥哥在20岁的时候接管了业务,他仅有小学三年级的教育程度。我们家境并不富裕,我很幸运获得了许多机会,才能站在今天的位置上。”

by Karina Foo

Property Angels 房地产的天使

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June Loh, Joan Alcock, Nandita Bangera & Ned Gerrard

Directors of UPMKT

Charlie’s Angels was an American television series set in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There have been several reboots of the series, as well as a film adaptation in 2000, featuring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as the angels.

The plot has three glamorous women working in a private detective agency fighting crime in Los Angeles, USA. Their activities were directed by a male counterpart called Charles Townsend.

The parallel between this storyline and our featured guests in this article should be more than obvious to the global audience familiar with the Charlie’s Angels franchise.

Online Property Service.jpgFast forward to present day Melbourne, Australia, we find three smart and glamorous women fighting an uphill battle against a stampede of overzealous sales agents. Conventionally a male-dominated field, these superstar performers have carved a niche for themselves in the project marketing of residential developments.

In our modern version, the fictional cast has been replaced by June Loh, Joan Alcock, Nandita Bangera and Ned Gerrard. Together, they own and operate the technical residential company, Ausurban Pty Ltd, project marketing business Upmkt Consulting and online property management platform OPS.

To better appreciate their success, we have short-listed some of their achievements:

  • Sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars in a few short years
  • Hosting projects for some of the biggest national and international developers
  • Meeting pre-sales quotas to secure development finance where much bigger competitors had failed
  • Troubleshooting projects with under-performing sales teams
  • Assisting clients in brand development
  • Managing major projects exclusively with a work in progress of more than $600 million in value

With this impressive background, we invited June, Joan, Nandi and Ned to share their story and to give us an insight on what separates them from the pack.

EZ : How did the four of you get together?

June : Joan and I worked together in a real estate agency before we started our own. We connected with Ned through family and friends and got him to help us run and grow our business while we concentrated on sales. He is a finance and marketing specialist with an MBA from Monash University and experience at the highest corporate levels.

On the other hand, Joan and Nandi have known each other in prior employment and when Joan introduced her to Ned and I, we felt that she was the perfect fit for our group. Fortunately for us, she agreed and we were all thrilled to have her join us as an equal partner.

EZ : Being in sales, you ladies are at the frontline of your business, interacting with a vast number of people from different ethnic backgrounds. Given that all of you come from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds yourselves, do you find it an advantage or disadvantage? June, you are from Singapore, Nandi is from India via New Zealand and Joan, you are a home-grown Melbourne girl.

Joan : First and foremost, we are women with similar values and goals. The net effect is that our dynamics seem to resonate with all types of buyers. We are equally proficient at selling to all racial, cultural and demographic profiles.

EZ : Is there a special characteristic that sets you apart from your competitors?

Nandi : I would say it is understanding. Understanding our client, understanding the market and understanding the buyer.

June : What really shaped us, is that we all started at the bottom. We ‘cut our teeth’ selling leftover stock that nobody could get rid of, after the big players had sold all the prime units (most notably to the Chinese who couldn’t settle eventually) and had virtually exhausted all their clients’ marketing funds. It’s not a good look for our industry when they plaster their 70% or 60% SOLD stickers on site hoardings when up to half of these sales will fall through and there is little or no marketing budget left to move the remaining stock.

EZ : Who are your major competitors?

Joan : There are too many to name, but the best way to explain is that there are two tiers of actual project marketeers. The rest are small real estate agencies or independent individual agents. The first tier are the residential divisions of the multi-national commercial firms and the second are the larger traditional real estate agencies extending their reach to off-the-plan sales, particularly with the recent trend toward higher density living.

Ned : Having a large cost base and many mouths to feed means that our competitors must adopt a quantity over quality approach. Securing exclusivity to as many projects as possible becomes a priority. Often, they represent multiple projects in the same street, despite the obvious conflict of interest.

What then is the guarantee that all projects will be given equal priority? What happens if one project sells better than the other? Would buyers enquiring on the poorer performing project not be directed to one that requires less selling effort?

June : Another major issue is that no organisation has the depth of sales talent to stretch over a multitude of projects. It is also highly unlikely that a sales employee of a large project marketing firm working on a major project would have the same drive to perform as if they were the owners of the business.

The critical question all developers should ask themselves when their project is ready to go to market is  “Who can best sell it?”

As sales and marketing is not in a developer’s skill set, the tendency is to assume that ‘big is best’ and therefore, to appoint either a tier one or tier two firm as master agent, depending on the size of the project.

We are all too familiar with this thinking, having been called in on many occasions to salvage a project from inertia or to improve a poor sales performance.

EZ : Now, a question on the current state of the market?

Ned : That is probably a question for me. We have auction clearance rates coming down from very high levels in the traditional market. We have a credit squeeze with banks applying much tougher lending criteria to borrowers.

The foreign investor market has just about dried up and the effects of the banking Royal Commission are still to be felt. Obviously, if the Labour Party wins the election in 2019, negative gearing will be seriously impacted. Many projects are not going ahead. According to the media it’s all doom and gloom for the high-density apartment market.

EZ : What strategy have you adopted in such an unfavourable market environment?

Ned : We had the foresight to switch our strategy and target owner occupiers well before our competitors realised that foreign investor buying would not continue unabated.   

Nandi : Our current projects are in blue chip locations where we found the sweet spot in the market, to be downsizers aged 55+. Through Ausurban, our technical arm, we can provide buyers with architectural services enabling the merging of 1×2 and 2×2 bedroom apartments into three and four-bedroom units that can also be customised.

June : Of course, every one of our competitors is now targeting owner-occupiers with developers being asked to offer ridiculous incentives and unprecedented agent commissions. Working against this background means that we have to be innovative by creating marketing strategies and plans that no other project marketeers have adopted.

EZ : Where to from here then?

Nandi : We are looking to establish a base in Sydney, another in Singapore through June’s connections and I am optimistic about being able to develop an emerging market in India for Australian properties.

Ned : We are also improving our business offering with a B2C portal for off-the-plan sales and property management.

EZ : Sounds exciting. We wish you all the best on your journey. 

“查理的天使” 又名“霹雳娇娃”,是以上世纪70年代末到80年代初为背景的美国电视剧。这部影片有不同的重拍版本,其中在2000年的电影改编版是由女演员Cameron Diaz、Drew Barrymore和刘玉玲主演。故事情节是叙述3名美丽聪慧的女人们任职于一家美国洛杉矶的私人侦探社,并与罪犯进行斗争,而她们的工作编排是由一位名叫Charles Townsend的男性所主导。对于熟悉这部影视系列的全球观众来说,故事主线角色和本文中我们的特邀嘉宾状况具异曲同工之妙。

而随着快进来到今日的澳大利亚墨尔本,这里有3名聪颖迷人的女性和一群喧嚷且冲劲十足的销售代理商开展了激烈的战斗。作为男性主导的开发项目营销领域,这几位超级明星主演者,却成功开拓和在市场占据一席之地。

在此节录他们的一些惊人成就:

• 短期数年内总销售额达到数亿澳元。

• 受到大型且顶尖国内与国际开发商委托项目。

• 满足售前配额,确保开发融资,即使他们许多更大的竞争对手也难以做到。

• 携手表现不佳的销售团队排除项目障碍问题。

• 协助客户进行品牌开发。

• 管理价值超过6亿澳元的独家重大项目计划。

有了这些令人印象深刻的成就背景,我们邀来了June、 Joan,Nandita和Ned解析他们的创业故事,领略他们非凡的商业运营方式。

EZ : 你们4位是怎么聚在一起的?

June :在开始创业之前,我和Joan是同事,曾在同一家房地产公司工作。然后通过家人和朋友认识了Ned,他的专业可以让我们集中于销售的同时,也协助推动营销业务发展。身为一名金融和营销专家,Ned具备莫纳什大学工商管理硕士学位,拥有最高企业级别的经验。另外,Joan和Nandi是在之前在工作中接触过,所以当她把Nandi带到我和Ned的面前,我们觉得她就是这个小组需要的合作人选。幸运的是,她竟然同意能作为平等的伙伴加入,这让我们很欣喜。

EZ :女士们,作为销售人员,你们是走在业务第一线的前锋,与不同区域、文化和种族的人们交流可说难以避免,考虑到大家出身自不一样的地方和文化背景,觉得这是优势还是劣势?比如June是来自新加坡,Nandi是印度出生然后到新西兰,而Joan,你是土生土长的墨尔本女孩。

Joan :其实最重要的是,我们有着相同的价值观和一致的目标。这个也造就最终结果,我们的积极动力似乎与所有类型的买家产生良好共鸣,且擅长向不同种族文化的客户群体进行销售。

EZ :是什么特质或者因素让你们可以脱颖而出?

Nandi :我认为是了解。了解客户、市场和买家。

June :一切从底部开始是真正塑造和磨砺我们的原因。当我们选择咬紧牙关卖出没人能脱手的剩余库存时候,许多大公司出售了所有主要楼盘单位(最明显的是卖给了最终无法定居的中国人),并几乎耗尽了所有客户的营销资金。所以,在他们大肆张贴着70%或60%大促销广告时,这对行业来说并非好预兆,因为销售量下跌一大半,清算库存的营销预算空间会被挤压。

EZ :你们的主要竞争对手是谁?

Joan :这个要一一举例就太多了。但最适当的解释方式是两个层次的实际项目营销人员,其余的是小型房地产中介或独立中介。第一层是跨国商业公司的住宅楼盘,第二层是规模更大的传统房地产机构,它们将业务范围扩大至期房销售,尤其是在目前居住密度逐渐提高的趋势下。

Ned :我们有很大的成本压力和现实的生计问题需要考量。这就意味着与竞争方对垒时必须采用数量压倒质量的策略,确保获取更多项目的优先权是我们的目标。因此,尽管存在明显的利益冲突,但很多时候同一条街道上会集中多个发展项目。

那么,保障所有项目都得到同等优先考虑的关键是什么呢?如果多个项目之间产生销售状况不对等的情况会怎么样?如果买家询问销售业绩较差的项目,是否会被导向其他易于推销的项目?

June :另外一个难题是,没有任何团队组织具备足够的销售人才可在众多项目中施展才能。大型项目营销公司的销售人员在从事重大项目时,因为自己不是企业的掌控者或所属人,缺乏积极的动力去表现。所有房产开发商都应该自我思索的重要问题是:当他们的项目准备投入市场时,谁能卖得最好?由于开发商一般不具备营销技能,很容易倾向于认为“越大型的项目就越好”,所以根据项目规模指定一级或二级公司作为总代理,这个想法和局面很常见,我们曾多次被召唤将一个项目计划从低迷的泥沼中拯救出来,或者改善糟糕的销售业绩。

EZ : 关于目前市场所面临的问题?

Ned :这可能是我要应对的问题。我们的拍卖清算率在传统市场面临剧烈的下行。而且银行信贷紧缩,针对借款人的贷款标准严苛了许多。外国投资者市场几近枯竭,至于银行业皇家委员会的影响仍有待观察。而如果工党在2019年赢得大选,负扣税将受到严重影响,许多项目都不能推进。另外,据媒体报道,高密度公寓市场前景黯淡。

EZ :在这个阴霾密布的市场环境下,你们采取了什么策略?

Ned :在竞争对手还未意识到外国投资者的购买力缺乏持续性之前,我们就很有远见地改变了战略和目标人群。

Nandi :我们目前的项目定位蓝筹目标群,且在那里找到了市场的最佳结合点,55岁以上的精简型买家。通过我们的技术支援团队Ausurban,我们可以为买家提供建设服务,使1×2和2×2卧室公寓合并为三、四卧室单元,也可以定制。

June :当然,我们的每一个竞争对手目前都在瞄准业主和开发商,要求提供荒谬的奖励和令人咋舌的代理佣金。不过,在这种状况下,也意味着我们必须以更创新的营销策略和计划甩开其他营销人员。

EZ : 那谈论下你们的后续计划?

Nandi :我们希望在悉尼建立一个基地,透过June的牵线联系,新加坡的基地也将设立。我对能够在印度拓展澳大利亚房地产的新兴市场持乐观态度。

Ned :我们也在改善业务服务,提供B2C电子商务门户,用于期房销售和物业管理。

EZ :感觉相当激动人心,祝愿你们在商业旅程上一路勇往直前。

Photography by Layzhoz Yeap

Fortune is for the Prepared 好运眷顾有准备之士

 

EZOZ15-5.jpgJeffrey Ong Wee Ting
General Manager of EcoWorld Australia

When Louis Pasteur said “Fortune favours the prepared mind”, it wasn’t meant for everyone because while opportunities present themselves to everyone, not all of us are ready to seize them.

But Jeffrey Ong Wee Ting was ever so prepared and has since worked his way up to become the general manager of Eco World International, a property development company in Australia.

At only 42, he is armed with 15 years experience in property consultancy and property development in Malaysia and Australia. His repertoire however is very diverse, having started his career as a civil engineer, followed by stepping into the food and beverage industry where he founded Juice Station, a healthy juice bar in Malaysia, and later resuming in property sales for some of the biggest players in Australia such as Setia (Melbourne) Development Company and Eco World Sydney Development.

He moved back to Melbourne to start Eco World Melbourne office in October 2015.

When recounting his career milestones, he said: “For Setia’s projects, I was mainly responsible for project development including apartment mix, floor plan design and finishes. I also strategised and implemented the sales and marketing campaign both locally and internationally as well supervised and managed the sales target and marketing budget.”

Among his key accomplishments were spearheading the completion of market research and development of pricing strategy for the Fulton Lane and PARQUE apartments in Melbourne which were launched in June 2011 and August 2013 respectively.

The development will cater to changing lifestyles especially for retirees and semi-retirees where they are provided with a range of exclusive services like concierge, home cleaning, home maintenance and even massage, personal care which also includes pet walking.

Now with Eco World Melbourne, his current biggest pet project is overseeing the development of Yarra One, a luxury multi-generational living concept in the heart of South Yarra.

It would indeed be a luxury to live in Yarra One, not only because it is situated in one of Melbourne’s richest and popular suburbs, but it will be the first green building in the neighborhood with top-notch amenities.

“Residents have access to a fully-equipped gym, exercise studio, outdoor spa, steam, sauna, resident’s lounge, private dining with a fully equipped kitchen, dedicated pet wash area, wine cellar, rooftop terrace with BBQ facilities all overlooking Melbourne CBD Skyline,” said Ong.

There will be 26 levels comprising 256 apartments with public transport close-by as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Albert Park and Fawkner Park within walking distance.

The apartments will be the first of its kind in Australia, and is due for completion in 2020.

科学家Louis Pasteur说过:好运只眷顾已经做好准备的人。这意味着并非人人都能拥有机会和好运,因为呈现在每个人的面前时,并不是所有人都能够一把捉住。

Jeffrey Ong Wee Ting却对此做了充分的准备,并通过自身努力成为了澳大利亚房地产开发公司-绿盛世国际(Eco World International)的总经理。

现年42岁的他在马来西亚和澳大利亚具备15年房地产咨询和开发经验。然而,最初作为一名土木工程师开启职业生涯,他的历练却多样化,除了随后涉足饮食业,在马来西亚创立Juice Station-一家健康果汁酒吧。过后,他重返房地产领域,成为实达集团(Setia)墨尔本公司与绿盛世悉尼等顶尖开发公司的营销人员。

2015年10月,他迁回墨尔本,并启动了绿盛世墨尔本办事处。在谈到职业生涯的里程碑时,他说,对于Setia的工作项目,主要任务是负责项目开发,包括公寓组合、楼层平面设计和完工。

“我还制定和实施了本地与国际的营销活动,并担任监督者管理销售目标和营销预算。”

他的重要成就之一是为分别在2011年6月和2013年8月推介的墨尔本Fulton Lane和PARQUE公寓开发计划完成了市场调研和定价策略。

目前他在绿盛世墨尔本的重心项目是监督Yarra One的开发计划。这项在南雅拉(South Yarra)中心区域开展的多代概念豪华项目将迎合变化万千的生活方式,尤其是针对退休和半退休人员的日常策划,他们可享受一系列专属服务:如礼宾服务、家居清洁、维护保养,甚至按摩、个人护理包括宠物服务。

居住于Yarra One确实是奢华格调的代名词,不仅位于墨尔本最富裕、最热门的郊区之一,而且将是该社区中首家拥有顶级设施的绿色建筑。

“居民们可以使用完备的运动器材、健身房、室外水疗中心、蒸汽桑拿、休息室、私人用餐和设备齐全的厨房。另外,还有专门的宠物洗涤区、酒窖、顶楼露台和烧烤设施,尽情俯瞰墨尔本中央商务区的天际线。”

这栋26层高,有256间豪华住宅的公寓楼,交通非常便利,步行可达皇家植物园、艾伯特公园与福克纳公园。

上述公寓楼房将是澳大利亚首套类型公寓,预计将于2020年竣工。

by Karina Foo