Foreign realty brokerage companies target Vietnamese market

Foreign brokers and consultants have expanded in the Vietnamese real estate market in recent years and they have gained a large market share in high-profit segments, such as office, apartment, and hotel management and leasing.

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Most recently, Singapore’s largest listed real estate agency PropNex has signed a master franchise agreement with PropNex Realty Vietnam Co to expand its business in this South East Asian market.

The agreement will give PropNex, which currently has more than 7,454 salespeople in Singapore, 800 in Indonesia and 100 in Malaysia, a 25% stake in the Vietnam franchisee.

According to Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, with its growing economy and positive forecast for the real estate market, Vietnam will be an important place for PropNex to establish its brand.

Earlier, ERA Realty Network (ERA), the leading global real estate network with 36,000 sales associates in 2,350 offices across 32 countries, has also entered the Vietnamese market with an ambitious plan to become the leading real estate distributor in Vietnam in the next five years with a network of 50 transaction offices in large cities and staff of 5,000 well-trained workers.

To quickly adapt to the emerging market of Vietnam, the US broker decided to join hands with Eurocapital Group, an investment conglomerate which has had offices in Vietnam since 2008, to establish ERA Vietnam.

Thanks to cooperation with the partner, ERA has approached high-end and luxury real estate projects developed by Vietnamese conglomerates, including Sun Group, CEO Group, MIK, Sacomreal and Kien A, and foreign developers, including Keppel Land and Sunwah Group.

According to Jack Chua, chief executive for ERA Asia-Pacific, Vietnam is an up-and-coming country that saw tremendous growth in home sales last year, due in large part to government measures to  develop urbanization.

Besides, ERA Vietnam will benefit from strong referral channels with its ERA operations in Singapore, a popular target for Vietnamese residents purchasing properties abroad, Chua said.

Huttons Vietnam, a joint venture between Huttons International - the third largest broker in Singapore - has also teamed up with Vietnamese company So Mot Realty.

Huttons International currently has more than 3,000 real estate salespersons and over a decade of project marketing experience, holding a significant 60% market share in the sale of primary stock in Singapore. Huttons Vietnam's office was set up in a network spanning across Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

Market, consumers benefit

According to Nguyen Anh Dao, general director of Viethome Company, many foreign real estate brokers and consultants have stepped into Vietnam over the past four years thanks to the high growth of the market.

The participation of the foreign companies in the local market, mainly in big cities and resort hot spots such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang and Nha Trang, is indispensable, Dao said, forecasting that the trend will continue rising significantly in the future, given by the rapid development of the country’s real estate market.

Dao said that the presence of foreign brokers, who have good experience and financial status, has forced local brokers to improve their services for survival. This will benefit the local real estate market and consumers.

According to analysts, the best pieces of the cake have so far belonged to foreign real estate brokers as segments such as office, apartment, and hotel management and leasing, which bring the highest profits, are managed by foreign companies.

However, in  other segments, Nguyen Khai Hoan from Khai Hoan Land Company said Vietnamese brokerage companies, which understand the market and follow a flexible way to approach clients, has gained the distribution market.


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