Cambodia’s real estate sector remains strong and this is what gives investors and real estate agents confidence in the market. But with the abundance of success that agents have obtained, there is now greater competition in the industry, which is slowly becoming a threat to industry standards.
Realestate.com.kh recently caught up with Mr. Sorn Seap, Director of Key Real Estate, to get his thoughts on the matter.
Seap has worked in the real estate sector of the country for more than 10 years and launched Key Real Estate back in 2010. When asked about this career, Mr Seap said "I’ve been interested in the real estate sector since I was in college. From the very beginning, I saw big potential in this market and I thought that this could be the right business opportunity for me. At the beginning it was hard because people were not used to the role of a real estate agent, and did not know what was their function. Luckily things improved, the market evolved as well as the mindset of the people, which boosted our business.”
He added, "the first service we provided was property valuation, and then we slowly added more services such as management and later sale and rental services."
Cambodia is a free market, therefore businesses have equal footing in terms of competition. This has caused several issues such as lowering of agents’ fees and lack of vocational training -- especially with private dealers who call themselves estate agents.
Additionally, there are not strict regulations for companies wanting to obtain a real estate license. This environment has allowed unprofessional practices into the industry which is slowly pushing the customers to lose confidence in the industry.
As a real estate company in Cambodia, Key Real Estate retains its values and professional principles. Sure, some companies have stepped into this sector with a lack of training and ethics, but Seap explains, “We always provide results to customers who come for our services. We focus on long-term loyalty and relationship with by offering an affordable and high quality service.”
But things may be about to change with Century 21 Cambodia’s initiatives to create trainings to establish common standards. Specifically, they signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Economics and Finance to enable trainings for Cambodia's real estate companies. With these trainings, they hope to give more confidence to foreign customers. It is also a big step towards a fair competitive market.
Mr. Seap strongly agrees with the creation of training courses for companies and real estate agents. He says, “We are all located on the same road. So, we are all together, helping to make this sector better with developers.” He continued, "This is a good joint market for raising standards and improving the strength in the real estate market. For this reason, I decided to become a member of the Cambodian Association of Valuers and Estate Agents."
The country's economy has maintained a GDP growth rate of 7 percent in the past years, with the real estate sector playing a huge role in boosting the economy. As the economy moves forward, we see more development projects establishing their presence in Cambodia. Some of these projects will also be acknowledged through the Cambodia Property Awards 2017 taking place at the end of March. As a matter of fact, Mr. Sorn Seap has been selected as one of the judges of this event. He stated that "It is a great honor to take part in this event. I believe that this event will help to build strong standards in the real estate and construction sectors, towards a better future. "