George Benlian is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Hyecorp Property Group. He has over 20 years of experience in the residential property industry. He’s a specialist in Sydney’s North Shore property market, having delivered 400 homes in Lane Cove, across four developments in the last four years.
Q. What major changes have you experienced during your time in the industry? How has the industry changed?
I have been working in the industry for 20 years so I started in the days before the Internet, when buying off-the-plan was not an option. I remember the selling process used to start towards the end of the construction period.
Artist impressions were hand drawn and it took several weeks for one image to be completed. The reach of the advertising was also limited to the local market by print media and signboards.
Today the mix of amazing technology and a fully built display apartment, showcasing the finished product with all the fixtures and fittings, help buyers to plan the acquisition years in advance.
For first home buyers it’s a great way to commit to a purchase while saving for a larger deposit amount before the settlement. It will also eliminate the pressure for the buyer, who has an existing property, to have plenty of time to plan and sell it before settling on their new purchase.
Q. What are some of the major challenges in industry-related sales and marketing?
A major challenge in industry-related sales and marketing is the customer’s perception that things will go wrong. This is a fair consideration when the client is dealing with a developer with little or no track record.
A potential buyer must carefully do all necessary due diligence on both the developer and the construction company before committing to an off-the-plan purchase.
Full transparency and showcasing previously completed projects help to maintain a solid track record and overcome this challenge.
Recent changes related to the Foreign Investment Review Board are adding an additional cost of approximately $50,000 for a $1 million acquisition. This could have a negative impact in the long term.
Q. What are the key ingredients needed to deliver the best developments?
A mix of extensive knowledge of the market with consumer feedback and expectation. With three key operating divisions – Property Development, Design and Construction, we can actively manage the entire development process from concept to completion.
Q. Are there any unique ways that you approach your work?
My approach to work is very simple. It is to match the right property with the buyer. The ability to understand the needs and requirements of a buyer and guide them with appropriate solutions is what counts for me the most. Of course we all have targets to meet however when you stop being a pushy sales person, a potential buyer starts to listen to you.
Q. What are Hyecorp’s plans for the future?
We are working on several exciting residential projects in the Lower North Shore, the Sutherland Shire and the Hills District. We anticipate making further announcements during 2017. Our current project Eva Lane Cove is currently on sale with completion expected by 2018.
Eva Lane CoveQ. Have you noticed any emerging development trends or possible up-coming changes to the current culture?
It’s important to find the right balance with emerging development trends while keeping in mind future ongoing costs residents will need to cover. The idea of creating great vibrant communities remains a top priority for us.
A major upcoming trend will be the use of virtual reality technology to showcase off-the-plan apartments. This will assist the potential buyer in experiencing the look and feel of an apartment beyond the currently used methods of CGIs, display suites and brochures.