Q: Bern, Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally and professionally.
I am the Key Executive Officer of Strata Consulting Group and have held this position over the last 21 years. I am 65 years with 30 years in the real estate industry. My interests besides work would be working with real estate associations to advance the professional practice of real estate agents and consultants. The other interests would be vested in my family of 3 boys and 1 daughter.
Q: Imagine that you met someone in an elevator and was asked to explain Strata Consulting Group in 30 seconds or less… Can you give us a 2 sentence ‘elevator pitch’ about your business and what you do?
SCG is a Singapore based boutique firm with a group of consultants from diverse backgrounds to offer multidisciplinary led solution to our clients within ASEAN territories.
Q: How did you get started in this business?
I was jobless after leaving the army (national service) and was persuaded by my mother to join my uncle’s real estate appraisal firm in 70s. The 2 year stint at the firm set the foundation and my profound interest in a real estate career. Subsequently I joined 3 local property developers and stayed over the span of 11 years. I was headhunted to joined an Indonesian property developer in Surabaya to manage the retail concept and market the retail shops within their largest mall in East Java (1985-189). After the stint I was invited to joined CH Williams Talhar & Wong (WTW), Malaysia’s largest professional property consultancy. After 3 years with the firm, Anne (a former colleague) and I decided to set up Strata Consulting Group.
Q: Can you describe your customers / what type of customers does Strata Consulting Group have?
Mainly business people seeking commercial real estate advice for their investment or business use. We have a couple of regional provincial government enlisting our advice on their planned special economic zone areas for industrial and commercial property development. Clients include REITs, Chinese SOE and private individuals, Singapore property developers seeking land in Singapore for their property trading (develop to sell)
Q: What are some of your “keys to success” in building your customer base?
In terms of operational costs our office is housed out of the city fringe for cheaper rent and no car parking charges. We remain focus on tenant representation service, collective/ENBLOC sales of old estates that have potential to be acquired for redevelopment, acquisition and disposal of commercial properties (office building & hotel properties) in Malaysia, Korea and Singapore and adhoc sales agency
Q: Is there anything about your business that you feel makes it special?
We have and continue to gain support in terms of referrals from clients and even our competitors who are unable to deliver similar services that we offer.
Q: What kind of technology advances do you see that will likely affect this sector over the coming few years?
Many portals are emerging to alert and familiarize readers and subscribers with real time transaction information and other information that would challenge our research and advisory functions.
Q: Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? In the next ten years?
There is a push factor (poor property market condition in Singapore resulting poor earnings since 2013) that may see our team working in Vietnam and Indonesia offering project management and facilitating management services.