With the end of the covid-19 era on the horizon, IPS Cambodia looks back at the past two years —a period of economic lull and health scares that birthed a peak of refined leadership that spearheads the real estate market today.
Though Cambodia was quick to recover from the pandemic’s pitfalls through strict protocols on social distancing and aggressive vaccination drives, it was not spared from the rollercoaster economy that so many nations experienced since the onset of covid-19. The capital, Phnom Penh, was among the hardest hit during an April 2021 outbreak.
In both major cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, it was apparent that more than just a handful of businesses were closing or going on hiatus, suffering the impact of travel restrictions and fear of human contact brought by the pandemic. Moreover, the expat community was decreasing as a high number of foreigners chose to fly home during the global crisis.
How, then, did IPS Cambodia push through and even thrive in a sector inevitably impacted by the downward trends in tourism and hospitality, business and commerce, and inward travel of new residents?
Opportunities for those who stay
Phnom Penh Branch Manager Malay Nop admits that when the pandemic struck, the company’s figures plummeted at an unprecedented rate. As foreigners left the country, especially those living in Phnom Penh, the expat workforce also decreased dramatically.
However, the company was undeterred. Management recognized that with foreigners leaving their rented units behind, there was a shift in supply and demand, contrasting the pre-covid landscape.
“We took advantage of this opportunity by informing our former clients who were looking for a space to rent before, but were unable to find one.”
In a sense, IPS Cambodia provided an incentive to those who chose to stay in the Kingdom.
With some of the most in-demand units freed up and market prices at an all-time low, residents now had the chance to rent and live in the apartment, condo, or house rental of their dreams.
The company was able to achieve this seamlessly through a well-kept database of previous clients. Recalling these clients’ needs and interests, eventually IPS was able to match them to newly vacated units.
“We focused on moving our regular clients from their current space to a new one,” Malay explains, saying the shifted landscape gave tenants more power to negotiation and provided more options to choose from.
“We really just focused on working with our previous, regular clients who chose to stay in the country.”
Realignment of sales, free consultation services
In terms of sales, particularly among condo units, they saw a 70% drop. In response, they realigned their focus towards selling lands and Boreys. Out of this, a Borey team was even formed within IPS Cambodia.
It was not just a pivoting of focus, however—company management and staff accelerated their efforts to ensure that quality of service did not lag behind despite more-or-less bleak economic outlooks.
One direct effect of low market demand was a rapid decrease in inquiries, which the IPS team quickly augmented.
“IPS provided free consultation to property owners who wanted to sell their properties urgently. We have an expert Valuation Team who determines the fair value of a property, and a brilliant Marketing service,” says Malay.
Deeper into core values
If any, the pandemic and its effect on several economic sectors shone a light on just how much value IPS Cambodia placed on people: their best interest, connections, and goals they wanted to accomplish through real estate.
The company rode with the flow of the pandemic but did not sink beneath its waves.
Instead, the team planted themselves even deeper into three key values that Malay believes sets IPS Cambodia apart from the numerous real estate agencies already established within Phnom Penh.
Firstly, IPS boasts highly knowledgeable property agents who hold a genuine familiarity with Cambodia’s real estate market, the socioeconomic landscape, and modern trends. Thus, they are able to identify which property is best for each client. The agents themselves also function as consultants.
“I believe that market knowledge is very essential to our job,” says Malay, “For every client who approaches us, we always give them professional advice on the property they want to buy by asking them what kind of property they want and their budget range.”
Ultimately, the company aims to meet clients’ needs.
Secondly, IPS Cambodia provides the fastest customer service in real estate. The company prides itself on a response time of not more than 10 minutes during business hours. Beyond those hours, clients never wait for over an hour. Aside from direct website input, they also handle inquiries through messaging applications like Telegram or WhatsApp.
Thirdly, “we show professionalism.” Malay emphasizes the importance of not only presenting themselves properly to clients, but also exhibiting the right attitude towards them regardless of the circumstances. Anyone who approaches IPS Cambodia, online or at their office, is treated with respect, politeness, and a genuine goal to meet their needs.
“It is in times of crisis that good leaders emerge,” goes the saying by Rudolph Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City.
If any, covid-19 shone a light on just how much IPS Cambodia values people: their best interests, their connections, and the goals they want to accomplish through real estate.
Refined by the road bumps of the pandemic, the company has reached a new height of being a market leader and the most trusted partner among Khmer and expat landlords, renters, developers, investors, and business owners.