• Developers need creativity to maintain growth – industry exec

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    WITH signs of a slowdown in the Philippines’ real estate sector, developers should be creative in finding ways to maintain growth and profitability, the president of a local hotel, resort, and tourism development consultancy said.

    Cyndy Tan Jarabata, the president of Tajara Leisure and Hospitality Inc., said that there is a slight but obvious slowdown in the real estate market now, particularly in the high-end segment, compared with three years ago.

    On the sidelines of the launch of the 5th Philippines Property Awards 2017 last Wednesday, Jarabata pointed out that many developers are tapping branded residences such as the Raffles, the Grand Hyatt, Shangri-La, Cebu’s Sheraton, and the Westin in Ortigas Center to attract buyers.

    “Developers are trying to look at another way in terms of how to give value to the market, or to the consumers or to the buyers without charging much more fees,” she said.

    “It’s really coming up with the same price points but giving more value to the market. It encourages developers to say ‘if you want continued growth, you need to be more creative or innovative and be able to bridge new partnerships’.”

    Branded residences in the hospitality segment are actually showing strong growth, Jarabata said.

    Customer mix
    Jarabata opined that the middle market also has room for growth, but she cautioned developers to diversify the customer segments they target.

    She explained that, for example, many OFW buyers, despite being an obvious market for developers, are perhaps not always a good fit, particularly for presold property; by the time the property is ready for occupancy, the OFW has been deployed or redeployed, leaving an empty unit and possible leasing issues.

    “So you need to be more creative as developers now. And you need to be able to focus on not only on the onset of sales, but how you are going to maintain it once it’s turned over to tenants. What if 50 percent of the tenants are not even living there?” she said.

    Tajara Leisure and Hospitality Group describes itself as a hospitality consulting and development company specializing in hotel, leisure, and tourism. Among the projects Tajara has been involved in are the Oakdrive hotel development in Puerto Princesa; the Luana Leisure hotel developments in Puerto Princesa and Boracay; acquisition and technical services consulting and operations for Red Planet Hotels Thailand and Tune Hotels Philippines; the 345th Residences development in Alabang; Kandaya Resort Cebu; Mandala Spa and Villas Boracay; Hotel H2O Manila; the redevelopment of the Lima Park Hotel in Batangas; and Lighthouse Marina Resort in Subic.

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