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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on December 30, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Liew Tian Xiong (28)

Executive director of Eco World Development Bhd

Started in 2013; Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne, Australia.

 

Eco World Development Bhd

Landbank: 8,126.4 acres with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM87.53 billion 

Presence in the Klang Valley, Iskandar Malaysia, Penang, the UK and Australia (via Eco World International Bhd) 

Total GDV of ongoing and pipeline projects is RM69.25 billion.

 

What is your view of the current property market?

The industry is going through some tough times and confidence has been hurt by the endless negative news on the property sector, the broader economy, trade wars and politics. Despite the gloomy sentiment, I believe that the fundamental demand for housing in the country remains strong. At the end of the day, everyone needs a place to live in and the real challenge for developers is coming up with spaces that make life better and create enduring value for their inhabitants. It is also a developer’s responsibility to curate a community culture.

 

What are the issues in the property market that need addressing?

There is a genuine need to change the way people perceive the role of a property developer. It is no longer about launching the next product on the master plan or delivering units. There is a lot more to it now. For instance, to create the home aspirations of our customers, developers must truly understand them. We must take pride in offering products that will help shape a community’s culture for generations to come.

 

What new ideas will disrupt the Malaysian property market?

It is simple — the customer. The market is increasingly customer-dictated and the key to surviving is having data and insight into what people want. Customers are more discerning and sophisticated. The industry needs to roll out secure and sustainable products that constantly push back the boundaries of design and innovation. We need to subscribe to technology, be creative to identify trends and be sharp enough to apply them successfully. Only by understanding our customers can we come up with people-centric products that will make their lives better.

 

What do millennials want when it comes to property?

Rather than pigeonholing people based on their age, EcoWorld believes that we should consider our customers’ interests and what stage of life they are in. Not all young people want the same thing. For example, someone in his twenties and another in her fifties with a shared love for cooking will want a spacious kitchen at home. Our latest brand campaign — EcoWorld For Generations — sees us addressing this by thoughtfully ensuring that every

EcoWorld project is inclusive. We will have something that will appeal to people of every generation, defined by shared passions and life aspirations.

 

What in your opinion is the outlook for the property market in 2020?

No one can predict the future. How we manage this journey is what will differentiate us. For EcoWorld, we will remain focused on delivering and meeting our customers’ expectations. We are determined to push ahead with our plans to understand our customers better and to find ways of doing more in our pursuit of Creating Tomorrow and Beyond.

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