Cambodia’s free immunization program is eight months ahead of schedule, but real estate companies must do much more to entice consumers to return to their properties and feel safe.
Life is gradually returning to normalcy across the globe.
While there are still lockdowns in place and many are hesitant to totally trust safety systems, there is a strong desire to restore normal activity. Children want to go to school, adults want to go to work, and friends want to get together.
However, the venues in which such activity takes place must evolve. They must accept that life will never be the same as it was before a global pandemic upended the way we know it.
While real estate businesses have made some initiatives to improve hygiene standards in shopping malls, residential communities, and offices, there is still much more that can be done.
According to the World Bank, practically all jobs in the country are ‘low-skill vocations like manual labor, cooking, and farming, with managerial and professional roles accounting for less than 5% of the market. However, as a result of Covid-enforced lockdowns, there will be significantly more use of online technology across professions.
If it is possible to accomplish something online, it will be done online in the future (even if conservatism will mean many will continue to resist change). Real estate companies must recognize this and assist Cambodians in adopting a mixed work style. Offices and workplaces must be redesigned to make them more alive for employees, making the workday more meaningful.
Work-from-home opportunities can benefit young mothers who want to work from home, for example. Children may also be able to perform a lot more tutoring at home. Meanwhile, venues will need to be able to handle higher data traffic due to the widespread use of internet tools such as video conferencing, video calling, and e-commerce apps.
In a related vein, the rising acceptance of internet-based services has resulted in many merchants selling online and preferring not to have a physical presence. Social media has evolved into a major enabler of small business growth, and this tendency will only continue. It means that commercial property owners will need to enhance their properties so that buyers have a compelling reason to visit malls, and tenants will need to be provided the support they require to be convinced of the necessity for a shopfront or a presence inside a shopping mall.
Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that, as a result of the global health crisis, a lot more people are becoming health-conscious all around the world. Observe the increased interest in physical activity wherever you go.
This means that new real estate projects will need to consider these shifting attitudes on health. Jogging paths, for example, will need to be integrated to master plans for various types of structures. Homes will also need to be constructed to include workout areas or be located near parks. Similarly, offices will be more appealing if there are exercise-related service providers such as CrossFit training facilities, gyms, and so on.
The significance of having a local supply chain is also becoming evident – people want to be able to access a variety of services such as supermarkets, hospitals, schools, and pharmacies in case of another disaster. Property development businesses’ track records throughout the pandemic will be reviewed much more thoroughly.
Finally, the increase in climate-related calamities implies that individuals and businesses are much more skeptical of property that does not hold up under scrutiny. Cambodians are dissatisfied that boreys were unable to survive floods caused by excessive rainfall, and potential buyers are reconsidering the location of their future properties on the market.
In a nutshell, they are… but it will take a seismic shift in mindsets across departments to truly embrace the digital transformation that is occurring throughout businesses worldwide.
While cost is a significant factor in every consumer’s or business’s decision, the calculus is shifting. Cambodian real estate developers are making early arrangements to ensure they stay ahead of the competition.
Canopy Sands Development, a subsidiary of Prince Holding Group (“Prince Group”), is one example of a company that has embraced sustainable real estate development ideas.
Its flagship project in Sihanoukville is Ream City, an 834-ha project that will offer family attractions, condominiums, landed and oceanfront houses and affordable housing estates, shopping malls, corporate hubs, and more just a short distance from the airport.
According to Khong Weng Fook, managing director of Canopy Sands Development, the project, which will be built on reclaimed land, will incorporate ideas such as resource recycling, transit-oriented development, ecological restoration efforts, and the hiring of design consultants with experience designing green initiatives, among other design-related aspects.
The project is still in its early phases. It won’t be available for a time. The broader organization, on the other hand, has a track record of completing projects in record time. In less than a decade, Chen Zhi Cambodia and Prince Group have completed more than 20 projects in the heart of Phnom Penh, including the opening of Prince Huan Yu Mall, an ornately designed institution that has attracted famous brands such as Starbucks, KFC, NIKE, Miniso, Levi’s, Samsonite, ALDO, LOCK & LOCK, Raidy Boer, CBO, LG, Smart, and Chow Tai Fook.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate-focused firm received multiple international honors for taking care of its staff, visitors, and properties.
It is one of a wave of new developers led by Neak Oknha Chen Zhi, Chairman of Prince Group, that is bringing in international expertise, an awareness of international conventions, and a desire to work closely with governmental departments to guarantee it respects relevant rules and regulations.
Cambodian real estate developers will need to view the outbreak as a watershed moment. Not only will their existing projects need to be updated to meet the needs of a changing population as well as modern societal and climate-related trends, but they will also need to build with a green mindset for future projects.
As Cambodia urbanizes and new sectors emerge, real estate developers will play a significant role, whether they specialize in commercial, residential, industrial, or other forms of property.
Getting it properly will ensure that Cambodians engage in better venues, improving their quality of life at work and at home, and kicking off the collective effort to deal with growing climate change.
It will necessitate top-level leadership, as well as upskilling and reskilling, as well as raising awareness of such challenges throughout the real estate ecosystem — employees, suppliers, consultants, marketing agencies, and even consumers and tenants.
Real estate development, when done correctly, can be both a profitable endeavor and a force for good in a rapidly rising Cambodia.