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ERA expanding drive to cater to Asia-Pacific's wealthy

ERA expanding drive to cater to Asia-Pacific's wealthy.

Property firm ERA Realty Network is rolling out a service tailored for wealthy buyers across the Asia-Pacific with the aim of becoming the market leader in the region.

Plush, as the service is known, started in Singapore in January to help the firm's staff become more adept at catering to the increasing demands of high-net-worth individuals.

Around 100 ERA agents here were selected to join the first phase of the roll-out. The minimum requirement to join Plush is to broker the sale of a property worth more than S$5 million every two years, and to earn a commission of at least S$200,000 every year.

An ERA spokesman said on Thursday: "This (regional) roll-out will enable the entire agent network operating within the niche market segment to network and explore co-broking opportunities across the region."

The company noted that the Asia-Pacific is becoming a well-heeled powerhouse, accounting for about 31 per cent of global high-net-worth individuals' wealth in 2017.

However, ERA said, studies have shown that many clients are not satisfied with the service they are getting, citing concerns such as a lack of personal connection with their wealth managers.

Its spokesman added that ERA teams in each country will undertake market research to learn more about the demographics and needs of wealthy individuals.

This information repository will allow the firm to offer a personal, one-stop service for these clients.

There will also be additional training to help agents increase their range of advisory services to include asset management and enhancement, trust and will creation and estate and succession planning.

The firm announced the initiative on Thursday at the ERA 2019 Asia-Pacific Business Conference, which attracted regional country heads and around 2,000 real estate agents from 10 countries.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing also helmed a closed-door dialogue with guests and presented awards to the top agents in the region.

ERA, which has around 17,800 real estate agents in its network, has made other forays into the region recently. It has acquired the ERA master franchisor for Indonesia and is taking direct ownership of the Thailand ERA master franchise.

ERA chief executive officer Jack Chua said the agency aims to expand by strengthening its organisation in Singapore and in the region, where it plans to make more acquisitions.

"While the Singapore real estate market remains stable, opportunities also abound in the overseas markets. Take Indonesia, where the market is opening up to allow foreign ownership: our expansion serves as a timely one, allowing us to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities available in Asia-Pacific."

Mr Chan and Mr Chua also presented a cheque for S$150,000 - donated by ERA - to the National University of Singapore to set up a bursary for underprivileged students.

Each bursary is tenable for one academic year and is open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents enrolled in any course of study. The donation will also enable NUS to apply for a matching grant from the government.

To read more: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/era-expanding-drive-to-cater-to-asia-pacifics-wealthy

Adapted from: The Business Times, 22 February 2019