Strategies To Overcome the Inevitable Aftermath
With the undeniable effect of COVID-19 on the real estate sector, all market key players have set strategies that are currently in motion to overcome its aftermath despite the market slowdown. Most are keeping their delivery schedule as is to please their clients and maintain their trust. Some have launched flexible and very attractive offers, while others have resorted to technology to resume work and broaden their reach, offering some flexible payment terms as well.
Emaar Misr, for example, has put some projects on a- 5% down- payment offer with the first installment is due after six months. Some other projects are even on a- 0% down- payment with up to an eight -year-installment plan; all part of its just-launched “We Care Payment Plan” campaign. As Mady confirms, “This is the first time for Emaar Misr to make such offers.”
Rooya Group is currently abiding by its construction schedule, “in order to respect the final delivery date,” Koraitam confirms. The company is also restudying the cash flow to reflect the effect of the crisis on the business and activate new sales models through innovative new offers for a certain period of time “to encourage clients to make quick decisions in buying units,” she explains.
Misr Italia Properties, too, stands by its initial delivery plan. El Assal confirms, “Misr Italia Properties holds its delivery promises to its customers and so we are employing the highest safety standards for our workers to ensure construction continuity on all our sites. We are still holding our plans to start delivery of five projects Il Bosco, Kai Sokhna, Cairo Business Park, Garden 8 Mall and La Nuova Vista, which are ready for move in during 2020.”
Moreover, Amer assures, “When it comes to construction updates, we are in fact ahead of schedule.” According to Amer, construction plans are progressing smoothly, while setting drastic safety precautions “to assert the safety of our employees,” he says. While maintaining a steady work in progress throughout its projects, Akam Developments, now, offers its clients flexible payment terms and installment plans on longer periods of time and have moved their marketing strategy to the digital platform.
SODIC has went digital as well with attractive offers to combat the current situation. The company in late March has launched its virtual sales platform, offering its potential clients an eight-year- installment plan on projects like The Estates, V Residences, and Sky Condos, and six-year-installment- plan on its Vilette project. Potential clients are invited to book their appointments via SODIC Virtual Sales Platform.
Speaking of innovative techniques, Iwan Developments has also joined the digital marketing. According to Mokhtar, the company is marketing and promoting its projects online, as well as availing a variety of insights and payment plans options, catering to potential clients. “We believe technology is the most adequate method for exhibiting and marketing real estate products regarding the present phase, and is foreseen to support many real estate marketing, promotion, and development in the future,” Mokhtar believes, “we primarily expected a decline in sales rate and a withdrawal of buyers in the market in general, which is why we have created innovative marketing strategies in order to maintain stability in our sales rate.” Following its innovative marketing methods, the real estate developer is going through with its latest project, Jada, in New Cairo, spanning 104 acres of a residential and commercial area.
Believing that technology is the future, Tabarak Developments, too, is currently investigating the matter as it carefully studies the present. “I believe that in the coming period, the e-commerce will be the new norm, and we are studying on how to implement it to our business,” El-Shorbany states.
Shahawi Properties is choosing innovation by going completely digital, deploying all necessary tools to grow closer to its client base while maintaining a zero-contact policy. “From using our mobile application as a resourceful hub for comprehensive information, creating e-brochures and sales kit for zero-contact updates, utilizing all videoconferencing platforms for sales pitches and presentations, all the way to online payment and contract signing using virtual platforms,” Markeing Director Nirmeen Seif explains. “We are also integrating all our digital arms with the company’s ERP systems [ Odoo ] to connect with existing clients, and potential audience while knowing they are safe, at home. To ensure the success of the latter strategy, Shahawi Properties is currently investing in knowledge-sharing workshops and through employee sessions to guarantee utmost productivity and a hassle-free customer experience, second to none,” she adds.
As for Tatweer Misr, the company President & CEO Ahmed Shalaby notes that Tatweer Misr has created more innovative diversified products to meet the current demand across its projects, namely IL Mont Galala, Bloomfields, and The Vues, latest of Bloomfields in Mostakbal City. “Those products have highly contributed to mitigating the impact of this crisis along with the help of our sales strategy that offers attractive payment plans up to 10 years, which proved suitable for the current circumstances,” he announces.
Mountain View, on the other hand, has paused all construction work at first, conducted a scientific research to meet internal operation needs to get the job done. A solid plan for reaching its targets has been implemented as well. Yet, according to the Soliman, a committee has been internally formed to reach a scientific protocol, named PCF4, through which the company managed to “implement strict disinfection and safety measures, allowing our teams to work at the construction sites or the office safely.” Among its internal policies are reducing capacity, adopting flexible working hours, providing constant medical support at all sites. Today, “We are on track to meet our construction and delivery plans as we are absolutely loyal to our commitments with all clients and partners,” Soliman confirms.
Despite cutting its workforce to 50%, Heliw confirms that work on all construction sites is in progress. “The second phase of one of the group’s most important investments on the north coast, Marseilia Beach 4, is already underway,” he assures. Furthermore, Marseilia Group is establishing new pricing policies that are appropriate to the market and purchasing power today, offering its clients more flexible payment terms, and pushing with a strong real estate export plan as it will boom after the this crisis comes to an end, according to Heliw.
In the meantime, TAMEER focuses on maintaining the continuity of its operations, supporting our people and connecting with its customers. “We are creating solutions that increase flexibility to our customers, in terms of contractual and financial commitment,” determines El Khoury. “Real estate has a long production cycle, which provides resilience. Commercially, a latent demand is building-up during the lockdown, fueled by the considerable needs of the Egyptian society for properties,” he adds.
City Edge Developments, as well, confirm that construction work is ongoing and is close to the original plan. As for sales, “We are now experiencing a gradual recovery that we hope will continue and reach back to our targets by mid June,” City Edge Developments CEO Mohamed El-Mikawi says. In fact CED has signed two new construction contracts.
Following the initial shock, Castle Development received with the COVID-19 outbreak, the company quickly took its measures to ensure its scheduled delivery deadline. “As we speak, construction is going ahead of schedule,” Amr confirms. “At Castle Development, we are working relentlessly to introduce plans that satisfy our target customers. Our marketing plans will continue as planned and we will commit to establishing a system that ensures optimum performance all around and maintain the relationships we have so far developed with our line of customers,” he concludes.
To counter the effect of the outbreak and reach its target, Khozam currently offers “new payment terms during the holy month of Ramadan, 0% down payment and a five- year installment plan,” announces Head of Marketing Mohamed Elkhodary. The company also confirms that all construction work is ongoing as scheduled to meet with delivery deadlines.
First Group, too, confirms the delivery of its units as previously scheduled, offering potential clients various new payment terms. “Installment plans are up to eight years now and the first installment is due after six months for immediate delivery units,” announces First Group Marketing Head Mohamed Mousa.
The impact of the COVID-19 is significant worldwide not just in Egypt, but where its property market is concerned; it still is a safe haven for investment despite its slowdown, according to experts’ beliefs.