Market uncertainty has created a shift in the expectation of clients. Office Services’ Eugene Yip shares how getting closer to the needs of his clients, and even challenging their way of thinking, has enabled him to provide clarity and solutions most relevant to their business. Sitting with Eugene, we take 5 minutes to discuss how he’s focused on accelerating his relationships into business partnerships.
Eugene, can you share a little bit about yourself?
I’m into watches. And it’s not just about collecting them, it’s the fascination of how they work. They can be of the most delicate design and intricate but it’s the level of ingenuity that goes into building one to making it work that fascinates me. It’s even more impressive when you consider how far technology has advanced compared to when the first ever watch was created in the 13th Century and how it was made.
I wouldn’t say I’m nomadic, but I’ve travelled a lot living in multiple countries; absorbing a variety of cultures. I was born in Canada, although I wouldn’t say I’m Canadian; I grew up in Hong Kong, but I don’t feel exclusively like a Hongkonger; and I studied in Australia, although I do like to cook salmon on the barbie.
How did you get involved in real estate?
Although I’m not dealing in the physical design or construction of real estate, I’ve always had a passion for architecture and interior design. I suppose this might have subconsciously led me into real estate, but conversations among friends and people who I know from the industry has shaped my decision-making process – and keeping an open mind has also helped.
This year has been different. How have you stayed focused?
Hong Kong’s commercial office leasing market can be tough. Generally, landlords are in a good position, with demand versus supply remaining high which provides a strong a flow of occupiers. However, landlords with new projects are struggling this year because clients have become more focused on seeking opportunities with low CAPEX such as units that are fully fitted.
This year, I’ve noticed that clients have been more proactive by reaching out to me for guidance and advice. This is certainly a sign of the times, and it’s allowed me to work closer with clients and build a deeper level of understanding. Yes, I’ve still done deals, but my motivation has come from the evolution of becoming more of a business partner to my clients rather than just a broker.
So, how have you been advising these clients?
I have seen Colliers adopting this business partner approach with our clients more than ever this year. This has enabled us to take our clients on a journey where we provide the solutions to their needs and priorities and having gained their trust, we are able to challenge their way of thinking, knowing we are here to accelerate their success in real estate and business.