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‘Unprecedented’ has become a sound bite for 2020. As cliché as it may seem, even in context of the outbreak of SARS in 2003 and the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, stakeholders in the property investment market are truly experiencing something for the first time. For Sean Tsoi of Colliers Capital Markets & Investment Services, this has cemented his approach and focussed him to ensure he puts his clients first to lead our industry into the future. To find out more, we sit down with Sean to hear how’s been navigating the market.

How did you get into real estate?

My career actually started in real estate valuations. I then worked for a Hong Kong-listed developer as an asset manager which is where I developed my passion for property investment. I also think, and as with most things, a little bit of good timing paved the way when I met a former colleague who gave me an opportunity. Since then I’ve not looked back.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to make the most of my downtime. Real estate investment can be quite intense, so finding a way to decompress is important. For me, I love spending the day at the beach with my family or friends. I may have even spent more time at the beach than in the lecture rooms when I was studying at City University of Hong Kong; it may even lead to a retirement career of running a beachside café!

What advice do you have for the market?

We have seen some asset types and sectors thrive throughout the pandemic. For those investors looking to find a stable rental income, I’d suggest investors paying attention to both strata-title offices and neighbourhood retail malls.

The market has contracted over the last two to three years but we’re anticipating an increase in activity levels in 2021 and for the price to see a slight rebound.

What’s your key to success in the new year?

In the last two years we have experienced a number of changes in the market. And at this point, it’s not unreasonable to say there won’t be more. So, I don’t see any secrets but to be prepared, flexible and enterprising in your approach for what might come is important. This could take shape in many different ways such as embracing learning and development, keeping connected to the market, acting quickly to embrace change, being sensitive to market developments, and having an adaptable mindset to ensure you’re developing the right solution that meets their real estate investment needs.