Developers get creative with sales pitches

Developers are getting creative in marketing their projects, from sure-win games dangling up to $250,000 in cash rebates as prizes to organising trips to Singapore for those overseas eyeing units across the Causeway.

Developers here are also increasingly banking on overseas markets – for their prime properties in particular – with two of them taking their projects to Indonesia before even launching here.

Leading the way in eye-catching marketing, Kingsford Development is holding a “250k Property Tycoon Challenge” for Kingsford Hillview Peak in Upper Bukit Timah this weekend.

It is styled after the game show Bai Wan Da Ying Jia (the Singapore Mandarin version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire), a Kingsford marketing representative told The Straits Times.

Each player gets $5,000 in tokens free and answers questions to progress in the game.

This translates to at least $5,000 in cash rebate for buying a unit in the project as players get to keep the initial sum. The top prize is a $250,000 cash rebate.

The challenge is part of an event being held at its showflat that includes baking and floral arrangement workshops, and a separate lucky draw with an electric scooter and two hoverboards as prizes.

“It is a family event. A husband could play the game, while the wife or other family members take part in the workshops,” the representative said. It is the Shenyang-based developer’s first such event for its projects here, following a property talk for Kingsford Waterbay earlier this year.

Guangzhou-based Country Garden is said to have tied up with travel agencies in a programme for Chinese buyers to visit Singapore – in hopes they will buy units at Forest City, its mega-project on reclaimed land in Iskandar, close to the Tuas Second Link.

The three-day trip is mainly for sightseeing and shopping and is footed by the tourist, a Country Garden spokesman said. It includes a day trip to Johor Baru.

“As Country Garden has more than 200 projects in mainland China, the tourists usually request to visit the biggest overseas project of Country Garden – Forest City,” he added.

Tourists willing to pay more stay at premium hotels like Marina Bay Sands, although more budget- friendly options are available.

The developer is said to be offering discounts of up to about 20 per cent for buyers who exercise the option to purchase early and pay in cash. “Promotions vary by property type, payment formality and time period,” the spokesman said.

But Indonesia appears to be the flavour of the month for developers as they take new projects in Singapore to affluent property buyers in the fast-emerging country.

City Developments is launching Gramercy Park in Jakarta this weekend and Surabaya the next. One tower of 87 units is on offer with pricing unconfirmed but said to be about $2,800 per sq ft (psf).

This is part of a marketing effort for regional markets, including mainland China and Hong Kong, a company spokesman said.

The 174-unit project will be launched in Singapore soon and is expected to be completed in the current quarter, she added.

This comes after CapitaLand’s successful launch of Cairnhill Nine in Indonesia.

It launched the project in Jakarta in late February before launching here in March.

It went on to market the project in Surabaya and Shanghai as well, and then Solo last weekend.

The project has sold 193 of its 268 units, with overseas buyers – mainly Indonesians – accounting for half the sales, a CapitaLand spokesman said.

“While the rupiah has not performed well against the Singdollar, high-net-worth Indonesians see buying homes here as a form of capital preservation,” said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia.

Last year, developers also marketed unsold stock of prime properties in the overseas markets of Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Singapore Christie’s International Real Estate has been fairly successful in selling units at Scotts Square and Bishopsgate Residences in these two countries, managing director Samuel Eyo said.

His company helped sell more than 10 units at Scotts Square at $3,200 psf to $3,500 psf, while its sales at Bishopsgate Residences included a $21 million townhouse.

“Properties in prime areas have a limited supply of buyers compared with suburban areas, and developers tend to go to countries where they feel prospective buyers have an ongoing relationship with Singapore – they have relatives here, their children are studying here, or they are here as medical tourists and come regularly,” said KF Property Network managing director Tan Tee Khoon.