Following a long line of real estate titans, Soo Sing Goh was exposed to Malaysia’s property development industry from a young age. Quickly developing an ambitious and competitive spirit and passion for architecture and construction, Soo Sing decided he was going to do things a little differently from those who came before him. Using insights and ideas gathered while studying and travelling abroad, Soo Sing created an innovative business model that he put into practice when he built BÖN Estates, formerly PPM Realty. Inspired by the Tibetan culture of Bön, this boutique property developer celebrates the unity of the five elements of feng shui and is dedicated in its mission to create sustainable, well-balanced homes and lifestyles.
Leading the way
“When the opportunity arose to work on two boutique developments in Penang, I didn’t have to think twice about it – I immediately took on the challenge. I thought that if I started my own brand, I could take a more innovative approach to development,” says Soo Sing. At just 28 years of age, Soo Sing became Managing Director of BÖN Estates in 2012. “We have a young and innovative marketing and design team that works with the project directors, who have a strong background in development. It’s a confluence of experience and creativity.”
The success of these projects in Malaysia’s Minden Heights and Minden Gardens emboldened Soo Sing to expand the business and venture into Kuala Lumpur’s affluent Klang Valley. Launched in March 2017, BÖN Estates’ flagship project, The Estate, is built on the principles of harmoniously artful design and is a true representation of holistic living in Bangsar South. BÖN Estates awarded the 328-unit, luxury high-rise project to construction firm Kerjaya Prospek Group as the main contractor. According to Soo Sing, BÖN Estates selected Kerjaya as its main contractor for the project based on their shared outlook on building quality standards.
“While our competitors were building smaller units, we bucked the trend and identified a crucial gap in the market. We went for bigger units priced from RM1.8 million and we’ve now achieved a take-up rate of 70% – a remarkable achievement by the team,” he explains. Soo Sing hopes to hit 80% by the end of this year. “We’re crafters of good living. We promote better lives and better living environments, and we elevate the standards of our customers. This is truly what we believe in and it’s evident in all that we do. With BÖN Estates, you’re not just buying a home, you’re buying a lifestyle.”
“You’re not just buying a home, you’re buying a lifestyle.”
To promote these ideas throughout the wider community and heighten the senses of his customers, Soo Sing built a beautifully structured sales gallery in Jalan Maarof. Complete with a vegan café on the ground floor, this three-storey gallery is the first-ever ‘show experience’ for a property sales showcase. “Not only do we display and promote our core feng shui values, but we also educate people on how to achieve a more balanced diet and lifestyle. Our future housing developments will feature commercial components that complement the residences in promoting healthy interaction between communities.”
Fostering long tern connections
Central to this success is BÖN Estates’ close ties with its partners and suppliers. Soo Sing’s belief in open communication and quality design goes far beyond surface level – it is infused in the company culture, the products it delivers, and all its external relationships. “We seek long-term connections and so we always make an effort to visit our suppliers’ factories, conduct a technical evaluation of their capabilities, and talk to the owners to better understand the company’s history and its vision for the future. At the end of the day, nothing beats a personalised approach,” says Soo Sing.
“At the end of the day, nothing beats a personalized approach.”
The company’s outlook is simple: to continuously improve living standards for its residents. The challenge, says Soo Sing, is achieving this in a meaningful way. “From the moment we select a piece of land right up to when we hand over the keys to the customer, we promise to deliver extraordinary service at every step. Brand value, loyalty and customer understanding are part of the things that make us stand out in the market. We’re not just building homes, we believe in building cohesive communities.”
Rather than forcing a certain design, Soo Sing conducts a comprehensive investigation into each new region to determine what the community requires. “In the Klang Valley, we discovered that smaller and more affordable dwellings are more suited to the market, so that’s what will be in our next development. Not only is it about being up-to-date on demand and supply, it’s also about being relevant, innovative and ahead of trends.”
2017 was a highly successful year for Bon Estates. The Estate won several awards including:
- Best High-rise Luxury Condo at Property Insight’s Property Developers Awards
- Best Landscape, Best High-end Condo and Best Boutique Developer at the Asia Property Awards
- Best Touch and Feel at The Star Property Awards
- Best Boutique Developer in Asia at the Asia Property Awards
Maintaining brand’s DNA
Soo Sing explains that success in the development business relies on a strategic and carefully executed medium to long-term game. “In Malaysia, it takes about four years from land acquisition to completion of the project. We’re known for our bold, sustainable, trendy and design-driven approach as we carve a niche in a market where people are having so many options when purchasing a house.
For 2018, we want to maintain our brand DNA in our design-focused approach, but we also want to expand our market reach to the masses. Currently, The Estate is positioned towards more established families and middle-aged professionals. We are in the process of developing a product that appeals to more people, particularly style-conscious young couples without children.
Once we have strongly established our brand value, we intend to go into township development and expand BÖN Estates into Thailand, as I have experience working there as well.”