Century 21, the U.S. real estate giant, will today officially launch its operations in Cambodia, with local property firm VTRUST having purchased the first local franchise, its CEO said Wednesday.
“We have been preparing to enter the market for more than a year and our Century 21 agents either locally or from the Asia-Pacific region are already doing heavy amounts of transactions in Cambodia,” said Kevin Goos, CEO of Century 21 Cambodia.
Mr. Goos said Century 21’s board had elected VTRUST CEO Kuy Vat to also serve as chairman of Century 21 Cambodia.
He added that Century 21 Cambodia would nevertheless be an independent company with the right to sell further franchises.
He said Century 21 will focus mostly on foreign buyers, and particularly on those interested in new condominiums. “Right now, the market is hot for selling condominiums to international buyers and that is our primary focus at the moment,” Mr. Goos said.
“Cambodia is one of the most attractive markets to purchase a condominium either as an investment or as a vacation home,” he said.
“Currently, we are seeing huge waves of international buyers come to Cambodia for only this purpose.”
Mr. Goos said that due to this focus on new international buyers, the company would not compete with the local real estate firms.
Bonna Realty CEO Noun Rithy said the entrance of a Century 21 franchise was a good sign for the real estate market.
“I think it is good for our field. It’s not a concern as a competitor because everything will just be stronger. We can see that this market is growing, particularly if international companies are coming,” he said.
Executives at larger foreign-owned real estate companies also said they welcomed the franchiser.
“There are no worries regarding Century 21,” said Ross Wheble, country manager for the British firm Knight Frank.
“They focus more on residential agency, whereas Knight Frank focuses more on professional services,” he said.