RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Former Yahoo! executive now manages Commercial Asia

Commercial Asia's new general manager Ben Chien got 3 goals to focus on.

iProperty Group,the owner of iProperty brands which bills itself as  Asia’s No. 1 network of property portal sites had appointed Ben Chien as General Manager of the region’s commercial property portal,CommercialAsia.com . The website operate in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.

Mr Chien has previously held senior management roles at Yahoo! in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the U.S.A. and was most recently Vice President, Marketing and Sales at PCCW Media Limited in Hong Kong.

The appointment of Mr Chien also marks the movement of CommercialAsia.com’s operational base from Singapore to Hong Kong.

1. What makes you excited about your new position?

Leading the region’s first comprehensive website that is dedicated to commercial and industrial properties across Asia-Pacific is exciting. With the significant rise of residential home prices, the commercial real estate market in Asia is certainly garnering attention from investors and

The potential growth of the commercial and industrial sector is tremendous and that is why I'm excited about taking on this new role at CommercialAsia.com. The digital media also plays a significant role in this industry as it is almost always the first place for buyers and investors look into obtaining information which will help them make an informed decision.

Aside from that, there is much work to be done on increasing mass market engagement, as well as on improving marketing effectiveness for developers and agents.

I'm very excited to become part of Asia’s No.1 network of property portals, the iProperty Group, and have the opportunity to lead the commercial business. I believe my digital advertising and new product development background will benefit the profitability and long-term growth of the group, and ultimately to shareholder value.

2. What three goals are you focused on?

- To position CommercialAsia.com as the trusted portal of choice that investors and buyers from across Asia will turn to in search of commercial and industrial property. 

- To increase visitor reach and engagement by ensuring that the content on the site is regularly updated with relevant and informative information that will help business owners and managers make informed decisions more efficiently.

- As per in any business, another key goal would be to expand revenue streams and increase the ROI’s of our advertisers.

3. What will you do differently in this position?

More focus will be put into:

 - Providing a wider spectrum of marketing services, both on and offline 

- Sourcing both professional and user generated content

- Creating localised features and content

- Acquiring regional distribution partnerships

4. What changes are you planning for?

- To look for innovative ways to further enhance the features and services that CommercialAsia.com currently offers to ensure that the portal continues to be the preferred marketing partner in the commercial and industrial industry.

- Expanding content distribution via social media and mobile channels 

- Expansion into different areas of digital marketing, and venture into offline promotions might fit the vertical model

5. What are your key business philosophies?

As a marketing services provider, the most important thing is to provide sustainable return on marketing investment. While both the demand and supply side of the real estate marketing is continuously changing and evolving, it is essential to always provide highly-targeted content to everyone, thereby, to grow viewership and engagement, which ultimately turns into valuable advertising inventory. For newer portals like CommercialAsia.com, good content and distribution partnerships are very important early on, as reaching critical mass is paramount for
any online business.

6. What previous positions prepared you for this one and how?

Having spent a decade at Yahoo and PCCW Media in various key sales and marketing roles has expanded my horizon from MNC to local SMB sectors. As the commercial real estate sector comprises of a wide spectrum of small agents to large developers, it is key to identify and create an ecosystem in which everyone wins, including the masses, which is also an affluent market.

Being familiar with search and social marketing, a lot of quick success can be added right away, while focus can be put into mid-to-longer term revenue drivers.

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