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YONG: The Next $1Billion Company

Peter Huang owns Yong, the highest ranking real estate company in Queensland, which is amongst the state’s Top 400 Private Companies with net assets over $80 million. Not bad for someone who arrived in Australia in 1991 with $100 in his pocket! Sold Magazine asked Peter about his success and why he’s so keen to help others succeed too.

Peter, you have just launched a book that is not only your autobiography, but a ‘how-to’ manual where you share business tips and offer advice so that other people can achieve similar success. The real estate industry is one of the most competitive fields – why do you want to share the secrets of your success? Yong has set the target to become the largest full service real estate company in the world and we will not achieve that target without sharing all our secrets for both property marketing, management as well as property investment and development. The success of Yong Real Estate depends on the success of all our franchisees, partners and branch managers worldwide. In my book, I have also shared the hardships and challenges I faced in my early career which is the best gift for my children as well as to anyone who would like to think big and think outside the square.

You often refer to the success of Toyota as a brand, and aspire to make Yong the ‘Toyota’ of international real estate. What are some of the parallels you see between the car manufacturer and real estate?

The car industry and the real estate industry are two of the biggest industries in the world. Success in both industries not only requires the quality of the product itself, it also requires great marketing skills as well as great service. Toyota has been the most successful car maker and also the most profitable car maker in the world for quite some time now; despite having their first loss in their 71 year history when many other car makers are almost going broke.

According to an article in BRW about two years ago, the net profit of Toyota is equal to one third of the total combined world car makers’ net profit and the rest of the Japanese car makers count for another one third. The rest of the world’s car makers’ (which includes those from America, Europe and other countries) combined net profit is equal to the other one third. I have always thought Toyota is very successful and very popular as it offers reliability and value for money but I never thought it was so profitable which does give us more inspiration to be the Toyota of the international real estate market. If Toyota can do it, while there are so many other similar Japanese car makers to compete directly with Toyota, certainly Yong can do so much better from the real estate considering there is almost no competing brand of its nature.

There are at least 20,000 real estate brands throughout the world which are very similar to each other from their marketing strategy to their client database point of view. Yong can offer what the traditional real estate agencies offer but in the meantime. Yong also has access to the international market through their unique network as well as the Asian media which offers a 100% solution for our clients. Marketing through the Asian media is becoming increasingly important because of the buying power from those cashed up Asian countries especially those from China and other emerging economies. This service is just another added bonus on top of the normal services that traditional real estate agencies can offer clients.

You are constantly setting goals and achieving them. What are the next goals for Yong?
I have set my next two goals, first to become the largest full service real estate franchise in the world for our agency business and the other is for our development arm to become one of the largest property development companies in Australia, potentially undertaking over $1 billion worth of projects with ten to twenty thousand properties or land-bank lots. The ultimate goal is to make Yong a $1 billion company.

What is the Yong ‘super office’ concept and how does it differ from other franchise or network models?
As you know, most of the traditional real estate agencies are based on the corner shop or on a major street with a shop front. Because of the high rent they are paying, they limit the size of their business. When I completed my $13 million Pacific Centre project, I moved my whole operation from the traditional shop front location to the first floor which has 450m2 in space allowing me to employ over 60 people in that office.

In this challenging world, scale of economy is everything. As you can see all those major corporations, or major banks, while they are big enough, they are still always looking for the opportunity to merge with other companies to consolidate their business and increase their competitiveness through the scale of economy which is why our super office concept will bring a lot more long term benefit for our franchisees if they have the commitment and can afford to do so. While we are happy to take the people on board to start on a smaller scale but eventually, we will help them to build up each of our Yong franchise offices to be the dominate force in each area.

Tell us about the Yong Foundation.
As a Christian, I always believe in giving back more to the community. As you know, traditional real estate’s reputation from numerous independent surveys, are all just ranked behind a car salesperson. They are perceived by many people as just takers, not givers which is obviously not what we aspire to be. My dream is to create a brand which offers six-star service, with agents who care, who give more back to the community, who offer value for money and who work hard with great work ethics. Of course, under the Yong brand, we are also very proud to give more back to our franchisees and their associates as well. That is the motivation for me to set up the Yong Foundation to give more back to our community because from my knowledge through traveling all over the world, there is no other major franchise group in the world who has the compulsory contribution to a charity and Yong will be the first one and possibly the only one in the world to have this compulsory contribution to donate 20.2% of the total franchise fees back to the charity foundation to support research for cancer, disease related to the elderly, women and children as well as any other significant natural disasters. In this way, plus many other benefits, I trust that most people will be proud to be associated with Yong.

Peter Huang owns Yong, the highest ranking real estate company in Queensland.

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