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Interview: Farooq Syed; Winner | Achievement Award - Real Estate

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates.

Interviewer: Welcome Mr. Farooq, We are thrilled to have you with us today, and we would like to offer congratulations on winning the Achievement Award in Real Estate

Mr. Farooq: Thank you for having me, It is a great pleasure and a big honor to be here and to be invited for this.

Interviewer: Would you please introduce yourself to our audience?

Mr. Farooq: I am the CEO of "Springfield Properties", I have been in the business since 2008, so it is over 15 years. I manage a team of over 140 professionals, which include real estate consultants and marketing professionals. I personally specialized in the luxury segment of the Dubai real estate market. I really enjoy my work, and I have been in Dubai my all life, except for a few years when I studied abroad, but besides that real estate is the only field that I have done, and I really enjoy being a real estate professional and being in the sales position that I am in today.

Interviewer: If you would be so kind, could you please share some highlights of your experience in the real estate market

Mr. Farooq: So the real estate industry has been a very rewarding experience for me, obviously all these 15 years we have enjoyed a lot of success, thanks to being in Dubai as Dubai is a city that grows in an expansional way, and I always tell my people that we are lucky to be in this city, in this industry, and at this time because Dubai real estate market has just been growing, sure we had some ups and downs in terms of prices but overall if you look at the chart over the last 20 years Dubai growth has only been up, and real estate is one of the most important industries of the this city, it is obviously tourism, real estate, and financial services, but real estate takes the largest piece of the pie in Dubai GDP, so luckily Dubai has attracted a lot of people from overseas, From my own experience I am very lucky to be in this field because I have met a lot of interesting people, you know previously we were discussing the power of networking, as having a great network in a city like Dubai, as Dubai attracts every sort of professionals, and people are in the top of their game, and all of them will do some of buy some sort of real estate in Dubai, So lucky my most rewarding experience of being in the Dubai real estate market is the network that I have been able to meet and build, and that is what helped me to grow not only as a professional but also as an individual as well. Yesterday I was with some businesspeople from California, They are multi-millionaires, and the guy was telling me how he started his business, so hearing the successful stories of successful people is such a rewarding experience and it really builds you professionally and individually as well.

Interviewer: So, what is the story behind “Springfield Properties”?

Mr. Farooq: So "Springfield Properties” was started in 2008, It is a family-founded company, my father actually started this company, and back then I was just a young professional getting out of the university. We started this company more as an investment company, My father and a couple of partners got together because they were buying a lot of real estate, buying, and selling, pre to 2008 crash, where you could buy a property and sell it after two days, and again you buy a property and again you sell it, you stand in lines, projects are sold out within one hour, and resold and resold., and then we decided to start a company ourself to make extra money through the commission, unfortunately right after that the crash came, so we started the company 2008, 2009, and 2010 were the worst for the Dubai real estate market, but luckily we didn't close the company down, We kept going on, and in 2010 The market started to recover, and during this recovery period I was very active in starting the company, getting all the agents, and I think in the last few years we really rapidly growth. Today we sell nearly billions of real estate worth every year, We have a team of over 100 real estate consultants specializing in the luxury segment, mid-luxury segments, and we mostly focus on big developers like Emaar, Damac, Sobha, and all big names in the market, we are very actively selling their latest projects.

Obviously, off-plan projects are a big segment of the market because most projects once they are launched, are sold four years before it handed over. So, we are more focused on new investors coming to Dubai who want to buy a property on a payment plan, and It was very successful for us, Like I said I am very lucky to be in this city at this time and in this place.

Interviewer: What makes “Springfield Properties” stand out among other real estate companies in the UAE?

Mr. Farooq: I think “Springfield Properties” is the most fun, loving, energetic company, If you see most of our agents as well, we are in the age bracket of "30 to 40", so we are very energetic, and we really focus on the training and it is the biggest aspects of our company, so I am sure any real estate consultant that you meet in our company will be very very well versed with Dubai real estate market and the industry itself, and we make sure that we stick to strict code of ethics, and make sure that all our agents are very very well educated about the market because, at the end of the day, clients are making a multi-million dirhams decision based on our words, so it is our ethical responsibility to make sure that our agents are well-educated about the Dubai real estate market, and that all our team members are following the strict code of ethics, besides that we are all very active on social media, so you may see us on social media quite a lot. we work with all sorts of clients from different countries, so we are very well-diversified, We sold properties for over 40 developers in Dubai just this year, so we worked with most major and mid-size developers, so we have a very well-diversified portfolio if you say when it comes to properties that we sell, so that stands us out from other real estate companies, and of course, I push everyone to market themselves on social media, so you may have come across a lot of our agents, who are now very actively selling and even promoting Dubai internationally not just locally.

Interviewer: As the CEO of "Springfield Properties", how would you describe your own business philosophy?

Mr. Farooq: My own philosophy is always to give value to others, As a business owner or in any other field you are in, you have to make sure that you are not thinking of what is good for you, as you have always to look at your customers and try to analyze what they want, and what big problem you are solving for this customers. If are coming to my shop, my office, my company, my factory, or my business, you are coming because you need something to be solved, and if you can bring value to a customer, to a client, then you will be invaluable.

So, my business philosophy to my agent, to my clients is what I can do to help you, for example in our business industry we help you with your decision to buy a house or your decision to invest, and if you are able to bring value to others, then the money will follow. So, my business philosophy is always to try to find how you can help and enhance your customers' and clients' lives. If a customer is coming to me, and saying I have this budget, this price and I want to be here, my job is first to educate him, and second to add value through my knowledge and my experience to his home search process, and if I can do that and bring value to someone then I will be invaluable and the money will follow, so this is my philosophy in business always try to find where you can add value to client journey.

Interviewer: Do you believe that social media platforms play a significant role in real estate marketing and sales processes?

Mr. Farooq: One hundred percent, I think today social media has become one of the most important ways for brokers and real estate marketing, and there is no doubt that all our customers are spending a maximum amount of time on their devices, and literally that phone device that you have in your hand is the source of all information that you are taking in, so we have to be on our devices and we have to be on social media to prompt what we are selling, It is not just in real estate, but I believe in every business. That day I was sitting with my friend, and he said "You know I love to be on social media, but I have a factory and we make clothes, and it is boring, Who wants to watch this? " I told him No, you will be shocked, Just go on social media and start talking about what you do, show your factory, show your office, you have a big factory and big office, show this, even the people will think oh wow this how our clothes are made, and if you put it on social media, and it is interesting, and by 15 seconds you can show me a reel or TikTok video, and I might like it, and that will attract new customers. I always tell a vlog if it has a million views, For sure I don't have a million buyers for this house, I have one house and I need one buyer, Out of these million views maybe one guy will say Let's buy this house.

Interviewer: Now, could you share some of the challenges that you have faced in your journey in the real estate industry, and how you overcame those challenges?

Mr. Farooq: So the biggest challenge I believe that we faced was when we started the company, Right after that we went through the financial recession, and we were deciding whether we had to close the company within the first year of opening it, so I think we have started in a challenging environment that all the other challenges that came after felt much easier.

Dubai real estate market has had multiple cycles through the years, There have been times when the property values have gone down, like during the covid we saw the market gone down, so there were always challenges during those times that we had to make sure that we were able to retain good talent, and we were able to retain our clients, as I always tell that one client who worked with you once, will work with you for a lifetime if you were able to give good services, so it is a very challenging environment where you have suggested somebody buy real estate, and the entire market goes down, Obviously, whenever we sell real estate we say we do not know the future, we do not know exactly what is going to happen, but we can guide you based on the principles that guide the value of real estate, but still it is challenging when the market goes down when you are used to selling a certain amount and the market goes down and you are not selling those numbers or hitting those numbers, so we have been through ups and downs in Dubai real estate market, but I always say as a broker or as an agent you should be able to make money in a down market and in an up market.

Interviewer: So, do you think that Dubai is the best place in the global for the real estate market?

Mr. Farooq: One hundred percent, I believe that Dubai is the best place as a city because it still provides a lot of opportunities. This city has been growing over the last 20 to 23 years, and the real estate has come up, prices tripled over this time and still going up. As a major global city, Dubai's real estate prices are still undervalued. Last week I was in London, and we were discussing some other real estate prices in London, For the same thousand square feet in London you can buy more than four times in Dubai, and if you compare Dubai not only with London but with any other twenty majors cities in the world, I am proud to say that Dubai is one of them, and Dubai in terms of real estate is still undervalued, and I think the quality of real estate that we are building over years here now is much more superior to most other parts of the world. If we look at the communities, the villa, the design, the construction quality, the quality over here is really really good now, and I believe that the market is still undervalued, and I believe in the leadership of this city and this country, and I believe in the fundamentals such as tourism, as the base is very strong, and I believe that this city will continue to grow over the next five to ten years, they always say the best time to buy is was twenty years ago, and the best second time is now.


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