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Posted: 01 Nov 2012 | 6:00 am
Virtually every corner of the region has put on their game face and I'm not quite sure these days whether the ground is rumbling from bulldozers breaking ground, stampeding buyers waiting to put their money down on a shiny new condo or just an earthquake of financial glee.
Lately, while walking down the street of a typical Asian capital city in the money district, l couldn't help notice that coming around the corner amongst the raging bulls was a lone sheep. I quickly consulted the clock on my Blackberry and found it to be 9:45a.m. and taking a quick breathalyzer test, revealed l hadn't been drinking. Not just yet. Standing still, the perplexing experience was going to take an even more bizarre turn as other sheep came into the smoggy horizon, one by one, one after another. A strange line up that apparently had no tail end.
Things were about to take a turn for the worse. The head sheep bounded into the heavy rush hour traffic and the next thing l heard was squealing brakes and all manners of audio chaos. Despite the uproar, the line of sheep continued on into the streaming flow of traffic, oblivious to the danger that their leader had instigated.
Of course, I'm not going into graphic descriptions of the carnage that lay for all to see on the fateful day. Let's just say the term 'wipeout' can best describe the holistic effect of the calamity. To sum it all up, it was D-Day in sheepville.
As l continue to travel throughout the region on consulting jobs, attending conferences and checking out the markets, the hair on my back continues to stick up when meeting many new property developers. Their business strategies are based on the experience of a few who has struck it rich. Project DNA is often based on that lovely term we see on t -shirts in Thailand-"same same but different".
Business plans and design models have now evolved into copy and paste. The only real crisis in Asia is finding enough new names for the seemingly infinite number of new real estate offerings.
Give it an Easy A, or find a foreign sounding term to make it familiar and up market. It seems the only admission ticket that's really needed for entry into the Glee Club is a piece of land. It doesn't even seem to matter if you own it. Bring it to market and damn, you might not even need equity or debt, as pre-sales will flow like free drinks at a grand opening party.
Each day's tasks for these new age copy crews are only complicated by which luxury car showroom to visit that day to liquidate those massive profits, which will surely drop from the heavens above.
But my train of thought is broken as the ambulances arrive and start to cart off those poor misled sheep. If only they had paused, and thought things through and not been content to simply follow. The flag is at half mast today at the Glee Club and evening cocktails have been canceled. But tomorrow is indeed another day.
Will it be another same same, or something entirely different?
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