Most Wanted

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 May, 2008, 12:00am

Chinese Estates aims to recruit highly motivated professionals for new shopping complex

Demand is strong for professionals specialising in leasing and managing retail properties because of the robust real estate market.

Many retailers have had to relocate their shops because several malls in Tsim Sha Tsui are being redeveloped.

More international financial management firms have bought malls in non-core shopping areas for redevelopment because of the potential for high returns, according to Jeannette Chan Wing-wai, regional director of retail at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Operators of shopping centres on the mainland were luring specialised retail leasing and management professionals from Hong Kong, Ms Chan said.

Chinese Estates Holdings executive director Lau Ming-wai said the company was set to roll out more benefits and packages to attract talent.

Chinese Estates will begin recruiting tenants for its new 400,000 sqft shopping centre in Tsim Sha Tsui later this year.

'We need a separate leasing team of 10 members to take care of the new centre in the long run,' Mr Lau said.

'We want highly motivated people. They should be enthusiastic and willing to give input in issues even outside their own areas of responsibility.

'Our company is appealing because of our relatively flat corporate hierarchy. ... Managers take a hands-on approach and work together with subordinates in the field.'

Chinese Estates is putting more emphasis on the quality of life for its staff. 'We have just formalised alternate weeks with Saturday off, and we give annual leave of up to 25 days which is rare among property developers,' Mr Lau said.

'We develop our leasing managers by giving them exposure to a broad spectrum of tenants, from international brands to small local companies. We also encourage them to provide creative ideas for us to formulate strategies,' he said. The company would launch more training programmes for its staff, Mr Lau said.

'We have a mentoring system in which senior leasing managers cultivate and develop subordinates and new recruits.'

To improve the Putonghua of staff members, who were assigned to work for its projects on the mainland, Chinese Estates organised language classes for them, he added.

The firm found a lot of inspiration for decor and themes from trendy new malls in Japan, so leasing and project managers' group visits to the country were organised annually.

Mr Lau said: 'This is an eye-opening experience for them. The participating managers are required to produce reports after the visits. We organise briefing and debriefing sessions before and after the visits. We make sure that they apply what they have learned in Japan to the management and renovation projects of our malls in Hong Kong.'